The Spark

Onclusive’s five steps to a robust measurement framework, the importance of internal communications for employee engagement, and the crucial need for a crisis comms plan for any unexpected situations… Take a look at what’s got the team talking this month, as we hit 2024 PR at full pelt.

Proving the value of communications 

While there is no universally-agreed tactic for measuring the success of your PR efforts, it’s worth remembering that the way you evaluate the effectiveness of your communications activities should be unique to your organisation’s specific goals and objectives.

By establishing a robust framework for measuring and gauging the success of  your communications activity, you can interpret data more efficiently to assess your progress towards your wider objectives.

In Onclusive’s latest guide, Proving Communications Value with Robust Measurement & Analysis, the media monitoring software company uncovers the five steps to building a strong measurement framework:

  • Define clear goals and objectives that are specific, measurable and achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART).

  • Once you’ve set your objectives, you’ll have a clearer picture of which KPIs and key metrics your organisation should focus on. This helps you to cut through the noise and focus on what’s important.

  • By establishing a data collection strategy, you can consider when, where, and how you’ll collect your data to interpret results. 

  • Set realistic targets and benchmarks for each of your agreed metrics. This will not only serve as a point of reference, but can act as a baseline for existing data as well.

  • Consistently review and present your data to prove the value of your communications efforts and help refine your strategy as you go.

Although this is just one approach to proving the value of PR, it’s worth remembering that communications metrics and their ROI are unique to each organisation and its wider business objectives. 

Bethany Lunt, account manager 

Internal communications for employee engagement

January through, and we’re still laser-focused on the PR, communications and marketing trends gathering pace this year. Meltwater’s 2024 Marketing Trends report has sparked conversation among the team. It considers the vital role a clear internal communications strategy plays in organisational alignment. Employees are a major stakeholder in any business – they’re key spokespeople and a hugely important asset. As Meltwater attests, getting everybody on the same page (in terms of the business’ values, vision and objectives) ensures employees collaborate effectively and improves how they relate to the company. A regular flow of information leaves people feeling better prepared to adapt to change and helps them stay engaged with the company’s mission and long-term goals.

Louise Jaggar, operations manager

The social media state of play

And sticking with Meltwater… Over the past year, many changes and improvements have been made to social media platforms, including Twitter being rebranded to X and Meta’s introduction of Threads.

A recent survey and report carried out by Meltwater checked in with marketing and communication professionals from across the globe to assess the ‘State of Social Media’ — discovering platform preferences and how past experiences will shape digital marketing future.

The main reason respondents cited for using social media was to raise their brand awareness (51%), which is achievable and measurable through social media analytics. Producing high-quality content regularly takes time, and team bandwidth, lack of creative resources and battling against individual site algorithms were seen as constant pain points for companies. 

Also, the opinion on platforms to place focus on in 2024 has shifted, with less time spent on X, and an increase in time spent on LinkedIn and Instagram (the latter two seemingly the platforms that benefit businesses the most).

Money talks — or in this case ‘types’ — and social media is no different. The survey found the majority of respondents have either increased the budget dedicated to this aspect of marketing, or allocated the same spending, highlighting the positive effect a consistent voice and presence on social media has on brands.

Lauren Boyles, PR executive

Striking the right balance with crisis communications 

It’s to be hoped it never needs to be actioned – but the need for a crisis communications plan in the unfortunate event your business hits emergency territory is crucial. Any company, whatever its size, can be vulnerable to an unexpected situation. If a crisis does hit, preparation, but – more than this – acknowledging any failings, acceptance of responsibility and complete transparency are vital here. While a business can hope to emerge from a crisis unscathed, the right crisis communications strategy (one that demonstrates honesty and empathy) will go a long way towards limiting any damage.

Ellie Byrne, media relations manager 

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Written by Carrie Webb