PR: What's the Point?

Comments (20)

PR: What's the Point?

By: Robert A. Kelly

Here's the point: 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.

The point is simply stated for businesses, non-profits and associations. Many concentrate their public relations effort on newspaper and radio exposures or funding management's favorite special event.

This when they should be driving an action plan that persuades their key external stakeholders to their way of thinking, then moving those important outside audiences to take actions that help their departments, divisions or subsidiaries succeed.

This difference in emphasis can turn into real trouble for managers who work hard to achieve their operating objectives.

Why not meet with the public relations people assigned to your unit and make sure they buy into a blueprint for PR success like the one above: the results might amaze you. How about prospects starting to do business with you; membership applications on the rise; customers starting to make repeat purchases; fresh proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures; community leaders beginning to seek you out; welcome bounces in show room visits; higher employee retention rates, capital givers or specifying sources beginning to look your way, and even politicians and legislators starting to view you as a key member of the business, non-profit or association communities.

You can create those kinds of results when you do something positive about the behaviors of those outside audiences that MOST affect your business, non-profit or association?

When you use the promise of PR to deliver external stakeholder behavior change - the kind that leads directly to achieving your managerial objectives.

And when you persuade those important outside folks to your viewpoint, then move them to take actions that help your department, division or subsidiary succeed.

If this is the kind of PR you need and want, list those outside audiences of yours whose behavior helps or hinders you in achieving your objectives. And list them according to their impact on your operation.

If experience is any guide, you probably don't have access to data showing how most members of that key external audience perceive your organization.

Truth is, hiring professional survey people to monitor those perceptions can be expensive, so you and your colleagues will have to do it yourselves. Interact with members of that outside audience by asking questions like "Have you ever had contact with anyone from our organization? Was it a satisfactory experience? Are you familiar with our services or products?"

Listen carefully for negative statements, especially evasive or hesitant replies. Watch for false assumptions, untruths, misconceptions, inaccuracies and potentially damaging rumors. Any of which will need to be corrected because we know counterproductive perceptions usually lead to negative behaviors.

Of course you want to correct such problems before they create negative behaviors. So you select the actual perception to be altered, and that becomes your public relations goal.

Fact is, your PR goal without a strategy to show you how to get there, is like catfish without the lemon and tartar sauce. That's why you must pick one of three strategies structured to create perception or opinion where there may be none, or change existing perception, or reinforce it. What you want to do here is insure that the goal and its strategy match each other. It wouldn't do to select "change existing perception" when current perception is OK suggesting a "reinforce" strategy.

Here is where writing talent is needed. Someone on your PR team must create a compelling message written in a way that can alter your key target audience's perception, as called for by your public relations goal.

You can always combine your corrective message with a product or personnel announcement and increase message credibility by not highlighting the correction itself.

The corrective message should have several attributes, clarity for one. Be specific about what perception needs clarification or correction, and why. Your facts must be accurate and they must be persuasive, logically explained and believable if the message is to hold the attention of members of that target audience, and actually move perception your way.

Now you pick your "beasts of burden" - the actual tactics you will use to carry your corrective message to the attention of that external audience.

There are plenty of communications tactics available including letters-to-the-editor, brochures, press releases and speeches. Or, you might select others such as radio and newspaper interviews, personal contacts, newsletters, or group briefings, always making sure the tactics you select have a record of reaching the same audiences as those that make up your target stakeholders.

You'll want to be ready for queries about progress by again monitoring perceptions among your target audience members. Using questions similar to those used during your earlier monitoring session, you will now watch carefully for indications that audience perceptions are beginning to move in your direction.

We are fortunate in the PR business that we can always put the pedal to the metal by employing additional communications tactics, AND by increasing their frequencies.

So what IS the point? Consider using an aggressive new public relations blueprint, like the one at the top of this article, that targets the kind of key stakeholder behavior change that leads directly to achieving your operating objectives.



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 1020 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:


Yasbir 20.06.2013. 05:05

What is the procedure to apply for PR on Points Base from India? I am a chef with 4 years experience. I wants to apply for PR of Canada. Kindly Tell me full procedure to apply and all documents which i need to show them.... Also tell me how much time consumed for this process.
Does i need any offer letter or i can apply directly for PR on Point Basis as i have 4 Years Experince in Reputed Restaurant


Admin 20.06.2013. 05:05

Begin with the first source link I posted below.

The points system applies to the Federal Skilled Worker program. The second source link I posted below explains the Federal Skilled Worker program.

The the third source link I posted below explains the points system.

The fourth source link I posted below explains the processing times.



Sasidhar 20.04.2011. 18:24

Is getting 7 band in all modules of IELTS mandatory to get PR? Is it necessary to get 7 band in all modules of IELTS to be eligible for applying to australian PR according to new PR points from July 2011.


Admin 20.04.2011. 18:24

7 points is the best score


Missy H 18.09.2007. 08:37

IF they are guilty and proven so in a court of law what implications will this have on Richard Branson? From a PR point of view this would be a disatster.

