Posts Tagged ‘BRW’

Email Still Preferred by Aussie Businesses

When choosing the most effective way to reach Australian business people, it seems we may neglect email at our own peril.

A study by ExactTarget, picked up by Michael Bleby of BRW has found that while social media may be the hot medium, almost three-quarters of Australians check their email first thing each morning, while only 17 per cent check Facebook first, followed by news sites (6 per cent), one’s own website (1 per cent), with Google+ and Twitter ranking last (0.6 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively).

It appears Australians are not unique in their primary reliance on email. In the UK, 73 per cent of consumers check email first and in the US, it is 58 per cent.

The reliance on email MAY be a generational thing, as among younger users, with most 18-to-24 year-olds reported that they checked social media ahead of email in the morning.  But even within this group, those in full-time employment tended to check email first, reflecting the more formal and busines-like nature of email.

The research also reflects a surprising continued reliance on PCs for accessing messages.  As many as 74 per cent of respondents said they used a PC to read their first online content of the day, with 14 per cent using a mobile phone. A further 7 per cent said they waited until arriving at work or school to do so, and then in the evening, the use of email drops off and social media use increases.

I have found this research to be true in my own business, and have experienced that a targetted and well-written email can be a very effective tool, despite the immediacy and currency of social media.

This research also reinforces a view of mine that email and LinkedIn remain the most powerful connectors for business, while social media remains – more or less – social!

Has this been your experience, too? Write and let me know!

Yours in PR

Are You Australia’s Entrepreneur of the Year?

Those of you who know me will know that I am all about working smart as well as working hard, and in the PR game, one of the most difficult goals to accomplish is to generate positive media buzz from a standing start.  This is particularly true when you are trying to generate coverage in an esteemed business journal such as BRW.

And this is where today’s free tip comes in – applying for business awards.  In particular today I am referring to the BRW Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for 2012, a process that is currently seeking entries, and which closes on Thursday 16 February 2012.

The benefits of applying for these kinds of awards are immense and multi-faceted.  Yes, there is a time and cost allocation that needs to be made in order to prepare your application, but the benefits in my view far outweigh the costs.

As I alluded to earlier the great thing about these kinds of awards is that it is a ready-made media opportunity – you already have the journalist’s attention, in fact they are trying to get to you so that they can attract the best candidates for the awards.  The groundwork is already done for you, and you don’t have to convince anyone to run the story for you.  Bonus!

And if successful, your business will be featured in the most highly respected business magazine in the country, one with a good international reputation as well as a solid online presence.  The benefits continue to flow, as even if you are not lucky enough to win an award, there is enormous kudos to be gained merely by being shortlisted or highly commended for an award, or being listed as a finalist.  As well as being published in an esteemed magazine, your business’ logo will appear alongside other award finalists, giving you instant proximity credibility.  Gotta love that!

And here’s my sneaky tip.  Even mentioning that your business has been nominated for an award like the BRW Entrepreneur of the Year gives you and your business a boost.  It doesn’t matter whether or not you were nominated by others, or nominated yourself – you are still a nominee.  Genius.

So get cracking, you have until 16th February 2012 to apply – it’s very much worth your while.  I will read the list of the winners (and the nominees… wink!) with interest.

Yours in PR


Peer Endorsement – How to get a recommendation

We’ve done it again!  A recent edition of the influential business magazine, BRW, has listed Publicity Queen amongst Australia’s best PR firms.
Our listing is between our esteemed colleagues at PPR and Red PR and we are pleased to be featured in such respectable and respected company.

If you are reading this, and wondering how to get such an endorsement for your business, well, I’m glad you asked.  Although it can be tempting at a time when businesses are trying to keep costs down to scrimp on such ‘luxuries’ as magazine subscriptions (both in print and online) my advice to you would be to STOP and think.

The power of an endorsement from an industry or peer-rated journal is very high indeed. Why? Well, a favourable review by a peer publication lends your business genuine credibility and prestige that go far beyond the dim glow of self-promotion, and sponsored advertising.  Consumers these days are well-educated and cynical by nature, and combine this with our healthy natural scepticism for ‘bragging’ (whether that is about ourselves or our business, which is also really an extension of ourselves) that Australians are known for, hence the tall poppy syndrome, and therefore are quick to activate their healthy cynicism.

So, how do you go about actually getting your business featured in a publication like BRW?

Step 1 – DON’T cancel your subscription. Peer journals like BRW and others provide invaluable insights and information, and enable you to benchmark what your competitors are doing, so that you can either replicate what they are doing well (or, do it better!) and ensure that your product offering is unique and ahead of the market.

