My morning routine since the COVID-19 pandemic hit

If you’ve read any of my Instagram posts in the past or indeed blog posts here detailing what an “average” morning is like for me, you’ll see it’s pretty busy from the minute I open my eyes. (Not unlike anyone else really!!)

COVID has completely changed that and I thought I’d share how important time management has become since lock-down.

While I wish I woke up looking like this….

via GIPHY

After running a brush through my hair and all that “business” I’m up and out of bed anytime between 5.50am and 6.30am while listening to hourly news headlines, I make my bed and I organise my clothes (definitely not the corporate /smart casual attire of pre-COVID). Once I’m organised, I then head to the kitchen for breakfast with my phone /laptop or iPad in hand.

While eating breakfast I’ll review the capital city newspapers, it’s at a more leisurely pace now with the TV on in the background and monitor what the breakfast programs are reporting. I have more time to actually digest (no pun intended!) what’s being said and listening to the tone of the presenters.

Depending on what the morning holds, I’ll either jump into a couple of emails (I set a timer for 20 minutes) then go for a walk and listen to updated podcasts or, I’ll jump in the shower, get dressed for any meetings or errands/ outings that day.

As I’m on my way to meetings I’ll listen to the podcasts (that I would have listened to on my walk) and a bit of morning radio (oh and there’ll definitely be a sing-a-long in there too!)

via GIPHY

 

HOT TIP: Want to know the songs getting me through my WFH work-day? Click here for the ultimate playlist.

Once I’m back from my walk, I get ready for the day ahead and I feel like I’m ready to get on with the rest of the day.

It’s all about a good sense of time management and prioritising. Some mornings I’ll have to forgo the tv monitoring and others I’ll catch up on newspaper headlines later in the day.

So what can you take away from my morning routine? 

  1. Even in these times, a routine can really help. It’s definitely been of benefit for me when things weren’t very rosy.
  2. Create priorities that will help you throughout the day. For me, it’s knowing what’s going on in the world so I can do the very best for my clients.
  3. Music can really help – a big ballad, a pop-tune… Whatever your taste pop it on in the car or connect your earphones and immerse yourself in the music for a few minutes.

As an example, this morning I noticed a new campaign for a competitor of one of my clients. I’ve since set-up some alerts and will be monitoring this campaign on their behalf. What benefit will this be for my client? We’ll be able to watch (in almost real time) the effectiveness of their campaign.

Want to have a chat about how I can assist your business?

Send me an email to discuss the best options for your business.

What you can learn from COVID’s biggest advertisers

Earlier this month a report was released into the numbers relating to businesses and organisations that advertised during initial and lock-down stage of COVID-19.

It’s not surprising to read that Government campaigns topped ad spend growth, up 67% in April.

Given the need to inform the community through adverts such as this one, the Government definitely needed to be “seen” and visible across a variety of platforms.

What may surprise you is the number of automotive adverts.

Why?

At a time when we were asked to stay at home, only go out for essential services, why would this industry continue its advertising spend?

There are a number of reasons but one of the most important, is to remain top of mind with customers for the impending “recovery” stage.

The need to get to work safely, avoiding public transport and looking further ahead, the ability to travel within the state are just some of the reasons why the automotive industry was right to continue their advertising during COVID 19.

 

So, what can you learn from these advertisers?

  1. Staying front of mind is CRITICAL
  2. If you’re in a position of influence, educate and inform your community as soon as possible. Make this easy to understand and digest
  3. A well thought out campaign will return dividends in the long run. Advertising should be a part of the campaign, it should also include PR, social media and creative marketing solutions.

If you’d like to explore PR options for your business, contact us today for an obligation free chat.

 

 

 

 

Link to the report mentioned in the start of the blog post can be found here

COVID media coverage shrinks so what’s the story now?

As reported in AdNews*, COVID-19 news coverage has been declining for the first time in nearly 3 months due to US protests, the return of NRL and impending start of AFL, so what will the story be in a week or so’s time?

The answer?

It could be YOUR business... Why shouldn’t it?

If you’ve pivoted, if you’ve changed direction completely, found a niche in your community or reached a milestone, this is the time to let the media know.

We’re entering yet another phase of the recovery process and as such, positive stories are in hot demand.

