A Blueprint for Managing your PR
OK, as a manager, your goal is to show a profit for your business unit, or meet certain expectations of your association membership, or achieve your non-profit's operating objective. In each case, you'll need public relations activity that creates behavior change among your key outside audiences. Behavior change that leads directly to achieving your managerial objectives.
Here's how you can make it happen. Accept the fact that the right PR really can alter individual perception and lead to those changed behaviors you need.
Then resolve to do something positive about the behaviors of those important outside audiences of yours that MOST affect your operation.
In particular, create the kind of external stakeholder behavior change that leads directly to achieving your managerial objectives. You'll be able to pull this off when you persuade those key outside folks to your way of thinking, and then move them to take actions that allow your department, division or subsidiary to succeed.
Here's the blueprint showing you how to manage this kind of public relations. 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.
But you'll find that you will need a lot more than news releases, brochures and special events to get a satisfactory return on your PR investment.
Here are some of the results business, non-profit and association managers can expect from this kind of public relations. New proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures; rebounds in showroom visits; membership applications on the rise; community service and sponsorship opportunities; enhanced activist group relations, and expanded feedback channels, and even new thoughtleader and special event contacts.
Before long, you should see customers making repeat purchases; prospects reappearing; stronger relationships with the educational, labor, financial and healthcare communities; improved relations with government agencies and legislative bodies, and perhaps even capital givers or specifying sources looking your way.
A word of caution here because you certainly want your most important outside audiences to really perceive your operations, products or services in a positive light. Be sure that your PR staff is really on board for the whole effort. Reassure yourself that they accept the basic truth that perceptions almost always lead to behaviors that can help or hurt your unit.
Sit down and review the PR blueprint carefully with your staff, especially regarding how you will gather and monitor perceptions by questioning members of your most important outside audiences. Questions like these: how much do you know about our organization? How much do you know about our services or products and employees? Have you had prior contact with us and were you pleased with the how things went? Have you experienced problems with our people or procedures?
Clearly, IF the budget is available, you can depend on professional survey people to handle the perception monitoring phases of your program. But fortunately, your PR people are also in the perception and behavior business and can pursue the same objective: identify untruths, false assumptions, unfounded rumors, inaccuracies, misconceptions and any other negative perception that might translate into hurtful behaviors.
When you set your public relations goal, remember that you need one that addresses the problems that appeared during your key audience perception monitoring. Probably, your new goal will call for straightening out that dangerous misconception, or correcting that gross inaccuracy, or doing something about that awful rumor.
As day follows night, goals need strategies to show you how to get there. But you have just three strategic choices when it comes to handling a perception or opinion challenge: create perception where there may be none, change the perception, or reinforce it. Unfortunately, selecting a bad strategy will taste like anchovy paste on your scones, so be certain the new strategy fits well with your new public relations goal. For example, you don't want to select "change" when the facts dictate a "reinforce" strategy.
How you structure your corrective message is crucial because persuading an audience to your way of thinking is awfully hard work. Especially when you're looking for words that are compelling, persuasive, believable AND clear and factual. Hard work, but a must if you are to correct a perception by shifting opinion towards your point of view, leading to the desired behaviors. Review your message with your communications specialists for its impact and persuasiveness.
Sounds obvious, but in order to carry your words to the attention of your target audience, you need to select the precise communications tactics most likely to reach them. Fortunately, you can pick from dozens of available tactics. From speeches, facility tours, emails and brochures to consumer briefings, media interviews, newsletters, personal meetings and many others. Be darn certain that the tactics you pick are known to reach folks just like your audience members.
When you think about it, the credibility of your message can depend on how you deliver it. So, try introducing it to smaller gatherings rather than using higher-profile communications such as news releases or talk show appearances.
Before long, you'll need to produce a progress report, which means it's probably time for you and your PR folks to get back out in the field for a second perception monitoring session with members of your external audience. You can use the same questions used in the first benchmark session, but now you must stay alert for signs that your communications tactics have worked and that the negative perception is being altered in your direction.
If things aren't moving fast enough for you, matters can always be accelerated with a broader selection of communications tactics AND increased frequencies.
Because people act upon their perceptions of the facts they hear about you and your operation, you really need a public relations blueprint like this. Reason being you have little choice but to deal promptly and effectively with those perceptions by doing what is necessary to reach and move those key external audiences of yours to actions you desire.
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 © 2004.
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.
Advertising by textad.biz
Go Ahead, click an ad, you know you want to.
Knowing the Community
You are in business for yourself, but how well do you know your customers and community? A good way to become better at understanding your community is to develop spread sheet databases of service clubs in your town with contact names, phone numbers, email addresses and brief descriptions. You should know all of the Volunteer Support / Service Clubs in your town.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Forget the Press Release - Heres How to Pitch Like Roger Clemens
Stripped down to its core, publicity is little more than oneperson persuading another. You, the publicity seeker, mustpersuade a journalist that your story is worthy of receivingprint space or air time.
How to Use Community Relations to Grow Your Business
Community relations is one of those marketing strategies that isn't talked about much, even though I venture to say practically everyone ends up doing it at one time or another. Basically, community relations is when you and your business become involved in your community.
For Financial Planners, Marketing and Publicity Is About You
For financial planners, getting publicity, in the end, isn't about having contacts in the media.Or about writing a great press release.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Media Training: Stop Talking, Already!
THE TWO MINUTES UNDERDOGEdward Everett was one of the most famous orators of his time. Standing before an audience of thousands in a Pennsylvania field on a cold winter's day in November 1863, he delivered one of the impassioned speeches that made him famous.
PR Going According to Plan?
Think carefully! You're a department, division or subsidiary manager for a business, non-profit or association and you really need to achieve your operating objectives.But even a yes response to the headline above leaves the really big question unanswered - does your current public relations plan help persuade your most important outside audiences to your way of thinking, then move them to take actions that lead to your success?If the answer to that question is uncertain or even no, change is in order.
E-Mail Media Releases
E-mail is becoming the preferred way to receive media releases. Although it can sometimes be harder to get valid e-mail addresses for media contacts, e-mail releases are more likely to be read than faxes and faster than snail mail.
Add Some Firepower to your PR
Sure, as tactics usually presented to business, non-profit and association managers, special events, brochures and news releases are fine.But they're not the high-octane PR firepower you need to deliver growth results like new proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures; accelerating prospect contacts; rising membership applications; customers making repeat purchases; rebounds in showroom visits, or capital givers and specifying sources looking your way.
Can Media Coverage Build An Online Business? You Bet It Can!
As someone with expertise in media relations, I've been asked if media coverage and publicity can build an online business. The real question is whether what happens offline really matters online.
Financial Planners Garner Free Publicity by Making it Easy for the Media
Would you advise clients to buy a stock based on the say so of an investor relations person, or something you overheard at a restaurant? Of course not. You want to see at least some independent research before suggesting it be added to your clients' portfolios.
Maybe the Strongest PR on Planet Earth?
Strong for business, non-profit and association managers when they use the fundamental premise of public relations to produce external stakeholder behavior change - the kind that leads directly to achieving their managerial objectives.And strong when they do something positive about the behaviors of those outside audiences that most affect their organization.
Public Relations Primer, Part II: Five Dos
1) Package your story. Two critical elements will help you do this: Knowledge and Creativity.
|home | site map|