Ron Smith's Teaching Notes on ...

Goals & Objectives

Part of the strategy of developing an effective public relations or marketing commnication campaign is to articulate a cohesive set of desired outcomes: positioning, goals, and objectives. These, in turn, allow managers to plan and implement strategic campaigns by making decisions based on what should be done versus simply on what can be done.

Updated Summer 2011 as a supplement to Prof. Smith's textbooks,
Strategic Planning for Public Relations and Becoming a Public Relations Writer, (Routledge/Taylor and Francis).



... general statement of how an organization wants its publics to distinguish it vis-a-vis competition


Examples of Positioning Statements
- The leader that sets industry standards
- The most economical and best value
- The most prestigious, and worth the extra price
- A family-friendly restaurant
- The hospital preferred by women


... global statement of how an issue should be resolved


6 Characteristics of a Goal Statement
1. Rooted in organization's mission & vision of success
2. General & non-specific
3. Non-measured
4. Challenging
5. Attainable
6. Acceptable to management/client


3 Types of Goals
Reputation Management - enhancing image
Relationship Management - fostering connections
Task Management - accomplishing something


Examples of Goals
Reputation Management Goal
- Reinforce the school's image with potential donors
- Increase the company's reputation within the industry
Relationship Management Goal
- Promote better appreciation of the firm among potential clients
- Enhance the relationship between the company and its customers
Task Management Goal
- Increase public support
- Attract a sellout crowd




... specific statement of purpose for a public relations or marketing communication activity


10 Characteristics of an Objective
1. Rooted in goals
2. Focused on a public
3. Results-oriented
4. Explicit
5. Precise and measurable
6. Time-definite
7. Singular
8. Challenging
9. Attainable
10. Acceptable to management/client


We want our message
- to reach our publics ... awareness
- who will agree with it ... acceptance
- and act accordingly ... action


3 Levels of Objectives
- Awareness
- Acceptance
- Action

Note: A comprehensive set of objectives should include at least one in each of these categories


Awareness (Cognitive)
- Attention
- Comprehension
- Retention

Acceptance (Affective)
- Interest
- Positive/Negative Attitude (based on compliance, identification, internalization)


Action (Conative)
- Opinion


Examples of Objectives

- To have an effect on the awareness of senior citizens in Smith County,
specifically to increase their understanding of the advantages Upstate Health offers
(60% of senior residents within six months)

- To have an effect on the acceptance of senior citizens in Smith County,
specifically to increase their positive attitudes toward membership in Upstate Health
(30% within six months)

- To have an effect on the action of senior citizens in Smith County,
specifically to increase their patronage at Upstate health
(10% within six months; an additional 10% within a year)


Note 1: These levels are a hierarchy. Awareness objectives must be implemented before acceptance objectives, and those before action objectives

Note 2: Develop at least one objective in each level (awareness, acceptance, and action) for each public



How to Write an Objective

1. Objective for _____ (public)

2. To have an effect on ( ) awareness, ( ) acceptance, ( ) action

3. Specifically to ( ) create, ( ) increase, ( ) maintain, ( ) decrease

4. Specific desired result

w/ awareness: ( ) attention, ( ) comprehension
w / acceptance: ( ) interest, ( ) positive/negative attitude
w/ action: ( ) opinion, ( ) behavior

5. About ___________ (focus)

6. Performance level: ____________

7. Time period: _____________