Posts tagged PR
Posts tagged PR
Everybody makes mistakes …
Mistakes are a part of life. I’ve made a ton of them. How about you? What’s the best thing to do when a mistake happens? Some people think they should shut up, keep quiet, and maybe nobody will notice. That’s not a good thing to do in the customer service world.
When we deal with customers, mistakes do happen. Sometimes, mistakes create a bigger problem. If you make the decision that customer service is your top priority, any mistake should be dealt with in a timely manner. Customers not only appreciate it, they deserve it. When a mistake happens, admit to it. Don’t blame others. The faster that you admit to the mistake, the faster you can concentrate on a solution.
We are all human. We do make mistakes. The important thing to do is to always make NEW mistakes. Never repeat your old ones.
The Art of Good PR …
Many of us who work in the PR business occasionally face those times that no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to win everyone over to your way of thinking . A colleague of mine (who is more than twenty years my junior) was discussing this with me a few weeks ago. Although I most likely bored him to death, I was mentioning how different things are today then they were when my corporate career began in 1980. Probably the most obvious difference is the speed in which we can release messages to our intended audience. I remember taking days and weeks to prepare the simplest of presentations or produce even the most elementary of ads.
It was also more difficult back then to find out what our audience thought of our message and what their opinions were of our product or service. Waiting on the results of complex surveys or data generated by focus groups sometimes took months. Today we have so many tools that can be used to monitor the pulse of our audience quickly and efficiently. As PR professionals, its important for us to know what our market is thinking, but it is also important not to be too concerned with a minor amount of negative chatter and clutter. That’s a natural phenomenon.
So with negative chatter, how do you separate what you do well with what you are not doing well? I dusted off my copy of The Art of War by Sun Tzu to find an answer. This book, along with In Search of Excellence and The One Minute Manager was required reading for all us wannabe corporate raiders of the 80’s! PR bumps in the road can sometimes consume our thoughts more than we need them to, but should we allow them to? Sun Tzu wrote “Amid the turmoil and tumult of battle, there may be seeming disorder and yet no real disorder at all”.
During my career I’ve had my share of accomplishments. I also had my share of failures. I learned to take them both in stride. The public will be on your side one day, and against you the next. The message we send out must always be a strong one. Be vibrant, be positive, be gutsy. If there is some disorder, make sure you exhibit no disorder at all. That’s the message we need to send. The message that we are in control. The message that we do understand the art of good PR.
This article appeared in the June 2012 issue of the Texas School Public Relations Association newsletter.
Never forget that co-workers are customers too …
Who are our customers in the school business? Parents, students, community members, taxpayers, our co-workers. Our co-workers? What? That’s right! One of the most important segments in our customer base is our fellow co-workers.
Think about it. Out of all the customers we serve, who do we spend the most time with? It’s all those people we see every day and that same guy or gal that we have to interact with all the time. Because of frequency and convenience, it’s easy to forget that our co-workers are our customers.
We need to help our co-workers. They need to help us. We need to give them first class customer service. They need to do the same for us. That’s how successful organizations work. Customer service is a smile, but it’s also about respect. If co-workers smile and respect each other who wins? Everyone!
Maintaining amiable relationships with coworkers makes for a much more enjoyable workplace environment. Just as we should do whatever it takes to satisfy an external customer, we should always make sure our co-workers are rated #1.
How do you say hello?
Over the past week or so I have been noticing how people say hello, and how I say hello to others. Hello. Such a simple word and yet, such a powerful word. How we say hello to others initiates our tone that at many times begins the customer service process.
If you are a morning person like I am, saying a cheerful hello to someone can really make their day. I’ve seen people pay it forward after I gave them (for lack of better words) a meaningful greeting.
Don’t you hate it when you walk into a store and the clerk doesn’t even acknowledge your existence? Instead of giving you a hello or a hi or a welcome, you suddenly become The Invisible Man. You don’t exist. Maybe they’re too busy talking with another employee, restocking a shelf, or texting a friend. People can always blame their boss, their job responsibilities, or their overall work environment for forgetting the simplest of acts that initiate good customer service, a hello.
The next time you have one person on the phone, another one on hold, and an inbox full of e-mails to answer - don’t forget to say hello to that person who walks in your office. If you can’t say it, give them a wave, a smile, or a thumbs up.
Whatever you do, take the time to acknowledge your visitor. Let them know that you know they are there. Make them feel welcome. You never know when your hello can brighten up a person’s day.
When I retire from school PR …
I think I need to become a pirate spokesman. I already have the outfit! Arrrr!