Which PR? Judge for Yourself

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Which PR? Judge for Yourself

By: Robert A. Kelly

You are a senior business, non-profit or association manager. So, chances are you call the shots for your department, division or subsidiary.

Which means you can make your decisions stick.

Like deciding whether a publicity placement is more important to you than creating external stakeholder behavior change leading directly to achieving your managerial objectives.

Like deciding to do something positive about the behaviors of those important outside audiences of yours that MOST affect your operation instead of concentrating on tactics like videos and brochures.

Or even to persuade those key outside folks to your way of thinking, and move them to take actions that allow your department, division or subsidiary to succeed.

Might be time to expand your view of public relations to emphasize the behaviors of your unit's key outside audiences rather than publicity placements.

Why? For the simple reason that the people with whom you interact every day behave like everyone else - they act upon their perceptions of the facts they hear about you and your operation. Leaving you little choice but to deal promptly and effectively with those perceptions (and their follow-on behaviors) by doing what is necessary to reach and move those key external audiences to action.

Fact is, your very own PR blueprint can make the job a lot easier. For example, 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.

Consider the possible result of such activity. Rising membership applications, community leaders beginning to seek you out; customers starting to make repeat purchases, and even prospects starting to do business with you; fresh proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures; welcome bounces in show room visits; and new approaches by capital givers and specifying sources not to mention politicians and legislators viewing you as a key member of the business, non-profit or association communities.

But who's available to handle the assignment? Your own full-time public relations staff? A few folks assigned by Corporate to your unit? An outside PR agency team? Regardless where they come from, they need to be committed to you, to the PR blueprint and to its implementation, starting with key audience perception monitoring.

By the way, when someone describes him/herself as a public relations person you have no guarantee they've bought the blueprint. Assure yourself that the PR people assigned to your unit really believe 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.

Review the PR blueprint with them, especially your plan for monitoring and gathering perceptions by questioning members of your most important outside audiences. For instance, how much do you know about our chief executive? Have you had prior contact with us and were you pleased with the interchange? How much do you know about our services or products and employees? Have you experienced problems with our people or procedures?

Use professional survey firms in the perception monitoring phases of your program, if your budget will bear the pain. But keep in mind that your PR people 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.

If you set the right PR goal, you stand a good chance of effectively dealing with the most serious distortions you discovered during your key audience perception monitoring. It could be to straighten out that dangerous misconception, or correct that gross inaccuracy, or stop that potentially fatal rumor dead in its tracks.

Here you select the right strategy, one that tells you how to proceed. Please remember that there are only three strategic options available to you when it comes to handling a perception and opinion challenge. Change existing perception, create perception where there may be none, or reinforce it. Since the wrong strategy pick will taste like eggs benedict on your pumpkin pie, be certain the new strategy fits comfortably with your new public relations goal. You don't want to select "change" when the facts dictate a "reinforce" strategy.

Writing tight and strong is seldom easy. Still, you must write such a strong message and aim it at members of your target audience. Because crafting action-forcing language to persuade an audience to your way of thinking is tough work, you need your first-string varsity writer because s/he must create some very special, corrective language. Words that are not only compelling, persuasive and believable, but clear and factual if they are to correct something and shift perception/opinion towards your point of view leading to the behaviors you are targeting.

After you run the draft by your PR colleagues for impact and persuasiveness, select the communications tactics most likely to carry your message to the attention of your target audience. There are dozens available to you. 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.

As we know, the credibility of a message can depend on how you deliver it. Which is why you may decide to unveil it before smaller meetings and presentations rather than using higher- profile news releases. You'll recognize calls for progress reports as signals to you and your PR team to get busy 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. Difference this time is that you will be watching very carefully for signs that the bad news perception is being altered in your direction.

Should momentum slow, you can always accelerate matters by adding more communications tactics as well as increasing their frequencies?

So, what you really 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.

So your choice between public relations that delivers a print or broadcast pickup, and public relations that creates the kind of external stakeholder behavior change leading directly to achieving your managerial objectives, isn't really a choice at all.

Especially now that you realize you need public relations that really CAN change individual perception and lead to equally changed key outside audience behaviors that help you get your PR money's worth.


Please feel free to publish this article and resource box in your ezine, newsletter, offline publication or website. A copy would be appreciated at bobkelly@TNI.net. Word count is 1250 including guidelines and resource box.

