Return on Internal Communications

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Internal Communications

As professional communicators, demonstrating and reporting the ROI for campaigns, programs and projects helps ensure budgets will continue to support a rich communications strategy. Traditional Media Relations allows us to easily grade our coverage – there’s even a scoring system created by CPRS and operated by News Canada. Online measurement is made even simpler with data points abound from clicks and conversions to traffic and time tracked from webpage to webpage.

However, when making the investment in a town hall meeting, employee publication or an executive breakfast program, often times the decision hinges on the leader’s perspective and interest in such activities. The measurement discussion becomes skewed with personal bias and these internal programs can live and die on subjective support or reluctance. IABC members can read more about improving your leaders’ presence in this month’s CW magazine.

We’re all human, and we all have a voice. Encouraging leaders to be themselves will build trust naturally when they are using their voice. The Edelman Trust Barometer showed a decline in 2013 in the public’s trust of business leaders (and just a gentle reminder, employees are the public), which makes executive engagement even more important to strengthening their reputation.

Measuring the return on internal communications investment involves establishing a baseline of behaviours and attitudes; determining a strategy to create change and tactics to support the strategy and, finally tracking the change over time to demonstrate the results. Linking behaviour change to business results will really speak volumes in the executive suites.

Internal communications programs create a variety of opportunities for your leaders to be genuine, speak in their own voice, and receive candid feedback. Framing the measurement of success in terms of results that reflect the business objectives will reduce the tendency to revert to subjective discussion. Ultimately, it will be the quality of the interactions that will truly demonstrate a valuable internal communications investment.


Liisa Sheldrick, London chapter IABC President for the 2013/14 season

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