Articles Tagged with processes

Plant PR as a tree in your business forest

Plant PR as a tree in your business forest | pressmeIn my work as business journalist, I often get calls from people who have started a business and need to attract paying customers fast. “We need to do some PR,” they say.

Most businesses have overheads: rent or loans, electricity, phone and internet, vehicle costs and more. These costs need to be paid irrespective of whether any customer sales are bringing in money. Most forms of promotion take time to deliver results, so starting to think about PR when a business or product has been launched is too late to deliver immediate sales.

PR is best planned much earlier. When it is part of the business plan plotting the launch, a PR campaign can be based on the business data and objectives set out in the plan. These will help to answer questions such as: Who is the target audience? What do they like? What need will drive customers to purchase?

Incorporating PR into planning embeds it in everyday business processes rather than leaving it as an afterthought. This makes it a habit so that ideas and actions for PR are generated naturally and not as a separate, time-consuming chore. Targeting, scheduling, delivery and measurement can all be worked out logically and not left to last-minute guesswork.

When the time is right, the activities planned can be put into action fast. The business will also be more prepared to take advantage of PR opportunities that arise without warning.

If a business is a forest, PR should be one of the varieties of tree planted at the beginning. From a distance it might not stand out on its own, but it will take root and add to the impact of the whole.

Make it easy for readers to find and understand messages

Running a business is a complex challenge. Whatever the size of organisation, many processes need to run smoothly, while a number of statutory bodies require tax, accounting, health and safety and many more regulations to be observed.

How do you get your people to know this and recognise the importance of compliance?

Many organisations create manuals and intranets outlining important procedures, but do people read them?

Making information accessible is important if employees are to use materials in the course of their work. People need to know they can find the information they need fast.

Easy-to-use indexes and navigation

Readers will find a manual more useful if it is structured so that they can find what they need fast in contents or index pages or flick through the main body and see what they want in a heading.

An easy-to-navigate intranet or web site will also be more useful if viewers can find what they’re looking for fast.

Clear explanations

Once a reader has found the information they want, they have to be able to understand it. People tend to consult reference material when they don’t understand something and need an explanation. To provide what they want, manuals and web sites need to provide clear explanations without using jargon and without waffle.

If people can’t find what they’re looking for once or twice, they probably won’t bother trying a third time. And if they can’t understand explanations when they do find the right section, they’ll think the material is a waste of their time.

More importantly, if staff cannot understand important processes or regulations, what impact will it have on your business? Could it reduce productivity or, worse, prevent the business from meeting legal requirements?

Useful resources improve business

If you are going to the expense of creating reference material for employees, you’ll get the best value if they find it easy to use and it helps them do their jobs. It’ll also help maintain productivity and ensure your business meets any legal obligations.

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