As little as ten years ago, truly global PR programs weren’t all that common. Agencies and in-house teams tended to stay within their own territories and running anything across multiple markets was expensive and difficult to manage.
Thankfully, that’s not the case now. We’re all connected online and it’s much easier to roll out holistic global programmes. We know that anything we do in one market can affect our reputation in others and we’re now much better at thinking globally, rather than locally.
However, this progress comes with a price – global activity is harder to measure. Simply, there’s more data to capture from more sources than ever before. And it doesn’t take long to feel overwhelmed by the scope of data collection, particularly when you realise that collecting information is only the first step, and the next step – analysis – is where the real insights are.
So how do you get it right? Here are our steps to success.
1. Plan ahead
This sounds simplistic, but it’s an important step that can be missed when the scope expands quickly, particularly outside of your home country. Getting the right tracking and data collection systems in place as soon as possible will mean better reporting and analysis later.
There are plenty of helpful resources (many of which can be found on AMEC’s website) on how to plan measurement strategies effectively, but perhaps the simplest rule is that whatever you are tracking in one region, should be replicated (or at least attempted to be replicated) across all regions or countries included in the measurement program. A plan doesn’t have to be long or detailed, but it should be written down – that way, it’s less likely that a smaller but important metric will be overlooked.
2. Use local resources
Local insight is crucial. Language differences, external factors such as resource allocation or political climate, and cultural context are all facets that should be considered when you are trying to make sense of your data. Indeed, without local perspective, you might miss the “why” behind the data. Not knowing or understanding this key information can lead to the wrong solutions being applied to problems.
3. Standardise data when possible
After you’ve determined what data needs to be collected, review the formats in which it is being collected. Your data should be as standardised as possible, so that it is a simple process to analyse later. And of course, you should take steps to check the accuracy of the data you’ve collected – much easier when it’s in a standardised format.
4. Add qualitative data if possible
Quantitative data – the things we can count – seem to get the lion’s share of attention when it comes to measurement. There’s a reason for that: it is easy to collect and report, and it is clear and direct. Qualitative data is less easily categorised, but for context and providing understanding it can be essential to view in conjunction with hard numbers. Global reporting will almost always benefit from this additional layer of insight, if it is feasible to add.
5. Use insight to adapt and grow
Seeing what works and what doesn’t – which messages are resonating with audiences and how that activity has impacted business goals – should be a core objective for any organisation, and it’s particularly important for firms that operate in more than one country or region. However, tracking successes (or failures) isn’t helpful if you’re not able to adapt and change, based on the insight you’ve captured. Be prepared to pivot your strategy if something’s not working – and, the earlier the better.
Now that you have the basics down, watch this space for our upcoming TMS article on how you should approach setting up a centralised global measurement program that works for your organisation.