Monday, November 30, 2015

Free Webinar: Finding the Communication Model That’s Right for Your Organization

Join FCN on Thursday, December 3, 2015 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. EST for a free webinar!

Communication programs work best when they mirror the design of the organization they support. The trouble is that large organizations are not monolithic. While the corporate mothership might describe itself one way (such as decentralized or agile), there are always exceptions scattered throughout the organization. Failing to account for these differences often results in communication planning and delivery processes that are frustrating mismatches with the organization they aim to support.

In this webinar, Jeff Brooke will present an approach to thinking about organization design referred to in management science as loose coupling. He will explain this concept, the three major types of organizations it describes, and offer tips on how to spot each one. Jeff will then present communication program models that correspond to each type of organization and provide a case study to illustrate the concepts. Participants will be able to explore and discuss how their organization and communication programs fit into the framework.

After your request has been approved, you'll receive instructions for joining the meeting.
Can't register? Contact support.

About Jeffrey Brooke, Principal, Organizational Communication & Change Management:

Jeff Brooke is a principal with the MITRE Corporation, a large not-for-profit research institute, where he advises government executives in organizational change management and communication. His recent projects have involved inter-organizational change readiness and stakeholder analyses to devise communication programs for organizations experiencing major change.

A 23-year veteran of organizational change management and communication, Mr. Brooke is also a senior lecturer in Northeastern University’s graduate program in corporate and organizational communication. He also helped co-found FCN in the early 1990s.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Creating “Must-See” Federal Agency Content: 28 Tips From The Pros

by Dannielle Blumenthal, Associate Director for Communications Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office

On October 21, 2015 the Federal Communicators Network (@FedCommNetwork) and the Partnership for Public Service teamed up for yet another great training event. This one focused on an issue that is obviously critical to federal agencies and their communicators: how to get your audience engaged with the information you want to share.

The event was kicked off by Samantha Donaldson, Communications Director at the Partnership for Public Service (@RPublicService), and moderated by FCN Board Member and Department of Agriculture employee Bernetta Reese (@bernettareese). The distinguished roster of panelists included:

(l-r) Bernetta Reese, Mimi Carter, Michael Cirrito, Ann Ramsey, and John Verrico
The panel was followed by a small-group discussion yielding additional insights from each of the approximately 50 people in attendance. Interestingly, although the professional backgrounds of the group diverged widely, a number of common themes emerged:

Remember the Basics
  1. The focus should be on genuinely useful content; don’t ask for feedback on “which dog picture you like best.”
  2. Have a clear goal in mind. Often we communicate without actually knowing why.
  3. Market your agency’s services, not the agency itself.
  4. For the most part, government communications should be tailored to raising awareness; private sector methods aimed at acquiring paying customers may not apply.
  5. Avoid thinking of content as an expense; it’s a benefit to your agency that helps you to achieve the mission.
  6. Remember that you’re competing with every other source of information out there, government or not.
Avoid Common Mistakes
  1. Don’t put something out because your agency wants to hear itself talk.
  2. Negative feedback can be uncomfortable, but if you refuse to engage in any conversation then the conversation will happen without you.
  3. Do everything possible to eliminate the content silos in communication.
  4. Don’t be afraid to share content that others create. It’s not about ownership anymore. The more partners you have, the more likely it is that your message will spread.
  5. Don’t let anyone tell you that the government is inferior when it comes to communication. There have been government campaigns legendary in their effectiveness. (The CDC set the gold standard with its “zombie apocalypse” campaign generating awareness around fighting the flu. If they can do it, so can you.)
  6. Don’t give up. It takes time for a strategy to work and you never know which piece of content will be picked up.
  7. Don’t be afraid to be interesting. Begin with something that seems “simple” (like the TSA Instagram account) as a way of drawing users into your more complex mission and services.
Focus On Success
  1. Assess whether you’ve been successful or not. Don’t just keep going without taking stock.
  2. Measure not just views, but how long people are viewing and more importantly, whether they take action based on the content you are offering.
  3. A proliferation of social media tools may be exciting, but they’re more of a liability than a benefit if they aren’t kept up. Consider offering fewer channels with greater focus on each one.
Convince the Boss
  1. Empower leadership to do great content by focusing on small, achievable wins that will generate great feedback.
  2. Find out who leaders respect and show how your planned best practices are similar to theirs.
Do The Hard Work
  1. Figure out how people actually reach your content - do the best you can to draw a user map.
  2. Always have the video camera ready. You never know where the next good story will come from. Be prepared to spend significant time on finding good content.
  3. Make sure your content offers a similar message across different communication channels. this means paying attention to all the content your agency is putting out.
Consider Who’s Listening
  1. Differentiate between your different audience segments; each of them will perceive your communication differently. Speak to them in words that makes sense to them.
  2. Avoid using jargon - keep language simple, common, plain English. You are the human face of the government.
  3. Subject matter experts may not be fully aware of how the receiving audience will perceive a message.
Above All, Be Human
  1. Don’t be afraid to go “old school” - pick up the telephone to make connections.
  2. Trade shows and other in-person events are a great way to reach out to the public and form the kind of connections that can’t be made over social media.
  3. Remember that the outreach you do puts a human face on the government - keep it real.
  4. Use crowdsourcing tools internally that help you decide which areas to focus on and put out to the public. Employees know what the public wants and needs to hear.
For more information and to watch the video, visit the Partnership for Public Service on Vimeo. To join the Federal Communication Network, click here. Membership is free and open to federal communicators and contractors with a dot-gov email address.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

