Measuring up: Evaluating internal comms impact

Research with pen, notepad and laptop

Before-and-after research underpins engagement programmes for global clients.

All good communicators know that the meaning of the communication is the response you get. But not many back that belief by investing in research to find out if their messages are really cutting through and changing behaviour. Comms managers in one sector Axiom serves are among the rare exceptions.

For three separate teams in world-leading pharmaceutical organisations, we have been commissioned to design and deliver comprehensive communication campaigns in their parts of the business. In all three cases, we began with research to discover:

  • current hot topics among employees
  • levels of understanding of, and belief in, the key messages
  • the extent to which the key messages are leading to changes in behaviour.

We used telephone and face-to-face interviews as well as focus groups to gather qualitative and quantitative data. This has provided a baseline ‘engagement index’ against which we will measure, in repeat research, the effectiveness of the campaigns, which feature roadshows, team briefings, podcasts and videos.

While talking to representative samples of employees in all three organisations we also teased out their communication needs and preferences. What we learned informed the approaches we are taking to the campaigns and materials designed to drive up the engagement index.

Internal communication measurement pays dividends

Axiom consultant Madeleine Brady says: “The research has given us invaluable information about the word on the street. As is so often the case, it’s a long way from what the organisation would like people to be thinking and talking about. We now have a strong sense of the climate we’re communicating in to, a clear steer on the issues we need to address, the messages we need to get across and the channels we should be using.

“As the campaigns are being rolled out, we’ll be able to assess the impact we are making – and adjust the approach accordingly.”

Axiom’s approach to internal communication measurement

Chris Carey’s blog on measuring the effectiveness of strategy communication