Over the last year, there were many important developments in environmental, social and governance (ESG), and the impact of these will only continue to influence global trends.
What are the most important developments for ESG, and how will these progress? Here I will take a deeper look at five major sustainability developments to keep an eye on this year and how these can be communicated to stakeholders.
First, emerging sustainability themes centre on the ‘think local, act global’ mentality.
This ‘theme’ is pushing Australian businesses to rethink the impact of their operations, especially when compared to competitors globally.
Increased organisational focus on sustainability initiatives results in the progressive reporting, measurement and monitoring of developments over periods. We know first-hand that 2022 was a significant year for sustainability reporting, with broadening transparency, support and commitments from many organisations.
Clients who do this proactively are winning.
Almost 70% of medium-to-large Australian organisations claim to have publicly disclosed their approach to ‘measuring and managing climate risks’, with 90% of those aligned to the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures, according to an Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) survey.
It is important to note that future-state reporting requirements may be placed on organisations, especially ASX-listed companies, to demonstrate their ESG credentials.
We expect this trend to continue in 2023 as more organisations look to protect or improve access to people, markets and capital through transparency and reporting.
Fast forward, and 2050 will be an important year. Consistent with science-based targets aimed at limiting global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees or less, the focus for governments, businesses and communities is to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It was in September 2022 that the Australian Government put figurative pen to paper, passing its landmark Climate Change Bill 2022. Australia’s emissions reduction target of 43 percent by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050 are now set in law.
Local and globally, urgent action needs to be undertaken now and in the coming decades. Direct and indirect ESG initiatives are essential in achieving a target of net zero by 2050 and include:
COP27 demonstrated the continued commitment from world leaders to decarbonise the global economy, with a particular emphasis on the impacts of climate change. The introduction of the Climate Change Bill 2022 in Australia now requires the incumbent Minister to prepare an annual climate change statement, stating the progress on Australia’s emissions reduction target and other local and international updates.
It is time for businesses to step up too.
Initiatives focused on decarbonisation are important to address the causes and effects of global warming, especially considering the impacts on both people and the planet.
Operations are essential for any business, and ESG has become increasingly important in managing supply chains. Production and distribution cycles must reflect the realities of exceptional human rights, fair labour practices, anti-corruption and modern slavery implications for supply chains.
The integrity and transparency of supply chains have demonstrably contributed to the ability of organisations to maintain operations throughout periods of volatility, material shortages and disruptions.
The causes of these challenges include the pandemic, political instability and inflationary pressures, to name a few of the significant ones. Capital and investment decisions also contribute to how supply chains develop and adapt to market conditions. Supply chains of the future will likely be more sustainable and resilient to global challenges.
Those who can be transparent and show good faith even in tough times will become PR success stories.
Throughout 2022, we’ve seen the continued importance of articulating business ethics (established values, principles, standards and behavioural norms) and determining how integrity and transparency can be demonstrated within the organisation.
Cultural practices will continue to be an essential, preventative mechanism against unlawful and unethical behaviour such as bribery and corruption, money laundering, misconduct and other matters – such as greenwashing — the term is used to refer to companies that have in some way misrepresented their ESG credentials without the appropriate sustainability commitments.
The clampdown that occurred throughout 2022 demonstrated that when company disclosure is misleading, it may be subject to scrutiny.
Responsible governance mechanisms that reinforce good cultural practices within organisations include:
Throughout 2022, ESG commitments have focused on the causal impact these principles have on an organisation’s operations. For example, employee engagement, particularly post-COVID-19, increasingly highlights the importance of flexibility, working conditions and an organisation’s values. While the nuances of cultural practices will undoubtedly continue to evolve as we move into 2023, metrics and monitoring can help organisations remain in step with their stakeholders and employees.
Legislatures and regulators are constantly monitoring developments within their jurisdictions. Developing trends include cryptocurrencies, driverless cars and the ever-changing ‘shared economy’. Throughout the year, statements from the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), and the Australian Securities Exchange Limited (ASX) alike have highlighted the undesirable practice of ‘greenwashing’.
Organisations can use ESG to provide investors and the community insight by disclosing their sustainability commitments appropriately. By focusing on environmental, social and governance matters, organisations can use this framework to create trackable metrics for their progress toward ESG targets.
