How Small Businesses
Can Tap Into Current
Trends in Public
PART ONE: Public Relations inPART ONE: Public Relations in
Corporate Objective and Stakeholder
Public Relations Defined
Public Relations in Practice
Public Relations in Organisation
Creating the Link
PR, the Media and Messaging
PART TWO: The Route fromPART TWO: The Route from
to “You” Mediato “You” Media
The Meaning of “Message”
The Old Focus of Messaging
Characteristics of Old Media
The Changing Media Landscape
From Mass Media to YOU Media
The Death of One Message Fits All.
From Mass to Target Marketing
PART THREE: The Context andPART THREE: The Context and
New Media Platforms and the
The stakeholder as ‘Slave’ to
Life Without the Internet or the Mobile
The Medium is the Message
Mass Messaging and Mass Production
Mass Messaging and the Demands of
the New Age
Is There Really a Gate-Keepers?
The Real Gate-Keepers
PART FOUR: Market InsightsPART FOUR: Market Insights
Ration of PR Budget to Gross
PART ONEPART ONE
Public Relations in PracticePublic Relations in Practice
Corporate Objective and StakeholderCorporate Objective and Stakeholder
Stakeholder theory begins with the hypothesis that shared values are essentially
part of doing business
It address the Principle of Who or What Really Counts by establishing which
groups are Stakeholders in a corporation
In traditional input-output models of the corporation, Organisations use the inputs
of investors, employees, and suppliers and converts it to usable outputs
By this model, firms only address the needs and wishes of four parties:
Investors, Employees, Suppliers and Customers
Contemporary Stakeholder theory however recognizes other parties such as
government, political groups, trade associations, trade unions, communities,
associated corporations, etc as Stakeholders.
The theory recognizes that Stakeholders are constituencies that contribute, either
voluntarily or involuntarily, to an Organisation’s wealth-creating capacity, and may
be its beneficiaries and/or risk bearers
In fulfilling its Corporate Objective therefore, an Organisation must clearly identify
its Stakeholders and strategically relate with them.
DISTRIBUTION / CHANNELDISTRIBUTION / CHANNEL
FINANCIAL ANALYST / BUSINESS PRESSFINANCIAL ANALYST / BUSINESS PRESS
BUSINESS LEADERSBUSINESS LEADERS
PORTFOLIO MANAGERS / INVESTORSPORTFOLIO MANAGERS / INVESTORS
Source: Regis McKennaSource: Regis McKenna
Public Relations DefinedPublic Relations Defined
Communication with various sectors of the public to influence their
attitudes and opinions in the interest of promoting a person,
product or idea
– Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania
An activity meant to improve the project organization’s environment
in order to improve project performance and reception
– McCombs School of Business, University of Texas
A deliberate, planned and sustained effort to institute and maintain
mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics
– Institute of Public Relations, UK
Public Relations in PracticePublic Relations in Practice
Generally, Public Relations function as the conduit of the organisation to the
Small Business owners must therefore, be abreast with their organisation’s /
Client’s vision, mission, strategy, corporate concern and culture
They also need to understand their place in the place of PR in their
company’s overall objective and to understand the market environment in
which they operates
The Small Business Owner should read the competitive landscape and be
able to predict the move of competition
He /She needs to be able to identify the organisation’s different stakeholders
and the varying expectations that arise from operations and interaction with
Finally, the Small Business Owner must be able to relate his activities with the
drive at achieving the organisation’s objectives.
Public Relations inPublic Relations in
Organisation StakeholderOrganisation Stakeholder
Public Relations is the art and
science of building
relationships between an
organization and its key
Public Relations engenders
between an Organisation and
its publics, it is proactive and
future orientated, and has the
goal of building and
maintaining a positive
perception of an organisation
in the mind of its publics.
In the dialogue between
Organisations and their
stakeholders, the following
branches of Public Relations
Employee / Labour
Creating the LinkCreating the Link
Small Business Owners need to measure their activities
against their goals
They must develop PR metrics which correlate with their
They must initiate programmes which cover the entire
competitive landscape with a view to seizing the higher
ground for their Organisations / Clients
In relating with the media, they must think of the media
as a channel to the target Stakeholders
PR, The Media and MessagingPR, The Media and Messaging
The information technology revolution has created a
new world order.
This is so because this revolution has called to question
the efficacy of the traditional media in mass messaging
The proliferation of media platforms that has come in
the wake of this revolution has also clustered the world
of the receivers of media messages and is gradually
clustering the world of the modern stakeholder.
