Measurement standards have been available to the public relations community for some time. Only recently has the Institute for Public Relations assembled a group to establish a similar set of standard for assessing the effectiveness of employee communications.
On June 30, FIR host Shel Holtz moderated a discussion featuring Sean Williams, who coordinated the group’s efforts, and three other communication measurement thought leaders: Katie Paine, Angela Sinickas, and Ryan Williams. The robust discussion reflects the challenges of trying to set measurement standards for an activity as inconsistently practiced as employee communications. Among the points of contention that emerged in the conversation: the appropriate categories for various metrics and the items that belong in each category, whether outputs (such as intranet posts or emails sent) should be measured, and the distinction between metrics that predict future employee behaviors and those that look at past behaviors.
We have been given permission to share the preliminary document produced by the group; you can download it here in its pre-publication format. The list of proposed standards and their definitions, extracted from the document, appears below:
FIR Interviews are sponsored by Thornley Fallis, the public engagement specialists. If you are looking for tools and up to date techniques to engage with your community, Thornley Fallis can help. Find them at thornleyfallis.com.
About our interview guests:
Katie Delahaye Paine, aka The Measurement Queen, has been a pioneer in the field of measurement for three decades. Her books, Measure What Matters (Wiley, March 2011) and Measuring Public Relationships (KDPaine & Partners, 2007) are considered must-reads for anyone tasked with measuring public relations and social media. Her latest book, written with Beth Kanter, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit:Using Data to Change the World, is the 2013 winner of the Terry McAdam Book Award. Her latest company, Paine Publishing is the first educational publishing firm entirely dedicated to making more Measurement Mavens. Its newsletter, The Measurement Advisor, is the industry’s most comprehensive source of information about best practices in communications measurement. In her consulting practices, she designs measurement dashboards for some of today’s most admired companies.
Angela Sinickas, 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 50+ articles in professional journals can be found on her website,www.sinicom.com. Her work has been recognized with 20 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.
Ryan Williams specializes in internal communications, research, and leadership development. He has a passion for servant leadership and shares the positive impact it can have on the lives of employees and organizational performance. His experience has involved strategy development, service improvements, communication audits, change management, and employee engagement. He facilitates planning, designs research, constructs effective questions, communicates results, and produces action. Ryan has won five International Association of Business Communicators’ (IABC) Gold Quill Awards and was recognized by the International Public Relations Institute (IPR) with the Golden Ruler Award of Excellence for Measurement in 2004 for his work with the Alberta Medical Association. Ryan earned his Masters of Arts in Leadership from Trinity Western University in 2007, and has a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation Administration with a major in Community Development from The University of Alberta.
Sean Williams is Vice President and Practice Lead, Education and Internal Communications, at True Digital Communications. Before joining True Digital, Sean was owner of Communication AMMO, Inc. Williams has held executive communication posts at National City Bank, KeyCorp and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. He also provides managerial communication training through Face2Face Communication, which he acquired from Joe Williams Communications in 2015. Earlier in his career, Williams was senior consultant for Williams, where he expanded the strategic planning, research and consulting practices, and led and refined the Face2Face program with companies including First Energy Corp., KeyCorp, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Merck, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Prudential and Lucent, training literally thousands of managers in the innovative and highly rated program.
He also is an adjunct professor of Public Relations at Kent State University, and has created graduate classes in PR Measurement/ROI and social media measurement for Kent and another university.