PRs Big Bang Theory
Lots of theories out there about public relations.
Everything from "publicity's the thing!," "the care and feeding of reputations and "sales support is primary" to "gain and hold public acceptance," and "issue management's the thing." among many, many others.
But for business, non-profit and association managers, the big, bang theory of public relations trumps them all when it alters individual perception leading to changed behaviors among their key outside audiences, thus helping them achieve their managerial objectives.
As a manager, you can do exactly the same by doing something positive about the behaviors of those important external audiences of yours that MOST affect your operation.
In particular when you persuade those key outside folks to your way of thinking, then help move them to take actions that allow your department, division or subsidiary to succeed.
If there's a secret behind such "big bang" performance, it probably 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.
A grab-bag of results can occur. The payoff can make your day: fresh proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures; customers starting to make repeat purchases; membership applications on the rise; community leaders beginning to seek you out; welcome bounces in show room visits; prospects starting to do business with you; higher employee retention rates, capital givers or specifying sources beginning to look your way, and even politicians and legislators starting to view you as a key member of the business, non-profit or association communities.
But you'll need more then zippy special events, slick brochures and punchy press releases if you really want to get the PR you paid for.
At the same time, as you no doubt realize, a key plank in your PR platform requires that your most important outside audiences really perceive your operations, products or services in a positive light. This is so vital that your PR people must buy into the effort from the get-go. Be especially careful that they accept the reality that perceptions almost always lead to behaviors that can help or hurt your unit.
How you will gather and monitor opinion by questioning members of your most important outside audiences will be of interest to everyone on the team. So take the time to review the PR blueprint in detail with your staff. Discuss questions that will be asked: 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?
Professional survey people can always gather opinion data for the perception monitoring phases of your program, IF the budget is available. But always 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.
We must say a few words about your all-important public relations goal. It must speak to the problems that cropped up during your key audience perception monitoring. Probably, it will require correcting that gross inaccuracy, straightening out that dangerous misconception, or doing something about that damaging rumor.
Because any goal must have a strategy to show you how to get where you want to go, you get to pick from just three strategic choices available to handle a perception or opinion challenge: create perception where there may be none, change the perception, or reinforce it. By the way, the wrong strategy pick will taste like onion gravy on your sea scallops, 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.
To persuade an audience to your way of thinking, you need words that are compelling, persuasive and believable, as well as clear and factual. In other words, the right, corrective phrases. This must be done if you are to correct a perception by shifting opinion towards your point of view, leading to the desired behaviors.
And to carry your words to the attention of your target audiences, you need communications tactics likely to reach them. First sit down again with your communications specialists and read your message for impact and persuasiveness. Then select from dozens of available tactics such as speeches, facility tours, emails, brochures, consumer briefings, media interviews, newsletters, personal meetings and many others. But again, be certain that the tactics you use are known to reach folks just like your audience members.
Because the credibility of any message can be called into question because of its delivery method, think about introducing it to smaller gatherings rather than using higher-profile communications such as news releases or talk-show appearances.
At the first mention of progress reports, think of it as your reminder that the PR team should return to the field for a second perception monitoring session with members of your external audience. Asking many of the same questions used in the first benchmark session, you'll now be alert for signs that your communications tactics have worked and that the negative perception is being altered in your direction.
When things seem to be dragging, and you decide to move things along a little faster, do so by accelerating your PR program with a wider selection of communications tactics AND increased frequencies.
The public relations big bang theory has at its core, the behaviors of those important outside audiences of yours that most affect your operation. Namely, the creation of external stakeholder behavior change leading directly to achieving your managerial objectives.
And the fastest way to accomplish that is to persuade those key outside folks to your way of thinking, thus moving them to take actions that allow your business, non-profit or association to 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. Word count is 1135 including guidelines and resource box. 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. mailto:bobkelly@TNI.net Visit:http://www.prcommentary.com
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Getting a press release published in a newspaper or magazines can be one of the best ways to publicize your business. First, though, you need a good story - and that can be the hard part.
Seven Tips To Get Your Press Release Noticed
If you're seeking to promote yourself or your new business on a limited budget, you probably cannot afford the benefit of hiring a public relations agency to work on your behalf - at least not in the beginning.You've probably spent considerable money to get to the point of your grand opening or new product release, which could easily fail if nobody cares that you exist.
Public Relations Success Starts Here
For discerning business, non-profit and association managers, PR success is pretty much a matter of achieving their managerial objectives by altering perceptions leading to changed behaviors among those important external audiences that MOST affect their department, group, division or subsidiary.Period.
Whats Important About PR?
Quite a bit, actually. Public relations helps business, non- profit and association managers achieve their managerial objectives with results like these.
A Guide to Optimizing Public Relations Content
This guide to "SEOing" your PR efforts can help you get high-ranking search results for your press releases, marketing white papers and ezine newsletter content. Whether you are managing PR efforts for several online companies or just one website, you've probably wondered how you can increase your sites (more importantly, your work) overall impact in the Web community.
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.
A Sensible Way to Use PR
The most sensible way for business, non-profit or association managers to use public relations is to strive to alter individual perception among their target publics, which leads to changed behaviors, thus helping achieve their managerial objectives.In so doing, managers employ their public relations resources to do something positive about the behaviors of those important external audiences of theirs that MOST affect their operations.
Publicity: Nailing a Media Interview, Part III (Staying on Topic)
In a media interview, always stick to your main points without rambling or digressing. Practice this when you rehearse.
Your Online Newsroom: How to Give Reporters a Tip
It's hard to imagine a reporter working today who doesn't regularly visit "official" company websites. And it's hard to imagine just how much those websites have improved reporters' lives.
8 Ways to Use Local Publicity to Drive Your Business
While scoring anice story in BusinessWeek or USA Today is something tocelebrate, there are times when you need to grab attention a bitcloser to home. If your business draws its clientele from a specific town, cityor region, focusing your energy on getting an elusive nationalpublicity hit may be overkill, especially when getting publicitywhere you need it -- in your home town -- is often so mucheasier.
How to Write News Releases that Get Noticed
What do you do with junk mail? Are you like me? I toss this stuff without opening it - unless I see some benefit. Publication editors do the same.
Promoting Your Website Through a Press Release
Have you ever gotten one of those letters from your local property tax appraiser, informing you that your tax bill is going up about 20 percent?I got one of those recently, so I took it to my friend Joe Gross in San Antonio. He appeals property tax assessments for a living.
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