Identify outcomes that are realistic, i.e., attainable, within the context of communications activities and outcomes that can be
measured. Keeping outcomes reasonable within the scope of Communications means to promise only those things that can be delivered. For example, an agency goal may be to increase the number of licensed foster and adoptive families. While Communications is not responsible for licensing, training and conducting home studies, it can support this agency goal by working on recruitment efforts designed to increase the pool of available prospective foster and adoptive parents.
Moreover, realistic outcomes do not necessarily achieve goals outright, but may help reach objectives that promote the goal. In the example above, a realistic outcome for the communications plan might be to increase the number of people who access information regarding foster care and adoption on the agency web site. Another realistic and measurable goal may be to increase the number of people who call the agency seeking more information who say they were prompted to call after seeing information about the agency on the Internet. Both of these outcomes are measurable if the right systems are put into place.
Finally, measurable outcomes are most meaningful if baseline measurements exist or can be obtained. If an agency can tally the number of people using its web site or who call for more information and cite the Internet as the source for their information, it can measure whether communications initiatives captured in the plan are, indeed, improving those measures.