Specific: I find that it’s imperative to be “specific” when it comes to goals and especially objectives. Not only is this extremely important to those developing and following a marketing plan, unless you “specify” exact goals and objectives, it makes it nearly impossible to engage and track the communication plan. A general marketing statement would be something like, “attract more visitors to website. A specific statement would be, “During each quarter during calendar year 2016, increase visitors to health.mil by 5%. Making your goals and especially your objectives specific–translates in eliminating confusion about whether or not you’ve accomplished the goals via your objectives.
Measurable: Not being able to measure goals certainly makes it next to impossible for me to provide viable reports to my supervisor as well as other stakeholders. Also, I can’t make any conclusions that a program is successful unless I have set measurable goals.
Attainable: Continuing from the “measureable” topic, it’s no use setting a goal that would be too hard to reach. Sometimes you’re going to undershoot, or even overshoot goals but hitting that sweet spot will come in time. The key is that you’re at least attempting to make realistic improvements. You also have to take into consideration what type of budget, resources, manpower and time allotments you have to support the plan. I recommend to always beginning a goal on the lower side until you can see how the operational tempo is working in lockstep with goals and objectives so you can make needed adjustments.
Relevant: This is where you need to be heavily involved and informed on overall business goals. It does no good to have a lofty goal that really has little impact on you company’s bottom line. This is where your reputation and relevance to the executive team can be a make or break.
Timely: This is just ensuring that goals need to have a time frame associated with them to leave no room for ambiguity. It also enforces accountability. I think I mimic what many other communication managers do and go with quarterly as well as overall annual goals and objectives.