Language of the C-suite

Booz Allen Hamilton, a global leader in management and technology consulting, announced the results of a global research project at the European Summit.

Chris Foster, Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton, detailed the results of in-depth interviews with C-suite executives from America and Europe during the “How to communicate in the language of the C-Suite” session at the summit.

Executives interviewed for the research represented several industries including health, petrochemical, retail, financial services, mining, hospitality, and consulting.  The research confirmed a gap between how communications efforts are typically measured and the desire of the C-suite to obtain quantitative measurement of communications effectiveness and return on investment (ROI).

“We have to fill this gap.  Communication professionals need to think, speak and behave as a businessperson first,” said Foster.

“Measuring ROI of communications cannot just be about the number of media hits, or ‘likes’ on Facebook. It needs to be about linking the impact of communications programs to overall business objectives, and having a full understanding of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) valued by the executive suite such as revenue, profit, investment, and volume indicators; financial market measures; non-financial internal measures; and competitive market metrics.”

Foster detailed how C-suite executives would like communicators to think more strategically and ask key questions. For example, what communications activities best reach the audience and support the business objective, and what potential barriers exist to those activities?  In addition to the disconnect between the C-suite and communications professionals, Foster also provided insights into a potential disconnect between what communications professionals need, and what measurement companies are delivering.

“The insights Booz Allen Hamilton has been able to provide to AMEC members about how best to communicate with the C-suite has been invaluable.  The learnings from the research have been instrumental in shaping AMEC’s global education campaign,” said Barry Leggetter, AMEC’s Executive Director.

“We really value Booz Allen Hamilton’s commitment to AMEC and the commitment to continuing to push us to think differently about measuring communications.”

The results from this research project capped global research that Booz Allen has been engaged in over the last couple of years resulting in more than 500 quantitative survey responses, and almost 40 in-depth qualitative interviews.

“Ultimately, communication will not flourish without the right measurement,” said Foster.