In the drive at reaching its target, organisations are now
having to redefine and redesign their communication
PART TwoPART Two
The Route from “Mass”The Route from “Mass”
to “You’ Mediato “You’ Media
The Meaning of “Message”The Meaning of “Message”
Message basically implies the transfer of coded signals
from a sender through a channel to a receiver who has
a facility to decode.
Message in its most general meaning is the object of
communication. Depending on the context, the term
may apply to both the information contents and the
medium of its presentation.
It is the underlying theme or idea in any communication
When there is disruption or noise in the channel, there
is a tendency for the meaning of the message sent to
be corrupted on the side of the receiver.
The Old Messaging RouteThe Old Messaging Route
Idea and Dump
Monitor Impact /
and Adjust Pricing
Idea / Message
Launch Revised Idea withLaunch Revised Idea with
Improved MessagingImproved Messaging
The Characteristics of TraditionalThe Characteristics of Traditional
Media MessagingMedia Messaging
Marketing communication message was designed to
reach as many people as possible.
Mass marketing campaigns not only treated all customers
as if they had the same needs and wants, it focused on
the product, not on its potential buyer.
Mass marketing a product means stocking the same
shelves across all stores with the same product and
alerting potential customers in the same way.
The underlying assumption was that the availability and
choice of products a company offered consumers was the
principal determinant of market success.
The Changing Media LandscapeThe Changing Media Landscape
The invention of the computer, internet and mobile telephone has changed
our world and the way we communicate.
Today, the changing media landscape offers an opportunity to change
media selections and also offers an opportunity for the co-creation of value
between businesses and their stakeholders.
Today the stakeholder desires to be part of the messaging and the
communication process; what’s the point of reaching the stakeholder
correctly to tell them something they don’t want to hear? If you don’t have
the right message, they want to design one with you. They are not asking
to take over your Research and Development arm but they desire to be a
part of the process. The stakeholder now seeks to be allowed to join in the
effort as experts on themselves who better understand their interests,
lifestyles and the choices which derive from it.
New media is therefore more than just the right time, place or message. It
involves the message and the people. It involves the people in the
message. New media is a full experience as much as it is a fulfilling
experience. At the centre of every experience is a person. New media is
YOU media, regardless of who you are.
From Mass Media to YOU MediaFrom Mass Media to YOU Media
With the coming of the the world-wide-web and with it the e-mail, blogs,
pods and chats as well as mobile-telecommunications offering a platform
for verbal exchange, music and picture downloads as well as multi-media
and text messaging, the world has changed.
At the moment, Business Owners across the world are trying to answer a
big question. Will the traditional mass media be eclipsed? Is Google the
next CNN? Should I set up a blog to drive thought leadership and
consequently crash into the consciousness of my target thereby building
equity for my business as opposed to spending millions of naira on
Newspapers, T.V and radio message? While everyone is working to find
the next big idea, it is obvious the landscape has changed and the focus of
the conversation has moved from mass thinking to a customised approach
In this era of media fragmentation, the power of the stakeholder springs
from his/her ablity to make a choice in terms of media selection as different
from the old net-works which tended to box the stakeholder in.
To sway the stakeholder therefore, you must listen to the things that
informs his/her choices and customise your communication platform and
the content of your media messages to suit the demographics and
psychograpics of the stakeholder.
The Death of One Message Fits AllThe Death of One Message Fits All
As the world evolves, so do the differences in demographics and
psychographics become deeper.
In the earlier days of the mass media, messages flowed from the
media gate-keepers to suit their editorial philosophy alone without
noting the diversity which existed in their environment.
However, in this era of media fragmentation, the ordinary man on
the street has not only found his/her voice but now leads the
From You-Tube, to corporate blogs where media message
receivers using web-cams and other multi-media devises now tell
the brand story themselves as opposed to the traditional way of
thinking for the reciever, the receiver is now an active player not
only in the value creation process but also in the customisation of
Diversity has now become the issue in mass messaging hence the
death of the one-message-fits-all era.
From Mass to Target MarketingFrom Mass to Target Marketing
The old model of dumping messages started to wane with the advent
of new media platforms as these platforms provided a more
Starting out with direct marketing a bridge was created between
mass and target marketing in the sense that direct marketing
afforded an opportunity to take direct responses and fine-tune
Target marketing grew from a better understanding of the consumer.
As consumers began purchasing and using products, information on
consumer’s lifestyle and consumption patterns became more readily
Data analysts thus began associating products to the customers who
were buying them. And it was through these analysis as well as
rising competition that Organisations began to understand that
customer data could be as valuable as the product data. Thus
evolved the term “target marketing,” the practice of promoting a
product or service to a subset of customers and prospects.
