Star Wars Special: PR Lessons From The Jedi Masters

Since its inception 1977, the Star Wars narratives have amassed a great deal of following. Adopting a transmedia strategy, it has provided its fandom with a truly immersive experience which gave birth to a unique subculture of its own. While many look to the film franchise for childhood reminiscence and heart-racing plot build-ups, some of us discovered enlightening public relations advice from Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Here are some of them:

Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view.

The first lesson to learn from Obi-Wan is the importance of empathy for a PR practitioner. We, as PR practitioners, must be able to abandon confirmatory biases to be able to analyse situations from the perspective of the different stakeholders.

The mission of public relations is to build a mutually beneficial relationship among different stakeholders by managing interests. Without the ability to consider from the standpoints of different parties, certain stakeholder groups may be shortchanged and hence, sets the ground for conflict in the future.

Always in motion is the future.

Change is the only constant; the future is hard to predict. However, one of the most exciting parts of PR is also forecasting trends and preparing for what may be.

The fast-paced changes in media consumption patterns and technological advancements adds to the challenge. It is the very speed which throws unsuspecting practitioners and agencies off their game and even renders some obsolete. The courage in embracing change is the key to survival and success. There is a need to constantly stay abreast of the latest industrial developments, consumption trends and to strengthen our arsenal with the latest skill sets.

Do not assume anything Obi-Wan. Clear your mind must be if you are to discover the real villains behind this plot.

Yoda’s advice to Obi-Wan serves as a reminder to all to never take things at face value and to always be clear minded. Regardless of how busy we may be, being a professional means to never compromise work standards and ethics.

Instead of only hoping for the ideal, we always pre-empt and prepare for the worst with contingency plans. It also helps to have a clear mind when analysing facts and situations. When faced with a cluttered mind, always take a breather before diving into the tasks.

To be Jedi is to face the truth, and choose. Give off light, or darkness, Padawan. Be a candle, or the night.

Last but not least, Yoda also imparts an important PR lesson on making choices and integrity. When a choice or decision has to be made, it must be made based on ethics and integrity. Always playing the devil’s advocate, the best among the publicists must always remember that we are not crowd pleasers, nor are we mere mouthpieces. Always choose to err on the right (did I say light?) side.

In short, regardless of being a Warsie or not, there is always something for everyone to learn from the wisdom nuggets hidden throughout the Star Wars journey. Whenever we are confident that we have learned all that is to, always remember that.

“Much to learn, you still have”

Positively Spin Any Story: How to Build Positive Communications in the Twenty-First Century

Getting Media Attention: Buzz

You can take any simple story and make it shine like a new dime. But taking a negative story and turning it into something bright and shiny is challenging at best.

With so many resources to select from, the question is which one we should choose for our organization?

The Internet gives us so many options, it is confusing when selecting a series of communication tools to get the needed buzz for your organization. Measuring the results is also something that cannot be ignored. If the ROI measurements are not netting the results you need, then recalibrate your media plan as soon as possible.

Even if dealing with the most insignificant topic about your business, spin a positive story. It takes a committed, well-crafted and persuasive argument to get a story on Nightline, for example. People ask hourly for placement on that nightly news magazine. So what will you tell the producers of Nightline that will persuade them your story is newsworthy? Remember, every story is not newsworthy.

Corporate communications staffs have to restructure their media consortiums to accommodate the needs of stakeholders and counterparts. Deploying a full range of digital communication platforms today can effectively raise awareness, depending on how you administer it for the company. Using powerful communication strategies for internal and external media will let your merged strengths shine.

Building and Crafting Your Brand

Crafting your voice and the image of your brand are equally important in taking the reputation of your business from vision to reality. Communicating with outside constituents is a craft that can be learned by taking a realistic look at new media strategies for today. Meaning you have to marry all the elements of media to administer a comprehensive multimedia communication strategy. Crafting your message to adhere to corporate conversations is vital to delivering hi-tech communication tools.

Below are what industry leaders say about resources and assembling those tools to help you:

· Measure the attitudinal and behavioral impact of your public relations programs.