FCN/FICM Intranet Best Practices Webinar Recap

By Mia Drane Maury, writer/editor, U.S. Geological Survey

The task of building and maintaining an agency-wide Intranet might seem daunting, especially if you lack a Web background. Luckily, six Intranet gurus were on hand for an interactive webinar to share their tips for successfully developing and running internal sites. The six speakers provided insight into the how’s and why’s of their Intranets and demonstrated their sites’ structure, functionality, and ease of use.

Noha Gaber (director, Office of Internal Communications, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) led off with a presentation explaining how the EPA uses SharePoint to help employees collaborate. Cheryl Thompson (website manager, communications and public liaison, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) continued with an in-depth description of “The Junction,” which uses a blend of Percussion and Cold Fusion to provide NIEHS employees with a comprehensive yet customizable web hub, complete with applications and a system for sharing and archiving important announcements.

Franklin Bradley (internal communications manager, Architect of the Capitol) and Aubrey McMahan (internal communications specialist, U.S. Geological Survey) both focused on how user-friendly their respective Intranets are. Franklin demonstrated a navigation scheme that groups content by purpose and allows users to access information more intuitively. A “What’s New” section hosts news and updates while an “I Want to Use…” section lists links to sometimes-ambiguous portals accompanied by a description of what each portal does. Aubrey guided webinar viewers through the USGS’s “@The Core” Intranet and explained how the WordPress content management system allows information to be broadcast to specific channels and updated universally in real time. Aubrey also demonstrated a sidebar navigation design that encompasses most of the site’s functionality within a small footprint.

Alison McCauley (web developer contractor with n-Link for the Department of Commerce) and
Alec Minor (Web services branch chief, communications division, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis) shared their experiences with functionality. Alison explained the flexibility built into the DOC’s fully responsive, Drupal-based Intranet. Not only are page layouts designed with reusability in mind, but pages can be customized for seasons and holidays—among other things—while maintaining their cohesive look. Alec walked participants through BEA’s Intranet, which features icons that resemble those of touch-screen devices and that very simply convey their purpose. He went on to explain several features of BEAnet, including the online-based workflow system used for approving content; employee profiles; and an administrative services section that helps simplify tedious tasks.

All together, the six presenters provided a great starting point for those interested in developing their own Intranets and shared great tips for current Intranet managers. Webinar content—including a recording of the event, slide decks, screen shots, and an FAQ—will be available soon. Post any follow-up questions to presenters in the comments section of the FAQs.

A big thank you to everyone who attended, to our presenters, and to FCN and the Federal Intranet Content Managers for co-hosting the event.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

FCN Offers Free Webinar "Intranet Best Practices: Employee Engagement, Ease of Use, and Shared Functionality"

Do you play a role in the design and development of your agency's intranet and wonder what your system is lacking? Do you wish you could get a glimpse into the way other agencies run their site? Here's the opportunity you've been waiting for!

Join FCN for a free webinar on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, from 11:00 to 12:30 p.m. ET on Intranet Best Practices: Employee Engagement, Ease of Use, and Shared Functionality.

This event, co-hosted by the Federal Communicators Network (FCN) and the Federal Intranet Content Managers (FICM), is your chance to learn from six outstanding intranet managers as they demonstrate their internal sites. Our speakers will give you the sneak-peak into the structure and features they've developed for their site to make it easy-to-use, the functionality they've worked out with their agencies' other collaborative systems, and how they use their intranet to drive employee engagement.

