Essentials of public relation

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Essentials of public relation

  1. 1. PROJECT REPORT ON ESSENTIALS OF PUBLIC RELATIONSUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR MASTERS IN MANAGEMENT STUDIES (MMS) BY SHIKHAR SINGH ROLL NO.1055 UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF PROF.MADHUSNATA SAHA BATCH OF 2010-12
  2. 2. ORIENTAL INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT PLOT NO-149, SECTOR 12, NAVI MUMBAI APRIL 2012 Project Report on ESSENTIALS OF PUBLIC RELATIONSSubmitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for Master of Management (MMS) From Mumbai University By SHIKHAR SINGH Roll No :- 1055
  3. 3. MMS-MARKETING Batch of 2010-12ORIENTAL INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT , PLOT NO -149 Sector 12, Navi Mumbai - 400703 April 2012
  4. 4. PrefaceWhat I learn from this project is that Public relations include ongoing activities to ensure theorganization has a strong public image. It also includes activities like helping the public tounderstand the organization and its products. Similar to effective advertising and promotions,effective public relations often depends on designing and implementing a well-designed publicrelations plan. The plan often includes description of what you want to convey to whom, howyou plan to convey it, which is responsible for various activities and by when, and how muchmoney is budgeted to fund these activities. Similar to advertising and promotions, a media planand calendar can be very useful, which specifies what media methods that are used and when.Public relations are conducted through the media that is, newspapers, television, magazines, etc.Publicity is mention in the media. Organizations usually have little control over the message inthe media, at least, not as much as they do in advertising. Regarding publicity, reporters andwriters decide what will be said.For effective Public Relations we should consider: What groups of stakeholders do we want toappeal to and how? What impressions do you want each of your stakeholders to have? Whatcommunications media do they see or prefer the most? Consider advertising, collaborations,annual reports, networking, TV, radio, newsletters, classifieds, displays/signs, posters, word ofmouth, direct mail, special events, brochures, neighborhood newsletters, etc. What media is mostpractical for you to use in terms of access and affordability? What messages are most appealingto each stakeholder group?Just as understanding the requirements of your market is important in selling a product orservice, understanding the needs of the relevant media is critical in a successful public relationseffort.
  5. 5. ACKNOWLEGEMENTAt the ouset, I am thankful to my institute Oriental Insitutue of ManagementStudies, and the authorities, for providing me an opportunity to undertake mydegree Master in Management Studies (MMS) and also for sponsoring me toundertake project.I am thankful to management for giving me an opportunity to undertake my projectstudy on ―Essentials of Public Relation‖ under the guidance of Prof. MadhusnataSaha my mentor.I am greatfull to my colleagues for being a wonderful support through at the sametime. I am thankful to all my friends of Oriental Insitutue of Management Studiesfor being with me at different juncture of need. I thank Dr. Bandgar director ofOIM for providing a platform.I express my sincere gratitude to my project guide Prof. Madhusnata Saha for hisconstant guidance, continuous support an co-operation throughout my project,without which which the present work would not have been possible. For constantsupport and help in the successful completion of my project.Shikhar Singh
  6. 6. DECLARATIONI Mr. Shikhar Singh, Roll No. 1055, student of MMS 2nd Year is hereby tocertify that this project work titled ―Employee Engagement in Organization‖carried out by me , in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the program is anoriginal work of mine under the guidance of Prof. Madhusnata SahaI further declare that it is not a reproduction from any existing work of any personand it has not been submitted to any other university or institute for the award of adegree or diploma or any other similar title of recognition.(Student‘s signature)Date: ..………………….........
  7. 7. CERTIFICATE This is to certify that Mr .Shikhar Singh, Roll no. 1055 is a full timebonafide student of Oriental Institute of Management and pursuing Masters inManagement Studies(MMS) . The project report titled ―Essentials of PublicRelation‖ is completed by her under the guidance of Prof. Madhusnata Saha, inthe partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Masters inManagement Studies of Mumbai University is an original work done. …………………………….. ……………………………. (Signature of Director) (Signature of the guide)Oriental Institute of Management Oriental Institute of Management Vashi , Navi Mumbai 400703 Vashi , Navi Mumbai 400703
  8. 8. INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................10 MEANING: ..............................................................................................................11 DEFINITION: ...........................................................................................................11ROLE, NEED & IMPORTANCE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS ........................12METHODS, TOOLS & TACTICS ......................................................................14 PUBLICS TARGETING ..............................................................................................14 MEET AND GREET ..................................................................................................14 OTHER ...................................................................................................................15MEDIA RELATIONS ...........................................................................................17KEY ELEMENTS OF STRATEGICALLY BASED MEDIA RELATIONS .18MANAGING THE MEDIA ..................................................................................19HANDLING THE MEDIA ...................................................................................21CREATING A MEDIA EVENT...........................................................................22HOW TO GET MEDIA COVERAGE? ..............................................................24HOW TO IMPROVE MEDIA RELATION SKILLS .......................................25PUBLIC RELATIONS ACROSS CULTURES ..................................................28 BUILDING INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION BRIDGES. .........................................28 LANGUAGE AND CULTURE .....................................................................................28 THE SPOKEN WORD ...............................................................................................29 THE WRITTEN WORD .............................................................................................29 COMMUNICATION CHANNELS ................................................................................30 PR MATERIALS ......................................................................................................30PRESS RELEASES ...............................................................................................31THE PSA .................................................................................................................35REQUIREMENTS FOR SUCCESSFUL PRESS RELEASES.........................36USING PUBLIC RELATIONS TO INCREASE SALES ..................................38 FIVE WAYS PRESS RELEASES CAN INCREASE YOUR SALES ...................................38 QUESTIONS YOU CAN EXPECT REPORTERS TO ASK DURING AN INTERVIEW ............40
  9. 9. HOW TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS ..........................42DISADVANTAGES OF PUBLIC RELATIONS ...............................................45SUCCESSFUL PR IS ALL ABOUT UNDERSTANDING THE MEDIA!!! ...45 IMPORTANCE OF P. R . AGENCIES ...........................................................................45 PUBLIC RELATIONS IN ORGANIZATIONAL LIFE ......................................................45FUNCTIONS OF P.R. AGENCY .........................................................................47 MANAGERIAL....................................................................................................47 OPERATIVE ........................................................................................................47 ADVISORY ..........................................................................................................48PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGEMENT OF “THE SOURCE”......................48 COMPANY PROFILE .........................................................................................48 AREAS OF EXPERIENCE ..........................................................................................49 ADVISORY BOARD ...........................................................................................50 SCOPE OF SERVICES ........................................................................................50 SERVICES OFFERED AT SOURCE:- ................................................................51THEY USE THREE KEY TOOLS TO DEVELOP THESERELATIONSHIPS .................................................................................................56CRISIS MANAGEMENT .....................................................................................57CRISIS PREPAREDNESS ...................................................................................57CORPORATE POSITIONING ............................................................................58REPUTATION MANAGEMENT........................................................................59 ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT .....................................................................59 TRADITIONAL MEDIA MONITORING .......................................................................61 TECHNOLOGY COMMUNICATIONS ..........................................................................61RESEARCH METHODOLOGY .........................................................................63 RESEARCH OBJECTIVE ...........................................................................................64 RESEARCH PROCESS...............................................................................................64 Research approaches .........................................................................................64 RESEARCH DESIGN.................................................................................................65 Steps in planning the Research Design:-...........................................................66
  10. 10. Type of Research design:- .................................................................................67 Sampling ............................................................................................................68 Data collection methods ....................................................................................70 QUESTIONNAIRE.....................................................................................................71ANALYSIS .............................................................................................................74CONCLUSION: .....................................................................................................79 BIBLIOGRAPHY.......................................................................................................80
  11. 11. IntroductionMeaning:Public Relations are a planned and sustained activity to help an institution create a socialclimate favorable for its growth. It is based on the fundamental belief that the survival of anyenterprise, public or private depends today on the sensitive response to changes in publicopinion.Definition:The International Public Relations Association defines Public Relations as “Public Relationsis the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counselingorganization leaders and implementing planned programmes of action which will serveboth the organization’s and the public interest.”Public relation is a two way process. On the one hand it seeks to interpret an organization tosociety while on the other it keeps the organization informed about the expectation of thesociety. Fundamentally public relation is a means by which an organization improves itsoperating environment.The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) claimed in 1988: ―Public relations help anorganization and its publics adapt mutually to each other."[According to the PRSA, the essentialfunctions of public relations include research, planning, communications dialogue andevaluation.This project will help you generate positive media coverage and identify the media you shouldtarget. It will also tell you how you can go about writing a press release and give you tips fordealing with bad publicity.
