The four-step PR concept created by John Marston – RACE

intro2publicrelations

This acronym defines a particular process of Public relations.

Research

– This phase is mostly about finding what is the problem/situation. It describes the problems faced by the organisations it looks at what is involved and how specific it is to the directions of the organisations goals. In this phase PRP can look at maximizing the most positive outcomes.

Action

– This phase is mostly about program planning and what is going to be done about it. The main focus in this phase is to determine the best course of action to address to the problem.

Communication

– The communication phase is all about determining how the public will be told; it utilized all of the appropriate media to ensure that the message can be delivered successfully to there target audience. If they are successful it will have positive affects on the organisation and its public.

Evaluation

– In this…

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What are Electronic Public Relations, ePR, Digital PR?

ePR, sometimes called Online PR or Digital PR, is quite recent compared to traditional PR with its decades of history. It is mostly the strategically planned use of internet-based and new media tools and technologies to build and to maintain a dialogue (Two-way communication) between an organization and its publics. ePR also offers a major contribution to manage online crisis, when social media and online reputation are impacted.

Marketers are wrongly trying to tell the world that they have the expertise of online content management with inbound marketing and content marketing, but only PR can pretend that.

Read more.

Harper est un génie, voici pourquoi

Stephen Harper, premier ministre canadien qui a certainement cumulé le plus grand nombre de critiques dans l’histoire de notre pays, va remporter les prochaines élections haut la main, prédiction de stépru.

Les canadien(ne)s n’ont rien vu venir, que du feu ! Que du feu et une invasion de niqabs à la grandeur du pays alors qu’il doit y en avoir quoi une centaine, quelques centaines au maximum ? Mais c’est que Harper veut, car il ne veut pas parler de son bilan et des nombreux enjeux de société.

Voici donc le fondement de mon prédiction:

  • Harper savait très bien que la décision de la cour reliée au niqab soulèverait les passions au Canada (avec raisons), d’un océan à l’autre, et qu’il serait le seul à pouvoir combattre cette décision de la cour, Harper le grand défenseur des canadien(ne)s. Il fallait donc que ça se passe durant les élections.
  • Son acharnement à combattre le port du niqab en cour pendant les élections et la défense des valeurs canadiennes vont lui donner des ailes vers la majorité absolue, vive le roi Harper !
  • Pendant ce temps, on ne parlera pas de son bilan sur l’économie, les relations internationales et l’environnement; une vraie catastrophe qui dure depuis déjà trop longtemps. Son bureau de la propagande marche à plein régime, Harper nous l’a démontré à maintes reprises. Harper est un as dans la propagande et dans le contrôle de l’information.
  • Il a donc déclencher les élections les plus longues de l’histoire afin de pouvoir piétiner le NPD et le parti Libéral le plus longtemps possible et laisser la voix libre au Bloc au Québec pour démolir le NPD.
  • Le retour de Duceppe est un cadeau du ciel pour Harper car le Bloc va faire mal au NPD au Québec. La position du Bloc sur le niqab va également favoriser la destruction du NPD dans la belle province; le NPD qui est, répetons-le, une nuisance crédible pour Harper, mais il apprécie beaucoup la présence des Libéraux en Ontario et du Bloc au Québec pour semer la division dans les partis d’opposition.
  • Harper ne veut pas d’une opposition forte, il veut une opposition en miettes pour mieux régner, ce qui lui donne amplement de temps pour travailler seul, les partis d’opposition étant dans la reconstruction.
  • Redonner une majorité à Harper, c’est accepter tout ce qu’il a fait pendant les dernières années, il le sait très bien et il en est très fier.
  • En passant, les canadiens à l’étranger n’ont plus le droit de voter, une autre stratégie harpeurienne, car la diaspora canadienne ne votait pas en sa faveur.

Tout cela a été judicieusement calculé par notre empereur Harper.

Diviser pour mieux régner est la plus grande habileté de Harper. Ce qu’on ne réalise malheureusement pas, c’est l’impact fort négatif de son bilan sur l’économie canadienne, l’environnement et sur les relations internationales.

Alors les canadiennes (de vieille souche pour citer Harper) iront-elles voter avec un sac de papier brun sur la tête pour protester?

Qu’on l’aime ou qu’on ne l’aime pas, Harper est un génie ! Une génie de la propagande et de la stratégie électorale 🙂

Revisiting a powerful corporate asset: Credibility

Here is why a corporation should invest in building credibility

We often hear about corporate trust, corporate reputation or leadership but rarely about source and corporate credibility. Experts frequently try to convince corporate professionals and spokespersons to follow rules and tips, or a 10-step process to improve their credibility. Or even worst, how many times did you hear that a spokesperson needs only expertise and charisma to be credible?

It is actually a wrong understanding of this fundamental skill and powerful intangible asset that is credibility. Based on a research realized in the early 2000 (now under review by its author), it is impossible to build and maintain credibility through a 10-step miracle process sold by charlatans, credibility lives and dies within an open system (Prud’homme, 2004).

