Setting Public Relations Objectives

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A successful public relations strategy depends on well-planned objectives. However, it takes more than just good public relations skills to plan good objectives. Here are some tips for setting effective public relations and marketing objectives.

1.) Be specific.

Perhaps the biggest mistake made by public relations professionals is setting broad, vague goals. Instead of striving to get more coverage in magazines, give yourself six months to get five feature-length articles in trade magazines that are targeted toward a specific audience. Set measurable objectives.

You should include factors such as quantitative amounts, dollars, and time limits in as many of your objectives as possible. Avoid qualitative terms such as “quality” or “enhanced” unless you have a specific, quantitative measurement system in place. Be positive.

When articulating your public relations objective, try to improve something positive rather than minimize something negative, i.e., improve client satisfaction as opposed to reduce client complaints.

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2.) Be practical.

Don’t set public relations objectives that are unrealistic or unlikely to be met.

3.) Assign tasks.

Break each public relations objective into tasks and assign an individual that will be responsible and accountable for the completion of that task. Create a pyramid of priority and sequence.

Again, break each PR objective down into smaller tasks. The bottom layer should include all of the tasks that must be accomplished first and the tip will be your final PR objective. Each “sub-objective” should be further ranked by priority and designated as essential or nonessential to the achievement of the final PR objective.

4.) Write your public relations objectives down.

Putting the PR objectives in written form will ensure clarity and uniformity.

5.) Make your public relations objectives official.

Whether it be through mandate from the CEO or by a more democratic agreement, make sure the written PR objectives in final form have been recognized by all as the final word.

This article, written by Ben Silverman, originally appeared in PR Fuel (, a free weekly newsletter from eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit:

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