  12. 12. Role, Need & Importance of Public Relations The main goal of a public relations department is to enhance a company‘s reputation. Staff that work in public relations, or as it is commonly known, PR, are skilled publicists. They are able to present a company or individual to the world in the best light. The role of a public relations department can be seen as a reputation protector. The business world of today is extremely competitive. Companies need to have an edge that makes them stand out from the crowd, something that makes them more appealing and interesting to both the public and the media. The public are the buyers of the product and the media are responsible for selling it. Public relations provide a service for the company by helping to give the public and the media a better understanding of how the company works. Within a company, public relations can also come under the title of public information or customer relations. These departments assist customers if they have any problems with the company. They are usually the most helpful departments, as they exist to show the company at their best. PR also helps the company to achieve its full potential. They provide feedback to the company from the public. This usually takes the form of research regarding what areas the public is most happy and unhappy with. People often have the perception of public relations as a group of people who spin everything. Spin can mean to turn around a bad situation to the company‘s advantage. It is true that part of the purpose of public relations is to show the company in a positive light no matter what. There are certain PR experts that a company can turn to for this particular skill. The public often think of PR as a glamorous job. Public relations people seem to have been tarred with the image of constant partying and networking to find new contacts. The reality is usually long hours and hard work for anyone involved in public relations. There are certain skills necessary to work in the world of PR. These include a very high level of communication skills, written and verbal. The PR person must also be very adept
  13. 13. at multitasking and time management. He or she may also have some form of mediabackground or training in order to understand how the media and advertising work.Organizational and planning skills are also important in public relations.The PR worker must also be able to cope very well under pressure. He or she must havethe ability to cope with a barrage of questions from the media and the public. If acompany comes under critical attack, it is the PR department who must take control ofthe situation. They must effectively answer the criticism and turn it around in order toprotect the company‘s reputation.A public relations worker usually has some form of relevant college qualification.Competition for jobs in PR is fierce. A talented public relations person has theopportunity to work up from a junior account executive to an account director in aroundfive years. This is not a nine to five job; the hours are long and can be stressful. However,for successful PR workers, the pay is good and the perks may be even better.Today, "Public Relations is a set of management, supervisory, and technical functionsthat foster an organizations ability to strategically listen to, appreciate, and respond tothose persons whose mutually beneficial relationships with the organization are necessaryif it is to achieve its missions and values."Essentially it is a management function thatfocuses on two-way communication and fostering of mutually beneficial relationshipsbetween an organization and its publics. Building and managing relationships with thosewho influence an organization or individual‘s important audiences has a central role indoing public relations
  14. 14. Methods, Tools & TacticsPublic relations and publicity are not synonymous but many PR campaigns include provisionsfor publicity. Publicity is the spreading of information to gain public awareness for a product,person, service, cause or organization, and can be seen as a result of effective PR planning.Publics targetingA fundamental technique used in public relations is to identify the target audience, and to tailorevery message to appeal to that audience. It can be a general, nationwide or worldwide audience,but it is more often a segment of a population. Marketers often refer to economy-driven"demographics," such as "black males 18-49," but in public relations an audience is more fluid,being whoever someone wants to reach. There is also a psychographic grouping based on fitnesslevel, eating preferences, "adrenaline junkies,"etc...In addition to audiences, there are usually stakeholders, literally people who have a "stake" in agiven issue. All audiences are stakeholders (or presumptive stakeholders), but not allstakeholders are audiences. For example, a charity commissions a PR agency to create anadvertising campaign to raise money to find a cure for a disease. The charity and the people withthe disease are stakeholders, but the audience is anyone who is likely to donate money.Sometimes the interests of differing audiences and stakeholders common to a PR effortnecessitate the creation of several distinct but still complementary messages. This is not alwayseasy to do, and sometimes – especially in politics – a spokesperson or client says something toone audience that angers another audience or group of stakeholders.Meet and GreetMany businesses and organizations will use a Meet and Greet as a method of introducing two ormore parties to each other in a comfortable setting. These will generally involve some sort of
  15. 15. incentive, usually food catered from restaurants, to encourage employees or members toparticipate.Other Publicity events, pseudo-events, photo ops or publicity stunts The talk show circuit. A PR spokesperson (or his/her client) "does the circuit" by being interviewed on television and radio talk shows with audiences that the client wishes to reach. Books and other writings Blogs Direct communication (carrying messages directly to constituents, rather than through the mass media) with, e.g., newsletters – in print and e-letters. Collateral literature, traditionally in print and now predominantly as web sites. Speeches to constituent groups and professional organizations; receptions; seminars, and other events; personal appearances. The slang term for a PR practitioner or publicist is‖flak" (sometimes spelled "flack"). Interactive PR incorporate all forms of communicationA PR agency utilizes a wide range of communication techniques and channels to help you pursuethese strategies. These time-tested, cost-effective techniques can help you reach, inform, andpersuade your customers and clients. They include --Strategic Planning and Positioning, Marketing on the Internet, Article Placements, Newsreleases, Seminars, Newsletters, Video, Speechwriting, Crisis Management .Use public relations as a strategic planning and "vision" tool, to powerfully spearheadtheir clients business into new specialties and regional markets.
  16. 16. Feature articles by and about the company help you explain specific projects, industrytrends, etc., while positioning your organization as a leader.News releases keep editors and readers up-to-date on positive developments: businessnews, technological advances, promotions and new hires, and special events.Company profiles present the companys achievements, capabilities, and leaders in apositive light.Professional seminars and association meetings let a firm highlight their latestachievements and innovations, share information with colleagues.Business seminars for their customers let them explain new developments, trends,services, and products in detail -- in a setting where they call the shots.Trade shows can be a critical sales forum, let them meet face-to-face with purchasingdecision-makers.Internet/World Wide Web services help them establish an early presence within thispowerful new communications medium.Brochures and flyers, printed or electronic, explain their offerings in detail.Newsletters provide a valuable, ongoing channel to bring their message to their currentand potential customers.Advertising keeps their name visible and supports the publications that reach theircustomers.Video services let companies take advantage of new opportunities in broadcast anddesktop video media.Crisis management arms them with strategies and tools to deal with unexpected andunwelcome developments.
  17. 17. Expert speechwriting puts their message in vigorous, clear form for greatest clarity andimpact.Media RelationsMedia Relations is the act of involvement with various media for the purpose of informing thepublic of an organization‘s mission, policies and practices in a positive, consistent and crediblemanner.Typically, media relations involve coordinating directly with the people responsible forproducing the news and features in the mass media. The goal of media relations is to maximizepositive coverage in the mass media without paying for it directly through advertising.Many people use the terms "public relations" and "media relations" interchangeably; however,doing so is incorrect. The definition of media relations is somewhat narrower. Media relationsrefer to the relationship that a company or organization develops with journalists, while publicrelations extend that relationship beyond the media to the general public.Dealing with the media presents unique challenges in that the news media cannot be controlled -they have ultimate control over whether news angles pitched to them are of interest to them ortheir audiences. Because of this, the ongoing facilitation of communication and relationshipsbetween an organization and the news media is vital.Working with the media on the behalf of an organization allows for awareness of the entity to beraised as well as the ability to create an impact with a chosen audience. It allows access to bothlarge and small target audiences and helps build public support and mobilizing public opinion foran organization. This is all done through a wide range of media and can be used to encouragetwo-way communication.By using media relations effectively, public relations practitioners can enhance the reputation oftheir respective organizations while establishing good working relationships with journalists thatwill serve them well in future endeavors.
  18. 18. Key elements of strategically based media relations The media strategy is documented and implemented according to principles agreed between public affairs and senior management. A media policy is drawn up with responsibilities, profiles and positioning. Media activity is planned to reach target audiences in direct support of your organizational mission and goals. Media contact is broadly divided into proactive and reactive activities. Systematic use of consistent messages is made (e.g. about organizational performance, issues, use of new technologies and corporate behavior including environmental policy, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility). Spokespersons‘ roles are documented, communicated and supported. There are clear triggers for engagement as part of the issues management/stakeholder relations process. Decisions are agreed beforehand on the follow-up activities after media coverage.
