When Tactics Are Not Enough
Your public relations people are busy. The buzz is all about hits on a radio show or mentions in a newspaper column. Or, which to do first, the trade show exhibit or the video clip. All useful tactics, but hardly the detailed planning needed to REALLY do something about the behaviors of those outside audiences that impact you the most.
Without that planning, those changes in target audience behaviors you'll almost certainly need to achieve your objectives is unlikely to come about. And that just shouldn't happen.
Here's a simple plan that can get everyone working towards the same external audience behaviors, and put the public relations effort back on track. 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.
Which makes this worth mentioning one more time: whether you are a business, non-profit or association manager, you need what that fundamental premise promises
- the kind of key stakeholder behavior change that leads directly to achieving your objectives.
I'm talking about behavior changes like community leaders beginning to seek you out; new members signing up: customers starting to make repeat purchases; organizations proposing strategic alliances and joint ventures; prospects starting to do business with you; politicians and legislators unexpectedlyviewing you as a key member of the business, non-profit or association communities; and even capital givers or specifying sources beginning to look your way.
It all starts when you sit down and actually list those outside audiences of yours who behave in ways that help or hinder you in achieving your objectives. Then prioritize them by impact severity. Now, let's work on the target audience in first place on that list.
I'll wager you don't have access to data that tells you just how most members of that key outside audience perceive your organization.
Assuming you don't have the budget to accommodate professional survey work, you and your colleagues must monitor those perceptions yourself. Interact with members of that outside audience by asking questions like "Have you ever had contact with anyone from our organization? Was it a satisfactory experience? Are you familiar with our services or products?" Stay alert to negative statements, especially evasive or hesitant replies. Watch carefully for false assumptions, untruths, misconceptions, inaccuracies and potentially damaging rumors. Any of which will need to be corrected, because experience shows they usually lead to negative behaviors.
So, because the obvious objective here is to correct those same untruths, inaccuracies, misconceptions and false assumptions, you now select the specific perception to be altered, and that becomes your public relations goal.
But a PR goal without a strategy to show you how to get there, is like a Mint Julep without the mint. 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 (a small one) 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.
Now you must morph into a writer, if you are not already endowed with that talent, and prepare a compelling message carefully designed to alter your key target audience's perception, as called for by your public relations goal.
You may find that combining your corrective message with another newsworthy announcement of a new product, service or employee will lend credibility by not overempha- sizing the correction.
Your corrective message should contain several values, clarity for example. It must be clear about what perception needs clarification or correction, and why. And your facts must be truthful, of course. In addition, your position must be logically explained and believable if it is to hold the attention of members of that target audience, and actually move perception in your direction.
At last, the easy part - selecting the "beasts of burden" - the communications tactics you will harness to carry your persuasive new thoughts to the attention of that external audience.
The tactics list is a long one. It includes letters-to-the-editor, brochures, press releases and speeches. Or, you might select others such as radio and newspaper interviews, personal contacts, facility tours or customer briefings. There are dozens awaiting your pleasure.
Sooner rather than later, your colleagues will ask you if any progress is being made. By which time you will already be striving to answer that question by again monitoring perceptions among your target audience members. Using questions similar to those used during your earlier monitoring session, you will now look sharply for indications that audience perceptions are beginning to move in your direction.
Fortunately, you can always put the pedal to the metal by employing additional communications tactics, AND by increasing their frequencies.
But, as this article suggests, concentrating on tactics is important, but only at the right moment. What must come first is an aggressive public relations plan that (as, by now, you have no doubt surmised) targets the kind of key stakeholder behavior change that leads directly to achieving 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.
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.
How to Generate Free Publicity for Your Product, Service, or Cause
One of the most misunderstood and most underutilized promotional tools available to small businesses and organizations is FREE PUBLICITY.Every business, no matter how large or small, can effectively use free publicity to enhance its image, increase sales and profits, generate sales leads, expand distribution, and promote customer goodwill.
Tactics Vs. Endgame - Endgame Wins
It took me a while to see just HOW crucial the behaviors of an organization's key audiences really are to its success, be it big or small, non-profit, business, association or even a public sector enterprise.Sounds elemental, doesn't it? But the truth is, few organizations can succeed today if those target audience behaviors don't fit the organization's objectives.
