Break the Measurement Logjam

  • October 31, 2013
  • Fran Stephenson
  • 2 min read

In September, I spoke to the Public Information Officers who work for the Veterans Administration.  These professionals are challenged in several ways with systems and methods for which they have little control.  Yet, they are deeply committed to demonstrating success to their leadership.

While we talked about trends in measurement and industry best practices, it occurred to me that many organizations have similar challenges. If you have little time, control or any budget for measurement, where should you start?  Here are two ideas to break the measurement log jam in your organization.

Do a Benchmark Comparison

Every organization has competition.  By benchmarking against your competition at regular intervals, you get an indication of a trend up or down.  Here’s an example I used to benchmark a destination against its similar size competitors on Facebook.

Twitter benchmark pic for blogWhat You Will Learn:

  1. You will learn if your output is higher or lower than your competitors.
  2. You will learn if you are growing or shrinking against your competitors.

 What You Won’t Learn:

  1. You cannot measure quality of output.
  2. You cannot measure engagement.

 Why You Should Try This:

  1. It is often valued by leadership because they are measuring the competition in other ways.
  2. It might give you the opportunity to measure other things.

 Impact of Key Messages


Message Measurement chart picture

This is a simple chart to identify if your key messages are being used in your distribution points. This is especially useful if you are trying to determine if “the word is getting out” in your public relations campaign.

 What You Will Learn:

  1.  You will learn if your plan is working.
  2. You will learn which outlets/ distribution points are picking up your information.

 What You Won’t  Learn:

You will NOT learn if the consumer has actually embraced the message.

 Why You Should Try This:

  1. It will help you assess success.
  2. It will help you to make quick changes or adjustments to your plan.

While these two ideas are far from comprehensive, they are accessible to practitioners in organizations with limited funds and both methods use publicly accessible information.  If you try one of these ideas, share it here or send me an email with your success story at