Imagine PR Like This Helping You

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Imagine PR Like This Helping You

By: Robert A. Kelly

As the kids say, how cool is this?

You're a business, non-profit or association manager and, finally, you decide to do something positive about the behaviors of those important outside audiences of yours - behaviors that MOST affect your operation.

What you're doing, of course, is creating the very external stakeholder behaviors that will help achieve your managerial objectives. Best part is, you'll actually pull it off when you persuade those key outside folks to your way of thinking, then move them to take actions that help your department, division or subsidiary reach its goal.

What it comes down to is this. Your public relations effort must involve more than news releases, special events and brochures if you really want to get your money's worth. The right PR really CAN alter individual perception and lead to changed behaviors that help you succeed.

Here's a public relations blueprint that functions like your own PR Global Positioning System: 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.

There's no end to the kinds of results that can flow from that fundamental premise. For example, prospects starting to work with you as well as customers making repeat purchases; improved relations with government agencies and legislative bodies; capital givers or specifying sources making inquiries. And even stronger relationships with the educational, labor, financial and healthcare communities.

And don't rule out such results as enhanced activist group relations, and expanded feedback channels; rebounds in showroom visits; community service and sponsorship opportunities; new proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures; membership applications on the rise, and almost certainly, new thoughtleader and special event contacts.

Because your most important outside audiences really must come to regard your services, operations or products in a positive way, every member of your PR support team A variety of results can flow from this managerial approach to public relations. It can generate follow-on activity like customers making repeat purchases; stronger relationships with the educational, labor, financial and healthcare communities; improved relations with government agencies and legislative bodies; prospects starting to work with you, and even capital givers or specifying sources looking your way.

You can even see results such as community service and sponsorship opportunities; new proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures; enhanced activist group relations, and expanded feedback channels; rebounds in showroom visits; and membership applications on the rise, not to mention new thoughtleader and special event contacts.

Because you obviously want your most important outside audiences to regard your services and operations or products in a positive manner, every member of your PR support team must be sold on what you are doing. Be especially cautious that they accept the reality that perceptions almost always lead to behaviors that can help or hurt your unit.

Go over the PR blueprint with them, in particular the plan for 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?

As you might suspect, the perception monitoring part of the effort can be handled by professional survey people IF the budget is there. 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.

Here, you need to set your public relations goal, one that addresses the aberrations that cropped up during your key audience perception monitoring. No doubt your new goal will strive to straighten out that dangerous misconception, or correct that gross inaccuracy, or do something about that damaging rumor.

Every goal needs a strategy to show you how to get there. There are three strategic 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 horseradish sauce on your brownies. So be certain the new strategy fits well with your new public relations goal. For example, you don't want to select "change" when the reality dictates a "reinforce" strategy.

Since there is never any rest for the weary, you must now task your PR team to prepare 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.

Now, work with your communications specialists to 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.

Because the credibility of a message can depend on how it's delivered, you might introduce it to smaller gatherings rather than using higher-profile tactics such as news releases or talk show appearances.

When you no longer can resist calls for a progress report, you will have to respond by returning to the field with your PR team 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.

In the event the program loses momentum, you can always accelerate matters by using more communications tactics along with increased frequencies.

Again as the kids say, it IS cool when public relations gives you a choice, one that lets you alter individual perception in a way that results in changed behaviors that lead directly to your organization's success.


Please feel free to publish this article and resource box in your ezine, newsletter, offline publication or website. A copy would be appreciated at Word count is 1175 including guidelines and resource box.

Robert A. Kelly Copyright 2004.)

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 communi- cations, 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.



Olivia 24.07.2009. 17:46

What would i need to pack to look stylish in Puerto Rico? I'm going to Puerto Rico next weekend for a week and I have no idea what to pack. Help? I'm going with my fiance and we're planning on doing a lot of walk around and the only shoes I really have are a pair of boots that I wear all the time as I don't like flat, flip flops or sandals. I tend to wear skirts, dresses, cardigans and tights often.


