Tag Archives: communication

PR101: When the going gets tough, keep going.

image-87Either you run the day, or the day runs you. –Jim Rohn

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I am a huge proponent of keeping yourself motivated.
One Heel Ahead exists for that reason. It’s a reminder for you to push yourself one step
further, and embrace new opportunities. However, sometimes you will face challenges that
test your patience. Maybe you’ve taken on too much at work, or you’re having disagreements with a fellow colleague on how to frame a pitch. Either way, sometimes all we need is a gentle reminder that things are going to be okay. Here is a brief PR pro’s guide to staying focused!

  • Take it outside. A little fresh air will remind you that life will go on.
  • Ask questions. If you’re confused, or seeking clarification, ask questions to get a better
    understanding of the task at hand.
  • Re-evaluate your eating habits. Skipping breakfast? Sometimes jumping off on the wrong foot is your first problem. Take a step back and see if your lifestyle may be impacting your mood.
  • Listen and learn. Take advice from your mentor, or seasoned professionals that you
    look up to. It helps to talk it through with someone who may have been in your position at one time or another.
  • Give yourself a break. “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” You’ll be surprised how refreshed you feel when you allow yourself some time to relax.
  • Talk to family or friends. If you live away from home, reach out and talk with someone that’s close to you. Perhaps a familiar voice will help you refocus and give you the
    motivation you need.
  • Always remember you’re doing the best that you can. Everything can’t go right all of the time. If you’re staying positive, and trying your best, that’s all that matters.
  • Take to Twitter! The PR community is a close-knit group on social media. Everyone is
    overwhelmingly supportive, and always willing to lend a hand. Sometimes all you need is to talk with someone who knows exactly how you feel!

You’re already half way through the week, so keep looking up!

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7 things you might hear from a PR pro.

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Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
- Benjamin Franklin

1. “I love my job.”

It’s true. On many occasions you will hear us raving about how passionate we are about our
career. Why? My theory is that a lot of PR professionals are fully aware of what the job entails
before taking the leap. We pay attention to detail, because we have to. This enables us to make
informed decisions, including decisions about our career. We understand the job is in a fast pace environment, with long hours, and requires strong communication.

2.  “Where’s the closest coffee shop? Who needs a refill?”

Sometimes our job can involve high-level stress. Our clients, whether they’re a corporation or an individual, can run into trouble or face a crisis. This means we’re on call 24/7 and we have to
respond immediately. In public relations, time is all we have to make things right, if things are still salvageable. Coffee – or any revitalizing drink for that matter – is a must. It keeps us alert, and ready to take action whenever we’re needed.

3.  “What’s another word for _____?”

Most of us are natural-born writers, or work hard to improve our writing. We also like to make sure we appeal to our audiences. This includes taking the time to refresh our vocabulary.
Besides having a pin-board for constant inspiration, my desk is stacked with word books. Whether it’s a dictionary, thesaurus, or grammar guide, I like to keep reference books around to
help my writing stay current.

4.  “Did you see the news this morning?”

For PR professionals, the news is like our second job. Besides the fact that we pitch to
journalists on a daily basis, we have to stay up-to-date on things that are happening in our
industry, or client’s industry. Reading the news is something that is second nature for us, and most likely we’re already one step ahead of you on a current story.

5. “I read on Twitter that …”

We’re privy to all things social media. Not only is it one of our everyday instruments for our job, but it’s also a way we interact with like-minded professionals. We’re not afraid to admit that some of our friendships started with a twitter follow! It’s a great way to network, and discuss
industry related topics. As well, it gives us an opportunity to share our writing, as well as others.
We will most likely refer to something we’ve read on twitter on a daily basis.

6. “Yikes. Where’s their PR team?”

We can spot a PR crisis before the average person. Let’s be honest, we all called which Super Bowl ads would get talked about the most before the rest of the general public did. We are
naturally in tune with the latest trends and hot topics. This means that we can spot a PR
problem before it even happens. Don’t be surprised if you hear “I called it!” a few times.

7.  “We need to sound more authentic.”

PR professionals stress the importance of sounding authentic in all aspects of their careers. This will include a discussion about creating an authentic brand voice, or even when referring to
their own personal brands. It’s all about staying true to your audience. As PR professionals, we understand the true value behind transparency and complete honesty. To gain credibility and respect, you must be willing to show your authentic self.

Have more ideas? Tweet me @Sam__Dickson!

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PR & the Weather: When Mother Nature Throws A Snowball

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Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.
 Anthony J. D’Angelo

Admit it. The winter weather has power, and a lot of it. After just being hit with winter storm Maximus, the city is being slammed with more flakes and freezing rain. So what impact does the adverse weather conditions have on business? More specifically, how does the weather impact public relations?

For starters, businesses function and depend on transportation. Whether it’s commuting in to work, or making deliveries for clients, there is an undeniable reliance upon the world of planes, trains, and automobiles. It all goes back to the old adage “if you bought it, a truck brought it.” The interesting thing about this topic is the wide range of industries impacted by transportation. It doesn’t matter if you work for a tech company, a restaurant, or a luxury fashion label – in some way or another your industry relies on some form of transportation.

When the colder weather arrives, it is important to consider ways in which your client’s business or industry will be impacted by delays or cancellations. This includes understanding how
transportation (or the lack thereof) may cause some public relations issues, or a crisis situation. Below I’ve compiled a list of impacts that you may face with your client, or your client’s business. As well, I’ve included potential ways to alleviate the issue, and prepare for a scenario before it takes place.

  • Internal Relations – When the weather gets bad, you need to consider the safety of all your employees. While you have a duty to your clients to be punctual for meetings,
    or conference calls, one thing you can’t control is the weather. The last thing you want to do is jeopardize people’s safety. In this situation, being prepared is key.
    If you are aware of potential weather conditions, have communication material ready to be distributed to your employees. This should include what will take place if it is unsafe to travel to work. If there are scheduled meetings to take place that day, be sure to have a strategy in place to reschedule or make the meeting virtual.
  • The Client – If you own your own firm, or work for an agency, you need to be prepared to communicate to your client about the inclement weather. Make sure you bring home client numbers and contact information if you are not able to travel to the office. Keep in mind that not all clients will be located in your city. Business is as usual on their end.
  • The Audience – If you manage in-house communications, have proper material in place for letting your audience know the effects of the weather on your business schedule.
    This includes operating hours or intended early closures. The best way to alleviate
    frustration due to a surprised closure is to inform the public as soon as possible
    about any changes.
  • Understand the Industry – As I mentioned above, each industry of public relations will be impacted by weather conditions differently. Road closures can impact the delivery of
    sample garments required for a magazine shoot happening downtown. On the other hand, scheduled flights for a celebrity’s interview with press might be canceled.

Make sure you’ve considered these scenarios and potential solutions, especially ones that
impact your industry directly. It all comes down to being prepared for these situations before they occur.

What other ways does the weather impact public relations? Tweet me @Sam__Dickson

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