After reading an article from the Harvard Business Review titled Every Business Owner Should Define What Success Looks Like, the team at Nexus has been toying with the question what does success look like for your business?

This question is a key consideration when grappling with complex communications strategies, where it can be hard for business and industry to pull out the strategy’s ‘Blackbox’ upon its conclusion and determine whether it was a success or a failure.

In light of this, here are our thoughts on what success is and how your business can execute a successful communications strategy.


Success may appear to be a subjective concept, but in practice it is a very simple thing to define, for example, success for a communications strategy is achieving your desired outcome through a concerted campaign of messaging and positioning.

However, that raises the question: how does your business achieve its desired outcome?

There are a number of underlying activities that your business can undertake to increase the likelihood of achieving your desired outcome, but setting of goals which align with your strategy’s aims and purpose is the most important activity that all businesses will carry out throughout this process.

That being said, what makes a good goal for an engagement strategy?


One Google search of ‘how to formulate goals’ and you will see that the internet is full of literature regarding the best way to formulate goals, including the Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (SMART) model which ensures the goals you set are realistic and measurable. You can read more about the SMART model for formulating goals here.

From the wide array of literature, there are three consistent themes that reverberate throughout all of them, good goals are clear, measurable and realistic.


Clear and specific goals are important as they outline exactly what needs to be achieved and does not allow for goals to be misconstrued and misinterpreted.

Incremental goals which are clear and precise will allow you and your team to effectively focus your efforts on the overarching goal which is to achieve the desired outcome.

For example, say your overall achievement is to change the public perception of your company, a clear and specific goal would be ‘We will execute a media campaign through print and television that is aiming to change the public perception of our company by highlighting the good work we do in the community.’


Measurability of a goal is amongst its most important qualities when trying to determine the success of a communications strategy. If a goal’s progress is unable to be measured, it becomes hard to determine your team’s progress to both the individual and overarching goal and you may continue to work to goals that are already completed.

Building on the previous goal example, to give it a measurable quality, you may be able to say ‘We will execute a media campaign through print and television that is aiming to change the public perception of our company by highlighting the good work we do in the community. To achieve this, we will have our first Op-Ed article about our work in the community distributed to relevant media outlets by the end of the month following.


Finally, the goals you set to achieve the desired outcome must be realistic with regards to the time, effort and resources that you and your business have to commit to a communications strategy.

If the goal you set is unrealistic, it may skew your teams perception of what the strategy aims to achieve and may lead to undesired results.

With an unhindered understanding of your desired and result as well as clear, measurable and realistic goals that reflect it in kind, your communications strategy will have all the right features to be successful.

At Nexus Public Affairs, we have an experienced team who are skilled at formulating and executing successful communication strategies for a range of clients who wanted to achieve a range of goals. Should you require these services for your business or industry group, please don’t hesitate to contact the Nexus team.