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Monday, August 21, 2006

Is all PR good PR

"Even when you do not think there is someone around you can never tell"

There used to be a saying that any PR was good PR, I think that was probably aimed at your everyday celebrities who need to have there name in the press at least once a month if they are going to stay a marketable product. As a commercial entity and especially emerging one that is not true, you need to be careful how you and your company is portrayed. I am not going to chat about marketing strategy and targeted advertisement, or product evangelism (Thanks Guy) it is a more stealth based PR that I want to explore.

I used to work for NEC semiconductors and spent a proportion of my decade plus in Japan working, one off the first things my senior manager did was give me a map which was marked off with a red pen and he said Employees of NEC should not be found in those areas marked in red and that was it, I understood the lesson of course being a hot blooded Celtic young man I made for the red marked areas on my first free evening.

The lesson I learned was that I was part of the company and through such I was walking PR for them. The same lesson applies today, we are all walking PR campaigns for the company we work for, every time we talk about our job or our place off work we promote our organization either positively or negatively. I am not saying we should write it into our terms and conditions of employment that we shall not besmirch the name of the company, but what we can do as founders and senior management is make the work place a place that people enjoy working there and take pride in working there.

I was on a study weekend with the OU, and there was a guy who worked with the local Health trust for a hospital and he talked about how they rewarded not only the employees but also the families of the employees. I have taken that to heart and looked at how we can reward the families off the employees as well, it means that your employee is more motivated and also the employee’s family which then spills over into the local community, and you get positive PR from more that just the employee but his whole family.

When you send your employees to conferences / exhibitions you should take sometime with them before they go and prepare them for the event, make sure they are up to date on your products or services, take this as an opportunity to send a message to the world at large through your employees. There is nothing more effective to distribute your message and get positive PR, is a band of employees spouting your message in there own words to there peers from other companies. There is the downside that you have a disgruntled employee who gives I some bad PR, but if you have enough good PR flowing then it will counter balance the bad.

An finally make sure you have a connection with the local / national press, develop the relationship with the connection and see how you can help him to do his job and in return he will help you.

Well its another Monday, did you wake up full of the joys or did you wake up thinking OH no I have to go back there today, if so make a change.

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