Measurement: Know Your Goals AND Objectives

Finishing-line

Finishing-lineFor a moment, let's imagine that we're in a utopian future where you have the perfect set of measurement tools at your disposal: It's a breeze to see exactly what effect a tweet from an influencer has had on sales, or whether it was the topic or the quality of writing that earned your latest blog post more shares. Even in such a fantasy world, there are some people who would do little more with these insights than say "hm, interesting" and go back to business as usual. You may know some of these people, or even be one yourself: they are people who have not set goals and objectives.

Goals and objectives are two different things, as emphasized by Sandra Fathi, president at Affect, and Serena Ehrlich, director of social & evolving media at Business Wire. Whereas goals are broad, intangible and abstract, objectives are narrow, quite tangible and concrete.

Consider some everyday examples of goals and objectives you might set in your personal life:

  • Your goal might be to lose weight. An objective might be to lose 50 pounds by next June.
  • Goal: Be a better person. Objective: Do 200 hours of volunteering over 6 months.
  • Goal: Better work/life balance. Objective: Leave work by 6:00 p.m. every day this month.
  • Goal: Save money. Objective: Put $200 in your 401(k) every month.

Applying this concept to business, we can easily come up with some goals and objectives that the PR pro might set:

  • Goal: Increase awareness. Objective: Secure 20 articles in top tier publications (NYT, WSJ, Fortune etc.) in 12 months.
  • Goal: Strengthen analyst relations. Objective: Brief top 10 analyst firms and secure inclusion in 5 analyst reports by March 2016.
  • Goal: Increase share of voice. Objective: Compare media coverage of top 5 competitors on quarterly basis and increase from 10% to 20% in 18 months.
  • Goal: Generate leads. Objective: Increase subscriptions referrals from media sites by 50% by June 2016.

You can see how setting goals and objectives like these would not only give your PR efforts more focus, but totally change the way you look at measurement. Giving yourself a metric for success is the first step toward conquering the world.

To learn more about these and more measurement strategies, join PR News for the 2015 PR Measurement Conference, taking place in Chicago on November 18, featuring experienced communicators from Boeing, Exelon, AARP, General Mills, MasterCard, Medtronic and more.

Follow Sandra Fathi: @sandrafathi@teamaffect

Follow Serena Ehrlich: @serena

Follow Ian James Wright: @ianwright0101