  19. 19. Managing the MediaCreating a Media TeamWithin the "movement" there is the inclination to be egalitarian with respect to who should dealwith the media. While this may create an atmosphere of internal fairness, it will not always getthe desired results.In our early years, we shared responsibility, taking turns as spokesperson, making press calls,and writing press releases, believing that everyone should have an opportunity to be our PRperson. As times changed, and we saw our work in increasingly life and death terms, werecognized that those we serve deserve the best we can provide, rather than it offering an"experience" for those who may not be well suited for the job. Lives depend on what we do, andwe must never lose sight of that truth.Very often, those who are on the other side of issues that we support have more money, morepower, more access. We can only create an equality of dialogue through our creativity, ourcommitment, and a professionalism that is equal to theirs. A professional approach to handlingthe media thus becomes essential.A good, solid media team includes three important roles: a media coordinator, a writer, and aspokesperson. Each is critical to the others, and each is also vital independently to the process ofeffective media management. Roles may overlap, and often can be handled by the same person,but each position must be covered.  The Media CoordinatorThe media coordinator must be someone who is personable, can succinctly articulate the issues,and is willing to spend a great deal of time on the telephone. This person makes sure pressreleases go out on time, keeps media lists updated, makes press calls, and works actively behindthe scenes during events.The media coordinator should become as well-known behind the camera as the organizationsspokesperson is in front of it. One person handling press calls can cultivate important
  20. 20. relationships with assignment desk personnel, news producers, and camera people. These peopleare key to getting the coverage of events you need, and the kind of coverage you want.Get to know these important people. Always remember that they are people, too. Find out whothey are, if they have children, what they enjoy. Make them your best friends, take them to lunch.Develop a personal and working relationship with these pivotal members of the media. They areused to drones calling with stories, and are disarmed by people who actually care about who theyare. Make sure they know you are serious about your issue, but dont be so boring or intense thatthey dont want to talk to you. Be pushy -- but not obnoxious. The important thing is to makesure that someone who can do something takes your call -- that you are not shuffled off to anintern who simply writes down facts and then puts them aside because they dont understand theimportance or the urgency of your call. At the same time, interns may someday becomeassignment desk editors, so dont discount them entirely.At an event, the media coordinator ensures that all press people receive a statement or handout,that all those present are acknowledged, that all props and sound equipment are in place, thatone-on-one interview requests are satisfied, that the photo-op is the one that has been plannedbeforehand (i.e., that the right people are standing in the right place, etc.), and that the event runssmoothly. The spokesperson should not have to think about these things -- he or she needs tofocus attention on what is to be said and not be distracted by details. Again, get to know thepeople who are there on and off camera. A friendly camera operator can help you get the pictureor image you want to project; a producer can spin the story your way.  The SpokespersonWhile the spokesperson must be someone who is articulate, he/she should also be more than that.He/She should be a good listener, have camera presence, be well-informed about your issue, beable to think quickly on his/her feet, have credibility, be able to develop a good rapport with areporter, and be intuitive enough to know when a reporter is not friendly.Know your interviewers. Do they have a reputation for honest reporting? Are they sympatheticto your issue? Are they fair? Or combative?
  21. 21. If you want to learn to be a good spokesperson, spend time listening to others who are good atthe job. Research your issue until you know it inside and out and can hold your own in aconversation or debate. Think through each question that you are likely to be asked, and considercarefully the possible responses. Always be ready to revise and refine. Listen for "good lines"that others may use. Be humble. You always have more to learn  The WriterFinally, the writer creates the undergirding for all your press events. Clear, concise, effectivewriting is essential. Because someone is articulate does not mean he/she can write. Have a goodeditor available to "tighten up" news releases. Everything that is written and released must reflectaccurately the position of your organization. Make sure more than one set of eyes from the mediateam reviews what goes out.Handling the MediaNever lie to a reporter. If you dont know an answer, simply say so, but add that you will behappy to find out and get back to them. If you are not at liberty to discuss a particular aspect,again, say so, but never lie. Your lie will be discovered, and a good story will turn bad.Dont be forced into saying something you dont want to say. If you dont feel comfortableanswering a particular question, answer the one you want asked. Be clear about the point youwant to get across. Always bring the discussion back to your points. It is important to realize thatmuch of the substance you want to communicate gets lost. The quote that is inevitably used is theone that is the most colorful. Make it count. Everything else becomes background.Always remember that your story is in competition with many others. Only seventeen minutes ofeach half-hour news show is actually news. When you consider time spent on sports,entertainment, weather, and other items the time is even shorter. Your event needs to beinteresting enough to capture a few of those precious minutes.
  22. 22. If you have a story, get it out with your own spin instead of waiting for the other side to do theirtwist on the truth. If you know there is going to be a negative story, counter it someplace elsefirst.Be smart. Be professional. Learn from others. Invite friendly media people to come to yourorganization to give workshops on interviews, and other topics. Understand the media peopleyou are trying to influence and make sure they understand you.Creating a Media EventWe often hear complaints from other activists that the media never covers their events, or thattheir message is distorted. While reporters often lack depth, or the ability or time to investigate astory thoroughly, quite often the problem is with the source. You must not only be able tocommunicate your story properly, you must also be able to create an interesting story that isworth telling -- and maybe worth retelling. If you are able to generate ongoing debate about yourtopic, all the better. Controversy is sometimes your best publicity.Three elements can increase the possibility of coverage of your event: interesting people,interesting places, and interesting subjects. 1. Interesting PeopleIf you dont have a person in your organization who can attract press attention, try to findsomeone who can. Whether we like it or not, the reality is that some people are media stars.Build relationships with those people, involve them in your issue, and dont hesitate to ask themto stand with you. Stars also come with egos that need to be stroked, and sometimes handlingthem can be more difficult than handling the media, so beware.The other type of person who is a magnet for the media is one who can provide the human-interest story -- the victim of the policy you are addressing. Be sure the person is a sympatheticperson who can present himself/herself well. Interview the individual yourself first. Dont takesomeone elses word for this persons credibility or believability. Ask all the embarrassingquestions that a reporter might ask. Dont let yourself be surprised too late when the camera is
  23. 23. rolling. In your pre-interview, spend some time helping the person craft answers that bettercommunicate what he/she is trying to say. If necessary, gently recommend grooming changes. Ifclothes are needed, help out. 2. Interesting PlacesWhenever possible, hold your event somewhere that will reflect your message. Create aneffective backdrop. If you are addressing the lack of affordable housing, then go to empty publichousing. If you are speaking about militarism, go to a military base. Try to find a place wheremembers of the press dont usually go, but be sure it isnt so far afield that they cant find it (orwant to). 3. Interesting SubjectsOne of the most overlooked and yet important elements in creating an interesting media eventare visuals. "Talking heads" at press conferences are boring and commonplace. Find a way tomake visible what it is you are trying to communicate. When planning a press event always keepin mind the photo-opt what photo do you want to appear in the paper or on the evening news?Make sure the picture says something. A picture really can be worth a thousand words.The best visual is the one that requires the fewest words to explain. The more words that arerequired, the more obtuse the message. Only one sentence should be used & the picture shouldsay the rest.
  24. 24. How to get Media Coverage?You could send out press releases on the same story to a number of outlets. But youll need totailor each release to the audience. For example, a small engineering company wins a big Italianorder with a new manufacturing technique which it uses under license.The press release for the trade and technical press highlights the success of the technique andthe companys use of innovation. The press release for the local paper is about increasedemployment and the prestige for the town in beating foreign competition.There are many natural PR opportunities: a new product launch new premises new members of staff an important new order involvement with a charity significant anniversaries, eg your 1,000th customer business partnershipsAnd you can create publicity opportunities: submit articles for publication commission a survey on serious or fun issues and send the results to the press suggest a newspaper competition with your product as the prize give expert opinions and volunteer quotes send letters to the editor on business topics using your business address
  25. 25. How to Improve Media Relation SkillsYou can have all the facts, know what you want to say, and believe that your message isimportant to your market, yet never get a single media placement. Could it be the way you arecommunicating?Listed below are 10 highly effective tips to improving your communication with the media andefficiently increasing media exposure for your company or client. 4. Know the reporter and the publication before picking up the phone. First, build a targeted media list of the publications that may have an interest in what you‘re pitching, and then determine which journalists you should be talking to at those publications. If you are pitching a portal story to a technology magazine, for instance, don‘t begin emailing and calling all of the reporters you can find at the magazine. You will be wasting time and reducing your chances of coverage by aggravating the staff. Once you know who to target, you should also find out what he/she has recently written to understand the subtleties of their coverage area. This will help you create targeted pitches and story ideas that are both compelling and relevant. 5. Always know how and when a reporter wants to be contacted. Some reporters want phone calls, others prefer email, and still others want news the old-fashioned way – by snail mail. In the case of breaking news, some reporters even recommend that you call them on their mobile phone if they can‘t be reached at their desk. Contacting reporters inappropriately or at the wrong time – such as on deadline – can lead to damaged relationships. 6. Clarify your message before delivering your pitch. There is nothing worse for a reporter than receiving an email that is a carbon copy of a press release, or getting a call from someone that is not familiar with the company they are pitching or the news they are announcing. Develop a bulleted ―fast facts‖ sheet, especially for phone pitches, that outlines your key message points. Most reporters are extremely busy and will give you only 30 seconds to make your case. They will not bite on your idea if you don‘t offer a convincing argument.