PART THREEPART THREE
The Context and ContentThe Context and Content
New Media Platforms and theNew Media Platforms and the
With the rise of the New Media platforms came the
empowerment of the media message receiver as
he/she now had media and message options.
This arose as a result of the migration of Public
Relations and marketing to the internet via virtual
communities and e-commerce platforms such as e-bay,
who-go-buy and a host of other professional, cultural,
lifestyle and marketing centres which deployed the
Unlike the old model where the consumer had to
frantically search and pay for information, the internet
availed a quick and free or affordable access to cultural,
professional, lifestyle and marketing information.
The Receiver as ‘Slave’ toThe Receiver as ‘Slave’ to
With the empowerment of the media message receiver
came a slavery for information in the sense that the
receiver’s lifestyle became tuned to these new
It started out as a work and leisure enhancer and
gradually became addictive as the receiver suddenly
became dependent on this new platforms for running
From the pocket diary, the pager, the laptop, the ipod to
the mobile phone with GPRS, Blackberry to other multi-
media messaging platforms, the modern media
message receiver is caught in an addictive position from
which he/she cannot be easily extricated.
Life Without the Internet and theLife Without the Internet and the
Mobile PhoneMobile Phone
““My connection at home has been
down for a few days and my life
has become very difficult to
“I'm an information junkie. I help myself
to generous portions throughout the
“I forgot my mobile phone at home
and it’s like I’m cut off from the
rest of the world”.
“I remember before the mobile phone, I
queue to use analogue pay phones
and it was such an unsavoury
experience as it did not offer me
convenience and privacy. Now I’m a
mobile phone addict, I want to talk,
send text messages, download music
and send pictures from anywhere and
all the time”.
“I’m on a long flight and I can’t
connect to the internet or use my
“ Long hours without the Internet or
the mobile phone is annoying. The
Internet and my mobile phone simply
makes life easier”. Now information
and vicarious experience are
obtainable at the touch of a button”.
The Medium is the MessageThe Medium is the Message
“...it is the medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human
association and action. The content or uses of such media are as diverse as
they are ineffectual in shaping the form of human association. Indeed, it is only
too typical that the content of any medium blinds us to the character of the
- McLuhan's Understanding Media: The Extensions Of Man
Today’s media platforms such as blogs, chats, sms and e-mails affects
messaging and mass communication.
It is widely held that that one medium translates the content of another
medium. Briefly, "the content of a medium is always another medium."
This is because there is a distinct form to each medium which affects the
content of that medium; for instance, there is a limit to the coverage of a
picturesque event by the radio and there is a limit to the use of the written word
on television. Whereas a movie extends the vision to a high degree and is thus
"hot," a television image with less detail requires the viewer to fill in more
details with their imagination and is therefore a "cool" medium.
Each new form of media shapes messages differently thereby requiring new
filters to be engaged in the experience of viewing and listening to those
Mass Messaging and MassMass Messaging and Mass
Mass messaging grew along sides mass production.
Mass production has evolved into mass customization; for example producers
of products can now build the right products for specific targets and make each
one cater specially to each one of the multiple personalities who consume their
The media, like production, has changed dramatically with technology. People
have become the centre of both. If you want to sell a product to people today,
you better know what they're thinking, or else you’re not selling anything.
Most products can provide a value to someone, somewhere. The task then
becomes to find them, and then to find how many there are.
In the past advertisers and public relations practitioners flash their message on
the airwaves and find their targets, now the target is scattered and harder to
Most are still using mass media, but their schedules have changed and there
are more than the traditional channels.
To be effective in the new age therefore, the media, like mass customization,
must be tailored to fit the individual.
Mass Messaging and the DemandsMass Messaging and the Demands
the New Agethe New Age
A lot of organisations are adapting to the demands of the new age, they are
cutting their advertising and PR spend on the traditional media , they are using
less mass media and leveraging the new media for the articulation of their
corporate goals and the extension of their market share. This type of thinking is
becoming more frequently in the corporate world. Re-thinking! Traditional
media is however still relevant, but it’s use is changing, mass media is now
part of a larger evolving picture.
In this new media age, a T-shirt, a tie, a napkin or a coffee cup can be an
advert. Producers now leverage every available platform because people
aren't as receptive as they once were to traditional media. This because
Millions of messages fight for their attention, while they walk by, while they
drive, while they work and even while they relax with loud music blasting from
their walk-man, iPods, or their mobile phones.
