PR Management

Today’s PR tips will serve as a refresher course of what you already know.
Management is an essential role that needs to be played in all organizations of the attainment of set goals. According to Mary Parker Follett, management is ‘the art of getting things done through people.’ This is through giving directions to employers, providing leadership and deciding how to use the organization’s resources to accomplish task and attain high performance.
There are four functions of attaining organizational goals in an effective and efficient manner through management.
During this foundation phase, the management analyses where the organization currently is, where they want to be in the future and how to get there. During this stage a deadline for has to be set and resources required for the task need to be identified. Remember; a goal is not a goal without a deadline. Lack of proper planning can hurt the organization’s succession and demographics not to mention waste company time and resources.
There are constant external factors affecting organizations positively or negatively and it is therefore not uncommon to find organizations changing their course of action when working toward attaining certain goals. Therefore, planning is an ongoing process.
This will affect how the organization accomplishes the goal. After planning, the next step is to assign tasks to the different departments participating and allocating resources to them. During this stage, there should be a constant follow of information to ensure smooth running. A leader should allow members of the teams to self manage rather than micromanaging them. It allows for creativity and personal growth. Managers can also delegate authority for the duration of the task to avoid being stretched thin.
Leaders can use their position to influence employee behavior and oversee their work. This will ensure that the organization is indeed working together to accomplish the goal. The leader also needs to ensure that the goal and how to get there has been effectively communicated and remind those who have veered off the set direction. A common vision is also important during times of competition, downsizing and mergers.
Poor leadership more often than not leads to employee being demotivate. It is therefore necessary for leaders to create a shared culture and values that seek to understand employee needs and motive them.  This way, employees can then accomplish both their personal and career goals. Motivated employees go beyond their job performance and even more so when there are reward and incentive programs.
Monitoring of employee activities determines whether or not the organization is on track. This way necessary corrections can be made if the organization in not on target or are facing obstacles. The duty of managers is to ensure that employees are working toward organization goals and doing so efficiently and effectively. Good management allows for employees to self manage/monitor according to the company’s standards. When managers are not serious or do not share the organization’s vision, there can be repeated failure in achieving set goals.
Controlling also involves evaluating and reporting the company’s performance based on the set goals. If there are areas of under-performance, the manager should sort to address the department or employee rather than reduce the overall company standards. This, like planning, is also an ongoing process in that managers should be able to identify potential problems and take preventative or corrective measures at each point of the process.

Riting the Rite Way (Writing the Right Way)

Good writing skills are important in all professions, not just in Public Relations. That being said, as a PR professional, it is crucial that any content leaving your desk is grammatically-error free. The most important thing to do after writing any material is proofreading it. For a beginner you may still miss the typos after your third read but with practice, your work will contain no errors when your proofread it the first time. That extra attention to detail is what earns you more respect among your employers, journalists, clients and peers. 

There are a few basic rules that you should follow and they are summed up in the image below with examples. Following these tips will ensure that others view you as a credible professional in your field. No1 wil tak u seriasly if u rite lik this.

Blogging: What about it?
To many, blogging is still not an actually job.
Today’s post will seek to highlight what blogging is and what role it plays in today’s dynamic industry.
The name ‘blog’ is abbreviated from ‘weblog’ which is essentially a web site that hosts a continuously flow of information in reverse chronological order. This means that newer posts are at the top of the page. A blog allows for a diary type commentary and can also contain links to other web sites and can range from personal to political to PR (like this one). A person/group can choose to focus on one or a wide range of subjects.
The standard template of blogs involves a main content area where articles are listed, newest at the top, and organized into categories to easier find content on the site. Blog sites also have one or more feeds, an archive of older articles, a comments section below each post and a list of related sites that are sometimes known as ‘blogrolls’. For more information on this you can visit WordPress.
Blogging started taking off in the late 1990s and was mainly used as a platform for sharing thoughts, experience, feelings and opinions. Nowadays, everyone including the Fortune 500 companies use blogs to increase digital presence that in turn positively affects their earning potential.
Blogging is beneficial to your business. It helps the company stay current because in order to remain relevant in the ever changing business environment, you need to be the first to break news to your readers and stay ahead of your competition. It also sets you up as an expert in your field and increases brand visibility. It also increases traffic to the website that then rises up the ranks on search engines; you of course have to keep the blog content relevant to your trade. It also allows you to share a bulk of information that you are not able to share on social media. It also acts as a bridge between the social media and your website.
There is however a misconception that anyone can blog. This is true but not if you want your business to be taken seriously. This is because professionals have the ability to take your words and improve them in order to influence your readers. Blogging in itself is not efficient and a blogging pro would know the need to combine the blog with other digital PR and marketing tools to reach a wider audience. They are also aware of how to use search engine optimization (SEO) by using key words to increase your brand visibility on search engines.
Next time you are tempted ask a professional blogger ‘Why should I pay you more money?’ know they will in the long run increase your clients and earning potential.  


