Client “Trigger” Statements

Comments from your clients that can trigger a measurement opportunity

By Michael Rinaman, Chicago, and Grace Lee, Los Angeles, RDI Measurement Team


At Research+Data Insights (RDI), our ears perk up when we hear specific phrases in conversations with current and prospective clients. From inquiries about increasing brand awareness or reputation, to statements about how “leadership doesn’t understand or care about communications results,” specific terms serve as “trigger” statements to open the door to talk about our measurement capabilities.

As a part of Global Measurement Week, we want to share this knowledge with all of our teams at Hill+Knowlton Strategies.  So we created a list of “Client Trigger Statements,” accompanied by questions and situations, which are key indicators that measurement might be useful to your client or prospective client. Become familiar with this list, and when your clients say these phrases, you’ll know they’ve triggered an opportunity to talk about the value of measurement.

In response, you can provide a few high-level comments about measurement, and then offer to set up a call with RDI’s head of global analytics, Margot Sinclair Savell, or your local RDI analyst.

Client Trigger Statements

  • With the volume of conversation about our brand (or industry issues), we have trouble cutting through the noise and understanding what discussions most impact our business.
  • My company has a perception about media coverage about our brand or our competitors, but I don’t believe it is actually the case.
  • We need a better way to plan our communications budgets to optimize our investments and align them with results.
  • We’re having trouble proving our communications results to our company’s leadership.

Client Questions

Overall Measurement

  • How do your other clients measure the success of their communications programs?
  • Did our messages resonate in our target media?
  • How do we know if there were any missed opportunities to be aware of when planning future strategies and tactics?
  • If we enact this campaign, how will it affect our bottom line, lead to increased sales, decrease customer service costs or lead to other desired outcomes?

Competitive Analysis Questions

  • How do we stack up against competitors among our target audiences?
  • What are our competitors doing better than we are?
  • What is the media perception of other companies communicating on this issue?

Topic Analysis Questions

  • What issues or topics in my key markets are most interesting to journalists or consumers?
  • How have these topics impacted consumer and media perceptions of our business?
  • What conversation topics are driving coverage and impacting our business, but don’t include our point of view?

Influencer Analysis Questions

  • Is our content reaching the most influential audiences?
  • Are influential people engaging with and responding to our content?
  • Are influential people becoming advocates of our brand?
  • Did our messages resonate with key stakeholders?

Reputation/Risk Analysis Questions

  • What major issues are occurring in our market that we need to be aware of, to mitigate future risk?
  • Who are the reporters and media outlets breaking or covering major stories on reputational issues?
  • Is my brand seen as a thought leader? What do innovative brands in my market do to position themselves as thought leaders?

Client Perception Issues

Hill+Knowlton Strategies teams sometimes face pushback when presenting clients with new ideas. In these situations, measurement can help build a case to re-focus communications activities, or help move a client toward more effective strategies. If your team finds itself asking the following questions, RDI can assist in developing a measurement program to help chart a path forward with a research-driven plan of action.

  • My client is focused on limited media that are not driving the conversation. How do I change his/her mind?
  • There are influencers and stakeholders that my client hasn’t engaged. How do I show the potential impact of expanding our activities to include communications to these key individuals?
  • I feel like my client is missing opportunities to highlight core business strengths. How do I help show the potential impact of updating messaging?
  • My team has done great work for our client and achieved compelling results, but these rarely get promoted within the senior leadership. How do I showcase these successes to increase the viewership of communications results to a wider audience in the company?

With these tools, we hope to help you lead data-driven communications campaigns, and showcase these programs’ successful results.