Our mixed method approach-combining a unique set of integrated and innovative measurement tools- provided Army Public Affairs with accurate, reliable, and new insights to inform decision-making in the planning and execution of outreach events.
Measurement and effectiveness of communication objectives
Data collected during the first two pilot trips demonstrated effectiveness toward reaching communication objectives to increase Army connections with and messaging to local communities:
- There were 20 local news reports (eight online print, nine radio broadcasts, and three television broadcasts) about the Army that communicated messages, against zero in the months before the trips.
- There were 470 total tweets about Meet Your Army directed to the local community for a total of 4.5 million possible impressions, compared to zero in the local community before this outreach.
- Tweet volume nearly quadrupled in the period between the two pilot events..
- Most tweet volume was driven by engagement with the Army (retweets of Army tweets).
- 47 percent of Meet Your Army tweets contained #meetyourarmy after the hashtag was designated following the first pilot event.
- The Army Chief of Public Affairs’ Twitter followership increased 43 percent during the second pilot trip.
We made various recommendations to the client based on research and measurement during the first two Meet Your Army pilot trips, many of which resulted in actions taken by Army senior leadership:
1. Research and recommendation: After the first pilot trip, our social media measurement showed there was no consistent use of a hashtag during outreach events. We advised designating a hashtag to drive interest and engagement in the Meet Your Army conversation: #meetyourarmy
Client action taken: Army Public Affairs like the suggested hashtag so much that they rebranded the entire campaign to be called “Meet Your Army” (before the first pilot it was called “Community Connect”), helping to drive engagement and raise message visibility.
2. Research and recommendation: Our social network analysis of community stakeholder relationships on Twitter showed the Army how using this platform to engage influential stakeholders could be a cost-effective way to increase connections and message reach. We recommended the Army Chief of Public Affairs join Twitter and engage (follow, tweet at) the most influential users.
Client action taken: The Army Chief of Public Affairs joined Twitter, and engaged (followed, tweeted at) recommended community stakeholders, resulting in increased connections and message reach to community stakeholders.
3. Research and recommendation: Our social media measurement showed most tweets about Meet Your Army occurred during specific hours/days of during which outreach events took place. We recommended the Army Chief of Public Affairs tweet before, during and after events to increase tweets over a longer period of time.
Client action taken: The Army Chief of Public Affairs tweeted before, during and after Meet Your Army outreach events, increasing connections with and message reach to local stakeholders.
4. Research and recommendation: We used geocoded data in Tableau to pinpoint U.S locations with significant population but where Army presence and messaging was low/infrequent, we recommended holding Meet Your Army events there.
Client action taken: Army Public Affairs requested Barbaricum update the map every quarter to drive long-term planning of selecting outreach locations, ensuring outreach would be effectively targeted to achieve objectives.
Name of person entering: Karin Drinkhall