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.

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

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. 

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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.

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!

How to PR in 2019

It’s a hectic time of year, there are functions to attend, end of year reports to be completed not to mention all of your personal commitments. What’s the best way to get ahead in 2019? Read on… 
We’ve made a list why taking advantage of our new year offer from Pursuit will give you and your business the edge in 2019. 

  • We will create a tailored pitch for your business. It will be completed by PR professionals. All you have to do is provide some details as to what you would like Pursuit to promote to our extensive list of relevant media contacts.
  • Pursuit will enhance your business profile with these contacts 
  • It will give you the chance to receive one-on-one advice from the Pursuit team to improve your PR communications strategy
  • Pursuit will help your business gain media coverage, reach your target audience with a great platform to generate sales
    Overall, Pursuit will give your business that much needed and desired head start in the New Year.

NOW is the time to inspire your audience as to WHY they should engage with your business in 2019 and beyond and Pursuit Communications will help with just that.

Public Relations can make a huge contribution to the success of your business, so teaming with Pursuit in the lead up to the new year is the most cost-effective way to market your business. 

Let Pursuit generate the media attention and brand recognition your business deserves 2019. 

 

New Year package details

 

Writing news stories for radio

Our intern Jordyn is using her time at university to the absolute max!

Not only is she interning with Pursuit and our sister company – Central Coast Chronicle, she’s also interning at Newcastle radio station 2NUR.

 

Jordyn has detailed for us what goes into each news broadcast. It may surprise you!

 

“I have recently started undertaking an internship with 2NUR-FM radio and after only a couple of sessions, it astounds me how much work goes into each broadcast. The sessions I’ve had with the station have been quite varied. I’ve been writing news bulletins, making calls to get news grabs and reading media release after media release for the 12 pm, 1 pm, 2 pm news bulletins and the odd story for the following morning.

 

These tasks aren’t always smooth sailing and will often take time depending on the story. If you’re waiting on a call back from a person of interest for some news grabs, time really is of the essence and not something you can get back!

 

Last week I was working on a bulletin for the new waste collection service around the Hunter Valley area and was waiting on a call back from Council. By the time they called back, I had half an hour to get a 30-second bulletin prepared (or “up” as they say in the newsroom) for the 12 pm news along with a grab from the call recording. This can be quite stressful, especially since I had to report on the same issue for 1 pm and 2 pm bulletins and needing to re-word each bulletin as well as using a different grab for each broadcast. So there was some variety with the same story for our dedicated listeners.

 

I had another instance that same day where I didn’t get a call back for another story I was working on so I just had to take a quote and information from the media release and create an angle to make it sound interesting.

 

What worked in my favour was having a background in PR, my internship at Pursuit, meant I was prepared and could hit the ground running.

 

I have already found interning for 2NUR-FM to be a positive challenge, it’s exciting and I have definitely learnt a lot in such a short period of time.”

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!