For many, it’s time for 2020 budgeting, so it may be time to evaluate your marketing and PR goals for the upcoming year. Hopefully you’ve met 2019’s and are ready to celebrate, however, it’s important to stay forward-looking, and ensure that the goals you are setting for next year are substantive and will drive progress for the company as a whole.
It’s not enough to simply set a goal – the goal must be actionable, and it should be meaningful to the business. It takes collaboration and a lot of forethought to develop clear PR goals, but here are some tips to get you started.
Research and Work Backwards
First things first: Research. To formulate intelligent, actionable, and measurable goals, you need to first identify the desired outcome. It’s not enough to just say you want more media impressions – especially because sheer numbers won’t always translate to meeting your goals. People can read your article, but if they aren’t your buyer, then the impression is moot. Be strategic – do you need to increase impressions in a desired demographic or specific market? You need to conduct research to develop insights that can inform your annual goals – this will likely require collaboration with sales and marketing.
Once you’ve developed your research-driven insights, you can take a look at where you want to see the business at this time next year. Do you need to achieve a greater market presence? Drive sales? Capture share of voice? Great. These are your business results, outcomes or objectives.
Now that you have these, you can work backwards to connect the dots.
Put a Plan into Action
The next step is making plans on a step-by-step level. Think about how to leverage PR in every aspect of marketing. For example, if you need to capture a share of voice, your goal might be something along the lines of, “Drive a 25 percent increase in social engagement via thought leadership and earned media.”
The key is to make the goal actionable and measurable. But don’t confuse actionable goals with tactics like, “Write 10 more press releases.” That is simply part of a larger strategy, not a goal, and can turn into wasted time.
The last step in developing annual goals is to get buy-in from leadership. By linking business outcomes and your PR objectives, you’ll demonstrate the value of setting actionable PR goals. This ensures you’re given the resources needed.
So to summarize, the key to developing annual goals is:
- Research the business situation
- Develop insights based on research that can help inform your overall business outcomes
- Determine your objectives
- Connect the dots of how PR can help produce your desired business outcome
- Get Buy-in from leadership to ensure you’ll have the resources to achieve your goals