Register for this event today! After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Employee Engagement

Noha Gaber
Director, Office of Internal Communications
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Cheryl Thompson
Website Manager, Communications & Public Liaison
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Ease of Use

Franklin Bradley
Internal Communications Manager
Architect of the Capitol

Aubrey McMahan
Internal Communications Specialist, Office of Communications and Publishing
U.S. Geological Survey


Alison McCauley
Web Developer 
Contractor (n-Link) for the Department of Commerce

Alec Minor
Web Services Branch Chief, Communications Division
Bureau of Economic Analysis 

Friday, May 22, 2015

When Building a Brand, Trust Your Mission and Your Employees

By Aubrey McMahan, internal communications specialist, U.S. Geological Survey

At first thought, launching a successful branding campaign sounds like a big undertaking: you may ask yourself, would my office require special staff? Special funds? Special resources?

Not necessarily so. A panel of experts in strategic and executive communications sat down with FCN at the Partnership for Public Service to discuss their approach to building a successful branding campaign (as well as defining the audience for their campaign).

The Panelists (l-r): Dave Hebert (U.S. Geological Survey, moderator), Suki Baz (National Park Service), Bill Walsh (AARP), and Dannielle Blumenthal (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
Here's what we uncovered:

Threading your mission throughout your agency’s branding is key. Your agency’s mission should be driving everything you and your employees do. Campaigning a brand is no exception. The first trick to having a brand that will “stick” is developing a message that truly conveys your mission or acts as an extension of it.

For example, AARP’s Director of Strategy, Planning and Executive Communications Bill Walsh shared some of the branding challenges that his company has faced: namely, that AARP is not just for retired people. To help overcome this misconception (largely attributed to the organization’s original name), it has re-branded itself to stress the “RP” in “AARP” as “Real Possibilities.” With products and services that provide benefits to more individuals than just the retired crowd, AARP has been deliberately catering to these larger audiences in its re-branding effort. Advertising things like career assistance, the organization is helping its wider audience see the “real possibilities” AARP’s mission is committed to delivering in people’s lives.

Success is often seen by building your brand from the inside out. Begin your re-branding campaign internally, and your communications team won’t find itself alone in its external outreach efforts. Focus first on getting your employees on board and living by the brand, and they will emulate it through their enthusiasm for the work they do. In short, an agency full of committed employees means a complete cohort of brand ambassadors.

National Park Service (NPS) Employee Communications Specialist Suki Baz describes her agency’s park rangers as a perfect representation of these brand ambassadors. Most of these employees sought employment with NPS because they were so passionate about the lands that they preserve and protect. Often donning the well-recognized Eisner hat, these uniformed rangers have become symbols and ambassadors of NPS’s mission because the delight they feel for the places they share with the public rubs off on the visitors with whom they interact. Which brings me to the last point...

Provide quality service, and this will shape your agency’s brand. This last remark seems to go without saying, but too often it seems an organization can get caught up in developing a clever strategy to sell its brand when the solution may be much simpler: your organization should continue to do what it does well, and do it better. Your customers will appreciate the good experience that your employees provided them, and they’ll remember it.

According to National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Office of Advanced Manufacturing Associate Director for Communication Danielle Blumenthal, “a brand is a living dynamic thing that is changing all the time. It’s a relationship between you and your audience.” Entrust your employees to represent your agency during their interactions with the public (they’re brand ambassadors, remember?). By providing good customer service, your employees are positively influencing your audience’s opinion of your agency, and thereby influencing the brand.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sanjay Gupta, MD on Effective Communication: “You do these things because you hope they make a difference”

By Maya Vemuri, bilingual information specialist at JBS International and former communications intern for the Office of Communications and Public Liaison at the National Institute on Aging

Recently, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, acclaimed neurosurgeon, university professor, and medical correspondent for CNN, led a talk on the subject of medicine and the media at the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. Although Dr. Gupta is much admired for his skill in the field of medicine, his talents in the area of journalism and media have also earned him much praise and attention from the public, worldwide. For this reason, Dr. Gupta has proven to not only be an example for those in the medical field, but those in the area of communications, as well.

