One of the key methods of maintaining a successful image for your business or personal pursuits is to have a decent grasp of how Public Relations work. Managing Public Relations is an important facet of several different career fields, because many successful people will at one time or another find themselves in the public eye. This attention can catch some by surprise, therefore it is a good idea for anyone seeking upward mobility to at least learn some PR basics. By following a few simple steps, even those who seem to suffer from perpetual foot-in-mouth syndrome can become a Public Relations maven.
Take Stock of your Public Relations Situation
The first step to improving the public image of a business or individual is to perform a Public Relations Audit. It may sound complicated or even scary, but this audit is basically a list of pros and cons. To complete a PR audit, compile 2 lists: Things which have the potential to help your public image, and things which have the potential to hurt it. After the information has been organized, it can be compared in order to assess your Public Relations Risk Factor. There is no particular scale to follow in regards to how high your risk factor may be. They key is to simply work on decreasing the items which may have a negative impact.
Moderation is Key
Once you have identified potential Public Relations risks, the next step is to work on increasing your general appeal across the board. This is useful for politicians, business owners, and public speakers alike. In general, you want to at least appear to be very “Middle of the Road” in your dealings. Any political poll from the last 50 years of elections will show that moderate candidates do better across the board in elections. Of course candidates who express fervent approval for special interests will gain a great deal of attention and press, but they rarely get elected, why? The answer is simpler than you might think. Human nature tends to lead people to prefer leaders whose behavior can be easily predicted. Being outwardly moderate indicates to those observing that you are more considerate, intelligent and trustworthy.
Who Are You Trying to Impress?
The third basic step to maintaining good Public Relations is to identify your key demographic. This is the group of people you most wish to attract to yourself or your business. Certain demographics will be attracted by certain behaviors and repelled by others. It is useful to learn which issues and features are important to your target demographic and use them to your advantage. Consider the current 18-30 year old urban demographic: This group, more so than any other is attracted to representation. They want to know that you not only want to sell a product or idea to them, but also that you consider their ideas and interests to be a valid contribution to the culture at large, and not simply things to by laughed at and chalked up to youthful silliness. For the current generation this typically involves the integration of technology into your business model. However, the need for representation is not a new facet of this demographic.
In Spike Lee’s 1989 film “Do the Right Thing”, an Italian-American business owner operating in an African-American neighborhood ends up losing his restaurant to vandalism that was the direct result of his refusal to acknowledge that his business’s success is due almost entirely to the Black customers that frequent it. A running theme throughout the film is the idea of escalating events, in that several scenes which nearly became violent (and one that did) could have been avoided by simply acknowledging the value each group represented to the other.
Managed Public Relations = Increased Expectations.
Managing Public Relations can be an incredibly rewarding skill to master. Though traditionally considered to be more a part of political and big business environments, even everyday people are increasingly beginning to realize the benefits of having a few PR tricks up their sleeves. By learning to conduct business in a more organized and image conscious fashion, anyone can increase their personal profitability improve their public image.
No matter what industry you are looking to dominate, sooner or later innovation will play a major role in your success – or lack thereof. According to Ronn Torossian, even in an environment or business paradigm that seems to change slowly or discourage out of the box thinking, innovation will eventually be necessary for continued success.
This is not because people are trying to create sweeping changes. In many cases, it’s just the opposite. Innovators are not trying to make massive “meta” changes to industries. They start out simply solving one problem, or improving one way to make a profit.
Consider, Henry Ford was not looking to put a bunch of people out of business or to create an entire industry when he applied assembly line tactics to his production floor. He was simply trying to build and sell cars in a way that allowed more people to own them while still protecting his profit margins.
Likewise, Jeff Bezos was not setting out to destroy publishing and kill bookstores when he started Amazon. He just saw a ton of money being left on the proverbial table and devised a way to collect it.
Both of these practical geniuses simply solved one initial problem that led to other challenges… and then others. As each new challenge was addressed, industries were created and destroyed.
Innovation dynamics work the same way even in individual jobs. Your employer may hire you to do a certain job in a certain way, but sooner or later, the market or the company or that task will change. If you can get ahead of that curve and change yourself BEFORE your employer or the market needs you to change – and you can make that practice a habit – you will become indispensable.
Further, true innovation also has vital and almost limitless public relations potential. The media loves “new” news. Anything that is legitimately new, or different, or special is bound to get attention. And, if you can do it in a way that will get people looking and keep people looking, the media will continue to give you attention.
Bottom line, when you are considering how to devise your own career ascent, never underestimate the power of innovation – in your job, in your plans, and in your communication. If you can channel and present the extraordinary, that’s exactly the sort of success you can achieve.
Breaking into the business world can be tough. Even with a college degree, top marks, and a fundamental understanding of the economic world, riding the ups and downs that come with a business is a challenge. The business world tends to be cutthroat. This generation doesn’t have the same room to make mistakes as past ones did. With so much competition and desperation to seize markets and clients, an up-and-coming CEO needs to be ahead of the learning curve.
Tips for Young CEO’s under 30
Fortunately, there are five tips for any aspiring CEO to follow that will put you far ahead of even some of the most experienced in the field. Ronn Torossian shares:
Always ask questions.
CEOs pave the way for business change by questioning processes and ideas. They come up with innovative ways of saving, creating, and doing. If you question the old processes, think outside the box, and problem solve, you’ll be well on your way to a unique entrepreneurship that brings clients flocking to your door.
