Yes, the C-suite is concerned about ROI — communicators should be too!

I’ve been speaking and writing a lot about how communicators can do a better job of connecting with C-suite leaders to get traction for their ideas and proposals. Most recently, I presented a webinar for Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media and Ragan Communications on How to Talk Social Media to Your Hospital C-Suite. I also wrote a series of articles on the topic for IABC’s Communication World earlier this year. And I have a presentation coming up in May for Health Leaders Media.

Much of my work and research has been around issues related to social media but, in truth,
any communication efforts can be bolstered by the ability to provide real, measurable data to support results.

Some communicators may still work in organizations with “deep pockets” where concerns about expense are minimal and the sky’s the limit when it comes to spending money on advertising and marketing communications. For most, though, the ability to be able to justify recommendations and prove results is becoming increasingly critical. Healthcare is a field where this is especially true these days and healthcare communicators often find themselves frustrated by the inability to get the C-suite to adopt their ideas, particularly when it comes to the use of social media.

Social media tools can be decidedly “cool” and fun to use. There are a lot of interesting and innovative things that can be done online and some of these things can actually have measurable, demonstrable impact. Communicators need to find those impacts, though. It’s not enough to talk about “great ideas.” Those ideas need to be aligned with the organization’s objectives and the investment (in terms of time and money) need to be supported by proof that real results have been attained.

Too often communicators lament about the focus that their senior leaders have on the bottom line and their desire to show ROI for any initiatives that they invest in. The truth of the matter is that in any business, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, the bottom line matters; ROI matters.

If you’re not connecting your communications to the bottom  line in meaningful and measurable ways, you’re not connecting.

by Linda Pophal

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