PR Still a Mystery to Some

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PR Still a Mystery to Some

By: Robert A. Kelly

Unfortunately, there are managers who define public relations by its applications. Which explains neither its underlying strengths nor what PR is all about.

The casual observer is left with a confusion of tactical, application-oriented definitions of the public relations function: Is it publicity? Crisis management? Special events? Reputation management? Promotion? Or a slew of other tactics in which we engage from time to time?

Which is it? More important, just what lies at the core of managerial public relations anyway?

I believe the core lies in doing something positive about the behaviors of those important outside audiences of yours that most affect your operation.

In other words, create external stakeholder behavior change - the kind that leads directly to achieving your managerial objectives.

And do so by persuading those key outside folks to your way of thinking, then help move them to take actions that allow your department, division or subsidiary to succeed.

Luckily, there's also a blueprint at the center of public relations to help you cement that PR core for your own managerial benefit.

And it goes 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 the organization the most, the public relations mission is accomplished.

And for managers such as you, here's the type of results that could emerge. Healthy bounces in show room visits; community leaders seeking you out; prospects starting to do business with you; membership applications on the rise; customers making repeat purchases; fresh proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures in the inbox; capital givers or specifying sources looking your way, and even politicians and legislators beginning to view you as a key member of the business, non-profit or association communities.

You also need PR team members who understand that blueprint and commit themselves to its implementation, starting with key audience perception monitoring. Let's face it, your PR people are already in the perception and behavior business, so they should be of real use for this initial opinion monitoring project.

Caveat: you must be certain your public relations people really believe - deep down -- why it's SO important to know how your most important outside audiences perceive your operations, products or services. Make sure they accept the reality that perceptions almost always lead to behaviors that can help or hurt your unit.

Talk it over with them, especially your 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? Have you had prior contact with us and were you pleased with the interchange? Are you familiar with our services or products and employees? Have you experienced problems with our people or procedures?

While professional survey firms can always be hired to do the opinion monitoring work, they also can cost big bucks. So, whether it's your people or a survey firm asking the questions, the objective remains the same: identify untruths, false assumptions, unfounded rumors, inaccuracies, misconceptions and any other negative perception that might translate into hurtful behaviors.

The PR goal, obviously, is to do something about the most serious distortions you discover during your key audience perception monitoring. Will it be to straighten out that dangerous misconception? Correct that gross inaccuracy? Or, stop that potentially bloody rumor dead in its tracks?

Truth is, you won't get there at all without the right strategy to tell you how to proceed. But keep in mind that there are just three strategic options available when it comes to doing something about perception and opinion. Change existing perception, create perception where there may be none, or reinforce it. The wrong strategy pick will taste like pepper flakes on your Crème Brulee, so be sure your new strategy fits well with your new public relations goal. You wouldn't want to select "change" when the facts dictate a "reinforce" strategy.

Now it's time to put together a well-written message and direct it to members of your target audience. It's always a challenge to create an actionable message that will help persuade any audience to your way of thinking.

You need your best scribes for this one because s/he must build some very special, corrective language. Words that are not merely compelling, persuasive and believable, but clear and factual if they are to shift perception/opinion towards your point of view and lead to the behaviors you have in mind.

Once you've run draft copy by your PR team, it's on to the next selection process -- the communications tactics most likely to carry your message to the attention of your target audience. There are scores that are available. From speeches, facility tours, emails and brochures to consumer briefings, media interviews, newsletters, personal meetings and many others. But you must be certain that the tactics you pick are known to reach folks like your audience members,

By the way, you may wish to avoid "shouting too loud" and unveil your message before smaller meetings and presentations rather than using higher-profile news releases, as the credibility of any message is fragile and always at stake.

The people around you will start agitating in short order for progress reports, which signals to you and your PR team to get going on a second perception monitoring session with members of your external audience. You'll want to use many of the same questions used in the first benchmark session. Big difference this time is that you will be on red alert for signs that the bad news perception is being altered in your direction.

Incidentally, I've always thought it fortunate that such matters usually can be accelerated simply by adding more communications tactics as well as increasing their frequencies.

So, at the end of the day, what you want the new PR plan to accomplish is to persuade your most important outside stakeholders to your way of thinking, then move them to behave in a way that leads to the success of your department, division or subsidiary.

