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HMC NEWS: top tips from PRINZ conference 2016

Top tips from PRINZ Conference 2016

We've collated out top take-away tips from PRINZ Conference 2016 and put them into bite-sized snippets for you. These tips come from top PR Practitioners - from NZ and overseas - and address communication challenges and opportunities in the 21st century.

  1. Create a single source of truth: Megan McPherson (Otago University) reinforced that, in a crisis, we need to set up our own single source of truth - or someone else will. This often 'looks like' setting up a webpage to house your information and providing this link to stakeholders. Also link back to this page from social media. This ensures your messaging is consistent and easy to find when people need it most.
  2. It's all in the eye of the beholder: According to Jacqueline Bourke (Getty Images) Visual content increases brand engagement by as much as 94%. That's why, to communicate in the 21st century, we must use powerful visuals that evoke emotions drive engagement. Send quality visuals with your text whenever you can and watch engagement increase - it's as simple as that.
  3. Up-skill everyone to social: In Paul Mylrea's (University of Cambridge) session on day one, he said at Cambridge University social media is everyone's job. He believes that you can't successfully manage social media with 20 people screening your content. So they have invested in training staff and have policies and guidelines in place to educate staff and get the executive team in a comfortable space to manage it well. They also have a social media strategy and a content management strategy. In the end, they have had very few examples where staff haven't been on message.
  4. Keep the Code of Ethics central: Judy Phair (Phair Advantage Communications) commented that although the reputation of PR practitioners' has improvedm the term 'spin doctor' is still alive and well. Election years in particular seem to bring out people claiming to be 'PR pros', but they're "none of the kind". We need to call those people out. 'Real' PR people have a code of ethics and they practice it.
  5. Put attitude before behaviour : Lastly, a little take home from Michael Ziviani's (Precise Value) presentation – an attitude shift precedes a behaviour shift. Behaviour is explained by attitudes. This means that as communicators we need to first change people's attitudes before they will change their behaviour.
  6. It's about them - not us: Richard Spencer (Isentia) reminded us that content marketing is about creating content that users want to consume, engage with and share. We need to prioritise what our audiences are interested in vs what we want to say. One practical way to do this, is to find relevant things in the news and connect your brand to it.
  7. Planning for a crisis is key: Chris Galloway (Massey University) said "How you handle a crisis or are perceived to handle the crisis is often more important than the crisis itself." He also said that "crisis management is more than managing immediate crisis." Basically, the key take home message is that you must have short and long-term plans in place to manage a crisis: don't just focus on the 'event'.
  8. Work on the 'brand you': Carl Davidson (Research First) talked about the need to think about "Brand You". His advice was to Get better and better at the core capacity of your job, push yourself to the front, work on your likeability, work harder than "anybody else" as "what got you here will not get you there". Davidson suggested starting with a three year plan.