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PR lessons from Harry & Meghan

In the Pursuit office, over the water cooler talk for the last 24 hours has predominantly been focused on the news that Harry & Meghan “revealed they intend “to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family, and work to become financially independent”.

It’s HUGE news. What’s even bigger is that it really did come without warning. Sure, some Royal watchers may have expected the pair (and baby Archie) to split their time between Canada and the UK, but a step back? Wow.

Below we share our thoughts and highlight four important PR cornerstones relating to this announcement.

  1. The importance of communication – If nothing else this announcement highlights how very essential communication must be with all associated parties.
  2. Planning – Having a timeline that includes all associated parties is also critical
  3. Keeping your internal organisation as informed as the general public is paramount
  4. Be prepared for a barrage of questions following a major announcement

It’s our opinion that it appears internal communications didn’t occur with this announcement from Harry & Megan. The statement from Buckingham Palace  said: “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.” This insinuates that Buckingham Palace were not informed prior to announcement. A huge no-no in anyone’s book.

Being caught off guard (pardon the pun!) is never a good look for any organisation (including the Royal Family).

Taking the time to communicate with all associated parties will ensure when making an announcement that there’s a united front and everyone is aware of who will be saying what and when! It will keep any “fallout” to a minimum as well.

Which leads into the planning of any announcement. Making sure you have a timeline that allows everyone involved enough time to get their messaging correct, approved by those who need to approve it and making sure those managing social media are aware of the announcement, when it will happen so they can tackle any questions from the general public.

As with Harry & Megan, they seem to be running to their own schedule and letting Buckingham Palace clean up the proverbial mess.

When making an announcement, knowing what to say externally is one thing. Knowing what to say to those internally is another.

Internal communications need to be handled differently to external communications, often with care and discretion. Some team members may need to have a “closed door” discussion and others may need to sign a non-disclosure agreement, stating they won’t reveal any details of the discussion until a certain day /date.

The language will differ between the general public and your internal communications as well. You may want to be a little more relaxed with your internal communications (pending the announcement).

Internal discussions can often raise more questions which may not have been considered by those making the announcement. It’s always best to discuss in advance with internal executives and get their input.

Finally, being prepared for questions (both internally and from the public) is so very important. This is where good media training and planning really does prove its worth.

Being able to answer a question succinctly is key. If you’re not sure, don’t be afraid to say so. DO say that you’ll get an answer to the person who queried and make a priority of doing so.

Your social media team should be armed with a series of potential Q&A’s. If they are asked a question and they’re not sure of the answer, the team should have DIRECT access to spokesperson /decision make to provide them with the answer in a succinct amount of time.

Only time will tell how this will play out for the Royal Family. Hopefully with a little preparation the next phase won’t be as catastrophic as the first.

The lessons from 2019

I’m writing this on a Sunday morning leading up to Christmas – thinking about everything this year has taught me. What a teacher of the year 2019 has been for me.

2019 was very much the year of priorities – and the major priority for me this year was my health.

I heard a podcast this year that used the saying “Your health is your wealth” and that really resonated with me.

In case you missed it (or you’re new to the blog) I had a few health issues this year that made me hit the “pause” button on both businesses for a substantial amount of time. (You can read more here)

The benefit of this?

I realised where my priorities needed to lie with both businesses. It was in taking a step back, I was actually taking a step forward. It wasn’t easy, as someone who is happiest when her laptop is open, keys tapping away, radio /music playing softly in the background and the cat is purring away on “her” chair, resting and listening to my body was a huge lesson for me.

But it’s enabled me to make some changes and plans for the next 12 months and I’m excited about that.

The next priority lesson I learned was in relation to my time. While I was resting and recovering knowing that I had to let this process take its time. It was on its own schedule and I had to adhere to it.

I’m now working on building a better “timetable” which allows me to focus equally on both businesses, while also giving myself the much-needed rest my body still needs.

Finally, the priority of people in your life. Notifying my clients immediately what was going on and being completely transparent really did help build stronger relationships with them.

My family supported me, cared for me and got me through what was a rollercoaster of a year and I can’t thank them enough.

My friends – you know who you are – your support, words of encouragement and visits were appreciated beyond belief.

So, here’s to a better year in 2020, using these lessons from 2019 and creating more success for my clients, my business, and most importantly a happy and healthy life.

Branding 101

As part of our PR Intermediate course, we dive into the elements that should comprise of a comprehensive business plan.

