Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bush on YouTube - How not to use video.

Having just finished a webinar with the Public Relations Institute of Ireland on how to effectively use video in PR I was interested to find out that George W Bush had also recently embraced the idea. The results however were not what we had spoken about during our webinar. The Bush video produced to promote his upcoming memoirs is painfully dull. It is three minutes long and I would challenge you to get through half of it. If you'd like to take up the challenge you can do so by clicking on this link .

4 elements that will ensure your pitch gets ignored

According to the Wall Street Journal there are 4 elements that can ensure your pitch goes straight to the delete/ trashcan if you include them. These elements are as follows:

  1. Introducing your mail with “Dear Morning Ireland” or ”Dear Morning Ireland presenter”- that tells the person receiving the mail that you have not taken time to research their show. This doesn't bode well for the amount of effort put into the rest of the pitch if this basic element is incorrect or sloppy.
  2. “Greetings!” "Hello All" -Automatic delete. Just a general e-mail.
  3. “Using the phrase ‘Breaking News’ -According to the Wall Street Journal this is one of the most over used and mis-used statements and is incredibly frustrating as most of what is termed 'breaking news' is anything but.
  4. Listing the other media that have already expressed an interest in the topic or the guest. Everyone in media wants to feel like we’re getting somebody unique not getting the left overs from the party. They all want to know how your story is relevant to them and their listeners, viewers or readers. You need to do your research in advance and sell the angle most suitable for the person/show you are pitching to.

Poorly crafted pitches or lazy pitches do you no good in the short term and may also do you long term damage. The liklihood of the same reporter opening one of your future e-mails diminishes if they have a bad encounter with you at the start.

If you'd like more tips on how to create a winning pitch read this interview with the Gordon Deal a reporter with the Wall Street Journal.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Inviting criticism in order to engage employees

Even if you have a brilliant new business strategy or communications strategy it is not likely to succeed unless your senior management and your organisation's employees buy into the idea. But with so much information coming at people in the workplace, how do you engage employees with a new proposal? In the information overloaded society in which we operate this is a very valid question.

Leadership guru John P Kotter certainly has a novel approach to getting employees attention. Kotter's new book, Buy-In (Harvard Business Press), promotes encouraging employees to criticise your plans. This certainly seems a strange way to get buy in but Kotter argues that it can be a valuable way to get employees to engage with you. In his book he also explains how to deal with this criticism when it comes and how this can build engagement lead to successful implementation.

Marco Greenberg - Meeting a force of PR Nature

I have this afternoon come out of a truly inspiring session at the International Association of Business Communicators World Conference in ...