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A DWG member recently asked for suggestions on key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the quality of news on their intranet home page. The goal for this ask was to develop half a dozen KPIs in the interim of undergoing their first annual benchmarking evaluation with DWG.
Below is a short list of the KPIs that I put together for them on the basis that their home page functions very much as a digital newspaper. These KPIs are intended to provide an indicative view of quality in addition to drawing attention to quick wins and improvement opportunities. Importantly, as an intranet evolves into a more collaborative, digital workspace KPIs such as these would need to evolve quite dramatically.
The Six KPIs:
|Readership||Did a critical mass of employees read the article?||Unique visitor click-through rates from home page to full story as a percent of ‘plugged’ employee population||Stage I: 80%|
Stage II: 90%
|The ‘plugged’ population is the employee group that has Intranet access.|
|Readability||Is the article readable?||Flesch reading index||Reader’s Digest FRI ~ 65 FRI.|
Time magazine scores ~ 52 FRI.
|See Flesch-Kincaid readability test on Wikipedia.|
DWG members can download “Writing for intranets: how readable is your content?”briefing paper
|Engagement||Did the article illicit discussion and debate amongst employees?||% of readers who commented on an article||Stage I: 0.5% of readership|
Stage II: 1% of readership
|This is the obvious stat, but often the most discouraging as you continue to write posts with few or no commenters willing to interact with you. It’s ok.|
You must work to get these comments in, but that should not prevent you from tracking the number of comments over time.
YCapture some compelling verbatim quotes in an annexe for ready reference during executive briefings on intranet KPIs.
How did employees rate the article?
Were employees both satisfied and engaged?
Average user rating
Weighted average of rating and # comments
Stage I, target a grade = B or better (4 of 5)
Stage II: Target a grade = A (4.5 of 5)
|Assumes a five-star rating scheme.|
|Relevancy||Did the content address the WIIFM from the employee perspective?|
(WIIFM = What’s in it for me?)
|Qualitative assessment by editor in chief as to whether it what employees were supposed to think, feel, see and do as a result of reading the article||Stage I:|
|Rating scale (e.g., 1 = Unsatisfactory, 2 = Below standard, 3 = Satisfactory for publication, 4 = Accomplished.)|
For more insight into WIIFM messaging, DWG members can download the ‘Managing the news on the intranet’ briefing paper.
|Bouncing||Did employees bounce off the article page right away?||The percentage of visitors who stay on the site for a small amount of time (usually five seconds or less)||< 10%||Although we have been trained to become scanners, five seconds is a reasonable indication that people are ‘bouncing’ into and off of an article page without giving the content much attention.|
Implementing the KPIs:
- Define the scope: Isolate the top 10 news articles (and/or videos) of the month as prioritized by the editor in chief. Articles should be selected on the basis that they were intended to be the 10 must-read articles of the month.
- Document the rationale for selecting each of the 10 articles (and/or or videos) of the month, so they are defensible if questioned by your intranet sponsors.
- Compile the detailed scores above for each of the 10 articles and present average scores via an executive dashboard. A dashboard such as this should drive editorial strategy for the intranet. The dashboard could also show the spread (best and worst) and proximity to target. You can also show trends over time to illustrate progress or raise red flags for discussion. Be sure to include an executive story that highlights wins, key learnings, decision-points and actions.
Since my exchanges with this DWG member, I’ve come across two very topical articles. The links follow below. Happy reading! Be sure to come back to this post to share comments and reactions.
- Evaluate Editorial Impact Using Google Analytics by Lars Johansson of Website Magazine. This article features six meaty KPIs to measure and analyze to make sure your website’s content is meeting your business objectives.
- Why news goes unread by kilobox communiqué. This blog post contemplates the secret, number two, insidious reason that people don’t use your intranet or read any of your news is that they are not allowed to. Ouch!
Share Your Experiences:
- If you have tried any of the above KPIs, let us know what has/hasn’t worked and why.
- What other KPIs and metrics do you look at regularly, and why, to gauge the impact of your intranet news (or videos)?
- What are some key editorial decisions that have been informed by your intranet measurement programme?