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Managing Negative Perceptions
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Managing Negative Perceptions



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

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 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Managing Public Perception and
    Avoiding (?) Negative Press
    Boyd Neil
  • 2.
  • 3.
  • 4.
  • 5. what Reporters Report
    • news (?)
    • 6. supporting data and examples
    • 7. quotable quotes
    • 8. human interest
    • 9. controversy (both sides always)
  • ‘boxing’ negative media
    • agree what media ‘success’ means in a controversial environment
    • 10. story reported accurately (defined realistically)
    • 11. story angle aligned more or less with yours
    • 12. key messages are prominent
    • 13. you’re not quoted as saying anything negative or counterproductive
    • 14. message discipline
    • 15. strong, clear and sympathetic to stakeholder concerns
  • ‘boxing’ negative media
    • help others speak for you
    • 16. third-party experts, supportive citizen activists, bureaucrats and politicians
    • 17. media will look for them anyway
    • 18. go direct to stakeholders
    • 19. a media story is always filtered
    • 20. develop stakeholder information and engagement plans in parallel with media plan
    • 21. provide alternative/easily accessible sources of information
    • 22. use your website
    • 23. use social media
  • 24.
  • 25.
  • 26. 55%
    Cision /Masters Degree Program in Strategic Public Relations at George Washington University, 2009
    Survey of 371 journalists
  • 27.
  • 28. Managing public perception
  • 29. The new advocacy
    A (r)evolution in Civic Engagement
  • 30.
  • 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.”
    William Isaacs
  • 32. William Isaacs, Dialogue: The Art of Thinking Together, 1999