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Be a S.M.A.R.T. communications pro

By Katie Boyles

Axia Public Relations breaks down what it means to plan S.M.A.R.T.


Learn more about the improved version, the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. process.


Be S.M.A.R.T. with your communications methods.

Each of our clients has a personalized public relations plan. We collaborate with company marketing leaders to develop their communications for the quarter, year and future. We’re experts in planning and executing great strategic communications, and we know how to make them sharp and SMART.


And what exactly does SMART mean? We’ll break it down for you.


If you’d like help drafting your marketing and communications plan, Axia offers that service.

Goal = the reason for the plan

The goal states the overall purpose you want to achieve and answers, “WHAT is the overall problem?” The campaign goal should reflect the company’s needs; be a broad idea of what you want to happen; and define what behavior, attitudes, and opinions you want to foster in specific audiences. The goal comes from your research.


Objectives = the statements that emerge from the organization’s overall goals

The objectives answer, “WHAT do you want to accomplish?” Campaign objectives always include an action verb (e.g., to secure). Each should state one result you want to accomplish, and each should have measurable outcome, usually expressed as a percentage or final number.


What does S.M.A.R.T. stand for?

Each letter in the SMART acronym is an element that helps create the best objectives for an organization.

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable or Achievable

R = Results-oriented or Relevant

T = Timely


There are three types of objectives in a communications plan; each seeks a different result.

  1. Informational objectives: Designed to expose the audience to information and to increase awareness of a topic or issue; aims to educate and communicate the message

  2. Motivational objectives: Designed to change attitudes and opinions and influence behavior in the target audience; aims to modify the way people feel about an issue

  3. Behavioral objectives: These go along with motivational objectives and are designed to reinforce or change behavior and action; aims to ultimately change or reinforce behavior in an audience


Strategy is a rationale or method directed toward a goal.

Strategy answers, “WHAT is the big picture?” and, “WHY is it important?” It provides rationale for why you’re doing what you’re doing in your campaign. Each objective needs at least one strategy.


Tactics are actions that lead to achievement of the overall goal.

Tactics answer, “HOW are you going to do it?” They are strategy-specific communication tools that carry messages to your publics. Tactics are the actions and items that happen throughout your communication calendar.

Axia Public Relations creates comprehensive PR and communications plans for companies all the time. We’re happy to help you draft, review, and implement your communications plan. If your current public relations agency isn’t measuring and reporting its efforts, it’s time to fire your public relations firm and connect with Axia Public Relations, so we can help you realize and measure your success.

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katie-bio.jpgClients love Katie’s energy and enthusiasm. She works with local, regional and national clients coordinating their PR campaigns. Katie has worked with Axia Public Relations since September 2015. Learn more about Katie.



Featured image credit: 123rf.com

Topics: public relations, PR tips, crisis communications, corporate communications, earned media

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