Managing through COVID means doing things differently, and that is just what my client, a tourism marketing organization (TMO) that has been putting PuMP® into practice since 2015, did when they needed feedback and buy-in on prioritized potential measures.

COVID shut the visitor economy down all over the world, and this TMO wanted strong and feasible measures that could help them decide when the right time would be to put the right message in front of potential travelers.

Sarah, a managing director for the TMO, created a measures “response” team and asked Alex and Jacob, both on the Paid Media team, to lead the planning and implementation of the virtual Measures Gallery.

Sara shared…

“We were working on a compressed timeline, so selected an already existing result from our results map. The measures team used it to design many potential “response” measures. Working with travel booking partners to ensure the measures were truly feasible, we narrowed the options down to what we thought were the 5 strongest and most feasible. Now, we needed immediate feedback from our peers and stakeholders”

Having run many in-person Measure Galleries in the past, the team started with the essential guidelines of a successful in-person PuMP® Measures Gallery:

  • Create a list of who needs to buy-in to the measures
  • Invite people to attend; don’t mandate them
  • Create space for dialogue
  • Lean in and agree that the right people will come, no matter the number
  • Gather the Feedback and use it.

“We invited more than 70 people, so we knew we had to create multiple virtual ways for our participants to provide feedback if this was to be successful”, Jacob shared.

The Measures Team created the following feedback opportunities:

  • Google Doc slide deck that included the top potential measures and allowed people to post comments directly within it (before, during and after the Zoom Session)

    • They sent the Google Doc out 2 hours in advance with instructions on how to comment directly in the document
  • A one-hour Zoom video conference using the same slide deck, with two hosts (Alex and Jacob)

    • The Zoom session started with everyone joining at the same time and ending at the same time. The fixed time approach developed a sense of urgency, but was not fluid like in-person galleries
    • We considered having Zoom break-out rooms, but it seemed a bit complex for what we wanted to accomplish. We agreed simple was better
    • Attendees could ask questions and provide feedback via the Zoom Chat box
    • One host reviewed the slide deck content and managed time while the other host monitored the questions through the chat box. The dialogue stayed lively and responsive yet moved at a quick pace to stay within 60 minutes
    • The Managing Director was also on hand during the conference to provide additional context and answer questions beyond the scope of Alex and Jacob.

“We choose Zoom and Google Docs as they were both technologies that most of our participants already knew how to use”, said Alex.

The Results:

  • 56 people attended the virtual gallery, using Zoom
  • More than 50 chat comments and questions during the live one-hour Zoom Gallery
  • 15 comments posted on the slide deck, provided in advance and after the Zoom Gallery
  • 31 people voted on the last poll of the session.

Jacob said afterwards…

“It felt really good to host the virtual gallery, but it was more overwhelming than a traditional measures gallery. The time was compressed, and we had a lot of people putting content in the chat box. Alex and I were so glad we worked together with specific roles to process all the information as it was coming through. We tried to answer questions and thank people for their contributions.”

Sarah added…

“Overall there is less time for discussion – especially from the other experts who were on the measures team but not hosts – so we were so glad we downloaded all the comments into to the PuMP Feedback template. In our post-session debrief, the three of us went through each comment and documented any action and developed themes. Louise, your outside perspective and expertise during the de-brief really helped us develop the plan to move forward.”

Based on the feedback, we definitely learned a few things to improve next time:

  • We could have been more rigorous on how we wrote our Measure Descriptions in the advance slide deck. It would have provided more clarity on the details of each actual measure as participants reviewed the potential measures
  • There were so many comments about not understanding the result we were using and what it meant, and this provided us great direction on our post-gallery actions. We learned we really have to answer “what are we trying to achieve” in this specific situation, and not just assume an existing result will work
  • On a process note, we would have sent the Google Doc slide deck out 24 hours in advance, not just 2 hours
  • We would have not allowed participants to send private messages. Next time, participants will be able to send messages to (1) Everyone for comments and questions or (2) Host if there was some kind of technical issue

Actions we took:

  • Created a new result (and are considering adding another result) that better reflects what the COVID response team needs to achieve, and, therefore, measure well
  • Narrowed down from 5 potential measures to 2 measures we will take to Step 5, and one more measure to explore
  • Developed Measure Descriptions that follow the Measure Description “recipe” provided by PuMP, before we move to Step 5 Measure definition.

“It was such pleasure to be part of the TMO’s Virtual Measures Gallery. I commend Sarah, Alex and Jacob because it takes courage to try new things! Alex and Jacob displayed excellent “PuMP-aligned” hosting skills, fielding so many questions and comments over a relatively short period of time, considering there were 5 potential measures to review. Sarah, once again, showed tremendous leadership in continuing to deploy the PuMP steps for designing and using better KPIs! I am excited to see your final measures that will help your organization respond as your industry emerges from the current crisis.”

Louise Watson
PuMP Licensed Partner for North America