Now, even if message sneak into people’s personal space, it doesn’t mean
they pay attention. People are smarter and busier, technology has created a
Honesty, simplicity, and proximity are three factors that make for better media.
Proximity now refers to both physical closeness and mental.
Is There Really a Gate-keepers?Is There Really a Gate-keepers?
“And it is only on those terms, standing aside from any structure or
medium, that its principles and lines of force can be discerned. For any
medium has the power of imposing its own assumptions on the unwary”.
- McLuhan's Understanding Media: The Extensions Of Man
Who decides what’s worthy of your attention — a Web administrator, a
newspaper columnist, a talk show host, a radio disc-jockey, an influential
blogger, an administrator of an online community, the back-end operators
of a telephone company?
In the perfect world, the answer would be that each person should be their
own gatekeeper. The reality is that you do not own and therefore cannot
manipulate these platforms.
So, the answer is: there is no gate. There are many waypoints, many
street signs, and many ways to go, but no one is barring the gate, or
deciding who is let in. This is confusing if we try to apply the old map to the
new territory, but not if we try to perceive the new media universe as it is.
The Real Gate-keepersThe Real Gate-keepers
Institutional authority - If you agree with the editorial stance of a
particular medium or company, then you allow them to decide what's
important and your life is easy.
Individual authority - If you like what the communicator has to say
about your area of interest, he becomes an authority.
Emergent authority - If you trust in the wisdom of a particular
crowd, then you’ll agree with their collective decision about what is
interesting and what is not.
Machine authority - Various software approaches to determining
what is important, like Google mine the social gestures that people
leave behind, like links and traffic, and pass it through an algorithmic
blender, to yield a metadata-based approach to what is most
PART FOURPART FOUR
Market InsightsMarket Insights
*PR/GR Ratio calculated only using companies reporting gross revenues as well as budgets
** Gross revenues/PR budgets
*** Number of dollars spent on PR for each $1 million in revenue
Ratio of PR Budgets to Gross
Source: Council of PR Firms 2005
Strong correlation was establish between PR Spend and performance ranking of
Fortune ranked companies
The share of advertising within corporate PR spend is estimated at an average of
Senior Management support for PR impacts revenue growth as reputation is
viewed by the C-level executive as a vital corporate value enhancing asset
Agency share of PR Budget allocation by fortune ranked companies averaged
23% in 2006. With increasing C-level support for the engagement of agency for PR
services, it is expected to rise further
In survey conducted on the engagement of PR Agencies, 65% of the fortune
ranked institutions supported the use of Agency while 35% opposed
While 65% support for the engagement of PR Agencies by Fortune ranked
companies is high, 35% opposition is demonstration of the threatening presence of
substitute, preference for the engagement of a PR professional as an employee etc
High Reputation Correlates to
Based on the 200 Fortune “Most Admired Companies” rankings
Correlation of Spending and
Based on 1999 Fortune “Most Admired Company” rankings and
Council of Public Relations Firms’ spending survey of ranked
Spending in Millions
Comparison by Function
Top 200 Companies by
Media Relations $1,096
Executive Outreach $ 227
Investor Relations $ 635
Annual & Qtr Reports $ 920
Industry Relations $1,247
Department Mgmt. $ 256
Agency Support $2,534
Percent of total 42%
Bottom 200 Companies by
Media Relations $ 723
Executive Outreach $ 165
Investor Relations $ 367
Annual & Qtr Reports $ 357
Industry Relations $ 329
Employee Communications$ 545
Department Mgmt. $ 312
Agency Support $1,072
Percent of total 38%
Council of Public Relations Firms’ spending survey
There is a need to innovate along the various new media platforms because the
stakeholder is already on and infact hooked on the new media.
Small Business Owners must understand how communication context affect
communication content and must be able to distinguish between hot and cold media
especially as it relates to media selection.
The challenge is to observe, try-out and experience all that is occurring around us,
in order to be able to track changing trends and proactively engage your target
rather than merely reacting after a trend has become the norm.
Small Business Owners must carve out time to blog and explore various platforms
for reaching their target such as telemarketing, text messaging, e-mails and online
networking through their websites because these platforms are here to stay.
Finally Small Business Owners must understand the changing landscape and the
stakeholders' perspectives so that they may drive innovation inside their companies
that results in game-changing marketing and communication with their various
The dynamics of mass communication has changed
with the information technology revolution.
New platforms and the messaging system have
Today’s small business owners must understand the
demands of this change on the content of messages
and the media through which particular targets can be
reached as well as the psychographic dimensions of
these media and how it affects the customization of