Need to get a big story out? 140 characters can be all you need. Twitter is popular for everything from news to job hunting. Why not use it as a communication professional? The free online tool is a resource: take advantage and get those tweets going!

1.What’s the point?
Twitter isn’t a platform for shortening articles to fit into 140 characters, it’s a tool for reveal the most potent form of your stories. When brainstorming, look at the big picture and focus on the most important ideas.

2.Words have power: choose wisely!
Limiting your language can be a challenge, but it can also be a clarifying experience. Don’t waste your precious space on anything but vital information.

3. #Connect
Get those hashtags going. Linking keywords will draw traffic to your page and help you engage with other communities on Twitter.

4. Update your profile
Make sure your profile reflects the content you’re posting. Check often for re-tweets, new followers and direct messages.

5. Connect with readers
Twitter is a great tool for engaging with content online. Re-tweet and favorite relevant posts or tweet at others to get a conversation started. Remember: a PR focus isn’t all about publicity, but maintaining relationships with your publics. Those 140 characters can go a long way!

#goodluck



   

Whenever I approach a “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats” (SWOT) analysis, my palms start to sweat. I understand why it is a useful tool: it allows individuals and organizations to analyze their internal and external environments so they can re-focus on upcoming projects. However, as soon as I finish listing my strengths, I’m anything but focused. Never mind the strengths I listed moments ago:  identifying and analyzing my weaknesses head on makes the tasks ahead more daunting.


It takes a great deal of strength and mindfulness to assess your skills and past actions, but I don’t buy that focusing on my weaknesses is productive. Admitting those faults becomes an exercise in self-judgment: I never leave feeling inspired to improve my state of mind or start a new project.  

I propose throwing out the “W” in SWOT.

Want to achieve a deeper level of analysis and increase morale at the same time? Here you go:

1. Identify your strengths.
These are the skills and talents that come easily to you. Have you encountered situations like this before? What do you know from your past experiences?

2. Analyze the opportunities you can take advantage of in your external environment.
These can include tools and resources at your disposal, but more importantly, it includes the people around you. Each co-worker, friend and family member has their own combination of strengths. Whose strengths best complement your own?

3. Observe the threats in your internal and external environment.
Don’t waste time analyzing them right away. Instead, reflect on steps 1 and 2. You have a unique combination of strengths. Given your situation, what strengths will allow you to best handle the threats outside of your control? Who in your external environment has strengths that seem suited to the task at hand? What combination of resources will allow you to reach your goal?

Both the classic SWOT analysis and my personal SOT analysis encourage reflection and preparation. Many would argue that the purpose of identifying weaknesses is greater self-awareness or self-improvement and therefore a useful task; I just don’t want to waste time getting myself down. Everyone has weaknesses: rather than painstakingly labeling them, I choose to focus on the positive. Learn to recognize the wealth of information you have in your head and trust the people at your disposal.  Now there’s a positive and productive planning tool.

   

Most businesses sell products to consumers, but in public relations, we are in the business of selling ideas. Creativity is an essential trait to have when working in public relations.

Here are some tips to improve your creativity:

1.  Be knowledgable

We typically create ideas based on our experiences and things we are familiar with, so become an expert at something.

2.  Be curious

Think of ways to improve situations that you deal with on a daily basis. What could help you make them easier or more fun?

3.  Be confident

If you think it is a bad idea, so will everyone else.

4.  Write it down

You might be able to improve on the idea later or combine different ideas together to make an even better one.

5.  Talk it out

Talk to other people to get input about your ideas or a new perspective, especially people who are different than you.

Forbes reported that the iconic symbol of a lightbulb lighting up when an idea occurs is actually accurate. Working near light can increase problem-solving skills.

   

Campaigns are a great way to bring attention to your product or service and increase sales. There are two kinds of campaigns: creating awareness; and, creating a call to action

Here are some tips to help you create a successful campaign.

  1. Know your audience. Research who your audience is and what means of communication is best to use.
  2. Set goals and objectives.
  3. Determine budget, timeline and activities for the campaign.
  4. Determine the message. The message is not a slogan but should state the purpose of your campaign.
  5. Position how you want your audience to see you.
  6. Key messages should be the most important facts about your company.
  7. Determine the strategy and tactics you will use to implement the campaign.
  8. It is important to research different media outlets and know which outlets cover the news related to your interests.
  9. Remember that what customers say are more important than what the company says.
  10. Finally, measure your campaign. There are multiple ways to determine the success of your campaign: Google analytics; Facebook stats; Twitter stats; coverage in the media; and, increase in sales or call to action.

I hope you find these tips helpful for your next campaign.

   

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