Credibility as an open system

Contrarily to a close system, an open system lives through constant interactions between its internal and external elements, this is what Ludwig von Bertalanffy called negentropy in 1968 through his General System Theory. He defined an open system “as a system in exchange of matter with its environment, presenting import and export, building-up and breaking-down of its material components” (von Bertalanffy in panarchy.com). A detail important to remember is that

A central topic of systems theory is self-regulating systems, i.e. systems self-correcting through feedback (Wikipedia).

In the following figure, it is possible to see the typical spokesperson’s credibility system with a general view as well as the five elements and the different interactions between them.

Untitled

These five elements, individually or all together, could have major impacts on a spokesperson’s credibility, whether it is a communication dramatic situation, e.g. a crisis, powerful stakeholders attacking the corporation’s reputation, messages not adapted to a situation, bad communication strategy associated to a wrong public targeting tactic, all that might lead to a disaster in terms of losing credibility, especially in a crisis situation, during which everything is accelerated, as we all know.

Once practitioners and leaders understand credibility as an open system, they can start to appreciate the system’s elements and the interactions between them as well as the factors that structure and build corporate spokesperson’s credibility.

Credibility factors

In the same study (Prud’homme, 2004), it has been found that ten credibility factors/components influence the population to judge a spokesperson credible or not, because at all times a spokesperson is credible only in people’s mind, his/her audience.

As you can see in the following table, the top-10 factors are common sense. But what was new in this research is how to integrate these factors to a credibility system and how to build and maintain (and even regain) credibility.

factors

As it is possible to see in the right column of the table, a spokesperson can control almost all of them, except charisma. Some scholars say that some leaders are able to develop charisma, it is true indeed, but it is harder to develop charisma than exercising control on the other factors.

The intimate relationship between a spokesperson and his/her credibility

Credibility is not only related to influence and persuasion, but also to the act of informing, communicating, having a dialog with an audience, receiving feedback. That is to create and maintain a relationship of trust and sharing between a spokesperson or a corporation and their publics and stakeholders.

We must understand that credibility exists only in function of a reflection or a perception, it does not exist by itself, it starts in the mind of every member of an audience. A spokesperson is not credible because he/she thinks that he/she is credible, it is only how the audience perceives his/her credibility.

Members of an audience must have confidence in him/her and must have the feeling of being respected. (Prud’homme, 2004)

Credibility does not equal effectiveness. A credible spokesperson sincerely wishes to establish and maintain a relationship of trust and mutual understanding with his/her publics rather than being effective. I mentioned “dialog” because credibility is a two-way symmetrical communication (Grunig and Hunt, 1984). A credible spokesperson always demonstrates a great flexibility and a mindset of openness along with a constant authenticity.

To be credible, a spokesperson should know his strengths and weaknesses, because above all, he/she is a human being in a complex and uncertain environment (Prud’homme, 2004).

Finally, we must understand that credibility is built, managed and can be strengthened, but never won (Prud’homme, 2004) and that anyone should avoid at all costs to perform miracle recipes such as: “10 steps to become an effective spokesperson” coming from public speaking best-seller handbooks.

Credibility is lived day by day. It is a lifestyle one chooses to live or not. Credibility reinforcement is an arduous and long-term approach that positively contributes to build trust and reputation as well as a sharing and constructive dialog between a spokesperson and the population.

Credibility before trust and leadership

A fact that so many practitioners and leaders forget is the primacy that credibility has over trust and leadership. It should be easy to figure that if there is no credibility, there is no trust, no leadership. Therefore, trust and leadership should be considered as credibility’s crucial elements.

It is especially true in crisis management. How a spokesperson and a corporation could be trustworthy and recognized as a leader, two major considerations in crisis management, if there are not credible?

Why a corporation should invest to build credibility?

Managers who do not believe that they should seriously prepare for possible crisis to arise are not able to answer this question and they probably already stopped reading this blog anyways.

Credibility brings not only an impressive return on investment (ROI) to corporations in terms of two-way symmetrical communication and a powerful and long-term relationship with all stakeholders, but it can also save corporations from a disaster originated through a crisis or even solve it. It also contributes to reduce uncertainty.

The only constraint when a corporation decides to work on its credibility is the time, and in business, time is cash. People do not realize how long it could be to build a credibility sound enough to help them to get out of a crisis situation or to build a relationship with stakeholders. We often say that it takes years to build credibility and it takes hours to lose, and it is so true. On the long run though, it is worth to invest time as well as above-the-line, below-the-line and through-the-line capital.

Why your publics and your stakeholders should listen to you when you try communicating about a crisis or an issue if they do not believe you at first?

__________________________

Author:
Stephane Prud’homme, MA, i.e.MBA, PhD Candidate
stepru.com  |  credibilityinstitute.com
All Rights Reserved – 2015

Keywords: Credibility, source credibility, corporate credibility, spokesperson, trust, reputation, crisis, crisis management, uncertainty, return on investment, ROI, two-way symmetrical communication, management, leadership.