Businesses will need to up their ante on sustainability disclosure, with more and more companies choosing to demonstrate their ESG credentials and therefore creating more room for success.
We know ESG will become increasingly important within the global economy, not only for providing insight into the commitments and resilience of organisations, but also for the ability to contribute purposefully and achieve greater economic access.
Pursuing an ESG communications plan while harnessing goals of economic success, diversity and inclusion and making a real difference in the world is how the most positive communications campaigns will be achieved.
Contact me about how the right ESG communications tools can improve your stakeholder engagement via email@example.com.
While blogs and written posts are still valuable (hey, this is what I am doing here), the growth of podcasts remains the future for anyone serious about online marketing, establishing a brand, or imparting their knowledge.
People are increasingly time-poor – it’s just easier to listen to something when you’re on the treadmill at the gym, cooking dinner, preparing school lunches, or even driving in the car between meetings.
So, I encourage everyone to consider including a podcast in their medium to long-term plans.
And the best way to start is to listen to a few – see what works for you as a listener and make notes.
You will often come across podcasts with the same or very similar names. Unfortunately, no legal restrictions with trademarks and no exclusivity like domain names on the web exist.
This happened to me – my podcast name is the ‘Politics of Everything‘… and I had to learn the hard way. It’s disappointing and frankly disheartening when you’ve taken the time to choose a name that encapsulates your brand and your selected topics, only to find that it is already taken.
But if you’re new to podcasting and don’t yet have much of a following, it doesn’t make sense to compete with established shows – of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but you’re best to consider something else.
There are other vital implications to having a unique name, too – when you’re setting up a podcast with the intent to grow your audience, ideally, you want all your platforms – website, social, and podcast all to have the same name, or a version of that name, so that they’re recognisable, and linked. Otherwise, this can confuse your audience and make you harder to find in search engines.
If you’ve never had a podcast but have a registered domain name and social media to match, you must be prepared for this scenario. If your name is taken, you must decide whether you’re proceeding or returning to the drawing board.
Of course, if you want to, you can contact the owners of the competing podcasts to see if they’re willing to sell the name, although, be warned, this can drive up the price. But statistics from Apple, released at the end of 2022, show that only about 18 percent of podcasts on the Apple platform are active. So, it might be worth a go.
On the other hand, if you have to rethink your name completely, don’t think of it as a ‘bad’ thing. It can be an opportunity. At the very least, it will stimulate creativity and even spur you to tweak or update your brand and logo.
When choosing a name, consider the brand characteristics you want to promote and reinforce.
Consider describing these values, tone, and ‘character.’
Check synonyms, definitions, and antonyms, and play around with alliteration.
These activities can help you develop something unique and relevant to who you are and what you’re podcasting. Above all, think about your content and what your audience wants to hear. Ensure your name is relevant; otherwise, you’ll never appear in a keyword search, which is vital for attracting traffic to your podcast as you grow.
You’ll learn all the basics of getting started, including what equipment you’ll need to produce quality sound (without breaking your budget).
We’ll help you develop a strategy, plan the first few episodes, and give you some excellent presentation tips. We’ll also show you how to edit and publish your podcast, how to market your podcast, grow your audience, and much more.
It’s something that should be on your list this year. Podcasts are becoming more popular, and the more confident and polished you are from the get-go, the quicker you’ll be on the pathway to success.
Want to launch a podcast in 4 weeks? Join my online course ‘Podcast Idea to Launch’ in 4 weeks.
Book a time to discuss with me for more information or help podcasting successfully as part of your marketing, PR, and communications.
Large corporations often grapple with whether it’s better to have a team of in-house people trained to talk to media or outsource media management when needed.
There are pros and cons to both approaches. However, I know from experience that you will see additional benefits when you train a team of people within your organisation.
Amber Daines Media Training has a media focus, but at its core, it is about effective communication.
And while we do ensure that your people know how to prepare a media policy and plan, are trained to manage media in a crisis, learn how to develop and communicate in “sound bites,” and take control of a media interview, amongst other things, underpinning all of these strategies is how to communicate much more effectively.
As a by-product of our media training, your people will develop strong, confident communication skills transferable across all business areas.
