PR Where it Matters Most

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PR Where it Matters Most

By: Robert A. Kelly

What's more crucial to the success of a business, non-profit or association than its most important outside audiences and stakeholders?


Those stakeholder behaviors directly impact virtually every management and operating activity of the organization. From retail patronage, recruiting, civic activity, contributions, and strategic alliances to membership, program participation, plain old sales, and just about everything else.

Which means, if you are such a manager, you may have a real opportunity to do something positive about the behaviors of those important outside audiences of yours that most affect YOUR operation.

In other words, you can create the kind of external stakeholder behavior changes that lead directly to achieving your own managerial objectives.

You can 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.

When you decide to move your managerial public relations to a whole new level, here's some real help for you.

It's called the fundamental premise of public relations 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.

But it won't be of much use unless the PR team members assigned to your unit understand that blueprint and commit themselves to its implementation, starting with key audience perception monitoring. Truth is, your PR people are already in the perception and behavior business, so they will be of real use for this initial opinion assessment project.

But pause here. You must reassure yourself that your public relations people truly understand just WHY it's so important to know how your most important outside audiences perceive your operations, products or services. Be certain they accept the reality that perceptions almost always lead to behaviors that can help or hurt your unit.

Why not take some time to review with them 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?

Yes, survey specialists can always be brought in to do the opinion monitoring work, and they also can run up your costs. But, no matter who asks 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.

Your objective, 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?

Unfortunately, you'll make no headway 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 bleu cheese dressing on your liver and onions, 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.

The challenge now is to prepare a nicely put together message and direct it to members of your target audience. It's always a problem to create an actionable message that will help persuade an audience to your way of thinking.

Obviously, 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 your PR team has vetted the work product, 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 tons 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 distributing such a corrective message from the rooftops, and unveil your message before smaller meetings and presentations rather than using higher-profile news releases Reason is, the credibility of any message is fragile and always at stake.

You'll soon hear calls for progress reports which will tell you and your PR team to get busy on a second perception monitoring session with members of your external audience. You'll also want to use many of the same questions used in the first benchmark session. Big difference this time is that you will be on constant alert for signs that the bad news perception is being altered in your direction.

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.

At the end of the day, what you want your new PR plan to do is 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.

Your biggest success secret will be when your "target publics" -- those all important outside stakeholder audiences - actually 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 1135 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.



dolllxface 28.02.2010. 21:16

What should I major in if I want to work at a PR firm? I want to work at a PR firm, preferably one like People's Revolution or Command PR. One that has to do with fashion or major events, things like that. Those are just examples though, not saying I want to work there or that I'd even get the opportunity to work there. I'm not sure what people in PR would major in though. I'd like to go to NYU or a college near the Manhattan area. What do people in public relations major in?


Admin 28.02.2010. 21:16

Majors that relate somewhat to the field are journalism and business administration, however your major will not matter as much as your skills, intelligence, and experience will.
PR requires good writing skills, among other things; so It will help if you choose something writing-intensive, like sociology, history, (something) studies, or political science.
Whatever you choose, it will be very important that you get a proper internship while still in school or shortly after graduation. This will get you on track to becoming an Account Assistant afterwards.
Good luck!


. 26.07.2012. 02:15

What are the MAJOR events /matters shown the most often by aspects formed in progressed charts or returns? can list the top 5 in order of frequency?

why this is?

why marriage and engagement is the major one maybe? even more than career matters or how compared? how depends?


Admin 26.07.2012. 02:15

From the charts I've studied:

In a SR chart Mars in the 1st SR house denotes surgery.
Luminaries progressed to the DC signify the beginning of a favourable time in which you begin the quest for searching the one.
In a SR chart Pluto in the 1st SR house denotes great transformations.
Na/Pr Sun conjuncting Na/Pr Venus or the other way round: excellent time for love!
Pr Ascendant changing signs: big change in your look.


Doc Holliday Communist 26.03.2011. 23:16

Do you think Obama should hire a PR Firm to convince Americans that Libyan soldiers are tossing babies from? incubators in the hospitals as George H. W. Bush did during the first Gulf War?

A New York PR firm by the name of Hill and Knowlton to stir up sentiment for the war by hiring a women to say that she was a nurse in Kuwait and saw Iraqi soldiers murdering babies by throwing them onto the floor from their incubators.

Should Obama follow a similar course or is this level of lying only for Republicans?

Doc Holliday Communist

Admin 26.03.2011. 23:16

It doesn't matter the media is on board and the administration is going to do whatever they are told, it is amazing at least Bush administration put on an act however bad, these guys nothing.

