Corporate Communications Tag

Earning Respect for Public Relations Pros

Lately I’ve been wondering if those of us in the public relations industry are ever really going to do the things necessary to earn the respect most people in this business deserve. Sure, there are plenty of PR hacks out there. But as with every industry, for every one of those, there are dozens of knowledgeable, experienced, ethical and talented PR pros.

 

So, how do those of us who care about things—like respect for our chosen profession—go about making that a reality? Good question!

 

Here are some thoughts to consider:

8 Tips to Success in PR

These 8 tips to succeeding in PR are about more than writing well or liking to work with people—public relations is really all about selling. And it’s also about solving problems, understanding your clients’ businesses and many, many other things.

 

One of the reasons I opted to get a degree in public relations (and yes, it is a Bachelor of Science degree) is because I didn’t want to follow in my successful father’s footsteps.

Actions Speak Louder than Words

Change signChanging the perception of the public relations industry requires more than a new definition. That shouldn’t be news to anyone. Just saying something will not make it a reality. Smoke and mirrors won’t change anything.

What’s interesting is this is not a new conversation or problem. It’s been going on since before I earned my Bachelor’s in PR way back when. It’s about much more than being able to tell people what you do for a living. There’s a fundamental lack of respect for PR practitioners in the public view, and a lot of it has to do with the vagaries of the compensation model.

Shared Views: Is Bank of America Deaf?

According to CNBC, The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that Bank of America (BofA) is considering new fees. This time, the targets are those with low balance checking accounts who don’t use other bank products. I’m not quite sure how BofA thinks this will ‘sell’ when the monthly fee on debit cards failed so miserably.

There is no question that BofA, and pretty much all banks, have been hurt by new limits on debit card transaction fees and other restrictions imposed by Congress. Most of us understand that. We also understand that banks are in business to make a profit. They are not charities. No problem.

3 Ways to Prevent PR Disasters

Today’s guest post is written by Jenifer Olson.

I felt kind of sorry for the McDonald’s social media director who unleashed a backlash of negative press with the #McDStories hashtag promotion last month, as shared in this Mashable post. During my more than 20 years in marketing communications and PR, I’ve found experience can be a strong, if harsh, teacher.

That got me thinking about some of my most important communications lessons over the years and these three seem relevant to the McDonald’s issue:

Shared Views: PR, Personal Data & Culture

Southwest VistaThis is the view of San Francisco from the Vista Park just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. I took this one at about 6:30 a.m. on my way back home after picking up a friend at the airport.  It’s the only time I’ve pulled into that tourist parking area and I’d have missed this great scene if my friend hadn’t asked to stop. I guess I drive past this view so often that I was forgetting to stop and enjoy what a beautiful place I live in. I’m working on fixing that mistake by paying closer attention to what’s around me.

With that, here are some other views that got my attention this week:

It’s About People!

Audience Listening to Musical ActI detest words like “publics, audiences, markets, influencers and opinion leaders,” and I especially dislike “stakeholders.” We all know what the terms mean, but I worry they make us forget we’re communicating with human beings. Sure, we are talking about groups of people with similar interests and issues, but we’re still talking about people.

Communications is about convincing people who are motivated by the same things that motivate us.

Answer the Question!

Young BoyGood public relations people know how to get their clients ready for interviews. We know our clients’ goals and objectives, and can help them project a favorable image if we prepare them well. But what happens when we don’t? Below is a recent case in point from ‘Face the Nation’ with Bob Schieffer.

I think Schieffer is one the smartest interviewers in the business and I enjoy watching him on ‘Face the Nation’ because he’s totally prepared. His questions are often tough, but almost always fair and based on facts. From a PR point of view, that’s the best you can ask for and you should be able to get any client ready to engage with him pretty easily.

So why do I frequently want to yell at his guests, “Answer the damn question!”

Last Sunday, Schieffer shared my frustration when he wrapped up the show with a commentary about political candidates who don’t answer direct questions. You can see the full segment here, “When politicians don’t answer questions,” but I especially loved this rant:

Listen & Learn Your Way to Communications Success

Message on Typewriter Paper = Open Your MindCorporate communications is challenging. New issues every day, shifting sentiments and changing media channels mean there is always something to learn. If you want to get ahead as a communicator, you need a curious and open mind.

You also need a curious and open mind if you want to stay on top, no matter how many years of experience you have. The value of your experience begins diminishing the minute you stop learning because you think you know everything.

Rich Becker (@RichBecker) at Copywrite, Ink., got me thinking about all this with his post about Making It Up: Orabrush Marketing. Basically, some smart young marketers realized they didn’t need to reach millions of people to succeed. Instead, they needed to reach a few people at Walmart who could put their product into the hands of millions for them. It was a huge success without wasted effort.

Three Ways to Get to Simple Communications

Red Autumn LeafGetting to simple is one of the hardest things communications professionals ever do. Gathering input and getting approvals can be a battle every step of the way. But each time you keep clutter out of a message, you’re a step closer to success.

Whether planning, writing or executing, communicators always need to be looking for ways to simplify. The people whose ideas stand out will be those who tell the clearest, most compelling and candid story. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling or the situation you find yourself in, the simple message will be the one that people hear.

The founder of the global PR agency, Hill and Knowlton, John W. Hill, wrote, “…the chance of persuading public opinion when a cause is right, increases in direct ration to your success in explaining your facts in terms your audience can grasp.”