Future Proof - A Podcast

Measurement, a capabilities framework, mental health, the CIPR at 70 and #PRfest, are all among the topics discussed on the latest #FuturePRoof podcast.

Sarah Hall and Stephen Waddington  recorded a new edition of the #FuturePRoof podcast this week. Here's what you'll learn.

Big Mac Twitter hack

The McDonalds corporate Twitter account posted a tweet criticising President Trump earlier in the month. It was live for around 20 minutes before it got pulled. The management of social media accounts must be incorporated into corporate governance. Use two-factor authentication for the highest level of security.

How to fight flawed metrics in public relations

Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE) festers as a public relations metric. AMEC’s data suggests that around 20% of organisations worldwide still use AVE. In 2016 AMEC created an Integrated Evaluation Framework that works across all forms of integrated communications. It includes a comprehensive website of resource material and a free interactive tool. Please use it.

Three things we need to fix about the internet

Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote an op ed on the 28th anniversary of the Internet citing three things that we need to do to save it. He said that privacy and the harvesting and use of personal data; the sharing of misinformation; and the transparency of political ads all need urgent attention.

Crowdsourcing input for a global public relations capabilities framework

The University of Huddersfield team developing a global competency framework for public relations is crowdsourcing input from practitioners to help develop its work. The team is building on the work of the Global Alliance to establish a skills matrix for entry-level and mid-level practitioners. The online survey take 10 minutes to complete. Please lend your support.

CIPR State of the Profession survey: a profession coming of age but with issues to address

The 2017 CIPR State of the Profession survey highlights the benefit of education and learning in public relations. Practitioners committed to qualifications and learning and development earn more. In less positive news, the survey also reports that the gender pay gap persists, with a £5,784 salary discrepancy in favour of men.

Mental illness in public relations ignored or treated as a performance issue

A #FuturePRoof report published by the PRCA explores the mental health of the public relations profession. It attempts to characterise the issue, signpost potential solutions, and identify best practice. A wide range of issues were identified as symptoms of poor mental health in the workplace ranging from absent mindedness to anxiety, and from anger to depression. Best practice recommendations are included for employers and employees.

Planning for the CIPR’s 70th anniversary

Sarah is President of the CIPR next year. It’s the 70th anniversary of the Institute. She’s been working with a committee of Fellows led by Simon McVicker to celebrate the anniversary. Planned activities include a celebratory service and reception; Sir Stephen Tallents Memorial Lecture; an anniversary conference; and a year-long initiative to celebrate public relations pioneers.

#FuturePRoof at #PRfest

#PRfest is a two day festival created by Laura Sutherland that takes place in Edinburgh on 15 and 16 June. Sarah’s speaking about public relations as a management discipline and I’m running a workshop on influencer relations. You’ll find further information on the #PRfest website.

Go to: http://wadds.co.uk/2017/03/28/futureproof-podcast-squeaky-toys/

This podcast follows on from the two editions of Future Proof. I contributed to the second edition, and the article is here.


To what extent is communication the key to a successful organisation and to great leadership? How does good communication make an organisation great? And what difference does good communication make to the implementation of a public relations strategy?

You’ll learn:
•    Great leaders are great communicators who tell stories
•    Great communicators are authentic, believe in what they say and inspire others
•    The importance of listening

Communication is one of the top three skills of leadership, according to author, coach and leadership guru, Kevin Murray, who observes on his website: “The best strategy is useless unless you can inspire those around you to deliver it. How good are you at employee engagement?” 

Great leaders communicate well not only with co-workers and peers but also with their clients. Through good communication clients know the value of a public relations strategy.

Identifying talent

Good communication allows great leaders to identify and surround themselves with the best talent. Great leaders do not doubt their own abilities and want to nurture great talent in others. This is only done if there is good communication within an organisation.

This is true whatever country you live in. For many years, I’ve lived in the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and more recently New Zealand, and constantly communicating with staff (face-to-face as well as through social media) matters wherever you are located.

We must remember though that great communication is a skill, not a gift. It can be learned, whether through formal training with accredited educational institutions or informally through global organisations such as Toastmasters. In this case, it is practice that matters and makes perfect. 

