You could certainly measure the results of tactical sub-sets of your public relation program, such as brochures, broadcast plugs or press releases. You, as a manager of a business, non profit, or association, might be better able to measure the impact of your strategic efforts on individuals. This will help you to achieve your management objectives. Can we all agree that managers must plan to positively influence the behavior of important external audiences that have the greatest impact on their operations?
They are especially effective when they convince key people outside to adopt their way of thinking and move them to take action that will allow their division, subsidiary, or department to succeed. Managers can’t just have good intentions. They must also change key-audience perceptions that lead to changes in behavior. This is something that is vital for all business and non-profit managers. He or she should have a plan to get every member of the team working towards the same external audience behavior. This will ensure that the organization’s public relation efforts remain sharply focused.
A foundation for the plan could look something like this: People act according to their perceptions of the facts. This leads to predictable behavior about which action can be taken. Public relations is achieved when we change, reinforce, or create that opinion by reaching out to, persuading and moving towards the desired action with the people whose behavior most affects the organization.
You might be surprised at how quickly results can come about. You might see bounces in showroom visits, new proposals for strategic alliances or joint ventures, repeat customers, prospects working with them, membership applications rising, capital givers looking to help, and specifying sources seeking their assistance. You can see the true performers at work. They identify their key external audience and determine if they are behaving in ways that will help or hinder their goals. They then list their key external audiences according to how severe their behavior affects their organization.
The next step is to determine the perceptions of key external audiences. If there aren’t the funds to hire expensive professional survey counsel, then Ms./Mr. manager and their PR colleagues will need to monitor these perceptions. The PR people should be familiar with how to collect and evaluate perception and behavior data.
Public Relations in Business Communication
This means that you meet with outsiders and ask questions such as “Are your familiar with our products or services?” “Have any contact been made with someone from our organization?” It was a positive experience? Be aware of false assumptions, misinformations, incorrect facts, inaccuracies, and damaging rumors. You will need to correct any such assumptions, untruths, misconceptions, inaccuracies, or rumors, because they can lead to undesirable behaviors.
The next step is to choose the perception that needs to change. This will then become your public relations goal. You will need to correct any untruths or inaccuracies, misunderstandings, or false assumptions. The truth is that a PR goal without a strategy for how to achieve it is just like corned meat and cabbage without the cabbage. It is not the same. You can choose one of the three strategies, which are specially designed to change perceptions or opinions, or strengthen them. However, you need to ensure that the strategy and goal match. If the perception of the situation is correct, you wouldn’t choose “change existing perception”.
You must now craft a persuasive message that will change the perception of your target audience, according to your public relations goal.
You can always combine your corrective message and another news announcement, or presentation. This may increase its credibility. The message should be persuasive and clearly explain why the perception is wrong or what it can change. If you want to keep the attention of your target audience members, and change perceptions, then your message must be truthful. Sometimes, people in the PR industry will refer to communications tactics needed to get your message to that key audience as “beasts” because they have to carry your persuasive new ideas to those important outsiders’ eyes.
There are many options, and there are many. This includes letters to editors, press releases, brochures, speeches, and press releases. You can also choose to interview radio and newspaper reporters, personal contacts, facility tours or customer briefings. There are many options, and you only need to make sure that the communication tactics you choose reach people who are similar to your target audience.
You can always improve things by adding new communication tactics and increasing their frequency. Progress reports will be discussed shortly. However, you’ll already be busy monitoring perceptions of your target audience members to determine the effectiveness of your communication tactics. You’ll be looking for signs of audience perceptions moving in your direction by asking questions similar to the ones you used in the earlier monitoring session.
Keep your eyes on the central idea of this approach. You want to persuade the most important people outside your organization to adopt your way of thinking. Next, get them to take action that will help your division, subsidiary or department prevail.
Instead of measuring the narrow results of tactical parts of your public relations program, such as special events, brochures or broadcast plugs, you will discover the true measure of public relation: the results of your strategic efforts in altering individual perceptions among key audiences. This will help you reach your management objectives.
Promoting relationships with the public
Public relations, or “PR”, is a key factor in how your business is perceived by the general public. It’s the relationship between your company and customers, past customers and community members, as well as potential customers. Two ways to get PR are possible. Press releases are a way to share information about achievements or events within your company. This PR allows you to control how your company is perceived by the public. Your public includes anyone with an interest in your business, such as customers, employees, suppliers, competitors, or the media. Your business’ future depends on how you are perceived by others.
