How to Best Define Your PR Goals

When Greg Jarboe was the publicity director at Lotus in the early eighties, he had an idea that would enable the company to create excitement. The concept was a trade fair called Lotus Week that would feature product announcements, demonstrations and meetings between company leaders and leading customers.

But first he had to justify the program. “If I wanted to spend millions of dollars, I had to show what those dollars would buy,” Jarboe said. To do this, he wrote a publicity plan that projected sales and news stories that would be written as a result of the trade fair. The point is that he set goals. When Lotus Week was over, he could compare the results to the goals and see if the program was a success. Based on his plan and budget, the idea was approved. Lotus Week was such a success that the company has held the fair every year since, even though Jarboe is no longer worked for Lotus.

By setting goals, you can focus your publicity campaign, justify approval from management, and measure your publicity’s success.

Your publicity goals can be sales-oriented, financially-oriented, or even ego-oriented.

For example, publicity can:

  • increase sales
  • increase the price of company stock
  • make you famous
  • provide sales material in the form of reprinted reviews and articles
  • introduce or increase awareness of your product
  • lead to co-marketing and distribution arrangements
  • create opportunities for strategic alliances
  • attract suitors to buy out your company
  • create visibility overseas
  • make your product an overnight sensation
  • make an established product look new
  • make a new product look established (not old!)
  • make people aware of your special event, news item or promotion
  • make you look so good, your boss promotes you.


Template to Use: Worksheet – Goal Setting