Measurement Matters 

  from Angela Sinickas, ABC


October, 2011

Strategic Planning  

Focus Groups - Surveys Training - Evaluation  


 Sinickas Communications, Inc.   Tel: +1.714.277.4130   FAX: +1.714.242.7049                                             


his third issue of Measurement Matters is filled with tips and examples of how others are putting research and measurement to work for them in very practical ways, often at no cost. We hope you consider contributing your own suggestions and stories to share with your peers in future issues. To share this newsletter with colleagues, use the "Forward" link at the bottom of this column.


In this issue:

  • Client project: Government affairs survey for European multi-national
  • Slides: Metrics tips for accreditation; IABC free webinar on accreditation Oct. 4
  • Article: Supervisors are NOT employees' preferred information source
  • Tip of the month: Think twice before killing print publications
  • Discounts: $400 off ALI conferences; FREE Sinickas Comms Training audio CDs
  • Workshops: San Francisco, Orlando, Oslo and Cape Town 
  • Webinars: Marketwire, PRSA
  • Monthly poll: Have you killed print lately? Have you resurrected it?
  • My Story:
    "Getting a seat at the table" by Sue Rehmus, Internal Communications Leader, CGI US Enterprise Markets
  • Online forums: CMOs' top social media metrics, when to send surveys, measuring intranets, conducting focus groups


Employees prefer intranets to supervisors 2 to 1

A Sinickas
By Angela Sinickas, ABC  
In 1992 and 2004, I wrote articles refuting the common
misperception - based on well publicized but highly flawed research design - that supervisors are employees' preferred source of information on all business topics. A review of my survey database showing results since 2004 shows that supervisors are now a distant third choice behind intranets and publications.
Supervisors really are not employees' preferred information source on most business topics. Even in the "glory days" of face-to-face communication, before widespread availability of e-mail and intranets, supervisors were among the top two preferred sources on only about 40 percent of typical topics communicated in organizations.
Starting in 2004, nearly half the preferred sources chosen have been electronic (including intranets, e-publications and mass e-mails). E-communication was the single most
preferred source (or tied for first) on 88% 
of the 16 surveyed subjects. 

Preference for print has remained steady over time, accounting for about one-fifth of the
preferred sources selected, though it has never been the single most preferred type of source on any of the 16 surveyed topics. 
                                                                                    (Read the entire article)


 Client Project:  

Exploring employees' appetite for political activism

Client: A global manufacturing company headquartered in Europe

Need for research: The Government Affairs Manager for a multi-national's US operations needed to know if it would be worthwhile to start a political action committee (PAC). PACs allow employees of a company to contribute money to support political candidates whose future votes might be favorable to their company or industry. In recent years, a number of changes in US laws and regulations were making it harder, and more expensive, for our client to do business in the US. 
Sample issues on PAC survey
What made this research different: Originally, the Government Affairs Manager wanted to first provide some information about PACs and then ask four questions about employees' likelihood of joining a PAC or being interested in managing it.

Instead, we organized the survey around seven major issues where political action could make an impact. First we summarized pros and cons of a current issue, such as recent changes made to Greenhouse Gas regulations, being sure to keep the reading grade level well within the range of most employees' educational levels. After each issue, we asked two questions: (1) How important employees thought this issue was to the company's future success, and (2) How important the issue was to them personally. This approach was intended to engage employees in the issues themselves before asking if they they thought a PAC would be useful for themselves and the company.

A final section asked employees' opinions about the value of creating a PAC and their own likelihood of contributing to it or wanting to participate in its leadership. For those who said they would contribute, we had them estimate how much they would probably or definitely contribute. Both those in favor of starting a PAC and those against it had an opportunity to explain why.

Results of the research:

Nearly 60% were in favor of starting a PAC, with another 23% not sure, which showed very strong support from employees. About one-third also said they would be interested in making financial contributions to the PAC.  Based on the respondents who said they would definitely contribute, and the dollar amounts they identified, we were able to estimate the likely minimum amount the PAC might generate to see if it would be enough to be a viable channel for employee activism in the federal political arena. 


Based on responses to the seven issues, the client also learned on  which four issues employees' and the company's interests were most strongly aligned. These could be featured in the communication campaign to solicit members. Similarly, results on other issues, along with the write-in comments, showed which topics would best be avoided because significant numbers of employees held opinions opposite to those of company management, such as the topic of US health care reform.  

 My Story 

Research & measurement lead to a "seat at the table"

By Sue Rehmus

Internal Communications Leader, 

CGI US Enterprise Markets


I have been a loyal student of Angela's for many years for one reason - her methods work!


In researching better ways to measure the effectiveness of internal communication for a global manufacturing company I once worked for, I came across Angela's ROI Workshop and registered to attend in 2002.  I used several of her tactics and templates to create a comprehensive report of our internal communication efforts in language that executives could understand and appreciate - numbers, charts and graphs.  By providing executives with actual data, I earned credibility, a voice and a literal seat at the table.  This credibility gave me the latitude to pilot another one of Angela's practices, the Knowledge Test, as a way to truly gauge effectiveness for internal messaging.  Based on the proven results of my pilots, the company adopted the practice first in the division, then in the region, then globally as the way to measure internal communications for the company.


