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. 

Wrap-up of my FriYAY Instagram LIVE session

If you didn’t see yesterday afternoon’s FriYAY chat over on Instagram never fear, I’ll be hosting another FRIYAY chat on the 28th at 5.00 PM!

Here’s a summary of what you missed from yesterday.

PURSUIT LAUNCHES ONLINE OFFERINGS!
That’s right, here on this very website I’ve now listed 11, yes 11, different services for you to choose online and book.

If you’ve been asked to improve the awareness of your company’s brand, build a social channel or you’re looking for an engaging speaker, there’s something there for you!

Click here to see the offerings, book a session and see how your business can benefit.

Blogs / podcasts:

Next up I covered just some of the podcasts and blogs I listened to or read this week.
*I’m purchasing Mark Schaefer’s book KNOWN after listening to his talk from #SMMW17. It had that much of an impact on me. I shared my key takeaway points about his presentation.

* Guy Kawasaki is an evangelist who also spoke at SMMW17, if you can listen to any of his previous talks I highly recommend it.

*The podcast regarding Instagram advertising is from Social Media Examiner – featuring Jenn’s Trends.

General news:

Finally, I covered three hot topics
*See my post on the Pursuit Facebook page about Mindy Kaling’s non-brand advertisement. I think it’s a winner.
*475 Visas and PR and marketing space, I shared my thoughts on this topic.
*LOGIES Weekend! Watch out #Melbourne I talked about who might nab the TV WEEK Gold Logie.

That’s a wrap – have a great weekend!
See you all next week at 5 PM FRIDAY on INSTAGRAM

Olympic Dairy Milk?

A bit of fun post for a Friday.

Cadbury has released a special “Australian Olympic Team Edition” of their chocolate.

It’s not Vegemite (been there, done that) and it’s not pavlova, although we think that may be a great one (anyone listening at Cadbury??)

It is, Lamington and according to product description includes: “Dairy Milk milk chocolate with raspberry jam flavoured pieces, vanilla cake flavoured pieces and coconut”.

Ahhh YUM!

But wait there’s more. No really!

In July an Apple Crumble Bar will be released, also in support of the Australian Olympic Team.

If this is what Olympians eat, sign me up.

Makes me think, what “Aussie” flavoured chocolate block would you like to see?

 

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Lamington Dairy Milk – Image via AdNews

Original story here.

 

How do you watch TV?

An interesting survey has been released with all sorts of data highlighting television viewing habits of Australians.

One of the stand out statistics was the fact that

1 in 5 people browse for products and services ONLINE while watching television.

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Image courtesy of THINK TV

If you business needs assistance in building its online presence, we can assist. Contact us  today to discuss how we can help capture this audience for your business.

Thoughts on the Packer Vs Gyngell Bust-up

I thought I’d share, for what it’s worth, some thoughts on the much publicised and public brawl (or school-yard antics) of James Packer and David Gyngell in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs over the weekend.

1. Who’s the winner in all of this?

No one.

News Limited is reported have forked out a small fortune for the images of the brawl – which according to reports lasted less than a minute, yet has been splashed across seven to ten pages of most of their capital city papers.

As for the two men involved – well, it certainly doesn’t bode well for their professional  images.

2. Should we care?

These men are two of Australia’s leading businessmen and while realistically a punch-up between two-blokes shouldn’t take front page over the terrible mudslide in Afghanistan , somehow, it has, because of who they are.

It’s almost Shakespearean – two mates brawling, fighting ensues, the friends agree to make-up, issue a joint media statement…. What happens next is anyone’s guess.

3. Why is there so much media attention on this story?

Because, as I’ve mentioned above, it’s who these two men are. What role they play in Sydney’s business scene and to a lesser degree the social scene. The fact that it happened in broad daylight, in Sydney’s exclusive Eastern Suburbs also adds (dare I say.. punch) to this story.

4. What will be the PR fall out for these two and their businesses

Well that remains to be seen. Some may argue that there’s no such thing as bad PR.

