Calculate and clarify

It has never been easier for communication directors to measure and evaluate their work

Figure 1: some of the myriad metrics used in PR and corporate communication measurement

After three decades of criticism for a lack of measurement, evaluation and a limited range of easily accessible metrics, corporate communicators now face a bewildering array of methods and metrics that can make measurement and evaluation more challenging than ever. Even a cursory reading of measurement literature and advertisements by suppliers of various measurement and evaluation services reveals 30 or more metrics that communicators can use to demonstrate the effectiveness of communication programmes. These range from the problematically basic to the controversially complex and costly (some examples of widely promoted metrics are shown on the following page in Figure I).

Jim Macnamara

Jim Macnamara is professor of public communication and associate dean (engagement and international) at the University of Technology Sydney, a position he took up in 2007 after a 30-year professional career spanning journalism, public relations and corporate communication, and media research. He is a leading researcher in measurement and evaluation of communication as well as social media and is the author of numerous articles and 15 books including The 21st Century Media (R)evolution: Emergent Communication Practices (Peter Lang, New York, 2010, 2014) and Public Relations Theories, Practices, Critiques (Pearson Australia, 2012).. His most recent book is Organizational Listening: The Missing Essential in Public Communication (Peter Lang, New York, 2016).