Posts Tagged ‘investment’

Sales + Everyone = Success

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Valerie Simon

How do you get everyone – from your maintenance team to your CEO – participating in the sales process? During a special Twitter chat last Wednesday evening, Heather Whaling and Justin Goldsborough, co-moderators of Twitter’s #PR20Chat, and Beth Harte and Anna Barcelos, leaders of #imcchat asked this question to more than 100 participants. 

Here are a few takeaways every business should consider.Teamwork

Top down and bottom up, goals must be aligned.

AdamSuffolkU:  First step, make sure goals are aligned and input is asked/received from all-bottom on up

SuperDu:  It starts w/ CEO creating top-line strategic plan. ALL divisional plans & emp. objectives feed into that one plan

 jeffespo:  It should be the trickle up effect. Everyone knows the brand and wants to sell it and make more money.

Create a customer-centric team environment

BethHarte: If all employees understand the customer is #1, they will all work to make sure they work hard from top to bottom

LoisMarketing:  Communicate successes and celebrate at all levels. Make all staff aware of “wins,” new clients. Sincere appreciation. 

Transform employees into evangelists

kimbrater:  It’s more than the sales process, everyone has to internalize +evangelize the brand in order to sell it.

CASUDI:  everyone has to be in love with, believe in the product ~ everyone will have the desire to sell

IABCDetroit: Engage employees thru educational, relevant communications so they’re empowered to relay company message, align w/ company goals

Everyone can have an impact on sales

BethHarte: Sales starts the minute someone walks through the front door. Better hope the receptionist isn’t cranky/mean

rpulvino:  Everyone in the company is involved in sales in some way. Employees are the most important spokespeople for an organization.

And my respond: ValerieSimon: Education. When you take pride in, and understand your organizations strengths, you’re compelled to share the story!

Beyond 140 characters, I’d also emphasize that a strong and positive corporate culture is an investment that will not only pay off in increased productivity but sales. As I’ve mentioned before, I am a firm believer that everyone in an organization, regardless of title or department, should consider themselves a part of the sales team. Here are some ways organization can provides the training and follow-through to make the most of this extended sales force:

  • Make certain that ALL employees are educated on your products or services and the benefits of these services to your clients and customers.
  • Keep employees updated with a daily report of news for and about your organization, the competitors and the marketplace.
  • Create a simple process whereby all employees can easily submit referrals through to the sales team to close.
  • Share success stories. Recognize and reward those who are referring business, as well as the teamwork with sales that helped to win the new business.

Do you consider yourself a part of your organization’s sales efforts? What does your company do to harness the sales power of all your employees? Please share your thought with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

Media Measurement: A Long Term Investment

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

by Tom Kowalski*

Media MeasurementIn this day in age, it’s becoming exceedingly important for public relations professionals to show their worth.  As PR pros, we all know that effective public relations is as equally important as the rest of the communications mix. Unfortunately, some top executives are still hard-pressed to understand the value of PR. This is where media measurement and analysis are vital to demonstrate results.

Recently, Randall Chinchilla, external relations manager, P&G, spoke with Erica Iacono, executive editor, PRWeek, at a BurrellesLuce sponsored round table discussion to underline the importance of measurement in long-term ROI (return on investment.)  He explained that executives are more apt to understand the value of public relations when shown measurable results over time and the impact to the business. 

According to Chinchilla analysis should be done over time, not only on a “project” basis. Yes, it’s great to see colorful charts and graphs that give a visual (perhaps a spike in publicity for a certain campaign) but more important is how that specific event contributes to the business’ goals over time. It’s hard to determine ROI from a single event when engagement from an event can have a long cycle. When a company invests in a campaign, usually it’s a long term investment. Therefore, the results need to be measured consistently as well. When meaningful analysis reports are presented over a period of time, budgets for measurement are less likely to be cut. 

In a digital age, where most of the chatter is online, there are also many challenges to understanding and measuring the messages on the Internet and it is difficult to predict how they directly impact your business. Chinchilla explained that it’s a constant uphill battle on how to best evaluate discussions on blogs and social media (e.g., Facebook and Twitter) and how it affects long-term ROI. The consensus? There doesn’t seem to be any real clarity on how social media affects the future of the business.    

