It’s more crucial than ever that government communications are evidence-based, effective and accurate. And it’s impossible to achieve this without doing the right research and using data correctly.
At Design102, insight and evaluation is the backbone of everything we do. It helps us to plan every aspect of a campaign and stay on track along the way. When the campaign ends and the objectives have been met, insight and evaluation also helps us make improvements and learn lessons for next time. It’s part of our mission to craft campaigns that make a difference to audiences and raise the standard of government communication.
In this blog, Vanessa, our analyst, talks about how insight and evaluation are integral to designing effective public communication.
How does an insight and evaluation analyst add value to a project or campaign?
Insight and evaluation provide the base for the campaign strategy. Having an insight and evaluation specialist will ensure a campaign has a clear direction from the very beginning.
Insight will measure the facts, draw parameters and provide the big picture overview. Evaluation will make sure to clear the assumptions, check what is working and what is not.
From the outset, a data and evaluation analyst can also help you to know your audience and understand any risks such as data protection.
You work with designers and other creatives. How have you helped them to take a more evidence-based approach to their work?
I always emphasise where data can help inform design.
For example, in our PrizeSaver campaign, my Google Analytics analysis identified that users were not scrolling far enough down the website homepage to understand the campaign purpose and key information.
We agreed the website layout would need to change. Involving designers in these conversations ensures they get used to basing their designs on useful data - and that we all pay close attention to the live data gathered during a campaign’s run.
How does insight help to make a successful campaign?
There are many ways, but survey results and insights are certainly one of the most powerful tools we can use to create a successful campaign.
Surveys give your audience a voice and help you understand unspoken points or things you may have overlooked.
You can also scale them up and down: from a small internal survey on staff wellbeing to deciding on a campaign logo, and from small focus groups to national user testing.
You can customise questions to make sure you’re finding out exactly what you need, and adapt it depending on your budget.
Can you give us an example of a time where evaluation proved particularly useful?
A great project I worked on this year was identifying key conversations on social media by monitoring COVID-19 stories related to the business.
My daily monitoring dashboard provided enough points for actions based on what the general public was discussing on social media channels.
What do you enjoy most about working with data?
I like everything about data analysis!
I am always working with facts. And my findings provide knowledge for decision makers to co-ordinate the organisations’ response and actions.
What’s one simple thing everyone in government communication can do to make sure they’re working in a more evidence-based way?
Wherever possible or where your budget allows, always run user testing and check the general opinion about a certain issue.
Measure your campaigns and strategy by monitoring the social media analytics and the campaign website traffic. It gives a good overview, for instance, of which messages worked best and generated positive engagement.
Share your insights with a key audience, ask for feedback and use the insights to take actions when necessary and possible.
Also, make sure to use official data websites such as ONS. There is so much data online, but not all of it is reliable.
Take a look at our PrizeSaver case study to see how insight and evaluation helped us craft an effective, award-shortlisted campaign.
If you’d like to know more about Design102 or you’ve got a project we can help with, just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
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