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How to measure internal communications: Lessons from the trenches

We've all been there - you spend weeks crafting the perfect internal communications strategy, agonizing over every word in the CEO's email, designing beautiful posters and intranet graphics. You hit send or publish and then...crickets. Was all that effort worth it? Did anyone even pay attention?

Measuring the impact of internal communications is notoriously tricky. But it doesn't have to be! Here are some hard-won lessons from my 20+ years in the internal comms trenches:

  1. Start with clear objectives. Before you begin any internal comms campaign, clearly define your goals. Is it to raise awareness of a new initiative? Drive adoption of a new tool? Improve employee engagement scores? Once you have specific, measurable objectives, you can track progress against them.

  2. Use a mix of quantitative and qualitative metrics. Numbers like email open rates, intranet page views, and event attendance give you a high-level view of reach and engagement. But don't stop there! Qualitative feedback from surveys, focus groups, and manager check-ins provide rich insight into how messages are being received and perceived.

  3. Look for behavior change. The ultimate goal of internal comms is to drive action and behavior change. Are employees actually using that new software tool? Did HR see an uptick in benefits enrollment? Collaborate with business partners to monitor key behavioral indicators.

  4. Benchmark against yourself. Comparing your metrics to industry benchmarks can be useful. But more importantly, benchmark against your own past performance. Aim for continuous improvement in your key metrics over time.

  5. Make it a team sport. Communications doesn't happen in a vacuum. Partner with IT to get intranet metrics, HR for engagement surveys, Finance for budget tracking. Building a cross-functional dashboard will give you a holistic view.

  6. Tell the story. Numbers are important, but they need context to be meaningful. Package up your key results into a compelling narrative for your stakeholders. Connect the dots between your communications activities and business outcomes.

Measuring internal communications takes effort, but it's worth it. Metrics help you demonstrate the value of your work, gain leadership buy-in, secure budget, and continuously optimize your approach.

We're planning a new internal comms measurement tool. Which feature would be most valuable?

  • Customizable dashboards

  • Reporting templates for different audiences

  • Benchmarking data

  • Case studies and best practices

You can vote for more than one answer.


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