  26. 26. 7. When sending ideas via email, always include a short, pithy pitch along with your contact information. It is important to make the reporter‘s job as easy as possible so make sure to provide the most important news in the first paragraph. You should also include the company‘s URL, as a reporter will often times visit the company‘s Web site before calling back. Editors and reporters get hundreds of emails a day, so entice them into calling you for more information or, even better, to set up an interview.8. Be careful what you send via email. Never send unsolicited email attachments, as some reporters will be wary of opening them due to virus concerns, and others simply won‘t take the time. In addition, always craft a catchy subject line but avoid using all caps or excessive punctuation as both tactics produce a red flag that your pitch might be a virus. Finally, never send out a group email with your entire distribution list in the header. It‘s impersonal and shows a lack of effort on your part.9. When calling a reporter, introduce yourself fully, reference previous conversations to jog the reporter‘s memory on who you are and why you‘re calling, and ask whether it is a good time to talk. The press gets flooded with calls, so be as specific as possible. The more general you are, the less likely your chances for success. As you develop a stronger relationship with the reporter, they will know you the minute they pick up the phone, making it easier to get their ear.10. When you get a reporter on the phone, always ask what they are working on and how you can help. This will allow you to uncover new opportunities that will allow you to position your news by way of a different point of view. Also, be sure to provide assistance even if it won‘t necessarily benefit your company or client today. Eventually, the reporter will come to you with new story opportunities – rather than the other way around.11. Never make promises you cannot keep. Nothing will squelch a media relationship faster than if you promise something you cannot deliver. Promise to do your best to get the reporter what they need in advance of their deadline, and
  27. 27. always follow through. However, if you won‘t be able to come through, let them know as early as possible. 12. Follow up aggressively. While some reporters will provide coverage after one phone interview, that is often not enough. It is important to be in front of reporters on a consistent basis with compelling information that demonstrates what you are pitching is viable, credible and worthy of coverage. Also be sure to offer reporters the additional elements they would need to round out their story – photos, customer references, analyst references and additional sources, if necessary. You need to be able to provide these elements at the drop of a hat – so have the information ready in advance 13. Whenever possible, pitch by phone. This will get you better results and allow you to build the relationships you need to ensure consistent success. Plus, it‘s much easier for a reporter to delete an email or send a quick ―no‖ than it is to hang up on you. When using the phone, leave one message only, and then continue to call the reporter at different times of the day (non-deadline times, of course) until you catch them live. Once you have them on the line, it is much easier to make your case, as you can engage a reporter in a conversation and handle objections as they arise.Media relations are critical to an effective public relations plan. It is important to develop astrong understanding of the media and how best to communicate with them. Once you developthese basic – yet key – fundamentals, you will improve message adoption, which in turn willgenerate better results.
  28. 28. Public Relations Across CulturesBuilding international communication bridges.The Public Relations (PR) industry is responsible for creating and maintaining relationshipsbetween clients and customers. Through areas such as brand management, advertising, mediarelations and crisis management, PR practitioners seek to foster interest, trust and belief in aproduct or company.PR practitioners are aware of how best to carry this out when dealing within their own nationsand cultures, however, when dealing with a foreign audience it is critical that cross culturaldifferences are recognized.By way of illustrating the impact cross cultural awareness can have on the success or failure of aPR campaign a brief example can be citedPepsodent tried to sell its toothpaste in Southeast Asia by emphasizing that it "whitens yourteeth." They found out that the local natives chew betel nuts to blacken their teeth because theyfound it attractive. Had the PR Company behind this campaign analyzed the cross cultural issuesrelated to Pepsodents product, the failure of this PR campaign could have been avoided.Cross cultural differences can make or break a PR campaign. It is therefore crucial that PRpractitioners dealing with PR campaigns that incorporate a cross cultural element analyses likelycross cultural differences. A few key areas shall be highlighted in order to help PR practitionersbegin to consider how culture may affect future projects.Language and CultureIn order for a PR campaign to be successful abroad, an appreciation of the target language and itscultural nuances is necessary. The PR and advertising industries are littered with examples ofpoor translations and a lack of cross cultural understanding leading to PR failure. For example,when Ford launched the Pinto in Brazil they were puzzled as to why sales were dead.
  29. 29. Fortunately they found out that Brazilians did not want to be seen driving a car meaning smallmale genitals and promptly changed the name.Translation of documents, slogans and literature must be checked and double checked formeanings and cross cultural nuances. This should not only take place between languages but alsowithin languages. Even in English there are cross cultural differences in meanings. For example,the airline UAL headlined an article about Paul Hogan, star of Crocodile Dundee, with, "PaulHogan Camps it up" which unfortunately in the UK and Australia is slang for "flauntinghomosexuality".The Spoken WordAreas where the spoken word is used in PR, such as press conferences or interviews, should beprepared for within a cross cultural framework. In short, speaking styles and the content useddiffers across cultures.British and American communication styles are described as explicit, meaning messages areconveyed solely through words. Correlating background information is deemed necessary anddivulged, ambiguity is avoided and spoken words have literal meaning. In many other cultures,communication is implicit. The message listeners are likely to interpret is based on factors suchas who is speaking, the context and non-verbal cues. Spoken words do not fully convey thewhole story as listeners are expected to read between the lines.With relation to content, speakers must be aware of the cross cultural differences in humor,metaphors, aphorisms and anecdotes. In addition, references to topics such as politics and/orreligion can be a very sensitive issue in other cultures.When the spoken word is used the cross cultural distinctions of the target culture must beincorporated in order to help the speaker appeal to and identify with the audience.The Written WordPress releases, features and copywriting all require a certain amount of cross cultural sensitivitywhen being applied abroad. Journalistic traditions, writing styles, news worthiness, delivery
  30. 30. systems and whether a free press exists are all areas that will affect how the written word istailored.In addition, the most important point, from a cross cultural perspective, is how to write in a waythat engages the readers in that society or culture. Some cultures may prefer colorful andinspirational writing, others factual and objective. Some may be motivated by language thatincorporates a religious or moral tone, others by a money-orientated or materialistic one.When writing, the first step should always be to look at and integrate the cross culturalparticulars of the target audience.Communication ChannelsPR practitioners employ many different communication channels when trying to circulateinformation relating to their campaign. The main channels of communication in the UK orAmerica are the radio, the press, TV, internet and public spaces. However, these channels maynot always be applicable abroad.In many countries the radio, TV or newspapers may not be the primary source of information.Literacy rates may be poor and/or radios may be expensive. In Africa, only 1.4% of thepopulations have access to the internet. Even where such channels of communication do exist,such as TV, some methods used by PR practitioners, namely guerrilla marketing, would beinterpreted differently in foreign countries. For example, interrupting live TV may be laughed atin the UK but in other countries it would be seen as irresponsible and rebellious.The usual channels of communication in some countries would simply have no effect in terms ofPR. In such countries, local alternatives need to be sought such as religious leaders, tribal chiefs,school teachers or NGOs. Information coming from such figures will not only reach theaudience but be perceived as more credible than if it were from foreigners.PR MaterialsThe use of publicity materials in PR campaigns such as logos, slogans, pictures, colors anddesigns must all be cross culturally examined. Pictures of seemingly innocuous things in one
  31. 31. culture could mean something different in another. For example, a company advertisedeyeglasses in Thailand by featuring a variety of cute animals wearing glasses. The ad failed asanimals are considered to be a low form of life in Thailand and no self respecting Thai wouldwear anything worn by animals. Similarly, logos or symbols are culturally sensitive. A soft drinkwas introduced into Arab countries with an attractive label that had a six-pointed star on it. TheArabs interpreted this as pro-Israeli and refused to buy it.Press ReleasesTiming the Press Release and CallA press release can serve a number of purposes. It is usually used to announce an event but canbe used as a handout, can become a position paper, or can be used to educate the media about atopic. In any case, it is always important to have something in writing.Timing the release is important. If your event is planned well in advance it is good to mail it outat least a week ahead to ensure its inclusion on calendars. Sometimes, however, this is notpossible. If a short lead time is all you have, faxing the release works just as well. When youmust fax the release, be sure to target the person most likely to be interested in the event, since itis difficult to send to everyone on your list.In some cases, there is no time for a press release at all. If you plan a clandestine action, or ifsomething develops quickly and unpredictably, there may be only enough time for a press call asyou walk out the door.On occasions when we wanted to surprise someone, and could not release the information early,we took lots of quarters and a press list with us and called from a pay phone as our action was inprogress. Sometimes, if we have been working with a particular reporter we feel we can trust, werelease the information in advance to that person only, with the understanding that it must not beleaked to others. On other occasions we have called the media in advance and suggested thatthey would get a good story and picture if they appeared at a certain corner at a certain time.
