In the current market where organisations are facing new challenges, complex issues and volatile situations, the ability to reach your target audiences and key stakeholders with positive and controlled messages through the media is essential.
Two years after leaving the world of broadcast journalism I was back behind the microphone last week grilling the latest candidates to participate in Orchard PR’s media training course. Orchard PR’s resident media trainer Emma Anderson invited me along to play the “journalist” in the fictional interviews in which the candidates take part on the day.
There can be no question that the new world we live in presents some extraordinary challenges for businesses; some we have never seen before and others we could have easily deflected in the past… not anymore. We live in a world of increasing transparency and accountability not least in terms of media expectation. We now have both traditional media and “new” media – a true age of 24 hour news.
Businesses are expected to talk, often on issues that are less than comfortable and certainly defend their position across a range of media platforms from newspapers to broadcast, LinkedIn to Twitter. In the past, an understanding of how the media works and how to deal with them may have been a “nice to have” but now it is vital if a business is to be seen to be reputable, accountable and to have a clear understanding of their position and messages to demonstrate expertise.
Being a credible spokesperson slots online with an ability to craft positive and controlled messages has never been more important. Hiding and not engaging with the media is not an option. Worse still is being interviewed or writing a statement without understanding the media and doing it badly. The worst is rehearsing your message so much it is the only thing you say in an interview and you come across as a bit of a robot…
Social media, if you believe the hype, is the most important thing you need to focus your business on right now. Just for a nice change, the hype may be justified. Social media can be hugely powerful if harnessed in the right way. Making use of the networks, tools and platforms it provides can be very useful to online PR campaigns and can help win you precious profile and attention within a busy marketplace.
Jumping straight in and getting on with it can seem tempting. None of the tools themselves are that tricky to use, and there are online tutorials aplenty to show you how to design a Facebook page or win new Twitter followers quickly. However the first few steps in social media is also where many people get turned off. If there are no quick wins or no obvious results the feeling is often that they don’t ‘get it’ or more often that it doesn’t ‘get them’ and profiles are allowed to drift into dereliction.
All three courses are designed for small groups of between four and six people, either from the same company or in a mixed group. We believe in learning by doing so, while there is some theory and knowledge to be gained, our courses mainly focus on delegates putting into practise what they have learned through mock interviews, presentations and activities.
For more details of our training options please visit the Orchard website or download one of the course flyers below.
The use of PR professionals, both in house and agency, by the States of Guernsey has come in for a great deal of scrutiny of late. Today’s Guernsey Press business page adds yet more comment to the debate courtesy of James Falla, ex Treasury and Resources comms director.
Perhaps reading between the lines there is a bit of criticism here for the way Deputies and civil servants have engaged with the media over recent years. It is all too easy for beleaguered Deputies to develop a bunker mentality towards the media: ‘they’re all out to get me’ is a refrain we hear all too often.
Looking around the office we can spy bits of tinsel next to sparkling fairy lights and even a jaunty ‘chimney’ hat with Father Christmas’ legs sticking out from the top. Plus, the inevitable boxes of chocolates. It is officially Christmas!
As we approach the end of the year and the inevitable 11th hour deadlines, we’d like to thank our clients for their loyalty and friendship through challenging times for many of us.
From everyone here at Orchard to our clients, journalists, suppliers and colleagues in Jersey, the Isle of Man, London and Guernsey – we wish you a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year!
The feedback at our cider-fuelled launch party was that it’s fresh, innovative and clean.
But, after 13 years with our familiar old tree, the decision to axe it and put on a new suit of corporate clothes is much more than just vanity. When we started the rebranding exercise we suspected that we’d go for evolution; in fact we’ve gone for revolution and there’s good reasons for that too.
The brand reflects who we are today, the confidence we have in ourselves and in our clients and it’s about looking forward to a positive future. Plus, there’s still a tree in there somewhere if you use your imagination…