Personal

Should you use left aligned, right aligned or justified typesetting in printed publications?

01 Jun, 2020 Writing and layout

Is it more effective to use justified typesetting or ranged left (ragged right) typesetting for text in a printed publication? Justified typesetting is when the words at the start and finish of every line in a column of printed text are flush or evenly aligned with the words at the start and finish of all the lines above and below so they form a clean edge down each side of a column of text. ...

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A creative approach to “What do you do?”

01 Jun, 2020 Careers, Interpersonal communication

These thoughts on developing a brilliant ‘elevator pitch’ have been adapted from advice offered by Liz DiAlto, who provides a lot of useful career feedback to clients. Here are some top tips for a more effective elevator pitch – the important words you say to people who ask the key question: “What do you do?” DON’T just give your job title This is a cop out. There are no 2-3 word descriptions that do ...

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The wider leadership potential of the effective public relations manager

01 Jun, 2020 Careers, Leadership role, PR management, Proving PR value

Many PR managers find it difficult to understand management issues beyond the level of communication concerns. However, to be fully accepted by top management, you need to think like a manager, understand management issues from management’s perspective, talk like a manager (not use PR jargon) and to figuratively put yourself in the shoes of operational managers in looking at their problems. Above all, you are proactive and assertive, prepared to insist that PR should ...

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Avoid blaming others

01 Jun, 2020 Interpersonal communication, Workplace relationships

In your workplace and at home you are inevitably tempted to lay the blame on someone for an action or inaction that is unsatisfactory. Laying blame is easy to do and difficult to avoid, especially if you tend to be judgmental. (Just observe Donald Trump in action!) In the communication profession we are making judgments all the time; we belong to an extremely judgmental profession because almost everything we do is subjective – we ...

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Workers love these 8 magic comments

01 Jun, 2020 Interpersonal communication, PR management

Everyone wants to feel they are valued, to see themselves in a positive light. This is a fundamental human motivation proven by research. People are prepared to contribute more if they feel they are achieving something worthwhile. Eight magic phrases are music to our ears! You don’t have to be a manager or supervisor to say them; you can show leadership as a fellow worker. (Some people say employers exploit this type of motivation ...

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Lost in translation: communicators too often overlook the importance of good translation

01 Jun, 2020 Writing and layout

As a young PR consultant, I helped my colleagues develop promotional material in support of a client who was planning to set up a joint venture to build a glassmaking factory in China for the manufacture of ‘architectural glass’ such as windows for offices and apartments. Our client ACI was a well-established Australian company, supported by its joint venture partner, UK-based Pilkington Group, who were top of their field internationally. The prospects of success ...

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Fewer words on a web page is smarter

01 Jun, 2020 PR and the internet, Writing and layout

  Web usability guru Jakob Nielsen found from his research that users reading the average web page read less than 30% of the words on the page in an average visit. Around 20% was more likely. Therefore we need to write tightly for web text. Nielsen adapted the findings from a European research study and found that users don’t linger on the average web page. (I would assume the pages in this august newsletter ...

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Use ratings by staff to improve bosses’ communication skills

01 Jun, 2020 PR measurement, Workplace relationships

Surveys reveal that managers and supervisors think they are better communicators than they really are. Therefore asking managers and supervisors about their communication skills generally doesn't lead to much that's useful. However, by asking their direct reports to give anonymous feedback on the communication skills of their bosses is a different matter - there is a big disconnect between the bosses' self-assessments and the candid assessment of the people who report to them. The ...

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Widows in printed text are not a problem

01 Jun, 2020 Writing and layout

As a communicator producing various publications, you do more than merely write text – you also need to make decisions about the typesetting and layout of the text you write. A great help with this type of information is research conducted by Colin Wheildon, former editor of Australia’s largest motoring publication. With one million readers, Wheildon wanted to maximize the effectiveness of his printed words.   Image: Examples of widows, orphans and runts in ...

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How much power do you have at work?

01 Jun, 2020 Persuasion, influence, motivation, Workplace relationships

Many people view power with some concern. They tend to be suspicious of it because of the potential for power to be misused. We can all think of examples in history such as various dictators and also instances among those we know where people have abused their power. As a result, people often are reluctant to trust power and its implications. Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, said “People who have it deny it; people who ...

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