Public Relations Productivity
Should it be measured in "publicity by the pound," or by how well external audience behaviors help achieve the organization's key objectives?
I opt for holding public relations responsible, first, for recognizing that people act on their perception of the facts leading to behaviors about which something can be done. And second, for how well its practitioners create, change or reinforce that opinion by reaching, persuading and moving-to-desired-action those people whose behaviors affect the organization.
Only then would I agree that a strategic public relations mission has been accomplished, not simply completion of a tactical assignment.
Now this presumes that our practitioner knows the next step, and the one after that, as s/he pursues increased productivity.
But initially, such gains in public relations must begin by efficiently prioritizing the organization's most important outside audiences. Those whose behaviors have the greatest impact on the enterprise.
With that chore completed, you now want to learn what members of your #1external audience think and feel about you and your organization. Important because we know that what people perceive usually leads to a predictable behavior about which, usually, something can be done.
So, discovering that valuable information demands that you find out precisely how those target audience members perceive your operation. Which means you must now interact with those people, and ask a lot of questions such as "do you have an opinion about our organization?" Or, "what do you think of our products or services?"
Listen carefully for signs of negative attitudes, false assumptions, misconceptions, inaccuracies and, especially, dangerous rumors.
The responses to your questions, and the explanations people give for why they feel or believe as they do, will lead you directly to your public relations goal. For example, straighten out that misconception, correct that inaccuracy, or spike that rumor, fast.
By the way, as you efficiently move through the public relations problem solving sequence, you accumulate the productivity gains promised by the fundamental premise of public relations outlined in the opening paragraphs.
Now, you set your public relations goal, one that aims squarely at correcting the problem you identified during your perception monitoring activity.
And that might well include clarifying a misconception, correcting an inaccuracy, informing a misunderstanding or stopping a rumor dead in its tracks. What you've just done, is set a public relations goal towards which you will strive by altering specific perceptions held by that target audience, usually leading to the desired behavior.
But hold on. What strategy will you employ in your pursuit of that altered perception and changed behavior? Your choice of strategies is limited, but powerful. You can shoot for creating opinion (perception) where there really isn't any. You can focus your efforts on changing existing opinion, or you may be quite happy to simply reinforce those existing perceptions.
This is a key decision because your strategy will influence the selection, direction, content and tone of all of your subsequent communications.
Which brings us to the question of just how you are going to structure the message to be sent to your target audience. Above all, your message must state clearly what the perception problem is, AND what it should be, based on the actual facts of the matter. At the same time, your message must be written persuasively and believably, thus imparting credibility to the message. No small challenge!
Now, with the message in hand, it's time to select the communications tactics you will use to effectively carry your message to members of your target audience.
And there is no shortage of communications tactics. You can choose from among brochures, press releases, community briefings and one-on-one meetings with thoughtleaders. Or, letters-to-the-editor, radio interviews, speeches and emails. And dozens more, although your choices here will be influenced by budgetary reality.
Inevitably, you will want to know if your public relations program is making any progress. Other than spending big bucks with a professional public opinion sampling firm, there's really only one way to do that quickly and accurately. And that is to get out there among members of your target audience, interact with a number of them and ask the same questions you did during your first perception monitoring session.
The difference now is that you are looking for movement in perceptions towards the views expressed in your message. In other words, you want to see some perceptions altered in your direction because that gives you a better chance to achieve your real objective, modified target audience behaviors.
Your first go at this may indicate that more work is needed to effectively influence opinion among your key target audience. If this is the case, you will need to reevaluate the mix of communications tactics you originally selected, as well as the frequency with which you aimed them at your target audience. Also advisable, would be another accuracy check of the facts and figures you used in your message.
As your public relations program takes hold, you will notice that key points in your message have been internalized, and are now being played back to you by members of your target audience. This will result in a general increase in target audience awareness of your organization and its role in the communities, industry sectors and geographies where it operates.
Another way of putting it is, when enough members of your key target audience are persuaded to your way of thinking, and their behaviors begin to reflect that change, your public relations effort is showing unmistakable signs of success.
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
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.By asking your own question you are able to perform at your best and be prepared for the interview.
Using the Media - Five Reasons Why
The media has the power to shape public opinion and change perceptions. Every day millions of people around the world consume at least one form of the media, whether voluntary or involuntary.
Financial Planners Garner Free Publicity by Making it Easy for the Media
Would you advise clients to buy a stock based on the say so of an investor relations person, or something you overheard at a restaurant? Of course not. You want to see at least some independent research before suggesting it be added to your clients' portfolios.
Building Community Support for Project Permitting, Construction, and Marketing
Redevelopment is replacing new construction throughout the Greater Boston area, as construction costs climb and the commercial/retail vacancy rate reaches new (and alarming) levels.
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.
Generating Publicity For Your Business: Knowing Your Media Market Is Critical
When starting a successful business venture or launching a new product, most entrepreneurs or business owners conduct some type of marketing research to determine the extent of their prospective customer base. And when getting the word out to that customer base, many entrepreneurs may turn to the media to help generate a buzz for them. However, as detailed as their marketing research might have been, very few business owners are as meticulous at determining their proper "media market" ? that is, all those media outlets whose editorial profiles are a match to a product/business profile and would be appropriate for generating media exposure and publicity.
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?
Media Training: Stop Talking, Already!
THE TWO MINUTES UNDERDOG
Why Public Relations Doesnt Just Happen
Public relations is a very important part of the marketing mix. A successful PR campaign provides third-party endorsement of products or services which is something no other marketing element can deliver. Many people think that once a company starts advertising, editors beat a path to your door. In some cases, that actually does happen, but it's not the norm.
Can Your PR Do This?
Can your PR do something positive about the behaviors of those outside audiences that most affect your business, non-profit or association?
How To Get Zero Cost Publicity For Your Business Part 1
Would you like to expand the volume of your business? You can let thousands know about your service, your store, or your new product without spending a penny. Whether you want to make more sales or get an offer on television, you can broaden the scope of your clients by free publicity.
Publicity and Marketing Magic For Financial Planners: The Four Mores
Publicity will take your financial planning practice, your business, and your life to the next level. It's going to bring you:more recognitionmore credibilitymore value to the marketplacemore businessIt's obvious that getting more publicity ? exposure in the media ? will yield you more marketplace recognition. But how do the other three "mores" work?
Driving Near School Buses in Company Vehicles
How To Write A Press Release: The Seven Deadly Sins And How To Avoid Them
How to write a press release that generates free publicity is a great skill to have.
Promote Your Products With A Press Release
Writing an effective press release is a way to draw attention to the products you sell and do so at a local level, nationwide and even get internationally. You don't need to be a writer, but you need to clarify exactly what it is you are selling.
Leveraging Your Reputation - Making PR Work for You
We rely on all kinds of tools and advice to help our businesses grow, from accounting and legal advice to graphic design and sales seminars. But what are we doing for the important job of building our business's reputation in the community?
Top Ten Tips for Writing your Best Press Release Ever
Keep these few crucial details in mind when writing and submitting your press release to increase your chances of news coverage:
What Many PR Users Ignore
Simply that the behaviors of their most important outside audiences rank pretty low on their list of things to worry about. And this despite the reality that, properly cared for, those behaviors can affect whether or not those managers achieve their managerial objectives.
Meet The Media
Although media relations is not all there is to PR, it is a darned good, low cost way to spread the word. So here are a few media contacts to help you out.
How Would You Ever Know?
Your important outside audiences behave in ways that stop you from reaching your objectives.
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|