Taking PR Seriously

I just read an article from Sappiens by Robert A. Kelly entitled “Managers: Better Take PR Seriouslyand it got me thinking.

The premise is basically that PR is all about perception.  Most people when dealing with PR think tactically, while quality PR is generated strategically. 

As one good turn deserves another, setting your PR goal demands an equally specific strategy that shows you how to reach that goal. But only three strategic options are available to you 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 fluffernutter on your Chinese potstickers. So be sure your new strategy fits well with your new public relations goal. You certainly don’t want to select “change” when the facts dictate a strategy of reinforcement.

In virtually everything, tactics employed without a clearly understood strategy don’t always work.  If you’re not properly planning, then your execution is obviously flawed.

I would attack the matter even further upstream as well.  Many of us simply don’t communicate well with our own employees.  These are the people that are at the point with your customers.  If they don’t have your marketing and PR plans at heart, and can’t speak to them at a general level, chances are they’ll be working against your efforts.  Yes, you need marketing and PR, but you’ve also to make sure your own people are acting as marketing assets as well.  They are the ones generally dealing with your most precious asset, your stable of customers who have already shown a willingness to buy your products or services.

Just as the political parties offer talking points for their operatives, your employees should be well versed in their “talking points.”  It’s often on a personal level that perceptions are truly altered, and when that perception is associated with a person, it becomes truth.

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