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

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.

 

 

What will you gain from our PR courses?

So you’ve seen us promoting our courses on Instagram and Facebook.

You’re thinking, sure that’s something I might want to explore. (Then register your interest here!)

What will you gain from the courses?

Well, there’s the obvious response… Knowledge.

Pursuit Founder Brooke Simmons has experience across the business to consumer and business to business PR arenas.

She’s represented multinational airlines, multinational FMCG brands, and independent sole-traders. She knows the way to get your individual message heard.

Okay, that’s great, but what else?

Confidence. Confidence in PR is essential, in your brand, and in so many other areas that are covered in both courses.

You’ll also have the opportunity to network if you’re attending one of the public courses. The ability to meet people who are of a similar mindset to you, who want to achieve the same goals. It’s an opportunity to expand your business network.

If you’re ready to learn PR basics click here. 

 

Dedication is not a dirty word

So I’ve had to make a very difficult decision in 2019.

This will be the first time in ten years that Pursuit /Central Coast Chronicle won’t have an internship program running.

Earlier this year, I shortlisted three wonderful candidates, met with them and organised a trial with one. So I was serious (at that stage) about another year of supporting an Intern.

When I was scheduling this trial, I realised I needed to dedicate a full day to this Intern, despite the fact she would only be with me for 3.5 hours.

There was the organisation of tasks before she arrived, (making sure the tasks weren’t too hard and equally not too easy, yet showing her the breadth of responsibilities). Once she arrived, there was explaining how “things work” at Pursuit and Central Coast Chronicle, showing her where everything is saved and then, getting around to some work.

It’s not that I didn’t love this interaction between an Intern and myself and learning to look at things a different way or consider a younger viewpoint.

It really did come down to dedication.

When you have an Intern or a Junior, there’s a lot of explanation that has to go on. If the face to face time is only weekly, that’s a lot of going over the same ground (hopefully only initially). It’s dedicating time and knowledge to someone who is willing to learn, someone who will benefit from your knowledge and you’ll benefit from their participation. It’s explaining the “how’s”, “who’s” and “why’s”.

So often, I’ve had an Intern tell me, “I’m learning so much, Uni doesn’t cover this sort of stuff!”

For me, that’s worth its weight in gold.

I do sincerely hope that in the future, I’ll be able to revisit an Internship program. It may be a program that’s completely different in nature, only time will tell.

I do know when it does happen again, I’ll be completely dedicated to ensuring both the intern, Pursuit Communications /Central Coast Chronicle and our clients all benefit from the experience.

Liking the new Instagram changes…

We’ve all had some time to digest the fact that Instagram has removed likes in what is being called a “test” across seven countries. 

In case you missed it, no longer will you be able to see how many times an image (that isn’t yours) has been liked or viewed that has been posted by someone else – unless you’re looking at Instagram on a desktop computer!

You’ll be able to see WHO has liked the post in some circumstances when people you follow like an image from an account you follow. 

The

I think this is a fabulous step from Instagram /Facebook. 

Why?

Because for many of us, (including yours truly) we’re guilty of focusing on the number of likes our content receives rather than the content itself.

Speaking of content – it’s all well and good to post the things we love but business accounts are about the customers and what *they* want. In short, post the aesthetically pleasing pictures on your personal accounts. 

I’m not saying that your business account should be a “hodge-podge” of images, but it should serve your followers well. 

Employ a local photographer for a day, have a plan of what sort of shots you want to get and then you’ll have social media content for at least a couple of months.

So, now that the number of likes has been removed, what will this mean for metrics? 

In short, nothing. 

Some influencers may argue with that point, but you’ll still have the data in the back-end, so in my opinion, it’s a moot point. 

While it’s been called a “test”, I don’t think we’ll see likes come back in the way they were.

My thoughts? In the future, I think Instagram will allow business accounts to see the numbers, perhaps not directly under the image but perhaps somewhere on the home screen.

Perhaps the whole issue is best summed up by this quote;

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” – Dyer.

 

Our courses have arrived…

Back in February I said two courses were on the way… well… they were.

Now I’m excited to share, that they’re here. There’s no point mucking around. I’ve created the course content and I’m ready to share what I know with YOU to make your business PR goals a reality.

I won’t rehash the summaries of the beginners course or the intermediate course click here for details, including minimum numbers required to proceed, and to register your interest.

What I will say is that these courses are designed for *anyone* you may have some preliminary PR knowledge and want to brush up on some of the basics. If you’re interested in taking that next step with your PR goals then the intermediate course will be a perfect fit for you.

If you’re a sole-trader, an employee of a medium sized business, or a large corporate – no matter where you are on your career path, you’re welcome to attend!

Plus at the end of both classes you’ll have the opportunity to network with the other attendees and hopefully build some long-lasting connections.

I’m really looking forward to connecting with you and sharing my knowledge to help you achieve your PR goals.

An (overdue) update

If you’ve missed our posts on Instagram and Facebook and indeed our blog posts here there’s been a very good reason.

Our Founder, Brooke was ill (we’ll spare you the horrid details!) and after presenting at her doctor’s clinic with a RESTING heart rate of 175, it was in an ambulance to Gosford hospital.

After two days of examinations, ultrasounds and what felt like millions of questions, Brooke was diagnosed with a kidney infection (which was remedied quickly with antibiotics) and a thyroid condition called Graves Disease.

So, why are we being transparent about this? Especially on a business platform?

A few reasons.