· Sell in public relations services to your clients or senior management.

· Communicate the roles, outcomes, and value of public relations.

· Create a better understanding and appreciation of what we do as a profession.

· Capture a greater share of your clients’ or organizations’ investments in marketing and communication services.

· Change entrenched attitudes and perceptions about the practice of public relations.

· Arm yourself with information on the latest industry research, trends, and techniques.

· Establish industry-specific evaluative benchmarks.

Below are essential elements of multimedia formats you can include in a communications plan:

  • Digital strategies
  • Social media
  • Blog pages, landing pages
  • Articles for marketing
  • Developing podcasts and/or webinars
  • PR and social responsibility
  • Message during a crisis scenario and how the message is perceived

Public relations is more vital than ever before, especially given the explosion of consumer engagement through new media and digital social media. The collapse of reputations and trust in major institutions are concerns of corporate CEOs. At the same time, the industry continues to suffer criticism at the hands of individuals who do not understand the practice and application of public relations in the twenty-first century. Let’s do something to change that mindset.

What is an Executive Profile and What is Included in One

An executive profile is a brief, but detailed report describing the particular attributes of often high power executives. A company’s CEO, President, Vice-President, Director of Marketing as well as other department heads may be represented to the public in the form of an executive profile formed by a Public Relations Firm.

Fortune 500 Companies often search far and wide for the right person to fill a high profile position, when they have that person in place they want to let the shareholders, the media, and the public know exactly why they have selected said person. An executive profile is the best tool for a company to accomplish this goal. Having not just a qualified person, but the most qualified person firmly in place is an important thing for a large company to be able to share with the public, and in particular, with it’s share holders.

What is often Included

Experience and Education

The number of years spent in the trenches of a company before taking the reigns and the years of experience in the same or similar fields is often described in detail, as are degrees, awards and affiliations with educational institutions.

Where an executive attended school to receive his bachelors, masters and all subsequent degrees and current status with any of those institutions are detailed in this section. Many high power executives like to give back to the educational institutions where they got their start and will remain involved with those institutions in some way, shape or form – whether it be just by financial contribution or as an acting member of the board. This loyalty is an important part of being an executive and is often one of the first highlights of an executive profile.

Business Data

How an executive ended up where they are encompasses a large part of an executive profile, what they currently are in control of and what they have done in the past that makes them qualified for their current position. This part of the executive profile lets the reader know exactly what an executive had to go through to get to the point that they are at.

Personal Accomplishments

Some executive profiles will include a more personal section detailing impressive personal achievements that may not necessarily have much to do with their role in a particular position in the corporate world, but help ad an element of character to the profile.

Roles in non profit organizations, appearances in the media, acts of charity and roles of leadership or participation in the community may all be detailed in an executive profile.

Business Accomplishments

This can be the broadest section of the executive profile depending upon the level of success and executive has achieved. Each large step forward an executive has made can be detailed in this section; from increases in revenue, decreases in spending, new product launches, scholarship programs, charitable affiliations and environmentally efficient advances are all things that would likely show up in an executive profile.

Capability of improving the company’s finances in one way or another is often a large part of this section. Taking a company from six figure profits to seven figure profits, no matter how it is done, is a huge accomplishment and often the highlight of an executive profile.

Future Plans

It’s important for every top executive to be able to show success in the past, as well as success in the present, but it is equally important to have a solid plan for success in the future. Impending product and service developments and future endeavors to help grow the company’s future market share are often broached, without giving away too much confidential information.

Plans for future business involvement in the community, with charitable organizations and with environmental causes could also be broached in this area on and executive profile.

Top executives rarely get to the positions that they are in by resting on their laurels, it often takes years and years of continuing education and countless hours of hard work to be worthy of and successful in one of these positions. An executive profile developed by a PR Company displays all of the details of how the world’s most powerful and successful business men and women got into the positions that they hold today, and gives the rest of us a small bit of insight into exactly how hard they had to push themselves to get there.