Bulletin No. 24 | November – December 2004

Topics in this issue

REMARKS FROM THE EDITOR

Every CEO and board with whom the editor has talked has placed a high importance on achieving a good corporate reputation. Executives and directors know that a good reputation allows them to attract more capital, gain a higher multiple of their stock, enhance their recruiting efforts, improve employee satisfaction and attract customers. However, executives misunderstand how reputations are achieved and maintained, and as a result, are likely rely too heavily on corporate advertising and events organizing, while at the same time not doing enough on reputation building activities with stakeholders.

Why do companies fail to achieve their desired reputation? Some argued that the problem is related to a given situation. Others would argue to the inadequate funding for marketing and corporate advertising, or poor execution by their marketing or public relations staff or agencies. Whatever the excuse, it seems to vacillate between seeing the company as a victim of circumstances, or blaming internal staff for their inability to tell and convince others of the message.

Corporate reputation is by-product of good positioning, once the heart of strategy. Positioning looks at how a company is perceived, how its want to be perceived, what actions, resources and organizational changes are needed to close the gap. When companies do not achieve the reputation they believe they deserve, there often is considerable blame placed on the marketing and public relations organization.
In fact, many companies with good investments and solid corporate professionals in communications fail to achieve good reputations.

While importance of corporate brand advertising and public relations is indisputable, it is a mistake to look into these activities as the primary vehicles to drive reputation. Reputation can be diminished rapidly if the essence of doing public relations is ignored considerably.

We would like to thank our clients, sponsors, partners and selected individuals who participate in our activities for 2004. Without your supports, we remain nothing!

Best wishes,

Elizabeth Goenawan Ananto
Editor


TIPS OF THE MONTH

Change Triggers

  • There are conditions and situations under which change is most likely; these should be considered triggers that acts as early warnings and can alert a company to the need of heightening its analytic and planning efforts.
    These triggers are usually caused by:
  • Internal organizational change, in mission goals, objectives
  • External change, in markets, technological developments, or condition and status of competitors and their offerings.

The following ten tips might allow you to recognize impending change internally and externally before changes happen beyond your control

  1. Decide who, in each of your functional or structural area, is best able to scan the internal and external environments
  2. Decide, to whom report on early signals of change should be addressed
  3. Appoint someone, in a supervisory level, is best able to authorize a response to warnings of change
  4. Evaluate the most efficient way to communicate needed changes
  5. Decide what processes needed to react to early warnings of change
  6. Decide when to give immediate response to early  warnings of change
  7. Appoint a person, who can be assigned to coordinate your recommended responses to upcoming changes
  8. Decide who is the best to implement those recommendations
  9. Select the best and effective negotiator and spokesperson to represent your area when response to upcoming change requires the cooperation of other organizational units
  10. Anticipate what can be done to recruit support among management and non management personnel for the changes proposed

(Source : How To Initiate and Manage Change, M. Silberman)


PUBLIC RELATIONS

Keys to success in public relations

To be a successful public relations practitioner demands a wide range of quality and skills. The man or woman who aspires to reach the top rank needs to have sound judgment, personal integrity, a specialist knowledge of methods of communication, organizing ability of a high standard, and above all a strong personality and a capacity for leadership.

There is not room at the top for everybody, and many people prefer to specialize in particular branch of the work, such as in media, films, or exhibitions. Having experiences in all branches of public relations before deciding to specialize is a great benefit. This is because no part of public relations is in a completely watertight compartment, and even in large departments where the work is sectionalized it is almost useful to be able to double up in case of sicknesses or emergency.

The following list gives the necessary qualities:

  1. Abundant common sense
  2. First-class organizing ability
  3. Good judgment, objectivity, and keen critical faculty
  4. Imagination, and the ability to be tolerant to others’
  5. An infinite capacity for taking pains
  6. A lively inquisitive mind
  7. Willingness to work long and inconvenient hours when necessary
  8. Resilience, have a great sense of humour
  9. Flexibility and the ability to deal with many different problems at the same time.
  10. Ability to write, capable of correcting and sub-editing other people’s writing.

Five Deadly Sins

  1. Never speak of public relations in highfalutin mumbo-jumbo
  2. Do not seek personal publicity
  3. Never apologize for the views of the chairman or other CEOs
  4. Never patronize or talk down to the press
  5. Never think of, or speak of, press relations as being synonymous with public relations (Read: because it is not!)

(Source : Practical Public Relations, S. Black)


ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE

Key Characteristics

There is a wide agreement that organizational culture refers to a system of shared meaning held by members that distinguishes an organization from the other organizations. On a closer analysis, this is a set of characteristics  that the organization values.

  1. Individual initiative: responsibility, freedom and independence that individuals have
  2. Risk tolerance: the degree to which employees are encouraged to take initiative, and risk taking
  3. Direction: to what extent the organization creates clear objectives and performance expectations
  4. Integration: the degree to which units within the organization are encouraged to operate in a coordinated manner
  5. Management support: whether managers provide clear communication, assistance and support to their subordinates
  6. Control: the number of rules and regulations, the amount of direct supervision that is used to oversee and control employee behavior
  7. Identity: the degree to which members identify with the organization as a whole rather than with their particular work group or field of professional expertise
  8. Reward system: to what extent the reward allocations (salary increases, promotions, experience) are based on employee performance criteria in contrast to seniority, favoritism, like and dislike and so on
  9. Conflict tolerance: the degree to which employees are encouraged to air conflicts and criticism openly
  10. Communication patterns: the degree to which organizational communications are restricted to the formal hierarchy of authority.

How employees learn culture?
Culture is transmitted to employees in a number of values, beliefs and behavior, for example:

  • Leadership
    Following the leader, patterns of life
  • Length of time
    Attitudes and behavior patterns are more deeply rooted in long serving employee
  • Interaction with colleagues
  • Culture keys Discipline, Trust, Support, Stretch stimulate employees to strive for challenges and raise their expectation

(Source: Essentials of Organizational Behavior, S.P. Robbins)

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