Is That News Post Necessary?

Does your brand feel the need to be relevant and contribute to the news making headlines in the country? If this is the case, there are a few things that as a brand you should keep in mind before engaging in the social media conversation. In the wake of the Westgate attacks and other issues affecting Kenya and the world beyond, organizations may be tempted to form an opinion and tell it to their audience. The best advice from a PR perspective is if your organization is not directly affected by what is going on, say nothing about it. This is because your brand will be seen as merely opinionated instead of a source of authority on the subject.
If you are going to post news, there are a few things you should know. The news posted should affect either people based in your county or area of operations and a good majority of your customers. It should also be a build up of something you have been talking about as a brand. If you are a children’s rights organization you can join the conversation about how children, especially girls, are increasingly having their rights violated in society and the judicial laxity in punishing offenders. In such a case it would be necessary for your brand to speak out for if you do not, you could come across as insensitive or untimely.
Another thing to consider is whether the content is self promotional. Though Safaricom rallied funds to pay for the medical expenses incurred during the Westgate attach, there is money made out of this; remember there is a charge for sending money through Mpesa. Though this may not have been intentional, Safaricom did stand to gain from this corporate social responsibility. Be sure before posting news that you are not boosting your brand image, product or service. Get a neutral third party to give you a second opinion.
Don’t merely say you are ‘Sorry for those affected by the tragedy…’ because everyone else is saying it. When it comes to personal matters, brands are often seen as insincere even when they are not. If you are sorry and want to make a difference, donate something. Also, before posting anything on your sites, ensure that it does not coincide with current news or events especially if it is promotional material; you will just appear opportunistic. Though Kenya Power has managed to inconvenience us almost on a weekly basis, running ads and content about your ‘convenient and cost saving’ generators can be seen as more opportunistic though relevant.
Finally, to emphasize on the point initially made: is that post really necessary? What would Naivas, Uchumi or Ukwala have to say about the looting at Westgate with KDF officers carrying Nakumatt paper bags?
Happy Mashujaa Day to all.

PR Summed-Up in Quotes
The role and importance of PR in society has increased and more people, including the almighty CEOs, are seeing why it is difficult to attain success without these professionals. If some of the people you work with that are not in your industry are still skeptical about what you do, you might want to share these quotes with them. 

PR defined

“If a young man tells his date how handsome, smart and successful he is – that’s advertising. If the young man tells his date she’s intelligent, looks lovely, and is a great conversationalist, he’s saying the right things to the right person and that’s marketing. If someone else tells the young woman how handsome, smart and successful her date is – that’s PR.” – S. H. Simmons
“The history of PR is… a history of a battle for what is reality and how people will see and understand reality.” – Stuart Ewen
 “Everything you do or say is public relations.” – Unknown

 The Art and Magic of PR
“Public-relations specialists make flower arrangements of the facts, placing them so the wilted and less attractive petals are hidden by sturdy blooms.” – Alan Harrington
“PR is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering – it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.” – Ronn Torossian
PR professionals are “professional political strategists, able on behalf of their clients to manipulate the media – planting a story here, a rumour there, a tip-off somewhere else  – so that any piece of news is tailored to show them in the best possible light.” –  Michael Shea

Yes, PR upholds ethics
“PR means telling the truth and working ethically – even when all the media want is headlines and all the public wants is scapegoats. Public relations fails when there is no integrity.” – Viv Segal of Sefin Marketing
“We believe PR should be practiced to serve the public interest, to develop mutual understanding between organizations and their publics.” – James E. Grunig
“Publicity is a great purifier because it sets in action the forces of public opinion, and in this country public opinion controls the courses of the nation.” – Charles Evans Hughes

Imaging in PR
 “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffet
“There is only one thing in the world worse that being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”- Oscar Wilde
“It is generally much more shameful to lose a good reputation than never to have acquired it.” – Pliny the Elder
“What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself.” – Abraham Lincoln
 “If you don’t tell your story, someone else will.” – Unknown

PR is important!
 “Without publicity there is no prosperity.” – Yakov Zel’dovich
“If I was down to the last dollar of my marketing budget I’d spend it on PR!” – Bill Gates

“Historically, PR, Marketing and Advertising budgets are the first to be cut; however, that could be one of the first mistakes a business makes in an economic crisis.” – CBSMarketwatch
“Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.” – Bill Bernbach, advertising pioneer and founder of DDB
“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.” – Daniel J. Boorstin

What Makes a Topic Trend?
Popular conversation topics on Twitter are known as ‘trends’ and it allows users to tweet why the topic is important or interesting to them. The trend may be about a breaking news story or a fun topic to engage twitter users. It is also useful when in content development in that you can create content relevant to a hashtag, creating more traffic to your site/blog. It also allows a person to gauge the opinions or ideas from people on a topic. People however can get banned from the site if they use vulgar language, abuse the system or spam. A topic becomes a trend after polling of repeated hashtags found on tweets is done. The trend status is also determined by the time tweeted and volume of tweets that contain a certain hashtag.