Public relations should no longer be a mystery when the people you deal with do, in fact, behave suspiciously like everyone else - they act upon their perceptions of the facts they hear about you and your operation. Which means you really have little choice but to deal promptly and effectively with those perceptions by doing what is necessary to reach and move those key external audiences of yours to actions you desire.


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 1220 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. Visit:


honeybear 14.03.2010. 21:30

How to become a secret/mystery shopper with no scams? I want to become a secret/mystery shopper or professional shopper as I have heard it called. I have found many websites, but I don't know which ones are real and scam free.


Admin 14.03.2010. 21:30

Always make sure they are a member of the Mystery Shoppers Providers Association, it's a global organisation for legitimate mystery shopping companies
Member agencies will have an MSPA logo on their website
Most companies doing mystery shopping are listed as Market Research in the yellow pages. Be careful looking online. If they aren't listed in the phone book, they aren't real companies. And watch out for spoofers. There is a real company called Secret Shopper, but scammers are putting up job postings on craigslist and other sites using their name, but not the real company phone number or emails. So always make sure you call the phone number listed in the phone book,not one you get in an email
And anyone asking you to deposit or wire money is NOT a real mystery shopping company, its a Nigerian scam.
Real mystery shopping companies dont advertise on craigslist or other sites, they normally have application on their own website
You can search by your country or city here then google to find the real company website or phone number and ask them how you can apply
Mystery shopping is not a job or way to earn a lot of extra money, its more a hobby. You often spend more money on parking and transportation than you make on the shop itself, normally you are paid $15-20 per mystery shop, even though to get that you might have to drive an hour, spend an hour in a store, drive home an hour, spend an hour filling out the evaluation, then going to the post office to mail it. Is that worth $15 to you? I do it because I studied marketing and find it fun, not for the money


Mad Rose 28.10.2012. 02:32

What's the difference between these two guitars? Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar and a Epiphone PR-150 Acoustic Guitar. They cost the same amount of money and look alike. I'm just starting out, which would be better for me?

Mad Rose

Admin 28.10.2012. 02:32

Good deal at 120.00, very good deal.
I've been messing around a lot with inexpensive guitars lately. What prompted me to do this was playing a friend's old Silvertone and my old Hohner 3/4 and wondering if the sound of a guitar that costs around 100.00 had changed.

We're a few years now in the China-era of manufacturing, which created sudden downturn in prices for some types of models. In the case of the DR-100, it created a guitar so cheap that an old timer would have an hard time even trusting it to sound good. We're so used to treating guitars like wine, price equals quality.

In fact, that it's got "select spruce" is almost meaningless for example. "Solid Spruce" is now a standard feature even on models which you can now see down in the 500.00-600.00 range. As the battle for profits goes into the subcatagories, the companies stay market-savy and know the buzzwords.

The meaningful side is that after decades of guitar making, even a cheap one can be competently made and capable to sounding like a real guitar. The reason? No mystery as to how after all this time.

It's not as well set up obviously, but I found it a decent sounding, although bass-heavy guitar, a little tinny on the high end, but with a good rhythm sound. It's got good frets, and fingering chords is easy.

The Silvertone still has a better finger picking sound, and the Hohner still has that underrated Martin-like quality that some of their older models had, but both don't have the qualities modern students and players want, mainly volume.

The DR-100 feels good to hold and play, good neck, good enough tone and plenty of clear volume with the pick. It has a modern look, looks a lot like the one Paul McCartney plays, and is cheaper than a lot of gig bags.

The Epiphone PR-150 Acoustic Guitar Value Package includes everything you need to start learning guitar: an Epiphone PR-150 dreadnought acoustic guitar, gig bag, pitch pipe, strap, picks, and a CD-ROM instructional guide to get you started playing.

So in short the price difference has to do with the extra stuff that comes with it


parkfieldnr16 28.08.2007. 21:01

Do you think the Madeleine McCann case is going to end up like the Jonbenet Ramsey one? Both were very pretty little girls,both had wealthy parents,who killed Jonbenet will always be a mystery by the looks of it but do you think Madeleines killer(if she is dead)will ever be found?


