Posts Tagged ‘legal’


How to Maintain Client Satisfaction – Webinar Recap

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Scott Cytron Formal 2011Last week BurrellesLuce had the pleasure of presenting a webinar with Scott H. Cytron, ABC, president Cytron and Company, on How to Maintain Client Satisfaction. Click here to view the recording of the presentation or download the slides at your convenience.

In today’s economy retaining a client or customer is not only easier than finding a new one, it also costs less in time and resources. Yet, organizations may need a boost to determine what their customers need in order to nurture and solidify this very important long-term relationship and continue to provide value that bolsters the bottom line.

Most PR, marketing, and communications, professionals know that engaging with clients is key to measuring satisfaction. However, many struggle with asking the right questions and fostering the relationship.

Here are just some of the takeaways from Scott Cytron’s presentation:

  • 3-step rule to happy clients: Trust + Loyalty + Referrals.
  • Put yourself in front of the client, ideally in person if possible.
  • Pick up the phone. When was the last time you called?
  •  Know what you’re going to ask the client.

The results of your conversation should provide you with some concrete feedback. Ideally, the best result would be “no surprises.” However, “good feedback” is always great too. If the client gives you “not-so-good feedback,” see it as an opportunity to dig deeper. Scott reminds us that “All hope is not lost” and to “turn negatives into positives and call in the Calvary.”

Depending on your organization, clients, and goals – surveys may be another way to gain client feedback. There is no one-size-fits-all survey, but Scott provides some pointers to increase success, including keeping it short, making it available online, and setting a return deadline. Whatever feedback you gain from the survey, it is important to use the results in a positive way and not just forget about them.

Scott offers other insights during the webinar. Click here to download the recording of the presentation or download the slides at your convenience.

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Scott Cytron, ABC, is a frequent speaker on growth strategies and organizational communications, including using social media for business building and retention. He is president of Cytron and Company, a consultancy specializing in public relations, marketing, and communications activities for clients in professional services (accounting, healthcare, financial planning, legal) and B2B product/services.

When It Comes to Brands and Content, Simplicity Matters

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Valerie Simon

iStock_Communication_SmallThis weekend, in a Wall Street Journal article, former chairman of the FEC, Arthur Levitt, suggested: “When an editor wants a reporter to explain something more clearly in a news article, she might say: ‘Tell it to Aunt Edna.’ Aunt Edna is the stand-in for a regular person, someone who has never thought about a cloture motion in the Senate, a municipal bond offering, or some other obscure issue of our public life.” Good advice to all those in the field of communications who are responsible for sharing important information with the public.

The practice of using simple language, however, isn’t always so simple, particularly for those experts in specialty fields, like healthcare or finance, who are tasked with communicating precise and complex information to the general public. Add the pressure and influence of company stakeholders, legal concerns, and a desire to be creative, and it is easy to see why “simple” is not always easy to achieve.

Put yourself in the role of the consumer…

  • Will “Aunt Edna” be confused by your message?
  • Will she grow frustrated trying to understand the industry jargon you are using, or overwhelmed trying to make sense of the information presented to her?
  • Will Aunt Edna grow uneasy or even lose trust in your company?

Now if, Aunt Edna has little patience for jargon and pretentious language, what about “Uncle Walt” (my stand in for the ubiquitous journalist)? Trade publications and academic journals notwithstanding, today’s reporters, producers and editors need to appeal to a broad audience. They are under increasing pressure to produce more, under tighter deadlines.

  • Will Uncle Walt need to read your press release multiple times in order to make sense of it? Will he even read your release for that matter?
  • How difficult is it for him to find the information he needs on your website?
  • Does all of the material and jargon lend itself to mis-quotes and factual misinterpretations?
  • Are the key messages you hope Uncle Walt will take away easy to identify?

Understand that looking out for Aunt Edna is not a charitable exercise. Customers like Aunt Edna are more loyal, and even willing to pay more, for brands that offer communications, interactions and experiences that are easy to understand and use. In fact, U.S. Brands Could Gain $27 Billion in 2011 by Bringing Consumers Simpler Experiences and Interactions, according to the findings of the Siegel+Gale  2010 Global Brand Simplicity Index.

So what global brands offer the simplest communications and what is the real pay off? For more tangible details on the value of simplicity, be sure to join BurrellesLuce and Brian Rafferty, Siegel+Gale Global Director, Customer Insights, for a free on-demand webinar on Using the Power of Simplicity to Optimize Brand Communications and learn about the findings of the 2010 Global Brand Simplicity Index. 

In the meantime, I offer you this challenge: Take a look at your online press room through the eyes of Aunt Edna and Uncle Walt. How much time does it take you to identify the key points? Is there anything subject to interpretation? Does your communication hold up to the “Aunt Edna test”? Does your competitor? Then, on the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog, tell us what you find out.

