Use referrals to build your reputation

(credit Georgia State University)

(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.

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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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Time to be a thought leader

ClockCWhen PR leaders start saying ‘we tried that and it didn’t work’  they become the barrier to innovation.

The longer you lead a communications team the danger grows that you default automatically to what’s worked in the past. Of course the past is where your successes lie but it becomes a problem when it stifles the creativity of your staff and fails you for the  future.

That’s why good PR leaders are always thought leaders with the habit of spotting the trends likely to impact their organisations, teams, even their own careers.

Leaders have little time so if you’re just surviving the working week how do you find space to think beyond your inbox?
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Thought leadership for PRs

Thought leaderA

Image: Rusty Crawshaw

A PR thought leader must be part explorer, advocate and activist – a curious mix that can be a terrific boost to your career.

One of the skills you – the leader – need is the ability to spot trends likely to affect your organisation and team. This applies to all leaders but specially to PR leaders.

Communications, communities and institutions are changing at lighting speed and unless we anticipate the future we can easily find ourselves marooned in present practice with outdated skills and talking to audiences that have long moved on.

Feeling the future

Thought leadership is about preparing your career, your team and your organisation for the future. 
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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.
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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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3 content marketing wishes for 2015

2015_desk_calendar_pc_103721

Courtesy of joyfilleddays.com

Happy New Year!

Here’s three things I wish for content marketers wherever they are … and for you personally.

Firstly, may your campaigns succeed.  There’s no greater buzz than when your communication efforts really take off and the numbers roll in.  That could be media impressions, new customers, comments or clicks.  However you measure success I hope you get to experience that excitement at least one time this year.

Secondly, I hope you have the opportunity to learn at least one new communications skill this year.  The world is moving so fast and the crucial question to always ask is am I moving at the same pace or trailing behind? 
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PR struts tall in DC

Fred Cook received the Gold Anvil, PRSA's  highest individual award during the D.C. Conference.

Fred Cook received PRSA’s highest award at the Conference.

The usual bleats about PR were gone

I have just returned from the International Conference of the Public Relations Society of America attended by nearly 3000 PR people of all backgrounds and from all parts of the globe.

A key theme over the four day Washington DC meeting was confidence.

Indeed there was an air of confidence ‘in the room’ as delegates debated, listened and argued about the future of PR. Globally the communications economy is picking up and organisations are more aware than ever of the value effective communications brings to business bottom lines.
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the media is not dead – yet

Peter Hilmer says don't write off traditional media just yet.

Peter Himler says don’t write off media yet

“…we must be mindful that great “placement” in and of itself no longer has the capacity to drive a contemporary communications campaign. Stand-alone news stories are simply too ephemeral or lost altogether in the vast ocean of dynamic content. For a story meme to take hold today, it must reside and be amplified across multiple news and social channels even if that means using alternative (e.g. sponsored) means for achieving it.”

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You hear a lot about traditional media dying.  Yet there would be few organisations that do not want to be on TV, score front page or hear themselves on radio. 
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Put Volunteering On Your CV

A Linked-in colleague recently asked me about volunteering.

I am seeking some advice on how to best put down volunteering experience on my resume – I have been in both scenarios before and had volunteered my time around Canberra in various capacities and now, having relocated to Melbourne and pending a suitable job offer, volunteering my time as a fundraiser/marketing officer for (name withheld) something completely out of my previous field but thoroughly challenging and enjoyable. Your advice is appreciated.
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…and our thoughts are….it’s   great you’re keeping your PR skills fresh by volunteering.  And  yes, yes…do include those roles on your CV.
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