Robert A. Kelly Copyright 2005.)

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: http://www.prcommentary.com


Enya 26.04.2012. 01:22

In the USA is it common to be asked about your ethnicity a lot? Judging by the comments on here it seems like that's the first thing people ask in America after saying 'Nice to meet you'. Are you really asked about it in general day-to-day life, or is it just exaggerated on here?


Admin 26.04.2012. 01:22


Gosh, it feels like it's shoved down my throat in this country. "What are you? What do your parents look like? Why do you look part black but your hair is straight? Why are you so light?"

America is obsessed with ethnicity/race. I had a discussion with a half PR/half DR woman and she said that mutt blood is the worse kind of blood because you constantly have to explain yourself and it is true! Being Dominican, I wouldn't get asked down in the Caribbean or South America so much because most people are brown.

I get A LOT of looks out and about because I look/am tri-racial. I have some distinct African features but my hair is straight so it looks odd.


juwonmofin 25.06.2007. 17:55

I just launched a clothing company. How do i get media exposure without advertising? I just launched a clothing company . How do I get into the right magazines without having to pay for advertising. I was thinking along the lines of a product review. What does this process entail. Do I write to the editor of the magazine. Do I package my products as a gift? Help I have no answers.



Admin 25.06.2007. 17:55

Getting media exposure for your clothing company can be diffcult, as with all small businesses, and especially when your company is in its infancy. Worry not, however, for there are many ways to get the word out about your new business venture - many of them free. Below are many ways to get this free publicity...

Publicity is, in effect, free advertising. Typical examples include feature stories and product or service announcements that are published in either print or broadcast media. Publicity is especially effective as a promotional tool because people ? specifically, prospective consumers ? give more credibility to what they read or hear when it comes from news sources, whereas their belief in advertising is understandably tainted with varying degrees of suspicion.

The downside of free publicity, of course, is that you cannot control what is said about your company, product, or service. Make sure that what you publicize can withstand the sharp eye of media scrutiny. After all, members of the media know that to maintain their credibility they must present the facts as they really are, not as you say they are. They have been trained to be suspicious.

Local newspapers, business periodicals, TV and radio stations, and magazines can all offer the publicity for which you?re looking. Don?t limit your search for free publicity to business-oriented outlets; often, exposure in the news or with a human interest story will be of more benefit. Generally speaking, more consumers read or listen to news and human interest stories than to those media outlets that focus only on business people.

The Hook

In most cases, you need a hook to attract publicity. A hook is the characteristic that makes you or your product or service unique and of publicity value. Examples of hooks include a restaurant where the waiters are intentionally rude to patrons ? but where you?ll also find the best Italian food in town ?, the gas station that gives newspapers to its customers with every fill-up, and the antique shop with goats in its lobby for visitors to feed. A secondary advantage to hooks is that your attempts to find publicity will be easier. A bona fide hook will attract the media, because it will be perceived as something of interest to the readers or viewers.
How about your business? What exactly is your hook? Have you thought about this question? If you can?t think of one, perhaps you need to consider your overall approach to marketing. Everyone can use a hook, whether you?re looking for free publicity, writing a radio commercial, or handing out flyers on the street corner. If your business doesn?t have a hook, it is to your advantage to develop one.

Hooks, incidentally, don?t have to be as exotic as goats in the lobby. Hooks can be as simple as a bowl of Tootsie Rolls next to the cash register, follow-up telephone calls to thank your customers for their business, or birthday cards to your best customers.

Here are some additional tips on how to develop free advertising for your business:

Write an article for your local newspaper on a subject that relates to you or your business. If the article is well-written and has a special hook, it could bring you the publicity you seek.
Give talks or teach classes about your profession or business (or hook!) to local groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, civic associations, and other groups.
Hire a public relations firm. PR firms are to publicity what ad agencies are to advertising, and their fees are similar too.
Finally, whenever appropriate, remember to send a photo of yourself ? and of your event, if there is one ? along with any publicity requests. Photos tend to personalize the request and give the reporter someone to whom to relate. Make sure, however, that the photos you send are of professional quality. That way, you and your business will be judged accordingly.

