PR: Your 500 Pound Gorilla

Jan 16 00:37 2005 Robert A. Kelly Print This Article

Please feel free to publish this article and resource box in your ezine, ... offline ... or website. A copy would be ... at ... Word count is 1060 ... guide

Please feel free to publish this article and resource box
in your ezine,Guest Posting newsletter, offline publication or website.
A copy would be appreciated at bobkelly@TNI.net.
Word count is 1060 including guidelines and resource box.
Robert A. Kelly © 2004.

PR: Your 500 Pound Gorilla

What else, for goodness sake, could you as a business,
non-profit or association manager, call a heavy-duty
helper who does something REALLY positive about the
behaviors of those outside audiences of yours that most
affect your organization?

And that uses the fundamental premise of public relations
to deliver the kind of external stakeholder behavior
change that leads directly to achieving your managerial
objectives?

And does it all by persuading those important outside folks
to your way of thinking, moving them to take actions that
help your department, division or subsidiary succeed?

Man, that’s one heavy workload for a very large monkey!

And here’s the core message he brings to you. Your
public relations effort must involve more than news
releases, special events and brochures if you really want
to get your money’s worth. And, the right PR really CAN
alter individual perception and lead to changed behaviors
that help you succeed.

Both points well-supported by a public relations blueprint
that reads like this: 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 your organization the most, the public
relations mission is accomplished.

What kind of payoff can you expect from such an approach
to public relations? How about capital givers or specifying
sources making inquiries; stronger relationships with the
educational, labor, financial and healthcare communities;
prospects starting to work with you as well as customers
making repeat purchases; and improved relations with
government agencies and legislative bodies.

Keep your pedal to the metal and you could see results like
new proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures;
new thoughtleader and special event contacts; membership
applications on the rise; enhanced activist group relations,
and expanded feedback channels; rebounds in showroom
visits; and almost certainly, community service and
sponsorship opportunities;

Like most managers, you want your most important outside
audiences to have positive perceptions of your services and
operations or products. Which is why every member of your
PR support team must believe in what you are doing. It will
also be very helpful if they accept the reality that perceptions
almost always lead to behaviors that can help or hurt your unit.

Review the PR plan with them, especially how you will go
about monitoring and gathering perceptions by questioning
members of your most important outside audiences.
Questions like these: how much do you know about our
organization? How much do you know about our services
or products and employees? Have you had prior contact
with us and were you pleased with the interchange? Have
you experienced problems with our people or procedures?

Certainly, the perception monitoring part of the effort
can be handled by professional survey people IF you
have the budget. Fortunately, however, you can always
use your PR people who are also in the perception and
behavior business and can pursue the same objective:
identify untruths, false assumptions, unfounded rumors,
inaccuracies, misconceptions and any other negative
perception that might translate into hurtful behaviors.

With preparations complete, you need to set your public
relations goal, one that deals with perception problems
that developed during your key audience perception
monitoring. The new goal will require that you straighten
out that dangerous misconception, or correct that gross
inaccuracy, or do something about that damaging rumor.

To show you how to reach the goal, you need a strategy.
And there are three choices when it comes to doing
something about a perception or opinion challenge: create
perception where there may be none, change the
perception, or reinforce it. By the way, if you select the
wrong strategy, it will taste like fish sauce on your rhubarb.
So be certain the new strategy fits well with your new
public relations goal. For example, you don’t want to select
“change” when reality dictates a “reinforce” strategy.

Some heavy writing needed here. In brief, some carefully
targeted, corrective language. Language that is compelling,
persuasive and believable AND clear and factual. There is
little choice here. You must correct a damaging perception
by shifting opinion towards your point of view, leading to
the desired behaviors.

It’s pick-your-own time when you and your PR group select
the communications tactics most likely to carry your words
to the attention of your target audience. You can pick from
dozens that are available. From speeches, facility tours,
emails and brochures to consumer briefings, media interviews,
newsletters, personal meetings and many others. But be sure
that the tactics you pick are known to reach folks just like
your audience members.

By the way, experience shows that the credibility of a message
can depend on how it’s delivered. So you might want to
introduce it to smaller gatherings rather than using higher-profile
tactics such as news releases or talk show appearances.

Experience shows that, by this time, all concerned will be
chomping at the bit for a progress report. Which will signal
you and your PR staff to return to the field for a second
perception monitoring session with members of your
external audience. Using many of the same questions used
in the first benchmark session, you’ll now be alert for signs
that the bad news perception is being altered in your direction.

Occasionally, momentum will slow in which event you can
always accelerate matters by using more communications
tactics supported by increased frequencies.

