Posts Tagged ‘communications’

Client checklist

January 15, 2009

  1. Speak simply. Briefing me is your audition for briefing the media. If you can’t tell me what your business does clearly and succinctly, then I can’t put you in front of a journalist.
  2. Don’t talk in acronyms. They are hard to understand and no one else will know what you are talking about. You are trying to inspire passion, not puzzlement.
  3. PR is a collaborative approach, not a combative one. I am on your side but sadly, I am not a mind reader. We are a partnership that together, hopefully, can create something better than you could do on your own.
  4. Let me change your words. That is what you pay me to do. I know you loved all 3,079 of those words that you wrote down for me on forensic accounting legislation or property law but I need to ensure that other people will love them too. My writing is not cast in stone and guess what, yours isn’t either!
  5. Don’t treat me like I don’t know anything. I may not know your area backwards, like you do, but I have to come to terms with a variety of industries quickly. And if you talk down to me then I am going to assume that you will do the same to a journalist. And guess what? They are definitely not necessarily on your side.
  6. Just because a media release is issued doesn’t mean it will be published. If you want a guarantee, take out an advertisement.
  7. Think strategically. You don’t have to do what your competitors do. You can do something differently. That is why you have come to a PR firm in the first place after all. And if you want to be exactly the same as your competitor then there is nothing really distinguishing you. You have no USP.
  8. Define yourself. Who are you and what makes you unique? If you can’t answer that question, it make it hard to sell you to others.
  9. Remember your customers. Who they are and how they find you drives your PR strategy. There is no point embracing Twitter, Facebook, or even a specific trade publication if your customers aren’t in that space. Go where they are. It is really that simple.
  10. Spokesperson. The best person to speak to the media is not necessarily the CEO. It might be the CFO, the CIO or even the receptionist. What you need is the person who is best at communicating to your target audience. That’s the only decision you need to make.

Failure to brief

January 15, 2009

Part of the problem about working in PR is the sorry fact that many clients think that you know all there is to know about their business after an initial briefing.  They don’t realise that the more detailed and clear the information that they provide , the better the quality of their PR and the more effective the results.

Recently, I had a client ask me to write up a series of  media releases and then get offended when I queried the acronyms that they used.

Just because a client understands and uses terminology does not mean that the general public will understand these terms.  And when you compound this with technical data you are asking for trouble.

Part of any PR professional’s mandate is to simplify things – not to complicate them – and if a client can’t explain adequately what they want in a media release and doesn’t appreciate being questioned then you know damn well that putting them in front of the media will be a mistake.
And probably an expensive one at that.

Who owns the conversation?

December 4, 2008


These days it isn’t about who you are or what you say – it is about the conversations that you are having and how valuable these conversations are to other people.

It’s “Gossip Girl” gone mad!

Many people though don’t understand this process and, to them, getting a message across is a one sided engagement. They write a media release and send it to a journalist and then wait for it to be published.

Or they create a one-dimensional website saying “this is who we are.”

Feedback is to be feared because they no longer have control of the subject under discussion and now have to engage or respond. And they have to do this in a public forum.

But then again what is worse? Having your customers unhappy about your products or services and you having no way of knowing this – or having someone write to you and you respond quickly and accurately with the information. Other customers (or clients) read about the positive experience that they have had with you and everything moves forward.

I guess the only thing you have to fear is whether you are up to the challenge!

Moi?…Which hat today??

November 14, 2008

Who am I?

A plethora of stuff depending on which hat I chose to put on…

Corporate communications specialist, speechwriter, author, public relations director, academic, doctor, wife, twitterer, writer, researcher, mother, Islander, sister, daughter, aunt, bullshit artist, expat, traveller, nomad, Australian, social media student, and, of course, blogger!