PR Still a Mystery to Some

PR Still a Mystery to Some

Unfortunately, there are managers who define public relations by its applications. Which explains neither its underlying strengths nor what PR is all about.
The casual observer is left with a confusion of tactical, application-oriented definitions of the public relations function: Is it publicity? Crisis management? Special events? Reputation management? Promotion? Or a slew of other tactics in which we engage from time to time?
Which is it? More important, just what lies at the core of managerial public relations anyway?
I believe the core lies in doing something positive about the behaviors of those important outside audiences of yours that most affect your operation.
In other words, create external stakeholder behavior change – the kind that leads directly to achieving your managerial objectives.
And 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.
Luckily, there’s also a blueprint at the center of public relations to help you cement that PR core for your own managerial benefit.
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.
And for managers such as you, here’s the type of results that could emerge. Healthy bounces in show room visits; community leaders seeking you out; prospects starting to do business with you; membership applications on the rise; customers making repeat purchases; fresh proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures in the inbox; capital givers or specifying sources looking your way, and even politicians and legislators beginning to view you as a key member of the business, non-profit or association communities.
You also need PR team members who understand that blueprint and commit themselves to its implementation, starting with key audience perception monitoring. Let’s face it, your PR people are already in the perception and behavior business, so they should be of real use for this initial opinion monitoring project.
Caveat: you must be certain your public relations people really believe – deep down — 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.
Talk it over with them, especially 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?
While professional survey firms can always be hired to do the opinion monitoring work, they also can cost big bucks. So, whether it’s your people or a survey firm asking 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.
The PR goal, 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?
Truth is, you won’t get there 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 pepper flakes on your Crème Brulee, 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.
Now it’s time to put together a well-written message and direct it to members of your target audience. It’s always a challenge to create an actionable message that will help persuade any audience to your way of thinking.
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 you’ve run draft copy by your PR team, 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 scores that are 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 “shouting too loud” and unveil your message before smaller meetings and presentations rather than using higher-profile news releases, as the credibility of any message is fragile and always at stake.
The people around you will start agitating in short order for progress reports, which signals to you and your PR team to get going 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. Big difference this time is that you will be on red alert for signs that the bad news perception is being altered in your direction.
Incidentally, 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.
So, at the end of the day, what you 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.
Public relations should no longer be a mystery when the people you deal with do, in fact, behave suspiciously like everyone else – they 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.
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Please feel free to publish this article and resource box in your ezine, newsletter, offline publication or website. A copy would be appreciated at mailto:bobkelly@TNI.net. Word count is 1220 including guidelines and resource box.
Robert A. Kelly © 2004.

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The Wave Of The Future? Looking At Voip Phones

The Wave Of The Future? Looking At Voip Phones

VOIP phones may not look all that strange or different from a regular telephone at first glance, and there’s a reason for that. VOIP phones aren’t meant to look sleek, cool, or futuristic, they way many of the new cell phones have come out with “trendy” designs based on appearance. VOIP technology was designed to do the exact same thing as a regular old telephone: only with the hopes of finding a way to do it cheaper, more efficiently, and better.

A phone that specifically uses VOIP technology for calls as opposed to a conventional phone line is known as an Ethernet hard phone as well. An Ethernet hard phone is a telephone that looks like a conventional phone, but instead of having the normal phone jack, it has an Ethernet port instead. This port is used to communicate with a VOIP server, gateway, or another VOIP phone. Since this type of phone as its own VOIP server, it does not have to be hooked up directly to a personal computer in order to make or receive phone calls.

It can be used independently as long as there is an Internet connection, which is part of the reason why some businesses who have reliable wireless Internet have switched their office phones over. This saves a lot of money, and makes work more efficient since the phones are not constrained by a limited number of available lines.

Residential VOIP phones usually don’t refer to a physical phone, but to the software program. At a residence, VOIP software can be downloaded and used with a VOIP phone to make calls. A regular telephone works just as well, as long as you purchase an adapter to make it function with the computer system. Most VOIP phones are also referred to as IP phones, and they can replace your normal phone if you don’t want to buy an adaptor. Another option is that a microphone attached to your computer allows you to talk to someone back and forth who also has VOIP system (though note: you always need a minimum of broadband Internet for VOIP to be a good idea).

Another option is a “Wi-Fi phone.” These phones (made particularly well known by Vonage) work in the same way you can get wireless Internet with a lap top computer. In the same way a lap top with wireless Internet needs to have an area with a wireless set up in order to function, Wi-Fi phones work in particular “hot spots” where a network is set up in Internet hot spots that allow you to make VOIP calls while traveling, instead of using the more common cell phone.

All these are good options for VOIP phones. There are other options, as well, and what you might want can depend a lot on whether you are an individual or a business, whether you want a phone for business use or for simple long distance calls. All of these factors can help determine which VOIP phone is best for your needs and convenience. Always do your research before hand, and you won’t be disappointed.

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Is VoIP An Easy Choice For Your Calls?

Is VoIP An Easy Choice For Your Calls?

Making Voice over Internet Protocol calls over the Internet is very simple and really is an advantageous stand-in to conventional landline telephones or mobile phones. It is not a new concept for internet users and was not much used, as VoIP required broadband Internet and broadband is been increasingly used just starting form few years ago and has is becoming a prevalent activity among broadband users.

Why should you use VoIP?

The imperative thing about VoIP is the reduced cost comparing to call cost made over conventional telephone. Calls made within VoIP users are free even in case of international calls because you already pay for your regular internet usage. You may not need any additional equipment for this but require a headphone.

In addition, voice over broadband of 1Mbps onwards offers you the fine quality, better than that of a landline telephone call. The voice quality is generally adequate even if it is an ISDN line or a dialup line.

How does VoIP work?

A mature internet user knows the complex usage of internet, typically sending/receiving emails, audio/video and software downloads are few out of it. Making phone calls over internet is one another use of the internet and it is by VoIP.

A headphone will work in place of a conventional telephone and the only difference is how the conversation is carried from and to in between. The outline is same, no matter what type of broadband you have, ADSL, cable, wireless or satellite broadband.

The most striking offer of VoIP is that you can make free international calls anytime, to anyone who is a VoIP user too. But it does stop here. Still if you want to use VoIP to call folks who are not VoIP featured, just go and have your gateway service that act as a bridge between VoIP user and the conventional telephone users.

By its basic nature, VoIP allows communication among VoIP users only and in general, this is adequate for many. But for those have VoIP and still want to call a conventional telephone user, can have the PSTN gateway services to connect and call a conventional telephone user. In such case, you can look for a VoIP phone in place of headphone.

VoIP Make Your Calls, Straight Forward

It is simple to call using VoIP. A widely used free phone or messaging software and a headphone will do this. Have them and install it to your broadband setup.

If you are habitual to call people who use different softwares from yours, you need mutli-software installation and most of them are available as free downloads. MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and ICQ are few of these free softwares.

VoIP handsets and their adapters fairly replace your headphone, making your talking experience enjoyable and are generally called, IP phone. Dual-purpose phones for calling both VoIP as well as conventional phone user avoid the existence of two phones and this make your calling experience, imaginative.

Broadband users who make regular calls to other broadband users can pick VoIP for two factors, cost and comfort. For those who make a lot of long-distance and international calls particularly, overseas calls, VoIP nearly replace the regular telephone usage.

For business people, VoIP is a sensible alternative. Business users can benefit from significant saving on calls via VoIP. Business houses, operating from international locations can make extensive use of VoIP. What other than that of making calling to your customers and suppliers for free or at slashed rate is going to be your better business thought.

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