Social Business

“Oh, for a thousand tongues”

While I was away over Easter visiting my parents, I was looking some of Dad’s CDs (he’s a retired(ish) Baptist minister) and one track title jumped out at me – “Oh, for a thousand tongues”. It stuck in my head as someone trying to encourage our employee base to be more professional and expert in their own social arena.  But also it’s a nice big number – measurable, targetable, achievable (discuss).

Over the week or so, I’ve been to a few different events, The Poppulo Customer Summit (they do email distribution and newsletter systems (and a whole lot more) for large companies – inc my firm), the Sysomos Summit (social media listening and publication platform – we don’t use them) and then today’s Tribal Impact Social Business Exchange. (Tribal are a new (ish) startup agency in the social business/employee advocacy space run by my friend Sarah Goodall) and today I’ve been in an internal It feels like I’ve walked into Data Awareness Week – the core takeaway from all of these was data!

At the Sysomos event last week, Jason Maldonado and Brooke Hatfield from Mailchimp spoke really well about the insight they get from data. Obviously, they have a sh1tload of data in their own system! And they add to that the data they can pull from social – listening, sentiment tracking, engagement etc. Jason spoke about his spine-shiver everytime he hears “Content is king”. No, he argued rather effectively, Data is King.  Content is crucial, but without data to know if it’s the right content, or data to know its effective content, content is a bit..meh!

measurement-millimeter-centimeter-meter-162500.jpegAt the Tribal Impact breakfast we talked about metrics for social advocacy. We talked about bad metrics, better metrics and great metrics. We talked about the need to start any advocacy (or social media) programme with a business goal/metric first. With that as a measurable endgame, you can build backwards from there to create a great experience, with great content for those involved.

And today, I’ve been in our Marketing Leadership Team and had a great session looking at our “customer”. As an insurer, we clearly have a lot of data in our systems but we’re only now just getting into a form where we can really analyse it across the whole company, to better create products for our customers, and so we can make sure we’re dealing with customers in a way that they need, at the right time, in the right way. There’s also the feedback tools we have to see and hear exactly what they think of us. And what we then do about it to fix the pain points.

All this boils down to data. The 2018 PRCA PR & Communications Census finds that “many people still fail to embrace rigorous evaluation methods.” Research, evaluation and measurement only sneak into 11th place on the CIPR State of the Profession report’s  Things PR People Do list. It flags “Lack of analytical skills” as the ninth biggest concern facing comms pros. Though this may be bigger than data in its meaning, I’m sure I’m not alone in being able to say that it wouldn’t be a core part of my world at the moment. Is it for you? It sure needs to be! (*adds Analytics to CPD targets for 2018*)

But back to my starting point. Oh for a thousand tongues – that’s a great target and measurable with data! But only providing they are achieving a business goal as well. Best get my hymn book out again and get preaching!

Thanks for reading. Let me have your thoughts in the comments below, or engage over at @KeithLewisComms in the Twittersphere or on Linkedin at

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