Magazine article Records Management Quarterly

A PR Plan for Records Managers

Magazine article Records Management Quarterly

A PR Plan for Records Managers

Article excerpt

A Public Relations Plan--for yourself?. Be serious! You're a records manager, not a rock star, entertainer, or politician, right? Wrong! Even if you don't consider yourself to be a salesperson, there are two products you are going to HAVE to learn to sell in order to obtain success in your career: Records Management and YOU ! If you have some idea that doing a good job is all that is necessary to get ahead in your career, forget it. The old adage about not hiding your light under a barrel is especially true in the business world today. If you don't toot your own horn, you'll be passed right by on the highway of life.

There are four general principles that pertain to selling anything.

1. Speak to A Need. Have confidence not just in your profession, but in the contribution YOU can make to any business endeavor. Remember:

* Records are the product produced by office work.

* Records are a resource--a vital factor of production needed to carry on today's competitive business operations.

* Records provide the information upon which business bases its decisions and documents its transactions.

2. Generate Savings. Records Management programs can generate savings in time, money, and staff resources valued by all aspects of business.

3. Make It Easy to Use. Technologies have their place in records management, but the profession is based on common sense. To implement good records management policies and procedures, one does not have to learn to speak. a special language or completely scrap their old way of doing business.

4. Relate It to the Familiar. Provide solutions for known problems. Tackle those small, aggravating things that keep us from being really productive. Use your "corporate lingo" to describe and sell the concepts of records management.

There are basically two kinds of salesmanship, manipulative and non-manipulative. Manipulative puts the cart before the horse, imposes a particular solution no matter what the problem, and assumes control of the decision making process. Non-manipulative selling is built around a trust relationship that promotes openness and honesty. It requires two-way understanding and appreciation of the business problem and respects people's desire to make their own decisions, promoting the concept of "BOUGHT" not "SOLD."' Defining the problem completely and then offering alternatives, even poor ones, allows those involved a choice and encourages them to become part of the solution.

Records management is not the primary product for sale here. Your most important product is yourself. You can't expect upper management to "buy" the program you suggest unless they are already "sold" on you. Since every product needs a good public relations plan to sell it to its various publics, start now to develop a Public Relations Plan for YOU ! Let's define our terms:

Public Relations is the total communications effort of a person, a group, a government, or any organization to all its various "publics"

Publics are those persons or groups upon which one depends or that one must influence

Now that we know WHAT, let's look at HOW.

DEVELOPING A PUBLIC RELATIONS PLAN

Taking standard public relations tenets, there are five steps in developing a public relations plan:

1. Target your market

2. Develop short and long term goals

3. Refine your packaging

4. Develop an advertising plan

5. Promote recognition You can use these same steps to promote your number one product, YOU ! Target Your Market

First and foremost, KNOW YOUR PRODUCT. You can't sell something to someone else unless you know it inside and out. Take stock of all your strengths and weaknesses. Then decide how to maximize your strengths and minimize or correct the areas where you are less strong.

Few of us ever take the time to really look at ourselves objectively as other people will. …

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