Avoid advertising blahblah: the real meaning of Christmas?

Ah, Christmas messages – dontcha love ‘em? What do you say to your clients, your staff and other stakeholders during the festive season? Do you stick with the traditional Merry Christmas and Happy New Year? If so, you’re not alone! It has struck me that this standard message is regurgitated by a lot of organisations…

5 reasons why awards are important in PR

PR consultants often encourage their clients to enter awards. Why is this? Awards are a valuable recognition of your abilities and achievements – but also a great promotional tool. Award programs may: Provide case studies and inspiring stories to others Act as a testimonial or endorsement piece for re-use in your marketing channels Position you…

Unexpected PR questions

I was part of a ‘speed networking’ event recently, acting as the more experienced, (cough, older) PR practitioner to speak to new, emerging (and younger) practitioners about PR. It’s always refreshing to chat with people who are eager to hear more about your craft. And while there are many standard questions revolving around how to pitch…

You can leave your (black) hat on

A public relations practitioner is often the doomsayer in the room. It’s not because we’re naturally morose or negative people. (In fact, we’re naturally positive people who believe that our clients deserve attention and that we’ll produce stellar communication strategies. Someone has to believe.) We’re doomsayers because we are tasked with building and protecting reputation –…

A snapshot of public relations

What is public relations? Most businesses are familiar with the concept of advertising and marketing – but public relations can be misunderstood. As a business, you know you need to let your customers (or stakeholders) know what you have to offer. So you might advertise to let customers know about your products, your prices, and…

New social terms wanted! #sosheterm

Official dictionaries regularly add new words in order to keep up with our changing language. Often these have taken shape on social media platforms. The Oxford Dictionary language reference site recently added ‘bae’, ‘selfie stick’ and ‘cyberwarrior’. It was thrilling to see the term ‘concern troll’ listed on the site too because I’ve been thinking…

The symbiotic relationship: PR practitioners and journalists

I’ve worked in PR for many years and I am not surprised by research which demonstrates the extent of newsrooms’ reliance on media releases [as summarised in this post by Steven Raeburn]. A good media release can contain most of the information that a news article requires, especially if it is a straightforward public announcement….

My 2 essential public speaking tips

When it comes to public speaking, I’ve progressed from ‘terrified’ to ‘comfortable’. Many years of public engagements have assured me that I won’t collapse in front of an audience and I’ve grown to enjoy presenting. There’s a lot of shared wisdom about what makes a good public presentation but today I’m focusing on one aspect…

Closing the loop with your media coverage

Have you recently gained some positive media coverage? What happened next? Did you bask in the glow for a while? Tell family and friends? Did you keep a copy of the news article, or had you already told your connections in advance to watch the television to catch your seven seconds of fame? Media coverage…

“DIY PR” session coming soon

Once upon a time, I delivered a training session or presentation at least weekly. These days, I don’t take to the stage as much. So I’m very excited to be presenting a session on public relations next week. Public relations is a fascinating, broad field that encompasses reputation management, stakeholder engagement, issues and crisis management…

Missing the signs

When you’re in the hospitality business, you want to take every opportunity to promote yourself. Right? Why then, this strange trend for new hospitality businesses to erect signs on their construction sites which don’t tell us anything at all? Lately, I’ve seen too many upcoming establishments share ‘watch this space’ and ‘follow us on social…

My A List is better than yours

What makes an A list? Most of the public would define the “A list” as celebrities and wannabe celebrities. They’re the in-crowd who get invited to glitzy launches, wear the latest fashions, walk the red carpet and appear in the social pages. But like so much in the PR world, there’s more to an A…