Archive for the ‘Public Relations’ Category

Submitted by: Joseph Augustine

Over years& years, hundreds of highly respected professionals and educators have developed comprehensive and often complicated descriptions of what makes for effective corporate communications. There have been heated discussions regarding the separation of public relations from advertising, public relations from marketing, and the very role public relations should play within the organization.

It should be started slowly by taking small steps. Public relations are a service and support function, not a policy direction activity. PR people need to advise and assist in branding activities online and offline. They need to become involved in assisting purchasing, HR, sales activities, face to face encounter training, trade show activities, web activities including customer service/customer support, and other efforts that involve the companys brand franchise and the organizations bottom line results.

Too frequently PR people waste their efforts because they are so busy practicing public relations, but they forget their primary mission. Effective public relations are much like a three-legged stool:

*Understanding the companys anchor value,

*Understanding the customer value propositions, and

*Understanding the marketplace positioning of the products or services.

Understanding the three legs will help the company better benefit from sales, profits and other long-term returns. Those three terms are briefly explained below.

Companys Anchor Value:

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The companys anchor values should control and guide every strategic and tactical PR activity. From the day it opens its doors, every firm is based on specific purposeful and fundamental values that highlights the companys strategic ambition, direction and plan for the future.

Without a good understanding of these values, it is impossible for public relations to honestly and effectively deliver for the company. Without a clear understanding of what the company is trying to achieve, public relations simply goes through the motions. But by being on the same wavelength, PR and management can ensure the right basic message is always delivered, that it is delivered to and through the right channels, and that it achieves the desired impact and objective.

It is a mixture of your motives, values and how you see your own personal competence.

Customer Value Propositions:

The second leg of a sound PR program is to clearly understand what the anchor values mean to the consuming public. This means you have to translate the companys values into general and product/service-specific customer values and benefits.

All too frequently PR people tend to list the tangible, technical and functional benefits and stop. The focus is a one way stream from the company to the marketplace, rather than giving the effort to understand and project this information in consumer terms.

In the business world, customer value is the amount of benefit that a customer will get from a service or product relative to its cost. Some businesspeople explain customer value as realization compared to sacrifice. Realization is a formal term for what customers get out of their purchases. Sacrifice is what they pay for the product or service.

Businesses of all sizes use customer value as part of a greater analysis to determine how well they are supplying their customer base. Detailed research might include what customers generally do with the products they receive, or how they use services to increase the value of assets like real estate. Businesses also look at the prices of their products in order to price them competitively.

Businesses that identify the value of their wares to customers might go a step further and consider other similar ideas. In order to generate more thought about customer value, and to reach out to a customer base, a business might promote a customer value proposition.

Consumer value is one of the latest ways in which marketers have sought to analyze customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is important because it leads to repeat purchases.

Marketplace Positioning:

The third leg of the PR program is product/service positioning, which will vary from market segment to market segment.

Positioning is defined as the act of designing the companys offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the target markets mind.

In marketing positioning has come to mean the process by which marketers try to create an image or identity in the minds of their target market for its product, brand, or organization.

*Positioning is a final step in the segmentation targeting and positioning step.

*Positioning requires a holistic approach and is one of the most useful tools for marketers.

*Positioning is almost completely about perception. How the customer perceives your product or brand is what positioning is all about. Thus the best mass marketers like to use marketing tactics which touch the whole market, example Vodafone Zoo zoos.

*Perceptual mapping is generally used to determine the positioning of a product in the target market.

*Positioning can make or break a brand. A rightly perceived product / company get lots of returns from the market as compared to a wrongly perceived company.

Positioning is a powerful tool that allows you to create an image. And image is the outward representation of being who you want to be, doing what you want to do, and having what you want to have. Positioning yourself can lead to personal fulfillment. Being positioned by someone else restricts your choices and limits your opportunities.

Positioning is a perceptual location. Its where your product or service fits into the marketplace. Effective positioning puts you first in line in the minds of potential customers.

About the Author: Joseph is a Software developer and freelancer writes in blogs and develops free website services. He and his wife are working on different websites and free java tools. Some of the websites are given below.

prcompanion.com

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By Steve Gee

Don’t Skip Pre-Employment Background Screening

Everyone knows that one of the secrets to long term success in any organization is hiring the right people for the right job. Your staff need to be able to do their job competently and at the same time, fit in with the people that they will be working with. Having a solid employment background check procedure to follow when screening job applicants can be a huge benefit to you during the pre employment process.

When you employ someone new I’m sure that you would like to think that this new addition will be an asset to your business for a long time to come. At the same time your applicant will be trying to impress you and convince you that they are the best candidate. Some applicants are so desperate that they will manipulate their resume to the point of downright lies. This practice is more common than you might imagine so it’s surprising how often employers do poor screening checks or don’t do them at all.

Ask the Job Seeker for Permission First

Get your applicant to sign a waiver prepared by your legal experts before you go looking for background information. The waiver should provide you with permission to access any personal information that you might need to process the application. The prospective employee should be aware that they are giving up their privacy in return for being considered for the job.

The Difference Between Reference and Background Checks

Many people are either confused about the difference between reference and background checks or they think that they are the same thing. They are not. A reference in this context is a person who has worked with your candidate sometime in the previous 7 years and who is prepared to talk to you about them. You need 3 references to get a good picture of the person.

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When you do a background check on someone it is to confirm and validate any documents or information that they have given you and of course, to be sure they are not using an assumed identity. Also check for arrest warrants, criminal records and any other information that might be relevant.

Consider the following when you draw up your employment background check procedure.

Court Records

Checking with court records offices all over the country would be an impossible task as there is no official database of all records in one place. You can and should check with state and county court houses in and around all of the places that the applicant has lived or has worked in recent years. They might still have a criminal record or arrest warrants or other records elsewhere but at least you will have made a reasonable effort to find them.

Drivers License

You only need to do this if the employee is required to do any driving. If it does then take the license and check its validity by giving the issuing agency a call.

Credit Checks

If the job has got anything to do with money then you should do a credit check. For most posts that are not concerned with money or finance in any way then a credit check may be of not be worth doing.

Other Licences

It seems that the more respected is the profession, the less inclined employers are to check that licenses to operate in that profession are valid. It sounds incredible but it is possible to find yourself treated by an unlicensed employee simply because noone bothered to check that the license was current and valid.

Academic Achievements

Why is it that so many people lie about their academic qualifications and grades to get jobs? Could it be because it will probably work as hardly any employer checks them? Call the college or institution to make sure that the applicant did gain the qualifications that they say they did.

Use a Public Records Database to Get your Employment Background Checks Started

Most if not all the background and validation checks above can be performed easily by making a series of phone calls. It is however time consuming so why not start your employment background check procedure by searching an online public records database. This is a method of background checking that is super quick and could give you enough information to make a decision without picking up the phone or commissioning an expensive employment checking service.

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