In this instance, as I’ve said above, there really isn’t a winner and the PR fall out realistically will be minimal. Both men when they next have to face their executive boards, will certainly have to answer a few questions. As for News Limited who published the photos and the story, with a strap line “We’re for Sydney” – which in recent months has championed the cause of coward punch and tougher sentences for those responsible for such hideous acts, to splash pictures of two men brawls seems to contradict what they stand for.

As the school bell rings, to resume classes, school-yard antics will come to a close – and so will this story, unfortunately, not soon enough – for all involved – including the public.

2012 in Review

Given the end of the year is almost upon us, I thought a little recap on just some of the highlights of 2012 was in order. It’s always good to look back and reflect on your successes and see just how much you’ve achieved in a year. So with this in mind, here’s our list for 2012.

An absolute highlight would have to be working with Regional Development Australia Central Coast on the Telework – “Work from Anywhere” project for the Central Coast region. RDACC was instrumental in securing finding towards the development of the telework project, which will see $25,000 go towards the development of teleworking centres and education of the innovative scheme. It’s a project that’s close to our heart at Pursuit and we’re thrilled with the success that’s been achieved to date.

Segway Central Coast shared their first birthday with riders at Mt. Penang Parklands by hosting the inaugural Segway Sprinter Championship. With competitors of all ages (15-55) taking part, it was an action packed day. The fastest rider on the day completed the 300m course in 33 seconds! A total of 80 participants took part in the fun and birthday festivities in early November.

We helped The Market Basket Co. celebrate reaching a momentous milestone – selling over 80,000 French inspired baskets! As the Sydney Morning Herald puts it The Market Basket Co.  “has the best style and colour range bar none”!

MBC Spectrum 15 December 2012 - FINAL

 

We worked with Shelly Beach Golf Club and undertook extensive research into the communications needs of their members. Consequently the content of the newsletter has been tailored to meet what the members have requested and their social media channels have also been reinvigorated.

Oscar & Lulu continue to kick goals, with a beautiful stand at the 2012 Central Coast French markets and work is under way on an exciting project that we’re looking forward to sharing with you in 2013.

Until January, thank you for your support this year. We’ve loved every challenge that 2012 has presented us. We can only hope that 2013 lives up to the expectations that 2012 has set!

– Brooke Simmons

Director, Pursuit Communications

PRESS RELEASE: In Pursuit of National Award

Bensville, 15 March 2012: Central Coast-based Public Relations firm, Pursuit Communications, is delighted to announce they have been selected as a Finalist in the Australian Small Business Champion Awards 2012.

The Awards support and recognise small businesses across Australia, offering a unique opportunity to highlight Australia’s most outstanding small businesses.

The Australian Small Business Champion Awards seek to acknowledge the hard work that business owners contribute to the local community in generating employment for millions of Australians, in addition to their contribution to the Australian economy.

In light of this recognition, Pursuit Communications would like to express their gratitude to their wonderful clients, suppliers and associates.

Managing Director Brooke Simmons said, “It is such a wonderful accolade of the work we undertake, in helping other businesses promote their products, services,  growth and achievements”.

“2012 is certainly shaping up to be another strong year for Pursuit Communications and with this nomination, we’re looking forward to continued success” adds Brooke.

Winners will be announced at a gala dinner and awards ceremony at The Westin Sydney on Saturday 21st April.

We’re doing it for YOU!

Welcome to 2012.

Hope your plans are all falling into place.

One of the big things on our agenda this year is to refresh our website and we want YOUR input.

What do you want from a PR website?

Perhaps it’s a page where you can find common PR related Q&A’s?  A look at the lighter side of PR?

Profiles of our clients? Profiles of key people within the media?

A wrap up of what’s happening in the world from a PR perspective?

Let us know, we want to make the NEW Pursuit Communications website as useful for YOU as possible!

You can leave your comments below or tweet us  or send us a Facebook message.