The aim of this chapter is to illustrate how effective goals and objectives work together to provide direction for a communication strategy. The chapter shows how communication goals and objectives are linked to those of an organisation’s business strategy.

In strategic communication, goals deal with reputation, relationships or tasks; objectives are measurable steps towards meeting the goal to which they are connected. Thus, goals are broad; objectives are precise, time limited, and written to bring about change. The chapter includes graphics that show how objectives work to do that, as well as a formula for writing measurable objectives.

Goal and objective setting for strategic communication is linked to business planning Time Horizons 2 and 3 and work on issues in an organisation’s non-market environment. Horizon 1 is generally to the domain of marketing communication which deals with bottom-line concerns in a market environment.

After reading this chapter, students should have a good knowledge of the specific roles of goals and objectives in a communication strategy and how they connect to later elements of a strategy. They should know how to write precise, measurable objectives and understand how these enable a proper evaluation of how well a strategic communication plan was implemented.