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Don't Put Up With "Junk 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 840 ... 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 840
including guidelines and resource box. Robert A. Kelly © 2003.

Don’t Put Up With “Junk PR”

In public relations, “junk” is more about attitude and lack
of understanding than a measure of quality.

Hopefully, if your public relations mission is yet to be
accomplished, you agree that its primary thrust MUST
be to take advantage of the fact that people act on their own
perception of the facts before them leading to predictable
behaviors. Then create, change or reinforce that
perception/opinion by reaching, persuading and moving to
actions YOU desire, those people whose behaviors most
affect your organization.

If you buy that idea, you might also agree that a preoccupation
with things like brochures versus press releases versus
newsletters could be seen as a “junky” approach to public
relations. Particularly when you compare it to a comprehensive
plan that targets the kind of stakeholder behavior change that
leads directly to achieving your objectives.

And those objectives may include customers who make
repeat purchases, prospects converted to customers, beneficial
joint ventures and strategic alliances, unions more frequently
bargaining in good faith or your suppliers doing everything
they can to expand the relationship.

How do you find such a plan? Please keep reading.

First, have you ever sat down and listed every outside
audience whose behaviors impact your business in any
significant way? Well, list them now, then rank them
according to how serious each impact is, and let’s work
on the external audience at the top of your list.

How frequently do you interact with members of that target
audience? Probably not frequently enough to be really aware
of how they feel about your organization. You must interact
regularly and ask a lot of questions like “What do you think
of our business? Have you had experience with our services
or our products?” All the while remaining alert to any
negativities, especially damaging rumors, inaccuracies,
misconceptions and the like.

Best part of this drill is that the data you gather while
monitoring target audience perception leads directly to
your public relations goal. In other words, the specific
perception alteration and, thus, behavior change you want.
But to get there, you must alter those perceptions in such
a way that misconceptions are cleared up, rumors are
neutralized and inaccuracies are fixed.

The question then becomes, how do you position this
message so that it can do what it’s supposed to do? You
select a strategy, of course. You’re in luck in that there
are just three strategies from which to choose. Create
perception/opinion where there really isn’t any, change
existing perception, or reinforce it. When you choose your
strategy, make sure it matches the goal from which it flows.

Here, real work rears its ugly head. You must prepare the
message you hope will alter perception, and thus behaviors
in your direction. No easy task but it really is “where the
rubber meets the road.” Imagine writing something that
ends up changing somebody’s opinion? Now that’s satisfaction!

But the message must highlight the truth in a credible manner
while addressing the problem that came up when you
monitored your target audience perceptions. Your message
must make a compelling case for your point of view, and
do so persuasively, with clarity, believability and in a
compelling way.

Then you must throw that message to receivers in the end-zone.
You must take advantage of the long list of communications
tactics available to you to carry that message to the eyes and
ears of members of your target audience. You can use facility
tours, contests and press releases or speeches, media interviews,
newspaper guest columns, emails and many, many others to
do the job.

Your real challenge is deciding if you are making acceptable
progress. Because you will probably balk at spending a lot of
money on professional opinion research, you and your
colleagues must then go back to your target audience members and
ask the same questions all over again.

What you want to see are indications that perceptions are
changing, as the corrective elements of your message take

By the way, if things aren’t moving along fast enough for you,
you can always add more tactics to the effort as well as
increasing their frequencies. It’s also a good idea to take
another look at your message to make certain that it measures
up as to factual support, clarity and impact.

FinallyFeature Articles, you may be certain you have avoided “junk PR” when
your public relations effort targets the kind of stakeholder
behavior change that leads directly to achieving your objectives.


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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