Managers: Heres a PR Template for You
Let's start out with a caution for business, non-profit and association managers: the premise of public relations implies that the work you do BEFORE you use PR tactics, such as press releases, brochures and broadcast interviews, will determine the success of your public relations effort.
Reason is, if you are one of those managers, the PR plan that flows from that premise will call for achieving your managerial objectives by altering perception leading to changed behaviors among those important external audiences that MOST affect your department, group, division or subsidiary.
Here, read that public relations premise for yourself. 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 usually accomplished.
Of all the things the premise tells you about public relations, the most basic may be that you need to do some serious planning early-on about the behaviors of those vital outside audiences rather than exploding right out-of-the-gate with a tactical broadside.
For example, you don't want to move prematurely into press releases, talk show appearances, zippy publications and fun-filled special events before you get answers to questions like these: Who are you trying to reach? What do you know about them? How do they perceive your organization? If troublesome, how might we alter their perceptions? And perhaps MOST important, what behaviors do we want those perceptions to lead to?
That is a critical planning concern because the people with whom you interact every day behave like everyone else - they act upon their perceptions of the facts they hear about you and your operation. And that means you should deal effectively with those perceptions (and their follow-on behaviors) by doing what is necessary to reach and move those key external audiences to action.
Once the preliminary public relations planning is complete, you can look forward to PR results such as rising membership applications; customers making repeat purchases; new approaches by capital givers and specifying sources; community leaders beginning to seek you out; fresh proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures; prospects starting to do business with you; welcome bounces in show room visits, not to mention politicians and legislators viewing you as a key member of the business, non-profit or association communities.
But who will do this specialized kind of work? An outside PR agency team? Folks assigned to your operation? Your own public relations people? Regardless of where they come from, they need to be committed to you and your PR plan beginning with key audience perception monitoring.
Are the folks assigned to you really serious about knowing how your most important outside audiences perceive your operations, products or services? Do they really accept the truth that perceptions almost always lead to behaviors that can help or hurt your operation?
Take the time to review with them in detail how you plan to monitor and gather perceptions by questioning members of your most important outside audiences. For instance, how much do you know about our chief executive? Have you had prior contact with us and were you pleased with the interchange? How much do you know about our services or products and employees? Have you experienced problems with our people or procedures?
If there's enough money in the PR budget, be sure to use professional survey firms in the perception monitoring phases of your program. If not, you're still fortunate because 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.
It's quite clear that setting just the right public relations goal allows you to deal effectively with the most serious problems you turned up during your key audience perception monitoring. Your new goal could call for straightening out that dangerous misconception, or correcting that inaccuracy, or neutralizing that fateful rumor.
At this point, take special care because you must now identify the right strategy, one that tells you how to move forward. Remember that there are just three strategic options available to you when it comes to handling a perception and opinion challenge. Change existing perception, create perception where there may be none, or reinforce it. Since the wrong strategy pick will taste like crumbled Gorganzola cheese on your bread pudding, be certain the new strategy fits comfortably with your new public relations goal. You don't want to select "change" when the facts dictate a "reinforce" strategy.
Like it or not, a strong message is needed here, one aimed at members of your target audience. There is no doubt that crafting action-forcing language to persuade an audience to your way of thinking is very hard work. Which is why you need your strongest writer. S/he must create some very special, corrective language. Words that are not only compelling, persuasive and believable, but clear and factual if they are to correct something and shift perception/opinion towards your point of view leading to the behaviors you are targeting.
How are you going to carry your message to the attention of your target audience? With the communications tactics most likely to reach that group of people, of course. After you run the draft message by your PR people for impact and persuasiveness, you can choose from among dozens that are available to you. From speeches, facility tours, emails and brochures to consumer briefings, media interviews, newsletters, personal meetings and many others. But be sure that the tactics you pick are known to reach folks just like your audience members.
Because we know that message credibility can depend on the credibility of the means used to deliver it, you may want to try it out before smaller meetings and presentations rather than using higher-profile news releases.
About now, talk of progress reports may be heard, and they are a signal that it's time for you and your PR team to begin a second perception monitoring session with members of your external audience. Many of the same questions used used in thebenchmark session can be asked again. Now however, you will be watching carefully for signs that the problem perception is being altered in your direction.
Don't forget that you can always speed up program momentum by adding more communications tactics and increasing their frequencies.