Same Old, Same Old PR Still Tops
Like human nature over time, the power of good public relations remains the same.Whether you are a manager working for a business, a non-profit or an association, at some point, you will want, or need to create outside stakeholder behavior change - the kind that leads directly to achieving your managerial objectives.
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.
Managers: Can We Agree on This?
Your public relations effort really should involve more than press releases, brochures and special events if you are to get your PR money's worth.In particular, you should be pursuing those three pots of gold at the end of the PR rainbow.
Andrew Bogut - His Big Media Blunder And What You Can Learn From It
Andrew Bogut, the Australian basketballer is now officially in the top four of Australia's sporting rich list after signing a five-year deal with the Milwaukee Bucks worth about $37 million.This comes after being selected No.
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.
I Cant Afford A PR/Publicity Campaign -- Can I?
It's a phrase I hear over and over again from many entrepreneurs, small businesses owners and inventors: "I'd love to hire someone to launch our publicity campaign professionally, but we can't afford it, so I'm just going to have to do it on my own."Over the past several months, I have been conducting an informal survey among entrepreneurs and business owners who have contacted me about my services.
Doubt PRs Clout? Dont!
Done right, it helps modify the behaviors of your most important target audiences, and that can spell S-U-R-V-I-V-A-L.I don't believe that's an overstatement because a customer who thinks badly of you and your business will not soon be darkening your threshold.
Culture As A Barrier To Communication
Each of us is exposed to people from other cultures on a regular basis, in the workplace, in our social activities, at school, or even within our families. Our culture hinders us from getting our message across as well receiving the full message that others want to convey to us.
Why News Releases Fail
Sorry about my otaku with this issue (otaku = more than a hobby, a little less than an obsession).Many of you may know me, since I run Imediafax, the Internet to Media Fax Service.
CD ROM Business Cards
Created properly, an extremely effective marketing tool.It's a great concept, - and it has a 'cool factor' of 300%.
Getting Free Publicity with Radio Interviews
Imagine that you are a radio producer. You have to fill three hours a day, five days a week, every single week.
Hispanic Media Training: How It Can Benefit You
How can media training help you create a successful Hispanic market campaign? There are plenty of examples of Hispanic market campaigns with a broad range of results. Many of you have heard of the infamous airline that invited travelers to fly 'naked'.
Something New For Managers?
A new public relations blueprint could be a good idea if you're a business, non-profit or association manager who's not getting the important external audience behaviors you need to achieve your department, division or subsidiary objectives.You know, behaviors like more people interested in your services or products, or more capital contributions coming in the door, or more corporate membership applications hitting your desk.
How Managers Hurt Their PR Results
Business, non-profit or association managers hurt their own public relations results when they become fascinated with PR tactics - press releases, publications and brochures and, particularly, fun-to-manage special events - while failing to plan for the perceptions and behaviors of the very people who probably hold their managerial success in their hands.We're talking about those important outside audiences whose behaviors most affect their departments, groups, divisions or subsidiaries.
Media Training - Essentials for ALL Office Professionals
Often the first point of contact the media has with an organisation is with the front desk or receptionist. Although designated people within a company may have the training and skills needed to interact with the media, the first point of contact within an organisation can make or break a journalists perception of the company and may impact on how they report about your business.
How to Form a Relationship with a Newspaper
How do you make a good relationship with a newspaper so that you can get new contacts?Newspaper relationships are probably the most difficult relationships to form. Often a newspaper will have different departments that look after advertising, human interest stories, editorials and daily news.
Cutting Down Your Trade Show Budget
Whenever a recession or volatility threatens the economy, companies immediately look at where they can cut budgets. Without much forethought, the first to hit the block is inevitably training, followed closely behind by marketing.
How PR Makes a Managers Life Easier
Things are pleasant for many business, non-profit or association managers when their public relations people deliver newspaper and talk show mentions, informative brochures and videos, and special events that attract a lot of people.But things could be much more pleasant for those managers if their PR teams were to deliver the kind of behavior change among their key outside audiences that leads directly to achieving their managerial objectives.
|home | site map|