The military Industrial complex has deep pockets. I heard the expiration date was drawing near on those million dollar missiles, you know the 'use by date", but in this case it's the "blow something up by" date. About 1500 so will be a few more days of target practice.


lazydanthom 27.04.2010. 09:35

Could the best tactical vote for those who vote for small parties be voting for the lib dems and getting PR? If we had proportional representation it would give a stronger voice to the greens, socialists, communists, ukip, bnp, english democrats and other small parties. So if these parties want a better chance to get there policies looked at should they not vote lib dem and get PR?


Admin 27.04.2010. 09:35

You are quite right and I have made the same point on here before. The fact is that when this election is over, no matter what the result, the majority of people will be dissatisfied with the result. No doubt if the result is a Labour majority, Tory voters will complain that the views of the majority of voters have been ignored by the system. Likewise if the result is a Tory majority, Labour voters will make similar complaints. Some people have been arguing for 30 years that the system is unfair.

Whatever the result, you can be sure the allocation of seats will not, barring some bizarre intervention from the electoral gods, be in any way proportional. And if we do get a "majority" government, 60% or more of the votes cast will have been against the government.

I cannot quite understand why a UKIP voter, Green voter, or anyone planning to vote for any other of those currently unrepresented minority voters, would advocate voting for them on this occasion. Clearly first past the post gives them no seats, and if it ever should, they will be looking at a single figure return. Surely the European elections, when some of those parties particularly UKIP did quite well, demonstrates that only a proportional system will be of any benefit to them. Therefore they would be far better off making a tactical switch to the Liberal Democrats on this occasion, and doing what they can to change the electoral system.

Something else the 2 main parties have spoke about at length: Cameron says a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote for Brown. Brown says a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote for Cameron. They can't BOTH be right. In fact neither of them is right. A vote for the Liberal Democrats is just what it says on the tin.

As for their assessment that only a vote for the Tories, or only a vote for Labour, can avoid a hung parliament, this is crap too. Obviously the easiest way to avoid a hung parliament is to vote Labour. They can win a majority with a much smaller vote share. But the Tories need 40% minimum to be sure of a majority. By some strange quirk, the Liberal Democrats, who would be punished by a poor return of seats polling in the 20s or 30s, can also win a majority by hitting the 40% vote share mark. In fact if there is even a slight tactical Lab/Lib swing in that, then the Liberal Democrat majority becomes huge. Clearly the natural home for disaffected Labour voters, who would find the Tories incompatible with their views, is the Liberal Democrats.


Adgadgg 08.12.2012. 04:27

Is it true that graduating with latin honors only matters at elite schools? Hi everyone -

I am a sophomore at the University of Houston Downtown. My goal is to graduate with at least magna cum laude honors.

One of the people in my class today told me that graduating with honors from a state school doesn't matter and that employers only care if you graduate with honors from prestigious schools like Harvard.

Is it true that graduating with latin honors doesn't matter from state schools and employers don't care if you do?


Admin 08.12.2012. 04:27

Most people who read this question without clicking on it probably think it is asking whether graduating as a Latin major with departmental honors only matters at elite universities. A lot of universities don't use the terms Magna Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude etc but High, Highest etc Honors
Graduating with honors- departmental, university wide, phi beta kappa etc- is probably more important at a less prestigious university than at a more prestigious university, certainly in terms of gaining admission to graduate programs at a prestigious university.
Common sense kind of indicates that an employer is going to be happy to have almost any Harvard graduate and in any event Harvard grades are so inflated that a huge percent of the class graduates with honors. For a graduate of a lesser university, graduating with honors sets him apart. Departmental Honors that include an Honors Thesis are as pr more important than university wide honors, especially for graduate school admissions.
For instance in History:
Scroll down:
Good Luck!


Alex S 12.11.2006. 04:57

What can I do if unvaccinated puppy is already exposed to parvovirus? I live in PR China. Teen daughter got baby chihuahua at pet shop. Prob well over 8 wks. Adorable and welcome addition to our home. Unfortunately, parvo and distemper are "everywhere" in this environment. Can assume she has been exposed already. Hygiene, communication, and practices in local vets are not westeren standard, could get infection there. Spoke w vet who speaks Eng and does house calls, he said quarantine for ten days, no shots yet. He said if (when) she gets sick, call him, otherwise do nothing and start vaccines after we know she's healthy. I asked about worming, and he said to wait even on that. She has probably been on a diet of rice porridge with chicken mixed in (congee, or zou in the local dialect). We switched to high grade dry food and softened with a bit of milk. She developed a touch of soft poop, seems to have a bit of nasal congestion. Is wanting to cuddle a lot but still playful. Suggestions? Ask 4 immunoglobulin shots or dose w/ tamiflu?
Puppy on Sunday got diarrhea with blood in it and vomiting, took her to Chinese vet today, no English. They tested for parvo which was negative, tested for worms also negative, gave a shot for intestinal spasm. Said the blood in stool was caused by diet change and said to switch to dry eukanuba small portions 4 x / day and water. Now for my question. They gave a vial of "serum" by injection and said to give her two injections every day for 3 days (1 vial per day total) to boost her immunity. Vaccinations can begin after she is out of the woods on this one. There was no further translation of what this "serum" might be, I gather the purpose is to keep her from getting sick until she's well enough to start on vaccines. Any ideas what it might be? Anyone ever heard of this?