You will experience a positive difference in how people who have completed our media training lead teams, engage stakeholders, make presentations, conduct interviews with potential hires, increase sales, minimise misunderstandings, miscommunication, and mistakes and deal with conflict resolution.
I’m often fond of saying that my time as a journalist was fun, interesting, and adventurous … but also a great training ground for life.
I learned invaluable communication skills I might not have discovered in another profession. And I’m passionate about sharing these skills, particularly now, as businesses embrace the digital age.
As we do more business online and less face-to-face, communicating effectively is more vital than ever before. Businesses must, whether they like it or not, embrace short video promos, podcasting, a regular social media presence, and an effective website … and back it up with solid customer service to stand out in the global marketplace.
Everything boils down to how you communicate with customers and clients, from when they first start researching you to making the sale and developing a longer-term relationship.
The same goes for your staff, suppliers, and partners, too – excellent communication is at the heart of all successful business transactions.
It makes sense to train your people – you will immediately see a return on the investment.
We offer a range of media training options for corporates, depending on need, budget, and time allocations. You can opt for face-to-face training, although our online media training is becoming increasingly popular because it allows much more flexibility when people’s schedules are busy.
You can choose from the following Corporate Media Training Packages:
Because we tailor the training to your organisation, we can work with actual scenarios the business might face to provide meaningful context to the theory. Doing this gives your team a sense of how things could play out in a crisis or how they might approach media with a new innovative product or service.
Mock interviews, mock press conferences, mock live crosses and even surprise on-the-spot interviews give your team an experience that’s as close as possible to the real thing, so they can feel prepared when the time comes. And we tackle the tough stuff – handling rapid-fire questions, how to answer questions you might not know the answer to, and reframing negatives, all while staying cool, calm, collected, and ‘on message.’ We also make it fun!
The additional benefit of training your people is that you can choose who you want to have ready and prepared to front the media – while the CEO or the Chairman of the Board is typically the apparent choice, consider specialist subject experts too, and department heads who have some seniority and credibility.
Some organisations also train their HR and Marketing people because they are generally the ones who are developing internal and external communication messages for a range of reasons and audiences, and increasing their ability to communicate across a range of different mediums makes good business sense.
The media landscape is changing rapidly – stories can go viral in moments for all the wrong reasons, and it only takes one public mishap to damage your reputation. Be business savvy and get your people ready. Even if you don’t have to face the media imminently, your business will benefit from upskilling your people.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss
When I interviewed successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, and small business owners for my two books: “Well Said: How to be heard in Business and Generate Real Influence” and “Well Spun: Big PR and Social Media Ideas for Small Business,” I discovered that one characteristic they had in common, and something they attributed to success is this:
They know they don’t know everything. And that’s why these individuals work to build diverse teams and surround themselves with experts in areas where they don’t have the right skills, knowledge, and expertise.
That’s certainly the mark of a good leader. And while good leaders are confident and capable and typically good communicators, it’s always worthwhile remembering that we can, as individuals, continuously improve.
This is especially true of communicating – not just with our teams but also with our clients, prospective clients, and the wider community.
It is particularly true of communication right now. Digital media has exploded, and the media landscape is changing rapidly. While it’s true that many of the traditional media presentation strategies and skills remain the same, the big difference is two-fold.
Firstly: Speed. Everything in the media space is faster and more immediate than ever.
Secondly: Reach. You can ‘go global’ at the touch of a button.
So, are you prepared?
Whether you want to refresh your knowledge to up-skill for the new landscape or whether you’ve never done media training before, we have the perfect media training course for you.
It is comprehensive and convenient – AND you can train online, including two sessions of face-to-face time with me – at a time that suits you. The flexibility of the sessions means you’ll be able to fit them into your schedule when you have the appropriate time to focus, learn, and get the most out of them.
In the online media training, we cover a range of topics, including:
We also delve into some technical practicalities which will help ensure that you invest in the right equipment to set you up for success, enabling you to do media interviews from your office, home, or wherever you are. The media won’t wait – so you need to be available – and nothing kills your media opportunity faster than technical failures.
If technology does fail, we’ll give you some tips for making the most of the situation – with a short text statement, for example. I believe that my extensive years working in media makes our training different – I can give you the benefit of first-hand experience.