Admin 24.07.2009. 17:46


I live in PR and when its summer you wanna wear the least possible clothes since is soo incredible hot! So I recommend short sleeve shirts or with no sleeve at all, short pant, short skirts or very comfortable dresses for the day. Boots will fry your feet -_- unless you wear them at night. People here, including myself, like to wear clothes that have a lot of color or light colors (but don't wear hawaiian shirts please =D). If you plan to walk a lot (I imagine your going to the Old San Juan) you can wear a nice hat, snicker or shoes that have no heels. Bring your fancy or fashion clothes for going out at night.

Hope this helps!!! =D Have Fun


exetercove 16.10.2007. 15:05

When a person has COPD, will it help that person to live in a less humid area? My mother refuses to get help from Doctors about her COPD. Her breathing is worsened by humid weather. Would it help her to move to a less humid area?


Admin 16.10.2007. 15:05

Some say yes and others say no. You stated in your question "Her breathing is worsened by humid weather". If that is indeed the case then I would imagine less humid weather would make it easier to breath.

The absolute best treatment for a patient with COPD is a pulmonary rehab program. It will help her learn how to breath more efficiently. Teach her how to recognize signs and symptoms of her condition getting worse. Help her learn what her medications do and when to use them. It will also start her on a low impact exercise program to increase her endurance.

Ask her doctor about a PR program in your area.


attorneyinmichigan 07.05.2008. 04:34

Even if superdelagates help Hillary win the nomination, then what? I can't imagine any African American with a heartbeat voting for that mean-spirited witch if she were to steal this thing. How can anyone with a brain think that HE has the electability problem!? SHE has an electability problem! She also has a hillbilly problem.


Admin 07.05.2008. 04:34

I don't think that's going to happen. The Democratic Party won't shoot itself in the foot like that. The superdelegates have slowly been defecting to Obama. The Clinton campaign took a big hit tonight. It would be tough for the Democratic nomination to be "stolen" from Obama at this point. He suffered a PR nightmare the past few weeks and still performed very well tonight.


Kristina 22.04.2011. 18:25

My fiance and I are planning a small wedding in PR any tips? Locations, Photographers, Officiants? My fiance and I are planning a June wedding in San Juan, PR. We are essentially eloping with 4 family members along for the ride. We aren't having a reception only a ceremony. Cost is a HUGE factor and we would like costs to stay as low as possible. Any recommendations on location, photographers (we only want about 2 hours), and officiants would be appreciated!


Admin 22.04.2011. 18:25

How about getting married on a sailboat? Practically all the day charters offer a sunset sail, even moonlight sails as well as weddings and wedding receptions. Since you are a small group you might want privacy that's affordable and I think this is the thing for you. It's outside San Juan, in Fajardo, you guys can rent a van and go together. The lady that runs this is very helpful and they have a huge following of return customers (speaks volumes about their service!). They take a max of 7 so the boat would be yours. She could also help you with the officiant and finding a photographer. It says on the site that they have hosted weddings before. Imagine your photos taken with the background of tropical waters, an open bar and lunch served up.


Kim Blah 17.04.2011. 14:20

What jobs can I get with a economic degree? I am planning to change my major to economic and earn a bachelor degree.
I am unsure that jobs are available and was wondering what places I can apply with it:
such as a medical office? bank? etc?
help, thanks I am so new at this. Do I heard if you want to do something along the lines of account, we also need a degree in that. true?

Kim Blah

Admin 17.04.2011. 14:20

First it would be wise to get in the habit of checking sites like and Not so much to find jobs that demand someone specifically with a degree in Economics ... you won't find many of those. But Imagine you are a new grad with an Econ degree, and see what kind of jobs you might find that don't require something ELSE (like a degree in finance or accounting). It would be great to do that while still in school, that way you may discover you should take some class or get some certification while you are still a student.

An Econ major (especially one with some with exposure to other business studies) is probably going to be an analytical person, and so a ripe candidate for a range of "analyst" jobs. Some job titles you might see are business analyst, data analyst, marketing analyst, market research analyst, risk analyst, etc. Possibly financial analyst -- they usually seem to require a degree in finance, but some Econ majors get into that.

There are also a lot of jobs in business open to generalists -- they want a college grad, and business sense helps, but the major doesn't really matter. E.g., jobs in marketing, project management, even PR/Communications if you can write and have the personality for it. And Lord knows, SALES. You can be a 1st grade dropout and get any number of sales jobs.


