Patti D. Hill
service is hot.
subordinates calling the media is not.
Public relations is all about influencing audiences. When performed aptly,
public relations can be an organization's most value resource for building
brand value, maintaining vitality, and establishing credibility.
Over the past decade the PR industry pedestal has been cracked by less
than benchmark standards due to old school practices. Unfortunately, those
practices are so ingrained in the industry's culture and its archaic
business model that they're difficult to shake. Or are they?
What if there were a new PR game? One as next-generation as XBOX 360 and
as stealth as Air Force technology? Consider this - senior-level public
relations professionals that ask executives and journalists what they want
and then deliver!
PR sweatshops and press release factories be gone!
Clever PR firms are opting to break the old PR model of deep hierarchies,
big egos, and humongous retainers. Savvy firms are beginning to realize
that seasoned professionals with strong business backgrounds will take the
PR bull by the horns. Not only do these revered executive practitioners
treat editors and reporters with respect and provide them with the
services they need in a fast, professional manner, but they're earning a
special place at the elbows of corporate executives by providing much
needed strategic counsel.
It's the ability to strategize that defines the advanced intellectual
status; and the ability to implement that strategy that defines a great PR
practitioner. Executives love to have someone besides themselves
strategizing about their organization for the purpose of winning in the
Skillful PR strategists are also keenly aware of the value of customer
service, loyalty and ROI, and have the means to deliver. Customer service
and loyalty are kissing cousins. Customer satisfaction is the basic entry
point of good business practices, and customer service carries that forth
- with a loyal PR / client relationship as the resulting golden egg.
Where satisfaction is the catalyst to the healthy client / PR firm
relationship, ROI is the holy grail. ROI is also the hottest of hot PR
Measuring the value of public relations services isn't easy. But it can be
done. Although counting articles and clippings demonstrate that a client
is appearing appropriately, frequently, and in a targeted fashion, they
don't show changes in attitude relevant to the client's brand and
What clients really want is to be shown the money. When their most
important customers are influenced and their behaviors change in a way
that directly affects the company's ledger, that's great PR! Increased
sales, increased share price, increased membership, increased sponsorship,
funding, or other financial criteria are measurable, and depend on
strategic business planning and implementation best handled by senior
public relations strategists.
Hill is president and founder of BlabberMouth
PR . As a recognized leader in a new generation of PR executives,
Patti founded the firm that has become one of the most innovative and
progressive in today's marketplace.
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