PR is Negotiation

15 01 2009

This semester I am enrolled in a negotion class at Clemson University with Dr. Wiesman.  The first day in class we were making a list of characteristics of negotiation.  This is what we came up with:

  • It involves at least two parties.
  • Negotiation is a give and take.
  • It is a win-win situation, in which both parties find a mutually acceptable solution to a complex situation.
  • We have a high concern for ourselves as well as a high concern for others.
  • It is a transformational process.
  • We create value and at the end of the negotiation, we claim that value.
  • We negotiate by choice.
  • It involves interdependence: both parties need each other; a relationship between the parties is necessary.
  • It involves mutual adjustment: both parties have to change their initial wants.

If you read this list of characteristics and did not know I was talking about negotiation, you may think that I am talking about public relations.  When writing down all these characteristics negotiation and PR seemed to mesh together more and more.  After all isn’t PR a mutually beneficial relationship in which both parties need each other.  PR is a give and take process.  Good PR involves two-way communication.  The organization and its publics need to be open to give something as well as take.  Also, good PR is transformational and involves mutual adjustment.  Sometimes the organization or the public or sometimes both need to give up their initial wants and listen to each other.  Only then can they come up with that 3rd alternative that is beneficial to both parties. 

From now on I am going to think of PR and a PR effort like a negotiation.  Both the organization and the publics need to gain something.

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