What Is Best Practice Public Relations?
Why, public relations that stays true to its fundamental premise, of course.
In a nutshell, "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 those people whose behaviors affect the organization, the public relations mission is accomplished."
Adhere to that, and you can't go wrong!
Even those who believe public relations is just a bunch of communications tactics, can improve their performance because the premise and its strategy will keep those tactics on the straight and narrow.
How? The premise requires that tactics be selected on the basis of (1) knowing how a target audience perceives the organization, (2) precisely who the tactics should be aimed at, and (3) and most important, what changes in perception, and thus behaviors, are desired so that you can set a goal, then tell if you achieved it or not.
That way, the tactics have a fair chance of doing some good by visibly helping you achieve your business objectives.
Happily, even when "practiced best," this isn't rocket science. All it takes is a brief but logical plan.
Decide which external audience of yours has the most serious impact on your organization. That becomes your key target audience, and off we go!
Can't do much if we don't know how they perceive you and your organization. So, you've got to get out there among members of that key target audience and ask some questions.
What do they think of you and your operation? Notice any negatives? Are misconceptions, inaccuracies or rumors becoming evident? Any undercurrents surfacing? Is there a problem coming down the pike?
When this monitoring phase is complete, you can set a public relations goal that corrects the problem you turned up. For example, your goal might try for a positive impact on individual perception by explaining your pricing policies, or replacing a damaging rumor with the truth.
Now you need to know how you're going to reach that goal. And that's where strategy comes in. You have three choices. You can create opinion (perception) where none exists, or you can change existing opinion, or simply reinforce it. Your choice will respond to what you turned up during your monitoring phase.
If there is a tough part in our brief and logical plan, this is it. You need a really good, corrective message for delivery to your key target audience. It must be clear as spring water, VERY persuasive and, of course, the unvarnished truth. Prepare a draft, then try it out on two or three members of your external audience, then adjust as needed.
Now we come to those "beasts of burden" we discussed up front, the communications tactics themselves. These foot soldiers, to mix a metaphor, will carry your corrective message to the eyes and ears of members of the target audience. A pretty important step, so choose well.
Luckily, you have a ton at your disposal. Emails, personal meetings, news releases, radio interviews and special events. Or, letters-to-the-editor, face-to-face meetings, speeches and open houses. A long list.
Your work is not quite over. How do you know whether your brief and logical plan is working?
The answer is, you will not know for certain until you and your colleagues get back into the field and talk to members of that all-important key audience population all over again.
I know, I know, that's time consuming and a powerful lot of work. But it's worth it! What you want to question those folks about, of course, is the same topics you raised the first time around. Only now, you're looking for altered perceptions.
For example, does the second set of responses indicate that you were successful in clarifying the misconception? Or that the inaccurate belief is morphing into your version? Or, that the irritating (and potentially dangerous) rumor has been laid to rest?
If, however, feedback shows more work is needed, it's back to the drawing board for a better mix and frequency of higher-impact communications tactics. Plus, another look at your message - was it clear enough? Were the best "hot buttons" pressed? Did you include the right facts and figures to support your case?
Fact is, the Pot 'o Gold at the end of this rainbow is consistency. When you gather responses showing a consistently positive pattern, that brief and logical plan of yours is beginning to produce the success promised by the fundamental premise of public relations.
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.
Using the Media - Five Reasons Why
The media has the power to shape public opinion and change perceptions. Every day millions of people around the world consume at least one form of the media, whether voluntary or involuntary.
Write Press Releases That Dazzle
When a reporter is wowed, intrigued, surprised or captivated by your press release, you can be pretty sure you'll get some media coverage. And for most businesses, positive media coverage is worth its weight in gold.
10 Secrets to Get Your Press Release Noticed
It's difficult enough running the day-to-day aspects of a business, let alone trying to drum up new business as you go. But according to Shannon Cherry, APR, even if you have additional staff helping to get the word out about your products and services, location and prices, delivery and sales support, news releases can make your company grow faster.
