Make the most of referrals

(credit Georgia State University)

(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.
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How PR leaders can delegate more effectively

3Delegation builds better workplaces. Don’t believe me? Walk into a place where there’s frustrated staff, an uncertain atmosphere and low productivity and most likely you’ll find a boss making every decision, having all the ideas and insisting people work within strict limits.

Delegating is crucial for government, agency and not for profit PR leaders whether they manage small teams or large outfits.

Why delegate?

PR teams routinely juggle competing deadlines and multiple projects. That’s true for other disciplines but uncertainty and crisis are never far away from the PR professional. Plus there’s always a campaign in play, about to start or wrapping up.
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Bank PR may haunt Labor

Prime Minister Ben Chifley was responsible for the worst media release in Australian history.

In 1947 Australia’s banks launched a PR campaign against Prime Minister Ben Chifley.

This article first appeared in the Canberra Times, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.

You can almost hear the ghost of Prime Minister Ben Chifley applauding Bill Shorten’s calls for a Royal Commission into Australian banking.

Yet while Chifley might approve Shorten’s efforts he would probably think they do not go far enough. In 1947 Chifley, the train driver turned politician, led a Labor Government that legislated to nationalise Australia’s banks. In doing he triggered one of the largest public relations campaigns in Australian history, one that finally led to the defeat of his Government.
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Donald’s PR trumps politics

Trump #1Donald Trump is working a pretty sophisticated PR ploy with the fingerprints of reality TV all over it.

 

The American Establishment has been busy predicting Donald Trump’s demise since last June when he announced his run for the President of the United States.

Yet he has consistently led the national polls for the Republican Party nomination.

Trump was a reality TV star for 14 years and his show ‘The Apprentice’ made him an international celebrity. Now it seems he has migrated the essential ingredients of that genre into a campaign style that has delivered considerable success.

Trump is all about show.
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How we think stinks!

Neuroscience is more important than technology when it comes to PR.levitin_w_cover

In recent years there’s been amazing advances in how the brain operates. Neurosciences and other research explore what attracts our attention, how we process and store information and how we retrieve memories. This is critical study particularly for those of us whose careers depend on engaging others.

Each day everyone of us makes decisions while confronted by mountains of information and levels of distraction in Tsunami-like proportions.

I’m currently reading Daniel Levitt’s book The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload. Levitt looks at how the brain works and strategies to more use our brainpower to more effectively organise our personal, work and social affairs and ultimately make better decisions.
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Be a PR leader by asking these 3 questions

(Courtesy: Tech n' Marketing)

(Courtesy: Tech n’ Marketing)

As PR professionals we attend numerous meetings each month.  Probably too many for our liking. They can range from plotting a campaign to discussing tactics with your team, a client or colleagues.

You can establish yourself as a PR leader at these gatherings by posing three simple questions and in the process save at lot of time and trouble:

  • What are the media and social media implications of our issue?
  • Where are the stories?
  • Who’s got the images?

Media implications

At any meeting touching on PR ask those attending two simple questions. ‘How will the media react to our issue’ and ‘can the media tie this topic to something else?’

These inquiries get people thinking about the media implications of the topic on the table, and how to best present it to journalists and through social media channels.
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New PM good for Canberra communicators

malcolm

Malcolm Turnbull is promising more open communications

Australia’s new Prime Minister is changing how the Government communicates to Australians. In recent days the slogans that plagued us for the past two years are gone and the tone of Ministers is less shrill.  They seem more willing to answer questions and explain policy.

Prime Minister Turnbull has committed his Government to a more open communications style which will be good news for Canberra’s public sector communicators. In recent times they have ‘done it tough’ because the previous Abbott administration centralised information flows, restricted information and closed down dialogue.

Turnbull has been a parliamentary pioneer in social media which probably means agencies will place more focus on digital and social outreach in coming days.
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Major media release fails

Prime Minister Ben Chifley was responsible for the worst media release in Australian history.

A media release from Prime Minister Ben Chifley was among the most damaging in Australian history

Recently a strong community backlash forced the cancellation of a scheme to put black-clad officers of Australian Border Force on Melbourne streets checking visas.

The Government reacted by saying it was a big misunderstanding and named the culprit – a poorly worded media release cleared at a ‘low level in the organisation’.

Border Force media release – right thing but the wrong way

This media release did all what media releases are supposed to do. It captured attention. Unfortunately it was the wrong sort of attention and spiraled off into a media and social media storm, street protests and public ridicule for Border Force.
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Can Border Force regain reputation?

Australian Border Force (ABF) is only weeks old yet its first major public relations effort has been a disaster.

ABF-logo

Yesterday a strong community and media backlash quashed plans for Operation Fortitude where ABF officers were to join Victorian Police and other enforcement officers to crack down on anti-social behaviour in Melbourne.

The ABF’s role appears to have been to check on people overstaying visas.

Poorly conceived

Putting darkly clad public servants on city streets to check immigration papers was never going to be popular.  There is no Australian precedent and while compliance raids have taken place for years previously they were targeted at specific, suspected illegalities and announced after the fact.
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Melbourne judges the world’s best

IMG_2004

The IABC’s Gold Quill awards recognise communications excellence and can be the ultimate acknowledgement for a PR, marketing, internal or other communications project.

On Saturday I joined the Blue Ribbon Judging Panel in Melbourne to review entries for the 2015 awards. The Victorian  gathering was one of several judging panels around the world and reviewed  campaigns from Africa, Europe, North America and Asia.  Entries spanned 47 categories and the results will be announced at the IABC World Conference to be held in San Francisco from 14-17 June 2015.

The pic shows some of my hard working fellow panelists in Melbourne.
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