Ch 19: Measuring Success

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Measurement of success in any situation is essential. No matter how successful or well done a particular situation was there is always room for assessment and the ability to do better.

At my workplace we are measuring success at all times whether it’s from our staff, clients, exhibitors and/or attendees. We also measure our sales from event types to equipment to smaller items such as copies and Internet usage.

Some items seem silly to measure such as the amount of stamps we give out per year, but we do it all so our organization can have a systematic approach as to where all compensation comes to play, whether it’s coming in or going out.

Now, on a side note… I’m measuring my success with this semester. I took one night to sit down and complete the last five chapters in this PR class, and it is now finished! My focus can finally turn to my feature writing and newsletter.

Happy writing!

Ch 18: Planning Programs and Campaigns

At the beginning of a campaign develop a written plan.

When developing a plan consider several of different tactics:

  • Meet with the client
  • Organize
  • Research
  • Chat with colleagues about their ideas
  • Brainstorm,
  • Conduct focus group interviews
  • Do surveys
  • Look over different channels of communication
  • Consider demographics

After considering the above tactics, analyze and draw a conclusion.

The elements that are covered in a good plan are situation, objectives, audience, strategy, tactics, timing, budget and evaluation. By planning these elements, you will be able to visualize how you want and will accomplish your goal.

After you have timely and carefully planned each element, you will be ready to submit the campaign for an approval.

Ch 17: Organizing Meetings and Events

I work around different events every day including meetings, banquets, weddings, trade shows, consumer shows and conventions. Planning these events take a lot of time and a great eye for detail.

There are lots of aspects to consider when planning an event. Things such as how dim a light should be to which type of tables to use.

There are usually a lot of different areas of workers who also affect the flow of the event.

For instance, you have the person who is planning the event for his or her company. Then, they contact the venue/ sales person who books the rooms. From there you are usually assigned an event manager whom spends weeks to months finalizing every last detail (lighting, furniture, napkins, food and beverage, AV equipment and much more).

In addition to all of these people, there is also some sort of facility crew who makes sure the area is kept clean, trash cans are emptied and bathrooms are cleaned.

All that I have mentioned above is only part from the side of the place holding the event. There is still much more work that was not mentioned and all of the work on the client’s side as well.

Planning events takes a lot of preparation. In order to have a successful event, all parties have to be highly organized and have a great eye for detail. If everything goes as plan, you will feel rewarded after the event!

Ch 16: Direct Mail and Advertising

Direct Mail:

The five components of direct mail are:

  • Envelope
  • Letter
  • Brochure
  • Reply card, and
  • Return envelope

Direct mail has its advantages and disadvantages. A lot of time it is assumed to be junk. People use this to reach specific audiences, to personalize a message and because it is cost efficient.

Advertising:

Advertising is “any paid form of non-personal presentation of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor (P.436).”

Advantages of advertising consist of selection of audience, the control over the message, the effect it has and timing.

Disadvantages include expensive costs and credibility.

According to this chapter, the five basic types of advertising include:

  1. Image Building
  2. Investor and financial relations programs
  3. Public service announcements
  4. Advocacy, and
  5. Announcements

In order to have successful advertisements they must be interesting to reader, short and punchy.

Ch 15: Speeches and Presentations

Giving speeches and presentations is one of the most difficult tasks for most people. I know, speaking for myself, giving speeches was and still is one of the hardest things I’m in the process of overcoming. No matter how prepared and ready I am, I still have the tendency to become nervous and shaky.

I’m not saying it is hard for everyone, but most people do have to overcome anxiety issues when giving presentations. The best way to overcome this fear is with practice.

In the field of PR, many times you will have to write speeches, prepare visual aids, conduct speaker training and other task dealing with the prep of a speech. Researching is the beginning step of preparing a speech. You must also determine the objective, key messages and the strategy/approach before writing the speech.

Next comes writing the speech. Make sure you target the message for the listeners. Keep to three main points. Always let listeners know what you are talking about and where you are going with the speech.

Along with verbal communication, speakers must use nonverbal communications such as facial expressions and hand gestures. They may also want to include visual aids because it helps listeners retain and understand the information. If you do decide to use visual aids, please make sure the aid is not too cluttered. Just a few words or key points are all that is necessary on each slide. Make sure pictures and words are clear and big enough to read. You should never make a person struggle to see your visual aid.

Ch 14: Writing tips

Tips when writing:

When writing to others, make sure you include all information needed while still being brief and accurate. You need to personalize as well as be polite and responsible. Always remember that emails are recordable and can always be found, even after deleted.

PR professionals and people of other professions use email on a daily basis. When writing emails you should keep your content to one screen, provide key information in the subject line and use correct punctuation, grammar and spelling. To avoid cluttering other people’s inbox, it’s best to not “reply all” if not necessary. Also, avoid sending non-work related content to other employees or other working people. Always keep in mind that using capital letters in an email usually implies that the writer is mad/angry.

People in my office use email every day, all day. Most of the time emails that I receive are work related, although that is not always the case. Some times people send pictures of their families to the office staff. Other times they will send chain mail or jokes.

In some situations it is acceptable to send these types of messages to coworkers, but it can also become frustrating if it happens too often. Messages like these are often distracting and causes valuable work time to be wasted.

Ch 13: Newsletters and Brochures

When producing newsletters there are seven factors to keep in mind.

  1. Audience interests- On page 360, the chapter shared the top five employee interests, which are: (1) Organizational future plans, (2) personal policies and procedures, (3) productivity improvement, (4) job related information and (5) job advancement information.
  2. Design- Should emphasize the organizations personality.
  3. Format- No specifics, although must consider budget.
  4. Layout- Reading shall be easily read. Allow plenty of white space on pages.
  5. Photos and illustrations- Photos are important. They should be relevant, captivating, large and never placed at the end of a story. “For every photo of execs shaking hands at expensive dinners and parties, include three photos of ‘regular’ workers hard at work” – Justin Allen, writer for Ragan.com.
  6. Headlines- Must attract readers, because it could be the only thing they read.
  7. Lead sentence- Second most important element. (Headline is the first).

Newsletters as well as brochures and magazines are still widely used within organizations to get out messages. I think the main reason why printed publications (in contrast to publications on the Internet) are still widely used is due to them being tangible.