Managers: A Key to Your Survival
Most business, non-profit and association managers live to tell about it only IF they achieve their operating objectives. Very little wriggle room there.
But among such managers are those who fail to do anything about the behaviors of those outside audiences that most affect their business, non-profit or association.
On top of that omission, they risk their careers by choosing to pursue their operating objectives without using the fundamental premise of public relations. Thus, they fail to produce external stakeholder behavior change leading directly to achieving those very same managerial objectives.
Then, despite the wonder of it all, they end up failing to persuade those important outside folks to their way of thinking and, finally, fail to move them to take actions that help their department, division or subsidiary succeed.
Wow! Why would any clear thinking manager operate that way? I don't know why. What I DO know is that they can start turning things around in a New York minute!
Best advice? Start with that fundamental premise of public relations mentioned above, because it's the action blueprint you need to reach your objectives. People act on their own perception of the facts before them, which leads to predictable behaviors about which something can be done. When we create, change or reinforce that opinion by reaching, persuading and moving-to-desired- action the very people whose behaviors affect the organization the most, the public relations mission is accomplished.
There's no end to the number and variety of results this process can achieve -- politicians and legislators starting to view you as a key member of the business, non-profit or association communities; prospects starting to do business with you; community leaders beginning to seek you out; fresh proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures; growing numbers of membership applications; customers starting to make repeat purchases; a welcome jump in sales floor visits; and even capital givers or specifying sources beginning to look your way.
Enlist the PR folks assigned to your unit and spend some time with them nailing down those outside audiences whose behaviors help or hurt you in achieving your objectives. Then list them according to how severely they impact your operation. For starters, select the audience in first place on your list.
I would guess that you have very little current input as to how most members of that key outside audience perceive your organization. Of course, these data would be available to you if you had been regularly sampling those perceptions.
If the budget isn't there to defray the cost of professional survey work, your PR team will have to monitor those perceptions by interacting with members of that outside audience. Ask questions like "Have you ever had contact with anyone from our organization?" And, "Was it a satisfactory experience?" And, "Are you familiar with our services or products?"
Your team must watch closely for negative statements, especially evasive or hesitant replies. Stay alert for false assumptions, untruths, misconceptions, inaccuracies and potentially hurtful rumors. When you find such damaging perceptions, they will need to be corrected, because experience shows they usually lead to negative behaviors.
The trick is to do something about such negativity before it morphs into injurious behavior. Which means you now pick the specific perception to be altered. Not surprisingly, that becomes your public relations goal.
Now, the reality is that a PR goal without a strategy to show you how to get there is like a meatball without a cheesy center. That's why you must select one of three strategies especially designed to create perception or opinion where there may be none, or change existing perception, or reinforce it. The challenge here is to insure that the goal and its strategy match each other. You wouldn't want to select "change existing perception" when current perception is just right, suggesting a "reinforce" strategy.
Good writing required here. Somebody has to prepare a really compelling message carefully designed to alter your key target audience's perception, as required by your public relations goal.
Be careful here. Combine your corrective message with another newsworthy announcement of a new product, service or employee, which may lend credibility by not giving too much emphasis to the correction.
As you might suspect, the message also must have several values. For example, clarity. Also, your facts must be truthful and your position on the inaccuracy must be persuasive, logically explained and believable if it is to hold the attention of members of that target audience, and actually move perception your way.
Now things get more relaxing. Namely, choosing the actual tactics you will use to carry your persuasive new thoughts to the attention of that external audience.
And there is no shortage of such tactics. For instance, radio and newspaper interviews, personal contacts, newsletters, letters-to-the-editor, brochures, press releases and speeches. Or, you might settle on group briefings, special events or facility tours, always making sure those tactics you select have a record of reaching the same audiences as those that make up your target stakeholders.
Sorry, but you will be queried about progress and will have to once again monitor perceptions among your target audience members. And with a line of questioning similar to that used during your earlier monitoring session. The difference now is that you must stay on the lookout for indications that audience perceptions are beginning to move in your direction.
But this is our lucky day. We can always expedite matters and speed up the process by employing additional communications tactics, AND by increasing their frequencies.
My experience has been that business, non-profit and association managers survive very nicely, thank you, when they sharpen their focus on the very groups of outside people who play a major role in just how successful a manager they will be - their key external stakeholders.
About The Author
Bob Kelly counsels, writes and speaks to business, non-profit and association managers about using the fundamental premise of public relations to achieve their operating objectives. He has been DPR, Pepsi-Cola Co.; AGM-PR, Texaco Inc.; VP-PR, Olin Corp.; VP-PR, Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.; director of communi- cations, U.S. Department of the Interior, and deputy assistant press secretary, The White House. He holds a bachelor of science degree from Columbia University, major in public relations. mailto:bobkelly@TNI.net. Visit: http://www.prcommentary.com
Advertising by textad.biz
Go Ahead, click an ad, you know you want to.
Publicity - The Right Media Person to Call for Free Publicity
You won't accomplish much if you call the gas company to ask about your cable bill. Make sure that when you call about your story that the reporter you are contacting is the right person.
Anatomy Of A PR Campaign
The message is determined by analyzing the brand being marketed, and doing so with clear vision and self-knowledge. Too many marketing executives rely on their own concept of the brand's identity, and never bother to discover what attributes the public has assigned to a product.
Are You Dissing Public Relations
If you leave a star player sitting on the bench, you could be the loser.Look at it this way.
