Forward to 2011
perusing economic predictions from analysts for 2011, one can
find a continuum of forecasts than run from “stagnant” to “the
Year of the U.S.” *
our own conversations, I can say nearly unequivocally that optimism
is the tenor of our clients and associates. Perhaps it’s
an uptick in sales, or the ability to finally hire staff, or
maybe it’s just a weariness with the worriness of 2010.
Nonetheless, on the eve of the new year, we here at MCS and those
for and with whom we work are optimistic. Perhaps even more importantly,
we’re ready! We’re ready for fantastic things to
come in 2011 because we’re spending the last days of 2010
making sure preparedness is in place so that opportunities can
all cut back, although surely not all in the same ways. Things
that may have gotten put aside in the challenges of last year,
can now be dusted off and put into routine, so they are cost
effective and working for you when (not if, but when) 2011 becomes
Often budgets are drastically changed during economic challenges; for 2011,
change the focus from “getting by” to “geared up” for
more business! Make sure your financial plan is exemplary - not just for
your tax bill but for increased success as well. Have a conversation with
your financial planner about ramping up your goals and the tools necessary
to realize them.
Organize and clean your office space. Make the New Year manifest in clean,
well-prepared business settings that show the highest in preparedness for
success. This is meaningful not only for clients and potential clients,
but for staff and each of us as well. Onward! Upward!
Make sure your Marketing and Public Relations Plans for 2011 reflect your confidence,
and are ready to be implemented January 1st. Again, often during times
of economic stress budgets get altered and marketing functions may be shelved.
Economic improvements will be coming; ramp up now to avoid missing opportunities.
think ahead and with optimism and you won’t be wrong!
O’Neill, Goldman Sachs (via http://thehill.com/)
he haunted Ebenezer Scrooge, business partner Jacob Marley laments
his regrets, though as Scrooge reminds him, “But
you were always a good man of business, Jacob.”
Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business;
charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my
business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water
in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
is what we’re reflecting upon as 2010 is almost over; what
would we say to one another? What might others say to us?
2010 has perhaps not been our favorite year in the “dealings
of our trade,” nor in many others’, we’ve endeavored
to remember that our work is a part of our business and every
day thoughtful caring and interest and attention in helping are
even bigger “drops of water in the comprehensive ocean
of our business!”
to a new year of our true business, and to yours!
have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book,
to raise the Ghost of an Idea,
which shall not put my readers out of humour
with themselves, with each other,
with the season, or with me.
it haunt their houses pleasantly,
and no one wish to lay it.
faithful Friend and Servant,
End of the Year Public Relations Checklists
It’s time to review
your public relations wins and challenges; what really hit the
mark, and what would you have done differently over the last
12 months? What strategies can you plan now to do better in 2011?
This is the perfect time to be thankful and to express it to those who have
taken part in your success this year. We would encourage handwritten notes
of thanks; just a half day or so of sincerity and actual writing will show
your gratitude, in a memorable way, for the individuals who have helped you.
And that is a great way to start 2011.
Review Your 2010 Media Communications
If you have a PR team, gather them together and review your
releases and news alerts. Talk about what worked and what didn’t.
Critique your writing, your headlines, the length of releases
and impacts. Learn from them.
Review Your Media Hits
Hopefully you are fully aware of the hits your media communications
have received. The end of the year is a good time to refresh
your memory on where you’ve
been successful and where you could have improved. Especially look for the
publications or other media outlets and writers/editors that have been favorable.
Again, a handwritten note to these folks will go a long way to maintaining
Make a New Wish List
After reviewing your achievements and challenges, make a new list of targets
for 2011 that will drive your strategies for success. Make a calendar of communication
for the people you would like to do business with and whose notice you would
like to receive. Start with, yes, a hand-written note of introduction or good
wishes for the New Year!
Update Your Media Contacts
Media pros change jobs more than ever. PR pros will constantly update their
key media contacts throughout the year, however, the end of the year is a great
time to make sure your list is exemplary for 2011.
Review Industry Trends
Gather everyone together and talk about the trends over the
last year; what surprised, what had the most impact and what
will be happening next, based on what you’ve learned?
How can you be ahead of the next trends? Are you using all
available avenues of information? Critique your efforts in
information gathering. Make it better for 2011.
Cheers for a dazzling
start to 2011, and if you have any questions or thoughts, drop
us a note!
Down Smack Down
GROIN UPDATE ~ Dave Barry
I'm traveling by air today -- I know, I'm an idiot -- and when I got to the
Miami International Airport and Permanent Construction Zone I found that
we have new security procedures, requiring that all passengers remove all
of their dignity and place it in little gray bins. As I approached the
screening point, a TSA person told me to go into the line for the scanning
machine, which takes an image of your body and sends it to a TSA person
in another room. Or possibly it goes to teenaged hackers in Bangladesh;
there is no way to tell.
The people ahead of me were allowed to
go after being scanned, but I was not. I was pulled aside and told to
stand in a small roped-off area. After I had stood there for
I asked a passing TSA person what was happening. He said, quote, "You
have a blurred groin."
