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Limitations:


Regardless of your talent, initiative, and
resources, even the most successful public relations practitioners and
strategies cannot:


·      
Fool
either the public or the media on any continuing basis.


In the long-run, nothing plays nearly as well
as the truth. People can easily see through most deceptions and misleading
statements. Use public relations and communication opportunities only to
disseminate the truth.


·      
Turn bad
practice into good.


LCCS makes a simple agreement with each
reporter that covers the agency. If we make a mistake or are wrong, we will
admit it and share the steps we will take to prevent the problem from
recurring. Along with being the right thing to do, this open, candid approach
has an additional benefit. If we tell them that we handled things correctly or
that we were right, they can know that it is the truth.


·      
Get
reporters to only write stories that show the agency in a positive light.


The best way and perhaps the only way to
consistently assure “good stories” is to never make mistakes or take
actions that are open to varying interpretations. Since this is not possible,
your agency will be in the negative media spotlight at times. Even so, if you
are truthful and forthcoming with reporters, they will generally be fair,
accurate, and even-handed as they report the news involving your agency. That
is as good as it can ever get.


·      
Fix
performance problems.


Public relations works in concert with and
supports all areas of your agency. If performance in a given area or of
specific individuals is problematic, that is what needs to be corrected. Public
relations cannot, on any sustained basis, fix or cover-up ongoing personnel
problems or operating deficits.


Consider these questions based on your
perceptions and your agency’s experience with public relations and the media.


Recall one media story in which your agency
was shown in a negative light.


·      
Was the
story factually correct? If not, what were the facts?


·      
What did
you find in the story to be negative or unfavorable to your agency?


·      
What
could or should your agency have done to prevent being put in such a negative
media spotlight?


·      
What did
your agency do to prevent finding itself in that spotlight for the same reasons
in the future?


·      
What
conditions or practices are currently present in your agency that make the
agency vulnerable to critical media attention and what is being done today to
reduce that future vulnerability?





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