Levines Laws For Pitching With Panache
Excerpted from "Selling Goodness- The Guerrilla PR Guide To Promoting Your Charity, Nonprofit Organization, Or Fund Raising Event"Whether you are making a pitch over the phone or in person, whether to a newspaper or magazine journalist or a reporter or producer in the electronic media, there are fundamental rules to follow. To some extent, they coincide with universal rules that apply to all human relations-courtesy, honesty, respect, integrity-but some of them are relatively unique to media relations, such as the advantage of having a topic that grabs by the collar and won't let go.
Is The Traditional Press Review Still A Business Tool Of The Future?
Press reviews are a common and basic feature for surveying the market situtation, your company's public image and the coverage of your competitor's business. Only if you are well-informed about theses topics, you can make sound business decisions.
Get PR Off the Bench
Something that results in your most important outside audiences doing what you need them to do should not be warming the bench.But that's exactly what's happening at organizations that allow their public relations people to play games with tactics like newsletters, press releases and brochures instead of aggressively pursuing the major benefits PR can provide.
Tough Times, Tough Tactics
When times are tough, it's no time to ignore those external audiences whose behaviors matter so much to your organization.In your own best interest, are you seeing to their care and feeding? I mean, if a certain group of outsiders behaves in ways that really help or hinder your operations, they do rate your attention, right?Of course they do! That's why we call them key target audiences, or publics.
Creating Your Online News Room: How To Build a Site The Media Will Love
From time to time, people ask me how public relations has changedduring the two decades in which I've been seeking publicity. Myanswer: technology.
Marketing-Minded Financial Planners, Its Not Who You Know But What You Know
Almost every day, I hear the same question, over and over, from motivated, well-meaning financial planners who want to use publicity in their marketing mix. It goes something like this:"Who do you know in the media? (Or, sometimes they frame it as, "Who do I need to know in the media?") Can you get me publicity?"My answer is always the same.
How To Get Zero Cost Publicity For Your Business Part 1
Would you like to expand the volume of your business? You can let thousands know about your service, your store, or your new product without spending a penny. Whether you want to make more sales or get an offer on television, you can broaden the scope of your clients by free publicity.
Publicity: Write a Letter to the Editor for Free Publicity
Ever wonder why papers devote a page or more to letters to the editor? Because subscribers love to read them!Letters to the editor are among a paper's most popular features, so getting your name underneath a letter can be even more valuable that being quoted in a news article.Letters to the editor can't just be about anything-they have to be related to the news.
Photographs - Ten Tips For Getting Good Shots
Photographs are essential for getting good publicity in the print media, especially magazines, newspapers, internal newsletters and even websites. Taking effective photographs often requires patience and practice but is a valuable skill to acquire.
The Three-Mile Radius
In last year's animated film Shrek II, a giant gingerbread man steps on a building and sends all the customers scurrying across the street. The name of the establishment they leave and the one they run into is "Farbucks" - poking fun at the fact that an unending stream of patrons appears willing to pay four bucks for a cup of coffee.
Dont Get Eaten Alive!
If you don't have a grip on public relations, how your most important outside audiences behave really CAN eat you alive.But that needn't happen, and for a simple reason: people like those who make up your key target audiences, act on their perception of the facts (like everybody else) which leads to predictable behavior, good or bad, about which something can be done.
Public Relations: Power Tool for the 21st Century
I address this article to businesses, associations, non-profits and public entity managers seeking a direct connection between the money they're planning to spend on public relations, and the achievement of their organizational objectives.We can save a lot of time - you and I - if we can agree on one point: I believe that deep down - and I mean DEEP down - most chief executives understand that doing something about the behaviors of their most significant external audiences can rank in importance right up there with increased sales and earnings.
Got Publicity? How to Become a Household Name
Are you working as hard as you can in your area of expertise? Are you implementing creative ideas? Are you valuable to your clients? And now the tough question: Does the public know about you? If you're like most business people, you answered "Yes" to the first three questions, and then perhaps hesitated on the last question and may have ultimately answered "No," or sheepishly said "Well, not as much as I'd hoped."Getting your name "out there" requires getting yourself "out there.
Writing a Press Release: Inverted Pyramid Style
A term you'll hear in newsrooms, in editing meetings, in Journalism 101, but almost nowhere else, is "inverted pyramid."The "inverted pyramid" style is the goal of every newspaper reporter, and, if you want free publicity, it should be the goal of your press release as well.
Media Relations - Ten Essential Tips to Use The Media to Market Your Business
In the 'Age of Scepticism' gaining media coverage is one way of cutting through the ever increasing noise to get your message across.Research shows the average consumer receives between 1500 and 3000 marketing messages a day.
Media Contact Lists and How to Build a Fantastic One
I got the latest issue of Internet Works in the post yesterday and was disappointed to find out that it's going to be the last. As well as having the good taste to run a feature on me last year (!) Internet Works has been a great source of information and ideas for me for the last couple of years and it's demise will leave a gap.
Attention PR Shoppers!
As a business, non-profit or association manager, what do you want?Publicity that delivers newspaper and talk show mentions, or behavior change among your key outside audiences that leads directly to achieving your managerial objectives?Special events that attract a lot of people, or public relations that persuades your most important outside audiences to your way of thinking, then moves them to take actions that help your department, division or subsidiary succeed?Zippy brochures and videos, or a way for you to do something positive about the behaviors of those external audiences of yours that MOST affect your organization?What I believe you need to know about PR are two realities:1) The right PR really CAN alter individual perception and lead to changed behaviors that help you succeed, and2), your public relations effort must involve more than special events, brochures and news releases if you really want to get your money's worth,The underlying truth about PR goes this way: people act on their own perception of the facts before them, which leads to predictable behaviors about which something can be done. When we create, change or reinforce that opinion by reaching, persuading and moving-to-desired-action the very people whose behaviors affect the organization the most, the public relations mission is accomplished.
|home | site map|