3 Bad Habits PR Pros Should Break to Be Taken Seriously as Business Leaders

Whether it’s biting your fingernails, talking with your mouth full, procrastinating, slouching, gossiping or smoking cigarettes, let’s face it: We all have a nasty habit or two we could stand to break in our everyday lives.

The world of public relations is no different—there are nasty habits lurking around the proverbial corner that could trip up and derail even the most meticulous, seasoned and goal-oriented professionals.

1. Prioritizing your own creativity over business results. “Sometimes PR professionals get stuck on all the creative activities and amazing results,” says Reis. “They don’t present [results] in a way that resonates with leaders outside of communications, leaving them wondering how to interpret the impact on the bottom line.”

2. Emphasizing impressions as a valid PR metric. PR pros need to spend more time explaining what impressions really mean for business goals. “We need to stop trying to value PR with advertising metrics,” Reis says. “We need to focus more on ROI and impact. What does it mean to get a great story in a national media outlet or 20,000 engagements? More and more [of] our clients are asking us to show the value of successful PR efforts that can justify budget allocations at the C-suite level.”

3. Sharing the details of PR execution with senior leadership. When having conversations with leadership, start by answering “why and what.” “More often, they don’t want to know the details of execution,” Reis says. “They need the key facts that will help them make a wise decision. Then, our clients typically trust the agency can execute successfully.” PR strategy and activities need to also align with the business objectives. Always ask this question: “How is PR achieving the mission, reaching targeted audiences?”

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7 PR Leadership Do’s and Don’ts

When it comes to leadership, most of us have an idea of what is effective and we have all seen numerous inspirational quotes pertaining to the subject.

For instance, author John Maxwell once said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”

But things aren’t always that clear cut. Denise Vitola, managing director of PR agency Makovsky, observes, “When it comes to leadership, there are many people who get it right, but far too many people get it wrong. Interestingly enough, you can learn from both types of situations.”

DO:

  1. Listen: In order to manage someone, you have to know what makes them tick. You won’t ever know what makes them tick if you don’t listen to them. You’ll be far more successful in your career and with people if you listen first, listen again, listen more and then speak. There is a reason we have two ears and one tongue. Try to be curious by nature and ask a lot of questions. You’ll learn some really neat stuff and people will know you care.
  2. Show respect: We need to value and honor others. As a leader you will want respect, but you will not get it without giving it. Good leaders will lead by example and to do that they need to portray the same values they want from others, like showing people respect and admiration for themselves and their work. If you are genuine, your staff will feel much more willing to work hard, and together you will be successful.
  3. Be honest: While honesty seems so simple, it is one of the toughest areas for an organization. The majority of employees complain about the lack of transparency at their organization. In order to be honest, you need to be fair, compassionate and transparent. Not only is it important to show your staff you are completely honest with them, you need to maintain ethical and honest behavior for your clients. Honesty will go far in an organization and will build a tremendous amount of trust for you as a leader. That trust has a high cash value as it will inspire your employees to run up a hill for you.
  4. Have integrity: When you tell people you are going to do something, do it. If you are not going to be able to follow through, tell them soon and tell them why. Integrity is extremely important as a leader. Employees want to know they can count on their supervisor/manager or boss to be responsible and reliable. Those people that you can count on are the ones that you’ll work harder for. A true leader leads with integrity.

DON’T:

  1. Limit your vision: Without a strong vision, it is hard to follow a leader. When leaders lack a strong vision, you don’t know what they want, where they are headed or where they are taking the company. It does not motivate or create long-term value. When you think of really strong leaders, like Richard Branson, you think visionary. Even though you don’t work for him, you know he has a vision that seeps into his brands.
  2. Think you have all the ideas: It is never fun working for someone who never accepts anyone else’s ideas or never affords others the opportunity to express their opinions. Good leaders value what others contribute and even better leaders know they don’t have all the answers. They don’t have to be the smartest person in the room; they are there to lead, motivate and get the best ideas out of their best people.
  3. Avoid rolling up your sleeves: You want someone who will be in the trenches with you when you need them. This does not always mean when the going gets tough. This means the majority of the time, good leaders are willing to get their hands dirty and do the work. As I said before, lead by example, do what you ask your people to do and they will trust and respect you. You begin to doubt someone who does not do the work themselves.

