Managers Need Basic PR
True, because department, division or subsidiary managers for a business, non-profit or association really DO need a dynamic yet workable blueprint for reaching those key outside groups of people who have a big say about how successful those managers are going to be.
Unfortunately, a primary emphasis on communications tactics does not take the place of a well thought-out public relations plan for persuading your most important external audiences to your way of thinking, then moving them to take actions that lead to your success.
For example, a basic public relations blueprint like this one: 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.
Save the communications tactics for later when you need something to carry your message to the right external audience.
For now, think about an impactful public relations plan that can deliver the behavior results you want. I'm thinking of behaviors that produce real increases in capital gifts, new inquiries concerning joint ventures or strategic alliances, new waves of prospects or, especially, repeat purchases.
First step on this journey is one of discovery ? just how do those key, outside audiences perceive your operation? This is vital, of course, because perceptions often morph into hurtful behaviors. Which suggests that you and the PR team assigned to you begin by interacting with members of those audiences, then prioritize them according to the impacts on your unit.
Here, you have a choice: you and your PR team can personally handle the perception monitoring and data gathering for your target audience because your PR folks are already in the perception and behavior business. Or, a large budget permitting, you can retain the services of a professional survey firm to do the job.
Once you decide who monitors and gathers the perception data, you need to ask the right questions of your audience members. "How much do you know about us, if anything? Do you have an opinion about our services or people. Have you ever had a problem with our operation?"
Stay on the lookout for negative responses such as misconcep- tions, rumors and false assumptions. And especially for inaccur- acies that could do damage because of the hurtful behaviors they can produce.
Now, with such perception data in hand, you're ready to set your public relations goal. And this can be as direct as "clear up that misconception, neutralize the rumor, or fix that inaccuracy."
Reaching that goal, however, requires just the right strategy. Since this is a matter of perception/opinion, you have only three choices: change existing perception, create it where none exists, or reinforce that existing opinion/perception.
Now, tap your best writer because you need to prepare a message effective enough to alter negative perceptions among members of your target audience. The message should be multifaceted if it is to do the job. It must be clearly written and fact-based as well as believable and thus, persuasive. Hopefully, it also will be compelling in its tone.
The challenge of delivering your message to the right ears and eyes falls to your communications tactics, and there are a ton of them. Everything from electronic magazines, consumer presentations, speeches and press releases to media interviews, newsletters, brochures and personal contacts. But make sure that each tactic you choose displays a track record of reaching folks similar to those you are trying to reach.
How will you know when you're making progress? By going back to the field and re-monitoring the perceptions of members of that target audience. But there's a new wrinkle the second time around. Your antennae will be up to capture signs of change in the offending perception ? has that untruth, false assumption, hurtful misconception or damaging rumor been adequately addressed by your message and communications tactics? In other words, is perception among members of your target audience moving in your direction, thus signaling success?
Luckily, you can always speed up the process with additional communications tactics, and by increasing their frequencies.
By this point, what you will have done, of course, is put in place precisely the well thought-out public relations plan you need to persuade your most important external audiences to your way of thinking, then move them to take actions that lead to your success as a manager.
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 communications, U.S. Department of the Interior, and deputy assistant press secretary, The White House. mailto:bobkelly@TNI.net Visit: http://www.prcommentary.com.
Its Just Common Sense!
When a group of outsiders behaves in a way that hurts your business, you usually do something about it. Yet, many business people are amazingly casual about their own external audiences. To me at least, they seem to ignore the reality that those behaviors really do impact their organizations.
How Real PR Works
For some, public relations works well when their news release or special event winds up in the newspaper or on the radio.
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.
Media Release Headlines - Ten Tips to Get Media Attention
So you have spent hours and hours writing, shaping and crafting your media message. You've worked on setting your objectives, identifying your target audience and working out how to reach them. Your release is well structured and packaged, leaving just writing the head-line remaining.
The Ratings are Coming
Small businesses have always known the importance of word of mouth. Many successful businesses have been built on word of mouth referrals, and many have been killed by bad word of mouth.
Media Training 201: The Reporters Have Done Their Homework. Have You Done Yours?
Just about anyone who has been in the public eye has a story of the media interview that went south. "I talked to that reporter for an hour and all they used was a ten-second sound bite!" or, "He said he wanted to ask me about X when that was just a way to get in the door so he could talk about Y." Chances are, the reporter came armed with questions and if he really did his homework, knew what answers to expect. You should be just as prepared. Media training can't make the tough questions go away, but it can give you the tools to control the interview. Here are some tips:
Financial Planners, Make Sure Reporters Comprehend Your Topic
Don't assume that a reporter understands financial planning. If anything, assume the opposite until proven wrong. See if you can't develop a couple of questions for the reporter that delicately explore their subject-matter knowledge. Freddy Newshound may cover personal finance, but he's no expert. He may have started on the beat yesterday and not know a T-Bill from a municipal bond.
Is PR Right for You? 6 Questions to Ask
When most people think about marketing, they think advertising. While advertising is a part of marketing, marketing is much bigger than advertising. There are lots of different marketing methods floating around out there, and the challenge as a business owner is figuring out when it's appropriate to use each one and the best way to use it.
Building Credibility Through Bylined Articles
As if making sure your company runs smoothly on an operational level isn't responsibility enough, as a business owner, you're probably overseeing all aspects of your company's public relations program, as well.
What I Do
I believe this about public relations.
Publicity - Use This System to Track Publicity Progress
Tracking your correspondence with reporters, via phone or email, is important for two reasons. First of all, promises to follow-up can slip between the cracks of daily business and cost you a change at free publicity. Second, you don't ever want to contact a reporter twice about the same story. You will immediately destroy your credibility.
Is that what we are? Fanatic, over-the-top disciples of some wretched obsession?
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. Authors dream of having bestselling books as a result of an Oprah appearance. Even David Letterman staged a long-running bit on his show where he openly campaigned to be invited on Oprah's show.
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.
Dont Need No Stinking PR?
Almost assuredly you do, especially when your most important external and internal audiences behave in ways that stop you from achieving your organizational objectives.
Speaking to the Press
If you get the hang of speaking to the press and you can establish a few good relationships, their contacts and outreach can be extremely beneficial to the marketing of your organization.
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. Today, almost anyone in responsible positions could be called on to interview.
Why Managers Need the PR Advantage
Where is there a business, non-profit or associationmanager who does not need all the help he or she can find in achieving their managerial objectives?
Where is the Best PR Value?
Wherever the fundamental premise of public relations is practiced.
So Whats Wrong With Strategic?
Some folks see the word "strategic" as a needlessly tiresome and complicated notion. But anything that shows you how to get from here to there IS strategic, and something we all need.
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|