Showing posts with label budgets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label budgets. Show all posts

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Selling A City

This past week I have been at the Australian Tourism Exchange. It is the annual gathering where international travel companies come to see what holiday experiences Australia offers global travelers.

Over 1500 Australian companies exhibit in the hope of attracting business. Their brochures are beautiful, their imagery is rich and they offer delegates first class hospitality To exhibit costs money, time and effort. It is an expensive undertaking.

I have been working with a smaller size exhibitor marketing Australia's national capital - Canberra - and its cultural attractions. We don't have the budget to match the efforts of big states and large corporate players. However I'd like to think we compensate by passion for our city and its tourism products And we use the ancient power of the story to sell the City.

While big bucks back the marketing that others do, our promotional efforts are fueled by people, passion and stories. Using that simple but proven mix we hope to strike through the clutter that must swamp international delegates.

It is international marketing on a modest budget: one delegate at a time, one story at a time, one conversion at a time.

Friday, August 20, 2010

15 Key Questions Bosses Should Ask About PR

Most bosses intuitively know the power of PR.  However they are so busy running the business they focus on communications only when a crisis hits or when staff present a fresh PR proposal.  Most are willingly to leave the details to their PR professionals.

But by asking pointed questions a boss can quickly determine the value of any communications, PR or marketing proposal they are asked to approve:
  • Does this plan support my business or operational plan?
  • Does what it is being recommended build on our previous good work and avoid our past communications shortcomings?
  • Are my audiences clearly identified by geography, interests, beliefs or other common characteristics?
  • Are the messages we want to share clear, unambiguous and easy to understand? 
  • Could our information be misunderstood or misinterpreted and cause unintended consequences?  
  • Is our information persuasive and backed by evidence such as facts and figures, case studies but above all by stories of ordinary people who benefit from what we do?
  • How, when and where is information going to be delivered to audiences?
  • What opportunities do audiences have to offer their opinion?  
  • Is there a processes to improve communications based on feedback?
  • Are the communications tools proposed the right fit for the audience? 
  • Is there a mix of approaches so if one communications channel fails, others may work?
  • What is the communications timetable? 
  • Will we deliver consistent communications or are we communicating by episodes?
  • How will I know if this proposal is working?  
  • What is the process to monitor, measure, evaluate and adjust what is being proposed?
Bosses can't be expected to know everything particularly about the ins and outs of communications.  But they should able to ask penetrating questions when it comes to approving a new PR or marketing budget.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pick Up The Phone And Share PR

Next time you need to communicate with a dispersed audience, don't forget the humble telephone.

A tele-conference call is a great way to pass highly relevant information to an individual or very specific group of people at the same time.

This past week, as part of a national PR campaign, we hosted PR teleconferences for not for profit groups around the country. We dealt with around 20 community groups around Australia that had recently received a Commonwealth Government grant for grass roots community relations programs.

The tele-workshops were set up to share thoughts on how these organisations could raise community awareness about the important work they plan to do.

The workshops covered media relations, social media and word of mouth marketing and explored how local not for profits could use these three strategies. People representing six to eight organisations took part in each 60 minute call. Keeping the numbers small made for an intimate atmosphere where people could raise issues and offer their thoughts on what works for volunteers and what doesn't.

To provide a focus for discussion we circulated a slide package highlighting key PR and marketing points before each tele-conference. People on the call either printed it off or followed it through their computer.

We conducted six sessions and received very positive feedback. We also found that after some minor technical problems (which Optus promptly fixed) the tele-conferences were easy to set up and manage.

In tight times when funds are limited, the telephone and speaker remain handy and cheap tools that people in different parts of the country can use to share thoughts on PR and marketing.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Watch Out For These Things In '09

Watch out for these three marketing issues in the coming year.
  • Act and communicate green. People automatically expect organisations to be environmentally conscious. It's now the entry level standard for successful community relationships.
  • Go high tech to hire staff and to engage people you need to reach. Social media is free, easy to use so why not get on board and begin to use it in 2009.
  • Times may be tough but think long term and resist the panic urge to slash your marketing budget. Hopefully your organisation will be around long after this financial meltdown so keep talking to your clients and your community.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

PR Tips For Not For Profits in Tough Times

The financial crisis means the year ahead looks fairly bleak.

So spare a thought for not for profit groups that may struggle financially but still have to communicate with their communities. They will need to market themselves even more to attract volunteers, promote their services and raise funds.

So what are the low cost PR tools and tactics they can use? I'd like to compile at list and circulate it to the groups you and I both know who would welcome practical PR tips for the challenging times ahead.

I'll share a consolidated list with anyone who leaves a comment on this post.

Here's my six ways to stretch a PR budget in tough economic times:
  • Freshen up, recycle and reuse communications activities that have worked in the past.
  • Skill up your team to do as much of your media and marketing as possible.
  • If necessary bring in a mentor to help develop additional skills and build in-house capacity.
  • Continually measure your marketing to see where your dollars should be going.
  • Build in word of mouth marketing into your communications. It's the oldest, most reliable and least expensive of all the tools and tactics available to you.
  • People are increasingly online so ealy in 2009 experiment with new digital tools (Facebook, Youtube, blogs etc) to reach them at minimal cost.

Got your own cost saving ideas? Share with others by leaving a comment.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Not for Profit Scores Good PR for Under $100

Recently we had coffee with the ACT Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society. The Society supports people suffering chronic fatigue syndrome and estimates around 3000 Canberra families may be impacted.

Since January the Society has attended the marketing workshops we run for community groups and has been overhauling its marketing and PR approach.

In the last three to four months it has promoted a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Day, a theatre screening to raise funds and a self help course. Along the way it has used community radio, YouTube, Facebook and email campaigns and changed the way it stages events.

Other marketing included:

* Community newspapers

* Notices in local newsletters

* Word of mouth
* Posters on community notice boards

* Online and offline community event calendars - including free notices on ABC, ACTEW AGL Switch, Canberra Times fridge door and wotzon

* Getting pro-bono support from communications professionals.

The President reports so far the Society has spent less than $100 on the new PR arrangements yet the results have been impressive.

”Our enquiries are up 400% since March! As we haven't recorded everything this is a conservative figure. As such our staff member is run off her feet trying to answer it all. I imagine our website is also receiving more hits ... our membership is (also) up approximately 10% since March”.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Budgeting for your next event

Most of us are creative types and find finances boring.

But when it comes to events, the budget is the one thing you simply must get right. If you are in a not for profit organisation two things are certain this year.

  • Firstly some time this year you will run an event. That’s what not for profits do: to keep in touch, attract attention or promote their cause. Your next event could be a humble cake stall at the local shops, a national conference or perhaps a gala fund raising ball.
  • The other certainty is you will not have enough money for your next event. While most of us have champagne aspirations when it comes to events, in the not for profit world we generally work with six pack budgets.

Financing events is such a critical undertaking for not for profits. Get it right and you are a hero. Get it wrong and you may well have over-spent yourself out of a job.So before any meaningful event planning starts, you must nail down the fundamental question: how will this event be paid for?

Not for profits don't have much money so every penny needs to be wisely spent especially when it comes to events. So remember: no matter how good your event is it will never be a success if it breaks the bank.