Spot the difference between a PR leader and a PR manager

leadershipIn late April I’m speaking at a Canberra conference for Government communicators about what makes a good PR leader.  And how to develop the skills and characteristics you need to lead.

It’s a subject everyone in the room is sure to have an opinion on. By nature PR people are very perceptive continually assessing the people around us in senior positions.

While the academic and HR worlds abound with definitions, leadership is a word you normally don’t associate with the PR profession. I have always taken the approach that in the communications environment the difference is easy to spot.

A manager arranges.


Read More

Fine line between PR and lobbying

LobbyistsEfforts in the US State of New York may limit the role of PR plays in grass roots campaigns.

Australian approach

Lobbying is a legitimate part of community communications but often it can look remarkably similar to what public relations professionals do.  Many large Australian PR agencies offer ‘government relations’ among their services.

The Australian Government Register of Lobbyists lists many of Australia’s largest PR firms as well as many smaller outfits.  From time to time the media scrutinises the actions of lobbyists in particular issues but the fact a (registered) PR professional can approach a government minister or senior bureaucrat on behalf of a client is unquestioned.
Read More

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.
Read More

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.
Read More

Leading from the second chair

 

Second chair1Most of us want to be led by someone with vision, energy and purpose but communicators don’t always get the type of bosses they deserve.

Sometimes you find yourself working for a manager who won’t or can’t lead. Maybe they’re fearful for their own career, lazy or just never got the opportunity to learn how to lead. A lot of managers fail to make the transition to leader.

The end result is usually the same. Poor leadership has a dreadful impact on a communications team – it stifles creativity, blunts enthusiasm and turns what should be an adventurous vocation into a job without passion.
Read More

Hold the flowers – newspapers ain’t dead yet

Two newspapers literally worlds apart are growing readership and developing new business models. And that’s good news for communicators.

Courtesy of Statistica

Courtesy of Statista

In recent times many people have questioned how newspapers can survive in the digital age. With so much online information how can a traditional newspaper break even let alone turn a profit?

Yet some mastheads are doing just fine and redefining what it means to be a newspaper.

Which is good news for content marketers and PR people because the oldest of the traditional media is reaching more people than ever before and telling stories in new and different ways.
Read More

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.
Read More

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.
Read More

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.
Read More

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.
Read More