Neville Hobson

Why your communication goal must be smart and measurable

As every communicator knows you start your communication plan with a measurable goal, one that lets you demonstrate whether or not the outcome of executing on your plan achieved the goal you established.

To be genuinely worthwhile, though, a goal needs to be much more than that. It also needs to be smart. Rather, SMART:

  1. Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
  2. Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
  3. Assignable – specify who will do it.
  4. Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
  5. Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

Here’s a simple example focusing on point 2, ‘Measurable.’

Instead of describing the goal of a paid advertising campaign on LinkedIn as –

During the campaign period, we expect the lead generation activity on LinkedIn to achieve a click-through rate of 4.8%.

…describe it like this:

During the campaign period, we expect the lead generation activity on LinkedIn to achieve a click-through rate of 4.8% compared to only 3.2% in the previous campaign, an increase of 1.6%.

If you have no previous comparison to make, then state your desired outcome as a benchmark:

During the campaign period, we expect the lead generation activity on LinkedIn to achieve a click-through rate of 4.8% that will be the benchmark for the next such activity.

The point here is to illustrate that your measurable goal is comparable that shows an indicator or intent of progress. Think of it as success or failure and being able to know.

For me, setting measurable goals is a prerequisite for measuring success in any communication activity. And I would argue that if your goal is not measurable, then there is no point in doing it at all.

While all of this is essential thinking for how you exercise your communication planning and execute your communication plan, it’s especially significant if you’re entering an awards contest such as the Global Digital PR Awards 2021 that, among other things, will judge best practice in communication management.

The deadline date for submitting entries is October 8, just over a month away. If you’ve already started planning, there’s good time to get your entries in, even for the early bird deadline on October 1.

If you haven’t yet decided whether to enter or not, the Awards website lists nine reasons why you should enter. I’ll highlight my top three reasons from this list:

  1. To celebrate the success of great campaigns or strategies
  2. To reward, celebrate and recognise your team
  3. To provide an opportunity to showcase the quality and standard of your work

As one of the panel of judges this year I’m really looking forward to seeing examples of great work that’s been happening during these past 18 months!

Entering is quite straightforward as there’s just one form to complete and you submit it online with the entry fee via the secure entry portal.

Why not get started today? Good luck!

#GlobalDigitalPRAwards

(Photo at top by Stephen Dawson on Unsplash.)

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