Measuring internal communications

Posted on: July 2, 2007

On a helpful new blog at the Institute for Public Relations, Sean Williams of Goodyear in the US describes low cost methods of judging the effectiveness of the tyre maker’s internal communications, especially on its intranet. 

They have used internal discussion groups to quickly evaluate the corporate intranet and a daily poll question of key topics. It has built dialogue with staff, with around 150 joining the intranet discussion groups and 800 a day taking part in the poll. Some 450 a day check the poll results. 

The outcomes of the Intranet review have been very constructive – “we did get opinions that differed significantly from those we brought to the exercise. Our intranet is better for the experience”, says Sean. 

Although he says the polling methods aren’t scientific, they are a good example of how “little and often” can build up a period-on-period picture of communications. By using internal resources and a mindset set that allows modification, it can be as valuable as formal research methods. 

In Paul Noble and my book, Evaluating Public Relations, we recognised that many communicators want to research but are stumped by cost or lack of knowledge. That’s why we have shown how media evaluation can be set up using a simple Excel-based spreadsheet or even a paper-based clerical method. The information obtained immediately assists media relations activity. 

Doing evaluation is not hard and it gives immediate benefits – Congratulations to Sean for sharing Goodyear’s approach.


2 Responses to "Measuring internal communications"

[…] DummySpit reports an example of low cost methods of evaluating internal communications, and I agree that technology has offered those in public relations simple, yet valuable methods of undertaking research and polling viewpoints. […]

I think it’s interesting from Melcrum’s research to learn how few IC people actually do evaluate (compared with the vast majority who think it’s important).

Yet wherever you hear communicators moaning about not being taken seriously you can bet they don’t invest much time in evaluation! It’s actually very easy to set up simple focus groups or get into the habit of a monthly ring around.

And even if it’s not scientific, as long as you have the confidence that you know the truth it will buy you enormous credibility…after all who else is going to invest time and effort finding out what employees are worried about this week?


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