Step 2 – Read your own peer journal CAREFULLY. Take note of who is on the editorial staff. When there is an article about a competitor or about a business or individual whom you admire, take note of who wrote it.  These days,  most journalists include their own personal email address or Twitter account, so TAKE NOTE and make contact with them.

Step 3 – Observe the editorial calendar of the journal,  to see when these lists of providers in your field appear – then make sure you get in touch well before this list is being compiled.  Those who really want to make a good impression might go further and try to meet the journalist, and buy them a coffee.  Even if you are not working in the field of marketing or PR, it is in everyone’s interests to develop relationships with the media and other influential commentators in your field.

Step 4 – When your busines is actually featured in a journal or publication, write to the journalist and thank them personally.  You would be surprised how rarely this happens, and as we learned from our old friend Adam Smith, who gve us the universal principle of scarcity, the rarity of a commodity increases its value.  Your hand-written note will make a big impression, particularly in a world where personal, written correspondence is similarly rare, and therefore – precious.

If you do take this advice, and are featured in the media after following these steps, we would love to hear about it! Write and let us know.

Publicity QueenYours in PR,

Leading Company New Monthly E-Mag for Business

It is with great pleasure that Publicity Queen would like to welcome to the monthly e-magazine block a fabulous new business publication, Leading Company.

Under the capable leadership of James Thomson, formerly of Business Spectator and BRW, Leading Company is a publication for company founders and managers from the SmartCompany team, designed to help company founders and senior executives meet the challenges of leadership and strategy.

The inaugural edition features Jack Welch on fighting complacency, Amanda Gome discusses thinking big while on holidays, and Leon Gettler gets to grips with what the new carbon tax will mean for management – the challenges and the opportunities.

Congratulations to James, Amanda and the team from Smart Company, we will be reading with interest.

To read more about Leading Company, click here and to read the other must-have monthly e-mag for business, (even if we do say so ourselves) our very own Queentessentials, click here

Publicity Queen
Yours in PR,

Tips for Boards When Dealing With the Media

In previous posts I have discussed how invaluable it can be to have a Board – in my case an Advisory Board – to assist the overall direction of the business.
My Board members are supportive and helpful, but I got to thinking perhaps this is not always the case.  This is particularly tricky in a high-profile organisation where there is a great deal of media interest in the company’s activities, and you and your Board members are the subject of media interest and scrutiny.

While there is no question that media training for Board members is very important (I would say it is critical, actually!) but in the meantime,  I came across an article by Tony Featherstone (former editor of BRW and Shares magazine) that touches on many of the key points concerning how Board members should interact with the media.

You can read the entire article in full at the Australian Company Directors website but I wanted to just extract a few key points for you.

Rule #1:  Speak with One voice – Tony advises for Board members to never break the confidence of the boardroom.
Rule #2: Never break Rule #1

Media management is tricky, as the journalist rarely is interested in your carefully prepared talking points or key messages. They will ask questions looking for something topical, controversial, trying to niggle to find out if there are tensions or divisions within the Board on one issue or another, not to cause trouble, but to generate a story.

The problem is, the story they want to write will not be the one you want them to write as no-one wants to read about differences of opinion, power struggles or conflicts or the leak of confidential information.  Or about that big new project that you are not ready to announce quite yet.

I strongly recommend that if you are a Board Member, or are thinking of appointing one, it is well worthwhile reading Tony’s article in full.  Let me stress here that while hiring a firm like Publicity Queen to handle your media can be a good strategic decision, you don’t necessarily need to outsource this function: if you are smart and careful, and if you observe the rules mentioned above concerning confidentiality and discretion, you can do this yourself.

If however, you would like to avoid the stress and pressure of handling media enquiries, give me a call, we are always happy to help! 🙂

Publicity QueenYours in PR,

Client Relationships – Taking the Long View

I read recently a great article in BRW where Anthony Bell, founder of Bell Partners who at the tender age of 39 is the only accountant to make BRW’s Young Rich List, discussed his personalised and long-view approach to developing client relationships, and I was so inspired and impressed, I would like to share it with all of you.

When asked what makes a good accountant, and where other firms go wrong, he cited the need to develop a strong relationship with clients.  What was surprising was that Anthony has clearly invested a great deal of time and personal effort in building long-term relationships with clients and their families both on and off the clock.  For example, he is godfather to 16 children, 14 of whom are children of his clients.  Now that’s a serious commitment!  He says that when he talks to colleagues, he asks his managers how many of their clients got married this year and of those, how many wedding invitations they received, and from his perspective, ‘none’ is the wrong answer.

Now clearly this approach is not for everyone, and I do believe in the need for there to be some separation between work and personal life.  Blurring the two can mean that you never feel that the work day ends, but from my own experience, forging strong relationships with the members of my Advisory Board, my treasured Queens, the royal family (our clients) as well as other partners, I too have found that both my personal and work lives have been enriched.

