The one key measure that will transform your Communication/PR career
Most of us would have heard of this saying: good things come in threes.
In my experience, we can apply this common saying to a lot of things. The 3 Musketeers, the 3 little pigs, the 3-minute egg (trust me, perfect every time!)…
When it comes to the Communication/PR sector though, there’s really only one key measure that matters in my books. This is the measure that shows how your Communication/PR Strategy is contributing positively to your organisation’s overall Business Strategy.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Communication/PR professionals are often obsessed with activity, tending to fill their days with sending out media releases, co-ordinating videos, blogging and so on. However, if completing these tasks can’t be measured and evaluated so they can be linked to an organisation’s bigger goals, this work will never be considered meaningful. It’s simply effect without effect.
Whether it’s improving a company’s reputation, attracting the right employees, improving sales leads or avoiding a crisis, the metric that matters is the one that helps your organisation to succeed, evolve and grow.
In my time, I’ve sat through a lot of meetings and coffee catch-ups with Communication/PR professionals who have no idea where to even begin in terms of measuring, evaluating and reporting on the work they do. They are aware of their worth but because they can’t show this in a black and white manner and in a way that organisational decision makers can understand, they feel as though they’re destined to struggle to gain the respect and appreciation they deserve.
Let’s face it: we all want to be acknowledged and valued for what we do. After more than three decades in this industry, I can safely say that contrary to popular belief, most employees are not actually motivated by money alone. Of course, money is important and ensuring staff members can maintain a good lifestyle is a key factor in job satisfaction but it’s not the sole factor. Happy employees are those who feel as though their hard work is recognised by their superiors as well as their employees. Sometimes, it’s that little slice of recognition that makes all the difference to someone’s work output.
The only way for Communication/PR professionals to prove their value is to accept that the business world is driven by numbers, bottom lines and tangible results. Until you begin measuring the value of your performance using the metrics key stakeholders can understand, you’re likely to be fighting a losing battle forever. Don’t talk yourself into thinking that you need to be a mathematical genius to organise the reports that will prove your value. These days, you’ve got the tools at your fingertips that can help you to not only show how the work you do is adding to the profitability of an organisation, but also enable you to do your job better.
Since its inception, I’ve seen how The Communication Dividend can help to transform careers and lead to Communication/PR professionals being valued and earning their rightful place in management positions and at boardroom tables. The power of this solution lies in the easy-to-use and read dashboards that produce the kind of information that makes organisational decision makers sit back and see how the work you do is vital to the success of the overall Business Strategy. Yes, we’re talking about the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) objectives you’ve probably never known how to measure in relation to Communication/PR in the past.
By Deb Camden
If you’re keen to learn more about how this first measurement approach of its kind in Australia can help you, get in touch with the communication professionals who designed The Communication Dividend. We speak your language!