Jan
06

Pain Points Resolved

Paradigm Public Relations New Year’s Resolutions Blog Entry

How do I keep my New Year’s resolution?

The new year symbolizes a fresh start and this year, millions of people in Canada have resolved to improve some area of their lives, from losing weight to working harder. Making a New Year’s resolution is easy – the tricky part, the pain point, is keeping it. All too often our busy schedules and bad habits keep us from attaining our goals.

According to Maxwell Maltz, author of Psycho-Cybernetics, it only takes 28 days to make something a habit. If you stick to your resolution for just 28 days, you will set yourself up for success for the year. Here are some tips from Paradigm Public Relation’s award winning staff to help you stick with it for those crucial first 28 days and beyond.

 

  • Write it down.
    • Create a 28-day calendar to track your progress. Imagine how satisfying it will be to check off each day you stick to your resolution.
    • This is a lot like sticking to a communication plan’s critical path. Take it one day and one step at a time.
  • Make sure your goal is attainable.
    • Telling yourself you will go to the gym every day is probably not going to happen if you currently fail to make it there once a week. Set yourself up for success, and then build. Set reasonable goals that you can measure. What’s the point of setting out to do something if you can’t track and measure your success?
    • It is the same whether your resolution is personal or business related: it’s important to set measurable goals. Measurable goals should be set at the outset of every public relations or social media plan. See more about the importance of measurement in the post below called, “How do you know if a project is successful?”
  • Embrace setbacks, and even plan for them.
    • One or two setbacks are almost inevitable. It is how we react to those setbacks that determine if we will stick with our resolutions. Embrace them as a challenge and an opportunity to recommit to your goal, instead of seeing them as a failure.
    • The same can be said for a public relations or social media campaign. You need to be prepared for curveballs and bumps in the road – it’s Murphy’s Law that if something can go wrong it will. The best way is to plan ahead and have a plan B.
  • Hold yourself accountable.
    • Tell all your friends and colleagues about your goal. Knowing that others around you are watching will give you that extra push you need to stick with it!
    • At Paradigm Public Relations, we provide our clients with a critical path of tasks and deadlines. This helps us to stay organized and on track with our projects, and keeps the client informed about the status of the project. Why not try doing the same for your personal projects? Free critical path templates can easily be found online.

 

Whether you’ve set a personal or work-related goal, it’s always a good idea to look back at what you’ve learned and make adjustments. If you didn’t fare as well as you had planned for the first 28 days, list the reasons why, and apply those learnings to the next 28.

 

Good luck and Happy New Year from the team at Paradigm Public Relations!

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Nov
24

Pain Points Resolved

What’s your communications philosophy?

A prospective client posed a very good question recently: ‟What is your philosophy when it comes to marketing communications?”

Truth be told, we’ve never been asked that question. Sure, we’re often asked about our approach or what differentiates Paradigm PR, but it’s never been asked that way. It got us thinking. And, if we had to sum it up concisely, our philosophy at Paradigm Public Relations is this: we’re students of your brand and co-authors of your story.

It starts with our team understanding your brand. That’s Paradigm PR’s first and never-ending step. We can’t do much successfully if we don’t know your history, what you’re trying to achieve, and who your customer and competition are. Our skilled Public Relations team dives in like we’re completing a research paper, amassing as much knowledge as we can to inform our strategy and creative sessions. Next, we help you build a story worth sharing: one that is timely and delivers a message that resonates. It’s tougher than ever to get your messages through. With multi screens, millions of messages and a never ending choice of content providers, the story that your brand wants to tell has to be relevant. We chose the word “co-author” deliberately, because we believe the best stories are created together. Good marketing communications requires a 360 degree approach – public relations initiatives need to line up with the overall marketing strategy and all programs should complement each other, not fragment the message.

So, there you have it – our newly defined marketing communications philosophy: students of your brand and co-authors of your story. At Paradigm Public Relations we love when clients and prospective clients push us to think of things in a new way.

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Oct
30

Pain Points Resolved

We have a “Halloween themed day” at work. What is an appropriate costume to wear to the office?

Halloween was once reserved for kids to dress up, eat an abundance of sugar, and speak to strangers without getting in trouble. In recent years, however, kids aren’t the only ones throwing on that fireman outfit to celebrate the frightful day.  It’s also not just an after-hours experience – many companies like ours at Paradigm Public Relations in Toronto like to celebrate and have fun with staff, especially when Halloween falls on a weekday like it does this year.

But, before you go strutting into work dressed as Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike, we enlisted the help of our Fashion Friday crew at Paradigm PR for their guidance.  They suggest you follow these three guidelines to help avoid a professional mishap (and a trip to HR):

Don’t ignore your office culture. You know what kind of office you work in, and Halloween is not the time to defy the norm.  If your office is laid-back, take Halloween as the opportunity to showcase your creativity. On the other hand, if you typically wear a suit to work, take the more demure route and throw on a mask or a pair of cat ears that you can easily throw on and off whenever necessary.

