A Sensible Way to Use PR
The most sensible way for business, non-profit or association managers to use public relations is to strive to alter individual perception among their target publics, which leads to changed behaviors, thus helping achieve their managerial objectives.
In so doing, managers employ their public relations resources to do something positive about the behaviors of those important external audiences of theirs that MOST affect their operations.
When you think about it, it's a VERY sensible approach to PR that leads managers to persuade their key outside folks to their way of thinking, then move them to take actions that allow that manager's department, group, division or subsidiary to succeed.
What lets it all come to pass is the reality that 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.
If you are one of these managers, please remember that your PR effort must demand more than special events, brochures and press releases if you are to come up with the public relations results you believe you paid for.
This approach to public relations can richly reward its users: fresh proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures; capital givers or specifying sources beginning to look your way; customers starting to make repeat purchases; membership applications on the rise; community leaders beginning to seek you out; welcome bounces in show room visits; prospects starting to do business with you; higher employee retention rates, and even politicians and legislators starting to view you as a key member of the business, non-profit or association communities.
You may count yourself fortunate that your PR people are already in the perception and behavior business. They should be of real use for this initial opinion monitoring project. But you must be certain of who among your PR team really understands the blueprint outlined above and shows commitment to its implementation, starting with key audience perception monitoring. Then, be certain that your public relations people really accept why it's SO important to know how your most important outside audiences perceive your operations, products or services. And make sure they believe that perceptions almost always result in behaviors that can help or hurt your operation.
Go over the whole process with your PR staff. In particular your method for monitoring and gathering perceptions by questioning members of your most important outside audiences. Questions along these lines: how much do you know about our organization? Have you had prior contact with us and were you pleased with the interchange? Are you familiar with our services or products and employees? Have you experienced problems with our people or procedures?
When you compare the cost benefits of using those PR folks of yours in that monitoring capacity to the cost of using professional survey firms to do the opinion gathering work, you may conclude it's a no- brainer. But, whether it's your people or a survey firm asking the questions, the objective remains the same: identify untruths, false assumptions, unfounded rumors, inaccuracies, misconceptions and any other negative perception that might translate into hurtful behaviors.
Now it's goal-setting time. One that calls for doing something about the most serious problem areas you uncovered during your key audience perception monitoring. Will it be to straighten out that dangerous misconception? Correct that gross inaccuracy? Or, stop that potentially painful rumor cold?
At the same time you establish your public relations goal, you must establish a strategy that tells you how to get there. So keep in mind that there are just three strategic options available when it comes to doing something about perception and opinion. Change existing perception, create perception where there may be none, or reinforce it. The wrong strategy pick will taste like mint sauce on your corned beef, so be sure your new strategy fits well with your new public relations goal. You wouldn't want to select "change" when the facts dictate a strategy of reinforcement.
It's never easy when you realize that you must now write an action-producing message that will help persuade one of your key audiences to your way of thinking. Well, you do, and it must be a well-written message targeted directly at your key external audience. Select your very best writer because s/he must produce really corrective language. Words that are not merely compelling, persuasive and believable, but clear and factual if they are to shift perception/opinion towards your point of view and lead to the behaviors you have in mind.
Happily, it's time to identify the communications tactics most likely to carry your message to the attention of your target audience. There are tons available. From speeches, facility tours, emails and brochures to consumer briefings, media interviews, newsletters, personal meetings and many others. But you must be certain that the tactics you pick are known to reach folks just like your audience members.
Incidentally, you may wish to unveil this kind of message before smaller meetings and presentations rather than using higher-profile news releases. Reason is, the credibility of any message is fragile and always at stake, so how you communicate it is a concern.
Talk about progress reports will alert you and your PR team to begin a second perception monitoring session with members of your external audience. You'll want to use many of the same questions used in the first benchmark session. But now, you will be on red alert for signs that the bad news perception is being altered in your direction.
Should program momentum be sluggish, you can always accelerate the effort by adding more communications tactics as well as increasing their frequencies.
Finally, the sensible use of public relations by managers is most apparent once they accept the fact that they must do something positive about the behaviors of those important outside audiences that most affect their operations.
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 © 2005
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. mailto:bobkelly@TNI.net
Advertising by textad.biz
Go Ahead, click an ad, you know you want to.
Are You Sure You Know What Youre Doing?