  32. 32. Because we have enough credibility with our local media, and because we dont use that tacticoften, they usually show up.All press releases should be followed with a press call. Be thorough with your calls. This is whenyour past dealings with producers and assignment desk personnel are important. Always ask forthe person you know best. Be persistent. Just because your story was not covered after your lastcall, or even the last ten calls, does not mean that it will not be covered this time. Sometimes itdepends on what else newsworthy is going on at the time, but good, persistent press work tendsto have a cumulative effect.Writing the ReleasePress releases are the first encounter a media outlet will have with your event. While you want tobe thorough and include all the information, and the underlying data, you also need to besuccinct. In some large media markets, hundreds of press releases can cross an assignment deskeach day. If your release is too wordy, it will likely be ignored.The first paragraph should include the "five Ws" -- who, what, where, when, and why. Dontforget, your first goal is to get them to come to your event. If you have a high-profile person whowill attract media, include his name in this first paragraph.The next paragraphs should include an expansion on the purpose of the event, and some historyof what led up to it. Dont assume that the person who will be reading the release will necessarilybe up to date on recent developments in your issue. If the location of your event is significant,include a discussion of its importance. It is also important to include some brief backgroundmaterial on any special people who will be in attendance.The release should include a quote from the spokesperson for your organization. Try to be pithy,clear, and to the point. This will very often be the quote used in the print media. Make it count.Finally, include a brief description of your organization. This is particularly important if you area new organization, a re-formed organization, or as yet unknown to the media.
  33. 33. Before you write your release, sit down and list the points you wish to make. Be clear. Dontramble. While you need to include enough background information to educate, you dont need tosay everything in the release. That is the purpose of the press event.The form of the press release can vary. There are, however, a few elements common to all pressreleases. Always begin with the date the information can be released. Somewhere at the top ofthe page type "PRESS RELEASE" several times. All press releases end with "# # #" or "-30-"typed in the middle of the page toward the bottom of the release. Be sure to include contactnames (it is best to have two names) and their phone numbers. Press releases should always beprinted on your letterhead.Press CallsIn many ways the press calls you make are more important than the press release. Although it iscritical to have a written press statement that can be delivered or faxed upon request, it is duringthe call that you have the opportunity to really sell your story. In addition, press calls give theassignment desk person or the reporter the opportunity to ask questions, clarify the issue, anddevelop the "background" information that will be necessary to give depth to your story. It isduring press calls that important relationships begin to be forged with the media outlet.Be sensitive to the people on the other end of the telephone. If they seem rushed, dont keep themany longer than you need to. If they seem to have more time, chat them up.Think through what you have to say very carefully before you ever lift the receiver. Write itdown or rehearse it if necessary. Start with the less important calls in order to smooth anddevelop your "rap."Be succinct and clear, yet prepared to go into details if there is an opportunity. Always get the"who," "what," "where," and "when" out first. While the "why" is important, your first purpose isto get the news crew to the event.Learn the names of assignment desk editors, and always keep them updated on your press list.When developing your list it may be useful to call the news outlets and get the names of theseimportant people (weekend assignment editors are often different than weekday editors). Ask for
  34. 34. them by name. You are less likely to get shuffled off to an intern if you can ask for a specificperson. Always try to work with the same person -- this is how relationships develop.A typical press call should begin like this: "Hello, this is Carol Fennelly at the Community forCreative Non-Violence. Im calling to be sure you received the press release we sent about therally to oppose the closing of city shelters scheduled for Monday, December 2 at 12 noon at theDistrict Building." Be sure to leave your telephone number so you can be reached for follow-upquestions.If you can go into greater detail, go for it. But again, be sensitive to the person on the other endof the line. If the reporter seems to be rushing, dont irritate him/her with more verbiage. Yourmessage is out, and they will call back when they have more time.If your press release has been lost among the hundreds that have crossed their desk, fax ordeliver another immediately. Have an assistant ready to get it out quickly, while you are still ontheir mind.Once you have made a few initial practice calls, follow this procedure. Start with the wireservices (i.e., Associated Press and United Press International) since they can rapidly get thenews out to everybody else. Follow those calls with television stations, since they have morestaff to try to get to the location of your media function. Those contacts should be followed withcalls to newspapers next, then radio stations. Dont forget those independent news feedsmentioned earlier.Calls should always be made the morning of the event. You can generally get a good sense ofwho to expect to show up. If you have enough time, calls should also be made one or two daysbefore as well. If we have a large event scheduled, and know well in advance that it is going tooccur, we send out a press release the week before, make calls two days prior, and the morningof the event.Be thorough. What does not get a response the first time, only builds for your next call. No call isa wasted call. Each one helps keep your cause in the forefront.
  35. 35. The PSA (public service announcement)The public service announcement serves many purposes. It raises consciousness, educates,announces an event, or generates funds or other material needs. Depending upon the type of PSAyou create, a radio or TV station may air it at no cost.Most stations have an employee assigned to deal with public affairs. That person is responsiblefor deciding which public service announcements get on the air. When you have a PSA, contactthat person well in advance to find out what kind of lead time they may need. If you areproducing a taped PSA find out what format they need (i.e., television stations usually want 3/4"or 1 " tape, while radio stations may want reel-to-reel or cassette). Stations will usually only run10, 30, or 60 second announcements. Prepare them in all three lengths.If your public service announcement endorses a candidate, specific legislation, or promotesmerchandise, it is considered advertising, and you will be charged a fee. If you are simplyeducating, you can usually find a station to air it at no cost. In addition, stations often havecommunity billboards to advertise events, volunteer needs, or material needs (although they maynot be willing to make fundraising pleas).Community billboard-type announcements are better submitted in writing for announcers to readon the air. Also, if you do not have the ability to prepare your own taped PSA, write it down(again, in 10, 30 and 60 second versions) and submit it. Be sure to read it out loud to verify thelength of each version.
  36. 36. Requirements for Successful Press Releases1. Does it include what an editor wants?Editors want press releases that cover: who, what, where, when, how does it work, how muchdoes it cost and why will readers want to know about it. A list of sources that back up the facts inthe release is very helpful.2. Does it include news that can be used by a publications readers?You should always read the last couple of issues of any news publication or website where youwant your news to show up. Try to find recent articles on similar subject matter and researchwhat type of information the reporter included. Cover the same types of topics in your pressreleases that the reporter covers in their story and youll greatly improve the chances that yourpress release gets selected for a story.3. Does it include what problem the product/service solves?Make sure your release does a thorough job of explaining how the product works. The reportershould be able to read the release and completely understand what your product does. You mightlet someone outside your company read the release and see if they can answer your questions onwhat the product or service does. If a novice can understand the release, youre in good shape. Ifnot, you re-write it until they can.4. What is the typical return on investment if the reader decides to buy the product?Also cover how the product will provide a return on investment for the reader who buys theservice. If you can show an editor the return, suddenly your release will become newsworthy fortheir readers.