What it all boils down to is the quality of relationships.  By working hard on developing meaningful relationships with clients, partners, suppliers, media contacts and all of the many people who help me to run Publicity Queen, it means that when I need a level of service above and beyond the normal, the strength of these relationships means I can call in a favour or two.

The flipside of that scenario is the need to be appreciative and thankful of the support we receive.  For example, when we work closely with a media contact and they give one of our clients a good run, such as the front covers we have scored in The Australian Financial Review, The Courier Mail, City News and mX, or like the national media coverage we will get for the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal on “Hey Hey It’s Saturday” this Saturday night, we thank them personally.  And when we receive outstanding support from our suppliers, we make sure they know they are appreciated by giving a gift to show our appreciation, as we did recently for our IT gurus at BizTopia who always go that extra mile to help us out.

As we approach the Christmas season, where we traditionally count our blessings and give thanks, let’s keep in mind all the people who help us to build and grow our businesses.  There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child, and I believe it takes a village to grow a business too, so make sure all the people in your village know they are appreciated and valued.

Publicity QueenYours in PR,

Publicity Queen Makes BRW Top 5

Here at Publicity Queen we are firm believers in the power of referral partners and third-party endorsements, particularly those from highly-esteemed industry journals, so you can imagine our delight in reading this week’s edition (7-13 October 2010) of BRW to find that on page 51, Publicity Queen is featured at NUMBER FIVE on their list of Public Relations firms.  *Swish!*

We are pleased to be given this endorsement from BRW and proud to be listed alongside our competitors and collaborators in the industry, and moreover, as detailed in the supporting copy on the same page, BRW explains that the purpose of the list is to assist small to medium enterprises to access services and support.  This is serendipitous, as the entire business philosophy of Publicity Queen is to provide public relations strategy, advice and implementation to just this sector of the market for the purposes of maximising the growth of their businesses.

Also included in the article is a list (they are BIG on lists over at BRW!) of five questions to ask a PR firm, for the purposes of verifying if they are able to service your business and its PR requirements.  We thought it might be informative to actually answer those five questions from our own point of view, so as to provide an insight for our existing and future clients on our credentials, experience and approach.

The questions are:

1. Have any of your staff worked as journalists?
Yes.  At Publicity Queen, among our suite of consultants are former television, radio and print journalists.  However, we like to ensure we have a mix of both qualified journalists and PR professionals as they both bring different, and equally important, skill sets to our clients.  Also, each of our Queens also have extensive experience – that’s the other critical question to ask.

2. What is your approach to developing a PR strategy?
Essential to the process of taking on a new client, we conduct a thorough research and fact-finding missions so that we can understand your business and your PR needs and align your TRUEpublicity strategy to your business objectives and priorities.  TRUEpublicity enables us to develop a PR strategy that leverages the PR strategy across four channels and thereby dramatically improve results and return-on-investment for clients.  We do well, when you are doing well.

3. Who would be working on my account?
We only have senior consultants at Publicity Queen (who are called ‘Queens’ by the way) so you are assured of having a seasoned and talented professional represent and advise your business.  Each of our Queens are formally qualified journalists or PR practitioners so they have a proven track record in driving results.  Because we work in so closely with clients and, in effect, become an extension of the management team, we encourage prospective clients to meet the Queen prior to signing-up.

4. How do you measure results?
Let’s be honest, measuring any form of marketing has its difficulties but we overcome that in two ways.  Firstly by our reporting – we supply clients with complete transperancy on our monthly reports so that you know what media we’re dealing with, what information they have received and what coverage has resulted from each campaign.  We also measure results by the value we add to the business and there are a range of indictors to do this from increased traffic to website to increased revenues – these types of indicators can be tailored to suit each client.

5. How proactive is your team?
At Publicity Queen, we are so on the front foot we have calouses on our toes!  Our entire team are self-motivated and energetic people who are always thinking of new ways to get the name of their client in front of potential decision makers and customers.  Each and every week, our consultants are calling media representatives, pitching story ideas, organising photo shoots, media familiarisation tours and creating new content that is topical, informative and timely.  The media have developed trust with Publicity Queen as they know we represent quality businesses, and provide insightful information for their readers or viewers.

I hope reading the answers to these questions has given you an insight into Publicity Queen and the way we work in this industry  – we actually don’t do PR to get our clients in the press, we do it to help entrepreneurs and business managers like you grow the business.

Many thanks to the folks at BRW for their endorsement of our success, and we will continue, with them, to work with small to medium enterprises to encourage them to reach their true growth potential.  Onwards and upwards!

Publicity QueenYours in PR

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