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And very same goal will stand as your behavior modification objective so that you can measure your progress.
But here, question always arises as to just how you will get to that goal. You need a strategy to show you way, and you have three choices: create opinion/perception where there may be none, change existing opinion or reinforce it. Fortunately your goal will identify which strategy you should select.
Still, nothing happens until you write a truly responsive message and transmit it to members of your target audience. You must convince them that what you discovered in way of rumors, inaccuracies, misconceptions or wrong-headed beliefs is simply not true. But do try for believability and clarity. And, above all, make your message persuasive and compelling.
Meanwhile, a whole stable of “beasts of burden” await your pleasure – communications tactics capable of carrying that hard-won message direct to your audience members’ eyes and ears. And there are scores and scores of them in that stable – articles, interviews, newsletters, personal meetings, op-eds, emails, speeches and brochures among many others.
Impatience always grows at this point as you wait for signs that your public relations program is working. But that’s signal to once again interact with members of your target audience. The difference second time around is that you’re looking for signs that their perceptions of your organization have been altered by your message through its aggressive delivery system. So get out there and, again, ask lots of questions.
If things aren’t moving fast enough for you, you may want to add a few more communications tactics to mix, as well as increasing their frequency. Your message should also be vetted again for factual validity and clarity.
Gradually, perceptions, and thus behaviors of your key, target audiences will begin moving in your direction, leaving little doubt as to where best PR value can be found.
I can tell you from personal experience that there is no more satisfying moment in practice of public relations.
Bob Kelly counsels, writes and speaks about the fundamental premise of public relations. He has been DPR, Pepsi-Cola Co.; AGM-PR, Texaco Inc.; VP-PR, Olin Corp.; VP-PR, Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.; director of communications, U.S. Department of the Interior, and deputy assistant press secretary, The White House. mailto:bobkelly@TNI.net Visit: http://www.prcommentary.com