Posts Tagged ‘participation’


BurrellesLuce Complimentary Webinar: Tips for Planning & Evaluating Successful Events

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Webinar: Planning & Evaluating Successful EventsTips for Planning & Evaluating Successful Events –BurrellesLuce Complimentary Webinar

REGISTER NOW!

When: Monday, September 10, 2012

Time: 1:00pm EDT

Participating in and hosting events can help drive awareness and visibility for your organization. Events can help boost organizational profits and financial success. However, pitching events to the C-suite and ensuring company buy-in can be tricky. Growing your revenue requires strategically understanding your income streams and how to financially maximize every opportunity.

Join BurrellesLuce and Abbie S. Fink, vice president/general manager of HMA Public Relations, for this informative 60-minute webcast, “Tips for Planning & Evaluating Successful Events.”

During the webcast you will walk away with:

  • PR tips for incorporating special events into your communications strategy.
  • How to establish strategic goals and properly review your revenue streams
  • How to manage revenue goals and enlist the support of others to help you.
  • How to continue to leverage attendee participation and attention after the event is over.
  • Why it’s important to participate in industry events.

And much more…

REGISTER NOW!

Moderator: Johna Burke, senior vice president, BurrellesLuce

Space is limited. Sign up now for this free webinar, “Tips for Planning & Evaluating Successful Events.” If we are unable to accept your registration, an on-demand presentation will be available for review after the event at www.burrellesluce.com.

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abbie1Abbie S. Fink is vice president/general manager of HMA Public Relations, where she serves as HMA’s primary media and digital communications trainer.  Her varied marketing communications background includes skills in media relations, digital communications/social media strategies, special event management, community relations, issues management and marketing promotions for private and public sectors, as well as not-for-profit organizations.

IF AN EMPLOYEE SPEAKS UP IN THE FOREST…

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

We’re all familiar with the old brain-teaser: “If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s there to hear it, does it make a sound?”

A question that’s much easier to answer – and more relevant to effective leadership practices – is: “If an employee offers an idea, and no one pays attention, does the employee stop participating?”

In most cases, the answer is a definite yes. Ignore a staffer’s input, and he or she will feel put out, turned off, alienated, and discouraged from offering suggestions in the future.

It’s no surprise that one of the biggest challenges to leadership today – perhaps the biggest – is that of employee disengagement…staff membersAlan Cohen, Acts of Balance Executive Coaching feeling they are not being heard, a feeling they translate into not being valued and ultimately not part of the creative team. So they tune out and stifle themselves from offering potentially valuable contributions in the future.

It’s not much different from the man who complains to his psychiatrist, “Doctor, everyone ignores me.”

The doctor responds: “Next.”

The opposite side of the disengagement coin is that, at some of the nation’s most successful public relations firms, employees at all levels are inspired to present ideas, no matter how far out of the proverbial box, and encouraged to question ideas of top management. And their challenges of these ideas are not only tolerated but even applauded.

When I was publicity director of the Scholastic team spearheading the publicity campaign for the Harry Potter book series, we all knew our mission and were committed to it. But at the same time, we welcomed the questions from everyone on the team, even when they reflected healthy skepticism.

Like the best elements of brainstorming, everyone was encouraged to present free-flowing ideas, confident there’d be no snap judgment articulated, no scoffing or rolling eyes or turned-up noses. Everyone’s idea was listened to, encouraged, and amplified. And as a result, we were all strengthened with everyone feeling he or she had shared in moving the team and its mission forward.

Some team leaders need to remember that it doesn’t diminish the boss’s luster to have an idea from a lower-level employee implemented. In fact, it rebounds favorably. Part of leadership is identifying and implementing good ideas, whatever or whoever the source.

An employee’s willingness to present possibly controversial ideas or to challenge those of higher-ups emerges only in a company culture that encourages it. That culture develops only when the leader is willing to identify employees’ hidden assets and potential and helps develop those qualities. The results: greater individual contribution and professional growth.

Leaders who understand this welcome employees who think differently from themselves. Rather than clone themselves, they don’t limit those they hire to “yes-men or -women.” Rather, they seek out even “no-people,” individuals who aren’t negative for the sake of it, but rather who aren’t intimidated about pointing out flaws in the boss’s thinking or who will sometimes take a contrary position, a la devil’s advocate.

A good balance to strive for: while demonstrating he or she is in charge, the boss realizes the possibility of being wrong, and thereby demonstrates an open-mindedness that encourages risk-taking for the ultimate good of the team.

Beyond this, forward-thinking bosses maintain an open-door policy, literally and figuratively, encouraging employees to share not only professional but personal matters as well. This means being a good, attentive listener, an often forgotten component of good communication, whether with an employee or a client.

You may have read recently of the first wedding to take place in space. When the capsule came back to earth, reporters hurried to interview family members. One reporter cornered the groom’s grandmother.

“How was the wedding?” he asked.

“Beautiful,” she said.

“The ceremony?”

“Fine.”

“The music?”

“Fine.”

“The food?”

“Fine.”

The reporter said, “All your answers are positive, but there’s something in your tone that suggests everything wasn’t ideal.”

“Well,” said the grandmother, “to tell you the truth, there was no atmosphere.”

Yes, atmosphere matters. We’re in a serious business, but that doesn’t mean the environment has to be solemn. A wise leader put a premium on fun, light-hearted moments that help foster camaraderie and provide a pleasant cushion for the inevitable long hours and hard work.

They can also reflect the positive – contagious – energy that filters down from top to bottom in a thriving company, one where employees feel engaged and connected.

