The day of a public relations professional is full of writing — media releases, memos to colleagues and bosses, critical communications with clients, advertising copy, brochures, reports, social networking, emails, phone messages, ad abundum.

So much of our success is simply determined by how well we clearly communicate, that we owe it to ourselves and our readers to buff up our abilities, preferably with minimum pain and maximum gain.

Here are six sure-fire ways to liven up your PR copy and keep your reader engaged. Even better, not a single writing suggestion mentions the words grammar, spelling or punctuation!

Tip 1) Use resonant flesh-and-blood characters rather than boring old nouns. If I was writing a memo about sales, my characters would be clients and customers, rather than projections and results.

Tip 2) Use action words that propel your readers along. We love to see verbs that power us visually from one place to another, rather than just sit there.

Tip 3) Perform the 8-word test. Keep your characters and actions within 8 words of each other, so your reader can easily follow who is doing what. The fewer words between the nouns and verbs the better.

Tip 4) Link complex sentences and phrases with connectors to help your reader navigate through the text. Good connecter words, for example, are however, because of this, therefore, thus, and so on.

Tip 5) Lead your readers from old information (first) to new information (second). Establish common ground in your message development, gently nudging your audience from comfortable familiar territory into the strange and new.

Tip 6) Use the Problem-Solution-Action paradigm. One of the most common writing complaints I hear from my students is they don’t know where to begin. If you start with a problem statement, followed by a solution proposal, and wrapped it up with an action plan, a memo can write itself!

There you go — give the tips a try your next time writing an email, and see if your message doesn’t come through easier and more effective.

Part of the objectives behind PR, besides exposing your clients brand or services, is measuring return on investment. It’s extremely important for any PR pitching, to understand how it is they will evaluate the success of any campaign. There is a monetary value assigned to editorial publicity based on the advertising value.

According to Laura Boon, Be a Winner Pocket Books, “Most PR agencies work on a factor of three, editorial is worth three times the value of the equivalent advertising space because of the added value intangibles such as the endorsement of an independent third party in the form of the journalist covering the story”.

Boon continues to explain that “one can measure your spend on PR (retainer and project fees) against your spend on advertising”.

Besides from calculating the actual value of the PR editorial, any PR should ask themselves during the evaluation phase, if it was in the strategy? Did we achieve the goals? Change we create change of the audiences’ perception? Did it help increase sales? Etc.

Clients need a reason to invest in any PR company, ROI is a vital way in which the client benefits. PRO’s gain publicity and editorial, and the client gains a return on their investment- it must be a beneficial partnership. images

 

Any company that makes a profit should support the CSR idea. “CSR is a process with the aim to embrace responsibility for the company’s actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere who may also be considered as stakeholders”.

 

In my opinion, a company is easily preferred or mostly supported if their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts are high. I believe any company that considers their CSR/CSI efforts as a goal, will in turn receive a lot more support.

 

Giving back not only shows that the company cares for its surrounding community, but it also convinces most customers to support their company above others as it has rewards for those in need.

 

CSR should be a top goal within the management levels; management should implement ways of creating an environmentally friendly office, supporting its community or even attain the BEE Scorecard as effort to support those who are not financially stable.

 

I believe it should be up to a PR to decide, implement and evaluate a client’s CSR efforts, and discuss how often or what tools and models should be used in order for our clients to benefit from giving back Diana Laverdure explains that “many companies don’t realize is that their good deeds can also generate broad publicity coverage, further enhancing your corporate reputation and brand image”.

 

Need more reasons as to why a company should invest in CSR? Read the six business reasons why companies should embrace corporate social responsibility- http://www.forbes.com/sites/csr/2012/02/21/six-reasons-companies-should-embrace-csr/

 

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I always say we can gain a client today, and lose it tomorrow. This simply means a PR should be great at catching a new client but need to sustain, communicate and create publicity to keep most clients happy.

“You communicate, you communicate, and then you communicate some more. Consistency, simplicity and repetition is what it’s all about” says Jack Welch.

PR is all about using primary channels to communicate with current or future customers, show off your client’s services or products, and build relationships with media.

To understand PR, the simplest of terms is, PR is earned space whereas advertising is bought space. A PR would work a lot harder than advertisers, as we don’t pay for coverage, we pitch for coverage.

A great PR practitioner would use its skills to promote new brands, reviving an old brand, change the clients positioning in the market, create a name, building a good corporate reputation, establish a trend or market, build awareness, or even issues management.

