It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind. You’re busy juggling multiple projects at once. You answer e-mails and take phone calls to ensure various projects are completed on time and within budget. You add a new project to your to-do list almost as soon as you cross another one off. All of these ongoing tasks make it difficult to find time to evaluate your efforts, leaving you with important questions like…

Are my communications effective? Am I successfully showing others that my efforts help to achieve business objectives? How do I determine if an annual communications piece needs to be updated?

A variety of methods of evaluation exist to help you answer these types of questions. If you aren’t already doing it, start making time to evaluate your efforts in some way. Assessment still matters! In fact, it’s essential to measure impact, prove value and show tangible results.

Below are just a few formal and informal methods of evaluation to consider. Keep in mind that you should choose a method(s) based on the goals and/or objectives you created for your communications efforts.

  • Create and distribute surveys with multiple choice, scale and open-ended questions to learn what your target audience(s) thinks of your communications efforts. Feel free to offer a small incentive like a gift card or chance to win a prize to encourage increased participation.
  • Host a formal focus group before or after you introduce a new campaign to observe immediate reactions to your communications. You can also have more in-depth conversations with individuals from various audiences to figure out if your message reaches different groups in the same way.
  • Arrange casual interviews to determine if stakeholders really know your organization and understand your key messages. There’s no need to ask a set of formal questions but try to stick to one topic to collect desired feedback.
  • Perform a communications audit by reviewing everything used to communicate to your target audience(s) – publications, website, social media, etc. – to discover if your communications are consistent.
  • Complete a competitive analysis to find out how your communications efforts compare to your competitors. It’s not always about which organization is better or worse but rather learning what your competitors are doing in the marketplace and determining which has a more well known story or recognizable brand.
  • Actively monitor third party promotion by clipping news stories or reviewing mentions on social media to learn if chatter is positive or negative about your organization.

Taking the time to do this sort of research and analysis will do more than just measure the effectiveness of your communications efforts. Ongoing evaluation can help you determine if more time and resources are needed to ensure your communications aid in the success of your organization.