The Three Golden PR Tips For Company Directors

The Three Golden PR Tips For Company Directors
SHARE
THIS



PR is still often seen as the fluffy, ‘nice to have’ service rather than an essential for many company directors. Here, Bradshaw PR founder and corporate publicist Belinda Hamilton (pictured below) explains the importance of proactive pre-crisis PR and serves up her three golden tips that any boss needs to think about to protect their business.

Belinda Hamilton

I have often heard public relations agencies described as a ‘luxury’ or ‘nice to have’ and sadly, we are often the first consultants on the chopping block when a share price takes a nose dive and cash flow is under the microscope. But I also work with company directors who take the opposing view and understand that when the going gets tough – this is the time you need PR the most.

About 80 per cent of what you do when things are smooth sailing impacts how the media will engage with you and your company when the going gets tough. More than half our business comes from company’s who are already amidst a media crisis – and that really pains me. ‘If only they had decided to think about PR and engaging with the media six months ago’ and ‘They have so many great stories we could have told to better position them for this’ are phrases often said around our boardroom table. You see when it comes to PR – it’s all about laying the groundwork and taking a proactive ‘pre-crisis’ approach. If you’re thinking about PR after your skeletons have already come out of the closet and banged on the door of The Australian Financial Review, then you’re in strife. And if a journo from The Australian has been calling you all day and leaving “urgent” messages with your staff for comment, it sounds like you might be in a real spot of bother. Many company directors think that it would never be them who would turn up to the office to find Tracy Grimshaw camped outside their reception with a film crew. But, stranger things can (and I’m afraid to say will) often happen.

There are immediate steps as a company director that you can be taking now to agree and commence your PR and investor relations strategy. These actions aren’t ‘nice to haves’ and you’re not doing them because you want your company to look good. Good PR is a strategic driver of new business and investor interest, and it’s also a key way of planning for a crisis scenario in your company.

Here are three suggestions as to why you should give some serious thought to a proactive public relations and investor relations strategy:

  1. Identify your key media influencers and start pitching

You need to start forging personalised relationships with the journalists who are influencers in your industry so that when they get a negative tip off about you (or your company), they have a) context b) a level of trust already established and c) a contact in their phone to call to ask what the hell is going on. If you’ve never really made an effort to offer that journalist or publication anything new or given them any help, why would they listen to you? You’ve got no relationship. Engaging a reputable publicist means that their media contacts can become your media contacts. They will organise media briefings and opportunities for you now and get your stories in front of the right people, so that when the time comes and you need someone not to mince your words, you’ve got a couple of contacts up your sleeve.

  1. Build your personal brand through opinion editorial

We’ve all heard the buzz term ‘thought leadership’ bandied around. It’s supposed to mean you (or your company) growing your profile publicly by doing things you don’t have time for… like talking at conferences in other states, writing papers on innovation and entrepreneurship in your industry, so as to make you look like you are a cutting-edge disruptor or at very least a leader in your space. But my experience with company directors is that you’re probably trying to spend some time with that thing called your family on the weekends, rather than travelling to Western Australia to deliver a talk on ‘Breaking the Mould’. Having a great publicity agency retained means that they do a lot of this work for you. Great publicists are great publicists because they are great writers. A proactive PR agency will be able to ghost write opinion editorial with you, which is not only topical and tied to breaking news and current affairs, but it will be written in plain English and not in technical speak. I am often reminded that every particular executive role has their own particular skill set. Now that sounds obvious, but we often think that because someone is confident and clever that makes them a good speaker or a good spokesperson. Your CEO or CFO may be an influential speaker and know how to bang out a brilliant company report, but they may not be the best person to formulate an engaging concise piece of newsworthy content which is free from industry jargon. Let the right people do the right jobs. Publicists are often ex-journalists with developed skills in developing concise creative written content. On that note, if you don’t have your PR person or communications leader at least reviewing your ASX announcements prior to distribution, start tomorrow. Positioning is everything.

  1. Attract quality employees by targeting industry news

If you aren’t communicating your company wins and milestones in the media then you are missing a key opportunity to promote your company values and even attract quality employees to want to work at your company. You want people to understand your brand and hear those stories which go to your vision and make you get out of bed every day. I’m not saying that ever story will be worthy of a piece in The Sydney Morning Herald or a spot on the Today show, but don’t overlook the value of industry magazines and online news sites which your potential customers, employees, and investors are all reading and watching. Each story has a place, and a great publicist will be able to get your company stories in the right target publications. PR people work with media outlets every day and they know what that particular outlet is looking for and how to secure you unpaid placements in that space. It will not only decrease your advertising costs, but PR and unpaid editorial space is much more credible.