With the news cycle working so quickly, many advantages exist for companies looking to build their brand and connect with a broader audience. Some days are still slow news days, even when there are deadlines to meet, and these offer fantastic opportunities if you have a story ready to go!
The disadvantage of the fast news cycle is that you can get caught if the news affects your industry or your business, and you are not adequately prepared when the journalist comes knocking at your door.
We’ll help you prepare for a crisis, or a surprise phone call, sell your story and maximise any media opportunity.
Many people believe that getting “in the news” comes down to sheer “good luck” and “timing.” This is not true. Journalists will always be interested in stories that are interesting, unusual, and relevant …. And if journalists can be sure, they can rely on a confident spokesperson with good information.
We know that you’ll get great value from our online media training – we’ll give you plenty of practice scenarios that you can walk away from the sessions armed with all the tools you need, as well as an excellent understanding of what’s required from you when you’re in the spotlight. We’ll also help you put together essential strategy documents to have a plan at your fingertips for when the time comes.
What’s more, everything you learn will benefit how you present your company when you generate your own social media posts, resulting in more exposure and engagement.
You can read more here. Or contact us with any questions or to make time for your media training.
In the meantime, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
The rise of the podcast is a sign of the times. We crave bite-sized nuggets of news, storytelling, and dramas, and a 30 to a 60-minute podcast can deliver all of that, with the added convenience of being listened to on demand. My favourite podcast listening time is in the car, alone, after I drop my kids to school and head off to a meeting.
After setting myself a launch date, I did a one-day course for newbie podcasters three months to the day. My weekly podcast, The Politics of Everything (https://amberdaines.com/podcast/), aired on 31 May 2017.
To be clear, my podcast was never about generating client leads for my media training and presentation skills agency Bespoke Communications. Many small business owners and leaders hone in on a niche area and operate purely with their professional hats in their podcast content. Having penned an industry-focused blog a few years prior that was all about PR and media, I knew the scope was limited, and to be honest, I would be pretty bored doing the show three episodes in.
Don’t get me wrong, I love writing, and my early journalism career as a newspaper reporter is something I enjoyed more than most of the communications jobs I had afterward. For me, a podcast was a way to get back to my interviewing days with various guests who were experts or enthusiasts in their chosen topic. It was not a show about business or well-being, as plenty of podcasts do that in-depth, but we touch on these areas too.
I get a thrill that the freedom of a short-form, self-contained podcast can cover everything from motherhood to meditation to sexual intimacy to wealth creation. These are life topics that resonate for me as a Generation X woman raising a family in an increasingly cluttered, noisy, and chaotic world. I just figured others like me and not like me could benefit from spending 30 minutes conversing with a range of men and women who had their own stories, expertise, and failings to share in the safe, pre-recorded podcast world was creating.
I must be onto something, as five years on, I have achieved over 4 million organic downloads with no paid social media promotions. Many of my guests have been approached by lucrative new clients or sold their books or services through being a guest on my podcast, and I so love hearing that feedback, even if it is not the primary goal of having them on the show. I steer away from sponsorships and ads because the show is about pure content, first and foremost.
My current podcast has a shelf life, which is fine. I am always keen to disrupt my success – something most entrepreneurs would also relate to.
As the host of The Politics of Everything, I rely on my guests to be prepared, engaging, and forthcoming.
Here are my top five tips for any writers wanting to nail their time on air in the podcast medium:
The future of podcasting is a great unknown, but that is its beauty. It has a raw power for content writers and authors seeking an interactive way to be heard unfiltered and more immediately than ever before.
Every day we see large corporations making headlines for all sorts of crises. And sure, they have large-in-house communications teams, media savvy CEOs, and big budgets to pull in all the resources they need no matter the time of day or night, which is why they tend to get the stories on and off the front pages without too much drama or reputational damage.
But the truth is that smaller businesses are vulnerable to crises too.
Are you prepared if you’re faced with some emergency that needs you to front up to the media?
I meet a lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs. Inevitably on the journey of business growth, there comes the point where media training is a must. If not to make your in-house promo videos look more slick and professional … but also because when you start to gain brand awareness and media attention, you must manage your media attention well.
In a crisis, it’s imperative.
You might think that is not going to happen to you. Still, I have to warn you that the odds of you having actually to face the media at some point are higher than ever before, simply because these days, thanks to social media, multiple media platforms are available to anyone, at any time, 24/7 with a smartphone and an opinion to share.
