Get Outsiders on Your Side
Especially good advice for business, non-profit and association managers whose job success depends in large part on the behaviors of their key external audiences.
I refer to behaviors like inquiries on the increase, new waves of specialized employment applications, more and more followup purchases, new levels of membership queries, a substantial boost in capital donations, or more frequent component specifications by engineering firms.
If you are such a manager, you almost assuredly need help in achieving your unit's operating objectives. Which is why it's nice to hear that the public relations team assigned to your operation is responsible for providing a large portion of that help.
Two things need to happen to make that a reality. One, it requires more than your oversight. You must stay involved with your public relations folks at every major decision point.
And two, the entire effort must be based on more than a casual debate about which communications tactics should be used.
What is needed is your commitment to a fundamental premise that is the foundation on which your entire public relations effort will be based. A premise like this: 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.
With that established, we can get to work on the blueprint that will help persuade those important members of your key target audiences to your way of thinking. What you hope for then, is follow on stakeholder actions that result in your success as a business, non-profit or association manager.
Before taking any action steps, you need to know how members of your key target audiences perceive you. So, first, you and your PR team need to list those important outside audiences whose behaviors affect your unit the most. Then prioritize them so we can use the audience in first place on that list as our target audience for this article.
Instead of spending considerable money on professional survey work, you and your team can interact with members of your target audience and pose a number of questions designed to draw out any perception problems. "Do you know anything about us? Have you had any contacts with our people? Were they satisfactory? Do you have any problems with our services, products or people?"
As you interact with audience members, watch closely for evasive or hesitant responses to your questions. And be equally watchful for negative misconceptions, rumors, exaggerations, inaccuracies or untruths.
These data are grist for your mill, i.e., the information you need to establish a public relations goal that corrects the offending opinion/perception. Such a goal might look like these: spike that rumor, clarify that misconception, or correct that inaccuracy.
Now, you need a pathway leading to your public relations goal, and that means you must pick a strategy showing you how to get there. Luckily, there are just three strategies in matters of opinion and perception: create perception where there isn't any, change existing perception, or reinforce it. Just be certain that the strategy you select is a logical fit with the public relations goal you just established.
Now, what you say to members of your target audience must clearly address the offending perception gently but firmly. Your message must be believable, compelling and, at the same time, explain why the current perception is not merely untrue, but unfair. It is no easy job to alter what people believe, which is why writing such a message demands persuasive writing ability.
To maintain the credibility of the message, you may wish to piggy-back it on another announcement or presentation rather than using the higher-profile press release format.
Happily, when it comes to delivering your message to members of your target audience, you have multiple choices for your communications tactics. Everything from newsletters, bulletins and alerts, special events and speeches to print and broadcast interviews, press releases, consumer/member briefings and many more. Just be sure the tactics your use can demonstrate that they reach people similar to those who make up your target audience.
Before long, you, your PR team, and others in your unit will want to see some progress. Best (and most frugal) way to determine that is to return to perception monitoring in the field and ask members of your key target audience the same questions used in the earlier session.
Only this time, you'll be on alert for indications that the offending perceptions are changing as you planned, along with predictable follow on behaviors.
By the way, things can always move faster by adding other communications tactics, and using them on a more frequent basis.
Yes, for managers whose job success depends to a large degree on the behaviors of their key external audiences, a public relations problem-solving sequence like this one IS especially good advice!
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 communications, U.S. Department of the Interior, and deputy assistant press secretary, The White House. mailto:bobkelly@TNI.net. Visit: http://www.prcommentary.com
Advertising by textad.biz
Go Ahead, click an ad, you know you want to.
Financial Planners, Want Free Marketing and Publicity? The Key is Understanding the Media
The media need you. Need the information and expertise you offer, that is.
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.
The Truth About Public Relations
The truth is, you CAN attract the support of those external audiences whose behaviors have the most effect on your enterprise. But you must do it by first achieving the positive changes you need in their perceptions and, thus, behaviors.