Especially those stories that can illustrate a direct connection between Government initiatives.

Why?

Because it boosts morale and it creates a sense of positivity within the community something that we all need right now.

So where do you start?

Just start thinking about the positives for your business, jot them down.

Have you been able to stay open? Have you hired extra staff? Are you starting that small business you always dreamed of starting? Have you created a product or service that’s really meeting the needs of your community?

Now you have your positive points down, I want you to think about what it took for you to get there.

Was it years of business experience? Perhaps it happened overnight?

With these two starting points I can assist your business secure the media exposure it deserves.

Now, finally, I want you click here and email us. Pop those points in the email and I will be in touch with the best media outlets to contact with your story.

 

-Brooke Simmons, Founder Pursuit Communications

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Story here

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.

The differences between PR and Marketing

Our intern Jordyn takes a look at the differences between Public Relations and Marketing in this week’s blog post.

PR V Marketing

Public Relations V Marketing

This is a common question that often arises and to put it simply, an answer that comes with multiple layers, therefore deserving a better explanation.

Public relations holds various definitions, however, it could be referred to as “deepening the connection an entity has with people who matter most to the businesses success”. In other words, PR is all about establishing, growing and maintaining reputation. Marketing, on the other hand, to put it bluntly, is about ‘’selling stuff’’.  

That said, there will always be crossover within public relations and marketing. Marketers still place importance on reputation while PR people are also interested in selling stuff. However, some marketers will still put sales ahead of reputation just as a portion of PR people will put reputation ahead of sales.

By way of comparison, the corporate communication side of PR tends to be more long-term in nature and more focused on building relationships with businesses. This might include functions for managing issues, communication corporate initiatives and building relationships with stakeholders. Importantly, there is always likely to be corporate and marketing crossover communication activities.

To generalise the two, marketers prefer pushing one-way promotional messages directly to consumers whereas, PR people prefer sparking conversation through a two-way engagement directly to consumers as well as third-party influencers.

All that aside, marketers will often hire PR people to add value to a campaign but in some organisations, PR will lead the way.

 

 

The inspiration for this post came from: 
https://www.smartcompany.com.au/marketing/the-differences-between-pr-and-marketing/?utm_campaign=SUS&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter

 

Instagram Developments

Instagram is Testing a New, Simpler Way to React to Stories

I’m sure we’ve all jumped on the bandwagon of reacting to friends posts and messages via an emoji on Facebook which launched in 2016. Well, Instragam is trialing just that through “stories”.

As us Instagram users already know, the option to comment on a story which goes straight to the persons DM’s (or Direct Message Inbox) or sharing a story with a friend are both great features but Instagram is making it even easier for us to react to stories through emoji.

friend-emojis.png
This allows you to quickly “react” to a story through a set of emoji instead of filling up someones DM’s.

Only the person who posted the story is able to see this, appearing in the viewer’s list.

This awesome feature is only being tested in selected countries, however, if rolled out to the masses this will be the perfect way to get closer to friends and eliminate clogging up someone’s inbox and make responding quicker!

What do you think?

Is messaging becoming too reliant on emojis?

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! 

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: Sandy Cummins

Today’s Guest blog interview is with a past client of Pursuit’s – Sandy Cummins. We worked with Sandy and her team when they launched a business in the beautiful Daylesford region of Victoria, Australia.

We’ve stayed in contact over the years and I was thrilled to have Sandy’s contribution towards our guest blog series.

So, Sandy, tell me a bit about your new venture.

Sandy: We are floral artisans, embracing the perfect imperfections of nature to bring the scents, colours and wayward stems of naturally grown old-fashioned fragrant roses, herbs and foliage. With nearly 2000 rose bushes we supply cut roses to others and produce our own lavish arrangements.  Our arrangements tell a story through the secret language of flowers sourced, foraged and grown locally, ethically and sustainably on our picturesque property in Victoria’s pretty little country village of Trentham, in regional Victoria.

Oh my goodness, that sounds like the perfect way to tell a story! Can you tell me a bit more about the process?

Sandy: Our heritage roses are garden grown with minimal intervention with the help of bees, compost, sunshine and rain. Our full romantic blooms show the true colours of gentle natural agriculture and have heady scents, twisting stems and the occasional spot. As nature intended.

