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Public relations is all about influencing audiences. When performed aptly, public relations can be an organization's most value resource for building brand value, maintaining vitality, and establishing credibility.

Over the past decade the PR industry pedestal has been cracked by less than benchmark standards due to old school practices. Unfortunately, those practices are so ingrained in the industry's culture and its archaic business model that they're difficult to shake. Or are they?

What if there were a new PR game? One as next-generation as XBOX 360 and as stealth as Air Force technology? Consider this - senior-level public relations professionals that ask executives and journalists what they want and then deliver!

PR sweatshops and press release factories be gone!

Clever PR firms are opting to break the old PR model of deep hierarchies, big egos, and humongous retainers. Savvy firms are beginning to realize that seasoned professionals with strong business backgrounds will take the PR bull by the horns. Not only do these revered executive practitioners treat editors and reporters with respect and provide them with the services they need in a fast, professional manner, but they're earning a special place at the elbows of corporate executives by providing much needed strategic counsel.

It's the ability to strategize that defines the advanced intellectual status; and the ability to implement that strategy that defines a great PR practitioner. Executives love to have someone besides themselves strategizing about their organization for the purpose of winning in the marketplace.

Skillful PR strategists are also keenly aware of the value of customer service, loyalty and ROI, and have the means to deliver. Customer service and loyalty are kissing cousins. Customer satisfaction is the basic entry point of good business practices, and customer service carries that forth - with a loyal PR / client relationship as the resulting golden egg.

Where satisfaction is the catalyst to the healthy client / PR firm relationship, ROI is the holy grail. ROI is also the hottest of hot PR topics.

Measuring the value of public relations services isn't easy. But it can be done. Although counting articles and clippings demonstrate that a client is appearing appropriately, frequently, and in a targeted fashion, they don't show changes in attitude relevant to the client's brand and reputation.

What clients really want is to be shown the money. When their most important customers are influenced and their behaviors change in a way that directly affects the company's ledger, that's great PR! Increased sales, increased share price, increased membership, increased sponsorship, funding, or other financial criteria are measurable, and depend on strategic business planning and implementation best handled by senior public relations strategists.

That's hot!

Thanks to Patti D. Hill ( president and founder of BlabberMouth PR) .

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