Christmas and the goodwill season loom in most of the world. In keeping with that, I would like to wish you a very satisfying festive time in the coming weeks.
Also, in keeping with the theme of goodwill, my articles in this issue of Cutting Edge PR e-News are based on giving and receiving respect and appreciation to others and on how you can prove the value of your PR work so your efforts are appreciated and you create goodwill in others towards the PR role.
How many reasons needed to make your case?
Recent research consistently suggests three claims or points is the best number to make to support your case.
One of the big tasks in PR is writing persuasive messages to convince readers of your case. Persuasive messages most of the time contain several points in support of the claim. Such points are usually conveyed in several paragraphs or in bullet points. You can see these in text of media releases, emails, flyers, brochures and websites etc. For instance, several key points are often listed in support of features or benefits of a new product.
But how many claims or points are the most effective to sell products or make an argument? Does it matter if you write too few or too many than the ideal number of three? Only one or two points might make your case look limited. Too many points might appear to water down your case. There are no magic answers, but the research indicates that next time when you write marketing, sales or promotional material, just write three key points for optimum impact.
The personal touch outweighs technology
Technology advances have greatly increased the reach of your communication. Yet when something is important, there is no substitute for the value of face-to-face communication. Making the effort to communicate face-to-face means you have formed a personal relationship, even if brief. This means the other person is much more likely to be onside with you and to make more of an effort. Research provides the evidence on this.
It is much easier for someone to be uncooperative if you are making contact by email, phone, Facebook or Twitter. These forms of communication make the contact comparatively impersonal and more distanced. So what can you do to make things more personal? Laura Petrolino of armentdietrich.com makes several suggestions to convert the impersonal to personal:
1. Invite a significant person from another department or client organization to talk to your group every month about a 'day in their working life' – either face-to-face or via Skype etc – so you all understand what that person is facing. That person may even mention some of their private motivations and outlook, so this move may be very productive.
2. Write brief fact sheets about key clients or your relevant managers. These should contain fun facts, overview of their work and why they are relevant. Feature one each week, including a quiz or role play about their communication needs.
3. Get your staff into the field to go on site visits to clients and to your own organization's operations so they understand the realities of working life. Among other things, this strengthens relationships with the people you visit.
4. Launch community service initiatives (that aren't too demanding on staff time). This will get your staff in closer touch with the community they serve.
5. Use video conferences, Skype and similar technology to enable your staff to see clients and off-site staff face-to-face.
6. Encourage 'non-work' interaction with virtual internal teams. Try to set up informal contact with them in fun activities.
Until next time,
Principal, Cutting Edge PR