Service highlight: Getting ahead of the curve – What to do in post Coronavirus world… NOW?

As I’ve been progressing through the isolation period, one very important question has been front of mind for me.

What’s next?

It’s a question that can’t be answered on many fronts, however, there are some aspects that CAN be answered.

In the “Getting ahead of the curve” consulting service, there are many aspects that are considered for businesses interested in participating.

We look at:

*Previous activities carried out across advertising, marketing, public relations and social media

*Planned activities prior to COVID-19

*The new goals for your business in a “post-COVID-19” world

*Refining the best channels for communicating your message to get the maximum return on investment for your business

*How to best execute using these channels in plan format (an outline)

PLUS MORE!

But the question remains, why should I do this now when so much remains unknown?

The simple answer is because it’s VITAL to keep planning and forecasting.

Even if these plans have to change, a plan, in any case, is better than no plan at all.

If you’re interested in this one-hour session click here, choose COVID-19 services and the option will be the first one in the list, proceed to fill in your details and you’re booked in!

Learning as you go… The new way forward

I know I’m not alone when I say, this new way forward, for a large majority of us, will see us “winging it” to start with.

The Coronavirus has thrown so many industries into disarray and knowing how to move forward while we wait on details from the Government about funding doesn’t make the process any easier or any of us an expert in what to do!

However, what we do know that with a few simple steps, the process can be a lot easier.

Firstly, take everything one day at a time. The expectations that we are to achieve just as much, if not more than “B-C” (Before Covid-19) isn’t a fair reality.

If you’re fortunate to still have employment, check in with your team, your boss at least once a day, even if it’s via email or text. If you’re feeling anxious, let them know. These are uncertain times we’re facing and if you need support there’s Beyond Blue and Head to Health. 

If you’re running your own business and trying to keep everything afloat, now might be the time to start with lists, we love TRELLO for a good list creation, you can invite others to see what’s due when and create different boards for different components of your business. Remember now is the time to work smarter, not harder!

If you’ve had to close your business, but still want to keep your company front of mind with your customers we have created a series of lists, for download for you to use to hit the ground running, we’ve currently got lists for:

  • General Retail
  • Gardeners
  • Hairdressers
  • Physiotherapists
  • Cleaners
  • Travel Agents
  • Musicians
  • Creatives /Freelancers
  • Podiatrists
  • Early-childhood educators
  • PLUS MORE!

To get your copy of a list that’s applicable to your industry, click here. 

Remember, no one is an expert of how to deal with business during Covid-19, we’re all just doing the best we can. That’s all ANYONE can ask.

If we can be of assistance, in any way, even if it’s just to chat, please contact us. 

How to work from home effectively – from someone who has done it for over 12 years!

 

When I decided to start my own PR agency 12 years ago, the space that was “my office” was a corner of the family dining room with a desk behind a screen for “privacy”.

It was, at the time, sufficient, but I knew it couldn’t be a long term solution. We moved shortly after and I then upgraded the space to a former bar area. (Translation: another corner of a dining room, but slightly larger).

The new space felt more like a “space” and I was determined to make it work and I did, with thanks to my parents. But there were distractions and it wasn’t until I purchased my own place and had a dedicated room to finally close the door on, at the end of the day.

Working from home in whatever space you have can have its challenges beyond the “space” you’ve allocated.

Here I’m sharing my tips, so if you’re required to self-quarantine, you’ll be able to use my experience and lessons for your benefit.

  1. The above anecdote should prove that space is very important. If you have room to dedicate to work, then do this! Even if it is a corner of the dining room with a screen (IKEA has this screen that may do the trick!)
  2. Set up your space appropriately so you’re not slouching over your laptop, make sure the lighting is good and you’re not getting too comfortable, if your only option is working from the lounge. More tips here
  3. Use the time you’d normally commute to read, catch-up on news, exercise (if you’re well enough!) catch up on personal emails. Be productive with this time.
  4. Start at your regular time, just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you should slack off. Show your employer how productive working from home can be!
  5. Dress comfortably but appropriately. I can’t stress this enough on my “at home” days, I still dress my top or bottom half, so if on the odd chance I’m called to a meeting, all I have to do is change into a nice blouse or get out my jeans into a corporate pair of trousers.
  6. If you’re allocated a lunch break (which you should be!) make sure you take it. Do some yoga if that’s your thing, a crossword, again use your time well. Also, don’t become too sedentary, it’s easy to sit and type and get caught in an email vortex and not move for hours on end. Set your alarm to remind you to move (most smart watches do this!)

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7. If you have kids or pets at home you may need to call on some help from family or the dog walker to keep them away for a couple of hours while you get your work done, or if you have to, screen time for the kids can be a good bargaining tool.

8. Check with your employer about any expenses you may incur as a result of working from home (think Internet usage, notebooks, printing etc).

9. Keep in contact with your office colleagues – you may want to have “virtual Friday night drinks” via Skype or FaceTime remember it doesn’t have to be all work and no play.

10. Finally, enjoy working from home, the ability to dive into the cookie jar without judgement, sure the “at home” coffee may not be as good as your local barista, but think of the money you’re saving!