  37. 37. 5. Does it have some supporting graphics to go with the story?Sending a graphic such as a shot of the product, a chart showing performance results, networkdiagrams or anything that gives a visual picture of what the release is talking about, the releasewill have 25% better chance of being published.6. Does it have the right keywords included?Keywords are critical to a press releases ultimate success. All news portals and most smartreporters now subscribe to News Alerts that fetch news stories based on certain keywords. If youwant your release to be picked up by many different news portals, engineer your release with theright mix of keywords for each site.If your product serves more than one industry, write a standard press release with the featuresand benefits, and then craft an industry paragraph that uses industry specific buzzwords. Forexample, if your company sells human resources software packages, write a release that touts thebenefits of the software, but also write up a paragraph for healthcare, construction companies orany other vertical segment that fits. Make sure that the headline and the industry paragraph are insynch with the target publication and youll get exposure across multiple industry segments.7. Does the release tell the whole story?Old school public relations pros would tell you to keep a release short and to the point. That wasbefore computers existed and the Internet was born. Nowadays, their are hundreds of websitesworldwide that publish press releases as is, with no edits. So if you tell the whole story in therelease, the whole story will be presented to readers everywhere. Reporters are always on tightdeadlines. Most reporters dont write more than 5-10 stories a week. The easier you make it forthem to cut a fully developed story from your press release and paste into their publicationsstory development system, the easier it will be for you to get a story covered.8. Does the release have a call to action?Just like an advertisement, all press releases should offer a call to action. Invite them to visit awebsite, download a free whitepaper, or fill out a form to request addition information. If youhave something to sell, ask them to buy it online. Remember, the purpose of public relations and
  38. 38. advertising is to generate sales, which ultimately provides a good return on investment for yourmarketing dollars. Think of mindshare awareness, education and credibility as the fringebenefits.Using Public Relations to Increase SalesFive Ways Press Releases Can Increase Your Sales1. Use Press Releases to Sell Product Direct - Some products can be sold directly from linkscontained in press releases. This is especially true now that the Internet has made it possible tobuy products on line with a credit card. Selling direct works best for products that have clearlydefined benefits and are not available through retail outlets. They should have some degree ofinherent excitement and be priced under $1,000. It also works well for supplies and othercommodity items that can be grouped together by category and offered in a catalog format. Thereare literally millions of websites using this approach.2. Use Press Releases to Generate Sales Leads - For smaller firms with limited budgets thebest use of public relations is to generate immediate business leads that can be converted to sales.This type of release encourages a reader to respond to some type of free offer - usually a freewhite paper, a free initial consultation, a free estimate, a free evaluation of a problem, or someother type free information.Readers are willing to trade their contact information in order to get the free offer. The businessleads generated through this process can add tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands ofdollars to gross sales every year.3. Use Press Releases to Educate Future Customers - Press releases are a great way to educatecustomers about your products/services, your business philosophy and why potential customersshould do business with your company.
  39. 39. For example, one our clients wrote a series of press releases that showed how wirelesstechnology could provide broadband Internet services to areas that didnt have DSL or cablemodem broadband services.Their press releases demonstrated the key differences between wired and wireless technology,explained why wireless was more cost effective and stressed be ease of use benefits that wiredbroadband couldnt deliver. In 2001, no one had ever heard of a Wi-Fi Hotspot or a Wireless ISP.Today wireless technology is making the headlines everywhere. The Broadband WirelessExchange (BWE) Magazine was and still is the worlds best source for broadband wireless newsand "how-to" information. Their success started with a single press release that introducedwireless technology and explained its benefits.4. Use Press Releases to Create Mind Share Awareness - There are many products, servicesand ideas on the market today. A big part of a public relation executives job is to simply makesure people and reporters are aware that your company offers a product or service that couldpotentially solve their business problems.The BWE example mentioned above is the perfect example. BWE did not need to convinceprospects that their site was better than the competition, because when they started, they had nodirect competitors. BWEs only challenge was to make potential customers aware (a) thatbuilding broadband wireless networks was more cost effective than building wired networks, and(b) that BWE was a recognized authority and expert on how to build these types of networks.After releasing a series of press releases on the benefits of wireless networking and providinglinks back to the companys website on "How to Build Wireless Networks," their web traffic rosefrom less than 10,000 hits per month to more than 6 million per month. The site is now thelargest website of its kind in the world.5. Use Press Releases for Cost Effective Marketing - Unlike advertising, public relations is themost cost effective way to market your products and services. Placing an ad in a typical tradepublication costs around $10,000 for a page 4-color bleed. This advertisement will only be readfor one cycle of the publications print run. And, the advertisement is never seen online, so themaximum exposure youll get is 50,000 - 100,000 readers.
  40. 40. The cost to write and issue an 800-word press release, plus national newswire distribution can beas low as $2,000 (shorter releases cost much less). But unlike advertising, press releases show upeverywhere, and if they actually lead to stories in news print and websites, their value increasesdramatically. They literally have the potential to generate stories in hundreds of thousands ofnewspapers, trade publications, Blogs and news portals worldwide. One place our releases showup frequently is Forbes.com. They receive around 100 million page views per day. It is hard tobeat that kind of exposure for $2,000.Questions you can Expect Reporters to ask during an InterviewIf you are being interviewed by a newspaper, magazine or television reporter, don‘t make themistake of thinking you don‘t have to prepare for the interview. In some cases, if the reportermakes an appointment to meet with you in person, you may have several days to prepare. But areporter may call when you least expect it and need your comments immediately for a story thatwill appear in the following day‘s newspaper, or on that night‘s TV newscast.Not knowing what kinds of questions reporters ask, or being unprepared for a killer question thatcomes out of left field, can leave you feeling frazzled and uncomfortable, and you might give aresponse that makes you come off sounding angry, defensive or confused.Here are the types of questions you can expect reporters to ask, and tips on how to prepare forthem.Name, Rank and Serial NumberEarly in the interview, reporters will want most of the basics from you, depending on what thestory is about. One of the reasons they do this is that they can pitch you softball questions thatyou feel more comfortable answering, then ask tougher questions as the interview proceeds.Provide a media kit that offers your one-page professional profile, a history of your company, asimple Q&A sheet listing the most frequently asked questions, or a fact sheet about yourorganization. You can save the reporter a lot of time. Offer to drop off the media kit at the
  41. 41. newspaper office if the reporter is local, or use an overnight delivery service. If you have thisinformation posted at your web site, give the reporter your URL.“Can I interview you over lunch?”Be careful. If it‘s a sensitive story that you feel might not present you in the best light, don‘tagree to this because it means you will probably be stuck sitting with the reporter for at least anhour. Simply tell the reporter that a lunch or breakfast interview would be difficult for you toschedule, but that you can give them 20 minutes or a half hour in your office during businesshours. If the interview is on your turf, there are all sorts of ways to get rid of the reporter early,such as faking an emergency meeting with your boss. If the story is innocent enough, there‘s noharm in meeting with a reporter over lunch, however.“What is your annual revenue? How does that compare to the last three years?”Many business people get rattled when reporters ask these questions. If your company is publiclyheld, there‘s no reason why you shouldn‘t offer this information. If you are privately held, or ifyou are a small business, answer the questions if you can. It helps the reporter understand howyour business is doing now compared to three years ago. If you cannot give these figures forcompetitive reasons, at least give a range, such as ―Between $250,000 and $500,000.‖“How did you come up with the money for this (business, project, program)?”Explain how in general terms. You don‘t have to give all the details.“What is the worst business mistake you ever made that you learned from?”Don‘t be embarrassed. Everyone has a worst business mistake. Anticipate this question andprepare your response. The media love to help their readers and viewers avoid other people‘smistakes. Rather than just naming the blunder, explain how others can avoid making it.
  42. 42. How to take Advantage of Public Relations Decide once and for all to do something about those outside audiences whose behaviors affect your organization the most. When members of those ―publics" of yours perceive and understand who and what you are, and like what they see, the behaviors that flow from those perceptions will put a smile on your face. Good things happen like converting sales prospects into customers, convincing existing customers to stay with you, or even toning down activist rhetoric. Even internally, productivity often increases when employees conclude that you really do care about them. It‘s all possible when you commit your organization to confront head-on those key target audience perceptions and behaviors. Easy to do? Well, it‘s not so hard when you have a roadmap to guide you. Right at the top, try listing, say, your top three outside audiences whose behaviors can really affect the success of your organization. Let‘s pick the audience at the top of the list and go to work on it. Can‘t take any chances on being wrong about what they think of you, so now‘s the time to start interacting with audience members. Ask a lot of questions. What do they think of your services or products? Is there a hint of negativity in their answers? Do you detect the evil effects of a rumor? Are their facts inaccurate and in need of correction? What information gathering like this does for you is let you form a public relations goal. It could be as simple as correcting an inaccurate perception, clearing up a misconception or spiking that nasty rumor. Your goal might even have to take aim at a widespread belief that‘s just plain wrong. With your goal set, how will you actually affect those perceptions? Of course, that takes a successful strategy. But when it comes down to really doing something about opinion, we
  43. 43. have only three ways to go: create opinion if there is none, change existing opinion, orreinforce it. Just make sure the strategy you choose flows logically from the publicrelations goal you set.What exactly will you say to the members of your key target audience? Well, thatdepends largely on what changes in perception and, thus, behaviors you want. Yourmessage must be clear as a mountain stream and, above all, factually believable andpersuasive. It should be direct and as compelling as possible. Might help to try it out onone or two audience members and get their reactions.Dare I call this part fun? Communications tactics, I mean? There are dozens available andthey all will reach members of your key target audience with varying degrees ofefficiency. You could use personal meetings, emails, letters-to-the-editor and brochures,or you could try open houses, speeches, radio interviews and even a news conference.There are many, many more.But now, you can‘t avoid this. You must once again interact with members of your keytarget audience or you will never know if your goal, strategy, message andcommunications tactics ever worked.When you again meet with these individuals, you‘ll be asking questions similar to yourfirst opinion monitoring session.Difference this time is that you‘re hot on the trail of altered perceptions because youknow they will almost always lead to the change in behavior you really want.Does it look like you were successful in cleaning up that misconception? Or in rootingout that wrong but deep- seated belief? Or shooting big round holes in that mischievousrumor?If you‘re not happy with your progress, consider altering the mix and frequency of yourcommunications tactics. And don‘t forget to take a hard look at your message. Was itREALLY clear? Did your facts and figures support your contention that the rumor is notonly unfair, but hurtfully wrong?
