Communication objectives always focus on knowledge, attitudes and behavior. They are very different from management objectives. Management objectives define the goals and targets of the policy, the organization or the project. In the case of my client they are e.g. well-informed decision making in the forest sector or providers and users maintain functional knowledge networks etc. When I read the communication strategy of my client, I see that they take the same objectives as communication objectives. They then summarize all target groups, messages and media. This way a strategy stays on a very generic and abstract level. It does not add any practical value to the organization.
The added value of communication is to analyze right from the start who has to change to reach the management objectives. This means to explore what the target group already knows, feels and does with regard to this issue. Establish the gaps in knowledge, the psychological barriers and the various concrete steps that would result in change of practice or action. On that basis you define the communication objectives. I gave my client an example what their first management objective would mean for the communication to a middle manager in a Forest Authority (click on the illustration to enlarge it). In Section 4 of the CEPA toolkit a communication strategy is explained in more detail.