Alex S

Admin 12.11.2006. 04:57

The soft bowel movements are more than likely from the milk, Dogs and cats do not have the proper enzymes to properly break down the sugar in milk which is called 'lactose.' You may have heard of people who are lactose-intolerant. They are also missing these digestive enzymes. If the proper enzymes are not present, the lactose remains undigested and tends to ferment in the intestine and cause diarrhea. Some pets can tolerate a little milk, others, none at all. If your pet enjoys and appears to tolerate milk, you can give your pet small amounts. Better yet, give your pet one of the special cat or dog milks on the market that have had the lactose removed.

As for the shot, the dog should have them now, and with worming, this should be done now. If the dog is infected with parasites, it will weaken the dog immune system, so taking care of this can only help matters. Do not use any thing the is made for human as some over the counters drug can be fatal to our pets,

There is a broad range in the severity of symptoms shown by dogs that are infected with parvovirus. Many adult dogs exposed to the virus show very few if any symptoms. The majority of cases are seen in dogs less than 6 months of age, with the most severe cases seen in puppies younger than 12 weeks of age. There are also significant differences in response to CPV-2 infections and vaccines among different breeds of dogs, with Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and Labrador Retrievers being more susceptible than other breeds.
The most common form of the disease is the intestinal form known as enteritis. CPV-2 enteritis is characterized by vomiting (often severe), diarrhea, dehydration, dark or bloody feces, and in severe cases, fever and lowered white blood cell counts. Acute CPV-2 enteritis can be seen in dogs of any breed, sex, or age. The disease will progress very rapidly and death can occur as early as two days after the onset of the disease. The presence of gram negative bacteria, parasites, or other viruses can worsen the severity of the disease and slow

the incubation period for parvo is seven to ten, and having sniffles is not a sign of parvo as far as I know,

You do have a lot of valid question and if you want you may research them on the site listed below, as this is where I have gotten most of my information


scurredykat123 28.03.2013. 21:48

How can I move from Puerto Rico to the US? I'm planning on moving from PR to the US soon. I'm not moving my whole house. I would just like to move my clothes, some essentials, and computer. I would not like to use USPS or UPS to ship my things, unless it was a last resort. What can I do to avoid high shipping costs?


Admin 28.03.2013. 21:48

Check with the airline on extra checked baggage cost, for example, American charges $25 for the first checked bag and $35 for the second. These bags can weigh up to 50lbs, then you also get the carry on which is allowed to be up to 40lbs. So that is 140lbs for only $55. Also check into the USPS flat rate boxes for the heavy stuff, cause its a flat rate so it doesn't really matter how much it weighs. I would put my shoes, grooming supplies and such in the flat rate boxes. That way you have more room for cloths in your airline luggage.


Sunshine 05.06.2010. 04:33

What exactly is a media or press briefing in the corporate world? When do press briefings take place? Usually who are the participants from the corporate side - PR & Marketing or Executives? What kinds of questions are asked? What information is delivered?


Admin 05.06.2010. 04:33

BP has its briefings to keep the world informed about their efforts to halt the oil spill. They try to have them before the time deadline for the nightly newscasts. That would be weekdays around noon to be sure to get full coverage.
If the story is important enuf, the speaker will be the President of the company. For more mundane matters, any executive might give the talk.
The company can limit the number and type of questions since it is their forum. For BP, the information is about the type of disaster control they are trying.


anel a 18.09.2009. 18:26

How can PR 0 site be first in search engines? I have found a website that comes one of the 1st once in search engines, how is this possible, i thought that where you come out i search matters on your PR, anyone ?

anel a

Admin 18.09.2009. 18:26

Any site can land on page 1 of search results, maybe even alone, if the keyword used has no other user.

As mentioned earlier, if the domain name is truly unique, the site can land on page 1 if you use that domain name as keyword.

PR has to do with ranking for a keyword. Where there is competition, a site has to have as much quality backlinks as is necessary to outdo the others. These backlinks should ideally be through anchored texts that employ the keywords one wants to rank for.


baby_java_4ever 01.12.2007. 18:08

What are the benefits of having a permanent resident visa in japan? can a person with PR in japan go to america without a visa?


Admin 01.12.2007. 18:08

Whether or not you have a PR status in Japan does not effect your ability to enter the US. What matters is your actual citizenship.... the passport you carry when you attempt to enter the United States. If you normally need a visa then you still must get a visa. If you normally are subject to the visa waiver then you are still subject to visa waiver.


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