“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

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! 

Guest Blog Post: Charlie Bowcock – Intern

Charlie interned at Pursuit at the end of 2017. Her drive and insights made Charlie an invaluable asset to the team.

Here I talk to Charlie about her experiences and future plans!

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

CB: “To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect but I surely was intimidated by the thought of it. It took a lot for me to even apply for internships because I didn’t think that I was enough. The idea of working with clients and contributing to the name that Brooke has built herself on the Coast with Pursuit Communications was not a task that I took lightly.

Coming into this role with this mentality, I thought that I would be a little out of my depth when it came to the practical knowledge that comes with this crazy industry. I felt like I had learnt so much theory at university but none of it had really prepared me for practical PR experience.

I agree, I think a lot of universities need to embrace an internship /placement program as part of their degree qualification. 

Yes! So true and now that I’ve experienced agency life the reality of my experiences interning here at Pursuit Communication were a lot less scary than I had originally thought.

A lot of the skills that I have learnt from working in other industries and during my degree are still applicable in PR work to be able to get the best results for Pursuit’s clients. I was surprised how much I relied on what, before interning here, I had assumed would be common sense for most. I have realised, during this experience that I have internalised much of what I had learnt at university into my everyday life but also, you cannot assume that others have that same common sense knowledge that I took for granted before coming into this role. I guess it is true what they say – you have to live and breathe this industry to do well and you (Brooke) have really instilled that in me during my time here.

Thanks Charlie! So say someone is feeling the same way you were before you started, sell them the benefits of participating in an internship program

CB: The biggest benefit of working at Pursuit Communications and under you (Brooke) is that you support your interns, their work and their ideas. I have been lucky in that from day one, Brooke had the confidence in me that I was maybe lacking in myself to get the job done.

Apart from the obvious benefits of having PR experience on your resume, this role has given me the ability to go into a job interview with examples of how I have helped achieve a positive outcome for a client. It has given me the confidence to know that I can succeed in this industry and I’m not going to lie to you, it is pretty damn fun!

So you’ve now completed your degree and heading out into the workforce – where do you see the PR industry moving in the next three to five years?
CB: I see this PR and marketing roles and functions becoming more and more integrated as businesses see and experience how beneficial a good PR practitioner can be, not only to their bottom line but also to the overall culture of the business itself. 

How So?

CB: PR is so diversified in how it functions on paper, but in practice, it really does take a village to raise a (campaign) baby. Good PR work requires the integrated knowledge of multiple people and perspectives to get a holistic picture of how a campaign should look and what will work for a public. With this in mind, I think the industry it will take a more interdisciplinary approach to PR practice.”

Any tips for those considering starting an internship program?

CB: “Take a leaf out of Nike’s branding and ‘Just Do It!’ That means getting completely out of your comfort zone, like when you are on a shoot and Brooke asks if you would mind being an extra (particularly when you get so nervous your organs feel like jelly).

Furthermore – there are no stupid questions, but there are definitely stupid answers. Do not be afraid to be a little extra, and always back yourself because if you don’t, why would anyone else?”

Thanks Charlie – appreciate your hard work and your dedication, it has been an absolute pleasure having you at Pursuit and I’d like to wish you all the very best in your future endeavours! 

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Charlie Bowcock – (seated right-hand side) taking part in photo-shoot for one of Pursuit’s clients in 2017

 

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

Guest Blog Interview: Sam Gardiner

The second guest blog interview is from Sam Gardiner. I met Sam at University (almost 16 years ago!) and since then we’ve not only been great mates and we’ve championed each other’s endeavors.

In the interview below, we discuss success, changing career paths and the fact that there is no such thing as an “average day”.

B:  Okay Sam, give me your elevator pitch… “Who is Sam Gardiner?”
S: I’m a creative at heart,  even at an early age, I found myself playing around on computers, creating and designing different things.. logos, brands, publications, labels, websites… I’ve always had an appetite for creativity. So when I completed high school I went into a BA comms at UWS (where we met!) with the idea to break into the advertising industry in some way.

I had this desire to feed my creative urge, however, I saw advertising as a cut-throat business which discouraged me greatly.  During this time, I took over my brother’s homebrewing kit, and from that moment on the die was cast. I decided to pursue a career in brewing. Once I had completed my BA comms I did a two-year graduate diploma in brewing, and subsequently worked a decade in the brewing industry.  Eventually, I found myself specialising in the setup and commission of new micro-breweries around the world.

After 10 years I decided to settle back in Australia and take a change in direction – I went back to my initial passion around creativity and now I work in a small advertising agency, in Sydney

B: So what’s your job and how does an average day look for you?
S: I’m “officially” a Production & Video Manager, but often there’s more to it than that.

My day revolves around wearing a range of different hats. Working for a small agency, I have my fingers in many pies when it comes to projects.

B: Yes, I find the same thing. No two days are ever the same!

S: Exactly! One moment I am out shooting a video, the next I’m designing a mock-up for a  website and liaising with programmers to bring that mockup into reality, then I may be managing the production of a trade magazine, or analysing data from a recent MailChimp campaign, or editing and producing our latest months content for Hello Foodservice, in between meeting with clients.

B: I find when it’s like that, it’s often hard to keep track of what day it is, because usually you’re always forward planning /working and then remembering the actual date is not (for example) November it’s September!

