Measure your Mission: #BeyondVanityMetrics

This guest post by Jackie Mahendra, Director of Strategic Collaboration at Citizen Engagement Laboratory, first appeared on Medium.

How do you know if your work is working?

Do your metrics just sound impressive or do they really inform your campaigns?

Do your metrics just sound impressive or do they really inform your campaigns?
Tweet this image

For those of us at mission-driven organizations, this is a critical question and one that is much harder to answer than it may appear. What we should measure and why is a question that leaders in the digital campaigning sector are currently struggling to answer. It turns out that understanding whether a strategy is actually moving you closer to your mission requires a lot more than counting the easiest-to-track numbers, or “vanity metrics” like pageviews or list size.

Let’s say you work at a large women’s rights group. An advocacy email goes out to hundreds of thousands of women’s rights supporters, and moments later, you can see how many people are opening it, clicking through to take action, or even opting out of membership. Sounds good! Not so fast.

Unfortunately, some of the most common measures online campaigning practitioners track tell us surprisingly little about whether we’re truly engaging the people we care most about over time. For organizations that are committed to regularly engaging large numbers of everyday people, that is a major problem.

“If what we measure grows, are we growing the right things?”

Read the rest now…

Pay attention and win: Lessons from Brasil

How Greenpeace Brasil is adapting Big Listening to its needs to become an opinion leader
March for forests in Brasil

In 2013, Greenpeace Brasil realised it was having trouble turning it's fast-growing social media audience into the kind of active and vocal supporters needed to help influence public opinion on its issues. In mid-2013, they connected with MobLab's … [Read more]

Learn how 3 years of Big Listening (and testing) may change your campaigning

A MobLab interview with Upwell's Rachel Weidinger
Upwell conversation

The crew of innovative campaigners and online strategists at Upwell, led by a core team of Rachel Weidinger, Ray Dearborn and Matt Fitzgerald have done their best to change how campaigns listen to, use and test online campaigning since 2012. Their … [Read more]

Kosovo youth set agenda (and gather data) for change

How replicable citizen science programs propel environmental policy
Kosovo youth assemble monitors

The Republic of Kosovo has a pollution problem. During the winter, when the local lignite power plants are working over time, the air becomes visible. Particulate glistens in the streetlights, everything is covered in a grey film. Kosovo is … [Read more]

It’s all just organizing

How small organizations can punch above their weight in a digital world
Digital Forest

“I am not saying ignore what’s working for large organizations,” writes ActionSprout CEO Drew Bernard, “they often provide great inspiration. But don’t mistake what they are doing as a path to success.” His email came in response to a call for … [Read more]

How to run a campaign Hackathon

Real talk about building lasting relationships with the developer community
Hackathon for Oceans

Can you track vessels in open sea when they switch off their tracking system? What do they do when they don't want to be found? How can people actively take part in our actions from their computer? That’s the opening of an invitation to … [Read more]

How the Web Was Won

Ten lessons from the underdogs’ victory
Citizen protest

A year ago, if someone said an upstart coalition fighting for net neutrality would beat Comcast and Verizon, most would have laughed or just rolled their eyes. On January 14, 2014, we’d just lost a major lawsuit and were up against the most … [Read more]

How Direct Response TV scales emotional stories for a new audience

Behind the curtain of DRTV projects in Italy and New Zealand
Greenpeace NZ homeless polar bear video

Email response rates got you down? Online petitions not reaching new people? Looking to talk to new people that are busy at home -- but may have a TV on and a phone or tablet in their hand)? Greenpeace offices in Italy and New Zealand … [Read more]

5 things we learned by analysing lots and lots (and lots) of Facebook data

Mythbusting for social media strategists and campaigners
Live shot from our data analysis center.

Last year, our friends at Crowdtangle offered to let MobLab dig through some of their aggregate data about the performance of individual posts on public pages to see if we could find anything interesting. We jumped at the chance, looking … [Read more]