Your Most Powerful Weapon is Public Relations
Question for entrepreneurs: Do you take public relations into account when handling your communications tactics? If the answer is no, then you really should be giving the matter some thought. The communications tactics you apply to the promotion of your business must interact with each other, in order to achieve the desired changes in the behaviour of the specific targeted groups who are vital for success. If you adopt a comprehensive public relations strategy and combine it with effective tactics, it will lead where you want – changes in perceptions, shifts in behaviours, and customer satisfaction. The truth is that no company/ organization can succeed today if the behaviour of its most important clients/consumers is not corresponding to the organization’s set of objectives. For your business, this means that public relations professionals must change someone’s behaviour if they are looking to help you achieve your goals and succeed. This is why public relations executives seek to shape, change or enhance public opinion; approaching, persuading and mobilizing the people whose behaviour affects the business. Often, entrepreneurs focus their attention on the immediate impact of their tactics. For example, how was a speech accepted? What kind of impressions did a press release create? How was their business portrayed in newspapers or on TV? How did the public react to a specific event? Of course, these reactions are perfectly understandable. However, the question you have to keep in mind is: Why exactly am I applying these tactics? Am I applying these various public relations tactics just because I am enthused with the idea of press releases, special events and giving speeches? Obviously, the answer should be no. Tactics should be applied to achieve a change in behaviour. To evaluate the changes we bring to behaviour and determine the level of success of our basic public relations programme, we must look for the evidence which shows that behaviour has actually changed. Such evidence will start to show online, in print and television media coverage, in letters to editors, the consumers’ reactions, and so on. The fundamental power of public relations gives a particular weight to each tactic chosen to convey a certain message to the targeted audience. Does your tactic contribute significantly and actively in changing perceptions and behaviours of an audience? If the answer is no, then the simple truth is that it should be discarded and replaced by a tactic which will produce results.