March 2020

Begin with the End in Mind

One of the first goals for running a program or campaign is to achieve clarity about your objectives, or more specifically, the end you have in mind.

Any organisation looking for closer engagement from their stakeholders should be clear on what they are asking them to do. Complicit stakeholder behaviour could range from making a purchase to becoming a member, participating in a campaign, or signing a petition. 

What behaviour or action are you looking for?

Too many ideas or a lack of clarity will make it impossible to identity your target audience and answer key questions around project design. This is why we say ‘begin with the end in mind’. 

When you are clear on what you want your audiences to do, what behaviour you are looking for, you will be ready to explore four very important questions which will help you design your project:

  1. Who are our target stakeholders and are they a unified or diversified group? (E.g. a grassroots campaign may involve several audiences).
  2. What are the common values shared between them and your organisation, translated into language or messaging?
  3. What communication sources could we use to reach our target audience? (E.g. social media, mass media, community events, etc).
  4. What timing is involved in reaching this objective? (E.g. a longterm goal might involve changing hearts and minds, versus ‘low hanging fruit’ – motivating stakeholders positioned and ready to act.)

These questions relate to identification of: target stakeholders; shared values; effective communication options; and key timeframes. 

From this starting point, planning will be smoother. So be focused and begin with the end in mind!