5 Ways to Use Social Data to Build a Winning PR Campaign

As a PR professional this might sound familiar: You’re launching a new service or product, and despite doing the legwork and research to assemble your PR and marketing campaign, you missed your target audience in the end. Consumer and market reactions went through a volatile shift overnight, and though the reason was out of your control, you’re now expected to adjust and make up for lost time. Successful PR campaigns require a detailed understanding of an industry and careful listening and analytical skills to anticipate consumers’ reactions to any announcement, and to develop the strategies needed to reach the right audiences. Still, we’ve all had a moment where we thought, “I wish I knew then what I know now.”

social-media-data-coolerFortunately, today’s consumers are already sharing exactly what they want and how they feel about different products and services in a public space. Social media isn’t just a place where millennials complain about public transportation delays. On various social platforms, consumers of all age groups constantly offer their thoughts, opinions and feelings about brands, products, services and experiences with each. By weaving detailed social media data into your campaign planning and PR measurement tactics, you can remain in tune with your audience, anticipate rapid shifts in trends and achieve a greater amount of return on investment (ROI) for your efforts. Below are a few ways to get started:

1. Get to know your audience.

PR pros need to understand exactly what prospective customers want. With the release of any news, your outreach, supporting content and overall messaging will have a tough time resonating with targets if you’re not listening to their individual preferences – not only in relation to your brand, but on a greater scale. Who do your customers aspire to be? What are some common preferences among your target audience? Only then should you begin thinking about how your brand fits into this mold.

Begin by sampling a portion of your target audience’s social media affinities, sentiment and conversations about a certain topic, and cull that data for any relevant information that can power your campaigns. Your product or service needs to fit into the ideal of a certain lifestyle or mindset of the consumer. Whether you’re selling him a pair of jeans or marketing automation software, social media data can unlock the way he prefers to receive your brand’s message.

2. Become a fortune teller.

Social media data combines historical data analysis with real-time conversations to offer a wide look into consumers’ habits and preferences. Tracking the way those sentiments and opinions evolve over time can help you create predictions that keep your campaigns ahead of the curve. Social data is a natural extension of the role big data has played in the enterprise for most of the last decade – companies want more information to help improve products and streamline operations. As a PR pro, you can use the same approach and analyze customers’ social data to accomplish the same goals.

3. Measure the value of your work, and pivot as needed.

If social data is a critical part of PR measurement, you can avoid sinking time and money into strategies that aren’t helping your business. As your PR campaigns evolve, you need to remain relevant and maximize your reach. Social media can help track the way your target market’s brand awareness is growing, how overall sentiments may be shifting over time, and whether you’re reaching new audiences that display new interests or preferences.

For example, if you find your campaign resonating among a large network of baseball fans, you might create a downloadable “playbook” that uses baseball imagery and themes to extend your message. After all, the more you know about the people you need to reach, the more you can pivot your PR efforts and hit a home run.

4. Encourage your audience to share.

Since social data is accessible in real time, you can track your PR campaign’s results as they’re rolling in. Don’t wait to analyze a monthly report; encourage your customers to share thoughts about your marketing content, products, messaging and more. By gathering customer reactions, you can improve the results and impact of your campaign.

5. Dig deep into historical data.

The value of social media data isn’t entirely rooted in real time. Networks have been around for nearly a decade, meaning there’s a wealth of historical data about your target audiences just waiting for you to uncover. These insights can help your team identify new customers to target, anticipate and predict market shifts, and react accordingly based on the tactics that have proven successful in the past.

Social media is more than a platform for promoting your products and services – it can inform, improve and help measure your PR campaigns. By actively using social channels to understand your audiences, you can avoid those painful moments where you wish you had been more prepared to lead a campaign to success from the start. Instead, you can leverage the world’s largest focus group, identify your perfect audience and market directly to its members.

How to Forge Stronger Connections and Still Have Time for a Bath

Filed Under Crisis Management, Digital PR, General, Social Media, Staffing and Management

“Don’t talk to strangers!”

