Just thought I'd point out that the organisers of the annual global CLIO awards have introduced a new PR/Strategy category.
There are a number of subcategories including: crisis management, corporate PR and consumer PR.
Traditionally, the CLIO awards are for recognising creative advertising in package design, print, radio and television. I think it's fantastic that they are acknowledging that PR can play a hugely important role as well. The whole 'advertising is dead- the rise of PR' argument is ridiculous. Both tools are equally important and can achieve out-of-this-world results when working side by side.
If you have completed a PR project that you're supremely proud of, fill in an application for these awards. Get New Zealand PR out onto the world stage!
You can enter at http://www.clioawards.com/
'My name is Jennifer Boyes and I'm addicted to online communications.................'
It started with a simple and harmless interest in forums and blogs when I was younger. However, as each year goes by, increasing numbers of online tools and applications are springing up.
Facebook, Myspace, Bebo, LinkedIn, Diggit, Reddit, Stumble and Del.icio.us are all global networking/sharing devices that I use on a regular basis. Closer to home we have Kiwipulse and ShareMyNZ, two New Zealand networking sites. And now, despite my best efforts to fight it, I have fallen victim to the temptation of Twitter......
I am passionate about online communications- on both a personal and professional level. I think it is something that is still undervalued by companies in New Zealand although I have noticed a few of our larger brands are starting to embrace online tools (Air NZ for example, which is on Twitter) .
The only thing that bothers me is the possibility that at some point in the future, there will be so many online networking mediums out there that it will become increasingly difficult to communicate with the right audiences. Us PR people will need an arsenal of about 500 different websites, if we want any chance of getting in touch with all the right people!
What do you think? Do you think that this is real a danger or do you think there will always be a select few networking/sharing sites that are hugely popular and accessed by the large majority? I would be interested to hear your thoughts.
By the way, if any of you use Twitter, leave your details in the comments here and I'll make sure to check you out. Or you can follow me and my own inane ramblings- my username on there is JenniferBoyes. Twitter you all later!
The Internet.....it will never catch on.'
-George W Bush, 1986-
When emailing and the World Wide Web were first being developed, many people didn't believe that these new tools would take off and become widely used by the general public (mind you, a similar group of people also thought that mobile phones were a fad.....)
Well- they have been proven wrong and then some! Many companies can no longer function without being connected to the Internet. We research, network, communicate and sort out our finances, all from the comfort of our office desk. Actually- we don't even have to be in our office, in front of a computer- we can now connect through our mobile phones and even our televisions.
One thing that has emerged out of our ever growing reliance on the Internet is an increased dependence on email as a means of communication. These days, more people email than pick up the phone.
Email can be hugely useful. Taking the time to write a message down enables you to say exactly what you want to say. On top of this, when you email, you don't run the risk of interrupting a client or a jouranalist when they are busy. On the down side, it does remove that personal aspect. Also, emotions and meaning can't always be properly conveyed through email and this can sometimes lead to misunderstandings....
Understanding email etiquette is an extremely important part of communicating properly....whether it is internally or with customers and suppliers. Here are a few tips from someone who has grown up with the net and has sent an awful lot of emails over the years!
1) Be meticulous with grammar, punctuation and spelling. You want the people you are communicating with to believe that you are professional and educated. Sending them an email without any full stops will not convince them that this is true.
2) Do not write your entire email in capital letters. This should be an obvious point but I recieved an email from a supplier a couple of days ago and the email read LIKE SHE WAS SHOUTING AT ME. Capital letters are hard to read and completely unnecessary
3) Be concise and to the point. If you are in business, it is likely that the people you are contacting are very busy people. Unless you are emailing a family friend, make sure that you do not ramble on for half a page about the weather/your children/your best friend's dog.
4) Beware of the Reply to All button. This email function can be very dangerous! Make sure that you only reply to the people that you want the email to be read by. Also be careful of the auto-fill function when typing out email addresses. Your client might not appreciate that highly confidential information being sent to your Mum or ex-boss by mistake....
5) Finally, never ever send an email when you are feeling angry. The consequences of this have been seen in many a newspaper story. Once you have sent an email, it can't usually be retrieved. If you are not sure whether you should send an email, save it in your drafts folder, sleep on it and then reassess the situation in the morning. You might decide that sending an abusive email to that supplier that got a delivery wrong or the client that paid an invoice late might not actually be the best course of action!
These are questions that I often muse over and I thought that they would be interesting ones to post on this blog.
Firstly, how 'out there' should public relations blogs be? Should PR company blogs contain all of the writer's possibly controversial opinions or should they stick to safer waters? And if they do stick to secure, neutral waters, then is there any real point to blogging? Hmmm.........
Of course, there are a couple of things to consider when penning a PR blog. For example, should you comment on a brand's PR work if there is even the teeniest possibility that you might one day be pitching for that company's PR account?
Secondly, why are we blogging- really? Are PR bloggers posting because it's their job and they've been told to blog once a week? Are they blogging because they want other PR people to read their entries and know that they are they kings of online communications (!)? Or are are they blogging because they want to convince business owners/managers/sales and marketing guys that PR is a valuable tool?
I think that the last reason should be the primary motivation for PR blogging. If that is the case, then bloggers need to make sure that the language they are using is simple, easy to understand and free of industry jargon.
On top of this, PR bloggers need to engage with people outside of their own tight community. We need to be interacting with bloggers and online communities that are discussing topics relating to business, politics and marketing. While conversing with other PR bloggers is good for industry/social networking, it's not going to get you any more PR business or educate people outside PR on the merits of public relations.
Finally, as far as censorship goes, I think PR bloggers should feel free to express their own opinions. Readers will catch on if you're holding back or not being genuine and will quickly lose interest. Make sure the blog reflects your own personality and thoughts and doesn't come across as stale and forced. Don't be afraid to blog about your own experiences.
However, we do need to tread carefuly- it goes with the territory.....For example, while relating personal experiences will endear you to the reader, make sure that you are not breaching any client confidentiality clauses......!!!