Bad objective setting destroys campaigns, eats budgets and really racks me off.
I can still remember, when working for a well-known aid organisation, being told we wanted to get 100,000 people to surround Kingsnorth Power Station in protest at its climate-changing ways.
Lovely; 100,000 people huh? Why not 90,000, why not 110,000? Why? Because a senior manager, who shall remain nameless, had pulled said figure out of his arse. And then, on the basis of this Ladybird guide to project planning, he had earmarked £50k of donators money.
In the end we got just under a 1000 people, to the a garden fete in Essex. Yep, that’s right £50 per person. Go figure…’cos somebody oughta.
Or the gem of a WWF interview question that goes ‘we want to raise the CEO’s profile’. Yeh, right. For what reason? With what objective? By how much? To what end? Using what messages?
Well, they cried, ‘why don’t you give us a few ideas?’. Simple, have the CEO run down Pall Mall, butt naked, screaming God the Save the Queen and rogering a Panda in front of the palace gates. That’ll raise his profile.
No? Then let’s start with objectives. Specific, measurable, acheivable, realistic and timed – or SMART. Until you have intelligent objectives you are wasting time, money and resource – and, worse yet, you’ll completely bugger my blood-pressure.