O lugar da transparência na comunicação

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Transparency and proactivity should be PR foundations by default. (Pearce)

Retirado de Craig Pearce

No artigo Truth in public relations absolute or relative? Craig Pearce escreve sobre a importância da verdade no desempenho da atividade de RP. A ler com atenção, até porque verdade, ética, negócios, objetivos, resultados são dimensões difíceis de conciliar.

«One of the mantras of ‘effective’ or ‘best practice’ public relations is ‘customise’. Customise, for the target audience: the methodology through which information is communicated; the language that is used; how much the approaches of broadcast, consultation, negotiation and organisational change are applied; and, most critically, how much ‘truth’, or how much ‘depth of truth’, is actually revealed through the communication process.

The key question I am raising – how much truth should be articulated through public relations programs – is a fundamental one for public relations. It’s not such a fundamental one for marketing, as it is adiscipline predicated on spin. Marketing creates products and services that meet a need or a want, then convince potential and current customers to buy stuff; then buy more stuff.

There are two further dimensions to this discussion.

Firstly, no doubt there are situations where the strategy behind the communication means that certain key stakeholders will need to be communicated with first. This might well be behind closed doors (I’m trying to refrain from the inverted commas, I hope you can tell…). An example of this is when politicians are briefed on a situation first as they are the ultimate decision maker on an issue, with other target audiences (communities, business sectors etc) communicated with second.

The second is that different target audiences will be concerned about different issues and, perhaps more relevantly, with different aspects of these issues. So it makes sense to mainly (but not entirely) communicate on the primary areas of concern to target audiences rather than those of little concern. (…)

One lesson that many organisations have learnt the hard way is deliberately obfuscating the truth will come back to bite you. Transparency and proactivity should be PR foundations by default. Any other approach needs to be carefully considered in light of an organisation’s guiding principles.

Making the right PR decisions about truth

Factors that will influence the process of making decisions about the content used in public relations and the timing of its release include:

  • Business objectives
  • Moral imperatives
  • Relationships and connections between target audience segments.

These three factors are, obviously, all interconnected. And how an organisation deals with them will provide at least some of its guiding principles.

Surely moral imperatives will play a significant role in how an organisation shapes its business objectives? And the relationships and interconnectivity of target audiences must play a significant role in an organisation’s pure marketing (the creation and selling, remember, of products and services).

These three factors should always be in the strategic public relations’ leader’s mind when she provides advice to an organisation in the way it not only communicates, but the way it conducts its business. Without the permission of its target audiences and other stakeholders to operate, it will not achieve its potential.

 

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