I Am Not Alone…and Other Things I Learned at the PR News Media Relations Forum

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Lindsay Nichols brings a broad range of public relations expertise to Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, helping clients build relationships with key audiences and influencers and sustaining awareness about their missions. In her nine year career, Lindsay has provided media relations, public affairs, grassroots marketing, crisis communications, and healthcare communications consulting to a variety of organizations focused on a variety of industries, including social purpose, advocacy, corporate, consumer, healthcare and legal.

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From left: Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce, Lynn Sweet, Howard Arenstein, Doug Stanlin

From left: Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce; Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times Washington Bureau; Howard Arenstein, CBS Radio News; Doug Stanlin, On Deadline blog, USA Today.

This post first appeared on the @OgilvyPR blog, Social Marketing exCHANGE, June 29, 2010.

I’m clearly a geek, but I’m going to proudly say it: it’s an exciting time to be in media relations.

I started my career in media a decade ago and as the field has changed, the practice of getting key messages in front of target audiences via the media has only gotten more interesting. From crafting the story idea, to hearing the spark ignite for a reporter, to reading or listening or watching the final story unfold – the entire process is exhilarating. Social media has only broadened that landscape for me – I have more choices than ever to spread my clients’ messages and make an impact with the audiences that matter. And while media relations may seem more complex then the days when I used to thumb through a media directory book to find a reporter’s name and beat, in a lot of ways I find it much more strategic and exciting.

This geeky love I have for media relations was recently nourished when I was lucky enough to attend the PR News Media Relations Next Practices Forum as a guest of sponsor BurellesLuce. I got to hear from some of the best talent in the industry across all walks of PR life including corporate veterans Stephanie Anderson of OSRAM SYLVANIA and Ed Markey of Goodyear; consulting mavens Karen Hinton of Hinton Communications and Andrew Gilman of CommCore Consulting Group; and nonprofit leaders Laura Howe of the American National Red Cross and Glen Nowak with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; among others.

And – I can’t but help but show a little pride here – Ogilvy PR had a great client showing:  Mark Phillips of the USO and Colleen Wilber of America’s Promise Alliance both had wonderful insights to share. The keynote speaker was former Marriott spokesman and current Senior Director of Communications for Catholic Charities USA, Roger Conner, who shared his PR experiences both humorous and humbling.

The knowledge these speakers imparted was too much to share in detail, but some highlights were:

  • Think like a newsroom
  • Use social media to collect real-time feedback on the quality, tone and resonance of a conversation – listen constantly
  • Let others (volunteers, employees, customers or consumers) tell the story for you
  • Don’t script people – just teach them how to use social media tools effectively
  • Don’t tell media what the news is – just tell them what you have and how they can use it
  • Individuals as influencers are becoming increasingly important – never underestimate your audience
  • Say the full message: not just “go online,” but “go online and donate”
  • Mobile media is the next frontier in terms of location, platforms, video, social search, virtual collaboration and cloud computing
  • Before you spend any resources, make sure audience is there; speak the right language and understand who you’re trying to influence
  • Stop trying to control the message – just be part of the conversation
  • You must call media on their mistakes – they are working as fast as we are, and mistakes happen; it’s our job to give them the correct information
  • Claim as much real estate as you can on a TV screen – provide information for the lower-third/crawl, facts, b-roll, bulleted messages, etc.; have your spokesperson hold a prop
  • Your actions must match your words

One of my favorite parts of the forum, the “Media/PR Smackdown,” was a panel of well-respected and much sought-after journalists Howard Arenstein, Correspondent of CBS Radio News and CBS News Radio’s Washington, DC, Bureau Manager; Doug Stanglin, Editor of the “On Deadline” blog at USA Today; and Lynn Sweet, Columnist and Washington Bureau Chief of Chicago Sun-Times. They reinforced the tried and true of the media world – don’t call unless you know the reporter’s beat, you know your pitch fits perfectly with what they cover, you’ve already sent an email, and you have a personal relationship. But they also taught me a thing or two about how journalists have embraced the recent changes to the media relations landscape. Reporters love Twitter. I can’t emphasize that enough. They love it personally, and they love it professionally. Doug Stanglin uses his Twitter as a news aggregator. Reporters also love blogs – their own and others. They no longer have one deadline a day – they have them throughout the day. And they are truly excited about sharing their news on different platforms.

So apparently I’m not the only one geeking out about media relations today.

Above all, the overwhelming message of the forum was loud and clear for me: I am not alone. I heard it from the friends I made at my table and around the room and the speakers who represented so many industries and so many types of PR. We’ve all had great ideas but neither the adequate time nor resources to get the job done well. We’ve all dealt with public crises that we didn’t see coming. We’ve all been met with overworked and under-resourced journalists who can’t (or won’t) hear us out.  We’ve all had to deal with leadership who didn’t understand how the media work and expected us to move mountains with only a spoon to start digging. But we all love what we do. We love shaping stories, spreading our clients’ messages, and entering in the public conversation. We all have a passion for getting it right the first time. And we all have a zeal for where media relations has come from – and where it’s going.

And somehow, just knowing that – that I’m not alone – feels good.

You can find more about the forum on Twitter: @mrf.