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Measuring Success: Both externally and internally . March 2003. SEARS, ROEBUCK AND CO. Agenda. Measuring external communication Linking public relations to sales Focusing on ROI Measuring internal change management communication Scope of the Conversion

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Measuring external communication

  • Linking public relations to sales
  • Focusing on ROI

Measuring internal change management communication

  • Scope of the Conversion
  • Measuring associate understanding and attitudes
  • Customer and financial measures
  • Conclusions
keep it simple
Keep it simple

Revenue - Costs = Profit

simplifying further
Simplifying further...

Marketing Communication

Media Relations

Events, Publicity, etc.

Revenue Increases

Crisis Communication

Investor Relations


Cost Control

typically measurement
Typically measurement...
  • Stops at awareness
    • Often stops short of awareness
  • Measures output. Not impact.
  • Is often compared to advertising
    • Ad equivalencies are the wrong measure
    • No measurement of impact, change in attitude or behavior
do they believe
Do they believe?
  • Businesses want to measure behavior change -- Are they buying?
  • Are customers buying your products and services?
  • Are employees buying your messages?
clipping and message analysis
Clipping and Message Analysis
  • Can be a useful management tool
  • Measures activity and output of PR group
  • Measures whether key messages are being seen
  • Helpful in gauging whether coverage is negative or positive
  • Identifies positive and negative bias of media
  • Can calculate cost per impression
  • But, it is not a measure of ROI or behavior change
taking clippings further
Taking clippings further...
  • Link to changes in awareness, preference or behavior (purchase)
  • What is the impact on revenue?
  • What is impact on cost control, associate attitudes or other intermediate measures?

Effort that never

gets printed, broadcast

(0 impact)

Most people never

see the article or

hear the broadcast

(0 impact)

Budget funds PR



Those not in target

audience -

not likely to


(minimal impact)

Percent of wasted effort



and measurable)

Measure is circulation

or viewers


News Releases


Media calls, etc


(Difficult to measure)

Percentage of effort results in publicity

Target Audience

Consumers who see or hear the publicity and are

part of the intended audience for message

(difficult to measure, but assumed to be

a fraction of the circulation number)

Businesses keep score with $

What is the relationship between a $ invested in PR and

company revenue or profit?

No impact on


“I still won’t


Customers make purchase

Measure is revenue $

(SPRS report)

Consumers who take

action as a result, and

visit a store with intent

to purchase

(Traffic - no current

measurement device)

Consumers who have an

attitudinal shift --

“I will shop as a

result of that story”

(measurable-- Oprah and


Those who read

the article, intend to

shop, but never

follow through

Those who don’t

find what they

need or want

and make no


Subtract customers

who purchased without

benefit of the publicity

(test market vs. control

or incremental above

baseline) (AdEffect)

Subract cost of all investments,

leaving profit $ tied to PR program.

ROI is how much of this is generated

for every dollar invested at beginning

Measures existing

does it work
Does it work?
  • Can you identify changes along the path?
  • Is there a link between public relations events and revenue?
  • Two examples of how changes have been measured at Sears and how you can design a model for your business.
  • One placement on the Oprah show involved providing Christmas gifts for foster children in a small Texas community.
  • Sears provided all the gifts for 100 children
  • Oprah exclaimed “We love Sears!”
  • Can this be measured?
sears is high quality company
Sears is high quality company
  • Slight positive shift following the broadcast
  • 65% agree vs. 58%
  • Shift came from all rating levels
sears does good things for community
Sears does good things for community
  • Following broadcast saw a huge shift to positive on this question
  • Almost a five-fold increase in number of those agreeing completely
plan to shop sears for holiday
Plan to shop Sears for Holiday
  • The show provided the incentive to move viewers from neutral to positive intent
  • Increased to 70% vs. 59% before show
i plan to shop at sears for the holidays
“I plan to shop at Sears for the holidays.”
  • The Oprah PR placement provided the additional incentive needed to move some viewers from a neutral position to a positive intent to shop at Sears.
    • Neutrals dropped from 73 respondents to 52, and somewhat negatives dropped from 29 to 18.
      • The strongest negatives remained the same.
    • The positive side of the intent to shop increased from 178 to 210 respondents.


estimate what you ll spend at sears during this holiday season
…estimate what you’ll spend at Sears during this holiday season.
  • We saw earlier there was a positive shift in the number of people saying they planned on shopping at Sears.
    • About 10% increase in positive intent.
  • If we assume the mid-point for each range, and $600 for the over $500 data, then these 300 respondents represent an average of $195 per respondent after seeing Oprah, versus $140 before.
    • An increase of +39% per shopper in the amount they estimate they’ll spend at Sears.

