We're birds of a feather, public relations and small business.
Wonderfully compatible and a perfect fit. Usually makes it
easy to commit resources to small business success.
But, sometimes I wonder about those small businesses that
ignore the perceptions and behaviors of the key audiences
with the most immediate impact on their businesses - the
very people who hold the future of that small business in
To me, it's a matter of dollars and cents, even of survival!
So, what are we to make of small business failures?
Especially one where it's obvious that enough well-placed
publicity might have altered the behavior of sales prospects
in a positive way allowing the business to prosper and avoid
a Chapter Eleven filing?
What a waste!
Truth is, the folks who make up these key audiences, like the
rest of us, act on THEIR perception of the facts before them.
If a small business overlooks this crucial reality, and fails to
prepare by monitoring how these people view it, who is to
blame if misconceptions flower leading inevitably to negative
Of course, the small business itself.
The title of this article speaks of a commitment to small
business. While I believe that public relations is indispensable
to small business success, our commitment must be conditional.
We are committed to your small business, and will help you
every step of the way:
IF you take the time to meet with members of your key
audiences and evaluate their feelings and beliefs about you;
IF you are committed to move into action when you discover
IF you accept that what people BELIEVE to be true, versus
the truth, defines your public relations problem;
IF you are willing to raise your profile by regularly speaking
before business and fraternal clubs, by meeting with the media,
and by promoting your business as appropriate, thus building
the kind of good will you will need should things go awry.
IF you prepare carefully written, persuasive messages that
directly address the misconceptions you discover during your
IF you select effective communications tactics that will carry
your messages to those key audiences in a timely manner.
Tactics such as meetings, speeches, luncheons, facility tours,
promotional events, emails, media interviews and many more.
And IF you track your progress by speaking regularly with
members of those key audiences, and monitoring both the
media and the reaction of community residents and other
businesses, adjusting your strategy and tactics accordingly.
A lot to ask in return for our commitment to a small business?
Perhaps, but without such a commitment in return, a positive
result is unlikely.
Public relations and small business ARE wonderfully
compatible and a very good fit.
That's why my commitment remains on the table.
Please feel free to publish this article and resource box in your
ezine, newsletter, offline publication or website. A copy would
be appreciated at bobkelly@TNI.net.
Robert A. Kelly ? 2005.
Bob Kelly counsels, writes and speaks to business, non-profit and
association managers about using the fundamental premise of public
relations to achieve their operating objectives. He has been DPR,
Pepsi-Cola Co.; AGM-PR, Texaco Inc.; VP-PR, Olin Corp.; VP-PR,
Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.; director of communications, U.S. Department of the Interior, and deputy assistant press secretary, The White House. He holds a bachelor of science degree from Columbia University, major in public relations.
Visit: http://www.prcommentary.com; bobkelly@TNI.net