Archive for May, 2011
For the past few months, there have been discussions in various PR communities regarding defining public relations and it seems to be a continual challenge. If PR theorists throughout he decades have different definitions*, it makes sense that the industry as a whole might be challenged to operate in one cohesive fashion.
Part of the challenge in defining PR, it seems, is that most companies, agencies and their practitioners consider PR the art of getting ink. Ink slingers, if you will. With such a huge misperception, we should be curious as to what other misunderstandings might be out there.
For this post, the working definition of PR will be:
Public relations is a management function that establishes and maintains two-way, mutual relationships and communications between an organization and the publics and stakeholders that often determine their success or failure. PR management includes on-going research, analysis, planning, and evaluation in order to understand, develop, and nurture strategic relationships.
Stakeholders are Publics, But Not All Publics Are Stakeholders
When PR is looked at as media (or blogger) relations only, a funny thing happens… Every reader begins to look like a potential customer (or donor, etc.). More ink equals more impressions equals more potential customers! (That philosophy usually adds up to a big ‘ol nothing if the only goal is revenue generation.)
It’s key in PR efforts to understand that not all publics are stakeholders. Stakeholders are the groups that have an actual stake in the organization: customers, donors, employees, students, shareholders, investors, etc. Publics are any group that might have a common interest or values in a given situation, but they do not have a stake in an organization. That certainly does not mean that other publics are not powerful groups.
Even More Goodness! Related Posts:
As a marketer, I have been impressed with how moms have worked with companies to make their voice heard and to get companies to understand that if their needs (and the needs of their children and families!) are met with applicable solutions, they will become brand loyal. As people become as comfortable with social media tools and sharing their voices as moms, I am confident that they will follow this path and forge partnerships with the companies that serve them.
I have tapped into four wonderful moms (of all boys!), Christa Miller, Shelli Johnson, Jeannie Cusick Walters, and Becky Carroll who just also happen to be some of the smartest communicators I know. Here’s the advice they’d like to share with fellow marketers and communicators:
“Don’t assume that all mothers’ experiences are alike. Some are very similar, of course, but motherhood is so intensely personal that even our reasons for (example) going back to work, self-employing, or leaving the workforce altogether to stay home are not as cut and dried as the actions you see. (Mothers forget this, too.) Parenting cuts to all our deepest wishes, hopes and insecurities, our most personal life experiences and the way we see this awesome responsibility. Respect that, whether in humor or seriousness, and you’ll win my trust.”
Even More Goodness! Related Posts:
“Industry only experience” is not a new requirement, of course, and exceptions have always been made for talented candidates. However, in a down economy, it seems industry experience becomes a highly enforced criterion used to close the door on marketing talent.
I am not in Human Resources (HR), so I cannot tell you why it happens (I have my suspicions though). However, I have been a hiring manager and will say industry experience is something I avoid like the plague when reviewing resumes. Why? Because industry experience has absolutely NOTHING to do with the level of experience, talent, drive, problem-solving skills, enthusiasm and passion a candidate has to offer, which should always be the benchmark when hiring. A smart employee can learn any industry. It isn’t rocket science—unless you are handling marketing and PR for NASA.
[Sidebar: Please do not use the ‘regulations excuse.’ Again, a smart employee can learn regulations. An exceptional employee, however, learns them and then figures out how to stay within mandatory regulations without allowing them to chokehold company goals and objectives (Read: Growth).]
According to Executive Staffing Solutions’ latest newsletter, there is good news and bad news when it comes to filling open positions. The good news is that there are many good positions opening up for candidates. The bad news is companies are not recognizing top talent when it comes through the door.