Marketing-Minded Financial Planners, Join Your Professional Organization to Get Free Publicity
Unlike some professionals like lawyers and doctors, financial planners aren't required to be members of a professional association.However, if you want to take advantage of a great way to get free publicity, you marketing-minding financial professionals will join an association like the Financial Planning Association or the Society of Financial Service Professionals.
Using Media and PR to Your Advantage.
Publicity: Marketing-Minded Financial Planners, Never Say These Words to a Reporter
Everyone has something that drives them up a wall. You may be surprised at what aggravates reporters.
Ramp Up Your Newsletter to Build a Strong Business
To survive in business, you've got to focus your attention on the areas that will guarantee you success. Your clients are your greatest asset.
PR Campaigns - How To Get To Grips With The Media
If you're serious about getting great results from your PR you may find that you have to severely challenge your current reading habits. A recent client completed her PR assessment form with a comment about how she had always read a certain paper because her parents had and she'd just fallen into the habit too.
Building Community Support for Project Permitting, Construction, and Marketing
Redevelopment is replacing new construction throughout the Greater Boston area, as construction costs climb and the commercial/retail vacancy rate reaches new (and alarming) levels.Redevelopment of highly visible, publicly owned or historic properties~ such as shipyards, air bases, and historic mills ~ involves all the usual steps of Federal and State permitting and approvals, and the additional layer of permitting involving historic, archeological and cultural review and approvals.
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.
Time Your News Release For Maximum Publicity
"Cindy, where's that story? I need it yesterday!""Coming right up, boss. I'll have it to you soon," Cindy shouted back.
Marketing-Minded Financial Planners, the Media Wants to Give You Free Publicity
In this great country of ours, there are basically three ways to get yourself tons of media coverage.You can be a celebrity.
Marketing-Minded Financial Planners, Focus on Main Points During an Interview
You never want to inundate a reporter with information, but you don't want to be branded a one-trick pony either. That's why I recommend coming up with three key points for every interview you do.
Media Releases - Helping Grow Your Business
Business people often spend time and money trying to find new ways to stand out from the crowd or craving recognition and exposure for their organisation and its achievements.Communicating with your customers and stakeholders has become more demanding, complex and pressure-driven.
Business - How to Build it Using the Media
Have you ever noticed that when someone is interviewed on radio, television or in the newspapers about a particular subject, it tends to be the same people? You may even be saying - "Why don't they ever ask me?"Well the reason is - they don't know about you. If they did know that you were an expert on a particular subject, then there's a good chance you'll be asked from time to time.
Using Publicity As A Creative Marketing Tool
Publicity is an important and often overlooked tool of creative selling; and a more cost-effective way of reaching your target audience than advertising. With the inherent third-party endorsement of the media implied in every editorial story, a news or feature article in a newspaper, magazine, or on television or radio, is an infinitely more credibly-perceived communications message than an ad or commercial.
PR: Ouch! Tells the Tale
Ever get the feeling that your public relations program isn't doing much about the behaviors of your important outside audiences? Those audiences whose actions have the greatest impacts on your business?Chances are your PR effort is focused primarily on communi- cations tactics and not on the process needed to really move those key audience perceptions, and thus behaviors in your direction.Which means you've missed out on the sweet spot of public relations.
Dont Expect to Bump Oprah From A Magazine Cover
"I want a pony, a tree house and the fastest bike in the world.""I want the G.
Its Just Common Sense!
When a group of outsiders behaves in a way that hurts your business, you usually do something about it. Yet, many business people are amazingly casual about their own external audiences.
Imagine PR Like This Helping You
As the kids say, how cool is this?You're a business, non-profit or association manager and, finally, you decide to do something positive about the behaviors of those important outside audiences of yours - behaviors that MOST affect your operation.What you're doing, of course, is creating the very external stakeholder behaviors that will help achieve your managerial objectives.
|home | site map|