Percentage of Respondents

what was the impact
What was the impact?
  • Shift in attitude led to planned spending increase of $40-million
  • Discounted by 2/3 to account for intentions that never come to fruition, the actual spending increase may be about $13-million
  • Subtract costs and calculate ROI
fashion footwear and nyt
Fashion Footwear and NYT
  • January feature placement in New York Times -- New York/New Jersey edition
  • What was the impact in that market vs. a control market and vs. national?
fashion footwear results
Fashion Footwear Results
  • Week following placement NY and NJ markets were up vs. year ago.
  • Chicago down
  • National down
footwear conclusions
Footwear Conclusions
  • A single placement in a credible publication made a dramatic difference in sales compared to both national and comparable market
  • The only variable that changed that week was the New York Times placement
  • Translated into measurable dollars
  • Cost of placement vs. incremental revenue increase gives ROI
connecting the dots
Connecting the dots...
  • Two examples measure the impact of single “communication events” -- not the cumulative impact of entire program
  • The right events can have a significant positive impact
    • Activities and events which do not have positive impact are suspect
  • Impact can be either a shift in attitudes or actions
measuring internally
Measuring internally
  • Can the same principles be applied to an internal audience?
  • How do you define success in a large change management communication program?
  • In late 2001 in Full Line Stores…
    • Announced 4,000 layoffs
    • Announced Productivity Improvements
    • Sears. Where Else? introduced
    • Morale is not at an all time high
conversion objectives
Conversion Objectives
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Easier to shop
  • Easier to operate and easier to support store model
    • Clear lines of accountability throughout the organization
    • Improved execution on in-stock, in-store marketing, customer service
    • Improved profitability
communication principles
Communication Principles
  • Open and honest
  • Share information as soon as it’s available
  • Focus on key audiences, while making information available very broadly
  • Credibility is key
    • No sugarcoating
    • No promises we can’t keep
    • Focus on the end result and how to get it
  • Use existing communication channels where possible; emphasize personal communication
communication objectives
Communication Objectives
  • Gain alignment among senior management for the changes that will be necessary
  • Create high awareness and understanding for:
    • Why change is needed
    • What changes will be made and why
  • Win support for the dramatic changes, despite announcements of layoffs and new job descriptions and accountabilities
  • Focus on new model: easier to shop, easier to operate
communication tactics
Communication Tactics
  • Identify and leverage credible channels
  • Senior leadership meetings - FLST initiated
  • One-on-one meetings with leadership
  • Town Hall meetings (existing and new)
  • PMO Website
  • Regular features in S Journal, S Update
  • Training meetings and support materials
  • Detailed conversion manuals
  • Communication materials provided to DGMs for cascading through stores organization
communication tactics cont d
Communication Tactics (cont’d)
  • Issues and questions fielded in multiple ways, with response ASAP
  • Video Updates to field midway through conversion
  • In-store meeting materials for consistent messaging
  • Input into training materials to reinforce new store model of excellent customer service
  • Ongoing communication through newly defined MAP and Weekly Updates
  • Baseline MOC results reviewed
  • Key questions pulled for ongoing pulse surveys
  • Surveys following major communication events
  • Weekly review of Q&A and Issues raised to identify gaps in communication program
  • Informal discussions within stores organization
    • Didn’t overreact to anecdotal information
    • Checked feedback against data
performance improvement program
Performance Improvement Program

Projects that have a direct impact on the store were grouped together into a synchronized field “Conversion” calendar


Supply Chain


Store & Field


  • Ad Production
  • PromotionalProfitability
  • Flow Optimization
  • Integrated Order Management
  • Liability Inventory
  • Lands’ End Initiative
  • Covington Roll out
  • Center Core
  • Home Fashions
  • Footwear
  • Appliances
  • Store & Field Organization
  • Store Activity
  • In Store Marketing
  • Labor Management
  • Sign Creation
  • e-Learning
  • e-Recruiting
  • Associate Services
conversion scope
Store Structure

District Structure

Region Structure

Number of Stores

Center Aisle Cashwraps ALL

Signage and Fixturing ALL

Four Zone Merchandising ALL

Appliances 101

Center Core 543

Home Accents 557

Mattresses 32

Men’s Big and Tall 349

Open Sell Shoes 216

Tool Territory 149

Merchandise and Customer Assist

Consultative Selling

Center Aisle Cashiering

POS Signing

Ad Setup/Take-down



Liability Merchandise

Labor Management



Conversion Scope

Field Organization

Service Levels

Activities and Processes

Store Environment

Note: initiatives will be implemented in all stores except where a specific number is given

communication output
Communication Output
  • PMO website has had more than 2-million hits during conversion; Of the 24,000 visitors 23,000 are from the field.
  • PMO base conversion has been successfully implemented, and has been widely supported
  • Articles every month in corporate publications
  • Communication is becoming embedded as a core leadership responsibility in the stores organization
  • Web site is becoming an operational tool more than information only tool
communication results associates
Communication Results - Associates
  • Associate attitudes (all store associates) are more positive than they have been since 1998.
  • Understanding of strategy is higher than it has ever been.
store management is even more positive
Store management is even more positive ...
  • Assistant Store Managers and hourly leads feel good about the future, believe we are making the changes necessary to compete, and understand our strategy.
customer feedback is also encouraging
Customer feedback is also encouraging
  • Customers reacted favorably to the new store environment
  • Store revenues were on target for Holiday

Financial Benefits are on track

  • Conversion costs stayed on budget
  • Field operating costs met planned savings
  • Capital expenditures within budget
  • Communication had no incremental budget increase
  • Full Line Store profitability is up more than 30%
  • Sears posted record earnings in 2002
  • Objective is to create a culture of continuous productivity improvement
  • Ongoing process of continuous improvement in efficiency and effectiveness
  • Ultimately, time will tell
    • Can we continue to improve both customer satisfaction and productivity?
  • Looking at measurement from the perspective of the CEO will help clarify what’s important
  • Establishing a logic model for communications and measurement of results is good start
  • Building evidence over time will help improve ability to make fact-based decisions about public relations and communication investments
  • In some areas (such as marketing public relations) we can remove the mystery of the craft and earn respect of management team on their terms
  • There is still much to do


Tom Nicholson

Sears, Roebuck and Co.