That was the advice many of us received as children. No one told us when to start talking to strangers again (at 19? 22? 43?) We had to figure that one out on our own. As professionals and communicators we need to not only talk to strangers to build our network but we need to talk to the right strangers to build a robust, meaningful network.

“You only need a small network – 25 to 50 people can get you what you need,” advised Judy Robinett, author of the best-selling book “How to be a Power Connector: the 5+50+150 Rule.” Judy keynoted PR News’s Top Women in PR awards luncheon in NYC on Tuesday and she shared her top networking tips with the hundreds of powerful women and their teams who gathered for this annual event. She says there are essentially three levels of networking that really matter: a friend of a friend of a friend. That means that the friend of a friend of a friend of a friend (4 removed) won’t do much for you.  Further, if you want to build a meaningful professional or personal network, you need a warm introduction by someone. That fourth or fifth removed “friend” won’t get you places.

The PR News awards luncheon was packed with other great advice, including how important it is to share what you know and give other people credit where credit is due.  I credit the 75 Top Women in PR for sharing on stage the following nuggets on success, work/life balance, hiring talent and staying at the top of your game. Please share in the Comments section your favorite piece of advice  (we’re in this together!):

  • Kick fear to the curb
  • You can disagree without being disagreeable
  • Communicating is about listening more than talking
  • Don’t ask, don’t get
  • Just be nice
  • Sometimes great ideas come when you’re not thinking about work
  • Hire people who look and think differently than you do
  • Work with people who have intellectual curiosity and a sense of humor
  • Learn how to say NO – you will miraculously clear your calendar for more important things
  • Your network is your critical asset; your network equals your net worth
  • Rethink your assumptions
  • When hiring for your next star, look for people who understand that PR has a PR problem and who wants to help change that perception
  • Work hard, work fun and take more baths.

That’s right: take more baths. Some of the best advice is the simplest

8 Interview Etiquettes you should know. Part 2

Rule 1 – Avoid negative body language. An interviewer wants to see how well you react under pressure. Avoid these signs of nervousness and tension:  Frequently touching your mouth  Faking a cough to think about the answer to a question  Gnawing on your lip  Tight or forced smiles  Swinging your foot or leg  Folding or crossing your arms  Slouching  Avoiding eye contact  Picking at invisible bits of lint  Don’t look puzzled.  If the interviewer is talking rapidly, jot down your concerns on a pad of paper and ask at the appropriate time.

Rule 2 – Make eye contact.  Look directly at the interviewer when answering or asking a question.  Reflect before answering a difficult question.  If you
are unsure how to answer a question, you might reply with another question.

Rule 3 – Be positive.  Don’t make negative comments about current or former employers.

Rule 4 – If the interviewer introduces himself or herself with a first and last name, use the last name when addressing them.  If the interviewer is a woman do not ask if it is “Mrs. or Miss”.  Many women find the question offensive; it could be “Doctor”.  Try to find out ahead of time.  If you are sure she is not a doctor, use “Ms”.

Rule 5 – Do not talk too much, do not talk too little.  Your responses to the interviewer’s questions should be concise, but not monosyllabic.
Show you want the job.  Display your initiative by talking about what functions you could perform that would benefit the campus, and by giving specific details of how you have helped past employers

Rule 6 – When it is your turn, ask the questions you have prepared in advance. These should cover any information about the department, campus or job position you could not find in your own research.
Do not ask questions that raise red flags.  Ask too many questions about vacation may cause the interviewer to think you are more interested in taking time off than helping the department.  Make sure the interviewer understands why you are asking these questions.
End the interview with a handshake and thank the interviewer(s) for his or her time, and let the committee know you want the job.  An example would be:  “I would like to thank you for taking the time for this interview.  The position is exactly the job I what and I hope you will strongly consider me for it.”

Rule 7-  Be natural.  It may be difficult when you are trying to follow all of these guidelines, but being natural is probably the most important rule.  Think of the interview as a conversation, not an interrogation.

Rule 8 – Send a “Thanks for the Interview” note.  After the interview, send a brief thank-you note to the committee chair.