We hope this advice helps, and for anything related, check out our Marketing and Advertising Center for more aid: http://www.allbusiness.com/marketing-advertising/2976219-1.html

or, visit anytime at http://www.allbusiness.com/

Also, here's a website that will help in promoting your business online - by creating a business profile and networking, you can target your customer base: http://www.onlineinlocal.com/

or, for free classifieds and other forms of advertising, consult:

For other media exposure tactics, try these sites:

Good luck with your clothing company.


Programmer 28.04.2008. 18:26

what is a good small business to start with good chances of SUCCESS and low startup capital needed? Also ANYTHING besides the internet I already have an internet thing going I was thinking of something like office cleaning or something anyway any ideas please?


Admin 28.04.2008. 18:26

Actually, you are already on the right track. If you want a low start-up-capital business, it would most likely be a service-oriented business where you do not need to have your money stuck in holding stock/products.

However, depending on where you live and whether you intend to run the business as a proper business entity (complying with tax and accounting regulation etc), part of your start up capital must be devoted to registration and /or processing fees.

Office cleaning is a good service oriented business. Many offices provide their own cleaning equipment & solutions/detergents/liquids so you only provide the service. For others, you may have to invest in your own. In either case, price your service accordingly.

Any business CAN be a success if you get a couple of ingredients right :

- niche. Obviously going into a niche that is already saturated with competition is going to make it difficult. But that's not to say it's impossible. A better bet would be to find a niche that is less popular but still matches your skills and abillities.

- pricing. When no one knows you, they are going to compare you based on one major factor - pricing. They may give your service a try just to see if you're worth it. You don't have to shoot yourself in the foot by charging lower than market value, but you CAN offer a "first-time" discount of sorts. There are lots of other ways to attract first-time customers and keep them loyal like discount cards, loyalty programs etc.

- service. After your customers get over the pricing issue, they are going to judge you on your performance. Great service is what's going to set you apart from the competition. Find ways to add value to your service.

- PR. This is a really subjective thing, but I've seen many a contract given to companies simply because the boss liked the person who came to see him. It didn't matter if they charged a little higher, but if you know how to push the right buttons, contracts can come your way. This is not to say that you have to suck up to your customers, but in addition to all the above mentioned points, PR is a huge part of service. When you are willing to go the extra mile and still be able to smile, then your customer is GOING to take notice.

Okay, now that I'm finished with my long winded reply on how ANY business can have a good chance of being a SUCCESS, please visit this site for real, practical ideas for home based or small businesses :




Sadia Ashraf 22.03.2008. 20:25

I am going to apply in british military. I am a Pakistani citizen and have a permanent residence of Canada.? Would you please guide me if a permenent residence of canada can be a problem during my recruitment process? Should i leave my PR before i apply?

Sadia Ashraf

Admin 22.03.2008. 20:25

hmm.During the recruitment interview, they see your enthusiasm and consistency.You also need to show them that you are not joining military just to leave it after some months.They also try to judge your long term plans. If you prove to them that militray is your passion and you you see yourself serving in militray for a good number of years, your chances increase significantly. Having PR of a country can create a doubt in their mind about your long term plans because to maintain PR , you have to live in Canada for a certain number of years.


Dodz 15.11.2008. 13:37

I'm planning to buy a dating website in the future. How much do you think the ecommerce site will earn? How can i compete with the many totally free dating sites? what kind of strategies do i have to make to earn in short term period?


Admin 15.11.2008. 13:37

To buy a dating site is basically a good idea and I am sure you found out for yourself why it is.

However, it's very hard to judge how much money it will make.

Yeas, there are sites which evaluate the value of any homepage.

But, that isn't good enough.

To take the right decision before buying anything in the Internet you need a lot of experience.
Don't just buy.

Before I forget, I would like to mention that all those free dating sites are only free until they have enough traffic or don't feel like going on.
Once, they have much traffic they will be expensive when they want to sell.

You can buy one cheap when you can judge their mistakes and when you know if you can correct them or not.

But, as said there are things you must learn first.

And don't get fooled by pretty great looking design nor by good navigation.
There is so much more to a homepage which it needs to make money, you will be surprised once you lift all the secrets.

The most important fact is that no instant money making can be guarantied.

The Internet has become so competitive and you will loose lots if you don't make the effort to learn what's involved.

To know when you can buy a homepage like a dating site you need to learn the ropes about home pages first.

To speed this up I suggest a free trial with my program whose track record has 100 % proof which you can all look up
and check. You get dished up all those links like on a silver platter.

