A time for reflection

I don’t do resolutions in business or personally but at the end of each year or start of a new year I do like to plan.  All the personal development books, bloggers etc will say planning is important for success, but after reading a blog post from Jenny Proctor at Bondfield Marketing I decided to give something else a try, which was reflecting.self reflection
Whilst I agree planning is imperative, I found that taking the time to reflect was eye opening and made the planning part easier. By looking back it gave me the opportunity to remind myself how far I have come and all I achieved in the previous year. It can be easy to get lost in focusing on the things that went wrong such as the business you didn’t win, the stupid thing you said at a party, the new followers you never got, the presentation you felt you messed up but a lot harder to look at your wins.

So I wrote a list of everything I had achieved which included winning some new retained clients, juggling business and a small child, running a PR workshop, drinking more water, attending a writers retreat, getting away with friends, exercising regularly, starting to networking again, making new friends and doing some personal development. Whilst to some none of this is earth shattering it gave me a buzz just taking a moment to look at all the things I had achieved. The list totalled 48 things on completion.

After doing the reflection Jenny suggested writing a list of things you want to do in the coming year and then categorise them into three sectors home/family, business and personal. When I wrote the first list of things I wanted to achieve in the coming year it looked a bit overwhelming but when I broke the list down into the three sectors (I used various coloured pens and images – I am a list and colour coding geek) it felt more do-able and exciting. I did find my shortest list was business, but I guess the lists will vary year on year. Here are some of my goals for 2020 which came out in the planning:

• Have more nights out with my husband
• Do #150hoursoutside project with my son
• Try and get away with my mum
• Grow my client base
• Run more 1-2-1 PR workshops
• Blog for business more (hence why you are reading this)
• Have a night away alone
• Start running again
• Write more for pleasure
• Try aerial yoga

I am going to keep referring back to my plans throughout the year and hopefully I manage to complete all the things I want to do.

How do you plan for the year? Do you just plan for business or for life in general? Do you reflect beforehand?

Let me know what works for you.

PR Tips 3: Crisis comms

Having  a crisis communications plan is a little like taking out insurance, everybody hopes they never need it but you could regret it if you don’t have it.

Many small businesses think they don’t need a crisis plan but, it is important to have one in place.  The key things I would advise SME’s to have in place are the following:

  • A spokesperson should a crisis occur.  It is best to have only one of two people involved with this  as everybody trying to comment could be a disaster.
  • Think about how you deal with complaints on social media.  I would suggest, never delete the complaint, respond to the complaint you want followers to see that you are dealing with the issue, have a specific person who deals with online complaints and don’t get into arguments with the customer/client on social.
  • If the crisis looks like it is going to spread make sure you communicate with stakeholders and customers (where relevant)
  • Devise a  media statement as soon as possible
  • Respond to any media enquiries in a timely fashion
  • Advise the team that any queries regarding the crisis must be directed straight to the spokesperson.  What you don’t want to happen is the first staff hear about it is when the press call and they respond without thinking.
  • In advance and depending on your business think about key messages and how you would respond to any of the following incidents  (where relevant)
    • accidents that injure employees or others
    • property damage to company facilities
    • liability associated injury to or damage sustained by others
    • production or service interruptions
    • chemical spills or releases with potential off-site consequences, including environmental
    • product quality issues

This is just a very brief overview and crisis comms can be a very in-depth and tricky area.  If in doubt hire a professional.