 

Interview Shortcut: The Only Five Questions You Need

There’s a skill to interviewing.  And if you have it, it will greatly affect your chances of finding the best candidate. Certainly you need to be relaxed and put the candidate at ease.  You also need to have a clear job description. You should be able to describe your organisation and culture clearly and easily. But, what makes the biggest difference is the questions you ask.

And what you need are five killer ones.

1. What did you most enjoy about each of your previous roles?

People are likely to succeed in a role if they are doing the types of things they enjoy. Most people will do things they dislike for a period of time. They may even do those things well. But it will always be short-lived. By asking this question, you’ll get a good sense of what each candidate really enjoys and you’ll be able to compare it with what the role offers, to see if there’s a good match.

2.  What did you least enjoy about each of your previous roles?

Similarly, as candidates start to list the types of activities they dis-liked about previous roles, you’ll be able to assess how much of that type of activity there is in the job you’re offering. It’s much better (for you, and the candidate) to know that there isn’t a good fit now, rather than in 3 months when you’d both probably have to start the whole process again!

3. If I called your previous bosses tomorrow, how would they describe you?

This question is wonderful because it strongly encourages candidates to give an accurate answer. They know you are likely to call previous bosses for a reference, so there’s little point in ‘stretching’ the truth.  In fact, candidates tend to be candid and relay accurately what their bosses said to them about their abilities, strengths and weaknesses.

4.  What are you looking for now?

The answer to this question will give you a sense of how much passion and energy the candidate has for your organization and this particular role. If you feel that high levels of passion and engagement are important for this particular role, you may feel that a candidate who gives general and generic answers isn’t right for you.

5.  What other jobs are you applying for?

This question is a good test of your candidate’s genuine desire to work for you. If you’re a small company and candidates say that this is exactly what they’re looking for, then warning bells may ring loudly if they tell you they’ve also applied to IBM!

Interviewing is, undoubtedly, a rather nerve-racking experience.  There’s pressure on you, as the interviewer, to pick the perfect candidate, and there’s certainly pressure on the candidates to perform.  Of course, if you’re armed with a number of great questions, you could be making your job a great deal easier.  And five killer ones is all you need.

Is it time to Launch your own PR Agency?

READ THIS FIRST!

Manifesting, to many, is just another new age buzzword. But as soft as it sounds, it’s actually quite a powerful business tool. There are a million ways to start and grow a business, but if you aren’t clear on what you want, it’s easy to get off track. We aren’t talking about business plans or spreadsheets, though these have a time and place. Manifesting is about getting at something far more intuitive and visionary. To make it work for you, it’s important to:

BE CLEAR ON YOUR PURPOSE:

When we started our agency, we may not have known what we were doing, but we were crystal clear on what we wanted. We thought about things that were important to us outside of work and what we valued most in our lives overall. We also dug into what we had loved and hated about our former jobs and the culture of the organizations in which we had worked. Then we started envisioning a place where are personal selves and our work selves could spend the day together, where there was lots of laughter and creativity and no annoying politics and where we did not have to go against our guts to support a vision we didn’t believe in. Fourteen years later, these continue to be the principles by which our company operates now. Having a vision, knowing your guardrails and what you are marching towards is vital to it becoming a reality.

LET THE RIGHT ONES IN:

If two people with the same vision can help make a dream a reality, what about twenty, or thirty or fifty? Before we even had one employee we knew that our people would be our greatest asset and we set about, creating an environment that would attract a like-minded group of talented souls who eschewed politics in favor of doing great work, who challenged themselves personally but always had each other’s backs and we committed to letting each of them grow at their own pace. To manifest a vision for the future you need your whole team dreaming and believing in that future together and in order to do that they need to feel they are an essential and critical part of the mix.

TO MANIFEST A VISION FOR THE FUTURE YOU NEED YOUR WHOLE TEAM DREAMING AND BELIEVING IN THAT FUTURE TOGETHER AND IN ORDER TO DO THAT THEY NEED TO FEEL THEY ARE AN ESSENTIAL AND CRITICAL PART OF THE MIX.

CREATE SIMPLE RITUALS:

As such big believers in manifestation, we like to encourage our team to set intentions for their own lives, both professionally and personally, individually and as teams. At our agency this comes to life through an ongoing practice we developed called “The Sticky Religion” – a vision board placed within the office where team members can contribute “intention” sticky notes, which can be added to and revisited frequently.