How very eco-friendly and what a great selling point!

For those who don’t know, how did you use PR for your previous business?

Sandy: In a prior floral business, we used PR for a product launch to create brand awareness.

So I’d love to hear, what do you believe are the benefits of PR?

Sandy: Integrated PR strategies provide both short and long-term opportunities.

I think this is so true, so many time, people are only aware of the results that come via securing media coverage, however deeper than this, is the relationships with media contacts and the long-term benefits of this relationship. Anything else? 

Sandy: Building brand/product awareness is crucial and takes time. The investment in PR v. traditional advertising provides much more value for money.

I agree Public Relations is one that takes time and is all about building brand awareness over time. 

If a mentee walked up to you and asked for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would it be?

Always have an integrated strategy, continuously innovated and reinvent yourself and be true to your brand,  walk the talk – as authenticism is pivotal.

Define “Success”

The realisation of a dream which can be happily shared with others.

With “Success” in mind, what’s on your “work-plate” now?

A while ago, I stumbled upon an inspiring and informative book by investigative journalist Amy Stewart called Flower Confidential. It described the global floral industry today and the perils to both humanity and the land of the large-scale commercial flower industry.  Amy’s book was to floristry a little like what the film “Food Inc”  was to the food industry. So, in my mind, the seed was sown; a vision to establish a “slow” flower movement in Australia – local, seasonal, heritage varieties, grown collaboratively by local land-owners with a similar philosophy using sustainable practices. A flower farm consortium – was the ultimate dream!  “Consortium Botanicus” is now the reality. Consortium Botanicus encourages flower farmers, farmer-florists, and florist-designers right across Australia to join via their website www.consortiumbotanicus.com.au Membership is free and the momentum is building!

Well done! That sounds fab, lets hope others follow suit, do keep us updated!

Sandy, is there anything you’d like to share with us about upcoming projects (even a hint?)

Sandy: Our new bespoke accommodation launches very soon which provides guests with an immersive spa style experience combining our rose, herb and flower beds, local artisanal culinary delights and a level of comfort and style enabling true relaxation and rejuvenation.

Finally,  if you wouldn’t mind indulging us here, how did Pursuit Communications benefit your business?

Sandy: Pursuit Communications provided extensive media opportunities as well as assisted in the strategy and execution of a major launch event in regional Victoria. Compiling goody-bags, assisting with speeches and media relations – the activities Pursuit undertook assisted with the launch activity.

Thank you, Sandy, for your time and I’m thrilled that we’ve stayed in touch long after the campaign we worked on with you finished. 

Interested in finding out how Pursuit can assist your business in 2018?

Contact us TODAY.

We have FREE 20 minute consultations, where we’ll offer our insights and best recommendations for your business.

 

Not a cookie cutter approach

I was talking to a potential client recently and mentioned that Pursuit’s core value is that Pursuit doesn’t offer a “cookie cutter approach” service agency. (I have noticed the irony that every time I mention this to a potential client, it’s the only element that is a “cookie cutter” approach!)

This value was the very reason why I started Pursuit. It’s my belief and experience that if you work with a business to deliver a service they need, the relationship will stand the test of time.

What works for one company, won’t work for another.

It’s that simple.

Budgets are different, values are different, goals are different, therefore the service I’m offering should be different and ultimately, the cost for our services will be different.

That’s why I’ve created a few offerings that will help guide businesses into making the right decision.

“What is Public Relations? How will it benefit me?” is a one-on-one consultation with me (Pursuit Founder, Brooke Simmons). I will ask you key questions to help you decide if indeed it is Public Relations that you need, and if it is, how it can help your business.

You’ll walk away with three Public Relations tactics that will help your business and a summary of consultation notes.  45-minute session.

The next offering “Which Social Media Channel is for me?” We understand that with so many options available for businesses, it can be a daunting decision.

I will help YOU select the social media channel that will deliver maximum results for your business.

I will also provide tips on how to integrate social media into your current marketing plan.

PLUS I will make recommendations for next best steps and materials you’ll need to get up and running. 60-minute session.

I created these services, with our core value in mind and to guide businesses of all sizes through the minefield that can be Public Relations and Social Media.

Tell me – what do you like about personalised service?

I’d love to hear in the comments below.