Saying yes. It could be the new saying no.
by Adam Keating
I have been thinking recently about the many great comms blogs I read (obviously all on comms2point0.co.uk), and the amount of great advice and best practice there is out there.
There is so much good stuff out there and so much expert opinion that it’s hard to think of a subject that has not already been covered. As part of a small team with some work to do to improve the way we do things corporately, it is also pretty easy to feel a little inadequate sometimes as you read that dreaded email that says; “Please see attached poster we have already had designed. Please can you send out a media release and send a tweet on this please….?”
So I decided to write something for the press officers out there (that do actually still exist believe it or not), for the one man bands, and for the small Media and Comms teams that still need to get their Leader on the front page of the local weekly!
I say to them keep doing what you are good at.
Keep your leader on the front pages for positive reasons if that is what builds your relationship and professional credibility with them.
It’s ok. Do it. Say yes. Be proud.
I say this not because it’s easier and less awkward to say yes rather than no. I say this because it can actually be a good long-term strategy and more productive to say yes initially.
So say yes to doing that media release that takes you 15 minutes.
But before I write my own career suicide note, absolutely say yes to also saying no and to challenging those colleagues to change their behaviours and attitude to communications.
Say yes to keeping up with the latest trends and technology, even if traditional print media is still king amongst your key internal stakeholders. Say yes to reminding senior officers and politicians that the local paper out tomorrow morning is no longer where your reputation is won and lost, and that your reputation is already being dissected on social media.
Talk them through your new approaches, your new methods and ideas and watch them listen because of that great media service you provide that has built your credibility with them.
Talk them through this new (to them) world if they are not familiar and comfortable with it (can anyone honestly say their whole organisation is completely on board with the digital world?).
And whether you build that relationship and credibility and become that go-to person because you provide a great media and reputation service, or because of a Facebook post that went viral, you will end up at the same point eventually. And that is when you become involved from the outset, giving strategic communications advice, avoiding reputational issues and you can really demonstrate your value to them, their team and colleagues, and the organisation as a whole.
Anyway, I’m off to write a great media release, and I am not going to feel guilty, inadequate, or apologise for it.
Adam Keating is Senior Media Relations Advisor at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
image via the State Library of New South Wales