Posts Tagged ‘PR’

Are Women Better at PR?


Recently I wrote to you all in response to questions raised about PR being a ‘Pink Ghetto‘.

Well, as a neat corollary to that article, I wanted to bring to your attention a companion piece that has raised the idea that women are actually better at PR than men, and may I say in anticipation of much ‘ooh-ing’ and ‘ahh-ing’ that this article was written by a real life MAN.  And while I am not sure I agree, certainly this article makes for great water cooler conversation, so let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?

The brave man in question who has posed this proposition is Craig Pearce, Founder of Craig Pearce Strategic Communication, who says in his recent blog for PRIA that women have a leading edge in PR based on their natural attributes.
Craig says these attributes include:

  • Empathy. He says women come out ahead of men through the application of empathy because women in PR are able to ‘feel’ the situation faced by their clients and act accordingly.
  • Empowerment. Apparently women are better than men at sharing power, encouraging and mentoring employees (including direct reports) and sharing and giving praise (although it would seem to me that these characteristics would be useful not just in PR but in any industry).
  • Creativity in PR. Craig says that in exploring their creativity, women are more readily able to let go of the strictures that inhibit the mind from flying free and coming up with fresh ideas.  Fascinating!
  • Women are better writers than men. Indeed, this is a big call.  Craig says that writing is the number one PR skill, and while he is not claiming that women in PR are better writers than their male counterparts, he says that he has come across some ‘fantastic ones’.  Hmmm, this has failed to convince me, to be honest, but let’s continue…
  • Conversational.  Craig makes the point that perhaps due to empathy, as listed above, women they are superior at having conversations with a wide range of people, which is an excellent basis upon which to build meaningful relationships with stakeholders, and they have a seemingly natural aptitude for social media.
  • Women are more intelligent than men. Ok, hold on, we are on shaky ground here, but Craig makes the point that there are a lot more women getting into PR courses than men in Australia.  What can we extrapolate from this? Perhaps that more women than men are interested in PR, and therefore more are applying, not necessarily that they are more intelligent.  I am unconvinced by this one, although I can vouch for the many, many highly intelligent women who work for me and whom I have met and worked with in the field of PR.
  • Multitasking superiority in PR. Now here Craig may be onto something.  Women are known to be better multi-taskers than men, with PR being a very heavy multi-tasking environment. But is PR more multi-task driven than other professions?  That remains unclear.
  • Women are more ethical than men. OK now this is controversial.  I agree that being ethical is a fundamental component of best practice PR, but are women more ethical than men? Hmm, not so sure.
  • Men in marcomms are too up themselves. Wow!  Not sure how to respond to this.  Craig cites an article in Australia’s Marketing magazine by Mark Ritson who claimed that women in marketing are more humble than men. The former are more likely to put the good of the organisation ahead of their own ego. I am intrigued.  I can personally vouch for the fact that my team certainly put the needs of the client ahead of their own personal quest for kudos or glory, but is it just women who work this way?  I am not sure.

Now this article will put the cat among the pigeons for sure, (I suspect this is its intention) but it does raise some interesting points.  I would agree that women naturally suited to work in PR, due to their innate strengths in communication, collaboration and empathy.  But are they better suited than men, that is the question.

What do you think?


Yours in PR

Biggest PR Disasters of 2010

Australia's biggest PR Disasters for 2010
According to PR analyst and author Gerry McCusker, the brains behind www.prdisasters.com, it’s official… drumroll please!  The Qantas A380 engine blast has been named the worst Australian PR disaster of 2010.

The scandal surrounding The Canberra Raiders and one of their player’s ‘relationship’ with a dog, the Commonwealth Bank’s premium interest rate hike and the David Jones sexual  assault case were just some of the diverse incidents to make the year’s definitive list of PR gaffes.

Celebrities Stephanie Rice, Matthew Newton and Lara Bingle also hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in 2010.  The awards highlight the worst examples of business, celebrity, government, media and sports gaffes. For the first time, the results have included PR disasters in both traditional and online media, including social media spaces, showing the increasing prominence of this channel as a legitimate platform for the dissemination of information.

According to Gerry McCusker and his partner on this project, Bree Dwyer from online and social media monitoring agency Cyber Chatter, in order to qualify as a PR disaster, the incident must catalyse sustained, negative media coverage for the brand, business or person at the centre of the story.

So, without further ado, Australia’s Top 10 PR Disasters for 2010 were in descending order (meaning the biggest disaster first):

1. Qantas – A380 fleet consecutive engine issues and passenger delays
2. Commonwealth Bank ‐ premium interest rate hikes
3. Labor Party ‐ corporate backlash against the proposed ‘super tax’
4. Melbourne Storm ‐ salary cap scandal
5. Stephanie Rice ‐ homophobic comments posted via Twitter
6. Canberra Raiders ‐ Joel Monaghan’s bad taste photo with a dog
7. Virgin Blue – reservations and check‐in system crash
8. Matthew Newton ‐ after alleged assault of then partner Rachel Taylor in Italy
9. David Jones – CEO sexual assault scandal
10. Lara Bingle ‐ media relations following split with Michael Clark

One can’t help thinking that if the poll for this year had already begun, that the photo scandal involving St Kilda players and indecent photographs taken on tour and then posted onto the internet would certainly have rated highly already.  And one wonders about the glaring omission of Queensland Minister for Health Paul Lucas’ mis-handling of the Queensland health workers’ pay fiasco – surprising that this did not rate a mention?

Certainly in the case of Qantas and Virgin Blue, there are definitely lessons here in terms of maintaining core standards of business efficiency, core business operations and risk management; while others on the list merely demonstrate the power of a few poorly-chosen words, tweeted in haste, with dire and career-long consequences.