A dating site is a nice little business. There will be many on offer. They will not run away.

Many made grave mistakes like linking with link farms, bad neighborhood sites, sites that are not related, bad
picking of keywords, not enough traffic because of the wrong marketing.

So many more mistakes may have been done, you cannot see when you buy.
They might not have presold.
One can't expect to take without giving first.

Don't be mistaken about PR. It's not everything which counts.

You must learn the ropes about homepages first to be able to be a good judge of a web you want to buy.

One of my fellow members of the program I use makes a lot of money with a bought site, now.
Shirley started off with a simple content site for information like the one I have called http://www.tenerife-holiday-home-insider.com/
That way she learned the ropes and had the chance to make money with a bought web.

Do yourself the favor and take advantage of the free trial of my program mentioned in the source below.

It doesn't only teach you in detail.

It provides one of the best confidential forums where you can ask any silly question.
They will not go public for the world.
It also gives direct support.

Not to forget are its free priceless tools you don't need to buy extra with lots of your hard earned cash one by one.

Gurus and experienced webmasters also use my program because, it saves them so much time with uploading of pages, submitting to search engines etc. etc.
They don't need to submit to hundreds of ecommerce information news emails. It's all done for them.
Time is so important and you need it to do what only you can.

Do yourself the favor and grab your chance to learn very much for starters for free for a 30 day period.
Then, you can still decide what you think is right for you.
I never did. I knew straight away that this program was my best chance after all the research I had done for years, beforehand.

But, please, don't just go and buy something where all the odds are against you for the reasons said here.

Check out the honest source below...


pinkelephanthp 27.07.2009. 05:28

What is the lowest possible time I can drop my 5k time to by October? I am a 17 year old male currently running a 20 flat, but really want to run in college badly at a D1 school and get a partial scholarship. my GPA is 3.0


Admin 27.07.2009. 05:28

Realistically that goal is out of reach if you are only running 20 flat so far. You need to have tangible stepping stones to get your way there. To get a partial scholarship at a D1 school as a male distance runner is reserved for only a few select athletes at any school, some don't even offer it at all.

I hope you are hitting some decent mileage by now, because at this far in to the pre-season for fall XC you haven't got much time to build mileage. But if you want to know the biggest secret that so many american runners seem to ignore as a key to determining your success in any given season -- I will let you in on it: Mileage.

And really during your mileage base phase, it will be the biggest determinent of how well you will do in any given season, especially for a 5k. Ideally you'd have wanted to have started building in June, and hit your peak in July (for a good high schooler, 70 miles a week would be a typical peak mileage, most do higher but I'm assuming you aren't used to high mileage based on the 20 flat PR). Once you hit your peak mileage, you then just sit at that mileage and gradually increase the pace at which you do the aerobic runs. Also notice that I said aerobic, meaning you never cross over into anaerobic threshold.

Once your team practices start, then you can start doing all the anerobic work you can handle, and judging by most american coaches, there will be plenty of it for you.

You should just keep working at it, make sure your runs are the first priority each day, so you never skimp on the quality of them (prepare for each run and do a proper cool down and refueling after each one, taht way you can keep hitting it hard throughout the week). There's acutally so many different factors I could go on about how you can better yourself as a runner, but I'm going to run out space here before too long.

There is a ton of information out there on the internet. Google "Lydiard Interpreted" and you will fine schedules laid out for you to follow in order to achieve proper buildup and maintainence of high mileage, and it will outline all the science behind the methods.

Good luck and I hope you meet your goal. It's hard work but once you make it a routine it's not as hard as you'd think it is to do it.


akhunter 01.10.2012. 11:50

Whats a good way to handle cognitive dissonance? Literally I've been confused for days. I know this isn't healthy though I want it overwith quick.


