Sixty nine (ii)

On presenting their joint findings to the steering team, Michelle and Yvonne put it like this. If your organization is unique, with a unique position in a unique market, with unique mission and vision, and uniquely tailored strategies demanding a unique mix of tactics, is it too great a leap of faith to expect the (optimal) blend of communications to be unique and for communications performance measurement to therefore require a unique and tailored blend of metrics?

To put it another way, your digital nervous system will be tailored to your needs, and ours to our needs. Your communication metrics will help you determine if your digital nervous system is performing as planned, and ours will report the health of ours. Consequently, your metrics will inform your investment decisions, and ours will inform ours.

To put it a third way, your people may have a general preference for soft centers and mine for hard (if you recall the chocolate box paradox).

I don’t want to labor this stuff too much, particularly as I want to leave you fired up for social business, but a few pointers in the right direction here will save you from going through all the learning loops we’ve zoomed around. Here’s one last, important but perhaps subtle point on this topic.

I’ve been talking about measurement for performance management here – in other words, identifying metrics that best drive and report progress in executing strategy. (If we work to grow these performance metrics across the board we will improve our business or identify that our original strategy needs revision.) But measurement for performance management is different to analysis more generally.

Communication is complex, as we have seen, and there is much to be learned, particularly in respect to how influence goes around comes around, to providing sensory feedback. You and your tech team may wish to cut and slice your communications data every which way you can in order to distil insight and understanding, but up to a point that’s quite separate to performance management. And I say ‘up to a point’ simply because your analytical work might unearth an insight worthy of translation into a performance metric.


  1. Rachel Miller (@AllthingsIC)

    This page in particular really strikes a chord with me, particularly around tailoring and adapting comms metrics, tactics etc to reflect the uniqueness of organisations. There’s not a one size fits all approach, and it’s the word unique that jumps out at me.

    I’ve long said you can’t ‘shoehorn’ certain aspects of communication or tools into an organisation because they’ve worked elsewhere; you need to adapt and adopt the ideas to suit the individuality of the company and its people. To continue the analogy, we all know what happened when the Ugly Sisters tried on the glass slipper – an ill-fitting shoe does not make a princess! There are so many stand-out pages for me, but this is one of my favourites, Rachel.

  2. Philip Sheldrake (@Sheldrake)

    Thanks Rachel, and love the reference to the Ugly Sisters. The assertion here is still being debated by the Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communications (AMEC) and a coalition of nearly every other association you can think of in this space, informally called The Conclave, but it looks like consensus is going Attenzi’s way 🙂