Managerial Survival Key

Dec 18


Robert A. Kelly

Robert A. Kelly

  • Share this article on Facebook
  • Share this article on Twitter
  • Share this article on Linkedin

Please feel free to publish this article and resource box in your ezine, ... offline ... or website. A copy would be ... at ... Word count is 835 ... guidel


Please feel free to publish this article and resource box
in your ezine,Managerial Survival Key Articles newsletter, offline publication or website.
A copy would be appreciated at
Word count is 835 including guidelines and resource box.
Robert A. Kelly © 2003.

Managerial Survival Key

For business, non-profit or association managers like
yourself, survival pretty much depends on whether you
achieve, or fail to achieve your department, division or
subsidiary objectives.

Which strongly suggests that, if you haven’t already
done so, you may wish to employ a set of tools that will
help you persuade your most important outside audiences
to your way of thinking, then move them to take actions
that lead to your success.

The tools comprise the fundamental premise of public
relations: 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.

And the promise those tools hold for managers are
behaviors like new prospects and more existing buyers,
repeat purchasors, highly qualified job seekers, new
capital contributions, increased membership referrals or
more proposals for strategic alliances.

But there is work to do. You need information about
those key external audiences. What do they know about
your unit and its operations? How familiar are they, if
at all, with your services or products? Have they ever
worked with any of your people? Was the experience

Tell the public relations folks assigned to your department,
division or subsidiary that you want answers to those
questions. And for the simple reason that how those
important outside audiences perceive your operation
usually leads to behaviors that can help or hinder you in
achieving your objectives.

Work with them on a list of your key external audiences
whose actions most affect your operations. Put those groups
in priority order and let’s have a go at #1.

Remember that the success of your new public relations
effort depends heavily on how well you gather these key
audience perceptions.

Here, you have a choice. You and your PR staff can interact
with members of that target audience, which seems
appropriate since your PR folks are already in the perception
and behavior business. Or, if a substantial budget is available
to you, you can hire professional survey counsel to do the
work for you.

Either way, asking members of your key target audience
questions such as those outlined above along with the
responses you receive, provide the foundation data that
underpins your entire public relations effort.

But, as you monitor audience member responses to
your questions, stay alert for hesitant or evasive observations
about your organization. Do you note statements that are
untrue or misconceived? How about inaccuracies, rumors or
false assumptions? You’ll need to remedy them because we
know that negative perceptions inevitably lead to negative
behaviors that must be fixed to protect your operation.

As mentioned, the data your interactive monitoring produces
is the raw material with which you create your public
relations goal. And that might well be clearing up that
misconception, correcting that inaccuracy or replacing an
untruth with the truth.

Reaching that goal is another matter. You need the right
strategy to show you how to get there. As luck would have
it, they’re but three strategic choices in perception/opinion
matters like this. Create perception/opinion where you have
none, change that perception, or reinforce it.

Good writing doesn’t come easy, but that’s your next challenge.
Here, you must put together the message you will use to transmit
your corrective facts and figures to those members of your target

Now, all at the same time – in a single message – you must be
clear about why the false assumption, the misconception or the
inaccuracy should be clarified, or even corrected. Your message
must present truthful supporting facts, and must be believable
and, if at all possible, compelling.

Your public relations team will provide that talent. Also discuss
with them blending the message into a variety of public
presentations so as not to damage its credibility with a
high-profile announcement.

Keep in mind that the timetable can always be accelerated by
adding new communications tactics and by increasing their
frequencies. Also a good idea to continue refining and updating
the message itself.

Happily, what you will have done is use a set of tools that
helped you persuade your most important outside audiences to
your way of thinking, then move them to take actions that lead
to managerial success and, some might say, survival.