Are You Dissing Public Relations

If you leave a star player sitting on the bench, you could be the loser.

Look at it this way. Because you push hard to reach your sales and marketing objectives, you need the help of your top external audiences.

If you agree, what are you doing to insure their support? At the least, you need to prioritize those key target audiences and work them hard from the top down because few of us can do them all at once.

When I say work them hard from the top, I mean start by monitoring carefully how members of that most important target audience feel about your business. You must interact with them and ask a lot of questions.

Notice any negative feelings? How about misconceptions that need fixing? Any inaccurate understandings of your products and services? In short, ANY perceptions about your business that you need to alter?

With information like that in hand, you can set your public relations goal. It could be as simple as this: clear up that misconception, explain away that inaccurate understanding, or respond clearly and positively to feelings of uncertainty.

So, with your goal all set, what's next? Right! You select a strategy. Since you have only three choices, it will be an easy decision. Create opinion (perceptions) where none exist, change existing opinion, or reinforce it. Let the goal you established guide your strategy selection.

Now you go for the meat on the bone, your message. And it will need to be a specific and compelling message that clearly and creditably lays out, for example, why the rumor is dead wrong, or why that belief about the company is not only inaccurate, but unfair. In brief, the message must be both crystal-clear and very believable.

But even a first-class message does no good sitting on a shelf. It needs aggressive communications tactics to carry it to the eyes and ears of members of your key target audience, whose behaviors you wish to alter.

Fortunately for all concerned, there are dozens of communications tactics available to you. They range from emailings, speeches, press releases and face-to-face meetings to broadcast interviews, consumer briefings and open houses and a lot of others.

But the moment of truth arrives when you remonitor how members of your key target audience NOW perceive you and your business. Again, you must ask plenty of questions while attempting to highlight how, and if perceptions have been altered by your communication. What about that frighteningly inaccurate perception of your business - better than before? And the specific misconception that most of your products are made in South East Asian sweat shops. Any improvement there? And the small number of interviewees who had never even heard of your firm. Has that number been reduced?

If insufficient progress is noted, remedies include a heavier, and wider concentration on communications tactics. As would a review of, and adjustment to your message content.

The prize remains the same. Altered perceptions leading to desired behaviors that directly contribute to the success of your business.

Please feel free to publish this article and resource box in your ezine, newsletter, offline publication or website. A copy would be appreciated at [email protected].

Robert A. Kelly © 2005.

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. He holds a bachelor of science degree from Columbia University, major in public relations.

Visit:; [email protected]

In The News:

Bold PR plans
Year-End Lists Provide Spark for PR Strategy  PR News - For Smart Communicators
4 New PR Priorities for 2020  Business 2 Community
PR students organize campaign for local seasoning company  The Reveille, LSU's student newspaper
ESG: PR or Societal Play?  Directors and Boards
PR Account Director  Pedestrian TV

Can Newbies Avoid The Pitfalls?

Yes indeed! If you are a young person who has... Read More

Get PR Off the Bench

Something that results in your most important outside audiences doing... Read More

Press Kit Elements That Work

Considering how fundamental they are to the publicist's trade,it's always... Read More

A Blueprint for Managing your PR

OK, as a manager, your goal is to show a... Read More

Your Financial Planning Clients May Hold the Key to Free Publicity

Every reporter, from the cub at the small town paper... Read More

How to Make Publicity Work for Your Business: Six P.R. Strategies to Use Right Now

Public Relations (or P.R.) is a wonderful, yet often overlooked... Read More

Publicity for Financial Planners--Eight Tips For Success

Individual financial planners can outscore bigger competitors and gain market... Read More

Leveraging Your Reputation - Making PR Work for You

We rely on all kinds of tools and advice to... Read More

Time to Spruce Up Your Public Relations?

Better check out the public relations fundamental premise, then take... Read More

Tactics Vs. Endgame - Endgame Wins

It took me a while to see just HOW crucial... Read More

Managers, Have You Been Shortchanged?

You have been if you're a business, non-profit or association... Read More

How To Get Zero Cost Publicity For Your Business Part 1

Would you like to expand the volume of your business?... Read More

Managers: Get Real, Please!

Personnel mentions in the newspaper and product plugs on radio... Read More

Media Relations: When Numbers Lie

NUMBERS, NUMBERS EVERYWHEREYou just placed a terrific story on the... Read More

Publicity - How To Get Your Story on Television

A press release telling about "Stevie, the Water-Skiing Squirrel" will... Read More

How To Write A Killer Press Release

One of the primary tools still used by PR professionals... Read More

Managers Need Basic PR

True, because department, division or subsidiary managers for a business,... Read More

Managers, Got a Grip on Your PR?

What are you trying to do with your business, non-profit... Read More

Managers, Start Your PR

There'll never be a better time for a manager working... Read More

How to Get $1000 worth of Advertising for $60

©2004 Jeffrey DobkinSixty dollars doesn't go a long way in... Read More

Building Community Support for Project Permitting, Construction, and Marketing

Redevelopment is replacing new construction throughout the Greater Boston area,... Read More

PR Planning: Mapping Out Your Strategies, Tactics

With all due respect to all those stereotypical males out... Read More

Community Based Marketing Strategies

As small businesses we have an opportunity and an obligation... Read More

Why Not PR That Gets Real Results?

And not results you can measure only in terms of... Read More

Writing a Press Release: The Design Basics

Big corporations like General Motors and Coca-Cola spend thousands of... Read More