Paigey 07.02.2013. 08:19

How to prepare for leaving home in less than a year? At the end of this year I turn 18 and complete my pr-university course, after which I will be moving to a small town I visit often. I enjoy this town but have never stayed for more than 3 days at a time. I have witnessed it's freezing winters and it's miserable rainy days, but the summers are just perfect. I have always enjoyed the cold more than the heat, but I still don't know how to prepare for the very sudden temperature change. As I said, I visit this town quite often due to my sister and my 2 baby nephews being there, but I always had the reassurance that I would be returning home to my mother and familiarity. My mother and I have a rough complicated relationship and are always closer when apart, but it still a massive thing for me. I suffer with manic depression and social anxiety, so as you can imagine the worries of my move are severe. I am excited, but the reality of leaving everything behind is daunting. I have not exactly had a pleasant life in this town and there is no joy of looking back on my past, but it is still my home town and I still have a life here. All of my friends are leaving this year too, but it's a huge thing. I know I will move no matter what, but I don't know how to mentally and physically prepare. I have less than 11 months to prepare. I will be living with in the spare room at my sisters for the first few months and then I will find a house of my own and a house mate or two to help with burden of first time bills.
I have a bed, bedsides, clothes, 2 big heavy dooners and 1 blanket, a tv, a massive bookshelf, a chest of drawers, decorations for the rooms and a microwave. but the big splurge to buy everything I need when I move is upsetting me.
How do I prepare. Help?


Admin 07.02.2013. 08:19

To make the moving and easy and successful process it is good to take the services of removal companies. They have the professional who make this process easy and comfortable. They have all the knowledge regarding packing, storage and unpacking which can make moving easy and comfortable.


mistikmaiden 27.06.2008. 17:31

How do I go about getting my Body Piercing Certification in Missouri? I live in Metro St. Louis & I really want to be a body piercer. How do I go about getting my license? Do I have to have my high school diploma? Help!


Admin 27.06.2008. 17:31

Unfortunately to get the license itself, you simply turn in a form and a fee. The form does ask if you've had any training to actually perform piercings, but as you can imagine the state may not be through in checking your references and with no set standards of training they will have a hard time refusing.

If you want to actually learn how to pierce correctly and safely, you will have to get an apprenticeship with a reputable piercer. Finding such an apprenticeship usually takes a lot of legwork and forming a relationship with the shop of your choice. Keep in mind that you can only learn correct and safe procedures from a shop that practices them, so only consider working with piercers who work safely.

To get a license you must be 18 years old. To work as an apprentice on piercing people you must be 18 as well. If you're an older 17 year old you may be able to get started in a shop learning all of the other information involved in piercing without hands on practice until you're 18.

Expect to spend at least a few months learning various information on sterilization, technique, preventing cross-contamination, anatomy, pathology, etc. How soon you actually get to start piercing under supervision depends on your ability and the person apprenticing you. Be VERY wary of any shop that would allow you to pierce without taking a blood borne pathogen class and other very basic training. The focus of your apprenticeship should be providing you the skills to work safely and within your abilities, not to get you piercing as fast as possible.

Learning to pierce takes time and commitment. The first step is finding a reputable, reliable piercer who is willing to apprentice you.

To find out exactly what you need, take a look at the licenseing form and then you'll have to look up osha requirements for body piercers. licenseing form:


Chan Tony 07.07.2011. 11:46

Is it worth to migrate to Australia for 50 years old couples? Can earn better living standard? Our PR visa will expiry this Dec. Can I easy to earn my own living in Austrlia ? Usually ned how long to find a job ? What is the basic living cost per month in Perth or Sydney ? Any race and age discrimination ?

Who can give me some comments and help me to settle down in Australia.

Chan Tony

Admin 07.07.2011. 11:46

I can't imagine why you would expect us to be able to answer your question without knowing your occupation and your level of experience. There is strong demand for highly experienced workers in some occupations in some cities and very low demand for other occupations and in other places. If you have good English, you will be unlikely to experience any race discrimination, but age discrimination is a fact of life in Australia though good workers will be able to find something. It will mostly depend on what work you are looking for.


