PR Failure Defined
I define public relations failure this way:
Failure insured! Similar, in fact, to the artillery commander who tells his gunners to point their cannons in any direction and fire them when they feel like it!
No plan, no results!
Why not deal this way with those external target audiences whose behaviors really have an impact on your organization?
Who are they? List them in order of their impact on your operation. And let's concentrate here on #1.
What do you really know about how they perceive your operation? This is vital, of course, because perceptions almost always lead to predictable behaviors. That's why it's so important that you get this step right.
Fact is, you must interact with members of this target audience and question them carefully. What do they think of you and your organization? Do you detect negative undercurrents? Are you surprised by certain inaccuracies or misconceptions? Has a rumor crept in to their consciousness to do its dirty work?
The answers prepare you for establishing the corrective public relations goal. For example, straighten out that wrong impression. Or fix that misconception. Or correct that unfortunate inaccuracy. Rumors, of course, need immediate attention to neutralize them in the minds of target audience members.
With your goal all set, what is your strategy for achieving it? This one is a time-saver because there are only three strategies designed to deal with this situation: create opinion (perceptions) where none may exist; or change existing opinion; or reinforce it. Your goal will point you toward the proper choice.
Now here is the real challenge - preparing the message you will send to members of your target audience.
To be persuasive, it must be believable, clearly presented and compelling. Ideally it should deal with the most important problem you wish to correct so as not to divide the reader's attention. For example, an inaccuracy, misconception or damaging rumor. Of course, your message must use supporting facts and figures that have been carefully checked for accuracy.
Recapping, you have now monitored and evaluated opinion among your target audience to determine the extent of any problems, you have set your corrective public relations goal and strategy, and you have prepared an impactful and corrective message.
How will you effectively deliver that message to members of that important outside audience? The answer lies in communications tactics, which some refer to as "beasts of burden" because they will carry your message to the right eyes and ears.
There are scores of tactics awaiting your pleasure. For instance, you can use newsletters, special events, press releases or open houses. You might also consider face-to- face-meetings, radio and newspaper interviews, speeches or emails. The key consideration is that a communications tactic be targeted specifically at the members of your #1 external audience.
Sooner rather than later, you will wonder if your public relations effort is making any progress towards your goal.
And that will require that you put on your opinion monitoring hat and go talk to members of your target audience once again.
As them the same questions you used in your earlier information gathering exercise. Only this time, stay alert for answers that indicate perceptions are changing in your direction. Of course, this means that, before long, behaviors should be changing as well.
And that is the test for public relations success: perceptions altered and behaviors modified as called for in your plan.
When all is said and done, what you will have is an important outside audience more accurately informed about your organization and, thus, more likely to behave in ways that help you achieve your objectives.
Please feel free to publish this article and resource box in your ezine, newsletter, offline publication or website. A copy would be appreciated at bobkelly@TNI.net.
Robert A. Kelly © 2003
About The Author
Bob Kelly counsels, writes and speaks about the fundamental premise of public relations. 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.
In PR, You Pay When You Stray
Don't let yourself be diverted by communications tactics playtime. You know, straying from the main Public relations game plan by juggling a press release against a radio interview, or a brochure against an op-ed.
Financial Planning Publicity: When Talking to the Media, Dont Fake What You Dont Know
Relationships are based on trust-not just romantic relationships, or doctor/patient relationships, but practically any relationship, even the one with your auto mechanic.That's why the absolute worst thing a financial planner can do in their relationship with a reporter-especially a new relationship-is to give them false information.
Online Business Press Release Writing Tips And Ideas
Press releases are one of the most cost-effective ways to get promotion for your online business. Many entrepreneurs ignore this type of promotion because they don't know how to write a press release.
4th Quarter 2003 Publicity = 1st Quarter 2004 Prosperity
As the year starts to wind down, many businesses and entrepreneurs are making plans and budgets for the year 2004. Those plans could include anything from setting up goals for new products to preparing marketing, sales and PR/publicity campaigns.
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.
Five Great News Stories You're Sitting On Right Now
Smaller companies don't always have the budget - or inclination - to retain a PR hotshot to tell the world about their business success, but that doesn't mean they aren't a ready source of news.The problem is it's often dull news which is ignored by all except the industry press and quite rightly so in most cases.
PR Essential to Your Success
Whether you are a business, non-profit or association manager, your success will depend, to a large degree, on how well you positively impact the behaviors of those outside audiences that most affect your operation.You need to create external stakeholder behavior change - the kind that leads directly to achieving your managerial objectives.
Dont Be Incredible
Public relations is all about credibility and trustworthiness. If you don't practice PR, then you are likely to be incredible.
A Winning Game Plan
You want to sell your products or services, and that means good money management, top quality products or services, and hard work on your part. But, for REAL success, the icing on the cake is public relations.
Publicity Performance Not Enough?
Even after a nice piece in a national publication, or a stint on a popular talk show, do you still have a feeling that your public relations dollar could be better spent?As a business, non-profit or association manager, do questions like that linger in your mind?Because if they do, you may be coming down with a real case of "I want my PR money's worth!"If that's how you feel, I'd guess that you're probably doing very little that's positive about the behaviors of those important outside audiences of yours that most affect your operation.Which means you may be failing to create external stakeholder behavior change that leads directly to achieving your managerial objectives.
Get Write To It
The toughest thing about writing a news release is getting started. But writing doesn't have to be hard.
Publicity - Use This System to Track Publicity Progress
Tracking your correspondence with reporters, via phone or email, is important for two reasons. First of all, promises to follow-up can slip between the cracks of daily business and cost you a change at free publicity.
Top Five Publicity Myths
Most people consider getting publicity the most important part of public relations. It's also very mysterious to many people.
Writing A Press Release
News releases (also called press releases) are an important part of a public relations campaign. They are also an important part of marketing your business.
Sending Samples With Your Press Release-- should you or shouldnt you? Heres a guide?
When you should send samples with your press release:1) When the item is very low cost: If the press release you're sending is about a product that is under $10.00, you may want to consider sending a sample of the product to the editors.
How to Tie-In With News Events to Score Publicity
It's safe to say that we live in interesting times. It seems wehardly have a breather between wars, tragedies, scandals,epidemics, circus trials and other events that capitalize themedia's attention.
Publicity: Marketing-Minded Financial Planners, Take a Reporter to Lunch
Sometimes a phone call isn't intimate or long enough to convey all the information you have for a reporter.Two examples would be: if you have a dozen or so story ideas, or if you'd like to explain an extremely complex financial concept or strategy to a reporter.
The Power of Radio - Tips for Great Radio Interviews
Many people are intimidated by radio interviews, whether live or pre-recorded and often spoil great promotion and branding opportunity in less then effective interviews.Did you know there are more than 1500 talk radio shows in the US?Also, radio is the only medium to show increased usage since the introduction of the Internet.
Do You Have A Press Package?
How do you make a friend of the media? A press package can go a long way in helping you deal with the media. It allows you to have everything you need handy.
Smashing the Myth of the Press Release
A musician spends years honing his craft. He writes world-class songs and performs them in a manner that moves his listeners to tears.
|home | site map|