In my opinion, any PR employee should be an extravert, willing to build friendships and work that extra hour if its means your client could be featured.

According to Laura Boon, “there are many different types of PR you can practise to develop and protect your brand’s public profile, from media relations, corporate social investment to internal communications”, it’s up to us to decided which tool best works and which area of PR we fit in to.

I believe what makes a good PR , is the ability and skills to use all types of PR to sustain, grow and put positive spotlights on our clients.

Social media, is it really social???

Is social media really social??? Technology has advanced so much that we do almost everything via a computer. The good old days of face-to-face connections have been decreased largely because it’s cheaper and easier to communicate via technology without lifting our bums.

We have become rather reliant on the use of technology; if our emails don’t go through we apologize for not communicating the message due to technology being “down”. Why has it become so difficult for society to go back to making real efforts to communicate without technology?

Yes, technology does carry out effective messages needed, but sometimes it’s the human factor and face-to-face connection that is sometimes needed to close the deal. Humanity needs to not only rely on technology, and communicate the way it used to be. Pick  up the phone, go visit and make the extra efforts  to make the connections with others without only using technology tools to do so for you.

Socialising should consist of socialising physically, not using social media tools to pretend to be actively involved in socialising. Surely socialising isnt sitting infront of a PC practicing social media….. it’s socially meeting others to communicate.

Realizing you need to make your own decisions, you make the goals, you make the move, and you are in charge of yourself! We cannot hold anyone else accountable for what actions we take or what actions we are afraid to take.

Take the advice……..

We are essentially the ones who hold ourselves back, I hate it when we second guess ourselves, we question our abilities and question whether we are fit for the task. Not an easy task to set our own minds correct, as its far easier to tell a friend off, or family member, but when its ourselves we need to fix and convince, it’s the most challenging task.

Individuals are in charge of themselves, no one makes you do anything you don’t want to, never blame others for your actions. It shows a lot more by taking responsibility of your own actions and behaviours, rather than pin pointing the blame on someone else.

The tragic heart sinking feeling the moment I had realized one of my animals have gone missing. The sick feeling in your stomach questioning what could you have done, where are they, have they eaten, are they alive, crazy questions run through your head and the answers you just can’t seem to find.

The crazy nerve about some people is they say “it’s just a cat”, “it will come back”, or even “why don’t you get another one”, what possess people to be so arrogant. To some of us, animals seem to carry more sentimental value over that of humans.

An animal seems to bring a certain vibe, atmosphere to a house. No matter how bad your day has been that animal is there and happy as ever. They respect the hand that feeds them, guard and project us, and give pieces of love back in their own ways. How awesome is it to speak to something that doesn’t “back-chat”, but simply just listens.

When I realized my animal has disappeared, it broke a part of me, it made me feel uneasy, and I needed to find it. But I realized I cannot have any control of when it would returned, I had to simply wait for God’s work.

…….

Conventional adj

  1. 1. Following the accepted customs and proprieties, esp. in a way that lacks originality conventional habits
  2. 2. Established by accepted usage or general agreement.

Based on the definitions above provided by www.thefreedictionary.com, being conventional could just be the normal or usual way of practicing things. Being safe could be seen as a tool of being conventional and safe isn’t always the easiest route to take.

Doing things the right way isn’t necessary the easiest, and for that reason people take risks, take the shortest routes and make quick decisions to pass through a tunnel of difficulty. When doing things the conventional way, it could be “boring”, simple and basic in order to reach the desired goals, we do sometimes need to take risks.

We need to move away from our comfort zones, or what’s socially or morally accepted, and take the risk that could or would lead to greater things for us. We shouldn’t be shy to stand tall, make the change or take that risk, conventional is for sheep, stand apart from the heard.

Words of Wisdom

Trying to chase 2 rabbits at the same time???

I believe there is nothing more concerning than someone who starts something and doesn’t finish it. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Take on one task at a time. Don’t chase two things of you can only handle one?

Chasing after two rabbits hypothetically, can leave you questioning which rabbit it is you want more, what will you I you catch one and not the other or should we just give up? Don’t chase after them both, set one as a goal, complete the task, rest, and then go in for the next one.

Remember that if you chase them both, not only have our wasted time, but you will look like you have failed, as you had set a goal that could not have been realistic. You will shine better if you chase one goal, accomplish it and then head for the second goal.

Why chase two things at one time, you might have two hands, but who says you don’t need two hands for just one rabbit?

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