It is worth taking the time, when contemplating any public expression even of private opinions, that your remarks have an audience far wider than you might first imagine and that once you press ‘send’, there is no way to snatch back those thoughts best kept to yourself.  In other words, think before you tweet.

Publicity QueenYours in PR

Make Sure All Roads Lead to Your Website

Securing  domain names is a key PR tip that enables you to dramatically increase your online ‘findability’ – I actually equate your domain holdings with the asset class of property because securing domain names is similar to securing internet real estate.

There are a few considerations to keep in mind…

When choosing your primary domain, the age old principles of common sense apply. What you are hoping for is that at the time someone is ready to use the products or services offered by your organisation, they can find you easily, contact you, and buy from you.

The other key recommendation that we always make to clients is to secure the .com.au version of your chosen domains – this is important from a branding perspective, but more so in terms of being readily found as Australian internet users, in the first instance, look for a com.au site.

In our fast-paced and hectic lives, we may only hear a snippet of a tv commercial or recall part of the name of an advertisement that we see or from a word-of-mouth recommendation, so when reserving your internet domain, make sure you maximise your chances of being found.

So, if all someone remembered from an advertisement was ‘Paddington Plumbing’, it is important to cover all bases when attracting those vital sales leads and potential clients.  You would reserve www.paddingtonplumbingsupplies.com.au but also www.paddingtonplumbing.com.au or maybe www.paddingtonplumber.com.au as well.  You get the idea…

My strong recommendation is that you stake out the internet real estate that covers all of the likely computations on how your company’s website MIGHT be searched.

Another important element is to secure domain names that help reduce the risk of  a competitor setting-up-shop with a similar brand concept – for example, I not only have www.publicityqueen.com.au, I also have www.prqueen.com.au.

Then, once you have purchased those domains, be sure to redirect them to your website, and be vigilant in testing those referral pages over time to make sure the redirects are active.

But think creatively, too. Don’t just capture all the like mis-spells and approximations of your company’s name – go for categories too. In my case, we own http://www.pr-sydney.com.au and several other domains that business owners may key in intuitively when looking for a PR company in our locations.

By following these guidelines hopefully you will get more clicks, and from the clicks will come sales.

Yours in PR,

Publicity Queen

Master the Power of Association in PR

As the MasterChef Australia juggernaut has ended for another year, having surpassed all expectations in terms of both viewers and wealth generation for the Ten Network and its partners, we here at Publicity Queen are keen to espouse the power of association as it applies to PR.

There is a clear and tangible link between product placement on a show like MasterChef, and sales at the till, as evidenced by reported increased purchases of the cuisine items featured on the show. For example, the episode that controversially featured squab (a pigeon that has its wings cut and is fattened up for extra tenderness prior to consumption) resulted in record sales for the same.

Prior to its featuring on MasterChef we doubt how many Australians would even have heard the word ‘squab’. Similarly, the high media profile given to the contestants and the judges and featured chefs and experts has created a ripple effect of wealth generation that is a genuine phenomenon.

The lesson is that by linking your self or your company or brand to a highly successful media vehicle – be it a complementary market brand, a celebrity or a patron, the multiplier effect can be enormous, and profitable.

In choosing your partner, though, it is prudent to think strategically and long-term, so as to avoid being caught up in the orbit of a falling star, so to speak.  Choose a partner with an established media profile, with strong industry credentials, an enviable network of contacts and whose views are influential across your target market.

Your link with them needs to be mutually-beneficial and inherently logical – such as the partnerships MasterChef developed with Coles.

By following these general guidelines, your pitch may magically be transformed, through the power of association, into a home run.

Publicity QueenYours in PR

Christmas is coming – are you ready?

Christmas will soon be with usWith the EOFY celebrations now a distant financial memory, here at Publicity Queen we are gearing up our preparations for Christmas.

With less than 150 days to go, it is a timely PR reminder for all of those companies wanting to secure product placement in monthly magazines that the time investigate Christmas editorial opportunities is NOW!  With these monthly publications running to a three to four month lead time, editors across the country are currently planning their festive ink.

For those of you who have products that would sit perfectly in special Christmas features, I advise you to ensure that you have excellent product shots and send these long-lead media a ‘photo sheet’ which has been professionally designed to highlight the products you’d like to promote – and don’t forget to include their price points.

Who do I send this to I hear you ask?  My advice is this… ring the Editorial Coordinator and ask who is managing their Christmas features, get their specific contact details and send your information to this journalist.  And to increase your chances even further, I suggest you include product product samples with your photo sheet so that the journalist can see the quality and scope of your products when they’re selecting their Chrissy wares.

And speaking of all things Christmas, don’t forget to give to the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal this year!

So, ’twill soon the season to be jolly… (and you’ll be even more jolly if you get some valuable Christmas PR!)

Publicity QueenYours in PR

Publicity Queen Grabs Front Page City News for Sirromet

We are soooo excited, we secured a front-page cover story for Sirromet in this week’s City News (22nd July edition).

This is our second front cover in about 12 weeks – in April we got the front page of the Courier Mail for another client, Property Pursuit.

Yes, the champagne corks are popping here at Publicity Queen (and you can be assured that it’s beautiful Sirromet bubbles that we’re drinking!).

This story is testament to working closely with journalists and I have to say, a very big thank you goes to Cathy Noble, the Editor of City News and the wonderful Karen Cooley who wrote the story.

I’m going to be cheeky here and say… “so if you’d like this type of exposure for your business, please contact Publicity Queen – ASAP!

Publicity QueenYours in PR

Richard Branson talks PR

We found this video on youtube with Virgin CEO Richard Branson talking about the importance of good PR to help grow and build the reputation of your business.

Check out the video here.

Publicity QueenYours in PR

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