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Don't Need No Stinking PR?

Please feel free to publish this article and resource box in your ezine, ... offline ... or website. A copy would be ... at ... Word count is 955 ... guidel

Please feel free to publish this article and resource box in your
ezine, newsletter, offline publication or website. A copy would
be appreciated at Word count is 955
including guidelines and resource box. Robert A. Kelly © 2003.

Don’t Need No Stinking PR?

Almost assuredly you do, especially when your most important
external and internal audiences behave in ways that stop you
from achieving your organizational objectives.

With that attitude, you could have a long wait before you see
community leaders strengthening their bonds with you;
customers making repeat purchases; unions bargaining more
frequently in good faith; prospects becoming customers;
employees beginning to value their jobs; political leaders and
legislators starting to think of you as a key player in the business community, and suppliers working hard to expand your

Lighten up and use public relations in your own best interest,
and benefit from a really cost-effective assist to your business,
non-profit or association.

And there’s another reason to do so. Tough times require tough
tactics. Luckily, PR firepower can do for you what it was meant
to do – help you achieve your operating objectives by moving
those people whose behaviors have the greatest impact on your
organization, to actions YOU desire,

You know it’s worth it, so give it a shot!

Best place to start is by listing your most important audiences,
or “publics,” and ranking them according to the impact they
have on your enterprise. Let’s work on the outside audience at
the top of that list.

How aware are you and your colleagues as to how that audience
views you? Could there be negative perceptions out there that,
inevitably, will morph into behaviors that hurt your organization?

You really can’t afford to ignore that possibility.

So get out there and interact with members of that target audience
and ask questions. The alternative is to spend a LOT of money
on a professional survey. Instead, make the time commitment to do
some home-grown research. After all, PR best practice says you
should be in regular touch with target audience members anyway,
so this interaction is probably long overdue.

Ask questions like “Do you know anything about us? Have you
heard anything good or bad about us?” Stay alert to hesitant and
evasive responses. Notice any negative undertones? Do
inaccuracies crop up? Any misconceptions or rumors that need
your attention?

The answers you gather are the fodder for your new public
relations goal – i.e., the specific perception to be altered,
followed by the behavior change you want.

Which requires that you set a public relations goal aimed at
clearing up that misconception or nameless concern, correcting
that inaccuracy or untrue belief, or disarming that rumor for good.

Now, what happens to that goal? You select a strategy to get you
where you want to be. The choices are few indeed when it comes
to perception and opinion. You can create perception where there
isn’t any, change existing perception, or reinforce it. That’s it.
You should, however, match your strategy selection to your newly-established public relations goal.

Clearly, the most sensitive, even difficult step in this problem-
solving sequence is message preparation. At ther same time,
it’s your opportunity to write something that will change
somebody’s opinion, and that is a really satisfying experience.

First, your message must stick to its knitting and not ramble.
Address the inaccuracy, misconception, untruth or rumor clearly
and in a believable and as compelling a manner as possible.
Remember what it must do if the public relations program is to
be successful – alter, change or reinforce what a lot of people
believe. And that is a big job and a big responsibility.

If the message is the bullet, your “beasts of burden” are the gun,
the means by which your communications tactics carry your
message to the eyes and ears of members of the target audience.

And what a list of tactics offer themselves to you. Everything
from open houses, feature articles, press releases and speeches
to personal contacts, broadcast appearances, newspaper
interviews and so many more.

Your measuring stick for each tactic is, does it have a proven
track record for reaching people like those who make up your
target audience?

So, you will get antsy and wonder if you’re making any headway
with your new public relations program. Best way to tell is to
monitor target audience perceptions all over again. Use
questions similar to your first monitoring session.

Big difference this time, however. Now, you need to see
indications that perceptions are being altered as a result of your
corrective message.

If you want to speed things up, you can always add a few more
tactics to the mix, AND increase some of their frequencies.
The message should also be re-evaluated for the strength and
persuasiveness of its underlying facts, as well as impact and

Yes, you may believe you “don’t need no stinking PR,” but
there’s no denying that people in your area behave like everyone
else – they take actions based on their perception of the facts
they hear about you and your operation. So, you must deal
promptly and effectively with those perceptions by doing
what is necessary to reach them.

And what that means is, in your own best interest, you must
persuade many of your stakeholders to your way of thinkingFree Web Content,
thus moving them to take actions that lead to the success of
your organization.


Source: Free Articles from


Bob Kelly counsels, writes and speaks to general management
personnel 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. Visit:

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