Tracking KPIs and reporting on them is the #1 most read topic on the Meltwater blog. Here, we discuss for the first time the importance of standardizing this effort across your organization, especially if you’re overseeing a multi-region operation. For a complete guide on KPIs and reporting for PR and social media, read our comprehensive ebook, Everything You Need to Prove PR ROI.
In the U.S., there is widespread acceptance and understanding that key performance indicators (KPIs) are critical for all communications professionals to translate the value of their work and find ways to more effectively execute their campaigns.
When teams are small, it’s easier to keep everyone in the loop on the KPIs vital to your success and to understand how all of your work ladders back to your goals. But once your company has expanded and has multiple regional communications teams engaging with multiple audiences, things become more difficult.
In some regions, standardized reporting and a focus on ROI is not the norm for communications teams. If you are used to being measured on awareness and impressions, the corporate office’s attempt to deploy a standardized dashboard can be seen in a negative light.
That’s why it’s important to align your teams and create buy-in on the reasons behind globally standardized KPIs. Doing so will also highlight how each regional team’s activities can affect the global brand sentiment. With this groundwork in place, comms professionals can amplify team efforts, more effectively deploy resources, and develop a more cohesive brand identity.
Establishing Global KPI Alignment
When companies expand globally, keeping track of the various communications teams and activities in play can feel daunting, and some groups may fly under the radar. Left unchecked, that means some locations may be underperforming or executing on ideas that may seem like a good idea at the time at the regional level but could be damaging to your brand as a whole (like a campaign serving up a “hot chick” driver from Uber).
Localization is a necessary component of any successful global strategy, but it’s important to remember that each of your local team’s efforts is still a reflection of your brand. This means that you need a brand voice that is flexible but maintains global consistency, as well as a shared understanding of what success means for your company.
Start by briefing your regional teams on your global comms goals and identify the unique opportunities for each region. KPIs will help explain what your company is prioritizing and keep your global team efforts focused, but you should not bundle everyone’s stats into one number.
Your global KPIs are a valuable pulse on your company’s overall efforts, but KPIs could vary significantly based on your region. However, these KPIs are critical to track on both a global and regional level to understand how regional activities are contributing—or detracting—from your goals:
- Share of voice: How often your company is mentioned compared to your competitors. Your competitive company list will vary by regions, so there should be company-wide competitors, as well as region-specific.
- Sentiment: The tone of the articles and/or social media activity regarding your company. By analyzing region-specific KPIs, your team can understand where a more hands-on media approach may be needed. Also, you may be able to proactively address a pending issue that has come to light in one region before it spreads to other regions, helping to save potential global brand damage.
- Key message penetration: How often your company is mentioned alongside key themes. Your thought leadership measurement will likely involve key message penetration, and your team must keep a global lens when picking these themes. Trends may vary significantly from one country to another, and certain words or phrases may not resonate in the same way across countries. Use your regional comms leads as sounding boards on new ideas before developing a global campaign that may be offensive or carry a different meaning across borders.
Whichever KPIs you choose to track—and there’s plenty to choose from, so take your time—you need a system in place to review this data. KPI dashboards are a common way to set up views that are inclusive of both regional and global stats. This ensures you’re looking at the full scope of your data and can then easier know which regions to conduct more follow-up with.
A Unified Strategy for Standardized KPIs
Breaking down regional team silos is an ongoing process that requires active communication. Consider hosting monthly or quarterly meetings for all of your regional comms leads to connect, as well as separate meetings with each individual team and their agencies or freelancers. Because time zones can become complicated, record your meetings and distribute notes and action items so that anyone can access the material and stay focused between meetings.
Following these tips will further help set you on the right track, as well as adopting the right tools like Meltwater to help you make sense of your global data with ease.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to effectively set KPIs, download Meltwater’s PR Measurement: 8 Benchmarking Benefits Crucial to Success for the data-driven KPIs, tools and reporting frameworks you need to deliver the best results on your campaigns.