The topics are usually around what is currently being discussed most rather than the overall popular topics from the community. You can view both international and regional tweets and this allows users to access current information creating a buzz. Media stations sometimes rely on trends since they are often times formed before they reach newsrooms. There are currently more that 500 million tweets generated per day and trends allow news, media and advertising industries to tailor their content to their target audience.  

Twitter’s trends algorithm, though not released to the public, is what determines a trend and not a person. Though they have been accused of not letting more deserving trends get on the list or even censoring possible trends, they maintain that the trend algorithm is what interprets the data and determines if a topic will become a trend. According to their support page when they rolled out the Twitter algorithm, “The new algorithm identifies topics that are immediately popular, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis, to help people discover the ‘most breaking’ breaking news from across the world” This was so as to capture the most interesting topics taking place on Twitter.

The issue however with the algorithm is that searching a topic is useless. Google adds weight to a topic depending on how many users have searched it and where they go next. With Twitter, the constant changing of topics then makes it difficult to apply relevance to a particular topic or hashtag. You often find that what makes the trending list is not particularly what people are interested in. There has however been a new and more accurate algorithm put in place that analyzes the general pattern of tweets in a given topic in about 90 minutes sooner than the Twitter algorithm.  

This new innovation allows users to break news before media stations air it. For many Kenyans, especially given recent events, trends have been how many people have gain access to breaking news wherever they are.

Rising early for your PR success
Today on Monday PR tips we will take a slightly different approach on what it takes to be good at your job. In the past month we have talked about what you need to do in your career to succeed. How then do you prepare your body to get in step with our success? Most people can attest that getting up in the morning is the hardest thing. It might be so but the benefits are far more tangible than most believe. The monks on Mount Athos shouldn’t be the only people benefiting from this ritual. However if being a night owl makes you most productive, let not this deter you.

How do you wake up early?

  1. Sleep early. Studies have shown that lack of sleep hurts our bodies, makes us lose money and look uglier all in one breath. That movie or drink can wait for the weekend.
  2. Put a glass of water by your bed. Before switching off the alarm, not after, drink the entire glass. Your brain cells will automatically wake up and your eyes will be rehydrated. The desire to close them again will be far less.
  3. Put that alarm clock far from your bed. And make sure the alarm tone is annoying.
  4. Don’t rationalize. ‘Just five more minutes’ is hardly ever so. Don’t think. Get up.
Why should you wake up early?
  1. Watch the sun rise. In our growing concrete jungle and the culture we have adopted, most will raise an eyebrow at this one. We are not as big as we think we are. This humbling perspective will affect you decision-making throughout the day. Just try it tomorrow morning, and then get back to me if it doesn’t work.
  2. Have some ‘you’ time. Whether you live with your partner or parent’s house, it is important to have a few minutes to yourself. We often wake up panicked that we will be late and this starts our day off in a sour note. Calm people make more rational decisions.
  3. While sipping coffee, browse at least seven websites. In PR it is important to stay current but most of all you will be smarter than your peers the entire day.
  4. Eat. You have heard it before- breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Whether you are watching your waistline or not, be it a fruit, cereal or half a loaf of bread, put something in your system to boast your energy.
  5. You have heard this too; exercise. That is all.
  6. You will automatically be early. This way, your deodorant’s effectiveness will not diminish before reaching the office. Studies also show good leaders master time keeping. They also demand it.
  7. Traffic. We all know how big of a difference getting out of the house five minutes early makes.
  8. Lastly, if you have no reason to wake up early, that is, you do all the above anyway, don’t wake up. You would only be wasting this extra time.

As you aim to sleep early, avoid doing some activities at night: eating or drinking water/coffee before going to bed or exercising or do any mentally engaging exercise.

Don’t let this long list intimidate you. Start small;  30 minutes can make a huge difference. Check the things off this list one by one. This will create not only a lifestyle change but will also allow your body to cope in the hectic world that is PR. 

With that said, Glass House PR may have to move this lunchtime tips to 7 am!