Whose time is your PR wasting?

Effective PR requires time and effort,
but we need to focus activity clearly to make sure we’re not wasting others’ time as well as our own.

Whose time is your PR wasting

If you’d put a lot of effort into writing and distributing a press release or article, how would you feel if a journalist started reading but then stopped and asked: “What is this all about?”

If it’s a really interesting topic and the journalist wants to pursue it, they’ll call you to get the real story.

It’s more likely that they won’t have much time and are up against a tight deadline and will give up.

How much time would you have spent putting that press release together?

What do you think the journalist’s opinion will be of your business?

Does it ever happen?

It happened twice to me recently when I received two vague press releases. I like to give people a chance and re-read them to see if I was missing the point. No, they were too vague. They referred to awards or achievements, but did not give any specific details.

I did a bit of investigation. I try to check facts wherever I can as I know that people often mention things without checking them. There was nothing on their web sites.

I now reached a point where the value of the stories in my view was not worth more of my time. I had other news to follow up that I knew was of interest, so I did not follow up these two any further.

What improvements could have got them published?

If the press releases had set out precisely what the awards were, what organisations made them, why they had won them and what it meant to the businesses to win them, it would have told me all about the stories.

Perhaps they would have been newsworthy.

In the event, they wasted my time and, I imagine, wasted theirs too.

My advice when looking to start any public relations activity is to establish what your news is, who will find it interesting and what you want it to achieve.

If you can’t provide the answers to these questions, I suggest spending the time on something more likely to be useful.

Please don’t waste my time with your presentation

I’ve had the misfortune to sit through a number of business presentations recently.

Now, we have the best presentation technology we’ve ever had. There are also more training courses, books and resources available on how to present well than ever before. So why are business presentations so excruciatingly boring, poorly prepared and badly delivered?

Not all presentations are bad, just the majority of them.

I don’t want to see another speaker read their bullet points from a PowerPoint slide.

I don’t want to hear another speaker droning on in a monotonous tone.

I don’t want to watch another presenter switch from one PowerPoint presentation to another.

I don’t want to keep looking my watch and praying for it to end.

I don’t want to be cruel, I just want to be interested and entertained.

Some easy ways to improve a presentation.

1. Prepare your script and cut it, cut it and cut it again, so that it is short and snappy.

2. Rehearse your script again and again.

3. Get to the venue in good time.

4. If you are hosting the event, join all the PowerPoint presentations together, using a common linking slide between each presentation. Better still if presenters talk unaided.

5. Make yourself comfortable. Have a drink of water. Breath deeply to calm yourself. It’s natural to be nervous, so don’t worry.

6. Speak slowly. Don’t worry about tripping over your words. You’ll soon start to talk naturally and people will be on your side.

7. Don’t use PowerPoint or other slides unless you really need to – the audience will focus on you and what you say.

8. Give out support material when you have finished, so that your audience listens to you rather than reading the handouts.

9. Enjoy it.

10. Listen to the applause.

With a presentation like that, I’ll be happy to sit through it.

You can find more tips on how to prepare and deliver successful presentations at www.editorialresources.co.uk or call us on 0845 200 7830 for advice and help.

Robert Zarywacz

email: hello@z2z.com
Telephone: 0333 0444 354