Communication goals

STEP 1 : Overall strategy

What for?

Any communication operation must start with defining your goal:
What do you expect from your communication efforts?

This is the very first step you have to take, and it must be very clear for you as it will define your entire communication strategy. You may have several objectives to reach; in this case you will just have to make sure that your communication strategy takes them all into account.

It could be something general:

  • Raising awareness about a particular issue – i.e. achieving the EU 3x20%
  • Promoting an organisation, an event – i.e. the Covenant of Mayors Club, the Covenant of Mayors Ceremony.

Or more specific:

  • Make people come to an event – i.e. increasing the number of registrations to the Covenant of Mayors Ceremony
  • Make people give their opinions – i.e. responding to a survey
  • Make people join your organisation – i.e. joining your National Covenant of Mayors Club!

To whom?

Once your objective is set, you will have to define your target audience:
To whom do you wish to deliver your message?

“Telling everything to everyone” is a very time-consuming and inefficient method. It is very important to define your main target(s):

  1. From a qualitative point of view (define a profile)
  2. From a quantitative point of view (you must be able to at least get an estimation)

Examples of target:

  • Journalists
  • Partners
  • Potential partners, i.e. energy agencies, stakeholders in the Covenant of Mayors, professional associations, etc.
  • Co-workers
  • Citizens engaged in sustainable matters


What is the message you wish to deliver?
Your message is clearly linked with the objective of your communication efforts.

There are 2 types of message:

  • Informative messages: You provide information. It is a real, neutral message. Informative messages should deliver the simplest and the most important pieces of information first, then the complementary ones.
  • Argumentative messages: This type of messages aims at convincing. To do so, you may have to elaborate arguments with examples. The objective is to make the target audience react or think about it.


Informative message Argumentative message
“The United Nations declared 2012 International Year of Sustainable Energy for All” “Your actions and support can make a difference. Become a part of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.”*


Your message must be:

  • Clear – keep the main message short and go straight to the point –if needed you may develop explanations in a second time;
  • Different – what do we offer that others don’t?
  • Attractive – always make sure that your message is positive; emphasize the strengths and benefits for your target.

You may use facts, numbers and testimonials to support your arguments.

Example: WWF campaign for panda protection

What do they want people to do? >> Adopt a panda because they are endangered.
Fact to support their argument >> There are only 1,600 pandas remaining in the wild.

Project coordinated by Energy Cities,Supported by Intelligent Energy – Europe: for a sustainable future and ADEME