Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Executives: Take a Leap and Elevate Your Division with Public Relations

New Year’s Day is for resolutions, and Leap Day is for action. I recommend everyone start each day with the most important action – promoting your good work. Most of us tend to think of using public relations efforts as an external function – media relations, newsletters, blogging, etc.  But your clout within your organization is just as important. We live in a lightning-fast get it done yesterday, what-have-you-done-for-me-lately kind of world. In this day and age proving your benefit to your boss is good, proving your benefit to the entire company is better.

Sharing your wins throughout the year with the decision makers and the rest of the company will be of most help to you during budget reviews, requesting additional employees or outside resources. So, where do you begin? If you don’t provide oversight to the public relations department director then go knock on the PR director’s door. Tell (in most cases her) you want to try something new. Explain you want to demonstrate your division’s successes, and that your proposed methods will help get the word out about what you do and improve employee morale in your area. Review your options for promotion. Will she give you a few inches in the company’s internal newsletter, or space on the intranet? Maybe you could work with the company’s graphic designer to create a simple email template? Take whatever help she’s willing to give.

The next step is to plan out how frequently you can commit to this. Once a month would be ideal, but you’ve got to make sure you’ve got the content for it. The content should focus on how your division is helping the company advance it’s goals. Has your division’s actions helped the company get closer to meeting it’s financial goals, or improve customer service? Was an employee in your area recognized for any reason? Do you have interesting facts to share about your division – number of calls you receive, or requests you tackle? Don’t over think it. Make it simple and easy to understand. Use bullet points so people can understand it at a glance.

Before sending out the agreed communication method to the entire company, make sure your boss sees it and approves it. He or she will want to be kept in the loop. Print it out and make sure copies go in board members’ packets or any other communication executives receive. People will take notice and this will draw interest and excitement to what you do. This is a simple step, but will definitely draw attention. Plagiarism will run rampant throughout the organization as other divisions catch on, but that is ok. You were first, people like it, keep doing it and don’t stop.  You will continue to impress people with your consistency and proven results.  

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