Other suggestions:

  • Creative:  Grab some co-workers and re-create the Spice Girls circa the 1990’s.
  • Corporate: Jordan Belfort from Wolf of Wallstreet – in his innocent early career years, that is. Why not don your best 60s suit and go as the man himself – Don Draper.

Forego the costume if you have an important meeting scheduled that day. Although you may love scaring co-workers in your gory zombie bride outfit, you don’t want to scare your clients or CEO into thinking you aren’t professional. Instead, leave the face paint at home and go for a low-profile costume that you can quickly slip out of before your big meeting.

Other suggestions:

  • A Ghost: All you need is an old white sheet and some cutout eye holes. No assembly required.
  • The Joker:  Wear your business suit and a Joker mask that you can remove throughout the day.

Make sure you can actually work in your costume. You may think dressing up as Buzz Lightyear will win you Best Costume, but when you get to your desk and realize you can’t fit in your chair – Houston, we have a problem! Whether your costume is simple or out-of-this-world, make sure that it will not interfere with your work performance.

Other non-restricting options:

  • M&M:  Instead of a bulky, stuffed costume, dress in one solid candy colour and glue the logo onto your chest.
  • Navy Captain:  Leave the oversized cardboard boat at home; instead suit up in your best stripes and sail your way through the day.

Dressing up for Halloween should be fun, not a pain point for Halloween lovers.  Just don’t let it jeopardize your professional standing. Use your judgment and when in doubt, always leave your Magic Mike moves for your friend’s party and out of the workplace.

Happy Halloween from all of us at Paradigm Public Relations!

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Sep
23

Pain Points Resolved

How do you know if a project is successful?

fingerWe often get asked by clients how they should measure the success of their social media activities or how they know if a campaign was successful?  That’s a bit like asking: how long is a piece of stringWell that entirely depends on the desired outcome.  If you are tying it around your finger to remember something (BTW there are now apps for that http://www.any.do/anydo) or flying a kite, the string will need to be different lengths.

The same can be said for social media, or any other marketing campaign:  whether or not a campaign is successful depends on what your objectives are at the outset.

What you are trying to accomplish dictates how and what you measure.  Whether you are trying to build a following, increase engagement with current fans or drive followers to a promotion, they all require different metrics and tools to determine if they were successful.

It all starts with setting the right objectives, and, here’s a helpful hint – the more specific you are with your objectives, the more accurately you can measure the outcomes and determine success. At Paradigm we are fans of SMART objectives (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, time related).  You can read more about them here or here.

Whether you use this method, or have another one that you use (please share) remember that measuring success starts with setting the right objectives. Align your social media objectives with business objectives and then determine what kind of tracking and measurement tools you need before you begin a campaign.

 

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Aug
18

Pain Points Resolved

Tell us your pain point, and we’ll help you solve it.

What’s that nagging problem you just want fixed? The worry that won’t go away, the thorn in your side. In other words, what’s your pain point?  Tell us what’s on your mind and we’ll try to help, because that’s how we roll.

Welcome to Pain Points Resolved.

Paradigm PR is home to some of the smartest, solution-oriented people anywhere.  We help solve problems for our clients, our friends, each other, every day. So, ask us any question (bonus if it’s about PR or social media) and we’ll give it a shot.  Tweet us at @ParadigmPR or send us an email.

We wanted to kick off our first blog post with a question PR people everywhere get asked most often from family and friends:

What is public relations?  What do you do?

Yes, we know it’s not an actual pain point, but it’s still a pain, nonetheless, to come up with a simple answer.  It would be easy to say we plan parties, hang with celebs and handle crises like Olivia Pope (if you haven’t watched Scandal  you really should). While we love that answer, we have to admit it’s not entirely accurate.

The Canadian Public Relations Society defines public relations as a strategic management of relationships. In 2012, the Public Relations Society of America embarked on an international crowd-sourcing campaign to define PR  and the result is this definition: public relations is a strategic communications process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.

We thought about it some more, and tried to break it down further – what does PR mean to us at Paradigm, day in, day out?  Here are a couple of thoughts:

“We help brands connect with their existing and potential customers by telling stories that resonate with people, start conversation and lead to recommendation.”

“We tell stories that help us all understand each other better. Because understanding fosters action – to engage, motivate, educate, recommend, or buy.”

 We think those explanations capture it, but in the end, if our friends and family still don’t get it, we just ask them to check out our work. That usually does it.

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What is Pain Points Resolved?

Pain Points Resolved is our forum for helping solve communications dilemmas and answering questions about any facet of public relations, social media, and corporate communications. You ask, we answer.

By the way, we have an office full of—ahem—experts in countless other areas, so if you want a sounding board on anything from golf and cycling to fashion and food, we’re here for you.

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