Public communications. Third parties often monitor
communications between buyer and seller. Third parties might or might not have direct
influence on the communication. They are constantly affecting perception by how they
communicate among themselves and to your customers. Their communications can alter your
perception and belief in the company with which you are working. Example: The
- Perception and persuasion in corporate communication
- The necessity of communications. You cannot make a sale
without communication, and you cannot have an organization without it.
- Perception and persuasion are integral parts of communication in both the sale
and construction of the organization.
- Credibility is the key to all perception.
If I don't trust you, I don't deal with you. You can lose your permission to operate. Society can take
it away. Example: Microsoft and Bill Gates.
- Persuasion is used to build and win credibility
Journalists are one of many third-parties who monitor communications between
buyer and seller.
When journalists directly affect relationships between a company and the key
audiences on whom it depends for it survival and success, then media relations are
essential. Conversely, when they dont, they are not. Example: Clinton and the media.
- When companies don't need to deal with the media. Example:
corner grocery store. Example: business-to-business company with a small number of
- When companies have to deal with the media. Example: a
company with an essential public service: Gas, water telephone, garbage collection.
Example: A company whose economic might is so great that society cannot ignore its
presence. Intel, Microsoft, Ford, General Motors. Example: A company with vital
technologies whether or not it is large. Manufacturers of chip manufacturing equipment.
Necessity: One must communicate buyer, seller, item being sold and value in
order to complete a sale.
Public: When buyers and sellers work in public, they are watched by competitors,
regulators, consumer activists, supporters and owners. The vast bulk of publics have no
interest in what a company communicates, but some always do.
Perception: What people think about another
person, organization of company. Awareness through the senses of an
external object. Most people perceive little outside of immediate
self-interested concerns. They tend to accept facts unless they have a
strong personal interest. .
Journalists: A strong influence because they are news purveyors who condense
facts and perceptions into digestible words and pictures. Journalists influence is even
stronger because they are perceived to be without vested interest in what they report.
- Perception as old as individuals. Adam and Eve. The snake
depended on changing Eve's perception of God. He was withholding the fruit of all
knowledge from her and Adam. The snake had to gain credibility to make the sale and to do
that, he had to persuade Eve.
- Perception is always incomplete because it is limited by
our senses and our point of view. This is why persuasion and credibility are essential. We
cannot have complete knowledge.
- Example: We may think we know what a competitor is doing, but we also fear that
we don't really know.
- Perception collides with societal mores and standards
which may judge one wrong even though what one is doing is right. This is where persuasion
and credibility are key to remaining in existence as an economic organization. What
Microsoft is learning and IBM learned long ago.
- Fact: Perception has little to do with fact.
- Persuasion: Winning others to ones point of view
through rational and emotional appeals to cause someone to do something by reasoning
coaxing, urging, etc.
- Public relations is largely the ancient art of rhetoric or persuasion which
seeks to use as many media as possible to win key publics to its side.
- Public relations is also part of self-justification. We
tend to regard most of our actions as principled and we reject
criticism of what we do -- especially if we are making money. Society
on the other hand brings a different and sometimes, larger view that
condemns some self-justification.
- Evil persons can use persuasion to their own ends as well as good persons.
Stalin and Hitler. The odd trade-off by 30s liberals. Tobacco companies and the
right to smoke.
- A company that can complete economic transactions without justifying its
transactions can and will do so. E.g., drug dealers. As long as they can get away with it,
they will. Legitimate companies moving goods through shell corporations in third world
countries to avoid the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
- Companies must keep a positive perception among audiences
essential to survival and/or success. No company is loved all the time by everyone
nor should it expect to be. A company needs to be respected by those who have power over
its existence, such as shareholders, customers, employees and regulators.
Summary: Companies must keep a positive perception and
support among audiences essential to survival and success. This requires persuasion and
maintenance of credibility with these key audiences. When journalists are a part of those
audiences, companies must deal with them.
- Not essential to deal with journalists. Sometimes you can
avoid them by keeping quiet or by going direct.
- Lippmans theory of the searchlight. Public opinion.
- Theory of defining moments when you must deal with the
media and you had better know how to do so.
- Inevitability: When anything you do is going to be wrong.