Return on Investment (ROI) is a term that is tossed around loosely in some circles. Strictly speaking, ROI is expressed as a percentage determined by dividing the return (or benefit) of a monetary investment by the cost of the investment. That’s not what most communicators measure, yet the industry frequently refers to the ROI of communication. Is that a number that applies to communication? Can communication contribute to an organization’s overall ROI? What are valid alternatives to ROI that company leaders will appreciate when communicators share them?
Four IABC Fellows gathered at noon ET on Thursday, April 15, 2021, to discuss these and other questions.
About the panel
Diane Gayeski is recognized as a thought leader in the practice and teaching of business communications. She is Dean and Professor of Strategic Communications at the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, and provides consulting in communications analysis and strategies through Gayeski Analytics. Diane was recently inducted as an IABC Fellow; she’s been active in IABC for more than 30 years as a featured speaker and think tank leader at the international conference, the author of 3 editions of the IABC-published book, Managing the Communications Function, and the advisor to Ithaca College’s student chapter. She’s led more than 300 client engagements for clients including the US Navy, Bank of Montreal, Fiat, Sony, Abbott Diagnostics, and Borg-Warner focusing on assessing and building the capacities and new technologies for workplace communications and learning teams.
Jane’s career began at the BBC in London on live TV programmes. She moved on to producing award-winning films and videos for public and private sector organisations and developed ground breaking employee engagement programmes. Since 2006 when she formed her own consultancy, she now guides organisations, (some of which have experienced cultural trauma), with embedding values and ethics through understanding culture and leadership and their link to high performing sustainable organisations. She has worked with Top 100 companies across the world, is a regular conference speaker and writer, and a Director of two highly successful UK-based agencies. Jane has been a member of IABC since 2008 and has had the privilege on serving on local, regional and International IABC Boards. She is currently Chair of the 2021 World Conference and was awarded the honour of IABC Fellow in March.
Jim Shaffer is a business adviser, leadership coach, author, and speaker. As leader of the Jim Shaffer Group, he helps organizations accelerate results through superior strategy execution. The Jim Shaffer Group creates hard business results by translating the business strategy to the people who need to implement it, aligning systems, processes, and culture to make the gains sustainable. The firm has improved quality, service, sales, safety, turnover, productivity, speed and costs with some returns exceeding more than 1,600 percent. He designed and produced the IABC Academy courses, “Managing Communication to Drive Results and Value” and “How to Add Value as a Strategic Adviser”. Some of his clients have included: Hallmark, ConAgra Foods, FedEx, IBM, Marriott, Mayo Clinic, Verizon, Owens Corning, Pfizer, and Toyota.
Angela Sinickas is the founder of Sinickas Communications, which has worked with companies, organizations, and governments in 32 countries on six continents. Her clients include 25% of the Forbes Top 100 largest global companies. Before starting her own consulting firm, she held positions from editor to vice president in for-profit and government organizations and worked as a senior consultant and practice leader at Hewitt and Mercer. She is the author of a manual, How to Measure Your Communication Programs (now in its third edition), and chapters in several books. Her 150+ articles in professional journals can be found on her website,www.sinicom.com. Her work has been recognized with 21 international-level Gold Quill Awards from IABC, plus her firm was named IABC Boutique Agency of the Year in 2015. She holds a BS degree in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MS in Leadership from Northeastern University.