Looking Forward: Potential Crises Demand New Measurement Tools and Flexibility

A happy young boy on a slide, with "2021" on his sweatshirt, symbolizing the concept of looking forward at the new year.

The Paine of Measurement

Dear Readers,

Welcome to a new year of measurement! The idea behind our January “Looking Forward” issue has always been to provide you with ideas for how to navigate the coming year, at least as far as measurement goes. But this time, given the tumult of recent events, we don’t even know what we’re going to have to navigate, never mind how to do it better!

In fact, I readily admit that we haven’t a clue as to what actual measurement challenges you will face in the next 11 months. Still, there are certain things I can predict with some certainty, read about them in “Katie Paine Makes 10 Communications Measurement Predictions for 2021…

We do know that there will be crises and potential crises on a frequent basis. Whether they directly or indirectly affect you, we urge you to keep your crisis communications plan up to date and rehearse it frequently. You’ll want to read this month’s article “Your 2021 Crisis Is On Its Way: Where Will It Come From?

We also know that technology is changing rapidly. After years of domination by a few large media analysis firms, your new toolbox may well include a wide variety of measurement tools you wouldn’t have thought you needed a few years ago.

Instead of “media monitoring” you’ll be doing “issue management,” and you may need a very different dashboard. As the silos between internal and external break down, you may well be incorporating data from companies like Polite Mail and BananaTag. Employee attitude surveys will be an absolute necessity as you navigate your return to whatever a “normal” workplace looks like in 2021. Other metrics like SEO ranking and Tag Manager will also become part of your measurement tools. If you don’t adopt them, your successor will. To see your options, review our annually revised Vendor Selection Guide: “17 Common Measurement Needs and the Best Measurement Vendors to Solve Them in 2021.”

Our general advice as we move into the fraught future is to remain flexible and agile. Base your decisions on data and logic. See “On the Farm or in the Office: A Guide to Making Confident Decisions in 2021.

Don’t bet your career or your entire budget on any single campaign or strategy. The brands that did best in 2020 were those that could quickly pivot their communications programs in response to social upheavals. We’re sure we will see more of that in 2021. We hope you are among those that survive and thrive.

Also in this month’s issue:

Measure on in 2021, and stay healthy,

Thanks for the image to Jacqueline Schmid from Pixabay.

About Author

Katie Paine

I've been called The Queen Of Measurement, but I prefer Seshat, the Goddess.