Starry Blue Brilliance

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Begin with the End in Mind: Communication Measurement Best Practices

Photo: Chesapeake Finish Line Tower, commons.wikimedia.org

Photo: Chesapeake Finish Line Tower, commons.wikimedia.org

Begin 2014 with the end in mind. Every successful communication plan is supported by an effective measurement strategy. Here are the top posts on communication measurement you helped make successful in 2013:

1. Six Sigma Project Ideas for PR

2. Measure What Matters with a Communication Scorecard

3. How to Calculate the Value of Organizational Communication

4. Reflecting on the Right Questions for Your Readership Surveys

Thank you for your readership and support of sharing corporate communication best practices in 2013. As we continue to build on our collective masterpiece of Starry Blue Brilliance, I’m inspired by the words of Vincent Van Gogh: “I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.” (goodreads.com)

Have a very happy, healthy, prosperous and brilliant new year!

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How to Calculate the Value of Organizational Communication

© Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar / CC-BY-SA-3.0

© Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Communicators know that effective communication delivers value to business in many tangible ways, but how can you show this value in a quantifiable way that is easy to understand?

Lorenzo Sierra of LoSierra Strategic Consulting, lorenzo@losierra.com, created a solution to this dilemma:

V=(c+e)p

That is, the value of communication is equal to the costs plus the efforts of what you’re communicating to the power of perception.

This equation is further explained in the attached article from the June/July 2003 edition of IABC’s Communication World. Sierra’s Theory of Communicativity_IABC CW

This concept was also applied to calculating the value of total rewards communication as detailed in the attached article from WorldatWork’s 2004 edition of Workspan. Lorenzo Sierra_Workspan_0204

How can this equation be applied to show the value of communication at your organization?


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Six Sigma Project Ideas for PR

Six Sigma

What is Six Sigma and how can it help you improve your organization’s communication processes?

According to www.isixsigma.com, “Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects in any process – from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service.”

I earned my Six Sigma Green Belt certification in 2004 by improving our employee newsletter. Six Sigma can be applied to all of your communication processes to help improve costs, engagement and productivity.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your public relations efforts, here is a list of “Six Sigma Project Ideas for PR” created by Mark Weiner, CEO of PRIME Research, weiner@prime-research.com

This list was published in IABC’s January/February 2004 Communication World. See attached article.
Six Sigma PR_IABC_CW 2004.

Six Sigma Project Ideas for PR

  • Reduce time for press release approval.
  • Improve media targeting (identify media that have proven reach among your target audience).
  • Assess journalists’ preference and satisfaction with current PR initiatives.
  • Assess “internal client” preferences and satisfaction with current PR initiatives.
  • Improve the ratio of releases sent versus releases used.
  • Improve the ratio of placements featuring critical messages.
  • Improve the ratio of placements featuring a company spokesperson.
  • Improve the ratio of stories featuring visuals or graphics.
  • Improve the ratio of stories that are either exclusives or feature-length.
  • Improve the ROI of events and event sponsorships.
  • For agencies, improve percentage of billable hours.

How do you use Six Sigma principles to improve communication processes at your organization?


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Measure What Matters with a Communication Scorecard

An effective measurement method supports a successful communication program. A communication scorecard can help you efficiently measure, track and show the results of your communication efforts.

For many years, I’ve used a highly successful measurement method and communication scorecard developed by Bill Quirke, Managing Director of Synopsis, at www.synopsisonline.com.

The attached slides from his presentation, “Gaining Bottom Line Impact from the Communication Audit” explain this method. I am grateful to Bill for giving his approval to share this information with you. Be sure to check out the chapter on measurement in his book “Making the Connections: Using Internal Communication to Turn Strategy into Action.”

Communication Measurement_Bill Quirke

I developed the attached communication scorecard (modeled after Bill’s template in the last slide of his presentation) for measuring the effectiveness of our integration communication program following an acquisition.

Integration Communication Scorecard_Peggy Bieniek ABC

What are some of the ways you measure your communication programs?


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Template for Storytelling

Storytelling is a compelling and effective way to engage employees. The attached template published by the American Society for Training & Development can help you identify, create and track your organization’s stories. Once you uncover and document key stories, you can use them to support your communication strategy.

Storytelling Job Aid


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Show business value of communication

An effective communication program can help increase business performance. In this article, James Shaffer, IABC Fellow, thought leader and consultant, explains how to show business value through communication. http://bit.ly/16Adxy6

Article published in IABC Communication World, September 2013.


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It’s about sharing success

Ideas are the foundation of success. This timeless concept was best expressed by a Deutsche Bank advertisement in the Wall Street Journal in April 2001 that proclaimed: “Ideas are capital. The rest is just money.”

Sharing ideas about corporate communication best practices will help us create and carry out highly effective communication plans and programs to support our organization’s continued success.

The work of my favorite artist, Vincent Van Gogh, inspired the name for this blog. The header is a partial photo of one of his most well-known masterpieces, “Starry Night.”

As Van Gogh said, “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” (www.goodreads.com). We can succeed together by creating and sharing ideas, one inspiration after another, until they form a collective “masterpiece” of corporate communication best practices known as Starry Blue Brilliance.