Much scholarship has been devoted to identifying barriers that prevent the advancement of communication measurement and evaluation. This research focuses on the characteristics, objectives, and practices of chief communication officers (CCOs) with successful measurement and evaluation programs. Three key dimensions of practice emerged from in-depth interviews: communication executives’ measurement practices and evaluation programs were used to adjust communication strategies; were aligned with other business units; and were integrated with business priority plans. Interviewees also focused on the ability of communication measurement practices and evaluation programs to provide insights for executives, to align communication with the work of other business units, and to connect the organization with the outside environment and stakeholders. This study extends strategic communication scholarship by discussing how overcoming barriers and advancing measurement and evaluation work relates to roles adopted by organizational leaders. This article also offers a preliminary, scalable maturity model that aids in the development, formalization, and optimization of strategic communication measurement and evaluation. This study demonstrates the capacity for communication evaluation to overcome perceived barriers, realize appropriate stature with organizations, and grow communication functions accordingly.
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Our research team appreciates a grant from the Institute for Public Relations that helped support research expenses.