This little gem comes to us via Richard Bangall -I saw his post on LinkedIn and just knew I had to elaborate and share this one. SMART/SMARTER are fantastic mnemonics to help Public Relations Professionals set their strategic goals- long or short term.
The SMART concept has been around since the 80s. Public Relations professionals who take the time to test their strategy against the SMART concept are more likely to meet and even exceed their goals because they are focused. Sounds straight-forward right? The big question is: Does your strategy measure up and pass the SMART test?
Simply stated: Set precise objectives.
A specific objective/goal should answer most if not all of the five “W’s”:
Who: Who is responsible and who is involved in this goal? VP of Public Relations, Public Relations Manager
What: What is it we want to accomplish? Placements of our CEO and Chief Researcher in WSJ & Wired
Where: Define the location of this goal where applicable. WSJ and Scientific American
When: This joins Specific with Time-Bound defined below.
Why: Define the purpose of this objective/goal and the benefits of achieving the desired outcome. Increase visibility of the brand and it’s leadership in top tier publications.
Simply stated: Can it be measured?
If a goal/objective can not be measured you should rethink if it is worth the time and effort of the team. Measurement of progress keeps the team on on target to achieve the stated goal/objective.
Simply stated: Is the goal/objective realistic?
Achievable goals/objectives live in reality and you should as well. Attempting to garner coverage in a media outlet with whom you have no relationship is not going to happen, unless your company does something super impact-full (smart or stupid). If you are a one man PR department can you really spend 70% of your day on one goal leaving everything else to take care of itself? Probably not.
Simply stated: Does this goal/objective have an impact on the business? i.e. Does it matter?
Goals/objectives that are relevant to the organization will receive recognition and support necessary to achieve them. Ask these questions to determine if a goal/objective is relevant:
Is this the right time to do this?
Does this align with the larger organizational strategy?
Does this align with the overall departmental strategy?
Is it worthwhile to pursue this goal?
Simply stated: Deadlines are necessary to Measure, Evaluate and Achieve goals/objectives. Defining time frames also gives the team a target to shoot for. From a management perspective people need to know where the finish line is to properly plan and assess priorities.
Simply stated: Determine the outcome.
This is where quantitative and qualitative measures come into play. By judging the significance of the goal/objective compared to the effort and time you can determine it’s worth. The quality of the outcome and it’s impact to the business or brand determine success. It will also uncover were refinement is needed.
Ask yourself: What is the significance of the goal that was achieved?
Simply stated: See Evaluate. Rinse. Repeat.
Re-Evaluation should be done to refine and repeat goals and objectives where applicable.
Management Review (November 1981) George T. Doran “There’s a S.M.A.R.T way to write management’s goals and objectives”