We offer a range of different workshops, but one I often recommend to companies with smaller budgets is our crisis media training. Why? Because it’s comprehensive, the strategies and skills you and your team will learn to apply are applicable not only in a crisis but they will also serve you well in all areas of your external communications at any time.
Crisis media training is not just about ‘fronting’ the media – it’s much more.
It is about ensuring you know how to answer questions and how to ‘lockdown’ the narrative so you can take control, protect the type of information you want to share, and mitigate the risk to your business reputation.
In a crisis, you need to strike a balance between being seen as competent and caring. Your organisational spokesperson/spokespeople need to come across as ‘in control’ and authoritative but also compassionate. This takes confidence and experience, and we aim to help you develop both in our crisis media training.
Our media training is designed specifically for:
The best time to do crisis media training is now – well before a crisis arises. Businesses need to be prepared for the unexpected, mainly because the media won’t wait for you to get your act together when you’re in the middle of a disaster.
What’s more – if you don’t respond immediately, you can do even more damage to your reputation. Audiences can be unrelenting when they want answers they don’t think they’re getting. There is a great need to be open and take the lead and control the story.
Our crisis media training will also allow you to develop a media crisis management plan should you ever need it. This is an excellent exercise because it will make you think about the potential risks and threats you might face and how to work effectively as a team in a real crisis. This includes such core competencies as practical, hands-on issues management and crisis control, the best possible ways to prepare – what to think about – and reputation management – displaying grace and confidence under pressure.
The training simulates real scenarios and uses role-playing to give you real experience, not just the theory. The significant difference between what we can offer is my expertise as a journalist. I know how the media works. Importantly, you’ll walk away with a clear understanding of how the media works in a crisis. During my time as a television journalist, I saw companies that do crisis management well, and some that have done this very poorly. I can help you to develop the skills to minimise the impact of any potentially ‘bad’ news and protect your reputation.
The training will also help you to understand other important aspects of clear communication, including:
So are you ready? There’s no time like the present. Let’s talk about tailoring a workshop for your core team.
Ok, I’m just going to be straight with you: In today’s digital business world, you need media training. Full Stop.
Andy Warhol once famously said that we’d all experience 15 minutes of fame one day. And as it turns out, his prediction was pretty spot on. None of us, I don’t think, realised that we’d end up with a video camera in our back pocket.
This technological advancement in the past decade has changed the world, from ordinary people capturing news stories ‘as they happen’ to proud parents being able to film their kids winning races or awards or taking their first toddler steps … and sharing them wherever they want.
For businesses, the option of accessible, cheap-to-produce video has changed how we market ourselves. Those not using video will be left behind. And here’s why.
In a nutshell, digital statistics around social views, website traffic, and online advertising show that video is fast becoming the ‘King’ of all content creation.
Research tells us that people don’t read anymore. If they do, they might read a headline and 500 words. Pictures remain powerful forms of communication, but the growing trend is video which enables both sound and images.
And here’s where media training comes in.
Firstly, it helps you look polished and come across as confident and credible (people won’t do business with shabby or dodgy-looking companies – there are way too many scams already!). So, we’ll teach you the subtle tricks around what to wear, lighting, colours, and how to avoid ‘reading glasses glare and reflection’ – all of which will make you look better on camera.
Our media training will help you warm up’ to the camera, too – it’s not as easy as it seems, even for digital natives! We might feel comfortable in person, particularly regarding things we’re passionate about, but that natural comfort level doesn’t always translate to the video arena!
Ok, sure, you’re probably aware of those benefits, but what you might not know is that one of the most significant things you’ll learn from our media training is how to distill your message – to say what you mean and mean what you say while coming across as genuine.
For a long time, traditional TV, radio, and print media have relied on “sound bites” – if you’re not familiar with the term, these are “good” quotes – things you might say that can be used to hang a story around.
‘Sound bites’ underpin success in the digital age, too – and whether you have 30 seconds to say something or ten minutes, it takes skill and practice to hone the message – to get to the point and keep an audience engaged enough to take the next step — interact with your business. This skill cannot be underrated and has a component of sales, but there’s much more to it than that – it’s about building rapport, which is not easy to do on paper, via sound, or via video unless you know how….