This template can be effective for most public relations challenges you face. When you successfully alter the perceptions of your key external stakeholders, in most cases moving their behaviors in your direction, you should soon enjoy the satisfaction of achieving your managerial 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. Word count is 1245 including guidelines and resource box. Robert A. Kelly © 2005.
Bob Kelly counsels, writes and speaks to business, non-profit and association managers about using the fundamental premise orelations 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 Visit:http://www.prcommentary.com
Advertising by textad.biz
Go Ahead, click an ad, you know you want to.
Oprah! How to Appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show
Do you dream of being on Oprah Winfrey's television show? Lots of people do. An appearance on Oprah is considered by many to be the pinnacle of success.
Public Relations: Converting the Non-Believers
What's the real reason some managers shy away from public relations? I believe it's because they don't understand, or believe, the direct connection between what public relations is capable of delivering and their need to achieve specific business objectives.It's lost opportunity of the worst kind.
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.
Its CNN! They Want To Talk To You!
Being invited to appear on radio and television used to be reserved for top company executives and spokespersons. Until quite recently, the chance of being invited to make a media appearance was extremely small, even for the highest echelon.
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.
There Is No Such Thing as Competition
A wise friend of mine has often said, "There is no such thing as competition." I happen to agree with that philosophy.
Dont Use PR
?lose the confidence of your key target audiences? discourage them from taking actions that lead to your success?fail to achieve your department, division or subsidiary objectives.A sad scenario that should not occur.
How to Keep PR Working for You
Managers in the non-profit, association and business worlds need to persuade outside audiences with the greatest impact on their operations to their way of thinking. And then move those external stakeholders to take actions that help their departments, divisions or subsidiaries succeed.
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.
A Winning Public Relations 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.
Why PR is a Vital Force
Because it can alter individual perception and lead to changed behaviors. Something of profound importance to businesses, non-profits and associations who can sink or swim on how well they employ this crucial dynamic.
6 Essentials for Doing Your Own PR: Guest Author
Today's issue of Lean Marketing Champions features tips on doing your own PR from one of our authors and PR goddess, Paula Gardner.1.
Television Reporters - Questions to Ask Before Agreeing to an Interview
Prior to a TV interview it is guaranteed the journalist involved will spend time preparing, writing down questions or goals for the interview either quickly or more in-depth as well as conducting some background research. As the interview subject it is important to undergo a similar preparation process to make the most out of your media opportunity.
Publicity: Polls and Surveys Are a Great Path Free Publicity
When I search Google News for "surveys," I get nearly 50,000 results. When I search for "stocks," I get about 54,000.
Anatomy Of A PR Campaign
The message is determined by analyzing the brand being marketed, and doing so with clear vision and self-knowledge. Too many marketing executives rely on their own concept of the brand's identity, and never bother to discover what attributes the public has assigned to a product.
Managers Who Leave PR to Others
You're a business, non-profit or association manager who needs to achieve your organizational objectives on schedule. Since public relations should be helping you do just that, why leave it wholly in the hands of others?In your own best interest, get personally involved in your public relations effort and ask the PR team servicing your department, division or subsidiary a few questions.
Dont Waste Money on Public Relations
Demand that it pull its own weight in your boat by working to create, change or reinforce how your organization is perceived by those vital, external audiences, those groups of people who REALLY affect your business the most.This is key to your success because, like it or not, people take action based on the facts they see before them.
Is This the PR You Thought You Were Getting?
You know, where you do something positive about the behaviors of those outside audiences that MOST affect your organization? And where you do so by persuading those important external folks to your way of thinking, then move them to take actions that help your department, division or subsidiary succeed?Yes, that's right, it's where you use the fundamental premise of public relations to produce external stakeholder behavior change - the kind that leads directly to achieving your managerial objectives.What it boils down to is (1) your public relations effort must involve more than special events, brochures and news releases if you really want to get your money's worth, and (2), the right PR really CAN alter individual perception and lead to changed behaviors that help you succeed!You can do it when you bring that fundamental premise of PR mentioned above, into play.
The Key to Great PR
The Key to Great PR is PerseveranceBy Paula Gardner of Do Your Own PRI regularly seem to come across businesses that have pinned their hopes on one press release. They tell me how they sent it out with excitement in the pits of their stomachs and then felt the hard cold flop of disappointment when they didn't get an army of journalists on the phone the very next day.
Publicity: A Financial Planners Best Marketing Friend
There's an old African proverb:"If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito."There's a message here for financial planners who want to get free publicity exposure, and use it as a smart marketing tool to grow their practice.
|home | site map|