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

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

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. 

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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.