January 23, 2014 by Colin Kelly
A fascinating day yesterday as I delivered a media relations clinic to the members of CeeD Scotland.
It’s an organisation that brings together academia and business and the members include some of the biggest names in manufacturing, aerospace and technology. I was pretty honoured to be asked to speak to them and my session was really well received.
We talked about how to enjoy better relationships with the media and the changing nature of corporate videos. I made sure to include my favourite rant about eliminating jargon from their communications, and got them translating boring coporate speak like ‘leading provider’ and ‘customer centric’.
Another key message I had for them was that there should be constant creative tension between the Marketing/PR team and the management in any business. This relationship should never be cosy. The communications folks should be a thorn in the side of the Managing Director and Chief Executive, regularly knocking back quotes and drafts for press releases and reports because they’re too boring, not newsworthy and full of jargon. They should be thinking like journalists and challenging their bosses at every turn.
Far better to keep this process inside the business and get the message as strong and engaging as possible before it goes out.
We also talked about soundbites and how you can exert some influence over what particular sections of pre recorded interviews make it to air. It was a brief taster of what I deliver in my full day media relations training courses.
The venue for the day was the magnificent TV/Film/Radio and Music productions studios at the University of the West of Scotland Ayr Campus.
The studios and equipment are as good as any I’ve seen in a mainstream professional broadcaster and I’m pleased that UWS has come up with an innovative way to commercialise what they have and make it available to outside businesses at particular points. They’re doing it in a clever, selective way and do all they can to ensure this creates opportunities for students to learn and enhance their employment projects.
As we were shown round, one of the UWS team explained how their focus now is on helping students who finish their course ‘find work, not jobs’.
I thought this was a really interesting insight into how the world of work has changed in the last few years. More and more people are coming out of courses with highly sought after and relevant skills, but the traditional idea of a full time job doesn’t really exist anymore.
Instead, by encouraging them to become self starters, giving them some business knowledge and helping them build links with local companies, and making sure they have a broad range of skills, they can get involved in a range of projects, which, when taken together, provides a full time income and keeps them busy.
It can also make for a far more interesting life and in my experience, makes people less likely to waste time clock watching.
Stay hungry and find work, not jobs.