Note: This piece originally appeared as a free article in the late January 2016 edition of The Measurement Advisor newsletter.
Meet Cyrus Shick, our Measurement Maven of the Month. If every corporate communicator would talk and think like Cyrus, efficiency in marketing departments across the world would increase and frustration levels would go down.
At first glance, I thought Cyrus looked like every other fresh-faced young political campaign worker. Eager and earnest, with an overlay of geek. (He’s been applauded for his campaign organizing since he was 12 years old!) Then he started talking. And I realized that he is doing for the Hillary campaign all the things that I’ve been advocating for PR for decades.
While volunteers are out canvassing, calling, and persuading voters to support the candidate, they are also gathering data. Others are inputting that data into a master database. Every day Cyrus looks at the data and knows how many doors need to be knocked on, how many more phone calls need to made, and how many volunteers are needed to make those numbers.
When he says “Yes” or “No” to a question or an idea, he backs up his answers with the data. I’ve heard him say in a dozen very polite ways, “The data just doesn’t support that activity.” And then he references the data.
In so many ways, Cyrus and his databases are the real-life manifestation of every communicator’s dream dashboard: Real-time data-informed decision-making on whatever questions life throws at you.
Granted, corporate communicators don’t have armies of volunteers to help them collect data. But they do have email lists, Google Analytics, CSM and sales databases, accounting teams, and maybe even some marketing analysts to help them.
The difference is that in Cyrus’ world there is universal acceptance of the importance of data in making decisions.
No matter what your budget or how many contributors you have, a political campaign is limited by the number of days before the election. What Cyrus does helps everyone budget their time. And isn’t that a big part of what the manager of a communications department does?
Congratulations to Cyrus Shick, our Measurement Maven of the Month. ∞