  44. 44. Finally, as noted at the top of this piece, when members of your key audiences really understand you and your organization, good things usually happen. Things that really will put that smile on your face.Positive Publicity via Effective Public Relations
  45. 45. Disadvantages of Public RelationsPerhaps, the major disadvantage of PR is the potential for not completing communicationprocess. While PR messages can break through the clutter of commercials, the receiver may notmake the connection to the source. Many firms‘ PR efforts are never associated with theirsponsors in the public mind. Advertisements are often more eye catching than a small pressrelease.PR may also mis-fire through mis management and a lack of co-ordination with the marketingdepartment. When the marketing and PR department operate independently, there is a danger ofinconsistence communication, redundancies in efforts and so on.Successful PR is All about Understanding the Media!!!Importance of P. R . AgenciesThe significance of the public relations management has increasedPublic Relations in Organizational LifeThe role that public relations play in organizational life, and particularly the importance attachedto it in relation to other management activities, varies considerably. It can vary betweenindustries; PR in the financial community is different from PR in the industrial field.It has become ever more clear that PR as it applies to a bank or insurance company is verydifferent from PR in industry or as it applies to a company producing a product which is going tobe marketed and sold.
  46. 46. The target audience for public relations is determined by the activities of the organization andany current problems areas. Public relations are often concerned with reaching opinion formersthat is the press, MPs, government officials and consumer groups. But in each specific situationthe target audience will also compromise those groups in the environment with which theorganization deals; these are now increasingly described in the literature as the organization‘s‗publics‘. It is a simple matter of identifying the relevant groups for any Organization. SHARE HOLDERS SUPPLIERS GOVERN- MENT FINANCE SOURCES COMPETI- TORS TRADE CUSTOMERS UNIONS ENV & PRESSURE GROUPS
  47. 47. FUNCTIONS OF P.R. AGENCYMANAGERIAL PLANNING ORGANISING DIRECTING CONTROLLING COORDINATING MOTIVATINGOPERATIVE POLICY PUBLICITY RODUCT PUBLICITY RELATIONS WITH GOVERNMENT COMMUNITY RELATIONS SHAREHOLDER‘S RELATION PROMOTION PROGRAMMES DONATIONS EMPLOYEE PUBLICATIONS GUEST RELATIONS EVALUATIONS COUNCELLOR COMMUNICATOR ADMINISTRATOR PRODUCTION ORGANISING SPECIAL EVENTS
  48. 48. ADVISORY TO TOP MANAGEMENT TO DEPARTMENTAL HEADSPUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGEMENT OF “THE SOURCE”COMPANY PROFILEIn a world where too many people are saying too many things all at the same time, your message caneasily be lost, or misunderstood.At The Source, we recognize that perceptions have a way of distorting reality - or enhancing it. In ahugely competitive world, the management of these perceptions is what makes all the difference. Thegray area between reality and perception is the space in which we at The Source operate.The Source, based in India, is an independent strategic communications consulting firm that offers avariety of services for image management - including public relations, crisis management, marketingcommunication, and financial communication. It operates on three guiding principles -- DomainKnowledge, Client Focus, and Transparency.The Source helps clients evolve strategies, shape messages, plan effective communicationprogrammes, and implement them. We believe in working so closely with our clients that they oftenlook upon us as a virtual in-house resource.The firm has four main divisions - Public Relations, Investor Relations, Event Management andEditorial Services. Headquartered in Indias commercial capital, Mumbai, The Source hasrepresentative offices in New Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune, besides affiliates in fourteen other citiesacross India.
  49. 49. Areas of ExperienceSOURCE has experience and expertise in multiple industries and services. Our clients represent variedfields including: Associations Automotive Banking Communications systems Education Financial services Fitness Gaming Food and beverage Healthcare services Home care products Medical services Non-profit organizations Real Estate and construction Restaurants Sports and sporting equipment Technology Tourism Travel and leisure
  50. 50. ADVISORY BOARDSOURCE is, perhaps, the only leading Indian Public Relations Agency that has senior journalists andleading corporate personalities on its advisory board.The eminent members of our advisory board include senior journalists from: The Economic Times Business Standard The Times of India Hindustan Times The Pioneer Dainik Bhaskar Dainik Jagran Navbharat TimesSCOPE OF SERVICES SUORCE believes in getting the most mileage for its clients marketing efforts. Their endeavor is to provide seamless support to their marketing campaigns. To achieve this, we can include varied elements to reach as many of your target audiences - and potential customers - as possible. Strategic services include: Systematic media, stakeholders and analyst influencing; positioning and differentiation counsel; competitive de-positioning campaigns; brand identity development. Research services include: Attitude, perception and awareness studies involving polling, questionnaires, focus groups and telephone-based surveys. Tactical services include: Briefing and familiarisations tours for the media; proactively seeking editorial opportunities; news announcement management; product reviews; new product launches; trade show support; and event creation management.
  51. 51. Editorial services include: Creating backgrounders; media kits; white papers; case studies, news releases; byline articles; op-ed articles; internal and external publications; corporate presentations; and speech writing. Search Engine PR services include: Innovative website design and development; keyword analysis; link popularity building; search engine optimization (SEO); search engine marketing (SEM); search engine submission; topical directory submission and search engine ranking servicesSERVICES OFFERED AT SOURCE:- 1. Strategic Services 2. Media Relations 3. Editorial Services 4. Events 5. Investor Relations 1. Strategic Services a. Stakeholder Dialogue Objective: To help clients develop productive dialogues with opinion leaders in order to support the clients‘ competitive advantages.The Stakeholder Dialogue Process is targeted at developing relationships with influentials based on acommon interest. This is achieved through systematic and focused communication. It involves:Identifying influentials that make up key audiences, including those who can directly or indirectlyinfluence public policy affecting the company
  52. 52. Assessing the perceptions of influentials with a focus on matching company messages withappropriate audiences and developing communications campaignsBuilding communications systems, primary messages, and communications products targeted at theneeds of audience segments as based on research.Developing benchmarks that act as a ‗roadmap‘ to achieving defined outcomes.Creating an internal structure for feedback, evaluation, and refinement of opinion leadercommunication campaigns. A continual loop, this stage of the process ensures that externalcommunications stay on track and consistently enhance stakeholder perceptions of the company tobuild productive relationships.Working closely with clients throughout the process to help them create the structures—and thethought processes—needed to maintain ongoing, productive dialogues with influentials. b. Communication Strategy SupportThe Source develops communication systems and strategies to tell the company story in several ways.These include development of communications planning systems and editorial plans, targeting ofeditorial agendas for both internal and external communications, writing to the audience workshops;and evaluating and overhauling existing communications systems. c. Employee Advocacy ProgramsIt is vital for all employees to be aware of the companys vision and business goals, because they canhelp to make or mar the image of the organization in informal situations. Recognizing this, The Sourcebelieves in working closely with clients to ensure that the corporate message is effectively conveyed toemployees at every level.
