Let’s Talk About Communications Measurement

I’ve noticed a wide range of confidence with measurement among the communications community.

Most of us know it’s important, but not everyone is comfortable and for some it’s a downright scary thing that’s always giving you the evil eye from your ‘to do’ lists. I’d like to help. I have a media degree and post grad qualification; I’m definitely not a mathematician.

In my view, measurement is less scary if you start to count outcomes and think about what the numbers are telling you, before someone challenges you. You may not have the time or the calmness of mind under such pressure if it’s a bit of a pet hate (you may also not have any of the numbers you need).

I recently joined the UK and Ireland Board of IABC to help me connect with others interested in the topic and general corporate communications.  Later this year, I’ll be taking part in an IABC networking event where we can share views about measuring communications. I hope to see you there.

  1. Look beyond vanity statistics

My point here is that we need to do more than just count clicks. Know what business outcome you’re looking for and what you’ll be saying to who. Plan beyond the number of impressions and engagements you hope to achieve. After all, we’re in businesses to help them achieve their objectives, not just to encourage likes of our posts. We need to measure in context.

To illustrate my point rather painfully, here is an example (it’s unlikely to be to everyone’s taste). Take a quick look at this short video and think about what they were trying to achieve:


This video achieved a reach of over 1.6 million views and 21,000 likes – hurrah you might think. However, they achieved eight pledges and no donations. The purpose of the campaign was to achieve donations from managers of sports centres and teams.

  1. Quantify outcomes to prove Return on Investment

Let me ask you a question: do you have plenty of budget and resources to deliver for the business?

If you’re feeling a bit squeezed, don’t despair! You can use measurement to not only justify return on investment in communications but also to consider what you may improve or even switch off.

For example, a cascade pack that takes 20 days’ effort across a team each month to create, which is opened by 15% of managers and clicked on by 10% of them. Even if all those 1.5% of your total manager population then onward cascade the pack, it’s clearly not worth the effort.

Save that time to focus on things that do have impact, like great story telling.

  1. Look at the bigger picture

What do the numbers actually mean and how do they correlate to campaign business outcomes? Where I work now, we’re a B2B business, so our focus is on how we want to be positioned in our markets rather than direct advertising and eCommerce with the public.

In my previous company, we were B2C, so the focus was really different. We had large marketing and media functions, with adverts across all platforms and a high street presence.

Tip: know your business type and its strategy and build your content strategy around that.


  • Media monitoring – measure share of voice, message reach, sentiment and key spokespeople.
  • Website and PR monitoring – what do people read, engage with, turn up to?
  • Social media – people trust ‘real’ people and subject matter experts more than they trust your company or top directors (search for Edelman Trust Index to find out more).
  • Internal digital – measure audience, engagement. What content do people like? Can you do more (if it’s of value)?

For a longer version of this article with many more tips and examples, click here.

Thank you.

Rachel Tolhurst

Head of Corporate Communications at Amey Plc

A unique training opportunity!


We are delighted to offer IABC members and other communications professionals an opportunity to attend a special training session led by former IABC Global Chair, Adrian Cropley.

Focused on Leadership Skills for Communication Professionals Adrian re-focuses our attention on Valentine’s Day to those vital skills that help us to navigate change and our sometimes irascible leaders.

Normally based in Melbourne Australia and following his appearance at EMENAComm, Adrian will be in the UK for just two days. We’re really excited by the content and as previous attendees can attest, this is “A brilliant course. Really got me thinking about how me and my team can become more strategic. Good mix of presentations, individual work and group work.”


Course Synopsis:

Leadership Skills for Communication Professionals (10 CPD Credits)

Outline for our one-day workshop

Explore the demands of communication leadership and the skills and attributes needed to lead an effective team and achieve key organisational outcomes.

This class will be taught by Adrian Cropley OAM, FRSA, SCMP and draws on his extensive years of business, HR, communication and change experience, coupled with leading practices of his global clients. He will be supported by our own Jane Mitchell, FRSA, former IABC UK President and International Executive Board member with a wealth of experience of working with leadership teams during change and transformation programmes. During the programme, Adrian and Jane will help attendees through some of your specific challenges. Expect to walk away with helpful solutions, tools and techniques and have fun in the process.

What you’ll learn 

· Management vs. leadership – what’s the difference
· Identifying and developing your existing leadership qualities
· Collaborative working and relationship building
· Increasing your influence to become a strategic leader


Is this course right for you?

The course will be of interest to those currently occupying middle management positions with at least five years’ experience, who are preparing to advance to a more senior leadership level.


Course outline

The manager vs. the leader
· Learn the characteristics and behaviours of effective leaders
· Review the manager versus leader inventory
Explore the team and the Parker Team Survey
· Discover the attributes of a high performing team
· Define teams and explore the Parker Team Player Survey
Build great relationships and get the best out of people
· Gain insights into emotional intelligence and the emotional competence framework
· Explore how you influence others
Be an influencer and strategic advisor
· Understand why people come to you for advice and how to build your value
· Be a strategic advisor and trusted business partner in your organisation
· Keep people coming back for value-added work where you can make the biggest impact on driving the business


About the trainers

An accredited business communicator, and past global chair of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), Adrian Cropley is widely recognised as an expert in strategic communication. With a career spanning over 25 years, Adrian has worked with clients all over the world, including Fortune 500 companies, on major change communication initiatives, internal communication reviews and strategies, professional development programs and executive leadership and coaching. He has been a keynote speaker and workshop leader on strategic and change communication at international conferences all over the world, and has received numerous awards including international Gold Quill awards for communication excellence.