We know only too well that budgets can be tight, so how do you start?

In this blog post I share some of the key elements of what should be part of your product inventory (and therefore included in your business plan!)

You start with a style guide and keeping it consistent EVERYWHERE. (Sorry for the caps, but it was needed!) What’s a style guide? Well in simple terms, it’s the fonts you’ll use for your business, the size of your logo… all that sort of “stuff”.

If you’re a physical store, does the feel of your store reflect what you’re sharing on socials?

What about your menus-  if you’re a cafe? Do you have details of your socials on there? You want people to share the word right? A little reminder at the bottom is a must.

How about receipts? Invoices? Flyers? Do they all have best contact details for your business, return policy details (if needed), your logo?

If you’re a service-based business, does the tone of your email reflect the nature of your business? Do you have the luxury to communicate in a relaxed tone? Make sure it’s consistent with your business.

Then there are the logos of your business, the business “theme” colours, the way your logos are to be used and oh-so-much more.

Need help with this? Give us a call, we’re happy to have a coffee (face to face or virtually!) and share some more ideas that will specifically help your business reach its goals.

Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

Instagram Fact V Fiction

One of our offerings at Pursuit is social media management.

We pride ourselves on creating great content, that will engage and drive results for your business.

We also make sure we’re all over what’s fact and fiction when it comes to social media.

Below you’ll find some clarification about some of the myths that have been circulating about Instagram.

  1. Shadowbanning is a real thing…

Nope. FALSE. Instagram has stated, “it doesn’t hide people’s content for posting too many hashtags or taking other actions”. **

 

2. Instagram will “punish” your account if you don’t post at least once a day

What? I’m sorry, how does this even make sense? In Australia alone Instagram has 9,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users (FB/ Instagram data)*. Trying to monitor all that data alone is a mammoth task.

Instagram is (and always has been) about quality over quantity.  

So think about your style and what your customers will want to engage with, remember you’re posting for THEM, not for yourself.

Suffice to say this one is also FALSE.

 

3. The old “Only 5%, 7%, 10% of my audience will see this post, please comment to ensure more people see this post” post!

Instagram reached out to users via Twitter to clear this one up. They said; “What shows up first in your feed is determined by what posts and accounts you engage with the most, as well as other contributing factors such as the timeliness of posts, how often you use Instagram, how many people you follow, etc.”**

So drops in engagement are due to content not anything behind the scenes.

 

There are dozens if not hundreds more that we could clarify – and new myths popping up every day.

If you’d like some advice regarding social media, give us a call. We’d love to have a chat and share some ideas on how we think this medium could work wonders for your business.

 

Photo by Katka Pavlickova on Unsplash
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Three things you can do before Christmas

It’s little over a month until Christmas Day… You may be thinking, “What else can I do to capitalise on the Christmas rush?”, or you may be thinking – “Eeep, I’ve left it too late, what can I do?”

Never fear… we have three easy to achieve activities for you to get some cut-though before the big day!

ONE: Thank your customers for their patronage this year. If you’re an online store, send a discount code to your email database as a token of gratitude.

Keep your message festive, short, sharp and ensure you include any terms and conditions with your discount code. Now is NOT the time you want to get caught up in any legal matters.

TWO: If you have a bricks and mortar store, have candy canes at reception or at the service counter for your customers. You may also want to reward your customers who visit in December with complimentary services or bonus items.

THREE: Keep in mind people’s budgets. If you’re noticing a lack in sales, don’t panic. Remember there’s always the January sales period, start thinking about what discounts you can offer (now’s a good time to get a head start on stocktake).

If sales are exceeding expectations, why not tell your local press? Get the word out there about what you’ve achieved.

BONUS: Why not offer a percentage of profits to farmers in need or a local charity? You’ll be able to promote your donation once you’ve finalised the total. Think about a cause that’s close to your heart and get started now.

Our favourite productivity app

Since discovering this app, I make sure I use it AT LEAST twice a day. Why? Because it keeps me focused.

Which when you’re running two businesses and have a tendency to pick up your phone more times than is acceptable in an hour, anything that will keep me on task is worth its weight in gold.

Enter Bear Focus Timer.

I pop the timer on for the set amount of time I want to focus on a specific task (or series of tasks) and get to it.

Every time I lift my phone the bear’s face turns grumpy, a good incentive to keep going with what I should be doing and not getting distracted by my phone.