  53. 53. Through an alignment and advocacy process conducted by The Source, our clients can developinternal communications systems and products that provide employees with the information requiredfor corporate transformation. d. Issues AnalysisFuture challenges can be converted into growth opportunities, but first, they need to be identified andunderstood. The Source identifies potential issues and conducts research on them. We then providerecommendations that help clients set editorial agendas, develop communications and contingencyplans, identify new and emerging markets, and support reputation management programmes. e. Competitive IntelligenceThis process includes identification of competitor target markets and audiences, refinement ofmarketing strategy, identification of new customer segments and integration of communityrelations and outreach programs with marketing and advertising functions.Clients can then create tracking systems, analyze the data, develop employee and related stakeholderparticipation programs, and ensure that the information gathered is disseminated to appropriateinternal audiences. 2. Media RelationsDramatic changes within the media, fuelled by the Internet and electronic media, have had a profoundimpact on the public relations industry. Journalists are demanding news value and quality, andincreased competition means that the media is less patient and more critical than it was not on therequirements and interests of journalists and what makes news to them.
  54. 54. Write and circulate press releases.Organize Press/Financial Analysts Conferences.Arrange interviews of key executives with journalists.PROVIDE media training for client executives to help them develop and deliver messages effectivelyin interactions with the media. 3. Editorial ServicesAs a total communications company The Source also offers editorial services for annual reports,books, newspaper publications or website content 4. EventsThe Source believes that an integral part of the companys communication and brand-building processinvolves the organization of high-profile ground events.While sports events are a major focus - since they invariably catch the public eye - The Sourceorganizes a variety of promotions designed to build the public profile of a corporate.The Sources services include organizing the invitations, coordination with all participants andofficials, organizing the venue, hospitality (accommodation and food), equipment, transportation, andmedia management, among other things. Everything, down to the smallest detail, is taken care of.Among the events we have handled are: Retail promotions for McDonalds in Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad Launch of Herbal division of Lupin Ltd. with nine new products Launch of the Panasonic FJ Series Televisions in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata 10-day road show for Kinetic Engineering Ltd in Pune during the Ganeshotsav 2004.
  55. 55. 5. Investor RelationsA companys image is heavily dependent on two key influencers - analysts and the media. If analyststhink highly of a corporate, this perception filters into the media. On the other hand, if the mediaspeaks well of an organization, it enhances the analysts view of the company.Since analysts and the media are constantly influencing each other, either directly or indirectly, TheSource recognizes that it is important to build linkages with both in order to enhance a companysimage.
  56. 56. They use three key tools to develop these relationships Focused Perception AuditsThe Source carries out focussed perception audits aimed at assessing analyst/fund managerperceptions of its clients. The audits, which use the very latest qualitative and quantitative researchmethodologies, help clients to fine-tune their communication strategies and key messages. Annual ReportsThe annual report is a companys primary stakeholder communications tool; in addition to thefinancials, it conveys the companys vision, positioning, strategy, and marketing plans. Studies reveal,however, that most shareholders only spend three to four minutes reviewing this vital document. TheSource recognises that annual reports with in-depth research, crisp writing and great design couldmake all the difference in telling the corporate story to the people who really matter. Analyst MeetsOur strong relationships with the analyst/ fund manager community have helped our clients explaincritical corporate issues to these key influencers.
  57. 57. CRISIS MANAGEMENTThere are two important requirements for successfully managing crises.First, the company must work towards resolving the issues that created the crisis. Secondly, itmust act fast to manage the perceptions of the problem amongst its key stakeholders in order tosalvage and sustain its reputation and business.Knee-jerk responses to crises or wishful thinking that the crisis will blow over can only furthercomplicate situations. It is also not enough to identify the production problem or recall theproducts, rescue survivors, settle the labour dispute, or win a lawsuit. A company mustsimultaneously reach out to win the hearts and minds of the public in general and its directstakeholders in particular. It must act decisively to maintain its credibility and sustain the loyaltyof its customers, the morale of its employees and the commitment of its investors.SOURCE PR brings to its clients an objective, independent perspective and professionalexpertise backed by crisis communications experience in a wide range of situations involvingaccidents, hostile bids, government investigations etc. We work as a part of crisis managementteams comprising client executives, lawyers, bankers and develop and execute strategies thatprotect the client‘s reputation, their businesses and performance.CRISIS PREPAREDNESSCorporations are vulnerable to a crisis which can hurt its business, damage consumer, investorand employee confidence and in the worst cases, even threaten the very existence of thecompany. The actions of a modern-day corporation are also subject to intense scrutiny from avariety of interest groups and the media.Corporate crisis can be precipitated by a variety of situations including product defects orcontamination as the recent cases in India involving mineral water, cola and chocolates brands
  58. 58. have amply demonstrated. These crises have had crippling effects on brand reputations andconsumer confidence.Crises can also result from disputes in industrial relations, accidents, takeover bids, boardroombattles and family separations, litigation, government investigations or force major disasters.The best strategy is to be prepared for potential crisis situations. We work with our clients toassess their vulnerability to different kids of crises, and their readiness to deal with the crisis. Weassist in creating crisis communication plans and procedures, and create a crisis team to directemergency response. We also provide crisis communications training for identified clientexecutives using crisis simulation techniques.Such preparedness can strengthen a company‘s defenses and minimize the damage when a crisisdoes actually occur. At Source PR, we also advise on and implement monitoring mechanismsthat provide clients with early warning with regard to specific issues with crisis potential. Theseprograms can help a company pre-empt or diffuse crisis issues before they escalate.Corporate PositioningEvery industry is witnessing unprecedented levels of competition. As competition intensifies,companies must work hard to differentiate themselves from their peers. The companies mustcarve out a unique position in the minds of their key stakeholders based on their visions, values,unique strengths and the value that they bring to the lives of customers, shareholders andcommunities they serve. Maximizing shareholder value alone is not enough.Each company must identify and consistently project the unique value that it brings to themarketplace. As the pace of change intensifies, and as managements respond to these changeswith newer products and services, the companies have to redefine themselves for their presentand future stakeholders.At Source PR, we work with senior managements to define, create and implement corporatepositioning that will maximise advantage. We develop the key messages which capture and
  59. 59. express the positioning. We then design and implement communication initiatives which help thestakeholders understand the positioning.REPUTATION MANAGEMENTReputation Management ServicesAs one of the single most important assets, your organizations reputation demands seriousattention in todays formidably competitive marketplace. SOURCE‘S reputation services helpCEOs, brand stewards and professionals responsible for corporate communications, governanceand social responsibility to be decisive leaders at times of social and cultural change and to beconfident.One must be aware of the distinction between image and reputation. Image is temporal andsomewhat superficial, whereas, reputation is the enduring character of an enterprise and one ofits most valuable assets, the composite picture of its key traits as seen through the eyes of itsaudiences and in the context of the marketplace.SOURCE is a reputation management and public relations firm that takes a more comprehensive,thoughtful and creative approach to the challenge of communicating value to your variousaudiences. Our corporate tagline - Reputation Management With A Creative Twist, reflects theirphilosophy.We help our clients effectively manage their reputation through proactive efforts to enhance thecredibility of the brand by attracting the attention of the various target audiences towards eventhe smallest of their achievements. Similarly, we help our clients negate the effects of any crisisthat might have negative implications on their reputation through strategic counsel andmaintaining judicious transparency when dealing with the media.Online Reputation ManagementToday, most of the news is published on the Internet almost as soon as it happens. Most newsorganizations publish much more content on the Internet than in their traditional print publication
  60. 60. or broadcast. They also maintain searchable archives of past news articles as part of their Website. As a result, reputation management becomes all the more intricate to handle.The Internet is where the "buzz" starts about issues, companies, and products. It is wheremillions of people can readily find reviews, opinions, and consumer insights, providing keycrisis-specific information including rumors, attacks and scams, and reputation management orcredibility issues. Now more than ever, organizations must take an active role in their reputationmanagement.Millions of people participating in online public discussion groups have made the Internet thetruly the peoples forum - everyone contributes and every opinion counts. And news - good orbad, rumor or fact - travels faster on the Internet than any other medium. A single unhappycustomer, misinformed consumer, or disgruntled employee can spark an online and offlinereputation disaster for your company. Source can find and diffuse potential PR disasters for yourcompany before they become "breaking news". As pioneers of online reputation management,Source has the experienced staff and tools to manage and protect your corporate reputation andbrand online.Source ensures thoroughness in reputation management with unmatched breadth and quality ofservices. Source provides its clients with a single most powerful way to quickly discover bothemerging opportunities and threats while they can still influence their outcome - throughnationwide media monitoring services that include hundreds of Indian newspapers, TVChannels, magazines, trade journals, and also million of web pages and Media MonitoringServices

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