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Measuring return on investment (ROI) of organizations’ internal communication efforts

Juan Meng (Department of Advertising and Public Relations, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)
Bruce K. Berger (Department of Advertising and Public Relations, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Article publication date: 9 November 2012

6438

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to investigate how senior communication executives measure the effectiveness of organizations’ internal communication efforts and link the efforts with organizations’ business performance.

Design/methodology/approach

An online international survey of 264 experienced business communicators was analyzed to identify those specific aspects of internal communication initiatives that have been measured by the organizations on a regular basis. In‐depth interviews with 13 senior communication executives were used as a supplementary approach to share their experiences and insights about measurement challenges in communication practices.

Findings

Results suggested that most business communicators and organizations recognized the importance of measuring organizations’ internal communication initiatives; however, limited metrics have been applied to the assessment process. Several specific aspects of internal communication initiatives (e.g., improved job performance, changed employee behaviors, concentrated employee engagement, etc.) have been given special attention in measurement.

Research limitations/implications

Future research would benefit from the discussion and findings in current measurement challenges and focus on testing the causal relationship between effective internal communication and improved business performance.

Practical implications

Business communicators should demonstrate a stronger request for a consultative leadership direction in the organization to be able to develop and test sets of reliable and consistent metrics and measurement approaches.

Originality/value

This research investigated the measurement challenges that senior communication executives have faced. It is important to recognize current trends and constraints in measurement to be able to leverage the value of communication practices in the organization.

Keywords

Citation

Meng, J. and Berger, B.K. (2012), "Measuring return on investment (ROI) of organizations’ internal communication efforts", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 332-354. https://doi.org/10.1108/13632541211278987

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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