PR Tips From James Hoggan

For the last few years, local (local to Vancouver, that is) PR guru (and, tangentially, our client) James Hoggan has been publishing weekly PR tips in the Vancouver Sun. They're pretty elementary , but still useful reminders of what to do and what not to do in the thorny world of public relations. As it turns out, they've got over two years worth of tips on their website. Here are a couple of samples:

If You Can’t Fix it, Don’t Ask About it - A critical step in any consultation comes in conceiving the questions that you put to your audience. If you start asking for feedback on issues that you can’t – or won’t – change, you are setting them up for disappointment and yourself up for a heap of grief. So, define the parameters carefully and whatever questions you ultimately ask, be prepared to treat the answers seriously.

Public Speaking: The Risks and Rewards of Winging It - Most people have been impressed at some point in their lives by a speaker who could be scintillating off the cuff, who just seemed to grab one great idea after the other out of the air. So it’s tempting, as a presenter, to want to emulate that style. And in rare cases it could be the right thing to do if you have easy command of the material and if the risks of an error are negligible. But if the stakes are high – and you’re not completely confident – work up a prepared text. Even if you memorize it and only refer to it for prompts, the discipline may save you from making a serious mistake.

That's a big schwack of tidbits. Some are less useful than others (do we really need tips on 'a winning wardrobe'?) but the majority are worth reading. Especially, as Glenn Kelman recently recommended, if you want to do your PR DIY-style.