  1. To explain the absence and the fact that as much as Brooke would have liked to have been on an island sipping cocktails, this simply wasn’t the case
  2. To praise the nurses in Gosford Hospital – Brooke has said on numerous times since coming home, it was the nurses care that got her through her hospital stay.
  3. Finally, to let you all know – that there are some exciting developments that Brooke will be releasing in the second half of 2019.

Thank you to our clients for your understanding during this time and to those who are yet to join us, we look forward to sharing with you the next phase of Pursuit Communications.

 

Two PR Courses coming SOON!

If you’ve been following us over on Instagram, then you may have heard that I’m launching not one but TWO – yes TWO PR courses in 2019.

Why?

Because I have a tonne of knowledge and want to share it. Simple as that. If I can help you with your PR activities, then fan-bloody-tastic.

So, what will the courses look like? Well, I’m glad you asked!

There will be a course for beginners, this is for those of you no PR experience whatsoever. Don’t know the definition of PR? Awesome! Don’t know the difference between PR, advertising and marketing? Sit right down.

The beginner’s course will cover the basics of PR and give you that very gentle nudge to start you on your PR adventure.

The second course is set at an intermediate level. So you may have dabbled in PR either with an agency, or by yourself, but the results have been… how can we put this gently… Lackluster? Shambolic? A right mess? Then pull up a chair, because we’ll cover some of the common areas where mistakes can (and often are made). We’ll also dissect a media release in the course to get you ready and raring.

I’m currently putting the finishing touches on both courses.

The beauty of both courses is that they’ll be available face-to-face in solo sessions and groups AND online for individuals and groups!

So, if you’re interested in either course I’m encouraging you to sign up to the relevant mailing list.

Why? Well if you do so now, you’ll receive an early-bird discount and all the details before ANYONE ELSE.

So if you’re interested in the beginner’s course SIGN UP HERE

If you’re interested in the intermediate course SIGN UP HERE

Looking forward to sharing details with you soon!

An intern’s perspective

As we look for a new Intern (click here more details about applying!), we’ve asked Jordyn Rankin our most recent Intern, to reflect on her experience.

 

So Jordyn, what did you expect from your internship & what was the reality of your internship experience?

I honestly didn’t know what to expect from interning with Pursuit Communications, I guess that’s because this was my first ever intern experience. So, I went into this with an open mind and an eagerness to learn, even though I knew it would be challenging, yet it would also be very valuable for my future in the PR industry.  

The PR industry is definitely portrayed in a glamorous light and I thought that I would step into this internship with an abundance of knowledge from everything I have learned at University so far. I was quick to realise that a lot of what we are taught in the classroom plays only a small part in this fast-paced industry.

Jordyn, under 100 words – describe your interning experience… 

The reality of my experience, over the 10 months I was with Pursuit proved that practical experience in the PR industry is so important whilst studying at University. I got to see first hand all the time, effort and hard work that goes into having a PR business in order to be successful. I know I have a lot more to learn, however interning with Pursuit has confirmed my passion for PR!

 

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Jordyn Rankin

 

With this in mind, do you think Intern experiences should count towards university credit points?

I think that every University should encourage more students to undertake internships because the benefits are endless. However, in my opinion, the most important benefit is that it gets your foot in the door, gets your name out there and is a way of networking and forming relationships, which is so important to do.

Real-life experience has personally given me a lot more confidence and motivation to succeed and now I’m able to add an internship on my resume, which is also a huge bonus. Brooke (Founder of Pursuit Communications and Central Coast Chronicle) has been an amazing mentor and from day one, I always felt supported in my work and my ideas. With her help, I can now go into my next internship or job interview with some real industry examples and knowledge that will set me apart from the rest.

Where do you see the PR industry moving in the next three to five years?

This is a very hard one to predict because of how fast the industry is evolving and how much the web and social media revolutionises the way the PR industry operates. Having also studied Marketing at Tafe I can definitely see both PR and Marketing complimenting each other and becoming more integrated. Utilising both of these disciplines is definitely proving the overall success of businesses today in reaching its target markets. As a result, I think there will always be a demand for experienced, result driven PR practitioners.

 

How so?

The PR industry is a lot more than just press releases and getting the word out to journalists. (If you’re still thinking that it’s just media releases, you really need to chat to Pursuit – some of the ideas Brooke comes up with for her clients are absolute “WOW-factor!”)

So following this line of thinking, PR is becoming more popular for businesses (well I think so!) because of the multitude of ways a message can be executed. PR isn’t advertising, nor is it like marketing. It’s all about storytelling and shaping an image of a certain product, service, event, or organisation. Therefore, PR gives businesses an exciting way to stay connected with their customers (both existing and potential) and an opportunity to educate the general public about what it is they do – in (perhaps) an unconventional way. 

Any tips for those considering starting an internship program?

The sooner you start interning the more you will get out of your degree and the more experienced you’ll be entering the workforce after University. You will learn so much more by gaining practical experience, so step out of your comfort zone, ask questions (there are no right or wrong questions) and make your resume stand out above the rest. 

Finally, interning is also a lot more than just showing up and doing what you’ve got to do. It’s about being proactive in the office, anticipating what might be happening and asking if you can help (go above and beyond!) it’s also about getting to know what other PR agencies are out there and what they’re all about so I highly recommend researching, talking to people and attending networking events!! It will hugely benefit you and your future as a PR practitioner during your time at University and also when you step foot into the real world.

Brooke’s note: Jordyn, thank you for what you added to Pursuit and to the launch of Central Coast Chronicle. You were here at a critical time for both businesses and your ability to adapt and “switch gears” from “PC” to “CCC” at a moment’s notice was very much appreciated. I wish you continued success with your studies and entering the workforce.