When the boss is wrong about measurement

Slip the measures he needs in with the ones he wants

By Angela Sinickas, ABC, Diva of Diagnostics

Executives can be stubborn about having you measure what they want, even if it may not help them reach their objectives.

When the boss is wrong about measurement

Who’s the boss? Give him what he wants. But slip in the numbers that he needs to see. Image by Neil Moralee

For example, one public affairs department was told to double the output of their news releases as a measure of increased effectiveness. Another communication department was told to conduct a benchmarking study to compare staffing levels and budgets with similar companies.

Communicators can ignore these requests at their professional peril. I recommend giving executives what they want, but slipping in measures of what they actually need at the same time — without asking for permission.

The most effective way to get your boss to see your point of view is to provide the right performance metrics along with their requested ones.

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“Numbers are the language of business. And a good number is worth a thousand pictures.”
— Don Wilt, director, internal communications, Honeywell

Measure what matters

Learn to measure communication success like Angela Sinickas

I recently got into a little Twitter tiff — is that a Twiff? — with an SEO expert after I suggested in a workshop that writers optimize for humans first and Google second.

Both ways image

Both ways Of course you’re going to bring the boss the numbers she asked for. But while you’re at it, fetch more meaningful data as well. Image by Alvaro Tapia

I’ll spare you the back-and-forth. But the SEO expert finally concluded: “Page views don’t care how well your webpage is written!”

That’s true, I replied. But page views also never bought a product, voted in an election or rallied around the CEO’s latest vision.

And that’s the problem. Too often, communicators don’t measure what matters: bottom-line business results like products sold, elections won, CEO initiatives achieved. Instead, we measure what’s there: click-thru rates, PR impressions, page views.

But at Become an ROI Rock Star With the Diva of Diagnostics — a two-day Master Class with Angela Sinickas on Oct. 12-13 in Washington, D.C. — you’ll learn how to measure what really matters to prove your value to the organization. Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Decide what to measure: Prioritize organizational goals to get the biggest bang for your efforts
  • Figure out who needs to change: Identify audiences with stakes in those goals
  • Set measurable objectives: Figure out how you’ll know when you’ve succeeded
  • Choose channels: Determine the best media for your messages
  • Create a communication plan: Polish a strategy for your own campaign or project

We expect tickets to this event to sell out fast. If you’d like to be one of 50 lucky communicators to learn to measure your communications like Angela Sinickas does, please register now.

“Angie is perhaps the world’s leading authority on the measurement of processes and systems in corporate communication. Many, many practitioners owe her a debt of gratitude for her eagerness to help and advise.”
— Thomas Lee, consultant, Arceil Leadership Ltd.

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