When Managers Play the PR Card

The payoff for business, non-profit or association managers can be a real assist towards meeting their department, division or subsidiary objectives.

Playing that public relations card means they've decided to pursue their objectives by reaching, persuading and moving those outside audiences whose behaviors most affect their organizations, to actions those managers desire.

Here's a blueprint to help them do just that: 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.

In other words, here is the PR blueprint and tools you need to persuade your most important external stakeholders to your way of thinking. And then move them to take actions that lead to your success.

First step? Shift the attention of the PR team assigned to your unit away from communications tactics and over to a more effective action plan like the one outlined above.

You'll know it's worth the effort when you begin to see stakeholder behaviors like strong increases in inquiries, more repeat purchases, new proposals for strategic alliances or joint ventures, a fresh round of employment inquiries, or stronger contribution levels.

Lay it all out for the PR people who work for your unit, especially why it's a must to list in priority order those key outside audiences whose behaviors impact your operation the most. Talk about the importance of discovering how your organization is perceived by those audience members. Particularly because such perceptions almost always result in predictable behaviors that can affect the success of your unit for better or for worse.

If you have a large, uncommitted budget, you can use professional survey counsel to interact with target audience members and ask the important questions. "Do you know anything about us? Do you have an opinion about our products or services? Have you ever had a transaction with us? Was it a positive experience?" Or, members of your public relations team can handle this crucial task since perception, persuasion and behavior are prime concerns of theirs, or certainly should be.

While handling the perception monitoring chore, keep an eye out for negative comment and voice inflections. Especially watch for inappropriate assumptions, misconceptions, inaccuracies, rumors and clearly negative attitudes.

Once you collect these data, you're ready to establish your public relations goal. For example, torpedo those false assumptions, turn those misconceptions around, or correct that unfortunate inaccuracy.

The goal by itself is not much use without a strategy to show you how to reach it. As luck would have it, there are just three strategies available in the perception and opinion game: create perception/opinion where there simply isn't any, change the existing perception, or reinforce it. Makes things simple, but be sure the strategy you select is an obvious fit with your new goal.

The meat on this bone is the actual message you will prepare should the perceptions you discovered require some alteration. This is not a simple writing job and the very best writing talent on your PR team will be required. The message must be both persuasive AND compelling. It must be very clear as to what is being corrected and why. Factual support, of course, must be above challenge if your message is to be believable as it works to alter perception in your direction.

And now to the easy part of this public relations problem solving sequence ? getting that message to the right eyes and ears among the members of your target audience. The main limiting factor will be the size of your budget since there are dozens of communications tactics available to carry that message. They range from emails, speeches and private meetings to newsletters, media interviews, brochures and group briefings. Just be sure the tactics you decide to go with demonstrate that they can reach the same kind of folks that populate your target audience.

You'll be best equipped to answer queries about program progress after you and your PR team again interact with those target audience members asking the same questions used in the initial perception monitoring session. Big difference in the two sessions? This time, all hands will be alert to any signs that the negative perception has actually been altered.

Want things to move faster? Add more communications tactics, increase their frequencies and take another look at your message to be certain it's really persuasive and compelling.

The good news is, when managers play the PR card, they concentrate on persuading their most important external stakeholders to their way of thinking. And then moving those target audience members to take actions that lead to the managers on-the-job success.

About The Author

Bob Kelly counsels, writes and speaks to business, non-profit and association 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. mailto:[email protected] Visit: http://www.prcommentary.com

In The News:

The Pandemic will Hasten Changes in PR and PR Agencies  PR News - For Smart Communicators
PR Sports Flashback Photo: May 28, 2020 | Sports  Plattsburgh Press Republican

The Ultimate PR Edge: Getting Reporters To Open Your E-Mails

You know that getting publicity is vital to the health... Read More

Publicity: Show a Reporter You Care by Inviting Them to Fact-Check

Just like a financial planning client fears not having enough... Read More

Media Savvy - How To Lead, Persuade, And Influence

Media management has become one of the strategic tools for... Read More

Competition in the News Creates Spin

In larger cities with many outlets they are competing for... Read More

Publicizing Your Company

Got a huge need for publicity and a tiny publicity... Read More

Online Business Press Release Writing Tips And Ideas

Press releases are one of the most cost-effective ways to... Read More

Media Relations: How to Get Your Letter to the Editor Published

You may remember Forrest Gump's Vietnam pal ? the one... Read More

Radio Interviews - How To Get Them!

Getting on the radio can be a great tactical move... Read More

Just What Kind of PR Matters to You?

Parties, videos, booklets and column plugs?Or public relations that does... Read More

Publicity - How to Write a Headline That Will Garner Free Publicity

Taking your ad and turning it into paragraph-style prose is... Read More

PR: Room at the Bottom?

When special events and communications tactics rule the PR roost... Read More

Why News Releases Fail

Sorry about my otaku with this issue (otaku = more... Read More

Make Your PR Budget Work Harder

Do it by restructuring your business, non-profit or association public... Read More

HELP: I Need a Press Kit!

A press kit is an essential press relations tool. While... Read More

How To Get FREE Publicity Whenever You Want !

What you are about to read is a step by... Read More

10 Tips to Give Your Press Release The Edge It Needs to Make the News

Writing a press (or media) release is quite an art... Read More

Dont Use PR

?lose the confidence of your key target audiences? discourage them... Read More

Monarch Health Sciences starts shipping long awaited Monavie and Monavie Active

The Acai Berry is starting to gain world wide recognition... Read More

Effective Media Relations ? You Won?t be Talking to the Media Without It!

The media's role is to package and spread news, current... Read More

Financial Planners Publicity and Marketing - Live By The Calendar

The media live by the calendar. Your story pitch might... Read More

8 Ways to Use Local Publicity to Drive Your Business

While scoring anice story in BusinessWeek or USA Today is... Read More

Dont Expect to Bump Oprah From A Magazine Cover

"I want a pony, a tree house and the fastest... Read More

Publicity: When Calling a Reporter, Keep it Short

When you are planning to call a reporter for the... Read More

Is This the PR You Thought You Were Getting?

You know, where you do something positive about the behaviors... Read More

Marketing-Minded Financial Planners: Get Free Publicity by Choosing the Right Outlets

Sure, any publicity is good. But don't invest time and... Read More