Here I am with blog number six, and already half way through the school summer holidays. It is hard to believe that only three weeks ago we had a glorious six weeks ahead of us and now half of it has gone, but don’t dismay we’ve not wasted it away, we approached the school holidays like we do with most things, we had a plan.
Our plan was simple, it had a goal – to have lots of fun doing things and visiting places each week.
The objectives were simple – using the letters of the alphabet we had to identify places to visit, or undertake activities. Our objectives were measurable – as they should be. We simply typed out the alphabet and recorded activities and visits under each letter along with evidence (dates and photographs) of us meeting our goal – having fun.
We weren’t aiming to do the letters in order and it didn’t matter if we did some letters more than once.
Thanks to the plan we’ve done research! We’ve looked into options of activities and places to visit that meet the objectives. We are not just randomly rambling around (although that can sometime be fun in this context).
So three weeks in we’ve been Zorbing, Bike riding, Inflatable jumping and Pottery Painting along with visits to the Eden Project, Clumber Park, Yorkshire Wildlife Park and the National Railway Museum.
We are having fun, we are reaching our goal, using our measurable objectives to get us there. We’ve also got others involved. Texts and emails keep popping through suggesting activities for certain letters and asking us how we are getting on, although I have to say my eight year old would not have classed the suggested W – for writing web copy – as meeting his ‘fun’ goal, but thanks to the client for the suggestion!
Without a plan, maybe we would have done some of these things, not all of them I’m sure, but some of them would have happened. What we wouldn’t have had was a structure or a measure in place.
Planning is so important, not just for summer holiday fun, but for communication and business. The strategy and planning phase is so important for any campaign and with a strong goal and measurable objectives in place communication professionals can deliver great results. Results that can be measured and evaluated and used to develop a more informed strategy and revised plan and so on.
So as we ponder X, V and Q, have a think about what you are doing, why you are doing it and do you have a plan to keep you on track?