Why has he made such a brave move?

Missy H

Admin 18.09.2007. 08:37

He took a gamble that they are innocent, and even if not, they would find it diffiuclt to prove guilt

If the tide turns, he will just distance himself from it and play the line "They fooled everyone, the public, their family and me, I was only trying to do the right thing"


Truth 12.06.2008. 08:51

how to get maximum PR points to go australia? i m a house wife. completed MS(IT&M) age 28, married , no child, fluency in english and two other languages. what will be my PR point. is it enough to go australia or any fake working certificate is required? plz guide


Admin 12.06.2008. 08:51

That sounds good enough. All the info is at including points table. Good luck


Tofu Izbeast 05.10.2010. 17:39

Need help with the basics of Public Relations? I've been nominated as the head of PR for a small local industry group here. I have absolutely no idea what I am doing. Can someone give me the basics of PR, or point me in the direction of some good advice?

Tofu Izbeast

Admin 05.10.2010. 17:39

The whole idea behind Public Relations is to get the word out about your product or group and to network!

1) Know what you're selling. Be an expert on the industry and on the mission and intent of the group.

2) Establish who your audience is. Familiarize yourself with local media (if that's your audience), trade publications, etc.

3) Learn how to write a press release and put together marketing materials like brochures, posters etc.

4) Another great way to market your group is to sponsor or host community events.

Some links that might be helpful: (Public Relations Society of awesome resource) (Newhouse, part of Syracuse Univ is the premier Public Relations college in the country...they have some great resources on their website) (writing a press release as dumbed down as possible)


guitarman 02.06.2010. 02:26

How come you never see anyone point towards the ground after they hit a homerun in a pro baseball game? You know, as a tribute to the devil. You always see guys point towards the sky. I can't believe out of hundreds of players in baseball there are no guys who thank the devil for a homerun. What are the odds of that?


Admin 02.06.2010. 02:26

This is funny. I guess if some player was devoted to satan the PR office would deny him to do stuff like that


46&2 14.11.2006. 20:14

What points should be emphasized in my sales pitch? A PR firm wants my cover letter to be my first, official "pitch" to them. What should I focus on. It's for an internship and I recently finished college so I don't have much experience. Are they expecting something fluffy or sound?


Admin 14.11.2006. 20:14

A PR firm specializes in creating fluff -- so they will know if you are just giving them fluff.

Simply answer the question: What can you do for them that they can't get from another candidate?

Prepare a list of what you can do. Given of course that you have no experience, focus on qualities, not knowledge. Also touch on how well your work ethic, discipline and goals fit their organization (you may have to do a little research on how they do things). Show them that you really want this job, because you can make a difference to them


Rafeek 15.11.2009. 14:14

How do i go australia,can i get job directly without studying there,can i get PR of australia? How do i go australia,can i get job directly without studying there,can i get PR of australia?


Admin 15.11.2009. 14:14

You cannot work at a job in Australia without a work visa and to get a permanent work visa, you must have formal qualifications and experience in an occupation listed on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL); you must pass the points test ; you must have your skills and qualifications assessed by the body responsible for skills assessment for that occupation and you must meet English language, health and character requirements.

If your occupation is only on the SOL and not on the Critical Skills List (CSL), you will have to wait until at least the end of 2012 (and probably longer) before your application is even looked at. (the SOL) (required qualifications and skills assessment) (visa processing priorities and link to the CSL)


netheral 19.12.2007. 23:38

At what point should I ask for a sponsor? Ok, my PR for marathon running currently is between 2:28 and 2:37. I am 26 years old and started running less than a year ago. I feel like i can get the PR down to nearly 2:18 in the next year or two especially if I can get the opportunity to focus more on running instead of money to pay for the events. When should I ask, who should I ask and, how much? Any advice would be helpful.


Admin 19.12.2007. 23:38

i think this is a more, they'll come to you thing. but if you do get down that pr, i'm sure it shouldn't be too hard. just try to place well at boston and you may be approached with an offer


math_weakling_f 25.06.2008. 15:17

Math Wizards! How to find the length of the chord that is perpendicular to the radius passing though a point? The problem is: The measure of a chord of a circle is 14cm. A point is selected on the chord so that its distance from one end of the chord is 8cm, while its distance from the center of the circle is 4 cm. What is the length of the chord that isperpendicular to the radius that passes through this point?


Admin 25.06.2008. 15:17

O be the centre of the circle,
A and B be the ends of the 14cm. chord,
P be the point on AB such that AP = 8 cm and PB = 6 cm,
R and S be the points at the ends of the chord through P perpendicular to OP,
r be the radius of the circle,
a be the length of PR.

As OP is perpendicular to SR at P:
SP = PR = a.

As AB intersects RS at P:
RP * PS = AP * PB
a^2 = 8 x 6 = 48.

The length of RS is:
2a = 2 sqrt(48)
= 2 * 4 sqrt(3)
= 8 sqrt(3) cm.


Write a comment

* = required field





* Yes No