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International association for the measurement and evaluation of communication
Campaign: UNICEF’s communication measurement framework – four years of ‘glocal impact’ for children
Client/Entering Company: UNICEF
Company Name: UNICEF
2017 was a pivotal year for UNICEF’s communication measurement framework. As the final year of its Global Communication and Public Advocacy Strategy 2014-2017 (GCPAS) – the first time that the organisation had a global Measurement & Evaluation (M&E) framework for communications with clearly defined KPIs and targets – a comprehensive evaluation of UNICEF’s results was vital both for analysing performance and for distilling insights that would help UNICEF with forward-looking strategies to deliver on its new Strategic Plan 2018-2021.
In what was a pivotal year for UNICEF’s communication measurement framework, 2017 was the final year of its Global Communication and Public Advocacy Strategy 2014-2017 (GCPAS) – the first time that the organisation had a global M&E Framework for communications with clearly defined KPIs and targets – a comprehensive evaluation of UNICEF’s results was vital both for analysing performance and for distilling insights that would help UNICEF with forward-looking strategies to deliver on its new Strategic Plan 2018-2021.
In 2017, UNICEF partnered with Media Measurement Ltd for a comprehensive external evaluation of its 2017 results within the framework of its 2014-2017 Strategy, which has been implemented in 139 countries. The Strategy redefined the role of UNICEF’s external communications and established clear and ambitious objectives: to be the leading voice for – and with – children; to reach one billion people globally by 2017; and to engage 50 million people to take action for children (VOICE-REACH-ENGAGEMENT).
In addition to analysing its results, UNICEF sought to strengthen its M&E framework, organising a summit on “Measuring Communication and Advocacy Impact” which brought together top communication measurement experts from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors to deliberate best-in-class communications measurement approaches. The Summit validated the strengths of UNICEF’s M&E framework, provided ideas for improvement and solidified the importance of communications measurement across the organisation.
The combination of a solid M&E framework, a robust programme of monitoring, evaluation and reporting, and an organisational culture that values learning, experimentation and measurement has helped UNICEF strengthen its position as a communications powerhouse. According to a 2017 Twiplomacy study, UNICEF is the most effective international organisation on Twitter; the most liked international organisation on Facebook; the most followed and engaged international organisation on Instagram; and the second most followed international organisation on LinkedIn.
Communications and advocacy are an integral part of UNICEF programming in many countries, leveraging data and metrics to validate the power of communications and advocacy as a driver of results for children. An increasing number of Country Offices have developed strategic, advocacy-based programming and integrated communications and public advocacy into their four-year country programme documents (CPDs). This has implications for the organisation with regard to a strategic approach to advocacy and the further integration of advocacy, public engagement,
fundraising, brand and communications and its measurement.
The Global Communication and Public Advocacy Strategy was accompanied by a set of 26 global and national key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs enable communicators to demonstrate the scale and the impact of UNICEF’s communications and public advocacy work. At the same time, considerable investment has been made to strengthen planning and monitoring processes in a way that communications and public advocacy is better integrated into country planning processes.
The standard indicators on communications and public advocacy are now included in UNICEF’s corporate performance management system. This is a step forward in streamlining the organisation’s communications and advocacy as a driver of results. UNICEF Division of Communication (DOC) in New York supported several regional and country offices to implement
the M&E framework, conducting bilateral calls and training on: localised measurement plans and KPIs; accounts, training and technical support for media monitoring tools; TORs for hiring a local media monitoring vendor; reporting on standard indicators for Communication and Advocacy; and related topics. To date, DOC has engaged 62 countries and all seven regional offices in the M&E on-boarding process. The team continues to reach out to other countries.
As UNICEF approached the final year of the Strategy and began to update its M&E framework for its next phase, the organisation sought to look beyond its own measurement work, survey the broader communications measurement landscape and learn from and share with leading organisations from diverse sectors. To this end, UNICEF DOC – in collaboration with Ketchum Global Research & Analytics – organised a high-level Summit that focused on the state-of-the-art in measurement, research and impact analysis for communications and advocacy work.
The Summit brought together senior executives and experts from UN agencies, global non-profit organisations, private sector companies, governments, research and academia. It sought to answer three key questions:
The M&E framework is implemented at two levels. DOC tracks the global metrics, while also supporting country offices to tailor/localise the M&E framework at country level. UNICEF is a decentralised organisation operating in more than 190 countries and territories. While all its offices follow the same mission and mandate, communications plans are decentralised to fit the local context and demands. The HQ team encouraged all offices adopting the framework to engage with local media monitoring companies who would have greater familiarity with local languages and media outlets. However, in several regions, either local media monitoring companies are non-existent or communications teams do not have funding to engage with a local vendor.
At the global level, the DOC team uses a suite of tools, including LexisNexis Newsdesk as the media aggregator, Talkwalker as a social media listening tool, Trendkite as a highly visual, user-friendly dashboard tool, Factiva for archival media searches, TVeyes for broadcast media aggregator, as well as social media native analytic platforms. In 2017, UNICEF DOC began working with Media Measurement Inc for analysis and reporting on a global scale. To date, the partnership with Media Measurement has brought deeper insights and analytics to the numerous campaigns that were run globally at UNICEF, complementing the 11 years of reporting and analysis that Media Measurement has been undertaking for UNICEF’s National Committees.
These tools are used to create in-house snapshot reports that measure and evaluate key moments around multiple global campaigns, developing insights on media reach, digital reach and engagement across the six official languages of UNICEF (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian). These are, in turn, then used for lessons learned and planning future initiatives.
