J452 Presentation: "How to Exert Informal Decision-Making Power in Public Relations"

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Presentation based on research from Berger and Reber's "Gaining Influence in Public Relations"

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  • Many entry-level PRactitioners, nervous about position and job, may be hesitant to react negatively to a client
  • Don’t outright have the POWER to make executive decisions
    Re-route client plans to a moral path
  • Power - capacity to get things done
    Influence - process through which power is actually used or realized
    ^through strategies and tactics
  • Power - capacity to get things done
    Influence - process through which power is actually used or realized
    ^through strategies and tactics
  • According to Bruce K. Berger and Bryan H. Reber, authors of “Gaining Influence in Public Relations”
    Sanctioned vs. unsanctioned - more active, effective, and ethical agents in organizational decision making
  • What you are trying to achieve, and HOW you’re trying to achieve it, are clear with these methods.
  • Rationality: paired with direct request, most default influence tactic for professionals
    “Being rational and spelling it out rather simply”
    Ties into PR job - framing ideas in a way that is palatable to specific audiences; necessity of reason, data, logical persuasion
  • “Pressure tactics”
    Instead of retreating, pushing harder
    Often reserved for crucial ethical and legal issues
    Linked to tenure in organization, education, personality
    Example: client doesn’t see benefit to opportunity, PERSIST, finally submits and ta-da
  • Dissent, professional activism
    Because of this: harder to show results
    “A small number of public relations professionals use unsanctioned influence tactics in their work to try to do the right thing or to further personal or organizational interests.”
  • Controversial and complex
    Leak: Pressure organizational decision makers to reconsider planned actions or inappropriate decisions
    Grapevine: plant rumors or info within organization to cause influence - examples of foreseeing problems with management understanding underlings
  • Constructing alternate plans for formal decisions and actions
    Fellow employees in a town hall meeting; residents for a public hearing
  • EXTREME. Illegal or extremely unethical activities - reporting to authorities means legal or governmental actions will follow. Resignation is on same level!
    Organizational-sponsored channels: compliance hot-lines, contacting BOD, audit committees; when you think organization should handle problem on its own
  • Berger and Reber’s research showed that professionals combined two or more tactics together to increase influence efficacy.
  • Your professional rank doesn’t mean that you need to bow down or bend over for a client. Make sure that your sense of ethics and morals are in tact at the end of the work day. [END ON LOW NOTE]
  • J452 Presentation: "How to Exert Informal Decision-Making Power in Public Relations"

    1. 1. How to Exert Informal Decision-Making Power in Public Relations Katie Dally, University of Oregon
    2. 2. Entry-level PR practitioners: What would you do if a client asked you to do something unethical?
    3. 3. Although you are the lowest rung on the corporate ladder, with less experience and a smaller voice, You can influence your client to do the right thing.
    4. 4. When faced with ethical dilemmas, steer your client to safe waters with:
    5. 5. When faced with ethical dilemmas, steer your client to safe waters with: Informal decision-making powers
    6. 6. When faced with ethical dilemmas, steer your client to safe waters with: Informal decision-making powers Influence tactics
    7. 7. There are two types of influence tactics: Alpha tactics Omega tactics
    8. 8. “Play by the Rules”: Alpha Tactics Generally sanctioned “Socially acceptable” Transparent
    9. 9. Alpha Tactics Rational persuasion
    10. 10. Assertiveness and persistence Alpha Tactics
    11. 11. “Play Outside the Rules”: Omega Tactics Creates risk for career prospects Poses ethical dilemmas Incites controversy within professional ranks Challenges individual’s loyalty to organization
    12. 12. Omega Tactics Leak information to media “The grapevine”
    13. 13. Planting questions Omega Tactics
    14. 14. Omega Tactics Whistle-blowing Internal channels
    15. 15. Keep in mind: Using a strategically chosen set of influence tactics will yield better results than relying solely on one or two favored tactics
    16. 16. With these influence tactics... Win a victory for yourself – and the PRofession Feel positive about your own morals and ethics Keep in PR tool kit to influence other situations in your career
    17. 17. You may be entry-level, but you can still strike the perfect harmony between client interest and moral compass.

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