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Can Comms Measurement Treat Recession Blues?

By Iliyana Hadjistoyanova | August 25, 2022 | 0 Comments

Rising inflation, stagnant budgets and an overall depressed economic outlook will shape Communications leaders’ reality for the next few months. In my experience, this usually leads to increased scrutiny of the Comms portfolio and its impact. The ability to link communication work to business-critical outcomes will be ever-challenging but essential for Comms leaders. 

But, as evidenced by the 2022 Gartner Communications Awards, few excel in the category of Measurement and Reporting. This award sought to recognise entries that focused on:

  • Measurement plans that use metrics and measurement methods tailored to desired behavioral and/or business outcomes
  • Stories of collaboration with business partners to develop outcomes-focused metrics and/or measurement methods for communications projects
  • Dashboards that make it easy for teams to overview their function’s/project’s performance on key metrics
  • Data visualizations that creatively report measurement results
  • Reports that clearly outline to leaders how Communications has supported key business outcomes

The fact that this was the category with the lowest number of submissions highlights a couple of key issues.

One, communicators don’t invest sufficiently in measurement and reporting innovation. Two, they shy away from broadcasting their achievements in the area.

So, to inspire and encourage your work, let me tell you about the standouts in the category. 

The Winner

The unequivocal winner was the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. To improve air quality, their Voluntary Vehicle Repair Program (VVRP) provides financial assistance to vehicle owners for emissions-related repairs when a vehicle fails mandatory emissions testing. The problem was that each year, while 4,000 vehicle owners signed up for VVRP, less than half completed the program. 

So, Communications at the agency addressed this low participation rate by tracking factors influencing driver participation, which ultimately led to legislative changes and an enhanced focus on customer experience. To date, the program has successfully increased participation from an average of 45% to above 50%, resulting in a record number of cars being repaired. It’s an excellent example of Communications tackling behavior change and barriers to desired behaviors to help contribute to a tangible organizational outcome. 

The Highly Commended

The highly commended entry in the category came from Teleperformance India (TP). To tackle some of the talent acquisition challenges following the pandemic, TP’s Marketing team stepped in to assist the recruitment function. The team developed an innovative digital communication campaign to improve the company’s online reputation and hiring efforts. They focused on detailed communication measurement, enabling the organization to get a clear sense of what was working and how to improve future campaigns.

Communications can and does contribute to numerous outcomes that are critical for organizations. So, it only makes sense to resource and celebrate successful efforts to track the relationship between communication activities and business outcomes. We’d love to hear stories of your successes. Submit an entry for global recognition in our 2023 Gartner Communications Awards which open next month!

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

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