Friday, 10 December 2010

How can Online Engagement be measured?

measurementIn the article we published a couple of weeks ago, A Human Face for the Department of Health: Blogging and Transparency, we featured Stephen Hale's excellent Department of Health blog. In that article, we highlighted Stephen's intention to develop and publish metrics by which to measure the success of their digital engagement and looked forward to seeing the results. Yesterday, Stephen made good on his promise and his 13 measure of success for government digital teams makes very interesting reading.

As Stephen states and any good Marketeer knows, communication and engagement campaigns are virtually pointless without effective, practical ways of measuring their success. This is often a challenge and especially so when the traditional measurement methods, such as the financial return on investment that might be employed in a commercial campaign, are entirely inappropriate. This is certainly the case with Government department's communication strategies, where it's not making money that counts, but rather making positive contact with the Public.

When speaking about digital engagement, the tools and methods available are vastly more complex, detailed and varied than any available outside the realms of the internet. There's almost too much choice and a large part of the challenge becomes as much about choosing those that will provide the most meaningful data, as it does anything else.

The 13 measures that Stephen and the DH Comms and Publications teams have developed demonstrate a deep understanding of the digital landscape. They would be relevant across all areas of Governmental digital strategy and would even be of use to Companies who struggle to take stock of the new discipline of online digital engagement. Hopefully the blog will publish results at points in the future, as it will be fascinating to see their effectiveness in practice.

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