S: Yes!  I do find especially with travel thrown into the mix that the days fly by (pardon the pun!) and some days I leave with a headache, others I leave with a smile, but on the whole, I love what I do.
 

SG Blog photo

Sam Gardiner, Production & Video Manager

B: I think that’s important to love what you do. On that vein of thinking, what advice would you give someone?  

 
S: Don’t doubt your abilities when you look at others. A lot of people bluff. If you can deliver, that’s what will lead you to success.

B: Speaking of #Success (Which you know is a hashtag we champion!) what does success mean to you?

S: Success is in the eye of the beholder. Only you can gauge what is a success and what is not due to your own set of principles. Some people gauge earning a million bucks as a success, others gauge having a loving family at their side as a success. It’s subjective.

One thing I would say is that even something you may consider a failure is a success in a way as you can learn from it for next time.
If you do experience a failure, never give up.

Learn from it.
Move on.
Try a different route.
Eventually, you will succeed.

 

***

I’d like to thank Sam for his time and friendship. There’s more guest blog interviews coming soon, so stay tuned. 

If you missed our first guest blog interview with Intern Lani then CLICK HERE.

 

FriYAY wrap-up 28 April

Another fantastic session with lots of attendees this afternoon in my 5pm Instagram chat.

Today I discussed – “Challenges” and the benefits of running one of these for your business.

We’ve all seen those challenges on social media, three days to a great body, 14 days to become your own sales rep and so on.

Are they beneficial? If you do run one, what do you get out of it? I discussed this and more.

Key points:

*Share your “Challenge” with a specific audience, don’t just share it to everyone, make it specific and then target those customers.

*KIS – Keep It Simple – it will make the challenge more enjoyable for everyone (you and the participants)

*Prepare ALL your content in advance – This way you’ll be ready to go and won’t be frantically creating documents or content at the last minute and you’ll be lest likely to have errors!

I do have some ideas for some challenges I can hold and if you’d like more details CONTACT ME.

Next up I discussed ShadowBanning on Instagram

This seems to be affecting a lot of businesses on Instagram. So what is it? It’s when your hashtags become undiscoverable, therefore your posts can’t be found and you’ll notice a decrease in the number of likes.

Key points:

*It’s POST BASED – NOT – account based

*There is a way to check if you’ve been shadowbanned, or if a particular post has been shadowbanned. CONTACT ME and I’ll send you the details.

Weekly wrap-up:

*Logies discussion and Samuel Johnson winning the gold!

*Radio ratings results; Alan Jones return provides boost for 2GB, and the interesting results for FM radio.

That’s it for this week. Hope you all have a great weekend.

 

Insights into public relations

I’ve been thinking about the best way to highlight the way public relations (PR) & social media works in the world, is to talk to those who use it / work in the industry / study it and employ ME to assist their business with their PR and social media goals.

So, over the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing some insights from some of those in my networks to show YOU how PR and social media works.

If there’s a question you’d like me to address, please pop it in the comments below.

I’d love to answer your questions, or have one of our guest bloggers answer it for you!

The Ed Sheeran effect

Unless you’ve been under a rock, it’s hard not have seen or heard one of the two new songs from hitmaker Ed Sheeran.

Ed’s currently on a promotional tour of Australia and it appears to be doing great things for him, with his two newly released songs placed at one and two on the ARIA charts

So, what lesson can we take from Ed?

Well, there’s many but the one I’d like to focus on today is that simplicity wins, always.

Ed takes to stage, television and radio studios with just a guitar and that sublime voice of his. Now, that is a skill in itself there’s no taking away from that.

But there’s no bells and whistles, just as there shouldn’t be when it comes to promoting your business.

Simple messages, without fluff will always stand a better chance of cut-through than those with unnecessary words.

I’d like to take the opportunity to remind our readers that we’re still offering FREE PR advice – click here to answer two simple questions and I’ll get back to you with feedback.

Blogging for Business

Have you always wanted to write a blog for your business, but you’re not sure where to start?

Why not take some inspiration from those who have been awarded the Best Business Blog title for 2016 by SmartCompany.

All it takes is an idea, a blog hosting site and you’re ready to go. Share the content with your customers via electronic newsletter or promoting it in store.

Pursuit Communications can assist your business with its blog, electronic newsletter or social media profiles – contact us today to discuss. 

 

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Think you have social media under control?

Think again.

If you’re new to social media, trying to understand all its intricacies can be a nightmare. With a little help, the nightmare can turn into a dream come true!

Ragan’s PR daily posted 4 reasons why a PR company should look after your social media channels.

I’d like to add my own reasons.

PR’s have the ability to understand where the next “big thing” in social media will be. We have to have our finger on the pulse, so it makes sense to employ someone who understands this space.

PR’s should be able to creatively use your social media channel in order to engage the audience you’re after. There’s no point in posting pointless information, as PR’s it’s our job to ensure your message is reaching the correct audience – whatever the method of communication used is.

PR’s now live and breathe social media. Why give yourself extra work, when you can employ someone who understands (and potentially LOVES) social media.

If you’d like to discuss how Pursuit Communications can help with your social media, head to the contact us page.

The Ragan’s post can be found here.