January 28, 2013
This year, the Ask Doc Rock column will primarily focus on case studies. Many of the best practices that you’ll read about came from the PRSA/AMEC Measurement Symposium, a one-day event held in conjunction with the PRSA 2012 International Conference in San Francisco this past October. At the Symposium, panelists shared how they apply the Barcelona Principles of measurement in their daily work.
Like many big-box stores today, Best Buy has been facing challenges as consumers switch to buying over the Internet.
“Due to a variety of factors facing the industry, and our business itself — including an executive shakeup and new C-level leadership — we struggled in the first half of 2012 to embrace measures of our company voice that really mattered,” said Kelly Groehler, APR, the director of operations for Communications and Public Affairs at Best Buy.
For years, the business valued a quantitative measure of communications — mainly impressions, she said. “But when sizable growth in impressions runs against flat to declining performance, as well as loss in reputation and trust, it’s pretty clear that measuring media quantity alone is meaningless.”
Today, the company has a new C-suite of executives, with Hubert Joly as CEO and Matt Furman as senior vice president, communications and public affairs.
With this new leadership and a more accountable reporting structure, greater expectations for measurement have emerged across the department, which encompasses public relations and six other functions: internal communications, corporate events, video production, government relations, community relations and corporate responsibility.
Groehler works with the department’s functional leaders to ensure that they implement new measurement principles. These include:
Lessons from the changes at Best Buy during 2012 illustrate several Barcelona Principles, including:
By applying Best Buy’s existing measurement and analysis strengths to communications and public affairs, the department will more effectively drive and reinvigorate the business.
“I am very optimistic about 2013 and beyond,” Groehler said. “We are aligning communications to drive trust, reputation and good business outcomes. Our growth can and will be sustained with a strong measurement compass that helps us navigate our communications efforts as the business continues to turn around.”
Have measurement questions? Send an email today.
David B. Rockland, Ph.D., is partner/CEO and managing director for the research and change communications businesses at Ketchum. He has held leadership positions in corporate communications and research throughout his career, with extensive global experience in both fields. Email: AskDocRock@prsa.org
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