Public Relations

The Myth of the PR Rolodex

RolodexI am often contacted by people who either want to hire me or they have questions about the process of hiring a public relations person. There are usually many questions, but the one that gets me rattled and moves the conversation from a Q & A to lecture is the inevitable question about wanting to find the person with the “golden Rolodex.” Continue reading

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Public Relations

Maturity in Marketing

hammerI have been dealing with and thinking a lot about mature companies versus immature companies. This is important stuff to know if you are an investor or financial type, but it is also important in marketing. Like a teenager, an immature company leaps before it looks, over estimates its contribution, stumbles over the smallest inconveniences, dreams big but does not support the dreams with research and fact finding, develops poor or lazy habits that will affect them later in their growth and generally needs more hand holding than their overdeveloped egos allow them to accept. Continue reading

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Public Relations

Can you create a personal brand?

As you know, if you have been ‘round these parts before, I have spent a fair amount of time in my career as an advisor to SMBs. I have consulted for over 100 companies and have a broad range of experiences to draw from. Between my professional experience, academic success and years on the planet, I feel like I have a fairly reasonable set of expectations for professional behavior. Probably I lean toward high expectations, but nothing unreasonable and I always take circumstances or context into consideration. Continue reading

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Public Relations

50 Shades of Marketing

Like it, love it, hate it, or love-to-hate it, Fifty Shades of Grey is coming to a theater near you. I personally can think of few things more irritating than a baby-faced 26-year-old bossing me around in the bedroom, but billionaires are hot, and 21-year-old college girls can be clueless, so I get it. I tried to read the book, but I was deterred by the prospect of one of my children finding it lying about. Then I tried it listen to it and it was worse that I imagined – more irritating, more gratings, and dare I say it, more stupid. And frankly, I am a grown woman. Despite the fact that my spirit animal is a cougar, I have so much work to do and in my precious spare time, drooling over an imaginary man-child is not on my list of things to do. However, listening to the Beyoncé song, is on my list. Continue reading

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Public Relations

7 Things Your PR person will not say to you, but should.

Are you familiar with the scene from Jerry Maguire where Tom Cruise’s character is battling with his client and he moans and begs, ‘Help me help you!’ The desperation and genuine desire is expertly acted by Mr. Cruise.

That scene pretty much sums up my life as a public relations professional. I spend most of my days living and breathing some form of a call to action – moving, pushing, prodding, enticing, eliciting, and engaging executives to move forward with their communications plans. Most do, because I am very persuasive, but some do not. And I wonder about that… Continue reading

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Public Relations

Crisis Communications

As PR professionals, our job is to remind senior managers and leadership from all functions that PR is not just a department, but a strategic approach from the c-suite down that will move the company forward in the best of times and spare everyone a bit of pain in the worst of times. PR cannot save you if you have done something bad, but just like you make your CEO practice fire drills once a year, it may be a good idea to give the crisis communications plan a run through once in a while.

Communications leaders should guide their organizations to follow these four simple steps to move the conversation and focus forward during a crisis:

1.) REGRET: Board members, management or staff do not need to apologize, but the Organization as a whole must REGRET what has happened, (individuals do not have to feel guilty or even responsible). Sample: The Board regrets that the financial situation has deteriorated to this point.

2.) RESOLVE: It must be made clear that the Organization is working to RESOLVE the issue. Sample: The Board has resolved both publicly and privately to work toward solutions to ensure the financial health of the Organization.

3.) REFORM: Without the promise of change, customers, clients, members, investors have nothing to cling to. Sample: The Organization is in the process of evaluating reforms to the current [insert issue here] and will be making reforms to this process by the end of the quarter.

4.) RESTITUTION: Publicly giving back or compensating in some way is something the Organization may want to consider. Sample: The Organization is examining the possibility of requiring reimbursements for items that were entered as expenses, but were found to for be personal use.

During a crisis (real or perceived) the company must immediately and adequately respond. The PR person is not always the best person to deliver these messages – someone from the top needs step up and respond.

Public relations professionals that are serious about guiding their organizations appropriately will have the insight and management skills to prioritize crisis communications planning to ensure their organizations are prepared.

All the best,

Jules

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What Is She Thinking?

Ban Bossy PR Campaign

Years ago I launched a local chapter of Femfessionals. I wrote about it here and have since received great support and feedback from women in my community. I love that our collective consciousness is focused on elevating women in all aspects of their lives. I loved Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean-In and am still a passionate supporter of Girl Scouts. The Ban Bossy campaign has been a huge PR success and I applaud all of the efforts that have gone into creating a cohesive message that celebrities, girl scouts, professionals and citizens can get behind and support. However, as you will read in my quotes from Leanne Italie’s Some question Sheryl Sandberg’s Ban Bossy campaign, while this is a campaign that I support and believe in, I also hope that in our fervor to man-up our young ladies, we don’t let go of our efforts to raise kind, sensitive, aware, empathetic girls. Continue reading

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