"I have a what?" I said.
blurred groin," he said. And then he walked away.
to sneak a peek at my groin, but this is not easy to do inconspicuously
when you are confined to a small roped-off area with many people
around. Several minutes more passed, and then a man came and
took my boarding pass,
and another man told me he was going to take me to a private room
for a special procedure.
"Your groin was blurred," he explained.
went into a little room, where he put on blue gloves and explained
that he was going to touch me in various private places. He was
not only about the places, but also about when he would be
using the front of his hand, and when he would be using the back
of his hand. (I honestly
don't think it's any less creepy either way, but I did not
say this, for fear of being viewed as an international terrorist.)
explaining this, the other man came back with my boarding
pass, and informed me that I was Dave Barry. His exact words
were: "You're Dave Barry!" I
agreed that I was. At that point the first man began groping me with the
fronts and backs of his hands, and while this was happening the second
man was telling me that he was a big fan of my writing. "Maybe he'll
write about you!" he said to the groping man, who did not find this
as hilarious as he did.
Anyway, they finally let me go, after establishing
that there was nothing fishy (so to speak) going on with
my groin. So we can all feel a little safer today.
Read more: http://blogs.herald.com/dave_barrys_blog/2010/11/groin-update.html#ixzz15N6qksgK
The Department of Homeland Security and Transportation
Safety Administration are embroiled in a PR nightmare over enhanced
flight security; already
organized are a National Opt Out Day, boycotts, circulating petitions,
and oh, yes, there will be lawsuits.
Flyers today have a choice:
to go through the body scan system or to receive a pat down.
choice – the pat down – is receiving huge national attention,
as travelers describe increasingly invasive pat down “groping.” Both
the scan and the pat down are unsavory for passengers, not to mention
the poor TSA scanners who must look at or touch our naked forms all
day long. Have you seen us?
The purpose of these agencies is to protect
and respect American freedoms but firstly and absolutely, to
prioritize safety. The suggested remedy by outraged passengers
is also unpalatable:
removing or reducing the security measures – which would naturally
be news – allowing potential terrorists or others who would
harm us to test them.
These issues will dominate headlines and there
likely will be increased backlash from a public that is whipping
itself into a frenzy. What can these agencies do?
DHS Secretary Janet
Napolitano and TSA’s Administrator Joe Pistole are in the news,
taking steps to head off the growing revolt against the scanners
and pat-downs. Op-eds and interviews are in the headlines and the
messaging seems succinct and cohesive:
Citing last year's thwarted
terrorist attack on a Christmas Day flight, Napolitano
wrote in her op-ed, "We ask the American people to play an important part
of our layered defense. We ask for cooperation, patience and a commitment
to vigilance in the face of a determined enemy.
the holiday season, the busiest flying time of the year, TSA’s
Joe Pistole said the agency is "trying to be sensitive to individuals
issues and concerns," but added, "the bottom line is, everybody
who gets on that flight has been properly screened.
can these agencies do to get their message out and heard among the
increasingly loud and virally-spreading security screening backlash?
the issues remain in the news, so too should Napolitano
and Pistole. Both are adept speakers and seem passionate about
safe. As would be usual for an ongoing PR “crisis,” there
should be constant updated reiterations of their messages distributed
by as many means as possible.
However, they need others to take up
their message as well. These would be “message ambassadors.” These
individuals could range from the President to travelers who feel
the security measures are necessary; TSA screeners who are earnest
in protecting lives, while also showing sensitivity to the public’s
privacy rights. Experts in various fields would be message ambassadors,
for example, medical/science experts who can comment on the safety
components of the scanners.
This type of communication coordination
takes adept and thorough planning, with comprehensive
vision and precision follow through. Diverse messages coordinated
expert sources to the “man-on-the-street” experience
and voice will add other commentary to the outraged and very vocal
groups in opposition.
This situation will escalate. Whether there
will be messages only from the outraged will
depend upon the PR endeavors from the other side.
Goes Both Ways
Public Relations is about communication.
sending your messages out into the world to hopefully capture
and shape attention and branding from your desired audiences.
However, another and very large part of
a PR professional’s
job is giving feedback to their client or company; and it’s
becoming more and more important every day. This is because
we have opened the channels by which the public can communicate
with or about us. Minimally these channels must be monitored.
But to do public relations properly, you must communicate to
the public and also you must communicate the public’s
messages back to the stakeholders.
This second part of public relations -
delivering feedback and relevant news back to the company
- often gets less time
and focus than it should. Happily, it’s easier than ever
PR professionals should have news alerts,
such as Google alerts, in place by topic and company name(s)—including your
competitors’ names. If your business is international,
the same can be done with BBC search. Further, searches should
include all social media to stay on top of current discussions.
Your industry’s trade publications and associations are
also good sources for searches and feedback.
PR professionals should also be able to parse through the
information to deliver that which is important, instead of
delivering back everything in the information stream. They
should know your industry and all of its relevancies well enough
to find and deliver the most important feedback, and get it
to you just as soon as it is out there.
If your PR team is only speaking for you and not to you,
they’re only doing half of their job!