Public Relations Mixup?
When you pay good money for public relations services, you have a right to expect its primary focus to be on your most important outside audiences, those people whose behaviors have the greatest impact on your operation.
Often, however, that primary focus is limited to a communi- cations tactics debate about the relative merits of brochures versus press releases versus newsletters instead of planning how to achieve those key audience behaviors that directly support your business objectives and make the difference between success and failure.
Nothing wrong with communications tactics. They fit in just fine later in the effort, as you will see. Only point here? Use them for what they are, tactics, not a substitute for your primary public relations effort.
To insure that you're not wasting that PR budget, you really need to stay in touch with your most important external audiences. Then carefully monitor their perceptions about your organization, their feelings and beliefs about hot topics at issue, both of which lead to predictable, follow-on behaviors.
First, you need to list those external audiences that have the most serious impacts on your organization. Rank them as to those impacts and let's work on the one at the top of the list.
Now, you and your colleagues must interact with members of that outside audience and pose a lot of questions in order to gather the information you need.
Listen carefully to what they say about your organization, its products or services, and its management. Ask questions like "What do you think of us? and Are you pleased with what you know about us? Have you heard anything that you want explained?" It's important to watch for negativity in attitudes and responses while staying alert to misconceptions, inaccuracies, dangerous rumors and unfounded beliefs and opinions.
The good news is the body of knowledge you will gather. Here are the facts you need to establish your public relations goal. That is, the actual perception change followed by the behavior change you want. Specifically, you may decide to spend your resources on clearing up a serious misconception, turning around that unfounded belief or killing that dangerous rumor once and for all.
What to DO with that completed goal comes next. Luckily, there are just three strategies to choose from when you deal with perception and opinion. You can create perception/opinion when there isn't any, you can change existing opinion, or you can reinforce it. It will be obvious which one to choose once you've set your public relations goal.
It's been real easy to this point, now you must prepare the message that will hopefully alter the perception and behavior of your target audience. It's not easy. But it must be done in a believable, persuasive and compelling manner. The message must be clear and to the point with regard to exactly what is incorrect or untruthful. Remember this about the message: its only function is to alter existing perception on the part of members of the target audience. So, the guidelines are clarity, persuasiveness and credibility.
Here we are at the "public relations stable" housing our "beasts of burden" ? your communications tactics whose job it is to carry your message to the attention of those key target audience members.
There is a really long list of tactics from which you can choose. Letters-to-the-editor, news releases, speeches, briefings, personal meetings, emails, newspaper and radio interviews and dozens more. Main requirement? Do they have a proven record of reaching the members of your target audience?
Are you making progress? Short of spending some real money on professional surveys (the cost of which often exceeds the entire public relations budget!), the best way to find out is to interact again with members of that target audience. In addition to being among the very people with whom you should regularly interact anyway, you and your colleagues can now personally assess attitudes, responses and degrees of awareness of your organization as well as particular misconceptions, untruths, inaccuracies or rumors.
Now, after six or eight weeks of your communications blitz, the difference between these perceptions and those gathered during the earlier interaction is that you are looking for signs that perceptions are now moving in your direction.
Should you decide to speed up the process, you might add a few more communication tactics to the mix, and increase their frequencies. Another look at your message would also be in order to reassure yourself that its factual base, clarity and impact measure up.
Once your perception monitoring shows that you have persuaded many target audience stakeholders towards your way of thinking, you may be sure that instead of wasting your PR budget, you are moving those stakeholders to behaviors that will produce the public relations success you want.
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.
About The Author
Bob Kelly counsels, writes and speaks about the fundamental premise of public relations. 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.
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?
Publicity: The Best Things In Life Are... FREEE!
One portion of your marketing plan that you probably don't think about enough is "free publicity".
A PR Question For Chinese Managers
As the practice of public relations in China continues to mature, it seems appropriate to ask whether Chinese business managers ? tutored as they have been by European, North American and other PR specialists ? continue to apply major public relations emphasis to print and broadcast communications tactics. In other words, do they still see PR through the lens of simple publicity, as many in the West still do?
Easy to be Foolish About PR
In fact, here are three really foolish goofs made by too many business, non-profit and association managers.
Publicity Tips from the Pros
If you want to know the best way to approach the media, get advice directly from the source: the editors, producers and journalists who choose the stories that get publicity. Here are some of the best tips I've gotten from media representatives about getting your story in the news.
What is News?
What may be the more appropriate question is: What makes a story newsworthy enough to get picked up by the media? Here are a few rules of thumb to determine if you have a news angle worthy of press coverage.
Youve Done PR the Hard Way Long Enough
As a business, non-profit or association manager, let the tacticians handle the special events, brochures and press releases from now on.
Public Relations 8 Fix Factors
I say to business, non-profit and association managers, a key part of your job description is ? or should be ? do everything you can to help your organization's public relations effort as it strives to persuade important outside stakeholders to your way of thinking. Especially when it's YOUR PR program that is tasked to move those stakeholders to behaviors that lead to the success of YOUR department or division.
Sound Like Your Situation?
What a shame! Potentially productive public relations people resting on their oars in a large organization. Just kind of tinkering with tactics and leaving target audience perceptions (and behaviors) to pretty much do their own thing.
Time Your News Release For Maximum Publicity
"Cindy, where's that story? I need it yesterday!"
Publicity: Five Tips for Calling a Reporter
Always ask, "Is now a good time?"
Prep for a Successful Trade Show
Well, autumn is upon us and with the onset of this season comes cleaner air and colourful outdoor scenery and, it is also prime season for trade shows. Sure, trade shows happen all throughout the year but, with many areas recognizing small business month/week, there is a greater opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their products or services to their target markets.
Media Kit: 25 Component Possibilities
Media kits include a combination of information whether created for electronic delivery or print. The number of components depends on the kit's focus and intention. For instance, an author's kit would include a different combination of information than a service business, or a multifaceted company or speaker.
Media Relations: When Google Got Googled
Before meeting my soon-to-be-wife for the first time, I "Googled" her. Google, with its amazing alacrity, turned up several documents in less than a second.
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.
Three Publicity Tips for Marketing-Minded Financial Planners
Financial planners, the first thing to know about reporters is this: they are busy.
How To Write More Powerfully For PR, Offline And Online
Years ago when my Dad owned a group of local newspapers I spent my school and college vacations working in the editorial office. We used to amuse ourselves over our sandwiches at lunchtime looking through and trashing the endless press releases that would arrive in the mail each day, all beautifully produced with glossy photographs (this was in pre-internet days).
Getting Traffic Through Publicity
If your reading this, you must be online and most likely have a website. You must also be interested in making money from this website, but there is only one way you can do that- traffic and lots of it.
Marketing-Minded Financial Planners, Make Your Web Site a Resource for the Media
Reporters, by nature, are curious people.
What? You Havent Got a Capability Statement?
What's a Capability Statement?
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|