Making Great Announcements
When do you use the newspaper for publishing announcements for promotions or new partnerships?Adding an announcement to a newspaper will only bring further recognition to your business. You should always send items such as the hiring of a new employee, the announcement of a new contract, the change of location or any other item that you would like the world to know.
Preparing For Your Media Interview
Media interviews are an important part of an overall public relations campaign. Any size company from entrepreneur to Fortune 500 can benefit from media interviews.
Advertising and Community Relations -- Get the Best of Both Worlds
Have you ever noticed that in communities without big universities, high school sports take on an even bigger importance?That's what it's like where I live.But like everywhere else in the country, our high school sports are always looking for ways to make a few extra bucks.
How Public Relations Changes Minds
Public relations changes minds in the process of delivering what business, non-profit and association managers need more than almost anything else - the kind of key stakeholder behavior change that leads directly to achieving their managerial objectives.It happens when the right kind of public relations alters individual perception, thus doing something positive about the behaviors of those outside folks that MOST affect a manager's organization.
How To Write More Powerfully For PR, Offline And Online
Years ago when my Dad owned a group of local newspapers I spent my school and college vacations working in the editorial office. We used to amuse ourselves over our sandwiches at lunchtime looking through and trashing the endless press releases that would arrive in the mail each day, all beautifully produced with glossy photographs (this was in pre-internet days).
Grow Your Financial Planning Practice by Taking Your Publicity National
Think that you aren't big enough for national media coverage? Says who? Certainly not the USA Today. In one recent two-week period, they quoted financial planners in Southfield (Michigan), Dublin (Ohio) and Clearwater (Florida).
Permanent Press: Using Press Releases to Keep Your Company in the News
When is your best advertisement not an advertisement? When it's a press release.In the competition for consumer attention, a well-written press release is one of your most valuable marketing tools.
Nows The Time To Get Christmas Media Coverage
Publicity seekers know that Christmas can provide a bonanza of media coverage. Every media outlet, it seems is cranking out a special edition on gifts for the winter holidays.
What I Do
I believe this about public relations.People act on their own perception of the facts before them, which leads to predictable behaviors about which something can be done.
Writing a Press Release: The Medias Dirty Secret
There's a dirty little secret about press releases that the media doesn't want you to know. The fact is, most of them travel directly from the sender's computer to the reporter's trash box.
16 Publicity tips for Restaurants
With a dismal failure rate of more than 75 percent among restaurants, you must be sure you do everything you possibly can do to promote your restaurant through free publicity. Here are 16 tips that will boost your publicity efforts and help you finally get noticed--even if you don't have a big advertising budget.
Why Not Juice-Up Your PR?
Say, from tactics like special events, brochures and press releases to a public relations effort more in keeping with the challenges you face as a business, non-profit or association manager?I speak of public relations that alters individual perception and leads to changed behaviors among those key outside audiences of yours.Public relations that does something positive about the behaviors of those key external "publics" that MOST affect your operation.
PR: Behavior Modification Specialist
While awaiting economic recovery, business needs to attract the attention of its most important external audiences in a more targeted and focused way. Primarily to impact the perceptions of those key outsiders so that resulting behaviors help those managers achieve their objectives.
Be Patient? Nah, Lets Kill Something
There's the old joke about the two buzzards sitting in a tree overlooking a highway. One responds to the other, "Be patient? I'm hungry.
PR: The Thrill of a Good Idea
The notion that a business, non-profit or association manager can actually hold a big key to success in his or her own hands IS a thrilling idea!And it becomes more thrilling as the manager actually alters individual perceptions leading to changed behaviors of key outside audiences. Then persuades those external stakeholders to that manager's way of thinking, helping move them to take actions that allow their department, division or subsidiary to succeed.
Promoting Your Website Through a Press Release
Have you ever gotten one of those letters from your local property tax appraiser, informing you that your tax bill is going up about 20 percent?I got one of those recently, so I took it to my friend Joe Gross in San Antonio. He appeals property tax assessments for a living.
Sure-Fire Recipe for a Successful Public Relations Career
Without a solid, well-designed foundation, few buildings successfully withstand the ravages of time and weather. And so it is with public relations, ever-dependent upon how well its practitioners understand the discipline.
|home | site map|