Throughout the talk, Dr. Gupta emphasized the significant role that communications has in influencing people. He likened the worlds of medicine and media, stating that they are both ways to educate people, there is a tremendous impact to both, and credibility is a big part in both. He stressed how this influence can be especially important when communicators are dealing with facts, as the manner in which a communicator presents such an issue can do a great deal to either reassure or frighten the public- depending on how the material is presented. “You do these things because you hope they make a difference,” he said, emphasizing the enormous influence on the public that a communicator can have. Most of all, Dr. Gupta called attention to the importance of creating knowledge through skillful use of communication.

Reaching one’s audience can be, as Dr. Gupta pointed out, tricky at times, but essential in getting one’s message out. Some of the tips for effective reporting he shared were:

  • Make sure you use the right language. Know who your audience is, and don’t go over their heads. If you keep the language simple, you won’t lose any of the people you are trying to reach.
  • Make sure there is a takeaway lesson. You want your audience to feel drawn in by the material you are presenting. When they finish listening to your presentation or reading a report you have written, it is important that they feel it was worth their time.
  • Reports have to be short. Reporting, especially within the scientific field, is difficult, mainly because media is “shrinking”. Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook urge users to share messages in short formats, so often times, you will have to catch the attention of your audience in a few short phrases to get them to read the larger article. 

Dr. Gupta also addressed some questions on important topics in the world of communications. Considering his experience and success as a correspondent, the following ideas Dr. Gupta expressed should certainly be taken by communicators everywhere, regardless of the field they work in:

  • How do you determine what makes a good story? Dr. Gupta’s opinion was that there are three ways you can determine this: if the story affects a large population (in general), if it affects a small population (deeply), or if it has a “gee whiz” quality. If you are still unsure of what makes a “good story”, Dr. Gupta’s recommendation is to go with your gut feeling. Ask yourself if it feels important to you: looking at it as a viewer, not a researcher or scientist, would you be interested? If so, perhaps you should follow it.
  • How has reporting changed? How will it continue to change? Returning to the idea of “shrinking” media, communicators now are often forced to reach out to their audiences through shorter messages, often through social media. Dr. Gupta partially attributes this to shorter attention spans and the barrage of information that exists today. While we don’t know how communication methods will continue to evolve, it appears that it will follow this pattern; thus, conciseness and good word choice are key.
  • Is the desire for knowledge going to be the same in the future? Although the demand for knowledge and the collective IQ of developed nations has increased over time (a phenomenon called the Flynn Effect), it appears to have plateaued recently. Dr. Gupta expressed his fear that the collective IQ of nations such as the U.S. will not only remain at the current level, but indeed, decrease in the future. This could affect the way in which communicators present material, as well as the material that the general public considers “relevant.” For this reason, Dr. Gupta urged communicators to consider the role of influence they have, and try to use their skills to choose topics that would promote an increase in the desire for knowledge again.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Free Training Event: Building an Agency's Brand and Defining the Audience

By Aubrey McMahan, internal communications specialist, U.S. Geological Survey

This month the Federal Communicators Network and the Partnership for Public Service bring a valuable discussion on agency branding and audiences to you, free of charge.

The event will take place on Wednesday, May 20, 8:30-10:30 (EST) at the Partnership for Public Service in Washington, D.C.

Register to attend in person (the event can be viewed via livestream for those outside the D.C. area. Look for link on webpage above).

We are honored to have David Hebert, internal and audiovisual communications chief for the U.S. Geological Survey, moderate a panel of guest speakers who are experts in strategic and executive communications from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Park Service, AARP, and more!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Communicators Network and Socialize in Our First “Mix and Mingle” for 2015

By Cori Bassett and Deb Harris, FCN Co-chairs
Thank you to all who came out to the FCN networking and social hour last night at Gordon Biersch Brewery! We had a great turnout with over 100 RSVPs from 40 different government agencies as well as the private sector. 

We enjoyed a cheerful evening as we talked with returned Peace Corps volunteers, members of the Inspector General community, college students and graduates who came out to learn more about the work we do in government, and many, many others.

Thank you all for sharing your backgrounds, work stories, and ideas. We hope you were able to make valuable new connections.

And special thanks to FCN’s External Relations and Outreach Coordinator Bernetta Reese for organizing the event! We hope to see you again at the next one!

Monday, April 6, 2015

FCN Networking and Social Hour Wednesday, April 22, 2015

By Bernetta Reese, events and outreach coordinator, Department of Agriculture

The FCN leadership team would like to invite you to a networking and social hour from 5:30–7:30 PM at Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant (900 F St NW in Washington, DC) on Wednesday, April 22! This event is for socialgov, opengov, digitalgov, PR – all things communications – to get together for an informal and fun evening! We will have a private space at the Brewers Table to mix and mingle where beverages, drinks, and food can be purchased.

