Have you ever seen 10lbs of public relations? Or, have you ever touched stakeholder engagement? How about a good reputation? Can you physically carry goodwill to the bank, although thankfully nowadays it has made its way onto the balance sheet?
No you cannot! These are all intangibles, but stakeholder engagement and managing a company’s reputation is as much as important as its financial, manufacturing and human
resources strategies. But unfortunately for the public relations practice its craft is most
time only valued in times of crisis. However, the important unseen tactics such as
monitoring the media and the general environment and planning programs to match what
is found is most times overlooked. Monitoring 90 percent of the times averts major crises
as the practitioner is able to catch an issue when it is in its infancy rather than when it has
spiraled out of control putting the reputation of the company at risk.
Recently I had a client say to me that I should do a job at a discounted rate because there
were some months that we did very little for their retainer. Of course my blood literally
started to boil because we monitor the media, both traditional and online on a daily basis
and updated their website and social media platforms. This comment immediately
devalued the worth of these activities and the persons who do them. But this thinking is
Many companies, for example, do not understand the importance of messaging. What do
you want your stakeholders to say and think about you? You control this through the
messages you put out on there. How do you know what people are saying about you? You
can only know this through monitoring. How can you influence what they think about you?
Only through putting your messages out there.
Monitoring and messaging then are public relations tactics that every company needs but
under values. They are intrinsically intertwined. Doing one without the other is putting a
lot of unnecessary guesswork into your communications strategies. Every company needs
to have fresh content of value to keep its website relevant and maintain the perception of a
modern institution. Every company needs to keep feeding its stakeholders with information so that there is no information gap. Every company needs to know what its stakeholders are saying about it. Companies that neglect these strategies find themselves irrelevant to their stakeholders and eventually out of business without knowing how they ever got there. Don’t let this happen to you!