Recently I witnessed a business networking event being organized. A high-profile, out-of-town speaker was engaged and the event was ready to go. However, some big mistakes were made and are worth learning from:
- The organizers did not check the calendar carefully enough. The event clashed with a night football match, which reduced attendance.
- The event was held in mid-winter, and sure enough, the weather discouraged some attendees from showing up. Seasonal influences are important.
- The speaker spoke for what seemed forever – for over an hour, which is a basic mistake, even if he was trying to provide value for money…
- When it was clear that a significant number of people were not going to show up, the organizers should have taken away spare chairs. It always looks bad at an event if there are far too many seats for the number of attendees.
- The organizers should have invited some business journalists or at least provided media with copies of the speaker’s notes. Even if attendance was disappointing, the event hosts could still have reached a million readers through the State’s main newspaper by publicizing the speaker’s observant points.
Some valuable reminders from this expensive event.
Capitalize on the power of Images
Recently in this newsletter I reported on a trend towards using more visuals and graphics. For example, we are seeing that trend with infographics and similar. If recent surveys are to be believed, people are becoming less and less engaged with words (the mainstay of PR) and more interested in images. Or perhaps it is a case of being bombarded with too many sales and marketing words.
“What grabs visitors to Facebook are images and graphics,” said Jan Zajac, CEO and cofounder of Sotrender, in a recent report.
“Using catchy words in posts doesn’t seem to increase engagement,” according to the study of 111 brand pages and more than 2,888 posts in four industries in the UK. “It proves Facebook users get insensible from constantly repeated phrases.”
Personal relationships are the biggest distraction at work
A new survey has found employees are more distracted at work by personal relationships than they are by mobile phones or social networking. The findings are different from some other surveys.
Around 22% of employees surveyed said personal relationship issues were their biggest distraction at work, in a poll of 1,236 workers conducted by ComPsych Corp. in the US.
Only 4% said personal communication tools such as a mobile phone, email, instant messenger or social media were the top distraction in the workplace.
A far bigger distraction was the “co-workers who want to chat,” with 19% of respondents reporting this as the biggest reason they aren’t getting work done.
About 16% said “challenges with work relationships” were their top distraction, and 15% said financial/legal problems were the issue most interfering with their ability to concentrate and get work done.
ComPsych said employees are using online communications at work, but many simply don't view them as a distraction. "They see these things as helping them keep in touch. They are meaningful but not a distraction," a spokesperson said.
Intranets become social
The biggest problem with intranets is they are passive – until now. Corporate intranets are a source of much valuable internal information, but people have to be motivated or reminded to use them.
However, new software creates a social element to intranets, creating interaction between people in a similar way to a social network. It turns the intranet from a static news source into a hub of communication.
Employees can create their own profile and control what people and content are of interest, and decide where and how frequently they want updates (daily, weekly, monthly instantly). Interesting new development!
Until next time,
Principal, Cutting Edge PR