Great leaders communicate in the conference hall, the interview room and interact on a daily basis with co-workers. 

A few years ago, I co-founded a company in London (powerful-communication.com) that specialises in communication training. 

People from all walks of life ask for training - from CEOs to students. Some are already competent speakers while others are fearful of speaking in public. 

Through working as a trainer I learnt that good communication is critical in building strong relationships. In turn, these people often become good clients.

The public-speaking phobia comes up again and again. In fact, many surveys show that most people are more afraid of speaking in public than they are of death. It is estimated that 75% of all people experience some degree of anxiety or nervousness when public speaking. 

Such fear is an obstacle people must overcome if they are to be great leaders, but one that can be dealt with before they even embark on the journey.

A study carried out by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) led to the advent of the excellence theory which shows that there are three primary variables for predicting excellence: communicator knowledge; shared expectations about communication and the character of an organisation. 

But the excellence study also shows that communicator expertise is not enough to predict the best practices of public relations. 

There must be shared expectations, or a common understanding, between co-workers in an organisation as well as clients, along with a collaborative culture. 

Perhaps more importantly organisations with participative cultures are more likely to practice public relations using two-way communication and research, which is more effective in helping an organisation meet its goals and objectives.

Furthermore, the survey shows that greater job satisfaction results in more participative cultures.

What is good communication?

Good communication is all about being confident and building it in others, it employs vocal development, developing vocal variety, presentation skills and handling meetings. 

Good communication is distinct from the one-way transaction of expression. It involves the participation of multiple parties that have the willingness to align views and knowledge on a given subject.

And most importantly of all, good communication is when the person delivering the message is authentic. Surveys show again and again that one of the winning factors that make a person a good communicator is “authenticity”. 

A great leader is passionate about what she or he does, can inspire others and also engenders trust.

Good communication means speaking in the language of the organisation and communicating with those within it - not speaking “down” to employees or co-workers. Great leaders often don’t know they are great leaders; they simply set examples that others want to follow. They believe in what they do and what they say, they rule by example and others usually want to follow them. 

The art of storytelling

One of the best ways of communicating a message is by way of storytelling. 

“No doubt about it, the best speakers are good storytellers. The best writers are good storytellers. The best leaders are good storytellers. The best teachers and trainers and coaches are good storytellers. It might even be argued that the best parents are good storytellers. While storytelling is not the only way to engage people with your ideas, it’s certainly a critical part of the recipe,” says Rodger Dean Duncan, a contributor to Forbes magazine in January 2014.

In public relations it is important to engage with both your own organisation and your client’s business, who must understand why there is a public relations strategy in the first place. 

While many people have relied on PowerPoint presentations full of data, numbers, statistics and analytics it is the stories of one’s own life, or a client’s life, that usually engages the public more - no matter how simplistic that is. 

Take ‘refugees’, for example, a cause I’m involved with in Australasia. It’s the story of each refugee; why they were persecuted and how they escaped that engages the public rather than their contribution to society as a whole. 

Perhaps the best communication is when we can convey facts and figures as well as those stories that tell of life’s experiences.

Media training and the context

Good leaders are also aware of their surroundings, both in a physical and organisational sense. They know the context of which they are speaking and the company backstory. These simple things lead to communications success.

Good communication starts with active listening

Listening is one of the most important skills one can have. How well one listens has a major impact on communication, job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others. 

It also impacts how well you understand and meet the needs of clients. 

According to Flora Wilke, EY Associate Director for Global PR - Transaction Advisory Services: ‘Relationships are in the DNA of PR. Having lived in Germany, the United States as well as the United Kingdom, I was exposed to a multicultural environment from an early age. I came to understand that there is a lot that connects us and that listening is key to any meaningful relationships.’

‘During times of uncertainty and globalisation, the future of PR will be increasingly built around holding on to those meaningful relationships to future proof our profession.’ 

How tolerant are you?
Defeating the Islamic State: A war mired in contra...

Related Posts



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Wednesday, 17 August 2022