Managing Negative Perceptions

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A presentation on managing public perception and avoiding negative press given by me today at an Infonex conference on sustainable energy infrastructure.

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  • Recognize that without opposers, there can be no correction . . . Advocates provide valueRecognize that consultation is something you do with people, not to themConduct stakeholder engagement consistent with principles of ‘dialogue’
  • Trust is. . . an outcome, more than an originTrust is. . . based on shared values and norms that are expressed in a concrete social relationship Trust is. . . founded on interaction and reciprocityTrust is. . . something you can diminish if you are opportunistic Trust is. . . not a one-way streetTrust can be depleted and built but depends on engagement(To paraphrase Frances Fukuyama)
  • VoicingBe clear about what needs to be saidListeningWithout resistance or impositionRespectingBe aware of integrity of the other’s positionBe aware that you can’t fully understand that positionSuspendingAssumptions, judgment, certainty
  • Managing Negative Perceptions

    1. 1. Managing Public Perception and <br />Avoiding (?) Negative Press<br />Boyd Neil <br />boyd.neil@hillandknowlton.ca<br />www.boydneil.com<br />@boydneil<br />
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    3. 3.
    4. 4.
    5. 5. what Reporters Report<br /><ul><li>news (?)
    6. 6. supporting data and examples
    7. 7. quotable quotes
    8. 8. human interest
    9. 9. controversy (both sides always)</li></li></ul><li>‘boxing’ negative media<br /><ul><li>agree what media ‘success’ means in a controversial environment
    10. 10. story reported accurately (defined realistically)
    11. 11. story angle aligned more or less with yours
    12. 12. key messages are prominent
    13. 13. you’re not quoted as saying anything negative or counterproductive
    14. 14. message discipline
    15. 15. strong, clear and sympathetic to stakeholder concerns</li></li></ul><li>‘boxing’ negative media<br /><ul><li>help others speak for you
    16. 16. third-party experts, supportive citizen activists, bureaucrats and politicians
    17. 17. media will look for them anyway
    18. 18. go direct to stakeholders
    19. 19. a media story is always filtered
    20. 20. develop stakeholder information and engagement plans in parallel with media plan
    21. 21. provide alternative/easily accessible sources of information
    22. 22. use your website
    23. 23. use social media </li></li></ul><li>
    24. 24.
    25. 25.
    26. 26. 55%<br />89%<br />65%<br />Cision /Masters Degree Program in Strategic Public Relations at George Washington University, 2009<br />Survey of 371 journalists<br />
    27. 27.
    28. 28. Managing public perception<br />
    29. 29. The new advocacy<br />A (r)evolution in Civic Engagement<br />
    30. 30.
    31. 31. “The heart of dialogue is a simple but profound capacity to listen. Listening requires we not only hear the words, but also embrace, accept and gradually let go of our own inner clamoring.” <br />William Isaacs<br />
    32. 32. William Isaacs, Dialogue: The Art of Thinking Together, 1999<br />

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