There are three levels of return on investment (ROI) of IC campaigns: gold, silver and bronze.

  • Gold is financial
  • Silver is behavioural
  • Bronze is engagement

To put this into perspective, let's say you were launching a healthcare cashback scheme. You know, where employees can claim money back for dentists, opticians, massages etc. Your organisation will have paid for the scheme and would expect at the very least for employees to claim more money back than the organisation has spent.

  • You will score top marks with the CEO and CFO if you can report that because of your comms campaign more money has been claimed back than the organisation has spent. No one would be aware of the scheme if it wasn't for you, so you've directly had a positive financial impact. Take all the credit

  • You will receive some brownie points if a high percentage of employees have signed up to the scheme. This is because people have clearly read and understood your messaging and have done the thing you've asked them to do. You can claim that if people don't claim, it's not your fault. You have taken the horse to water.

  • No one cares but you about the amount of views or likes of the launch story, unless lots of people sign up and then make lots of claims. Harsh, but your job is to encourage employees to do something and if they don't act on something which is thought of as being in their interest, questions will be asked about the quality of the comms.

Granted, it's not always easy to link comms campaigns to money (gold), but almost everything can be linked to behaviour change (silver). Engagement (bronze) can be used as evidence of comms involvement in achieving high gold and silver results; but on its own is unlikely to impress senior leaders.