Public relations is the art and the science of communications. Everyday PR pros communicate in many ways to many people; yet, a forgotten aspect of this thing we call “our life’s work” is internal communications.
As a current corporate communications intern at Aramark Corporation, I have discovered just how closely internal communication is tied to everyday PR work within a corporate environment. However, focusing on internal communication should not be limited to just corporate PR. How can an agency or help its clients if they aren't teaching that account team to speak to one another, share the brand, discuss improvements or simply brainstorm together? How can a non-profit get their message out externally if they aren't on the same page internally? The key to these questions is to shift the attention to how your organization is communicating internally before the focus is put on external communication.
Here are 5 tips to enhance better internal communications within your organization:
1. Silence is not Always Golden.
Have you ever noticed the places people don’t enjoy working are the ones where the minions don’t have a voice? Open and transparent communication is appreciated because everyone has been blessed with a brain full of ideas. Encourage senior management and executive leadership teams to listen to those ideas.
2. Get Straight to the Point.
Employees who enjoy their work crave one thing, almost above all, direction. With clear direction, they understand what to do to earn brownie points. Stress direction and watch movement happen.
3. Aspire to Inspire.
Many employers don’t like to think outside the box, draw outside the lines or dare try something different. Employees want inspiration. They want to see their managers, directors and executive leaders doing something that can bring about change. Want a team to follow you? Inspire them to do something differently and with purpose.
4. Create a Company Voice.
Anyone in HR or internal communications will tell you the chief reason for gossip in the workplace is ignorance. Most employees don’t really know what’s going on, so they tend to gossip and complain. A monthly or bi-weekly newsletter would suffice. Let them be heard by listening and then acting.
5. Lead by Example.
Bosses “boss.” Leaders “lead.” Words only mean so much. Without action behind those words, employees will follow.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Between coming up with ideas and monitoring results, content management is no easy feat. To help ease the job a little, try using these 4 free online resources:
Hemingway is a free online app that helps point out the strengths and weaknesses in your writing. Simply paste any chuck of writing into the app and get an analysis highlighting run on sentences, weak adverbs and get a grade for the overall piece. Aim for a grade of less than 10 to ensure clear and concise writing. This is a great tool not just for proofreading, but also to better your writing - which ultimately leads to creating better content.
Use this easy to install bookmarking tool to determine how much time it takes to read a piece of content. Many times, our content is well developed, but requires too much time of the reader. This tool will help you keep track of that, and stick to a content length best suited for your audiences. This handy tool will also allow you to save articles that you find online, and tell you how much time it will take you to read them. If it is especially long, the app will send the piece to your Kindle device to read later.
3. Blog Topic Generator
Perfect for the content manager in charge of creating blog posts, this generator helps produce quality content ideas in under a minute. Simply enter a few keywords that relate to your client or topics of interest, and let the tool work its magic.
4. Open Site Explorer
Having your content shared across the web helps to increase awareness of your topic and develop relationships within your audience. This tool shows you a compact list of all of the websites currently linking to your content. Use this tool to see the types of content best enjoyed and shared by others, and produce more of that! A simple way to see what your audience best likes is to see what they are willing to share within their networks.
Do you use any online tools to better your content creation? Feel free to share them in the comments!
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Advocacy. Advocacy. Advocacy. It's PR 101, it's what we do for our clients and it's what is engraved into our brains from the start. Part of advocating for your client or your company can be media training. Media training is simply preparing your client for press conferences, interviews, TV appearances, etc. It's a daunting task because no matter how prepared you and your client can be, the media can always throw in a question or comment that you didn't expect. It is our job to make sure the client is prepared for that.
Start off the media training with something fun and engaging.
Pretend you're the reporter and ask them really hard questions. Chances are they'll freeze up (that's why you're in the position of training them, after all). This will show the importance of what they're about to listen to and experience.
Keep your client's personality in mind.
If they're generally a formal person from a suit-and-tie company, they might not be comfortable loosening up in a conversational situation with a reporter. Practice makes perfect and the more you help your client embrace relaxation, the better they will do in the interview. Cool, calm and collected is a really overused saying for a reason.
