May Luncheon – The Past, Present and Future of Measuring Communications


There is a long and rich history of communications best practices, particularly techniques for communicating within an organization. Ways of measuring the effectiveness of such communication, on the other hand, have a less than robust history.

In this session, Kris Russell, a director of insights and analytics within Walmart’s Public Affairs Division who directly supports the internal communications teams, will discuss some of the challenges as well as opportunities for communications measurement in today’s environment. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are changing many aspects of daily life and communications measurement is no exception. The session will conclude with examples and demos of how tools such as Quid and IBM’s Watson are playing a role in driving communications analysis into the future.

  • When: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 18, 2016
  • Where: Tulsa Country Club, 701 N. Union Ave., Tulsa, OK 74127
  • IABC member registration fee: $25
  • IABC non-member/guest registration fee: $35
  • Student fee: $15

About Kris
Kris started working in Walmart stores in 1996. Since coming to the home office in 1999, he has held a variety of positions ranging from analytical leadership roles in loss prevention/asset protection, claims management and advanced project management in Walmart’s Innovations Division. Kris’s current challenge is to figure out how to effectively measure the cause and effect relationship between internal communications and Walmart’s business. Ultimate success is arming the communications team with the knowledge of what weapon to use to achieve a desired outcome.

Prior to taking on that challenge, Kris was the senior manager for Global Security’s Analytics and Insights team. He focused on travel and event security for Walmart’s top executives, monitoring for potentially disruptive activity and catastrophic risk research.

He recently completed the Naval Postgraduate School’s Executive Leadership Program in Monterey, California (one of only a handful of private sector individuals allowed to participate).  Kris has a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from the University of Arkansas and holds a variety of professional certifications and training including Six Sigma, statistical analysis and project management, to name a few.  Kris is active in his church and community, also sitting on the board of directors for his son’s daycare.

Meet a Member featuring Andrew Nestor

Title: Manager, Internal Communications

Company: Walmart

Why do you love your job? One of the parts of my job that I love is the responsibility of being a voice for associates. Our founder, Sam Walton, believed that our associates have great ideas, and that’s still absolutely true today. I love the challenge of bringing these ideas, thoughts and concerns to the business teams in our home office. Believe it or not, we don’t always get everything perfect.

How long have you been a member of IABC? Less than a year.

Have you ever served on an IABC Board? No.

What is the best IABC meeting/conference you have attended? Why? Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to take part in many, but I did enter work for a Bronze Quill for the first time this year – and won! All of the hard work and headaches was worth it.

How has IABC played a part in your professional development? It’s always nice to attend meetings and hear new ideas. Translating those ideas to suit your needs is a fun challenge.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? I love to cook. Absolutely love it. These days my wife and I started taking tennis lessons a couple of times a week. Small victories like keeping the ball in play for more than 10 hits gets me way too pumped up.

What’s your favorite vacation spot? I love going to South Korea. The food is absolutely amazing. You get a perfect balance of sweet, spicy and savory all in one bite. Also, the hiking is incredible if you’re into that activity.

Who is your favorite musical artist? Hard to pick a favorite, but I always love me some Earth, Wind & Fire.

Which website do you visit daily? Besides (our intranet)? Generally the NY Times and Morningstar.

What is your favorite restaurant? Before my wife and I moved to Arkansas we were living in NYC. We treated ourselves to Jean-Georges before relocating. It was, without a doubt, the best food I’ll ever have the privilege to eat.

What advice would you give to new communications professionals? Absorb as much as you can, while you can. Walk, don’t run toward your career ambitions. Stay humble while working your butt off.