Yearly business planning and goal setting usually means weeks of meetings, presentations to senior leadership and many rounds of revisions. For communications and public relations professionals, it also often means rounds of revisions, justifying requests for budget and resources and explaining how the projected ROI will support the business.
Creativity is at the heart of communications and public relations functions. Yet, it is important to align our plans to the goals of the business.
I remember well when a large, reputable PR agency team first presented to me their ideas for the upcoming year for one of my brands. They researched trending topics, influencer activity and culture trends before presenting me with their campaign centered around the use of a hashtag slogan. My question—”How will this support our new launches and focus on bringing back lapsed customers?”—sent them back to square one. In their effort to be creative, they neglected the business priorities, resulting in misused time, precious agency hours and money.
Goals, objectives, mission and vision are terms that are often used interchangeably. However, for the purpose of communication planning, a goal should be a restatement of a core problem or opportunity. An objective is an activity or effort that will help accomplish the goal.