Don't use jargon.
Whether we realize it or not, our field is littered with jargon that no one else understand. Clients don't know what editorial and impressions mean so there's no use in talking about it during your training. Keep it short and simple and easy for them to understand so they stay in full focus during your presentation.
Focus on the mission statement.
It's the core of their business and something that they should know inside and out. By incorporating something that they are already comfortable with and making it the base of the training it will help them adjust better.
Wrap it up by reiterating why media training matters.
You can repeat your initial interview exercise and watch them be amazed with the progress they made in a few short hours. End with key takeaways that are most important for them to remember. Always offer yourself up for additional help outside of the training session.
As PR professionals we are supposed to be media aficionados. Sometimes these skills can get in the way of seeing how other people are going to feel if they're talking to a reporter. Put yourself in your client's shoes and make sure to talk to them that way. You're helping them with their skills and cultivating your relationship with them, all in one.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Last night Ellen DeGeneres returned to host the 86th Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars. In classic Ellen style she had the audience laughing all night long. From poking fun at Jennifer Lawrence tripping for the second time at the Oscars to ordering pizza for the hungry celebrities, including a very pregnant Kerry Washington, Ellen kept the crowd thoroughly entertained.
However, what was most memorable was her live tweeting during the show. Ellen gave the viewing audience at home access to all of the backstage fun. She even took a selfie right on stage! But what had to be the best, and most memorable, moment of the night was when she took a huge, star-studded picture for Twitter. Her goal? To break the record of most retweets. Needless to say, the shot including Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Channing Tatum, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Bradley Cooper, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong'o, Peter Nyong'o, Angelina Jolie, and the funny woman herself, did exactly that.
Before the end of the show, Ellen came back on stage to announce that the selfie not only broke the record for most retweets, but had actually broken Twitter! Today the photograph stands in first place at a whopping 2,661,781 retweets and counting. That easily tops the photo that previously held the record: Barack Obama embracing wife Michelle after winning the 2012 reelection.
It's no secret that live tweeting at home during your favorite shows has become a popular trend. But perhaps Ellen will usher in a new fad: live tweeting while hosting. It's interactive, fun, and allows the audience to really be a part of an experience that seems so far away. Way to be inclusive, Ellen!
Sunday, March 2, 2014
With May just around the corner, one thing is on every graduating senior’s mind besides warm weather - getting a job! Add in trying to finish out the semester strong and do well in classes, the process can prove to be very stressful. However, keeping organized is the key to success. To help organize the process a little more, I created an excel spreadsheet that arranges everything to keep in mind when applying for first jobs. Doing something as simple as creating an excel spread sheet can make the process go a little bit smoother!
Here’s an example of the spreadsheet I created:
1. Set criteria of job - What industry are you looking to go in to? What kind of position would you ideally want with a company?
2. Set criteria of location - Are you willing/ do you want to relocate?
3. Finish resume - Update resume with your most recent experience and have a trusted family member, friend or the career center review it!
4. Finish cover letter - Tailor each cover letter to respond to the job responsibilities and qualifications when applying for different positions.
5. Personal network list - List all former employers, connections, family members and friends that might be able to help you.
6. Network List of Mom and Dad - Boss or friends?
7. Networks through clubs - PRowl, TAC, Greek Life, etc.
8. Join online groups - LinkedIn, Monster.com, etc.
9. Join in-person groups - Many cities have young professional networking groups that meet monthly!
10. Make contact with network lists - Reach out to each person and let them know you’re going to be graduating soon. Depending on your relationship, maybe ask to meet for coffee or lunch and send them your updated resume!
11. Check online job postings - You have to start somewhere!
Applying for first jobs can be a stressful experience. By outlining key components of the job hunt with certain deadlines, you begin to have a better sense of control over something that can seem overwhelming at times. Also, listing contacts and connections of your own and of family and friends helps to lay out all of your possibilities.
What are some tips you have for college graduates and keeping organized in the job hunt? Leave us a comment and tell us!
This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Tessa Cohn.