The great thing about using video in your social media and other online marketing is that you can use it in a billion (and one!) creative ways – to tell a story, to unveil a new product line, to showcase different aspects of your product or service, to display your credentials with small snippets of advice, to advise of essential changes in your industry – the list is endless!
Let’s say, for example, you’re an accounting firm, and you want to advise your clients that the Australian Tax Office has introduced a new regulation around Family Trusts …. Do you know how to capture attention with your message?
Or, let’s say you’ve been selling a product online and just found out (via customer feedback) that the goods are faulty. The entire shipment is defective. Do you know how to handle a crisis?
Would you know how to use both scenarios to build a loyal following?
Of course, it is not all about video (although these days, that’s a huge component). Media training will help you understand how all forms of media work and help you grasp a basic understanding of how you might use these forms of media together in a cohesive strategy.
The other great thing about our media training is that while it is built around the principles of what will work successfully with the media – it will also help you to adapt your message to each platform, whether it is in a social media post, a TV interview, a blog or a podcast.
Plus, as a by-product of completing the training, you’ll become much more confident in front of any audience, whether it’s making the birthday toast, addressing your team on an important occasion, selling your services, promoting your brand, or championing a cause, or managing a crisis.
When I think of someone comfortable with the media, Simon Sinek comes to mind. Whether he’s being interviewed or providing short, snappy inspirational posts, he’s confident – he is quietly passionate about his subject, but it shines through because he is personable, he’s developed his brand – relaxed, gentle, wise … and he has a HUGE following.
Tony Robbins is also very confident with the media – but with a very different style from Simon Sinek. Both work and you know why? Because they’re genuine. Each is always, without fault, true to their personalities, delivery, style, and content.
At Amber Daines, our media training is different – because we don’t want to teach you to be “someone confident talking to the media,” we want to help you find your unique voice. Because that’s where your power is. Like Simon Sinek, like Tony Robbins – we want you to be YOU.
We’ll help you embrace your strengths and identify any weaknesses you want to improve.
Most of all, we’ll help you to be authentically you in every setting – meetings, sales pitches, media interviews, and social posts.
So, contact us. Media training is not as expensive as you think – AND – it’s a sensible investment, especially in the digital age.
In many ways, I am an accidental entrepreneur. It does not run in my family so was never in my DNA or overtly encouraged, to be honest. My parents didn’t own their businesses and I was always of the view I would not either. Until I did.
That is something I have not been able to do. I have two sons now 12 and 9. Of course, it was a different time in the era my parents raised a family some 30 years ago — many families need and want to have two parents working from a financial perspective alone, although many women, including me, have made a conscious choice to remain working because they value what doing career-focused work means even beyond paying the bills.
And it sounds ideal – to have your own business and work your own hours – but most entrepreneurs will tell you that philosophy is a fallacy. Yes, there’s flexibility, but there’s also a lot more responsibility and in a small business you’re not just ‘large and in charge’ you must do multiple jobs, especially in the early days.
My own business story over the past 15 years is not as remarkable as others, but it has been adventurous and continues to evolve. However, it’s my story and maybe one other can relate to it?
As Oscar Wilde famously said: “The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.” How true.
I officially started the first version of Bespoke Communications on 2 December 2007 with one client and $1000 in the bank. It’s interesting how I recall the date so clearly. Prior to that, I’d had an awesome career in journalism and PR – working overseas and in Australia – a career many would envy. But eventually, there was the ‘call’ that many entrepreneurs speak about – the desire to really stretch me and go it alone.
I had not set out to become an entrepreneur or business leader, and the first year was hard yards, long days and nights, and not much cash flow – the way one-man bands often are.
But there are powerful lessons to be learned in those long days and tight cash-flow months. It’s amazing what you can create on a shoestring, and even today my business remains lean on staff – we use freelancers and contract out parts of bigger jobs sometimes.
We survived the magical “five-year mark” when only two-thirds of small businesses remain open for business And then I took a break, started another entity, and worked in-house for a time. Now as Pty Ltd business that is 15 years old, my first baby is older than my first born child.
So, in an effort to encourage others to join the wild ride of entrepreneurship, here are my top six take-outs for you to ponder, no matter where you are in your entrepreneurial journey.