Admin 28.08.2007. 21:01

Yes. There are so many similarities such as both families employing lawyers and PR advisors in the immediate days following disappearance/murder; both cases friends were around to contaminate crime scenes (Ramseys called their friends over as soonas the police were called even tho the "ramson note" said not to tell anyone), both families claim strong christian beliefs and evangelical visions, both sets of parents aren't afraid to palm the victims siblings off to daycare/friends in the immediate aftermath of the crime - despite the presence of evil kidnappers and paedophiles. The parallels are immense and the McCanns might be following the Ramsey Guide to Killing Your Daughter and Getting Away With It. (if either did it of course) Let's hope the Portugese Police have read it too and don't let whoever harmed Madeleine get away with it.


probablygraham 28.05.2010. 21:34

What is the problem with Casey Stoner? Not long ago he was virtually unbeatable and his battles with Rossi were legendary.
Then he had the mystery virus but has come back looking fast - sometimes very fast.
Then he simply loses the bike. Looking at the last couple of incidents it looks very strange because the bike simply does strange things. But it's only his bike that seems to be doing it.

So in your opinion is it to do with the bike (maybe the traction control system) or is it Stoner himself?

I really miss the battles. Without Stoner mixing it, MotoGP is getting boring.


Admin 28.05.2010. 21:34

Casey's biggest problem is Casey.

He is not happy the fact the Ducati have made the 2010 MotoGP bike a better bike for other riders rather then just him. With new riders in the paddock riding the GP10, they had to adapt. Ducati is looking to the future with young riders like Alex, Mika & the new Aspar Team setup.

The fact that Nicky is riding so good again means the bike is fine. Ducati have added a 3rd footrest on the left side near the gear change rearset. You can see details on
This and the new seat, means Nicky can ride it like he did the HRC in 06.

The truth is Casey is not intrested in riding for Ducati now Livvio Suppo has moved to HRC.
The rumours are that Casey has already signed for HRC for 2011 to re-unite him with Livvio. I dont why HRC would want Casey to be honest, he is the most anti - PR person in the paddock. Ducati / Phillip Morris have on many times had to Photoshop Casey's face on to another blokes body in photoshoots as Casey could not be bothered. He hates doing PR work ...... Unlike Jorge Lorenzo.

If VR46 wins the title again & Casey goes to HRC, then Phillip Morris will snap Jorge up in a flash. Last year, there was wispers of ?22 million for a 3 year deal. A lot more then Casey is on and even more then he was in 07.

Time will tell.


Blaze 09.07.2008. 02:28

How can i rank up my exploration team on pokemon mystery dungeon explorers of time? I have a super ranked team at the moment and im just asking if anybody has any wondermail codes which give lots of exploration points. Any missions that do not have zero isle in them wood be good. Thanks in advance :D


Admin 09.07.2008. 02:28

If you have access to the 7 Wonder Mail dungeons, then I can easily give you some Wonder Mail that will give you a 7, 8, or possibly even a 9 star mission.

If you don't have that, then I can give you some 5 and 6 star missions in Crevice Cave and Blizzard Island.

Here are some Wonder Mails for Blizzard Island. It is an Outlaw Mission where you have to arrest an outlaw. The Wonder Mail that I give you will start on the 10th floor and go all the way down to the last floor you can go on. They should be between 4 and 6 or 7 star missions:

NSJ6 08+@ J&S&
Q&S2 &28Q Y678

+YQT #RQ6 9#0Q
6=S7 S%KT J%S0

5=-Y JX1X 8%65
HC0M 4&@P +--%

J=@@ JQN8 F87Y
R4MR 6C=J 8262

58=@ #%P2 X@8P

YR5% %C=0 &-4Y
#-88 XW&5 YX68

=+N+ 3FCS 9R1M
WX+M XM90 Y19+

0P48 4T3@ H+#Q

YTM9 4R86 @6HJ
#7TR 03%K FF62

679% 2C0Y &1M5
TF#% FNQ6 F-98

X-Y@ #&%1 9@QQ
YSW# Y1H= 2=JT

If you would like any more Wonder Mails, feel free to ask me over email, and I would be happy to supply you with more Wonder Mail codes :)

Hope this helps :)


Aaron 16.07.2009. 15:47

On Weeds, (season 5 episode 6?) who was the mystery woman speaking Spanish to Esteban at the end of the episod? I got the translation, does anyone know who she is, or what relationship this woman has to Esteban? Ex-wife/girlfriend? PR lady for him? Relative? I got nothing.


Admin 16.07.2009. 15:47

I think the writers want you to think it's a love interest, or a former love interest but my guess is that she's a sister or another relative. I'm watching this season, but I think it's jumped the shark.


fishtail1973 16.12.2011. 17:27

What are some birthday party game/activity ideas for pre-teen girls? We having a little party for my daughter's 11th birthday tomorrow. She is very shy and quiet, as are her friends. I am planning to have them decorate cupcakes for part of the time, but I am looking for some other ideas to keep them entertained. Looking for some ideas for games for girls who are generally quiet and not much into fashion or make-up.


