info@cpgroupllc.com

7113 Three Chopt Road, Suite 204 | Richmond, VA

Top

Author: Andrew Ryan

The communications industry is evolving rapidly here in the United States and across the globe. As the ways that we interact with one another change, communications professionals must adapt to reach audiences. The pace at which these shifts are occurring has picked up speed in the past decade as well. Recognizing the need to identify these challenges and the top trends, Cision and PR Week released their 2017 Global Communications Report. The study highlights a few obstacles for communicators and shows that certain communications channels, notably social media, continue to become more entrenched. Here’s our take on four of the top issues addressed in the report:

Fall arrives this week and with it comes the official start of not just pumpkin spice season, but awards season. Although award programs take place throughout the year, a great many industry association, trade publications, and local news outlets solicit award nominations in the fall and early winter. We’ve discussed awards programs on the blog in the past. There are lots of great tips about the content that makes up an awards submission, but as much as anything else, successful award nominations are a process that needs to be managed efficiently and effectively. We’re here to help! Here are the three proven steps to help you manage your next awards submission and bring home the gold:

Investing in professional development and continuing education is critical for professionals who want to enhance their skills. It’s also a necessity for better client service. This belief reminds me of a favorite and well-known quotation from poet William Butler Yeats: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” To me, this quotation captures that education isn’t static. It’s not something that stops when school ends. Education is a life-long effort and one that requires ongoing work. As professionals, we have a variety of professional development and educational opportunities available to us, especially in the form of professional certifications. Whether working at an agency and serving clients externally or in-house and collaborating with internal stakeholders, professional certifications showcase your commitment to your profession and demonstrate that you continue to hone and refine your craft, which in turn benefits internal and external clients.

Interview opportunities can come in varying forms and subject matter experts, especially those at professional service firms, should be familiar with the most common types of media interviews. As with any situation, how you communicate with someone may change depending on the channel that you’re using (i.e., email versus phone or in-person versus a letter). The same is true for interviews. The tips covered in last month’s blog post provide a solid foundation to prepare for a media interview, but in this post we’ll take a deeper dive and review the two most common interview scenarios: phone interview and on-camera interview.

Commonwealth Partnerships is honored to have been recognized with a 2017 Virginia Public Relations Award. Along with Keiter and HHHunt, we we received an Award of Merit in the Media Relations category for a story we helped coordinate about the importance of adoption benefits in the workplace. The story was prominently featured on the front page of the Sunday Business section in the Richmond Times-Dispatch and highlighted the  leading adoption benefits at Keiter and HHHunt.

media trainingThe adage that it takes a lifetime to build a reputation but only seconds to destroy one or that you only make a first impression once can be applied to a wide array of scenarios, including your interactions with the media. It’s always surprising, then, why so many people think that can just “wing it” when it comes to media interviews. This approach is common across many industries, but especially true when it comes to professional service firms. Whether accountants, investment advisors, lawyers, financial planners, architects, or engineers, subject matter experts in complex fields too often miss the mark when provided with media opportunities. The reasons as to why so many professionals take this view could be the subject of an entire blog post. Rather than focus on the problem, I want a take a closer look at a reasonable solution that works: media training and interview prep.

Negotiation is a valuable business and communication skill for any professional. Negotiating with someone else doesn’t just happen in an office or a boardroom sitting across a table from someone else. We are constantly negotiating as we navigate our daily lives at work and home. Sure, different situations require distinct negotiation and communication tactics and the stakes vary widely from one negotiation to the next, but the core principles of the best negotiators stay the same. That’s one of the key lessons learned last week at the annual conference of the Society of Marketing Professional Services’ Virginia Chapter. There were a number of insightful presentations with great takeaways, but the one that stood out the most was “The Cartography of Negotiation” by Scott Wayne of The Frontier Project. Scott outlined tools and tips to enhance your negotiating skills. Here are my three biggest lessons:

It’s only February and 2017 has already been a wild year for marketing professionals! From fake news to ongoing disruptions in how people consume information, the communications landscape remains challenging. Despite the many hurdles, opportunities abound and there are exciting new ways to reach your target audience in an engaging manner. But, what really works and how do you manage it?