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?
Can your PR deliver external stakeholder behavior change -- the kind that leads directly to achieving your managerial objectives?
Can your PR persuade those important outside folks to your way of thinking, then move them to take actions that help your department, division or subsidiary succeed?
Or does the money you spend on public relations pretty much buy personnel mentions in the newspaper and product plugs on radio talk shows?
If you want the real thing - the public relations performance described above - start with this reality: 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.
First, look at the results that could come your way. Capital givers or specifying sources beginning to look your way; fresh proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures; prospects interested in doing business with you; membership applications on the rise; customers starting to make repeat purchases; politicians and legislators starting to view you as a key member of the business, non-profit or association communities; welcome bounces in show room visits; higher employee retention rates, and even community leaders beginning to seek you out.
If you're a business, non-profit or association manager, and you're serious about wringing every last benefit out of your public relations budget, here, for starters, are two suggestions: list those outside audiences of yours who behave in ways that help or hinder you in achieving your objectives. Then prioritize them by impact severity. And let's address the target audience you decide is number one.
In all likelihood, you haven't gathered data that tells you what most members of that key outside audience think about your organization. However, you would have these data if you had been regularly sampling those perceptions.
But now, in the absence of a large professional survey budget, you and your colleagues will have to monitor those perceptions yourselves. Meet with members of that outside audience and interact by asking questions like "Have you ever met anyone from our organization? Was it a satisfactory experience? How much do you know about our services or products?" Watch carefully for negative statements, especially evasive or hesitant replies. And stay alert for false assumptions, untruths, misconceptions, inaccuracies and potentially damaging rumors. You'll need to correct any that you discover because experience shows they usually lead to negative behaviors.
After correcting such aberrations before they morph into hurtful behaviors, you now select the specific perception to be altered, and that becomes your public relations goal.
As luck would have it, a PR goal without a strategy to show you how to get there, is like pasta without the meat sauce. That's why you must select one of three strategies especially designed to create perception or opinion where there may be none, or change existing perception, or reinforce it. And take care that your new goal and the new strategy match each other. After all, you wouldn't want to select "change existing perception" when current perception is just right suggesting a "reinforce" strategy.
Now here's where talent comes in. Your PR team must put those writing skills to work and prepare a compelling message carefully designed to alter your key target audience's perception, as called for by your public relations goal.
You might think about combining your corrective message with another newsworthy announcement of a new product, service or employee - or including it in another presentation -- thus lending credibility by downplaying the correction.
Still, the corrective message must possess clarity. It must be clear about what perception needs clarification or correction, and why. Your facts must be truthful and your position must be persuasive, logically explained and believable if it is to hold the attention of members of that target audience, and really move perception your way.
Actually picking the "beasts of burden" - the tools you will count on to carry your persuasive new thoughts to the attention of that external audience - will be the least challenging part of your campaign.
You'll find a huge collection of communications tactics available such as letters-to-the-editor, brochures, press releases and speeches. Or, possibly radio and newspaper interviews, personal contacts, newsletters, group briefings and many others. But again, be cautious about the tactics you select. Can they demonstrate a record of reaching the same people as those you call your target stakeholders?
Without any question, the subject of progress will arise. And you'll want to be ready for such queries by again monitoring perceptions among your target audience members. But here's the difference the second time around. Using questions similar to those used during your earlier monitoring session, you will now watch carefully for indications that audience perceptions are beginning to move in your direction. That spells progress.
I should note that we are fortunate in the PR business that we can always put the pedal to the metal by employing additional communications tactics, AND by increasing their frequencies.
Finally, strive to sharpen your focus on the very groups of outside people - your key external stakeholders -- who play a major role in just how successful a manager you will be.
Then use a workable blueprint such as that outlined at the beginning of this article. A plan that helps you persuade those 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.
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 © 2004.
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. He holds a bachelor of science degree from Columbia University, major in public relations.
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10 Secrets to Free Publicity
Public relations is popular because it is very cost-effective and it works. If you send out one press release, for example, and it gets into print, it could generate more interest in your product or service.
Attention PR Shoppers!
As a business, non-profit or association manager, what do you want?Publicity that delivers newspaper and talk show mentions, or behavior change among your key outside audiences that leads directly to achieving your managerial objectives?Special events that attract a lot of people, or public relations that persuades your most important outside audiences to your way of thinking, then moves them to take actions that help your department, division or subsidiary succeed?Zippy brochures and videos, or a way for you to do something positive about the behaviors of those external audiences of yours that MOST affect your organization?What I believe you need to know about PR are two realities:1) The right PR really CAN alter individual perception and lead to changed behaviors that help you succeed, and2), 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 underlying truth about PR goes this way: 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.
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Passion with Purpose - The Winning Combination
The power of PassionPassion is an extraordinarily powerful spring. Without it religion, history, romance, and art are useless.
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Because good public relations can alter individual perception and lead to changed behaviors among key outside audiences. And that can help business, non-profit and association managers achieve their managerial objectives.
The PR And Marketing Expert Has A Smattering Of Knowledge Regarding Nearly Everything And Is Certain
PR, that is public-relations, leads the way to effective advertising; opening the channel of communication and allowing the advertising to be acceptable. Public-relations is really all the different ways of communicating that enable society and individuals and groups and organizations to better function and more understandably communicate with each other.
The Truth About Public Relations
The truth is, you CAN attract the support of those external audiences whose behaviors have the most effect on your enterprise. But you must do it by first achieving the positive changes you need in their perceptions and, thus, behaviors.
What Is Best Practice Public Relations?
Why, public relations that stays true to its fundamental premise, of course.In a nutshell, "People act on their own perception of the facts before them, which leads to predictable behaviors about which something can be done.
Southern grandmothers have often said, "there are only three times a respectable person's name should be in the paper: when you are born, when you are married, and when you die." † This is the one area in which I part company with my grandmothers.
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Write Press Releases That Dazzle
When a reporter is wowed, intrigued, surprised or captivated by your press release, you can be pretty sure you'll get some media coverage. And for most businesses, positive media coverage is worth its weight in gold.
Why PR is an Engine for Economic Growth
Business, non-profit and association managers committing their public relations resources to (1) doing something about the behaviors of those important outside audiences that most affect their operation, (2) creating the kind of external stakeholder behavior change that leads directly to achieving their managerial objectives, and (3) doing so by persuading those key outside folks to their way of thinking by helping to move them to take actions that allow their department, division or subsidiary to succeed - greatly increase the chances of success for their operation.Thus, feeding the engine of their own economic growth AND that of the nation at large.
The Story The Media Really Wants
If you're like most of my clients, you're probably interested in getting the media to cover the success of your business. These "business success stories" can be used for future marketing efforts -- including reprints of the story in your marketing materials or on your Web site, or framing the article and hanging it in your office.
Leveraging Media Coverage - Your Tool For Business Growth
Media relations, simply put, is the business of building and growing reputations. One of the strengths of media coverage is that its free and gives great credibility because it is written by a third party, namely a journalist.
Publicity Wont Thrive on Press Releases Alone
Press releases are a useful tool for announcing news and for keeping your name in the mind of the news media.But you can't build a successful publicity campaign on press releases alone, for the simple reason that very few press releases ever make it into the paper.
35 Quick Tips for Writing A Press Release
Layout1.†† 1-2 pages in length.
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