(credit Georgia State University)
A referral is a gift and a terrific opportunity to build your reputation.
As a PR manager you have industry knowledge, high skill levels and a circle of contacts. That’s why sometimes people approach you for a referral to someone in your network. They want your help in contacting an individual who can help them with career advice, an interview, information or with thoughts on a business idea.
Referrals are gifts
When you give a referral you are giving a gift to the person seeking your help by laying open your networks for their benefit. And like other forms of gift-giving a referral has a distinct etiquette – which when followed – can enhance your professional standing by:
- Demonstrating your industry insights and connections.
(credit Georgia State University)
Referrals are terrific tools for PR professionals. Recently a colleague landed a story by asking for a referral to a newspaper editor and a communications start-up is growing by asking others for help.
Talk about referrals often turns to sales, marketing and business development. Today I’m talking about personal referrals where either you ask for help or set out to help others. That can be to source information, get an interview, land a job or get buy-in for a project. There is art and etiquette to referrals which can help you succeed, or if neglected burn your bridges.
Image: Rusty Crawshaw
PR executives may not be responsible for how other leaders perform but we should call out poor leadership, agitate for leader development and model behaviours others can follow.
Biggest ever survey
Last week the Melbourne-based Centre for Workplace Leadership launched the Study of Australian Leadership, the largest ever survey of its kind in Australia.
The Study looked at the state of leadership and management across the economy. And although it has crucial, nationwide implications it received scant attention probably because the Federal Election is absorbing all attention.
Almost 8,000 people in 2,703 organisations and 2,561 workplaces took part in five surveys including CEOs, HR specialists, midlevel managers, front line leaders and employees.
I have been incredibly lucky to work on small PR campaigns which have been adaptive, creative and passionate and ultimately successful. There must be larger organisations with these qualities but surveying the current state of Government and corporate Australia, give me the small outfits every time.
What type of PR campaign would you prefer to work on? For me, smaller PR campaigns especially those involving not for profits and community groups are always attractive.
I guess it is counter intuitive to be in business and aim for small rather than grand communications campaigns. After all isn’t business about making as much money as possible?
The fictional Malcolm Tucker in the UK series ‘In the Thick of It’ was masterful at manipulating communications
Overusing caveats is one reason trust in government and corporates is disappearing fast
Today so much official communications is shrouded in caveats and it’s getting harder to separate substance from spin.
Phrases like these are commonly used by spokespeople, ministers and managers to stall media, protect reputations and hide information: We can’t talk about this because the matter is:
- Before the courts
- Commercial in confidence
- Impinges on privacy
- Involves national security
- A decision has not been finalised
- Negotiations are continuing
I’m sure each probably originated for perfectly good reasons, but now they are often the response of first choice and thrown up as barriers and reasons not to communicate.
This past few days accusations have been flying around the Australian Parliament about Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (or his staff) allegedly using his position to help a friend gain access to government-supplied finance.
The same friend has “lent” Mr Rudd a utility truck (ute) which he uses as a mobile billboard in his Brisbane electorate.
The Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull sees this a a flagrant abuse of Prime Ministerial power while Mr Rudd denies the accusations. An Auditor General’s investigation into the matter kicks off shortly but right now it’s a case of he said she said.
One PR outcome is certain.