Tell your story with a sizzle and achieve tangible results

PR tip of the day: Remember to create some buzz when writing stories about your organisation’s achievements. As well as admiring your bright ideas, your audience will be impressed if you convey the enthusiasm which impelled you to achieve your results, and equipped you and your colleagues to tackle further developments. Your secret lies in identifying and possessing your own solutions – and serving them up with a sizzle!

Many organisations, large and small, will use a sledgehammer to crack a nut when seeking change. And achieve nothing.

A common mistake is to employ consultants who tend to concentrate on their own consulting product rather than identifying improvements leading directly to tangible results for the client. They are confusing means with ends and processes with outcomes. Large sums are wasted on research and analysis leading to activities rather than effort leading directly to results.

The current Channel 5 programme The Hotel Inspector, with Forte-family expert Alex Polizzi, is a good example of using tactical means to deliver measurable bottom-line results.

A hotel business is failing; the owners seek her help in turning the business round. Does Alex get in consultants or go away for weeks to prepare reports, strategies and recommendations? No, she agrees key goals with the client and identifies the projects that will deliver those goals directly. Usually the business is already too run down to be able to afford consultancy methods – they need a quick fix.

Alex – having examined the hotel, sampled a night’s hospitality with breakfast, interviewed the proprietor and probed the business’s finances – identifies the key weaknesses and suggests key improvements to be started right away. Sometimes she will give the hotelier all the work to do, such as redesigning a service or menu, or she may volunteer to refurbish the restaurant or a bedroom suite as an example for the hotelier to follow.

Consequently the client feels empowered by working on their own, achieving improvements and developing a clear idea of the next moves. Each TV programme confirms some measure of improvement and promise for the future.

The same can apply to any organisation, whatever its size, where improvement is needed. The secret is to identify a few key areas, such as lowering costs or service redesign. By addressing the issues directly, the management move from being victims of a problem to being their own problem solvers. In the process they develop the confidence to extend the process and tackle further issues.

Money is spent only where it is really needed, directly and quickly achieving tangible results. This gives the organisation something new to shout about. The changes provide the material for positive publicity. Reinforce your story by illustrating the human element.

Catch the imagination of your target audience and lead them to talk about your achievements by sharing the enthusiasm which led you to improve the efficiency and efficacy of your organisation.

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