How to prepare for a crisis – UPDATED for Corona Virus

Australia has seen it all this Summer and there’s more on the way! We’ve had everything from Destructive fires, devastating floods, Australia really is the country of extremes and being prepared in a crisis is critical for any business of any size.

In this post, we share our tips so you can take steps NOW so you’re well armed should you face a crisis.

Communication is key even before you start any of our suggestions. Communicate with the office what will be undertaken and that updates will be provided as is necessary.

PLANNING is critical.

You may have to put aside a day to brainstorm and work out who in the office will be responsible for what tasks.

If you’re a solopreneur make a timeline of what steps will be done when. (If you’re in a team this should be included as part of your plan too!)

Think about who will need to be contacted IMMEDIATELY should a crisis or issue occur, then think about the way this will be communicated. You’ll also want to include in your timeline preparation for power-outages (back-up power supply) or damage to equipment and where back-up equipment can be sourced quickly. Think about stock levels what will need to be done with any stock that’s damaged. Think of all eventualities and make sure someone is responsible for an action from start to finish.

You’ll also want to have draft communications to customers, suppliers and staff drafted for a variety of scenarios. Include in this communication copies of out-of-office messages for employees to use, so messaging is consistent across the company. Include in your out-of-office messages how long you expect to be out of action and best contact details for urgent queries.

Finally, but importantly, keep your social media pages updated. You’ll want to have draft posts created for your social accounts too. Again, let your followers know how long you expect to be unavailable and a generic contact address that should be administered by an executive who is able to respond quickly to customers /followers queries.

These are just *some* of the components of being prepared in a crisis or emergency situation.

EDIT: 

In light of the Corona Virus – here are some EXTRA tips;

*Be transparent at all times – let the public know WHEN the next update will be in terms of communications

*Save media releases online for ease of reference for media and general public

*Health of employees and public must be a priority, follow recommendations from local and Federal Governments

*Ensure best contact details for media contact /PR agency are visible on your website

If you’d like Pursuit Communications to assist your business with creating a crisis or emergency plan, contact us today to organise a meeting. 

Lessons from Gary V

I was listening to the Seize The Yay podcast yesterday, it’s a fabulous podcast that I highly recommend you subscribe to.

Sarah Holloway is the presenter and she was interviewing Internet personality and New York Times Bestselling author Gary Vaynerchuk.

If you haven’t heard of Gary V before jump on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook – any social platform and you’ll find his profile.

He’s unforgiving in his attitude, but (in my opinion) that’s how he got to be where he is today.

One of the many takeaways from this podcast that ties in well with this month’s Small Business September activities was his idea of “Giving more than you take”.

It’s simple and something that I’ve tried to do in many aspects of my life, including business (hence Small Business September) but I thought how can I extend this further?

It’s akin to the saying “underpromise and over deliver” when working with a client.

I’ve been working on ways to GIVE MORE in 2020 for our clients (both existing and new) and I’m excited to say that while brainstorming with my textas and coloured pencils, there will be MORE for our clients in 2020.

I’m fine-tuning the details over the next weeks and then will start getting wheels in motion so everything is good to go come January.

In the meantime, take a look at this week’s Small Business September offer. We’re changing the offers each week and they’re all BRAND NEW services at highly discounted rates.

Just by listening to a podcast Sarah and Gary have given me (and in turn my clients) more.

 

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

 

 

Consult with someone who knows

When you’re running a business, you want to engage with the best people to get optimum results.

We’ve all heard the saying “You don’t ask a mechanic about your water pipes”, so why would you engage the services of someone who doesn’t understand the PR landscape to help you communicate your message?

Pursuit Communications knows the best media outlets to contact (and the people behind them)  across a wide variety of sectors, including niche “vertical” outlets within a multitude of industries.

It’s knowing “Who’s who in the zoo”, their deadlines, their communication preferences and so many other variables to get your message across to the media and to your desired audience.

It’s also an ability to think creatively, understanding what’s the BEST way to communicate your message to the media and your customers, that’s going to stand out from the rest!

With our first Small Business September offering – a 1:1 phone call, over 30, 60 or 90 minutes, we can cover all of this – and more.

So if you’d like to have a discussion, click here to get started and connect with someone who knows.

 

 

Top tips for WHAT TO DO at work Christmas parties

As event organisers, we’re in a good position to offer our opinion as to the “do’s” and “don’ts” of Christmas party behaviour!
It’s been a long year for the business and now it’s time to organise that well deserved Christmas party and celebrate the team’s successes.

While this is still a celebration, it is still an extension of the workplace and an opportunity for some team bonding with your colleagues and supervisors. So, keep in mind that good behaviour also goes a long way at these sort of events, otherwise it can result in being overlooked for promotions, or being the office gossip going into the New Year or even worse – losing your job!
Remember, you’re your own PR – so make sure the “news” is good when it comes to your post-party report.

