Saturday, April 10, 2010

Preparing for the Unpreparable

I'm no follower of Polish politics.  Before a few hours ago, I would have been hard-pressed to tell you that Lech Kaczynski was the country's president.  In fact, there is no way on Earth I would have guessed.

As I read a few postings on the Polish President's plane crash and the death of everyone on board, I was struck by the magnitude of the crisis now taking place in Poland.  Is this a scenario they could have planned for?  Sure, we all know there is a line of succession in the United States and anyone who's watched The West Wing can tell you why a member of the Cabinet stays behind at the White House during the State of the Union address.  But I mean, really, do these kinds of situations really happen?

Well, yeah.

Business owners have a responsibility to consider what will happen to their businesses in the event of a crisis.  Issues of safety, succession and business continuity must all be addressed.  Depending on the size of the company and the product or service offered, crisis communications planning must be part of the consideration.  Smart managers will take the time now - while they have it - to think about a variety of scenarios that could come up and how they ought to go about managing the communication around these scenarios.

Friday, April 9, 2010

PR & Social Media

Nice post from Ashley Wirthlin at on the importance of making sure social media fit (not "fits") into your public relations strategy before jumping in nilly willy.

Pay attention to points #3 and #4.   Number three speaks to a recent post of mine - consistency and follow-through; number four is meant to force the question of why social media?

Good work, Ashley.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Small Biz PR Tips

It's refreshing to come across articles like this one by Amy-Mae Elliott, who offers five PR tips that actually make sense!

Whichever tip(s) you decide to follow, don't forget to cover the basics of messaging, solid writing and sound strategy.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I am SO guilty.

When Braverman Communications was incorporated way back in 2003, a very smart man shared the following thought: When you work for yourself you're always doing three things.  (1) Collecting for yesterday's work, (2) Doing today's work; and (3) Pitching tomorrow's work.

He forgot to tell me there are really four things you need to do, the fourth being: "Don't forget to post to your blog."

Which brings me to a thought I've found myself sharing with clients on a rather frequent basis: remember what business you're in.  In all likelihood, you're not in the publishing business.  Put another way (also not my original thought): anyone can publish a newsletter.  The trick is publishing your 12th newsletter.

There are so many great tools available for broadcasting your message.  Not too long ago, the fax machine revolutionized media relations and, today, the plethora of social media is (not "are") doing it again.  The key to success will be to know when to join the fray and when to hold back.  If you think I'm nuts, think back to the late 1990s/early 2000s when every established company under the sun was considering appending ".com" to its name, either as a DBA or legally. New companies with names that didn't start with "i" or "e" weren't taken seriously.

Why?  Because it was the "New Economy" where everything had changed and nothing would ever be the same.  But, guess what?  In the end, investor's still wanted to see profits; and real customers trumped "strategic alliances."

Before you jump headfirst into blogging, newsletter writing, Twitter, Facebook, or anything that resembles publishing, consider what it is you want to get out of the effort.  Are you creating a blog or Twitter account because it's the thing to do?  Why would anyone want to be your "friend?"  Through it all, remember that all the bells and whistles will never replace mastery of the fundamentals.