Please RSVP by April 20, so that we’ll know how many folks will be joining us and feel free to share this invitation.

Who Should Attend?
  • Communications professionals -- new and experienced -- all are welcome. 
  • Those looking to network with fellow communicators and govies. 
  • FCN members and anyone who would like to join. 
  • Fun people!
See you there!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Social Media is Customer Service

By Joe Flood, communications manager, National Weather Service

Social media is more than just sharing news. Social media is social. That means engaging with the public and answering their questions. Social media is customer service.

That was one of the interesting points brought up in the recent FCN forum, “Social Media: What’s the Right Strategy for Your Agency?” Social media managers from the VA, USGS, CIA and ICE discussed the challenges and opportunities of this medium in a panel discussion at the Partnership for Public Service.

Federal communicators probably never imagined that they would one day be in customer service. But, if you’re on Facebook or Twitter, then you’ve received questions from the public that need answering. How do agencies respond to this never-ending stream of inquiries?

Megan Moloney, Director of Digital Media Engagement, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, highlighted the work her agency has done with #VetQ/Veteran Question, a hashtag where veterans can get their questions answered on Twitter.  To get answers, all veterans need to do is tweet their question with the hashtag #VetQ.

And it’s not just the VA that responds. Other organizations such as Women Vets Connect respond to questions, typically on the same day. As one commenter stated, “The Vetwitter-verse out there can help!”

In addition, these questions are captured in Storify pages on frequently asked subjects such as benefits, jobs and insurance coverage. This web archive serves as a useful reference for veterans who aren’t on Twitter.

The U.S. Geological Service has a sense of humor, according to Scott Horvath, Bureau Lead for Social Media. He stressed the importance of having a human voice in social media (they make jokes about rocks) and employing a customer service team to answer questions from the public. Social media is not a one-person job. Nor is it a 9-5 occupation – he is on call 24/7 in case of emergencies (like an earthquake).

The moderator of the panel, GSA’s Justin Herman, pointed out that doing social media correctly could mean less traffic to your website – a good thing. Answering questions on Twitter (or, even better, having other organizations do it for you) means fewer calls and emails to your agency.

In summary, while you may not view your mission as customer service, you’re going to get questions from the public on social media.  Have a plan in place to answer them. Identify people in your agency who can help – or enlist your partners, like the VA does. Speak in a human voice, like USGS. Increase engagement and support for your agency by responding to the public.

Friday, February 20, 2015

FCN and Partnership for Public Services' Social Media Training Event Yesterday!

By Lisa Chesnel, writer/editor, Peace Corps Office of Inspector General

Thanks to all who participated in yesterday’s free training event (either in person on via the web) on social media, which was co-hosted by FCN and the Partnership for Public Service. The topic was Social Media: What’s the Right Strategy for Your Agency?

The panelists pictured below (l-r): Justin Herman (GSA), Carolyn Reams (CIA), Megan Moloney (VA), Kevin Downey (ICE), and Scott Horvath (U.S. Geological Survey). We’re incredibly thankful to the government’s best moderator, Justin Herman, whose thought provoking questions and dad jokes were worth braving the cold for.

The panelists answered questions about when their agencies decided to step into the online world, how they chose their social media, and why it was the right move. We also learned how they use their various outlets, including mistakes they’ve made, clever ideas for engaging with the online community, and what the future holds for their agencies in terms of social media.

If you enjoyed yesterday's event—spread the word! FCN and the Partnership for Public Service will be hosting another free training event in May, also at the Partnership for Public Service.

Stay warm.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Announcing the 2015 FCN Leadership Team and This Year’s First Free Training (where you can meet the team!)

By: Lisa Chesnel, writer/editor, Peace Corps Office of Inspector General

Hey folks. In December you elected me to the FCN leadership team! I wanted to thank you and let you know that I’m the new blogger for the team and I’d love your input–please contact me if you’d like to be a guest blogger! FCN posts are 500 words or less, on non-commercial topics of broad interest.

