Easy to be Foolish About PR
In fact, here are three really foolish goofs made by too many business, non-profit and association managers.
If that's you, you foolishly do nothing positive about the behaviors of those important outside audiences of yours that most affect your operation.
You foolishly fail to create external stakeholder behavior change leading directly to achieving your managerial objectives.
Then you foolishly compound those goofs by never persuadingthose key outside folks to your way of thinking, or moving them to take actions that allow your department, division or subsidiary to succeed.
What you really need to know is this.
The right PR really CAN alter individual perception and lead to changed behaviors that help you succeed. And your public relations effort must involve more than special events, brochures and news releases if you really want to get your money's worth,
The foundation underlying public relations reads like this: 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.
Just look at the results it can deliver: new proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures; prospects starting to work with you; customers making repeat purchases; stronger relationships with the educational, labor, financial and healthcare communities; improved relations with government agencies and legislative bodies, and even capital givers or specifying sources looking your way
And results need not stop there. For example, you should also see results like rebounds in showroom visits; membership applications on the rise; new community service and sponsorship opportunities; enhanced activist group relations, and expanded feedback channels, as well as new thoughtleader and special event contacts.
Of course your PR crew ? agency or staff ? must be committed to you, as the senior project manager, to the PR blueprint and its implementation, starting with target audience perception monitoring.
And furthermore, you must impress upon them the crucial importance of why your most important outside audiences really must perceive your operations, products or services in a clearly positive light. So assure yourself that your PR staff has bought into the whole effort. Be especially careful that they accept the reality that perceptions almost always lead to behaviors that can help or hurt your unit.
Meet with your PR team and discuss the PR blueprint in detail, especially the plan for monitoring and gathering perceptions by questioning members of your most important outside audiences. Questions like these: how much do you know about our organization? How much do you know about our services or products and employees? Have you had prior contact with us and were you pleased with the interchange? Have you experienced problems with our people or procedures?
Luckily, survey pros can always handle the perception monitoring phases of your program, IF the budget is available. But remember that 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.
Now a word about your public relations goal. You need one that speaks to the aberrations that showed up during your key audience perception monitoring. And it could call for straightening out that dangerous misconception, or correcting that gross inaccuracy, or doing something about that damaging rumor.
The hard truth is that, when you set a goal, you need a strategy that shows you how to get there. You have three strategic choices when it comes to handling a perception or opinion challenge: create perception where there may be none, change the perception, or reinforce it. A bad strategy pick will taste like ketchup on your stringbeans, so be certain the new strategy fits well with your new public relations goal. For example, you don't want to select "change" when the facts dictate a "reinforce" strategy.
Because awfully hard work really is awfully hard work, persuading an audience to your way of thinking means your PR team must come up with just the right, corrective language. Words that are compelling, persuasive and believable AND clear and factual. You've got to do this if you are to correct a perception by shifting opinion towards your point of view, leading to the desired behaviors.
Review your message with your troops for impact and persuasiveness. Then, pick out the communications tactics most likely to carry your words to the attention of your target audience. You can pick from dozens that are available. 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.
You've heard the old bromide about the credibility of a message depending on its delivery method. So, on the chance that HOW you deliver your message may affect its believability,you could introduce it to smaller gatherings instead of using higher-profile tactics like news releases or talk show appearances.
When you notice mumblings about a progress report, take it asan alert to you and your PR folks to return to the field for a second perception monitoring session with members of your external audience. Using many of the same questions used in the first benchmark session, you'll now be watching very carefully for signs that the bad news perception is being altered in your direction.
If things still are not moving fast enough, you can always accelerate the effort with more communications tactics and increased frequencies.
No more foolish goofs!
Instead, depend on the reality that the right PR really CAN alter individual perception and lead `to changed behaviors that help you succeed.
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 © 2005.
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. bobkelly@TNI.net
Media Training: When Reporters Lie
I recently worked with a group dealing with an unusual problem. It seems that a local television reporter in town known for his aggressive style of reporting has a nasty habit of lying. Let's call him Jack.
Managers, Have You Been Shortchanged?
You have been if you're a business, non-profit or association manager whose public relations budget is focused largely on nifty brochures, column mentions and broadcast plugs. Especially without a workable plan that helps you persuade your most important outside stakeholders to your way of thinking, then moves them to take actions that lead to the success of your department, division or subsidiary.
PR Campaigns ? How To Get To Grips With The Media
If you're serious about getting great results from your PR you may find that you have to severely challenge your current reading habits. A recent client completed her PR assessment form with a comment about how she had always read a certain paper because her parents had and she'd just fallen into the habit too. She now realised that she had to read a lot more widely to understand the amount of opportunities that are out there, and which ones would work for her.
PR: Focus on What Matters!
Sure, as a manager, you have a talented member of the PR team assigned to your department, division or subsidiary, or housed at your agency, and s/he is darn good at placing product and service plugs on radio and in the newspaper. Which may be all you want. And that's fine.
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.
The Non-business Business
Think for a moment! If you were to do a business, profession or a job that you loved, something that was a passion, you considered worth doing, one that gave you joy; would you ever think early retirement or rush home early from work? 'Doubtful' is a certainty, to say the least!
Imagine PR Like This Helping You
As the kids say, how cool is this?
How To Get Radio-Active PR For Your Non-Profit Cause: Part Two of Three
FIVE WAYS TO GET ON THE RADIO
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.
Do You Have A Press Package?
How do you make a friend of the media? A press package can go a long way in helping you deal with the media. It allows you to have everything you need handy.
PR: Advice You Didnt Ask For
Although, as a business, non-profit or association manager, you may be glad this came your way.
What Determines PR Success?
As a business, non-profit or association manager, occasions will arise when you'll need to employ tactics like a brochure, a special event or a press release. Butit will be your work that precedes those tactics that will determine the success of your public relations effort.
Another way to really become known in your area is to speak up. Make yourself available to talk to every civic,business and educational group that will have you. Stress your expertise, and, as with writing the newspaper column,never try to sell anything-except your reputation as a knowledgeable, trustworthy professional.
Add Some Firepower to your PR
Sure, as tactics usually presented to business, non-profit and association managers, special events, brochures and news releases are fine.
Business Community Relations 101 - Getting the Most Out of Your Chamber of Commerce Membership
Since the major part of a small business typically comes from business to business services, it is essential to maintain a positive standing with the local business community. It is of value to you to join as many business type organizations as possible in your town. You should attend meetings when possible and introduce your clients to each other.
Media Training: Stop Talking, Already!
THE TWO MINUTES UNDERDOG
Grow Your Financial Planning Practice by Taking Your Publicity National
Think that you aren't big enough for national media coverage? Says who? Certainly not the USA Today. In one recent two-week period, they quoted financial planners in Southfield (Michigan), Dublin (Ohio) and Clearwater (Florida). These are not exactly metropolitan hubs.
Financial Planners, Want Free Marketing and Publicity? The Key is Understanding the Media
The media need you. Need the information and expertise you offer, that is. But they are not encyclopedias. They don't serve up information. They serve up stories.
4th Quarter 2003 Publicity = 1st Quarter 2004 Prosperity
As the year starts to wind down, many businesses and entrepreneurs are making plans and budgets for the year 2004. Those plans could include anything from setting up goals for new products to preparing marketing, sales and PR/publicity campaigns. When it comes to your publicity plan, WHEN you launch your campaign can be just as important to what and how you launch.
Inoculate Yourself Against Bad PR
What is bad PR?
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|