DEFINE YOUR WORK IDEALS:

Many companies think about the clients they want to work with in basic terms – a car brand, a financial services company, a technology leader. We like to go a level deeper and envision the kinds of people we want to work with, the types of assignments we’d find most interesting, areas of particular passion for our teams. It is truly amazing how the simple act of articulating this vision and committing it to paper starts to bear fruit. The phone rings from a contact you haven’t heard from in two years who has an exciting new opportunity. A client thinks of you for a new project that challenges your team in a different way. You turn down an assignment that is not a good fit without guilt or remorse. We are not suggesting this is the only new business tool you use but it’s a damn powerful filter for deciding what to pursue and what to let go. Manifestation is not aimless dreaming. It takes clarity, purpose and intention but when you really commit to it, you’ll find yourself spending your days building and enjoying the kind of business you really want.

 

6 Steps For how to get a website on google search.

In my video on how to get a website on google search I give you 6 steps (or tips if you want to call them that). Use these and you will have a lot easier time getting found by Google and getting some love from them.

how to get a website on google search

1. Understand How Google Works.

You can spend years trying to learn how Google puts sites to the top of their search engine. The truth is nobody REALLY knows how Google works. Why? Because Google won’t tell you. But we do know there are some things that do seem to influence Google. The biggest ones are how often the search phrase appears on your site. This is called an “on page factor”. It is one you can control. The other big part is off-page factors. Things you can’t really control. Google wants to see that other people think your site is good. One of the most common things they look at is how many (and who) is linking to your website. Links are like votes. The more you get, the more love you get from Google. Google also looks at social signals. How many people are sharing, liking, tweeting out your stuff?

2. Add A Blog to your site.

Google Love Blogs. Why? Because they publish new (and hopefully wonderful) content. Websites with Blogs get 434% more pages indexed in Google. They get 97% more links. They get on average 55% more visitors too. I recommend you add a wordpress blog to your site. WordPress is the number one blogging platform. It is easy to set up and use. The best part is the price. It is 100% free. When you are wondering how to get a website on Google search adding a blog is first step.

3. Create a Content Strategy.

It is VERY important that Google sees you are putting out good content regularly. Google doesn’t want to show old stale out of date sites. They want to show people sites that are alive. When you are thinking of how to get a website on google search think of your content strategy. It will make the biggest difference. Publishing great content regularly and having people like, share, comments, and tweet it out will get you noticed by Google. If you want to know a Good content strategy check out the one I use here that got me over 29,000 free visitors (from Google I might add).

How To Get Your Website on

4. Submit A Google SiteMap.

A Sitemap tells Google where all your content is. Yes Google has web crawlers that will find it anyways. But having a sitemap helps Google know how your content is organized. So when you are sitting there wondering how to get a website on google search, doesn’t it make sense to let Google know you exist? It also helps improve the reputation of your site. If you don’t know what a sitemap is don’t worry. Just install the Google sitemap plug-in with your new wordpress blog. Then go into Google Webmaster tools and submit your new site map.

5. Add Google Analytics to your site.

Google Analytics tells you a ton of very cool stuff about your site. You can see how many people went to it. Where they came from. How long they stayed and more. Adding Google Analtycis to your site will let Google know you exist. It will trigger the Google bots to come pay you a visit and look at your site.

6. Link to content from Social Media.

Here is the big connection I wanted to make between Google and Social Media. I spend a lot of time talking about Social Media. Well here is where it all comes together. Google wants the best content and sites at the top of their search engine. The best way to find it is to look at “social signals”. Doesn’t it just make sense that websites and blog articles that are shared by lots of people are better than ones that are not? Make sure to push the articles you are publishing from your content marketing strategy onto your social channels. As they get shared, retweeted, and liked, Google will pick up on this. They will see you are legit and send you some Google Love.

Now this is not the be-all-end-all guide to getting your site listed in Google. But if you have been wondering how to get a website on google search this is a great starts. Set up a blog, post to it, and share on Social Media. Give it some time and you will be getting plenty of love from Google.