Facts don’t speak for themselves

An old adage is that “facts don’t speak for themselves” – they must be communicated.

This is nowhere more true than in the business of scorekeeping and measurement.

Most of us are too busy to check our scores regularly – even though we should!

If you don’t believe me, and you’re in business, ask yourself when did you last login to Google Analytics to check your website stats, or visit your Facebook page to check your number of fans? It might have been yesterday or it might have been last month, the reality is that you don’t do it regularly.

Yet, if you are looking to improve your performance, whether that of yourself or for your team, you need to make sure your current score gets communicated, and communicated consistently.

If you’re running a scorekeeping program for us, perhaps by using Rise, you can help out by telling people their score.

There are many ways to communicate the score, here are a few ideas:

  • Circulate it in an excel sheet attached to an email
  • Include it in a printed report
  • Talk about it in a news article
  • Put it on a big screen TV next to the canteen
  • Write it on a white board
  • Put it on a post it note on someone’s screen
  • Tweet it out
  • Send a text message
  • Announce it on stage

Now there is no one right or wrong way to communicate. It all depends on your audience and context.

But when deciding how you’ll do it, why not take a few hints from the masters of communication, the ad-men themselves:

  • the medium is the message – (article) – how you communicate the score is as important as the score itself – a leaderboard in a premium bound printed report is considered much more seriously than one scribbled on a whiteboard
  • use multi-channel marketing – (article) – have you ever received junk mail through the post only to see adverts on a nearby billboard and to be rung up for a “trial” that same week? There’s no coincidence – we respond better (and trust more) to messages we have received on more than one channel.
  • messages are more effective when repeated  (article)- we may feel we are confined when we repeat messages, but human beings take more notice of messages that are repeated, in fact the frequency of hearing a message influences when we act.

So, what have we learned?

Facts don’t speak for themselves, especially when it comes to the score. If you don’t tell your players the score, who will? Make sure you communicate the score consistently, on more than one channel and in a format that gives it gravity.

This week I’ve gone for a black themed style on The UK Councils Social Media Power 100. It’s designed to look like a serious statistical release, similar to that produced by the ONS. I expect the release will hit the desks of the councillors and those responsible for social media in these councils and prompt action to celebrate or to improve their social media performance.

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