To get your paws on the Bear Focus Timer search the app store of your device.

Now get to work!

Photo by krisna iv on Unsplash

Thinking outside the box for success

If you’ve found this post via our Instagram, you’ll know that Pursuit Communications has been working with Generator Property Management for a number of years now.

Generator Property Management is the caretaker of the former Munmorah Power Station site on the NSW Central Coast.

Pursuit’s tasks include traditional PR services, issues management advice and services and general media /consultative advice.

The project has been an eye-opening experience and one that the Pursuit team has loved working on.

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Through this project, we’ve been able to work with a team that are industry leaders and share our own expertise to achieve some pretty unreal results.

As an example; one of the last demolition activities saw the news story go NATIONAL. The video footage was provided to television stations in Sydney. The story was aired on all commercial television networks news bulletins the evening of the event. Exceeding our client’s goals.

Pursuit actively monitors the media across a variety of topics for our client so they’re more than aware of what’s happening in the media landscape within their industry.

If you’d like to have a chat about your business and how Pursuit can assist, shoot us an email.

We work within your budgets, tell you what’s achievable and create a plan to not only achieve your goals, but we work hard to exceed them!

Send us a message now. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image: Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Podcasts: What I’m currently listening to

Whether you’re in the car, commuting to work on the train or bus or hitting the gym and need some distraction, Podcasts are a fabulous way to be entertained, informed and educated.

Below I’ve shared my list of my favourite podcasts (in no particular order!)

The Squiz – These girls are my WAKE-UP crew. After I listen to local news, I’m straight into this podcast and their daily email. You won’t regret adding this to your must-listen list, you’ll be kept up-to-date with current news and events in an instant, so you can impress your work colleagues with how very informed you are!

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Seize The Yay – If you read our post about Gary V, then you’ll know I’m pretty darn keen on Sarah and her Podcast Seize The Yay. What I love about this podcast is Sarah’s interviewing style, it’s very natural, I feel like I’m sitting with friends, having a conversation. Added bonus – the show notes – are BANG. ON. Always great if you’re keen to learn more about a guest.

Screen Shot 2019-10-03 at 6.04.44 pmLauren Conrad – Asking For a Friend – Okay, so for anyone who has known me for more than 15 years will know, that I have an absolute girl-crush on  Lauren Conrad aka LC. So much so that a friend bought me an authentic LC autographed picture one Christmas. What’s so fabulous about Lauren’s podcast? The topics are varied but so relevant to any young woman. Her guests (often friends of Lauren’s) offer great bits of advice that’s achievable, in any particular area. It’s the honesty, but also the support network that’s clearly a reflection of what an absolute gem Lauren is inside and out.

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Socialette: Bite-Sized Online Marketing Podcast – This is the perfect quick listen after a meeting or whenever you’ve got less than 10 minutes. Steph’s podcasts and short, sharp and to the point. I love the frequency of the Socialette podcasts and the variety of guests.

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I’d love to be guest on a podcast, in fact, it’s a goal on my vision board for 2020. In the meantime, I’ll keep listening to these podcasts and hoping that I get closer to that goal day by day.

Tell me, what are YOU listening to? Any recommendations would be gratefully appreciated.

 

Featured image via Unsplash

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

 

 

“Words are free… It’s how you use them that may cost you”

Never have truer words been written.

This week’s Small Business September offer is for a Blog Ideas Session and quite possibly one of my favourite things to do.

Thinking about content for my clients is exciting, it gives me the opportunity to think creatively. “How can I position this message differently, to reach a unique audience?” I often ask myself.

Once I’ve decided with the client the different audiences to target, it’s then a matter of being creative with the message to ensure cut-through.

That’s what you’ll get this week.

Over 60 minutes – two phone calls sessions (one at the start and one at the end) we’ll talk you through the ideas from start to finish. During the first call, we’ll get you to tell us what you’d like to achieve from these blog posts. 

We’ll then get our creative hats on and come up with up to 12 suggestions for post ideas. 

Please note: if you’d like us to write these posts, this is a separate cost. 

As a result of blog posts we’ve written for clients, we’ve been able to secure exposure for a major fashion brand in business magazines (not the first place you would think to look!), we’ve been able to get coverage for an educational business in industry magazines to spread the message of their services.

So if you think a blog post is just to sit on a website, think again!

Click here to get started.

 

 

 

 

Photo by LUM3N on Unsplash