Laura L 28.09.2007. 14:39

How should I evaluate and pay a public relations work? I know this might sound weird, but I wonder how does a pr get evaluated and paid.
Does he/she offer a program covering a period of some months with projections and targets and then gets paid on the results, after an advance maybe... or gets a monthly pay... how does it work?
Because I can't imagine someone working on the same project with the same success rate always... I mean, what if the pr performance declines over time, or doesn't get the projected results...
Should I ask an example of project he/she floowed with a former client similar to me? I know that different products get different attention, but is it okay if I ask such a thing?
Specifically I'm interested in the fashion pr, thanks!
Ken, thanks for the curious anecdotes, most paradoxes out there! Well I haven't got millions to spend on pr at all, infact I'm quite on a budget! I made my own logo and do all I can, only that having someone to represent you on foreign land I guessed would be a good idea, especially someone with contacts already... but I get what you say about timing and being smart ;)

Laura L

Admin 28.09.2007. 14:39

I have to disagree with Ken about the value of hiring a good PR person. What you are looking for when hiring a PR person is someone who has media contacts, who has experience and success getting stories placed in a variety of media. The reason a PR person is worth the money is a story about your company in print on the air is seen as more credible and believable than an ad. You should absolutely ask for samples of their work and references of current or past clients. Many credible PR people will not work for more than one company in an industry to avoid conflicts of interest so samples may not be industry specific. Also, many PR people will work within your budget. They will be able to tell you approximately what you can expect to get for the money that you are willing and able to spend. Millions of dollars need not be in the picture. I hope this helps!


Crystal R 23.02.2007. 12:39

How can you start ur own cleaning business if all you have is the skills to do the work and a name for it? My husband's been working for a cleaning company that's miles away and has decided to get his own company together without having any real knowledge of how to get it started. He's got his EIN number from IRS and his company name. But he's not business oriented and doesn't know how to really get started. That's where I come into to the picture. I don't know where to look for the jobs. Are there agencies that you can advertise your cleaning business with, that typically, when businesses are in need of cleaning compnies, can look at? We're located in south central Ohio. There's no question that we have the skills to do the work. We just need a little help getting it started.
You can contact me at

Crystal R

Admin 23.02.2007. 12:39

Some keys to success for your business will rely on:

1) Establishing a reputation as a high quality and trustworthy service provider.
2) Getting your name established in the community through paid advertising and word-of-mouth
3) Pricing yourselves competitively with your competition
4) Establishing a good business plan (this should probably be #1)

As your husband can atest, a good reputation goes a LONG way in this industry. Your clients need to know they can trust you implicity with their homes/business and you need to build that trust quickly by showing people you are in it for the long haul.

Establishing a separate phone number, business cards, and address all lend an air of permanence and you should focus on getting those things together.

A satisfied client is one of your best marketing tools. Good, reasonably priced service will lead to more word-of-mouth referrals than you can imagine. These clients are like gold because they are motivated to hire someone and based on the recommendation chances are they aren't going to shop around.

Work with your local newspaper and radio stations (yes radio) to begin to establish an advertising plan. Often times newspapers will run free articles about newly established businesses. This is great, free "PR" and one you should pursue.

You should also look at establishing an advertising budget that will get your name on the street. Radio can offer some attractive rates to a targeted audience.

The key here is to get the word out and don't stumble on those first few clients. You need to exceed their expectations so you can use them as a reference. Getting insured and bonded can also help as it too lends an air of permanance.

Your husband's experience in the industry will help you with pricing. You need to price competitively and aggressively to draw clientele in. It's not a bad idea to set a low price point for your first few clients to establish your base. There's nothing that says you can't alter pricing up (more money in your pocket) once you're up and running.

Finally get a good business plan together. Most people flip-out when they think of putting a business plan together and equate it with nothing more than a bunch of profit and loss statements and accounting. This couldn't be further from the truth.

A good business plan is nothing more than a strategy of what your business is about. Start with some simple foundation questions:

What kind of business?
What kind of customer?
What towns/communities will we serve?
How much do we have to charge per hour to make a profit?
How will we advertise?
How much can we expect to sell?

You get the idea. There are a ton of FREE resources on the web that can walk you through this process in much more detail.

Good luck!


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