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Time to Spruce Up Your Public Relations?

Please feel free to publish this article and resource box in your ezine, ... offline ... or website. A copy would be ... at ... Net word count is 615 ... gu

Please feel free to publish this article and resource box in your
ezine, newsletter, offline publication or website. A copy would
be appreciated at Net word count is 615
including guidelines and resource box. Robert A. Kelly © 2003.

Time to Spruce Up Your Public Relations?

Better check out the public relations fundamental premise, then
take action in your own best interest.

The premise reads 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 those people whose behaviors affect the
organization, the public relations mission is accomplished.”

Here’s how you can reap its benefits.

Do you REALLY know what your most important outside
audiences think about your organization? Are you actually
aware of which external audience has the most serious impacts
on your operations?

Better find out by interacting with members of those target
audiences whose behaviors affect you the most, then ask lots
of questions. “Have you done business with us? Was it a
satisfactory experience? What do you think of us and our
products and services?” And watch carefully for any
negatives, even undertones that may need corrective action.

The responses you receive allow you to set your public
relations goal. For instance, correct that inaccuracy,
straighten out the misconception, or challenge that rumor.

Not surprisingly, reaching that goal requires that you set a
strategy, and only three are available to you: create opinion
where there is none; change existing opinion, or reinforce it.
The goal you set will lead you to the right strategy choice.

The “bullet for your gun,” so to speak, will be the message
you carefully craft and send to members of your target
audience. It needs to be very clear as to meaning. It must be
believable and it should be compelling. Above all, your
message must be persuasive since it seeks to alter perception
in order to modify somebody’s behavior. Make your
message very specific to your strategy: create opinion,
or change opinion, or reinforce opinion.

Moving that message to members of your target audience is
next, and you have a wide choice of communication tactics
to do the job. Everything from speeches, emails and personal
contacts to press releases, radio and newspaper interviews,
special events and lots more.

By this time, you’ll be wondering whether you’re making any
progress. Best way to tell is to interact once again with
members of that key target audience. Ask much the same
questions you used during your first perception monitoring

The difference the second time around is that you’re watching
carefully for altered perceptions. Were you successful in
straightening out that inaccurate belief? Does it appear that
you turned around that awful rumor, or made headway in
clarifying that misconception?

Not enough progress to suit you? Take another look at your
communication tactics and consider expanding both the mix
and frequencies. And review your message. Is it clear enough?
Were your supporting facts and figures as strong and
persuasive as they might be?

As you increase the tactical pressure, you’ll begin to notice
positive changes in the perceptions of members of your target
audience. In time, this will lead to the kind of behaviors you
seek and, thus, the successful completion of your public
relations effort.


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Bob Kelly counsels, writes and speaks 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.

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