Through the partnership with Media Measurement (and previously with Gorkana) UNICEF’s measurement programme includes quarterly reports that dive deeper into the analytics, identifying trends and gaps that are then applied to future planning. Media Measurement analyses UNICEF’s coverage in traditional media and social media content across its target markets, in six languages, to monitor discussions and provide metrics that support the measurement of UNICEF’s Global Communication and Public Advocacy Strategy and KPIs.
Reporting helps UNICEF to track progress and improve effectiveness in relation to its main objectives of being the leading voice for children, reaching one billion people and engaging 50 million more. Quarterly reports are prepared, via human analysis of a random sample of 6,000 clips/year (500 clips/month), using the Newsdesk tool and TVEyes for broadcast clips and social media analysed through data provided by Talkwalker and UNICEF native analytics. The reports look at brand attributes; prominence; sentiment; calls to action; thought leadership; key message penetration; partner/spokespeople messaging; the prominence of data evidence; and share of voice.
Automated daily alerts from our tools have been impactful through the media desk, established in 2016, to coordinate and quickly respond in real time to media topics, potential risks and maintaining voice leadership for UNICEF, with more than 76 percent of positive news mentions in the top tier media in 2017. As well as weekly reporting, we also draw from dashboards in Trendkite and Talkwalker to keep senior management abreast of progress and successes.
UNICEF made great strides in increasing media coverage for global campaigns, humanitarian issues and thematic issues around WASH, Education, etc, with the percentage of articles carrying UNICEF’s key message rising from 73 percent in 2014 to 95 percent at the end of 2017. The percentage of quotes from UNICEF spokespeople rose from 27 percent in 2014 to 52 percent in 2017.
The final results of the media evaluation study show that UNICEF has surpassed its highly ambitious objectives:
“Effectively measuring and evaluating the communications performance of a large, complex, decentralised organisation like UNICEF is a huge challenge. The team at UNICEF has worked hard over the last four years to put in place a comprehensive framework that not only measures performance, but shines a light on areas for improvement and continuously drives the organisation forward. UNICEF’s incredible success in exceeding its performance objectives would not have been possible without the team’s focus on measurement and evaluation. As its partner, Media Measurement is very proud to support them in their efforts to achieve better outcomes for children around the world.”
Sarah Ball, Lead Insight Consultant, Media Measurement
A ‘digital first’ approach a new digital strategy focusing on audience-friendly content. and the use of multiple channels, have facilitated tremendous growth on digital platforms – starting from 19 million followers at the start of the GCPAS in 2014 to 48.4 million by the end of 2017 – positioning UNICEF as the leading non-profit organisation in terms of both reach and audience engagement.
Compared to 2016, there was a 16 percent increase in UNICEF’s web presence (17 million visitors in 2017 versus 14.7 million visitors in 2016). In 2017, UNICEF’s global English Facebook page passed the seven million fans mark and UNICEF’s Instagram followers passed the two million followers mark the same year. UNICEF’s Instagram engagements were significantly higher in 2017, and exceeded 19 million, which represents 800 percent growth (19m likes and comments in 2017 versus 2.1m likes and comments in 2016).
In 2017, the UNICEF followers on Global Arabic Facebook passed the one million mark in December, almost double the number of followers in January 2016. Arabic platforms are UNICEF’s fastest growing digital channels.
The most successful key moments in 2017 were the first World Children’s Day that saw 161 countries celebrating; the Children Uprooted campaign which resulted in 5.4 million supporters joining UNICEF in endorsing the Agenda for Action for migrant and refugee children globally; and the #ENDVIOLENCEAGAINSTCHILDREN Data launch achieving UNICEF’s highest performing tweet ever. It was also a year notable for the extensive media coverage of UNICEF’s humanitarian response and work with children in the context of emergencies and conflicts.
UNICEF’s communications measurement summit was greatly beneficial in identifying best practice and resulted in a much clearer understanding of how we link communications and advocacy to better outcomes for children around the world. More than 130 participants attended the Summit, whose key learnings and insights have since been adopted by UNICEF globally to develop the next phase of KPIs and the M&E Framework.
As a result of the M&E programme, UNICEF has continued to adjust its priorities, moving from broad content overviews to rapid targeted insights. This has allowed it to identify key articles and events in the media more easily and to shape its press activity to replicate successful results. It is important for UNICEF to measure and acknowledge how communications and public advocacy have contributed to the organisation’s goals. UNICEF has leveraged this data and analytical reports at the highest levels, providing a clearer picture of how UNICEF’s work resonates with the public. This in turn affects fundraising, programme direction and credibility when negotiating with partners and
Surpassing the objectives of the first ever Global Communication and Public Advocacy Strategy (2014-2017), UNICEF was able to consolidate its position as the leading voice for and with children; consistently reach one billion people around the world; and engage more than 60 million people to take action for children (exceeding the original target by more than 10 million).
A ‘digital first’ approach, focusing on audience-friendly content and the use of multiple channels, has facilitated tremendous growth on digital platforms, starting from 19 million followers at the start of the GCPAS in 2014 to 48 million by the end of 2017, helping to position UNICEF as the leading non-profit organisation in both reach and audience engagement on various platforms.
In a 2017 Twiplomacy study, UNICEF was named the most effective international organization on Twitter; the most liked international organisation on Facebook; the most followed and engaged international organisation on Instagram; and the second most followed international organisation on LinkedIn.
UNICEF Contacts: Munyaradzi Dodzo ([email protected]) and Natalia Vaccarezza ([email protected])
Unicef – Media Evaluation Report
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