Here are some tips to make sure you stay on the “nice” list at your Christmas party this year:

  • Dress appropriately: Remember this is still a work event, so make sure you are aware of the dress code expectations beforehand. Be sure to avoid anything too casual or revealing.  If in doubt, ask the event organiser or your supervisor.
    Watch your alcohol consumption: Reputation lasts a lot longer than a hangover does – as does anything captured on social media.
  • Stay in control of how much you’re drinking, you don’t want to be known as “the one who takes advantage of the free drinks” over engaging with others.
  • Make an effort: be sure to ‘mingle and jingle’ with as many people possible, not just the ones you speak to on a daily basis at work. Consider this as a networking opportunity.
  • Have fun! Christmas parties can still be a chance to have a great time, so don’t be dull – you don’t have to be a wallflower, you can have a great time while remaining sensible.

Keeping these tips in mind, it will also give you that rare chance to get to know those around the office who you don’t normally work with and develop good impressions which could also benefit you later on.

It’s all about that personal branding!

Productivity tips

Over on the Pursuit Communications Instagram account recently I shared tips on how I stay productive. (LINK)

  1. Don’t let the “E-mail Monster” control your day I prioritise emails – with categories /importance /urgency. 📧
    It keeps me on track (most of the time!) and the “email anxiety” levels to a minimum. I use different tags and then work through these according to the level of priority
  2. Pop it on silent – face down and get to work! Turning your mobile on to silent will help get the work done.
    If it helps, consider changing your voicemail message. State in your message the time you expect to return the call. Most people will understand!
  3. I 🧡 a good “to do” list
    It makes me feel organised and I can see at a glance what needs to be done.
    I break my lists down into clients and then prioritise. I highlight super important tasks and cross them off first!
    My lists are in my Kikki K planner, which goes EVERYWHERE with me.
  4.  Get up and move – your health comes first. I’m guilty of not doing this enough. I’ve recently bought a Fitbit to make sure I do move enough. Being sedentary is one of the “hazards” of my job. More often than not, I’m sitting looking at my laptop for hours on end. My Fitbit really has made a huge difference in reminding me to get up and move and achieve my daily goals. What do you do to get moving?
  5. I’m a calendar girl… 📆
    Not *that* sort of calendar girl 😝 – I put everything on my wall calendar and in my planner. No matter where I am I’ll always be able to plan and make appointments with a quick glance.

    I also colour code Birthdays,🎂 personal activities,🍾 and work duties.📝

 

So there you have it, my top five tips for productivity.

Remember to join me on Instagram to follow the #B2BPC (Back to Basics with Pursuit Communications) series! 

Branding Basics

Recently we offered our tips on branding basics via our Instagram account

Here’s a breakdown of the tips we shared.

  1. Don’t paint yourself into a corner – choose a name and colour scheme that will allow you to grow!

    Research online and check if anyone has registered any of your shortlisted business names.
    Look at different colour schemes of other businesses online and see how it might work for your business.

  2. Do your research into branding and #ip (intellectual property) legal obligations. 📝
    Speak to industry experts about your obligations and rights in relation to branding. 🖊
    By taking these steps you’re well on the path to MAKING IT HAPPEN!
  3. EXPERIMENT! 🌈
    Hold a focus group with close family and friends.
    📝
    Get their thoughts on logos, tag-lines and your short list of brand names.
    🙏🏻
    Take the feedback into consideration and use this to move forward.
    If you’re able, try and ask potential customers.
  4. Whatever you decide for your branding, make sure there’s an obvious synergy between it and your business. 💬
    You don’t want to spend time explaining your branding name or choices when you could be working on securing new opportunities!
  5. Think of your brand as a person – Blonde 👱🏼‍♀️brunette or👨🏽 older👴🏻?? 👲🏾👳🏾👩🏻‍🎤👨🏼‍🍳
    Who would purchase from you?
    What’s their job title, their family situation? Additionally, think about the future and the implications of selling a business and handing your name over to someone else.
  6. Once you’ve chosen a name, colour scheme and have a #branding guideline document (if you don’t have one of these we have some fabulous contacts who can help!) you’re on the way to building your business! 🖊
    But where to next??
    🙋🏼
    That’s where a public relations campaign will help generate awareness of your business, your products and/or services. 📌
  7. Make sure your workspace reflects your values. 🖊
    Especially if you intend on hosting clients, make it a welcoming place. If you’re working from home choose a cafe or restaurant that sets the standard you want your business to reflect.
  8. Is your name readable? Choose a font that’s easy for people to understand and decipher. There are few things worse than trying to spell or explain your brand name to someone. 🖊
    Another reason why it’s important to get feedback on your final version of your logo.
  9. When you think about Sydney as a “brand” what do you think of?
    The harbour?
    The coat hanger – our iconic bridge?
    The Opera House?

    When you’re developing your business brand, consider the elements you want to be remembered. ➰
    Try and work these into your brand name, tagline, colour scheme! ⤵️
  10. Never underestimate the value of a professional!
    They’ll help define and “shape” your brand logo, any graphics and documents you require. 🖊
    We have a range of graphic designers that we call on for our own work and that of our clients. 🖊
    If you need a referral, let us know. We’re always happy to connect you with one of our fabulous service providers.

Contact us today to see how we can help your branding needs