A SMART Start

We know you’re smart! But when you’re starting a project, campaign, or even a new year are the goals you are setting SMART?

Simply put, goals that are not SMART goals are not smart. SMART goals are a great tool to help you get the most out of your initiatives. SMART goals help to provide a strong focus and clear definition while helping to keep you on track and stay motivated. SMART is an acronym (yes, another one 😊) for smart, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

You can put SMART goals into action below where I took the example goal of “improve social media.” Each letter in the SMART acronym helps refine your goal by turning it into a strong, clear statement that will ultimately be more effective and attainable.

S – Specific

The key to a good goal is making sure it is specific. It is helpful to include action words and make sure that you answer the five Ws. Who, What, Where, When, and Why?

Original: Improve social media.

New: The City of _____  will improve social media engagement on Instagram.

M – Measurable

Measurable goals keep teams on track and provide a clear insight into what success looks like. By using quantitative data, we can see if we are making progress to accomplish our goals or if we need to make changes for success.

Original: Improve social media.

New: The City of _____ will improve social media engagement on Instagram by an average of 30%.

A – Attainable

A good goal is achievable, but not too easy. If it is too easy, you likely don’t need that goal. Depending on the goal, it may be good to look at analytics, workload, or upcoming projects to determine if the goal is attainable.

Original: Improve social media.

New: The City of _____ will improve social media engagement on Instagram by an average of 30% 10%.

R – Relevant

Goals need to make sense within the big picture. If the City is not currently on social media, a goal to improve social media wouldn’t make sense. If the City is currently not using a specific social media platform, like Facebook or Instagram, a better goal would be to research the benefits of and process of starting an Instagram or Facebook account. In this example, the City already uses Instagram, and improving engagement on this platform ties back to their strategic goal of improving communications with the audiences that use this platform.

Original: Improve social media.

New: The City of _____ will improve social media engagement on Instagram by an average of 10%.

T – Timely

Time is important for two reasons. You need to have time to work on the tactics that will help achieve the goal. Additionally, having a timely goal will help put a deadline on when it needs to be achieved by, whether it is a short-term or long-term goal.

Original: Improve social media.

New: The City of _____ will improve social media engagement on Instagram by an average of 10% in 6 months.

Some people like to create SMARTER goals. E for evaluated and R for reviewed. With all goals, it is critical that you evaluate and review your goals throughout the process.

Now it’s time for you to go out and create your own goals. Click here for a SMART goal template!

Whether personally or professionally, let me know what goals you are setting! If you need help developing or achieving your marketing and communications goals, connect with me on LinkedIn or send an email to taylor.corbett@ae2s.com.

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