As we catch our breath from the past few weeks of dealing with the coronavirus quarantine, one thing has become apparent – companies are anxious to keep in touch with their audiences. They’re just not sure what to say to them.
With our daily routines as we know them on pause for now, brands are searching for ways to stay in contact with their employees, customers and other stakeholders.
And, some are in doubt about the best way to do this. Should we post on social media? Should we email? Should it be business as usual?
The answers to that question are differ from brand to brand. In this time of uncertainty, no one formula works for everyone.
The worst thing companies can do right now is to stop communicating. If anything, now is a time when you should over-communicate.
5 Reasons You Want to Over-Communicate With Your Audiences
Continue reading 5 Reasons to Over-Communicate With Your Audiences Right Now – and What to Say
Welcome to our weekly PR Crisis of the Week roundup.
When I started this effort about a month ago, I was concerned that there might not be enough crises in the news to write about each week. My fears were unfounded, as once again this week, we have a plethora of candidates to choose from.
Here are the brands that made this week’s list: Continue reading PR Crisis of the Week: Cheerios, Monsanto, Bud Light and the Browns, and Florida Beaches
I was doing some research recently when I came across an article that said nearly half of small businesses don’t have a website. You read that right, nearly HALF. 45 percent is the number quoted in the article, which by the way was titled, “You’ll be shocked to learn how many small businesses still don’t have a website.” And yes, I was shocked.
I’ve seen research like this before, and on one hand, it isn’t hard to believe. Small business owners are strapped for time and funds–I get it. They’re overwhelmed by the demands placed on them, including not only sales but marketing, operations, business development, HR and the list goes on.
On the other hand, how can a small business NOT have a site? It is simply a must for any business today. Even if you’re not selling anything online, a site is the hub of all digital marketing activity—social media, content marketing, PR, advertising and SEO. Where is the first place many will go when they look for a product or service? Online. If you’re not there, they may not bother to seek you out–and go elsewhere.
Continue reading Yes, You Need A Website For Your Small Business
Summer is nearly here. How did we get here already? Everyone’s calendar is filling with plans for graduations, Memorial Day and other celebrations.
But, not everyone is celebrating.
The past couple of months has been anything but a party for several well-known brands. Pepsi. Delta. Adidas. And of course, United. All these brands have had major missteps that became headline news.
While we may cringe when we hear these tales of corporate missteps, there may be a silver lining. These mistakes present an opportunity to talk about how PR, specifically crisis communications planning, can help in times of trouble. Continue reading Why you should create a crisis communications plan BEFORE you need one
As I celebrate 18 years of Garrett Public Relations, I’ve been thinking back to my very first client.
When I launched my business, I was in the Bay Area—one of THE places for entrepreneurs with great, if sometimes crazy, ideas.
As I was preparing to leave my day job to go full-time as a solopreneur, I was fortunate to be introduced to one of these entrepreneurs, an inventor. What had he invented? A flying machine. For real. It was called SoloTrek and was a vertical take-off and landing aircraft based on ducted fan technology. (The two-person model, the DuoTrek, resembled the flying car that’s been in the news this week.)
Continue reading It All Started with a Flying Machine
Last night was the first of three presidential debates between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. Millions watched as the candidates went head to head on issues affecting our country. But, for those of us in the audience who communicate for a living, we were probably watching as much for the lessons in what to do—and NOT to do—as we were for anything else.
Here are six communication lessons we can learn from watching:
- Preparation matters: It was clear to most of the viewing audience that one candidate seemed very prepared—while the other less so. When it comes to important events in our careers—big meetings, presentations, negotiations, speaking engagements—we can’t just “wing it.” Taking the time to prepare appropriately pays off when you can confidently deliver your message and handle tough questions.
- Sometimes, it’s better to say less: We watched several times as Clinton let Trump hang himself by not saying anything. She could’ve intervened, but she waited—and let him go on. This was a strategic move on her part. The more he talked, the more missteps he made. She simply stood by and let it happen. This can apply in a meeting or negotiation, as well—even in written communications. Sometimes, saying less really is
- Moderators need to moderate: Trump continually interrupted Hilary last night—AND he interrupted moderator Lester Holt. Of course, this is bad manners, but if professionals do this, they need to be reigned in. The moderator’s job is to help control the amount of time each person speaks and not allow anyone to step on others’ time. Holt is taking heat for allowing it to go on and not stepping in more assertively. It works the same way when you’re part of a panel at an industry conference, for example. This should be a lesson to anyone moderating—maintain control of the event.
- Keep your cool under pressure: If we’re under pressure, sometimes, we crack. We saw this last night, as Trump continually lost his cool, baited by Clinton multiple times. We must remember that, no matter what happens, we need to keep our composure. Don’t let anyone throw you off your game. When Trump stuck to his game plan, he was able to make some solid points. Unfortunately, that was overshadowed by his inability to remain calm to cool-headedly answer questions and stick to messages he knows resonate.
- Don’t interrupt: Communication 101—try not to interrupt when others are speaking. Yes, sometimes someone will go on and on—and then we may feel the need to try to get a word in edgewise. But, interrupting continually should not be our default mode of operation. It’s rude. Children do it—but they’re children. Professionals shouldn’t operate this way. Keep interruptions to a minimum, if you feel you must interrupt at all.
- Every once in a while, smile: If you noticed last night, the only time Trump smiled was at the end of the debate, while Clinton smiled throughout. Smiling makes you more likable, more relatable. According to The Definitive Book of Body Language, if you smile at your audience, they’re more likely to feel a connection with you (even if the smile is forced). Struggle with remembering to smile? Put a reminder in your notes.
What communication lessons did you learn from watching last night’s debate?