January is all about making changes. You might be committing to ‘Veganuary’, or, like us attempting ‘Dry January’ (reluctantly). Either way, the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to set goals and master good habits in both your personal and professional life, as well as breaking the bad.
Here is the Jammers’ list of New Year’s resolutions for 2016:
• Read for pleasure
Mark Zuckerberg’s resolution for 2015 was to read two books each month, and if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for us. According to Michael Hyatt readers make better leaders; it de-stresses you, makes you a better communicator, and broadens your creative mind.
2016 marks the creation of the JAM Reading Club; ‘Exposure’ by Helen Dunmore and ