Jo Perrin, Corporate Comms Director at Verizon, recently joined us for a webinar using the above title, part of the AMEC Measurement month series. Jo is Corporate Communications Director, for Enterprise Solutions at Verizon and has been one of our clients since 2006. We produce monthly and annual analyses of the company’s coverage, in 15 markets around the world.

In 2013, we won AMEC’s Best Use of Business-to Business Communication Management as well as the overall International Grand Prix award for this work. Things have changed a lot in the communications world, even in the last 3 years since the award win, but the principles of measurement remain the same. The Verizon case study still shows how measurement can help prove the value of PR to the business.

Communication at Verizon

Verizon’s communication objectives are straightforward and familiar:

  • Tell the Verizon enterprise story
  • Grow coverage volume, in relation to the right themes – Internet of Things, Security, Mobility, etc.
  • Reach senior decision makers
  • Demonstrate value for money in the communication process.

The communications team achieves these objectives by telling good stories, which will resonate with the target market and soften the market for sales. They do this through media relations, at internal and external events, via social media, with customers and with executives. Tactically, Verizon uses a Hub & Spoke model, with a small in-house team and an agency network in its key markets around the world.

Verizon’s measurement objectives align with its communication objectives:

  • Ensure coverage is getting to the right places to reach the right audiences
  • Analyse the penetration of different themes
  • Track agency performance
  • Demonstrate value for money to the business

Jo believes that the setting of targets and objectives is crucial, to show progress and prove to a finance team that budget is being managed effectively. At Verizon, agencies are issued with Scope of Work documents annually, setting clear and transparent goals per quarter, targets for coverage in tiers of media, targets for themes in coverage and also volume targets.

For Commetric, the key measurement challenge is separating Verizon enterprise coverage from overall Verizon coverage, Verizon generates a lot of ‘noise’ but we need to get to the material that is specifically supporting the objective of telling the Enterprise story. It is here that our team of dedicated analysts is invaluable, in Jo’s words:

Using real people to do the analysis means you can be confident you are using clean data. It’s good to know about the Verizon noise in the market, but that can be automated. When it comes to accurate planning, measuring agencies and reporting back to the business, I need to be sure I’m talking about things we have touched.

What’s invaluable for Commetric is being part of the team for Verizon. We join the weekly team calls and know what is coming up around the world and what the team are trying to achieve. In summary, the key to bulletproof communication strategy is found in setting clear objectives, for communicators and measurement teams, plus open lines of communication between all stakeholders. Simple really!