You have to love your work! You have to find something that you’re invested in, and let that passion drive you and your company, day in and day out. In such a competitive world, you need to have the extra drive to persevere even when others would stop. This is what will make you a success. You need to be a natural leader. One who can take on the responsibility of motivating people and revolutionizing the business world. This passion will also keep you from burning out too fast and too soon.
Don’t let arrogance get in your way.
No matter your skill level, there is always more to learn. You will never completely have a grasp on the business world, no matter how many years of experience you have. Even the oldest businessmen will tell you this. Know when you DON’T know something, and learn how to step back when you need to. If you need to learn more, then do so with grace. It’s okay if you make mistakes or if you need to learn more. You just need to own up to it and continue growing. Take personal responsibility for what you already know and what you need to know.
Hire more experienced people as executives.
This is another place where you shouldn’t let arrogance get in your way. We see it all the time in politics – the President hires experienced people for his cabinet, and different senators hire experienced people to give political advice. The business world functions much the same way. You need to have experienced professionals around to give you business advice. This way, you’ll have an army of knowledge at your fingertips.
Don’t try to brave this alone.
To be a success, you’ll need the help of other people. Though you’ll be at the head of the company, there will be other supporters who will give their input. From your executives to your friends to the members of your family, you need to have a support network. Some of these people will help with business decisions, whereas others will be around to lend a helping hand when the stress just seems like too much.
It is okay to be a human CEO. A sense of humor, a deep rooted passion, transparency, flexibility, and a strong work ethic will do you much more good than a brittle image that can shatter when the first volley is launched.
Americans love beer. No doubt about it. And, for decades, Americans have also had a love affair with light beer. Miller, Coors, Bud, and Keystone all enjoyed massive success with their light (lite) beer selections, but now there may be some signs that the golden years for the lighter golden brews is coming to an end. Ronn Torossian explains what is happening and how brands could respond with targeted consumer Beverage PR.
According to prognosticators, domestic sales of light beer in the United States will hit a ten-year low in 2015. And, while this is just a prediction, it is based on solid trends and a changing market. In fact, experts are saying light beer sales will finish 2014 down nearly 5 million barrels.
To top it off, the market’s big boys are also the biggest losers in this trend. Bud Light sales have fallen for five straight years, and both Coors and Miller saw their light and lite selections lose market share.
Of course, the folks at AB InBev, Coors, and Miller say they’re not worried. After all, they have weathered market shifts before, and they are already working on solutions to these trends. One solution, of course, is to introduce a line of new or slightly different products. If the companies can engage bored customers with new offerings, they can offset losses with gains in new markets.
In addition, all three companies are expected to make strong marketing pushes later this year. That means new creative campaigns, PR barrages, and new ideas coming from industry leaders. That could lead to an entirely different sort of marketplace shakeup. If the trend “victims” can successfully flip the script and become the trend setters, the upstart smaller breweries and microbreweries that have been cutting into their market share could once-again find themselves playing catch up with the big boys.
With the internet evolving at speeds faster than light, it’s hard to keep up with the times. PR techniques that worked perfectly a decade ago are now outdated. Television ads have nearly become a thing of the past, and now social media allows people to share articles and information instantly. A business needs to be ahead of the game to garner clientele, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the use of social media for PR.
Here are six quick strategies to make your social media PR effective:
1) Be brief but exciting.
Many social media sites – Twitter in particular – are fashioned around short attention spans. Your press releases and public relations posts have to be short enough for the impatient, and filled with enough content to be interesting. Meaningful posts are the ones that are shared on social media. Without content that strikes a chord with readers and potential clientele, your company’s social media profiles will fizzle.
2) Keep up-to-date on the news.
The best way to keep up-to-date is by seeing what trends are taking over social media. You can comment on them on your company’s social media outlets, as well as contact local reporters and hold news conferences to discuss the issue. Business is politics, and you’ll have to take firm roles if you want to be noticed.
3) Offer help.
One of the best ways to boost your customer base is by establishing yourself as a knowledgeable leader in your company’s field. Nothing is better for this than being helpful. Post links to tutorials as well as helpful advice. Know what questions people are asking and be prepared to answer them.
4) Avoid Facebook for PR.
Facebook can be good for advertising, but it’s not so good for PR. The website tends to be for connecting with friends and colleagues, as well as sharing different articles found on the web. Though this may sound like the ideal place for PR, many Facebook users – even if they are part of your clientele – aren’t likely to reblog serious news stories. If you have a funny advertisement then by all means, share it. But even the most engaging press release probably won’t get picked up on Facebook.
5) Live in the moment.
Sometimes a crisis of epic proportions will arise. Whether it’s a natural disaster or something that affects solely your business, you’ll need to respond to it. Social media outlets shouldn’t be your one place to respond, but they should be utilized. You’ll need someone on your PR team to man your social media accounts during the crisis, while another calls a conference to comment on the news as it develops.
6) Utilize videos.
Know about video management sites all over the web. Your company should probably have a Youtube channel, where you can post everything from press release videos, to new product lines, to tutorials. Some people find that watching a video is much easier than reading an article, and so you’ll pull in more clients this way.
Underestimating the powerful role that social media plays in PR is a costly mistake. By creating a plan that incorporates these successful strategies, your company can maximize its social impact.
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