Your 500 pound gorilla will be one happy simian when your
data show that you have achieved the kind of key stakeholder
behavior change that leads directly to achieving your
department, division or subsidiary objectives.

end



Please feel free to publish this article and resource box
in your ezine, newsletter, offline publication or website.
A copy would be appreciated at bobkelly@TNI.net.
Word count is 1060 including guidelines and resource box.
Robert A. Kelly © 2004.

PR: Your 500 Pound Gorilla

What else, for goodness sake, could you as a business,
non-profit or association manager, call a heavy-duty
helper who does something REALLY positive about the
behaviors of those outside audiences of yours that most
affect your organization?

And that uses the fundamental premise of public relations
to deliver the kind of external stakeholder behavior
change that leads directly to achieving your managerial
objectives?

And does it all by persuading those important outside folks
to your way of thinking, moving them to take actions that
help your department, division or subsidiary succeed?

Man, that’s one heavy workload for a very large monkey!

And here’s the core message he brings to you. Your
public relations effort must involve more than news
releases, special events and brochures if you really want
to get your money’s worth. And, the right PR really CAN
alter individual perception and lead to changed behaviors
that help you succeed.

Both points well-supported by a public relations blueprint
that reads like this: 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 your organization the most, the public
relations mission is accomplished.

What kind of payoff can you expect from such an approach
to public relations? How about capital givers or specifying
sources making inquiries; stronger relationships with the
educational, labor, financial and healthcare communities;
prospects starting to work with you as well as customers
making repeat purchases; and improved relations with
government agencies and legislative bodies.

Keep your pedal to the metal and you could see results like
new proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures;
new thoughtleader and special event contacts; membership
applications on the rise; enhanced activist group relations,
and expanded feedback channels; rebounds in showroom
visits; and almost certainly, community service and
sponsorship opportunities;

Like most managers, you want your most important outside
audiences to have positive perceptions of your services and
operations or products. Which is why every member of your
PR support team must believe in what you are doing. It will
also be very helpful if they accept the reality that perceptions
almost always lead to behaviors that can help or hurt your unit.

Review the PR plan with them, especially how you will go
about monitoring and gathering perceptions by questioning
members of your most important outside audiences.
Questions like these: how much do you know about our
organization? How much do you know about our services
or products and employees? Have you had prior contact
with us and were you pleased with the interchange? Have
you experienced problems with our people or procedures?

Certainly, the perception monitoring part of the effort
can be handled by professional survey people IF you
have the budget. Fortunately, however, you can always
use your PR people who are also in the perception and
behavior business and can pursue the same objective:
identify untruths, false assumptions, unfounded rumors,
inaccuracies, misconceptions and any other negative
perception that might translate into hurtful behaviors.

With preparations complete, you need to set your public
relations goal, one that deals with perception problems
that developed during your key audience perception
monitoring. The new goal will require that you straighten
out that dangerous misconception, or correct that gross
inaccuracy, or do something about that damaging rumor.

To show you how to reach the goal, you need a strategy.
And there are three choices when it comes to doing
something about a perception or opinion challenge: create
perception where there may be none, change the
perception, or reinforce it. By the way, if you select the
wrong strategy, it will taste like fish sauce on your rhubarb.
So be certain the new strategy fits well with your new
public relations goal. For example, you don’t want to select
“change” when reality dictates a “reinforce” strategy.

Some heavy writing needed here. In brief, some carefully
targeted, corrective language. Language that is compelling,
persuasive and believable AND clear and factual. There is
little choice here. You must correct a damaging perception
by shifting opinion towards your point of view, leading to
the desired behaviors.

It’s pick-your-own time when you and your PR group select
the communications tactics most likely to carry your words
to the attention of your target audience. You can pick from
dozens that are available. From speeches, facility tours,
emails and brochures to consumer briefings, media interviews,
newsletters, personal meetings and many others. But be sure
that the tactics you pick are known to reach folks just like
your audience members.

By the way, experience shows that the credibility of a message
can depend on how it’s delivered. So you might want to
introduce it to smaller gatherings rather than using higher-profile
tactics such as news releases or talk show appearances.

Experience shows that, by this time, all concerned will be
chomping at the bit for a progress report. Which will signal
you and your PR staff to return to the field for a second
perception monitoring session with members of your
external audience. Using many of the same questions used
in the first benchmark session, you’ll now be alert for signs
that the bad news perception is being altered in your direction.

Occasionally, momentum will slow in which event you can
always accelerate matters by using more communications
tactics supported by increased frequencies.

Your 500 pound gorilla will be one happy simian when your
data show that you have achieved the kind of key stakeholder
behavior change that leads directly to achieving your
department, division or subsidiary objectives.

end







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About Article Author

Robert A. Kelly
Robert A. Kelly

Bob Kelly counsels 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 communi-
cations, U.S. Department of the Interior, and deputy assistant press
secretary, The White House. mailto:bobkelly@TNI.net Visit:http://www.prcommentary.com

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