5 Key Measurements to Replace Vanity Metrics in Communications Plans

Scott Lusk

Vice President of Communications, Scott Lusk, shares five under-utilized measurements that can help communicators and marketers optimize their strategies to achieve better results.

Ruthann Lariscy, a former professor at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, described most communicators’ relationships with data this way: Communicators often use data like a drunk uses a light pole: as a means of support instead of illumination.
As communications strategies advance, the metrics we use to measure them should also evolve.
The following five often under-utilized measurements can help communicators and marketers optimize their strategies to achieve better results.
Message Pull-Through
Beyond traditional media metrics like volume of coverage and share of voice, communicators should determine if their key messages resonate. A clear, consistent message is a critical component for all communications efforts, and tracking this metric allows communicators to determine the success of their campaigns and spokespeople.
Ripple Effect of Earned Media Coverage
A major article in a top tier national outlet is often the catalyst for follow-on regional, local and trade coverage, which is critical for the successful long-term communications plans. Identifying this ripple effect of media placements enables communicators to show the true extent of the value of their work.
Domain Authority
A website’s domain authority, which represents its ranking in search engine results pages, assesses its importance within an industry or on a certain topic. Measuring domain authority allows communicators to show how websites and organizations rank against competitors – and enables communicators to purposefully improve this measurement.
Backlinks directly affect domain authority. Backlinks direct traffic to your content from another website and help improve search engine rankings. Communicators and marketers should identify, track and work to improve the quantity and quality of backlinks to their websites.
Social Responsibility Measurement
Successful corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts can improve an organization’s reputation and employee engagement. However, the existence of CSR programs is not an end in and of itself. While CSR measurements should be tailored to each organization’s goals, communicators should help identify metrics that show how CSR efforts support an organization’s overall goals and regularly review progress.
Reach out to Scott at slusk@signaldc.com to discuss your organization’s metrics and analytics strategies for help developing more advanced  key performance indicators. You can also follow him on LinkedIn.

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