The plus factors are numerous, not the least of which is what a current Employment Engagement report by Blessing White has found: engaged employees plan to stay at their firms for what they give; disengaged stay for what they get.

The company’s survey also found that “executives appear to struggle with key leadership behaviors, especially what’s required to create a high-performance culture.” It also points out that managers have to understand each individual’s talents, interests and needs, and then match those with the organization’s objectives…while creating personal trusting relationships.

Blessing White emphasizes the importance of leadership focusing on engagement, “creating the dialogue, stirring up participation and driving people to focused, purposeful action.”

It urges the adoption of a “coach approach” as a means of transferring disengagement into “high-energy buy-in motivated employees and strong results.” By focusing on “what is working” and the strengths and individual needs of employees, the report contends, the odds of success are increased. The report notes that recognizing that each individual is motivated differently (seldom by money), will help create opportunities that mesh with individual needs.

The company strongly recommends self-evaluation to determine how open a leader is to engaging in a dialogue even with someone with a contradictory perspective, without feeling the need to prove anything about the leader’s point of view…and flexible enough to accept and implement someone else’s better idea.

All these goals are attainable, starting with listening – really listening – to that employee offering a potentially super idea.

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 Alan Cohen, president of Acts of Balance Executive Coaching (http://www.actsofbalance.com/) and a PRSA Counselors Academy member, is an executive coach, trainer and brainstorm facilitator with more than 25 years of experience in business, including public relations and human resources. 

Download a free copy of “The 12 Essential Talents of PR Leadership” at http://ow.ly/3vT7d

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.

The Unwritten Rules of Social Media

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

by Lauren Shapiro*

Leave a seat between you and a stranger at the movie theater. Don’t hold eye contact for more than four or five seconds with any stranger… These are just two unwritten rules we know and assume others would know too. We typically do not put too much thought into these “rules,” but when one is broken it’s shocking. But who makes these rules?  In face-to-face communication, a lot of it has to do with personal distance and maintaining your space, while being respectful of the space of others.  

In computer mediated communication (CMC), specifically looking at social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, netiquette is very much Business_Dealthe “This is how we do things around here” context in which the culture of these communities operate. This is potentially why individuals are hesitant to join or participate once they do. The tech savvy twenty-something generation, who was in college during the evolution of Facebook, mastered the art of netiquette early on and practically wrote the book on what we do and don’t do on these sites.

In a world where physical distance is the least of your concerns, how do you ensure that your online behavior agrees with what is expected in online communities? Most non-verbal CMC is common sense and varies based on which “you” (e.g., the personal you or the business you) is represented in the online forum. Blurring the line between your personal and business life is becoming more commonplace. But it can also be very risky, so be aware. Understand that “friending” your boss on Facebook will give them access to your pictures, your friends, your status and your wall (unless, of course, you set your privacy settings). Even so, remaining mindful of your social networking circle is key. If you are Facebook friends with colleagues and bosses, posting “Work sucks!” is clearly a bad idea.

Some behaviors are not as clear cut. According to Jeremiah Owyang, who pens the Web Strategist blog, “You should only follow people who you trust, you think are interesting, or that you learn from.” He goes on to say, that in doing so, “It’s possible you’ll offend some people…” (Although, some may think it’s more offensive not to “friend” a person on Facebook).

Yet, it is ok to “take a risk and follow someone outside your immediate [Twitter] circle,” says Stowe Boyd, a social media consultant who writes the /message blog. (This is often frowned upon on Facebook).

Also, unselfish Tweeters tend to be viewed more positively than Tweeters who do not contribute to others’ posts. These and other interesting tips can be found  in the Computer World article, “Twitter Etiquette: Five Dos and Don’ts.

Exploring social networking sites and understanding their culture will lead to a better comprehension of how to “fit in” on each site. What unwritten rules have you learned on social networking sites? What rules would you like to see adopted in the future? Which ones do you think can be done away with? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas. 

*Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now work as the supervisor of BurrellesLuce Express client services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Connecting with Clients through Social Media

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Connect with clients through social mediaby Cathy Del Colle*
After reading the title of the blog post from Graham Charlton, “The Power of Social Media for Customer Service,” I couldn’t agree more.  At BurrellesLuce, we’ve found that it’s essential to be active where our customers are active. And social media is booming right now.

When you log on to Twitter, their home page states “What is Twitter? Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”  This is terrific!

When potential customers have posted a comment about which media monitoring company people are using, we read it and respond. When a current client has a question or concern, we make sure that the client is contacted by the account manager that currently handles their account. As Graham Charlton stated in his blog “Responding in public to such customer complaints requires some tact and good judgment, but when done well like this it can be a big win for a company in terms of positive PR. It also emphasizes the value of monitoring what is being said about your brand online so you can respond when necessary.”

It doesn’t matter what social media source you choose to monitor, it’s important to just get started. I can say from experience that the benefits will come shortly after your first post!

*Bio: During my 22 years with BurrellesLuce I’ve heard and seen a lot in the way of media monitoring and measurement. I originally started as a sales associate specializing in fashion and higher education. Now, I am the SVP of client services. Over the years I’ve developed a close relationship with many PR and marketing professionals. When I worked in the nation’s capital, I sat on the board of Washington Women in Public Relations, where I also served as membership coordinator and, in 1995, as president. Today, I remain an honorary member of that organization. I continue to enjoy meeting with clients and assisting them in any way. LinkedIn: cdelcolle; Twitter: @BurrellesLuce; Facebook: BurrellesLuce