There are many more reasons why your company should have a public relations agency on board, and one last one is the ability for an external media strategist to give you unbiased advice that your marketing team often will not. We all know that as employees within a company it is often hard to deliver the cold hard truth to our superiors. A PR agency is essentially your external eyes and ears, and they have an understanding of the general public and what people reading the news and reading about your company will think and say. There needs to be a spot at the executive table for confident intelligent and experienced media professionals who can deliver the cold hard facts back into the business, and in doing so, make sure the company is well-positioned for any crisis that might strike. Reputation is of the utmost importance and once tarnished, it is very hard to rebuild – proactivity and crisis planning is key.

 

Latest News

Pooled Energy Appoints Magnum & Co And The Wired Agency
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Pooled Energy Appoints Magnum & Co And The Wired Agency

Swimming pool electricity retailer Pooled Energy has appointed Magnum & Co and sister agency The Wired Agency to its roster, following a competitive pitch. Magnum & Co will handle Pooled Energy’s social media and PR, while The Wired Agency has been appointed to manage the company’s search and display advertising. Both agencies will collaborate with […]

Masculinity Roasted In Clever New Ad
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Masculinity Roasted In Clever New Ad

Think masculinity means drinking a case without chundering? Well, rediscover it (& possibly yourself) with this top ad.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
WPP AUNZ Partners With Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program
  • Advertising

WPP AUNZ Partners With Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program

Advertising and marketing network WPP AUNZ has joined the Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program as part of its commitment to a diverse workforce, and the creation of opportunities that inspire excellence. As part of the program, WPP AUNZ has welcomed its first three interns: Abi-Leigh Dillon (WPP AUNZ), Amy Mccutcheon (MediaCom) and Jacinta Evans (Ogilvy), […]

Taboo Goes On A Hiring Spree
  • Advertising

Taboo Goes On A Hiring Spree

Taboo has gone a hiring spree. And when it comes to sprees, that's far better than a shooting one or a farting one.

M&C Saatchi Group’s 1440 Shuts Up Shop
  • Marketing

M&C Saatchi Group’s 1440 Shuts Up Shop

Sadly, M&C Saatchi's 1440 is no more. And chances of it being reborn as 1550 not looking much chop either.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT

B&T's not sure what's with that twirly thing in the press photo, suffice to say a vortex to an alternate dimension?

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk

If B&T's Women in Media profiles were an animal they would be a gazelle or lioness, or even a lioness eating a gazelle.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team
  • Media

Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team

Independent media company Grant Broadcasters has announced a number of changes to its executive ranks. Grant Cameron will move up to become non-executive chairman for the company, and Alison Cameron (pictured above) – currently the chief operating officer – will assume the CEO role. Dugald Cameron remains responsible for the family’s investment portfolio and is […]

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities
  • Advertising
  • Media

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities

Australian retail out-of-home (OOH) business Shopper Media Group (SMG) has announced a partnership with AI-powered wireless networks provider Mist. The partnership will see SMG offer new WiFi, analytics and location-based services across the company’s portfolio of Australian shopping centres. Mist currently provides WiFi and location services using virtual Bluetooth LE technology to businesses across all […]

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account
  • Advertising
  • Media

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account

Travel organisation Cruiseco has announced the appointment of Sydney independent agency This is Flow (TIF) to handle its $5 million media account. This is the first time Cruiseco has appointed an agency, having managed its communications internally. Cruiseco is the largest and broadest distributor of cruise products in the Southern Hemisphere. With a membership base […]

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd

Need a Monday morning pick-me-up? You could stand naked next to the office fridge or read these inspiring words.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
APN Outdoor Takes Off With Queenstown Airport Contract
  • Advertising
  • Media

APN Outdoor Takes Off With Queenstown Airport Contract

Out-of-home media business APN Outdoor has won the tender for New Zealand’s Queenstown Airport. As part of the new agreement, APN Outdoor has flagged extensive development plans for Queenstown Airport’s advertising assets. The new contract adds Queenstown Airport to APN Outdoor’s existing portfolio of Auckland and Christchurch Airports. The media company will hire a South […]