Be true to your values and have the courage to make the big and small changes. Any business you run has to make money but has to be more rewarding, exciting, and fun than working for someone else.
If you wanted to have me share more of my business learnings or have a chat about communicating your story, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and drop me a message.
Newspapers are not dead. That said, they have certainly had to reshape their business model to survive over the past decade. But we’re living in a digitally obsessed world where news is shared on many platforms and not only from traditional media outlets. So, let’s talk about how to make the most of the modern media landscape.
Newspapers were once the undisputed main source of news, and the cornerstone of authority for everything from fashion styles to business and economics.
But those days have passed and newspapers have paid the price through lost subscriptions and fewer clicks – most people get their news online, and not just from newspapers. All mainstream media have embraced digital channels, and social media too.
The good news is that because we can all access and create news through our own channels, there are now numerous ways you can reach your audience without traditional media. The downside is that it can be harder to grab attention and hold it because there is so much more content out there – on websites, blogs, and social media platforms such as LinkedIn.
That’s why, when you are embarking on a media or communications strategy, you need to brush up your skills – across all areas.
You need to be able to articulate your messages quickly, give a good quote, and present well via radio and audio-visual mediums. In a digital world, it’s important to be relevant and it’s even more important to be clear and concise.
People don’t read as much as they used to – we see that rise of “snack journalism” with smaller news pieces we can read and understand in a few moments An 800-word blog (like this one) is good for your website, and you might even be successful in getting an op-ed piece in your industry publication, or the opportunity to provide a guest column in a newspaper or a business group newsletter, but in any space that’s not an off-shoot of a traditional print medium, then getting your message out will require good editing skills and some innovation.
Think 100 words max and get creative when it comes to how you package up your message and deliver it.
You also need to decide where you’re delivering it – you’ve got lots of choices, but a message can fall flat if you don’t embrace the style of the medium you’re using.
TikTok is not the same as LinkedIn – sure, that’s obvious. But it also means that you can’t just produce one piece of content and share it in several places. I’ve said this before too – delivering a podcast is also very different from fronting a video.
Video content formats are becoming increasingly popular as we become time-poor. Podcasts are easy to listen to in the car, while you’re doing the grocery shopping, at the gym, or cooking dinner. You can watch a video from the sidelines of soccer training, or while you’re waiting for a train, a plane … from the backseat of an Uber. You get the idea.
With this in mind, then at some point down the track, you’re going to have to get comfortable presenting in front of a camera.
During the pandemic lockdowns, endless Zoom calls gave us all a bit of training …. But slick digital content requires more than just fronting up with a great outfit and hair and makeup done.
You need to stand out, in terms of content and creativity, if you want views and shares in respectable numbers.
Presenting to video is not all that dissimilar to presenting to a live audience. The golden rule to successful presenting is to remember that your presentation is not about you. It’s about your audience.
The big difference, of course, is that on the video you’re close up and only you are in focus so you want to make the most of your facial expressions, body language, and vocal pace and tone. There is an ‘element’ of acting involved, for you to come across as confident, competent, and credible.
If you’re producing in-house then you will get several rehearsals and re-dos, but …. And I recommend this to all my clients – you really do want to hone your skills so that you can be a ‘one-take-wonder’ …
The reason for this is that as you build your own and your business’s online profile, then you’ll attract the attention of journalists and other kinds of content creators. When you collaborate with other professionals, live TV is a great example, you won’t always get a second go.
My experience as a seasoned speaker and former TV reporter has given me a great deal of insight into what makes a GREAT presenter … and how to teach simple tips and tricks to business owners and CEOs like yourself who want to get ‘camera-ready.’
Being comfortable in front of a camera or an audience is a must-have skill these days – it’s part and parcel of the way we do business and connect with customers and clients.
The pandemic may be over, but Zoom has become a vital tool for doing business. Think you’ll never be called to do anything more than host a meeting on camera? Think again.
Traditional face-to-face meetings such as sales presentations, meetings with boards and shareholders, and pitches to potential new clients or vendors, or funders are being replaced with AV technology. It’s cheaper and usually more effective for businesses to use these platforms than flying people to places for a two-hour meeting.
At Bespoke Communications we provide both one-to-one training and all forms of presentation skills training for teams. Contact us to find out more.