Admin 01.10.2012. 11:50

you have to look at everything objectivley and in an unbiased way and without everything you know interfering with pure logic...its impossible really

well you cant because cognitive disonance are the things that you dont want to believe are real but do deepdown...you could try being totaly stoic with yourself but it might be hard to judge your opinions without bias.

i wrote some junk but i realised there are only two things to be in denial about... reality in relation to yourself eg;
i live in the best place in the world it is good and it always triumphs over evil. or ;god will save me from what i think are my sins

and yourself in relation to reality eg;

these people will show me the way because they are gods chosen race. or; when the aliens come only people who think like me will be allowed to live.

remember your perspective can be warped to perceive anything with words and manipulation even solid evidence can be twisted and you will never be able to see a whole picture, even someone elses perspective is too large a thing to completely comprehend

let me help you with a few common things that are built in brainwashing.

there is no god just a system for brainwashing people.
people are inherantly good but countries(all large power structures) themselves are inherently evil

america for exmple...is not a force for good or evil it does however aggressively acquire resources at the cost of peasants lives and

there is a lot of propaganda surrounding the greatness of irrelivant things borders and race are subjective

if you think your country is the best in the world...remember your biased and the experience is subjective ie...best what in the world and does that make it a great country

there is no big conspiracy however the government wants to act in a greedy way without being judged so there is always a lot of pr, people seem brainwashed about something but they have been exposed to a small portion of a reality

suppose the only things


mike **** 30.10.2010. 07:24

Can i shoot. criminal trespassers that disobey no tresspassing signs? I have informed police but the criminals have stolen personal property and damaged locks. Can I shoot to kill pr injure?

mike ****

Admin 30.10.2010. 07:24

In the States I think you can because guns are legal. Elsewhere if you clobbered someone who was a threat it's probably going to be deemed self defence. Remember courts are nothing more than people with common sense so a judge will know if you used more force than necessary. Avoid shooting anyone and use it as a last resort. Thieves want your things, not you. I could never injure or kill someone over stuff unless I felt I was at risk of physical harm. If you feel threatened at all, it's best to call the police first, then protect yourself as needed if necessary.

I would also consider installing other deterrents such as a fence, a locked gate, alarm system, motion lights etc.


Fourteen Fourteen 03.01.2013. 05:49

How does religion ( any religions ) think of couple swapping? How do religions think of couple swapping ?

Some couple love to have fun with other couples based on mutual consent. They say this add spices to their relationship and sex. what do you think?

Fourteen Fourteen

Admin 03.01.2013. 05:49

Adultery is never a good idea, whether consensual or not. Some think that they will be happy with this ''spice'' in their life but it often causes more pain than happiness.

God's viewpoint is:

Under the Law of Moses the penalty for adultery was severe?death for both guilty parties: ?In case a man is found lying down with a woman owned by an owner, both of them must then die together.? This applied even to a betrothed woman, it being considered that she had committed adultery if she had relations with a man other than the one to whom she was duly engaged. (De 22:22-24) If suspected of adultery, a wife had to stand trial.?Nu 5:11-31.

Christians, though not under Mosaic Law, must also refrain from adultery. ?For the law code, ?You must not commit adultery,? . . . is summed up in this word, namely, ?You must love your neighbor as yourself.?? There can be no hypocrisy in this matter. (Ro 13:9; 2:22) In teaching Bible principles, Jesus raised the moral standard still higher for Christians. He broadened out the matter of adultery, saying it was not limited to sexual contact a man might have with a woman not his mate: ?Everyone that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.? Such men are among those who ?have eyes full of adultery.??Mt 5:27, 28; 2Pe 2:14.

Adultery is ?actually sin against God.? (Ge 39:9) Jehovah God will judge those guilty of adultery, and none who persist in such a course ?will inherit God?s kingdom.? (Mal 3:5; 1Co 6:9, 10; Heb 13:4) How true the proverb: ?Anyone committing adultery with a woman is in want of heart; he that does it is bringing his own soul to ruin.??Pr 6:32-35.


Mick 23.09.2012. 05:53

Is there anything a person can say to make you instantly mad? Like, picture a person you are talking to.
Everything is going good until they say,

" I really like Lady Gaga's music!"


Etc etc.

I know people will say " But, it's really childish to hate a person for so and so."
And that is true of course, but let's be honest.
There IS at least one berserk button for everyone, even me.


Admin 23.09.2012. 05:53

Yeah my flip switch how judgmental people are. I can't stand how rude and inconsiderate some people can be. Like they'll hate all atheists or all muslims, or christians or jewish. I mean where in the world do they get off being such pr*cks. For them to have heard something from the news, or church or whatever but hatin a whole percentage of the world. I'll admit every one has it crazy people, but to judge them all is purely wrong. To disrespect their beliefs, their cultures and traditions to make yourself feel better. Just the worst possible thing. I try to keep my tongue clean for the most part but that makes me lose it!


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