Admin 16.12.2011. 17:27

Well there are board games like mystery date or the scene it dvd games.

You could also play apple to apples junior game, clue or another creative game.

Want something interactive maybe a create a story game where you begin a story and then each person adds a new sentence.

Birthday Charades & Pictionary,

Another game that could work since she is shy is Who Knows the Birthday Star a simple and fun game I found it on this page first row of games

Silly Hula Hoop competition

Hope that gets you started I found more game ideas here



softbagel14 13.10.2008. 03:50

What countries has Barack Obama visited to gain more Foreign policy experience? Please no remarks about how little experience he has, just answer the question ;)
I'm getting mixed answers from searching on the internet and just need a list of some places he has visited and if he visited with leaders. Im writing about his Foreign policy plan.


Admin 13.10.2008. 03:50

Obama has jaunted to France, Germany and the Middle East--with intense media focus on the latter, because of his clear ties ( which he claims he's long broken from ) the Islamic Muslim faith.

Your discovery of "mixed answers" comes from Obama's ability to PR smoke-screen the illusion he's mastered the art of Foreign Affairs---which in fact he's far far from even coming close to achieving.

Obama is way too fuzzy / unclear a person for me to comfortably vote him for President; I don't want a man of such mystery gaining control of the White House.


jannifer900 18.02.2011. 19:51

How did the druids manage to carry the rocks to stonehenge? I just don't understand. Can someone please explain?
Thank you for all your answers everyone. You've been a big help!


Admin 18.02.2011. 19:51

It's not as hard as people think...nor does it require alien intervention as people like Eric von Daniken and others assert. There's a guy in Michigan named Wally Wallington who's building his own Stonehenge pretty much by himself and he's managed to find ways to erect very heavy stones with various methods. More info and videos at these links....

Another theory suggests that ancient people used a form of ball bearings to transport heavy stones rather than wooden rollers. The largest natural object ever transported was called the Thunderstone in Russia (weighing around 1500 tons) and it was moved entirely by human power using a form of ball bearings...

Thunderstone explained here....

Other henges of wood and stone have been found in other countries and cultures like the Amazon, Armenia and Egypt....


. 27.08.2008. 19:34

I have read the authors of the bible were under psychedelic substances? Do you have any more information about it?
Every time I post this question, before I can even read the information provided it gets reported.
If you decide to report, because it is damaging for your belief, I will re post again. I have also closed this account to contacts, some religious people, I will let you guess which religion, likes to censure anything that PROVES their religion wrong.


Admin 27.08.2008. 19:34

I don't know why but they keep reporting me too.
I have posted this information for them to verify.
They can read for themselves, the answer is YES.
There are literally HUNDREDS of books that talk about it, yet the Christians have decided to ignore the evidence.

In "The Mystery of Manna", religious historian Dan Merkur provided compelling evidence that the miraculous bread that God fed the Israelites in the wilderness was psychedelic, made from bread containing ergot--the psychoactive fungus containing the same chemicals from which LSD is made. Many religious authorities over the centuries have secretly known the identity and experience of manna and have left a rich record of their involvement with this sacred substance.

This is another one that talks about the psychedelic substances used by the authors of the Bible.

This Book "Astrotheology and Shamanism: Unveiling the Law of Duality in Christianity and other Religions"
explores the hidden symbolism in religions and cultural traditions, analyzing the representation of celestial objects and hallucinogenic plants and their role in religious rites and traditions. The authors do an excellent job examining the symbolism of astrological ages and of the solar deities, such as Jesus/Christ. Clearly, Christianity is revealed as a distorted exoteric religious model which contains hidden vestiges of the esoteric shamanic wisdom and "pagan" traditions from which the new piscean age religion had been developed. The Christ character is exposed as non-historical, a composite of sun god symbolism and mushroom symbolism, and although the issue is not significantly addressed by these authors, I would suggest that the New Testament era Christ also includes aspects of multiple minor historical personages (initiates) whose historical background got woven into the timeless symbolic stories. This book contains a wealth of fascinating information and pictures and cuts through many religious secrets and deceptions.

These two books by "John Marco Alegro" are very interesting as well.

Finally this video explains in details the use of entheogens by religious troughout history , focusing on Christianity.


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