As a PR professional, you’ve probably heard a million times about the importance of measuring the effectiveness of your work.
It does matter, though. PR measurement proves the value of communications work and shows how it contributes to business goals.
But PR measurement can be challenging, especially when trying to measure communications efforts in a global company.
Global communications teams reside all over the world and work on projects that may require different measurement and communication tactics.
So how do you prove the success of communications work on a global scale?
This requires planning, coordination, and, of course, communication to provide a global picture of how communications work contributes to business goals.
Where should you start?
Global communications efforts should begin like any other communications work: planning.
Communicators should have regular meetings within their own regions to create outlines of strategies and tactics for the coming months or year, including a content calendar, editorial themes, and projected goals.
Once each region has established an outline for their plans, directors from the different regions should coordinate on plans and global efforts.
During this coordination process, directors should decide which efforts should be shared on a global scale, which need to be customized based on their region, and which will only be carried out in specific regions.
Communications campaigns happening on a global scale can be difficult. Even if the campaign has similar objectives globally, some aspects of a campaign typically need to be reworked based on cultural and linguistic differences. Without putting this thought into it, companies could put out a campaign that offends people.
Pringles, for example, failed to consider the cultural implications of an ad display in Tesco, a grocery store chain in the U.K. Tesco stores featured a Pringles display with their logo, a crescent moon, and the words “Ramadan Mubarak,” meaning Blessed Ramadan. The display contained cans of Pringles’ “smokey bacon” flavored chips.
Muslims, however, abstain from eating pork as part of their religion. Plus, during Ramadan, Muslims observe fasting during the day.
The well wish feels disingenuous and disrespectful with the disregard for Islamic traditions. This problem could’ve been solved with some simple research and better planning.
Global campaigns should be researched and well-thought out to avoid missteps such as these.
Now consider measurement
In the planning process for communications campaigns, professionals should consider how to measure to show the value and effectiveness of these efforts.
The measurement process should begin by defining what success looks like for your company and campaigns.
Namely, find the KPIs that can measure the success of your work.
Additionally, provide the necessary members of your team with access to the tools they need to measure. At a minimum, these tools should include a media monitoring tool, Google Analytics, and a CRM.
Google Analytics, in particular, provides access to tons of global data about your sites.
A map overlay on the homepage of each account provides a breakdown of traffic based on users’ geographical location. This function allows global teams to track which locations are driving the most traffic to the site and indicates which areas need better engagement.
Google Analytics also offers efficient tracking of the source and medium referring traffic to a site. For global teams, especially those using UTM codes, this is incredibly helpful. This promotes more accurate attribution of traffic and conversions, allowing a global team to see what’s working and what region drives the most traffic and converts the most goals.
Once a campaign has been completed and measured, the results need to be reported.
Although this is a key step in the measurement process, it can get messy and confusing.
Reporting can be a complicated process if the reports don’t contain the necessary information or are overloaded with too many metrics. Refer to the KPIs you outlined in your planning process and report only on these, as they prove how communications contribute to business goals.
A standard PR measurement report template does not exist. Instead, a team should coordinate with its various members to create a template that most effectively communicates their metrics and progress.
Additionally, a team should coordinate on how often to report to one another. Rather than reporting on a global basis each week, teams may find it advantageous to report to their local team weekly and their global team monthly. Or, they may report to their local team monthly and their global team quarterly.
Less frequent global reporting provides an overview of campaigns from various offices, providing the data needed for stronger decision making. Additionally, less frequent global reporting eliminates too much time spent on analyzing and micro-managing each offices’ day-to-day work.
Whatever a team decides, it should be attainable and well understood amongst the global team.
Find ways to communicate globally
Throughout the planning, execution, and reporting of each campaign, teams should stay well connected, but one of the most difficult parts of working on a global communications team is, well, communications.
Between different holidays, workweeks, and time zones, it can be tough to coordinate and connect with a team spread across different countries.
It’s incredibly important to find the best channel and tactics for staying in touch.
Communication between global team members can prevent and minimize crises, allow for spur-of-the-moment changes and implementations to campaigns, and provide quick guidance and answers.
Teams need a communication tool for keeping in contact. Tons of available tools out there, including Skype and Slack, facilitate one-to-one communication as well as team communication.
Additionally, a project management tool helps track the progress of projects. Tools like Trello essentially function as a digital bulletin board, allowing team members to create different boards and add tasks to these boards.
Tools like Asana and Monday allow for even more organized task management. These tools let users assign tasks and deadlines to other users. Tasks can be colored coded and commented upon, and calendars can be visualized, allowing teams to understand the time commitments and schedules of their colleagues in different countries.
Working on a global communications team can be challenging, but through coordination and communication, professionals can produce quality campaigns and thorough measurement to prove the value of PR and communications.
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