Category Archives: Survey
I recently read a new survey published by the Arthur W. Page Society, The CEO View: The Impact of Communications on Corporate Character in a 24×7 Digital World, that shared insight from interviews with 20 leading CEOs of Fortune 50 companies on their opinions about strategic communications and the changing role of Chief Communications Officers (CCOs) in today’s companies.
The commissioned research is an update to the Society’s 2007 study The Authentic Enterprise assessing the strategic importance of communications to CEOs in building brands and corporate reputation.
There are a lot of great insights in the report. Here are just a few key findings from the study and implications for CCOs that I found particularly relevant in today’s global business climate:
Social media gains (more) respect. CEOs no longer view social media as “emerging” technologies but an imperative communications channel to engage with various stakeholders. They are looking for CCOs to understand, interpret and manage social media in a way that explains the impact on their business.
Character, reputation and values define corporations. Increased transparency has led CEOs to place a greater emphasis on understanding the diverse perspectives of internal and external stakeholders to help shape corporate identity and reputation. This is good news for CCOs, who have an opportunity to define and communicate company values that are authentic to the organization. For more insights from the Society on aligning corporate values, read here.
Hard-data rules. In this data-obsessed world, CEOs want better and more intricate measurement of their company’s reputation. The report calls this “high-resolution measurement” and CCOs need to have the right tools at hand, such as reputation scorecards or dashboards, to measure the impact of strategic communications in executing the business plan. The study indicates some CEOs “report measuring as many as 30 different brand attributes as experienced by as many as 15 discrete stakeholder groups.”
24/7 news cycle. The “always on” news cycle with the rise of social media and online news outlets is definitely here to stay. CEOs understand the urgency to respond to issues with the speed of information itself and the complexity of addressing many constituents with appropriate communication. CEOs value the role of CCOs in “proactively building relationships with all stakeholders via all available channels” to establish goodwill and help protect corporate reputation in the event of a crisis.
Do these findings resonate with your CEO? How do they impact your role as a communications executive? Share your thoughts and comments.
When we launched our company blog in 2009 my first post was about customer service. I recounted a personal experience at a local hospital as an example of bad customer service. Since our firm specializes in healthcare, and I’ve helped execute customer service programs in hospitals throughout the country, I had a thorough understanding of the importance of a positive patient experience.
This is why I was so intrigued by an email I recently received from Catalyst Healthcare Research that provided findings from a study they conducted in partnership with The Beryl Institute. The study was called The State of Patient Experience in American Hospitals. The purpose of the study was to determine “if hospitals are now being reimbursed for quality patient care and a positive patient experience, what are they doing to improve it?”
According to more than 1,000 executive leaders at hospitals throughout the country, roughly 70 percent said their number one priority in the next three years is patient experience/satisfaction, closely followed by patient safety.
When asked about the key elements of their patient experience efforts, the top responses were that they share patient satisfaction scores throughout the organization and they encourage regular rounding by clinical staff as well as the hospital leadership team. Since transparency is often key to helping employees feel engaged with the overall mission of the organization, it’s no wonder sharing satisfaction scores topped the list. If employees don’t understand how you’re performing and how that translates to the bottom line, it’s often difficult to build a “team” mentality.
To monitor patient satisfaction performance, respondents said they rely on various metrics, but the three most popular were HCAHPS scores (86%), patient survey findings (80%) and discharge follow up calls (70%). From a patient perspective, I think the most interesting question was how hospitals plan to further improve the patient experience. I was intrigued because the answers prove hospitals really understand customer service is important. Answers included reducing noise, more physician rounding, improved cleanliness, increased physician communication, better food service and more attention to pain management.
Approximately 70 percent of the respondents felt positive about their efforts to improve patient satisfaction, and we can only hope this is an accurate representation of hospitals across the country. Starting in 2014, the hospital Value-Based Purchasing program will tie at least 1.25 percent of hospital payments to their performance on various quality and patient experience indicators. So, what does this mean? According to a recent article in Becker’s Hospital Review, the financial impact will be significant on low performing hospitals. The article provided the example of a 300-bed hospital with poor quality metrics that would be penalized approximately $1.3 million a year, beginning in 2015.
This study proves hospitals are putting a great deal of importance on patient satisfaction. Fingers crossed it is enough.
I appreciate the regular surveys conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. They are like quick sound bites that create an up-to-date picture about what business people
believe is going to happen in the next six months.
The latest survey is comforting as it relates to cost-of-goods inflation worries, but it looks
like businesses are anticipating some labor cost pressures…and I’d have to agree.
What are you thinking about the next six months for your business? As it relates to sales, will you be better off? Worse? Or about the same?
More Reasons to Consider Digital Marketing in Healthcare
Patients increasingly use online connections to find healthcare information and to connect with peers who share a condition or disease, according to a new study “Peer-to-peer Healthcare” from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The implications for marketers are clear: online advertising is going to be more and more effective.
Online peers substantially expand one’s network beyond just friends and family, to whom people traditionally turn for support and advice, to a broader base of information from individuals living with various rare or chronic conditions. The study finds that health professionals remain the central source of information for most Americans, but “peer-to-peer healthcare” has become a significant supplement.
Pew finds 18% of Internet users report they have gone online to find others who share their health concerns. Among American Internet users living with chronic conditions that include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart or lung conditions, cancer and other chronic ailments, that number jumps to 23%. Caregivers are also connecting with peers who share similar situations online.
