Kerman Kasad, VP – global communications and brand, Project Management Institute, addressed the importance of communications measurement and how it adds context to the conversation. He spoke at day one of Spectra, the online conference focusing on reputation management.
Kasad said, “Looking at the current environment of unprecedented uncertainty, organisations are facing more pressure and challenges than ever before. In turn, communicators have to adjust their priorities and practice continuously – not only in the matters they focus on but also on how and what are they reporting to various stakeholders. When done right, new media framework offers better insights and cements PR’s strategic status across the organisation.”
Reputation, brand and measurement
Kasad noted that there are few things more critical to brands than reputation when it comes to business impact.
“Reputation goes far beyond just the product experience; it’s all about the stakeholder. The media plays a vital role in shaping your experience, too. Hence, measuring your PR programme, engagement, impact and outcome is critical. However, we can’t view nor measure reputation in a single frame.”
He categorised measurement in three ways:
1: Product: The product experience and how one is aligning itself with the customer’s experience
2: Employer: The employee experience defined by a well-crafted and executed employer value proposition to attract and retain talent
3: Citizen: How you an organisation is represented in marketplaces in an age where purpose is paramount
He explained, “Marketing has been a data-driven discipline for long now. Digital marketing was the catalyst to drive digital analytics-led marketing measurement. It has enabled organisations to get an enormous amount of data condensed down to a few metrics. This has increased the efficiency and the ability to display the outcome of marketing program enormously. On the other hand, PR as a discipline until recently has been qualitatively driven. However, things started changing from the mid to late 2000s with the emergence of social media. With its tremendous ability to drive conversation, engagement and the capability to amplify messages, social media became a catalyst for data-based measurement.”
Why reputation matters
Kasad then spoke about the importance of reputation for brands and organisations.
“Reputation is the company’s perception by all its stakeholders compromising employees, customers, investors, suppliers, media, regulators and authorities. It’s about the legitimacy of an organisation concerning a wide range of consequence including customers. Measuring reputation requires a broad canvas – start by evaluating your reputation pillars. You can measure a campaign at the product level, programme level and community level.”
Kasad believes brands can further divide these pillars into short and long terms, aligned to business goals, before measuring the effectiveness of brand messaging. These demonstrate the ways of enhancing your organisation’s reputation. Measuring helps establish leaders the value and engagement brands have created with their stakeholders.
After reputation, he touched upon the importance of analytics and the vital role it plays during a crisis.
He explained, “Analytics provides real-time data to make decisions. Search data helps with who is looking at your organisation, from where, and indicates the language stakeholders are associating with your brand. Search terms offer incredible insight into the pulse of what people are thinking and saying about your organisation. It also shows whom it is making a credible impact on. Analytics help navigate crisis effectively by providing timely information and intelligence to make an informed decision. It provides context to augment your decisions.”
Kasad ended his talk with the following takeaways:
- Communication function is increasingly becoming critical and strategic
- Measurement helps brands showcase the impact communication has made on the business, bringing transparency, a better understanding and appreciation of the function to stakeholders
- ROI exhibits how the money was spent
- Proving your function’s value helps executive and management teams understand the role of communications in enabling business strategy and objective