Because when it comes to public relations, non-believers can produce a double-bummer -- missed opportunity AND a ton of wasted money. It really is a shame because we do public relations to change the behaviors of certain groups of people important to the success of those very Doubting Thomases.
Underestimating the Power of In-House PR
Do small-business owners always have to rely on large PR agencies to get attention from the press? An entrepreneur recently asked me this question during a networking event for women business owners. Of course my answer was, "No," but not for the reasons one might expect.
How to Create Quality PR Results
For many of us, the word quality is closely related to our expectations. When we receive the public relations results we planned for, we feel, understandably, that we have generated quality results.
Managers and PR: One Thing Is Clear
As a business, non-profit or association manager, you have a clear choice when you set up your public relations. Arrange your resources to generate a variety of product and service plugs on radio, and in newspapers and in magazines.
Mission-Critical Public Relations?
As a business, non-profit or association manager, any tool that helps you reach your department, division or subsidiary objective IS mission-critical.And particularly so when that tool helps you persuade your most important external stakeholders to your way of thinking, and then moves them to take actions that lead to your success.
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.
Do-It-Yourself Public Relations
"Advertising is what you pay for. Publicity is what you pray for.
The Medias Muscle: Make it Work for You
The least expensive, most effective way for you to promote your product is through media coverage. Reporters are excellent communicators.
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.
Why PR Packs a Punch
Done right, it delivers the key, target audience behaviors you know you must have to achieve your organizational objectives.I refer to perceptions of your organization, and resulting behaviors such as:customers making repeat purchases;prospects starting to do business with you;employees really valuing their jobs;suppliers doing all possible to expand your relationship;community leaders strengthening bonds with you;businesses seeking beneficial joint ventures;unions bargaining more frequently in good faith;and legislators and political leaders viewing you as an important member of the business community.
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.
Whats Your Op-Ed?
Everyone has an opinion on something, and you can leverage the opinion of top executives to heighten the visibility of your organization. How? By getting them to write so-called op/ed pieces for newspapers.
What Some Pros Know About PR
They know they had better do something positive about those outside audiences that MOST affect their organizations. Especially business, non-profit or association managers, who also know they must persuade those key external "publics" to the manager's way of thinking, then move those people to actions that allow that manager's department, division or subsidiary to succeed.
How to Write Press Releases That Work And Get Free Publicity
One study found that as many as 90% of the stories you read every day in the newspaper came about because someone sent a press release. Why aren't some of those stories about you?When people see you in the media, you become familiar, even famous! And it gives you credibility.
As the comedian Steve Martin once said, "some people have a way with words and some people have not way." Increasingly, I am seeing information from companies, particularly in news releases, that "has not way.
Make the Media Your Friend
The media (newspaper, radio, television) can be of enormous help to the small and home based business. So, it is very important that you develop a relationship with them.
Media Training: Why Nobodys Listening to You
SORRY?WERE YOU SAYING SOMETHING?Many spokespeople approach media interviews the same way they would a major speech. They think at length about what they want to say, jot down a few notes, and try to memorize a few key points.
Your Organization: What Role PR?
As a manager, does your current business, non-profit or association public relations effort concern itself primarily with radio and newspaper publicity? Or does it concentrate on a specialty area like financial communications or trade relations? Or, possibly, it deals each day with sales support or government affairs?Actually, maybe your PR effort should concentrate on delivering what you really need?For example, PR that really does something positive about the behaviors of those outside audiences that most affect your organization?PR that uses its fundamental premise to deliver external stakeholder behavior change - the kind that leads directly to achieving your managerial objectives?And PR that persuades those important outside folks to your way of thinking, then moves them to take actions that help your department, division or subsidiary succeed?What fundamental PR premise are we suggesting as your new action blueprint? 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.
10 Secrets to Free Publicity
Public relations is popular because it is very cost-effective and it works. If you send out one press release, for example, and it gets into print, it could generate more interest in your product or service.
Monarch Health Sciences starts shipping long awaited Monavie and Monavie Active
The Acai Berry is starting to gain world wide recognition as a "wonder of nature." On a recent Oprah Winfrey show, titled 'LOOK 10 YEARS YOUNGER IN 10 DAYS," it was named as one of the top ten superfoods in the world for combating the effects of aging.
|home | site map|