With a career beginning in broadcasting and award-winning film production, Jane has worked in the world of communications for over 30 years. She supports primarily global organisations at all levels in embedding values and ethics by advising on and developing communication strategies for company ethics programmes, designing and facilitating of values-based leadership programmes, and giving the most senior leaders news that may not always be good on the health of their ethical culture.

The course will be held at the DeVere Canary Wharf, 1 Westferry Circus, London E14 4HD.
Thanks to Barclays for kindly hosting


Reserve your Place 

Spaces are limited so book now. We have negotiated a special discount for IABC members and friends.

The rate will be £450 for IABC members. £500 for non-members. (All prices include vat) Your fee includes lunch and refreshments.

To register and for more detailed information about the course including learning outcomes, agenda and information about who should attend can be found here:

IABC Event – Rápido!

To kick-off 2019, the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) invites you to come along to one of our world-famous Rápido events on 30 January.

For those of you that haven’t been to a Rápido before, we arrange a line-up of fantastic speakers and, to keep it lively, they are only allowed to speak for five minutes each on a communications-related topic. Keeping the speakers in line and to time will be our compere for the evening, former President of IABC UK, Stephen Welch.

Topics confirmed:

  • The future is dead, long live the future! – Ezri Carlebach
  • People don’t care. And it’s up to us to fix it – Matt Frost
  • Get over yourself – three catastrophic ways your ego gets in the way – Belinda Gannaway
  • Communicators do more than communicate – Daniel Schraibman
  • The power of followership – Stuart Preston
  • Are you talking to Spock or Homer Simpson? – Jennifer Marsden

This Rápido is being held at Truckles Wine Bar in London. Tickets are free for IABC members and £10 for non-members which includes a drink and nibbles.

Doors open at 6pm and the event will start at 6.30pm.


Ezri Carlebach: Ezri is a consultant, writer and lecturer with a background leading multidisciplinary comms teams in FTSE 100, non-profit, and government organisations. He has been vegan for nearly 10 years, but has never had a Gregg’s vegan sausage roll.

Matt Frost: Matt has nearly 20 years’ experience working with organisations of all shapes, sizes and sectors. His expertise is in developing communication strategies to craft, enhance and deliver compelling employee experiences. Matt’s passion for clear, honest and creative communication has helped some of world’s leading organisations successfully engage their employees at an emotional and intellectual level. In recent years he’s been heavily involved in a number of high profile cultural and change management programs – in the UK, Europe and US. He is viewed as a trusted advisor to company boards, executive teams, unions and management teams and advises on appropriate communications strategies to achieve desired results – whether that is cultural alignment, employee performance or reward participation.

Belinda Gannaway: Belinda is quite loud, nearly always enthusiastic and talks too much. She is strategy director of Fathom XP, a creative network specialising in employer brand and engagement. For fun you can usually find her outdoors. With a background in journalism, PR, marketing and more recently digital transformation, she’s helped to supercharge capability and change programmes for Diageo, Nectar and Jaguar Land Rover among others.

Daniel Schraibman: Daniel helps companies build successful relationships, manage change and deal with crises. He has also bought millions of pounds of sound systems for Land Rover, worked as a journalist in Ghana and is writing a book about his time on a travelling funfair in the US. For more information, here’s his LinkedIn.

Stuart Preston: Stuart joined IDG in 2015, he is responsible for the identification, design, delivery and evaluation of bespoke leadership development programmes. Stuart has led teams in front line commercial roles and as a service provider worked with senior managers to develop individual and organisational capabilities. He has a Certificate in Return on Investment (Jack Philips methodology), Certificate in Coaching (Cognitive Behavioural Techniques), Certificate in Sales Management. He is also a Trained Emotional Intelligence user. He began his career by passing out of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and spent 5 years as an officer in the British Army. Clients appreciate Stuart’s innovative but pragmatic approach to development which focuses on behavioural and organisation change that delivers improved performance.

Jennifer Marsden: Jenny has the small task of managing reputation for the energy company, Shell, specifically in New Business Development and Exploration. This requires a combination of impact management, media and community relations. If Shell is buying a business, selling it, leaving or entering a region – Jen is likely somewhere nearby. She has worked on projects across the globe from Alaska to Sakhalin, but these days focusses most of her time on Shell’s new renewables department – Shell New Energies, in particular Offshore Wind. As a Biological Sciences graduate with a Diploma in PR she is passionate about responsible reporting of science. In her spare time she enjoys singing, sailing (only old boats, no ‘plastic’ ones) and skiing.

Pricing: all tickets include first drink and nibbles. Additional drinks can be purchased by guests on the night.


Tickets available here

A year of listening – please help us by completing our survey

We’ve called this year (2018/19) a year of listening. This has been in response to concerns that listening, a critical tool for the communicator, is in danger of being shuffled to the bottom of the pile as we struggle under the pressures of delivering more content, often with less resource.

If it is a year of listening, then it is fair to ask what are we doing about it?

Well, one thing we want to do is listen – to you, our members and colleagues, to hear whether this assertion carries any weight or not. And we are interested in finding out about how communications professionals and organisations are listening to their stakeholders externally and internally.

To help with this, I’d like to invite you to spend no more than five minutes completing a short survey which you can find here

Your feedback will provide valuable input into the state of listening in organisations today. It will also help Mike Pounsford, Kevin Ruck and I to shape a workshop we are running at the IABC EMENA Region conference in February, a workshop we will also look to run in the UK in the spring.

Thank you in advance for completing the survey. If you would like a copy of the report please contact me and I’ll happily send it to you.