• When surveys, awards become relevant

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    PR strategists are tasked to control if not guide public opinion by first creating it, rather than this be subject to the public if not the media. Control is the issue, which is why it is best to strategize in advance and not have media mutate into what it is they think of your subject.

    Media is the platform utilizing the traditional which are TV, radio and print, then comes billboards, social networking sites and below the line efforts. These platforms serve only as the vehicle for the awareness campaign. Strategic management on PR or public relations is the direction that is identified well in advance. There will be the short-term objective, the medium- and the long-term, or what we call sustaining assuming the strategy is to embed into the public whatever it is the strategist requires.

    In the end, it all boils down to content. Let us not forget media is but the vehicle—it is all about content! Other than the objective that needs to be identified and outlined, there is also the requirement of measurement.

    Time frames or periods come to relevance when measurements become pragmatic. The content in short is the perception your strategist has placed into order to control perceptions of the subject. Today’s communication platforms like the news generates perceptions be it true or otherwise.

    There is no such thing as to truth to perceptions generated like truth to advertising. In this particular issue, truth is not the issue but the objectives underlined “generated truths.” There is no longer any public opinion other than what is published and broadcast. Sure, you can formulate a crisis management strategist but you can only fan the flames if done poorly or reduce if not pacify the damage created.

    The problem the media has is they too, are required to generate an integrity to sustain their presence. And this is where surveys and awards become relevant. Media requires surveys to create integrity toward it are what they do to make them authoritative if not believable. This is the reason we see, read and hear of surveys. These are statistical reports be it fabricated or real, backed up by the claim of authority. The problem is, these surveys most of the times are bogus or of little value. The Gallop survey (USA) requires over 25,000 samples to come out with a reliable report for statisticians to dictate what it is people are trying to find out. Sample or focus groups are shortcuts that do not necessarily provide answers. In other words, surveys like media are tools as well.

    Then you have the final level of trustworthiness strategies which are awards that are supposed to generate the accolade, the endorsement, the believability, if you must, that the content driven for awareness is true. Only then can the whole PR strategy become successful. But how many award-giving bodies are there in the Philippines other than the many that are created locally for local consumption? Surely the best whatever; i.e. barbershop, supermarket, restaurant, salon, broadcast networks, products and services can’t imaginably all be the best can it? To make matters worse, the many award-giving bodies that promote a rag for their flimsy survey samples in their limited content platforms have to be bogus awardees.

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