Health professionals remain the most frequently consulted source of information, care and support when Internet users experience a health issue at 70% of those surveyed, but those conversations still occur primarily offline. Only 5% of adults said they received information, care or support from a health professional online.
The survey found that professional sources like doctors and nurses are considered more helpful in terms of information regarding a health condition itself, including diagnosis, information about prescription drug and alternative treatments and recommendations to a specialist or medical facility. But non-professionals hold more sway when people seek emotional support or practical advice for day-to-day living.
Read the results of “Peer-to-peer Healthcare” and other Pew surveys that explore the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world online at www.pewinternet.org. The Pew Internet & American Life Project is nonpartisan and takes no position on policy issues. Support is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Census Data Helps Guide Marketing Decisions
On Dec. 21, 2010, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke delivered the 2010 U.S. Census resident population and apportionment counts to President Obama and unveiled the official results to the public. This marks the twenty-third time this once-a-decade ritual to count the nation’s population has been completed since 1790.
As of Apr. 1, 2010, the total U.S. resident population of the 50 states and the District of Columbia was 308,745,538, up 9.7 percent from 281,421,906 in 2000. Regionally, the areas of greatest growth were the South and the West. Nevada gained the most as a percentage of its 2000 count, up 35.1 percent, while Texas gained the most numerically up 4,293,741 residents. California remains the most populous state with 37,253,956 residents and the least populous state is Wyoming at 563,626.
The statistics assembled through the Census process provide the basis for decision-making regarding the distribution of more than $400 billion in federal funds for programs like education and health care. The results are also used to determine the redistribution of the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives proportionate to the population of the states. In the 2010 Census, 10 states lost congressional seats while eight gained. Today, each member of the U.S. House of Representatives represents about 710,767 people, up from 34,000 people per district when the first U.S. Census was conducted.
In addition to the decennial count of the resident population mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the Census Bureau conducts other surveys to collect data about the nation’s people and economy. Marketers and business owners can also use economic data gathered by the Census to target households, gauge competition, calculate market share and evaluate potential new markets.
One ongoing Census survey of particular interest to marketers is the American Community Survey. The ACS is sent to about three million households in the U.S. and Puerto Rico every year to measure the changing social and economic characteristics of the U.S. population. For example, using ACS data, a marketer or business owner could determine how many high-income households with children live near a specific retail location. The Census Bureau also provides downloadable user guides written specifically for different audiences, including businesses.
To learn more about the Census and the portrait it paints of our changing nation, visit www.census.gov.
Before launching into a marketing or PR campaign it’s a good idea to “get your arms around” audience opinions and perceptions, and surveys can help you do this.
For instance, you may want to determine if customers like your product and are they pleased with your delivery method and customer service. Or, maybe it’s time for an internal employee campaign to help boost productivity. In this case, before you move forward with the campaign you might want to know if your employees have the appropriate tools to effectively do their job.
The goal of any survey is to capture valuable information, so putting careful thought into the survey questions is imperative. If a client asks us to develop a survey, we spend the majority of our time conducting research through focus groups and phone and onsite interviews to ensure we develop valuable questions that will produce meaningful results.
Online surveys are fast becoming the method of choice. They are easy to set up and easy to send…as long as you have an accurate email distribution list. We recently conducted an employee communications survey (which I must brag had a 95% response rate…compared to the average internal survey rates that range from 30-40%) and I spent several days researching numerous companies. Here’s what I found.
If you need a fairly basic survey and you don’t need to cross tab your results, then I suggest www.surveymonkey.com. For the employee communications survey we just implemented, we needed a more sophisticated reporting system that could cross tabulate the roughly 50 questions and decided to use www.keysurvey.com. Based on the employee feedback, we will be able to provide the client with recommendations that will influence communication efforts in the long-term future.
Surveys are an effective way to determine what your customers are thinking, but choosing good questions and a reliable survey tool will help ensure it is successful.
Last week Lovell Communications Inc. conducted an email blast survey on opinions about the economy. Approximately 88 percent of 194 respondents (mostly business people and professionals) indicated they think the economy will either remain the same or improve over the next six months.
Last May 2009, when we conducted a survey with the same question, 89 percent of the 174 respondents indicated they felt the economy would remain essentially the same or improve between mid-May 2009 and mid-November 2009. Not a significant difference there.
Likewise, in the recent survey about 12 percent think the economy will get worse in the next six months compared to 11 percent asked the same question back in May. Also, not significant.
However, last May, 55 percent thought the economy was going to improve over the following six months compared to 48 percent in this month’s survey.
Last May, 34 percent thought the economy would stay the same for the subsequent six months compared to 40 percent of this month’s respondents who think the economy will remain the same for the next six months.
Asking Twitters and Facebook Users
In a separate survey sent out through Twitter and Facebook to a broader audience (not necessarily business people and professionals), only 74 percent of the 168 respondents think the economy will remain the same or improve over the next six months. Notably, 25 percent felt the economy would get worse. (compared to only 11 percent in the business and professionals survey.)
29 percent of the Tweeters and Facebook respondents feel the economy will remain about the same over the next six months. That compares to 48 percent of the business person and professionals survey.
I am wondering if this indicates that the business community is slightly more optimistic than the “average guy on the street.” Makes sense. What do you think?