Upgrade your communications potential through goal setting

We all know that we’re meant to set goals. It’s drilled into us from an early age, when we do goal setting at school – but oftentimes, it’s only when we hit the working world that the real value of goals become apparent.

Goals give us something to work towards – and something by which we can measure how successful we’ve been. They keep us accountable and ensure that we actually do what we are trying to do!

office plant stock imageYet for some reason, when it comes to telling our stories through PR, blogs, social media and other channels, we fail to set goals. Instead, businesses often try a spray and pray approach, trying anything and everything on the recommendations of others. Rather than leave it to chance, why not set some clear goals for your communications in order to get more out of them?

Start small

Many SMEs find telling their story scary because they don’t know where to start. We’re constantly bombarded with advice (okay, yes, we’re guilty of giving that advice too!) and many business owners just try to do everything at once. Instead of overwhelming yourself, set small, manageable goals to start with – for example, to post one blog post every fortnight until the end of the year.

Think about who you’re trying to reach, and how you’ll reach them

It’s a simple fact of life that not everyone will want or need our product or service. That’s why it’s so important to identify the kind of customers that you want to be working with, and creating goals that will help you get in front of them. Think about which publications, they’re reading, how they’re consuming media or how they’re making purchasing decisions. Then create goals that focus on getting into those places or helping solve those customers’ problems.

Measure for measure

How will you know if you’re achieving your goals if you’re not measuring them? From blogs to websites to social media, virtually every app and website has fantastic insight tools that enable you to know what’s working and what’s not. By checking in every week or fortnight on where you’re at with your goals, you’ll be able to see what’s working well, what needs to be adjusted for you to achieve them, and identify any issues that might prevent you from achieving them in advance. Measuring results also gives you insights into what your next goals should be.

death_to_stock_kashmir_big_cartel_5Don’t be afraid to change them up

Your goals don’t need to stay the same each month – the great thing about measuring is that you’ll see what is and isn’t working. Sometimes one channel of communication may just not be right for you! So if you’re consistently adjusting and not getting any better results, don’t be afraid to change your goals up and focus on achieving something different.

Above all though…

Link your communications to your business goals

Marketing or comms shouldn’t be a silo that exists outside of the main part of the business; it should be an essential tool to help achieve business objectives. So if your business goal is to increase your brand awareness, then your communications goal should focus on generating as much PR as possible. Or if your strategic objective is to develop a certain sector of the market, then your communications goals should focus on that sector.

Whatever the case, make sure your communications goals complement and help you achieve your business goals – and check that they’re always SMART (Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic, and Time Bound). With those two things in mind, you’ll find your communications goals are more than just “nice-to-haves” – they’ll be concrete things that you actually achieve.