Another great point Chinchilla made was that measurement cannot be cookie cutter. One organization’s goals are not the same as another. A great example is that media value or AVE (ad value equivalent) are not a good single-measure of how successful your business is doing. It’s great to show what PR is worth in dollars, but more important for P&G is engagement. There are many other variables that should also be incorporated into the evaluation, but they are different depending on the goals of your business. Are we tracking the online conversations and what’s being said?  Is the message positive or negative and how is it directly affecting the organization in the short-term and perhaps more importantly over a long period of time?

The bottom line: Information and data come in fast, but analysis of results takes time in order to be impactful and thoughtful.

So, how do we really know how PR affects the future our business? How can we align our analysis strategies with organization objectives to show added value?


*As an Account Manager at BurrellesLuce, Tom Kowalski works closely with New York-based clients and PR agencies. Tom brings extensive knowledge of the PR industry with more than 7 years of agency experience. He hopes to stimulate readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas by sharing useful information related to the communications industry and business in general, as well as different perspectives on customer service. LinkedIn: Tom Kowalski Twitter: @BurrellesLuce Facebook: BurrellesLuce

It’s Public Relations Award Season!

Monday, May 17th, 2010
Flickr Image: Mags_cat

Flickr Image: Mags_cat

My email inbox, probably not unlike yours, is full of calls to enter local PR awards.  For instance, the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) DC Metro’s Silver Inkwell entries are due June 10. Entries for the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA-NCC) Thoth Awards are due June 18. To top it off, Washington Women in Public Relations’ (WWPR) next professional development lunch is on writing successful PR award entries.  And that is just the regional events. Nationally, PRSA, IABC, the Association for Women in Communications (AWC), PR News, PRWeek, and others have awards programs too.

Although entering takes time and cash, winning one of these awards helps prove the value of your hard work throughout the year. “Whether you’re an internal communicator, media relations specialist, work in interactive communications, or any other communication discipline, there is nothing like being acknowledged by your peers, so I urge my communication colleagues to enter. It’s a terrific way to showcase your work, as well as advance the profession,” says Shonali Burke, ABC, president, IABC-DC Metro.

Recently I asked Lindsey Rose, senior counselor, Carmichael Lynch Spong (a client of BurrellesLuce) why she thought it was important for industry professionals to submit to these types of awards. She explains how PR industry awards offer several perks for your clients, your agency and you, as a practitioner:

Your clients: Awards give them recognition for their accomplishments and help raise visibility and drive excitement for their programs. Awards solidify clients’ achievements in their industry and help bring their stories to life. Award summaries also often help clients merchandise their communications efforts/case studies within their internal organization.

Your agency: Awards showcase your leadership through best practices outlined in your submissions. Awards celebrate your relationship with your client and reinforce the client/agency partnership (and oftentimes further reinforce clients’ ongoing investment in your work). Winning awards can also open doors and help bring your agency to the table for new business opportunities.

You: As a practitioner, awards showcase your strategic capabilities from research and planning to execution and generating results. Compiling awards is great practice for any PR practitioner – no matter what your level. Winning awards is even more rewarding.

You can get hints and tips for preparing your awards entries on many of your local and national professional organization’s websites. Some great resources include:

  1. PRSA offers advice on preparing their Silver Anvil Awards on their website.
  2. IABC has a webinar on entering the Gold Quill Awards.

Personally, from having judged several awards programs and chaired a judging committee, I know the key to winning is evaluation and measurement from beginning to end of the project or campaign. The best well-written press release will not win an award without showing how the release had impact. The key is to start early, ideally from the beginning of your project or campaign, and continue to document and save information throughout the program.

So now that PR awards season is well underway, how are you preparing? Are there any suggestions you can add for making the most out of your submission?

Will You Invest In A Twitter Premium Option?

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Investing in TwitterAs the Twitter swell surges so has the conversation about monetizing the 140-character tweets. Will this make it easier for the already resource strapped PR professionals or more difficult? Will Twitter start to gather demographic information so messages can more effectively be targeted?

According to the Wall Street Journal article Mashable Chief Executive Pete Cashmore is quoted saying “It’s kind of ironic that we’re monetizing Twitter before Twitter.” For a stand-alone service like Twitter how will their growing market respond? The charm of the Google model is the ability to develop services without a direct pass along to the end user rather through reinvest of advertising revenue for development.

Along with many of our PR peers, my BurrellesLuce colleagues and I are tweeting away and really enjoying ourselves. However, I’m left with more questions than answers about this developing medium. Will @scobleizer have the most revenue potential since he has reciprocal following practices allowing him multiple channels of communication with his sphere of influence? And most importantly will Twitter really be able to “follow the money” or jump the shark?