Make sure the information in your press release is relevant to the readers and viewers of the publication. The headline of your press release should grab attention and encourage readers to read more. You should target publications that might be interested in your information. If you send a press release on Christmas ornaments to a publication that focuses on outdoor life, it will not be a success.
When you need to overcome objections and build credibility, case histories and demonstrate customer satisfaction with your products and company, testimonials and case histories can be very useful. A press release should not include testimonials. While it is nice to include a testimonial from a customer who has been satisfied, ensure that the comment is directly related to the main point of your press release.
A good reputation from satisfied customers can help you build a large customer base. However, one negative review from a customer can do serious damage to your business. In a one-on-1 meeting, your customer should speak most of the words. Customers are worth listening to, and valuable feedback is invaluable information. Listen to what they have to say and take the time to learn about their needs. This will allow you to provide the best service possible. Your customers will feel pressured and turned off if you do most of the talking. You also run the risk losing a sale.
It is important to build a relationship with the public in order to promote your business and establish a loyal customer base. Keeping in touch with customers will improve customer relations and help keep you in mind of prospects and customers.
Publicists, It’s time to embrace the technology of online press kits
You now have a phone, a Palm Pilot and an automated office with remote access, teleconferencing, and email addresses. What’s the point? You’re not always available to the media, but that doesn’t mean you have easy access to your clients. Your high-tech office will be able help a reporter request a press kit at 7 PM on Friday night. There is nothing, except that you have to rush to prepare the hardcopy kit for an expensive overnight shipment.
Publishing your client’s press kits online is an easy way to reduce the need to keep a large stock of hardcopy press kits and decrease your dependence on the shipping company guy.
In today’s age e-mail, it is crucial to make the transition from hard copies to online press kits that are easily accessible. E-mail is the lifeblood of corporate America; journalists and other media professionals can do the same. They are often busy, and they have deadlines to meet. The easiest way to obtain information about your client is the deciding factor in whether you use them in a story. You might be bumped if it takes you all night to get your client’s press kits to their desk.
I understand what you are saying. Drew, Drew, I emailed my clients’ press materials.” That’s great. But just because reporters use email doesn’t necessarily mean that they open every message from strangers. It doesn’t even mean that they will even open your attachments. Why? It’s too risky.
First, it is important to not open e-mails from unknown people. This is the essence of e-mail safety 101. Strange e-mails that contain attachments often indicate a virus. That’s what most businesses’ anti-virus protection and firewall systems are capable of detecting. Mass e-mailing media lists with attached press releases may seem like you are making waves, but how many people are getting back to you? Your important e mail has been sent with the “wasser” virus and annoying “enlargement” emails.
What’s the solution? You can reject technology and just start faxing and snail-mailing again. No. No. An online press kit does not constitute a website. Do not confuse the term “online” with the phrase “online”. While an online press kit can display information online like a website, it is actually a virtual folder that allows you upload and store press materials online. These documents and images are stored in an online press kit folder. They can then be shared as links, not attachments.
You simply need to insert links to press kits of your clients when you create your concise, sharp e-mail pitch for the media. The reporter can open the document and save it on their computer by clicking the link. The document opens as an attachment but is available online. Instead of putting them in an e-mail attachment, you are simply giving directions (a link), to access them. Because they are part of an e-mail message and not removed by a virus protection system, media outlets won’t automatically remove them from their system.
An online press kit can contain almost anything: press releases and high-resolution images as well as video and audio clips. Graphics and graphics are also available. You also have full control over your online media kits so you can be certain they are up-to-date. You might be thinking, “Wow, these sound great, but they are so expensive!” Not at all. Online press kits can be expensive, but they often include unnecessary features that you won’t use. The online press kit market is like the folder or binder aisle at your local office supply store. There are bounders that come with all sorts of extras. But you only need what you really need at a price that you can afford.
Technology is going to improve and speed up, let’s face it. Do not be left behind trying to get by the brown truck with your emergency overnight media kit. You can make your client’s press kits easily accessible online, and you will be covered by the media. Your clients will love it, as well.