I also wanted to take the opportunity to let you know who else was elected and what role they’ve taken on:

  • Cori Bassett (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and Deb Harris (Defense Finance and Accounting Services), co-chairs 
  • Suki Baz (National Park Service), secretary/administration coordinator 
  • Latasha Blackmond (Citizenship and Immigration Services), social media coordinator 
  • Lisa Chesnel (Peace Corps), blogger 
  • Britt Ehrhardt (National Institutes of Health), membership development coordinator 
  • Aubrey McMahan (U.S. Geological Survey), training/workshop coordinator 
  • Bernetta Reese (Department of Agriculture), events and outreach coordinator 

We all hope to see you at the event below--

Social Media: What’s the right strategy for your agency?

Please join the Partnership for Public Service and FCN at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 19 for a conversation on finding the right social media strategy for your agency.


From Twitter and Facebook to Instagram and Tumblr, there are a wide-variety of social media tools available to help agencies communicate their missions and make their content more accessible. However, developing the right digital strategy for your organization is key. Hear from a panel of agency communicators who have launched and led successful social media efforts on how they chose their agencies’ online platforms, how they are using these tools and why developing a social media strategy for their agency was the right move.


Thursday, February 19
8:30 a.m. Networking and continental breakfast
9:00-10:30 a.m. Panel discussion and audience Q&A

Partnership for Public Service
1100 New York Avenue NW, Suite 200 East
Washington, DC 20005

Guest Speakers

Kevin Downey
Web Content Manager
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Justin Herman (Moderator)
Federal SocialGov Community Lead
General Services Administration

Scott Horvath
Bureau Lead for Social Media
U.S. Geological Survey

Megan Moloney
Director of Digital Media Engagement
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Carolyn Reams
Web Content Manager and Social Media Lead
Central Intelligence Agency

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Google Analytics Outreach Tips

By: Maya Vemuri, bilingual information specialist at JBS International and former communications intern for the Office of Communications and Public Liaison at the National Institute on Aging

When managing a blog, it’s important to keep track of visitor activity. Keeping an eye on your blog’s metrics can help you get an idea of current activity and public interest, as well as indicate how future outreach efforts should be carried out.

Here are five Google Analytics tools you can use to improve stakeholder engagement and outreach:

1. Pageviews

Pageviews are an excellent way to get an idea of how much traffic a page is getting, in terms of both single-visit guests and repeat-visit guests. With Google Analytics, you can look at pageview metrics in two forms. “Pageviews” account for total views, including multiple visits by individual guests. “Unique Pageviews” accounts for the number of visitors who visited the page, regardless of how many times they viewed the page in question. Together, both metrics can be used to see how large your audience is, and whether or not they are repeatedly coming back to view blog posts.

2. Heartbeat

The “heartbeat” is a great way to get a visual representation of a page’s traffic. The graph can be used to view one or two metrics different at once, including which pageviews, unique pageviews, average time on page, bounce rate, and percent of visitors who exited from the page (or site) after visiting the page in question. These metrics can be displayed by hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly averages, over a period of time, which you can adjust in order to get the numbers most relevant to your needs.

3. Time on Page

When looking at the metrics of specific pages, you can compare the amount of time visitors spend on, on average, on each page. The amount of time will vary based on post length (longer posts will often show longer visit time), but if you have an established post length, Time On Page can best be used to measure and compare visitor interest. Entries such as “Best of” highlights or summary posts that only link to other posts will likely have short times in comparison to other posts, due to their lack of content. However, you can compare posts to see which topics or authors are more popular among visitors.

4. Bounce Rates

Bounce rates are especially important when it comes to stakeholder engagement. By observing the bounce rate of a page and comparing it to that of different pages, you can get an idea of which information and posts promote visitor interest. Looking at both the topic and type of page while observing its bounce rate, you can get an idea if certain pages are encouraging users to stay on your site or if they lose interest after visiting that one page. A high bounce rate is not uncommon for blog sites, as many times guests will visit to read a single page, but placing links to related pages on your site when posting an entry can help lower the rate and promote further engagement.

5. Behavior Flow

A good way to monitor visitor engagement and pages of interest is through Behavior Flow. Through the “Behavior Flow” tool, you can see the order in which guests visit pages on your site, and on which pages they are leaving the site. There are a number of variables that can be included in the display to help add more information about the visitors to various pages on your site, including traffic type, medium, source, keyword, visitor’s city, and more.

These are just a few tips on how you can get a more complete idea of your visitor activity. By keeping an eye on metrics, you can see which topics attract more visitors, what times and days they’re more likely to visit, and which pages keep them on the site longer. You can then use the information you’ve acquired to hone aspects of your site and increase public interest!