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Use Every Weapon You Have
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By Robert A. Kelly

Use Every Weapon You Have

One of the strongest weapons available allows business, non-profit and association managers to begin changing the behaviors of their key external audiences in ways that lead directly to achieving their primary operating objectives.

The name of that weapon? The fundamental premise of public relations: 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.

In short, people in your operating areas really do behave like everyone else – they take actions based on their perceptions of the facts they hear about you and your organization.

So, you need to deal promptly and effectively with those perceptions by using every weapon at your disposal to reach them with the right message. Your job is to persuade your stakeholders to your way of thinking and move them to take actions that lead to the success of your organization.

Here are typical behavior changes you might aim for. More frequent repeat purchases; increased membership applications or contributions; more prospects sniffing around; suppliers working harder than ever to expand their relationship with you, and elected officials starting to count you among the movers and shakers whose opinions they need to start taking seriously.

This public relations action checklist can help you make it happen: You need to list your outside audiences and prioritize them by the severity of their impacts on your organization.

Then, monitor the perceptions of members of the key target audience by interacting with them and asking lots of questions. Other important outside audiences will need similar attention.

Use the data you collect to establish your public relations goal. For example, correct that inaccuracy, clarify that misconception or spike that damaging rumor.


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