We have dedicated this week looking at the concept of strategy and how its main elements – goals, objectives, tactics and KPIs – can be formulated so that they provide clarity, clear purpose as well as a more staighforward way of assesing effectiveness.

While we have defined terms we also noted the differences some of the disciplines informing this course bring.

We have concluded however that we will generally define strategy as a plan that lays out what one wants to do and how it will be achieved.

Strategy: What you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve it?

A good strategy relies on a good understanding of the business/communication environment. This includes both internal and external factors, competitors as well as the business itself. This will help strenghten your ideas and help you formulate better goals (goals are general, conceptual statements about what the business would want to achieve).


To be met goals will have to be “split” into smaller, more measurable statements that reflect your desired outcomes (or Key Performance Indicators – KPIs). Well formulated objectives should provide information on the target audience and the channels used, based on which both the tactics and the plan to implement them will be developed. Also, objectives and goals need clear verbs such as improve, support, change, maintain which, to a degree, give a sense of direction.

Goals can be related to reputation, relationship or task. Objectives are based on awareness, acceptance or action. KPIs are based on knowledge, presiposition and behaviour. Goals are more general. Objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART). Chaffey has some good advice on setting goals.

Now consider a mix and match:

Goals Objectives Outcomes
reputation awareness knowledge
relationship acceptance predisposition
task action behaviour

Remember, goals dictate objectives, objectives dictate tactics. The choice of channel comes last.

Here’s an example:

Goal: Reputation

Outcome 1: Knowledge

Objective 1: Create buzz for x client over the 3 weeks of the campaign

Objective 2: Increase positive associations of x client with y% at the end of the 3 weeks of campaign

The tactics and metrics associated with the client and campaign can be determined from here, the choice depending on the target audience and the USP of the client.

Remember that digital media can be used for a lot of purposes including sales, customer service, business intelligence and which can aid advertising, marketing, public relations and human resources efforts. The clearer you are with what you want to achieve from the start the easier it is to stay focused but also to monitor progress and measure effectiveness.


  • The Zero Moment of Truth (includes handook, videos and other useful resources)
  • Chris Brogan’s blog on social media strategy
  • Brogan, C. (2010) Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online, John Wiley and Sons, London. (Google Books preview available)
  • Safko, L. (2010) The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools, and Strategies for Business Success, John Wiley & Sons, London. (Google Books preview available)
  • Scott, DM., (2007), The New Rules of Marketing & PR, John Wiley, London. (Google Books preview available)



About Ana ADI

Professor of Public Relations/Corporate Communications @ http://www.quadriga.eu | Researcher | PR & Social Media Consultant | Fulbrighter

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