Tracking Your Success
Evaluation: What Should be Measured?
Updated: 6.1.06 Printable version
There are several methods you can readily use to measure the success of your campaign, some of which are more direct and immediate than others. The methods you choose will depend in part on the type of information and resources that are available to you.
• Tracking the change in the number of calls to your state hotline is the simplest and most direct measure of the results of your activities. Since the hotline number is promoted in your activities as well as in advertising and on campaign materials, there will most likely be an increase in call volume resulting from the promotion of that number.
• Since available hotline data vary from state to state, you need to work with the organization that oversees the hotline to find out what data can be provided. Here are some options to explore:
- Number of calls coming into the hotline
- Type of calls: Does the hotline handle only health care coverage, or other types of calls as well (e.g., provider questions)? Are you able to get specific data for the number of calls related to health care coverage for children and adults?
- Regional breakdown of calls reported: Are the calls reported on a statewide basis or are regional breakdowns available, such as by county or ZIP code? This will be important if your ads and outreach are limited to a specific area. The most accurate data will be the number of calls received from the areas where the activities took place.
- How callers heard about the hotline: Are callers asked how they heard about the hotline and are these data reported? Can this question be included during the campaign period? By understanding how callers heard about the hotline (e.g., radio, TV or print advertising; word of mouth; promotion at an event; in the schools), you will be able to judge the success of various aspects of your campaign.
- Frequency of the reports: How frequently are the reports available (e.g., weekly, monthly)?
- Number of parents who say they intend to apply: Can callers be asked whether they intend to apply during the period of your campaign?
You should coordinate your data collection with the timing of your activity, whether it is an event, a press conference, advertising, a PSA campaign or an outreach effort. It is important to collect data for a period of at least two weeks before any activities begin and at least one month after the end of the activities. In this way, you can identify any changes that occur during the time of your activities. Ideally, you should gather data for the same time periods during the current year and the previous one. Using the previous year as a comparison, you will have a better indication of the effectiveness of your advertising and activities on hotline call volume.
• Tracking the number of television, radio and print stories resulting from your communications effort is another way of measuring the success of your activities.
• Rather than simply counting the number of stories, you should also evaluate the content of the media coverage. Evaluate whether news stories included Covering Kids & Families key messages, such as:
- The availability of low-cost and free health care coverage for kids and adults
- Medicaid and SCHIP benefits
- Testimonials from families about the ease of enrolling and the peace of mind that the coverage brings to their lives
- Information on how families can learn more about enrollment (i.e., local or toll-free hotlines)
• Based on the quality of the news coverage, make adjustments to future media outreach strategies (e.g., provide media training for spokespersons, recruit other types of family spokespersons).
Other Evaluation Options
Look at the goals for your campaign to determine whether there are other types of information available for evaluation, such as:
• Number of activities held across the state
• Number of elected officials involved, their elected position and the type of involvement (e.g., speaker at an event)
• Schools and organizations involved, their engagement and willingness to participate in future efforts
• Business and/or sports team participation, their involvement and willingness to engage in future efforts
• Number of people who attended your event
• Number and types of materials requested or distributed
• Number and types of inquiries from organizations, businesses, and health and other professionals
• Number of brochures and/or applications distributed at your event (This is easy to measure and the number is often impressive.)