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Something "New" For Managers?

Please feel free to publish this article and resource box in your ezine, ... offline ... or website. A copy would be ... at ... Word count is 865 ... 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 865 including guidelines and resource box.
Robert A. Kelly © 2003.

Something “New” for Managers?

A new public relations blueprint could be a good idea if
you’re a business, non-profit or association manager
who’s not getting the important external audience behaviors
you need to achieve your department, division or subsidiary

You know, behaviors like more people interested in your
services or products, or more capital contributions coming
in the door, or more corporate membership applications
hitting your desk.

While those kinds of behaviors may warm the cockles of
a manager’s heart, they’re not going to happen for you if
you encourage, or allow the public relations team assigned
to your unit to concentrate on simple tactics to the exclusion
of a workable and comprehensive action blueprint.

In other words, a strategy, say, like this one: 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.

Now that’s not only a blueprint, it’s a foundation for a public
relations effort that can persuade those important external
stakeholders to your way of thinking. Then move them to take
actions that lead to your success as a manager working for
a business, non-profit or association.

Here’s one way to do it. Decide that you’re going to spend
some quality time with your PR folks and tell them you really
want to find out what those outside audiences, those with the
behaviors that really impact your operation, actually think
about you. Next, put your target audiences in priority order
so we can get to work on your #1.

By the way, because your PR people could be surprised at
this kind of public relations blueprint, you had best stay
personally involved as the effort gets off the ground. Another
good reason to do so, is that actually doing something about
key audience behaviors can have a positive effect on your
own organizational success.

Now, as you find out how your operation is perceived by
these important outside audiences, you will need to make an
immediate choice. Spend a large chunk of your budget for
professional survey people to ask questions of members of
your target audience, or ask your PR team, and other
employees to do it.

Interacting with outside audience members lets your people
ask questions like “How do you feel about us? How recently
have you had contact with our personnel? Have you actually
used our services or products? Do you have any questions or
problems with regard to our organization?”

The data gathered by this exercise is the raw material you
need to establish your public relations goal. For instance,
correct that inaccuracy, clear up that misconception or spike
that rumor.

To achieve such a public relations goal, you’ll need the right
strategy to show you how to do it. And the choice of strategies
is not complex because there are just three available when you
address matters of opinion and perception: change existing
opinion, create perception where none exists, or reinforce an
existing perception/opinion. Always be careful that your
chosen strategy flows naturally from your public relations goal.

Now, what will you say to members of that key target audience
that, hopefully, will alter the inaccurate perception you discovered?
You want your message to be crystal-clear as it details why that
perception is just not true. From such clarity should come
believability and a compelling delivery that can lead to the target
audience behaviors you need to meet your department, division
or subsidiary objectives.

Actually delivering the message is the least complex step in the
public relations problem solving sequence. Fortunately for you,
there is a large collection of communications tactics available to
you ranging from your own personal contacts, service or product promotions, news announcements and consumer briefings to
newsletters, media interviews, emails and dozens of other tactics.

In due course, you, your team and other interested parties will
want to assess how your public relations effort is faring at
altering the offending perception. Best way to determine that is
to duplicate your earlier benchmark monitoring session
putting similar questions to the members of your target audience.
The important difference now? You’re watching carefully for
signs that the troublesome perception is being altered in your

That altered perception, leading inevitably to predictable
behaviors, is the bottom line. And a strong indication that a workable
department or division public relations blueprint can help a
unit manager achieve his or her operating objectives.


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Bob Kelly counsels, writes and speaks to 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. Visit:

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