Monday, May 14, 2007

Innovative Negotiating is Basic PR

The Grand Rapids Press business lead article on Sunday was about a company in Middleville that used what the paper called "innovative" bargaining practices with its labor union.

However, once again, this innovation is really fundamental PR.

The chart in the article compares 'traditional' vs. 'interest-based' bargaining. The comparisons range from "adversaries" vs "joint problem solvers" to "secretive" vs "open."

To the unitiated--like the business staff at the Press--it might be hard to see a PR connection to this story. But that's because most people see PR either minimally as publicity seeking, or pejoratively as deception.

To PR practitioners with experience, an education in the field, and perhaps accreditation (APR), the connection is clear. Employees and unions are a "public." The essence of public relations is to build and maintain "mutually beneficial relationships" with all publics.

In that sense, this article had fundamental public relations written all over it. Too bad the Press and most mainstream media write nothing about it.

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