Do You Really Need PR?
The right kind of PR, that is, the kind that puts you in charge of the care and feeding of a lot of people who play a major role in just how successful a manager you're going to be?
As that manager, it also helps if you accept the fact that you need the kind of external stakeholder behavior change that helps you reach your business, non-profit or association objectives.
And it's also helpful if you believe it's a good idea to try and persuade those important outside folks to your way of thinking, then move them to take actions that help your department, division or subsidiary succeed.
Given all of that, if it now appears that you need to do something positive about the behaviors of those outside audiences that most affect your operations, yes, you really need public relations!
I mean, look at the sort of results you could be getting: politicians and legislators starting to view you as a key member of the business, non-profit or association communities; prospects starting to do business with you; fresh proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures; membership applications on the rise; customers starting to make repeat purchases; community leaders beginning to seek you out; welcome bounces in show room visits; higher employee retention rates; and even capital givers or specifying sources beginning to look your way.
So we agree that, yes, you really need public relations. But here's what's got to happen.
From the get-go, assure yourself that the public relations people assigned to your department, division or subsidiary know you're determined to find out what your most important outside audiences actually think about your organization. Reason being that target audience perceptions usually lead to behaviors that can help or hinder you in achieving your operating objectives.
Pin down which audiences are really key to your success then build and prioritize your list of important outside groups of people whose actions most affect your unit. And begin work on that top external audience.
Your new public relations effort will depend for its success on how efficient you are in gathering the perceptions of your organization held by your key target audiences.
Put your public relations team to work interacting with members of that #1 outside audience. Or, if you can tap a good sized budget, you can ask a professional survey firm to do the job for you. However, because your PR folks are already in the perception and behavior business, my choice would be to use them for this assignment.
Either way, someone must interact with members of that prime audience and ask questions like "What do you know about our operation? Are you familiar with our services or products? Have you had any negotiations with us? If so, were they satisfactory?"
Keep a careful eye on responses. Notice any evasive or hesitant comments about your organization? Be especially alert for misconceptions or untruths. Are there false assumptions or inaccuracies you need to remedy in light of experience that shows negative perceptions inevitably lead to negative behaviors ? the kind you must correct to protect your unit's operations.
All this work prepares you to set your public relations goal. For instance, clarify a hurtful inaccuracy, fix that misconception or flatten that rumor once and for all.
As with just about any goal you pursue, you don't reach it without the right strategy to show you how to get there. Fact is, with matters of perception and opinion, you have three strategic options: change an offending opinion/perception, create it where there isn't any, or reinforce an existing perception.
Here, perhaps the hardest work connected to a public relations program rears its ugly head -- preparing the persuasive message you will use to carry your corrective facts and figures to members of your key target audience.
Several characteristics are required in such a message. It must be clearly written as to why that misconception, inaccuracy or false assumption should be corrected or clarified. Supporting facts must be truthful so that they lead to a finished message that is persuasive, believable and compelling.
How would you plan to move your message to your audience? This is the least complex step in the sequence because there are so many communications tactics ready to do the message delivery job for you. They range from op-eds in local newspapers, radio and TV interviews, speeches, consumer briefings and brochures to newsletters, special events, emails, personal meetings and many, many others. Only caution: be sure the tactics you assign to the job have a good record of reaching people just like the members of your target audience.
Can we point to progress? Only way to know for certain if offending perceptions have been altered, is to interact out there once again with those audience members asking the same questions as before. But this time, you and your PR team will be watching carefully for indications that the troublesome perception really is correcting in your direction.
That IS where "the public relations rubber meets the road," isn't it? Business, non-profit or association managers use mission-critical public relations to alter an offending perception, leading directly to the predictable behavior?which helps them reach their department, division or subsidiary objectives.
About The Author
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. Visit: http://www.prcommentary.com
Dont Expect to Bump Oprah From A Magazine Cover
"I want a pony, a tree house and the fastest bike in the world."
Get Outsiders on Your Side
Especially good advice for business, non-profit and association managers whose job success depends in large part on the behaviors of their key external audiences.
Financial Planners Get Free Publicity With Email
In previous articles for marketing-minded financial planners, I've discussed what to say to a reporter over the telephone.
PR: Short Form for Managers
Experience tells me that too many business, non-profit and association managers pursue their goals and objectives largely without the insights, behavioral strategies and sheer power public relations can bring to the table.
Post Your Press Release Online ? For Free!!
Are you launching a new product or website? Announcing a new book, movie or seminar? Then you've probably created a press release ? sharing the: who, what, when, where, how and why of your special newsworthy item.
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.
Top Ten Tips For Great Sound Bites
If you're an online business using public relations (PR) to help increase traffic at your site, you've found a great way to gain exposure at little cost. And before you know it, the day will come when you are invited to do an interview with a reporter. It's exciting, but scary. What do you do? How do you prepare?
Want To Join the Bandwagon? Be Sure It Has Wheels!
Here are two to-the-point questions recently posed by several association magazine publishers: "When is it time to launch an electronic newsletter?" and "Just because everyone's doing it, does that make it right for us?"
Managers: Paying for PR-Lite?
As a business, non-profit or association manager, your public relations expenditure may give you names in the newspaper or product plugs on radio. But what about key stakeholder behavior change ? the kind that leads directly to achieving your managerial objectives?
PR: A Potent Force for Success
What's REALLY potent for a business, non-profit or association manager is public relations' ability to alter individual perception leading to changed behaviors. And then, to persuade those key outside folks to the manager's way of thinking, and help move them to take actions that allow their department, division or subsidiary to succeed.
8 Ways to Use Local Publicity to Drive Your Business
While scoring anice story in BusinessWeek or USA Today is something tocelebrate, there are times when you need to grab attention a bitcloser to home.
Why Not PR That Gets Real Results?
And not results you can measure only in terms of magazine circulation, TV audience numbers, or news release pickups.
Writing a Press Release: How to Write Quotes
Ideally, you will have two types of quotes in your press release. A quote from yourself is mandatory. To give your release extra impact, get a quote from a third-party.
33 Reasons To Do A News Release
News releases are not the best way to get major media coverage, but they can be used to increase the frequency with which your company name appears in the press.
How to Get PR
There is a process for successfully getting publicity about your business or organization. Publicity is no great mystery, just a thorough and strategic sales job. You are selling content to a publication or website who needs it to entice their readers. No publicist can guarantee a publication will print stories about your company because the publisher or editor ultimately controls the content of a publication. However, here is the method we recommend:
Etymology- How Words Change Over Time
Etymology is the study of the origins of words.
Company Dress Codes for Small Business; Shorts and Pants
Most small businesses have logo'ed shirts, usually polo shirts with logos, this is typical in American Business. But many small businesses either do not have a dress code for pants and shorts or they have one, but rarely enforce it. Others take the approach that unless something is way out of line, the small business owner just doesn't say anything. What is you dress code in your small business? Is it an unspoken dress code? If so you are not alone.
Managers: Get Real, Please!
Personnel mentions in the newspaper and product plugs on radio hardly qualify as an adequate return on your public relations dollar, and you probably know it!
Free Radio Publicity for Marketing-Minded Financial Planners
Radio is a powerful publicity tool. Most stations offer news and talk programming. Those shows are put together not necessarily by the voice you hear on air, but by people called producers.
How To Create A News Angle
Think of a triangle. On the left, imagine the story you want to tell. On the right, you have zeitgeist , or curent events.
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|