I continue to use Angela's Content Analysis as a way to demonstrate that our internal communication efforts are supportive and aligned with the business' primary objectives.  And, I've used it to change course in instances when other internal communication teams within the company might have been polluting the system with "noise."  I also use an Inventory of Channels template as a way to analyze our channel mix and make sure that we have a healthy balance of digital and face-to-face communication, as well as opportunities for messaging up, down and across the organization.


Combining all of these methods to create a robust internal communication plan with built-in accountability and results has served me well as I continue to progress in my career.  While the many executives I interact with genuinely appreciate the deliberate approach to internal communication, I often get a less than enthusiastic reception when introducing these methods to colleagues tasked with internal communications because of the perceived amount of administrative work to maintain these documents.  But, in my experience, it's what separates the person tasked with internal communications from the true internal communications professional.  


To submit your own story of how you've been using research and measurement,

 send an email, with the following information and your photo attached:

    • Your name, title, organization and location
    • Which Sinickas resource inspired you (workshop, manual, tool, article, etc.)
    • What you've done with the information you learned
    • What impact it had on your audience, your organization or your career.  

Online Forums

Current measurement discussions at LinkedIn

If you join the IABC LinkedIn forum, one member wonders how long to wait to send out an evaluation after an all-hand phone conference call. Some of the factors mentioned include the subject of the call and the types of questions being asked, as well as when participants might want to see or use the results of the survey
On the Melcrum forum, a member asked about how others are measuring their intranets.

If you join the LinkedIn forum for the Institute of Internal Communication, one participant is looking for tips on developing action plans after an engagement survey; related questions go on to ask for tips on conducting focus groups.


At the open LinkedIn forum for Marketing, PR and Sales Innovators, Craig Jolley shares an article on what CMOs are spending on social media, and which metrics they value most.  

Measurement Matters aspires to be a useful resource for communicators with a need to measure, but without a great deal of time, money or expertise. Please send in any questions you have about research and measurement, and contribute your own experiences in having conducted measurably successful communications for others to learn from.



Angela Sinickas, ABC

Sinickas Communications, Inc.

Featured Workshop
Don't miss "Communication Measurement on a Shoestring Budget," my half-day workshop at the PRSA conference in Orlando Oct. 16. 

Tip of the Month

Think Twice
Before Killing Print 


While killing a printed publication saves an easily recognizable budget line item, it can also reduce your company's revenue potential  because survey after survey shows the transition to only-online reduces the number of people reading the publication, how much of each issue those fewer people read, and how valuable they believe the publication is.
(Read the entire tip


Slides of the Month

& More Articles 

Presentation Slides:

 Measurement Overview to Prepare for IABC Accreditation


October 1 to November  15 is a great time to apply to the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) accreditation program.  All who apply during that time will receive a US$20 gift certificate to IABC'S online bookstore and be entered in a prize drawing that includes a Sinickas audio training CD. For an  orientation to accreditation, join a free webinar on October 4. To register, contact [email protected].   



Need a Quote ASAP
for 2012 Budgets?

We are currently helping many organizations on calendar-year schedules who are starting to develop budgets for 2012.


If you're considering doing some research or measurement and want to include a rough cost estimate in your budget, either call us at


or email us for cost estimates on:
  • Interviews and focus groups (worldwide)
  • Surveys
  • In-house training
  • Benchmarking studies
  • Measurement plans/dashboards
  • Strategic planning
  • Content analysis
  • Website analysis
  • And much more 

Seminars & Workshops

In the next few months Angela Sinickas will be conducting training on internal/external measurement, measurement on a budget, social media measurement, the value of PR, and ROI.

(See details & full calendar)

  • Oct. 3, Dallas, TX (Ragan)
  • Oct. 4,
    Webinar (PRSA) 
  • Oct. 6,

    San Francisco, CA (ALI)

  • Oct. 16,

    Orlando, FL (PRSA) 

  • Oct 27,

    Webinar (Marketwire)

  • Nov. 28-29, Oslo, Norway (Norwegian Communication Association)

$400 OFF
 Advanced Learning Institute
will offer a $400 discount when you mention Angela Sinickas' name on your registration form for ALI Conferences in 2011 where she is a speaker:


Oct. 6 in San Francisco, CA



10-Second Poll

This month's
10-Second Poll question identifies how many people have killed a printed publication for good or resurrected one that was temporarily banished to online only. You'll see a summary of responses after you submit your own.


Results from September's poll:
96% of this newsletters readers believe ROI should be measured, 2% disagree and 2% are unsure. Results held true in Europe as well as North America. 
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Measurement Matters 

From Angela Sinickas, ABC

October, 2011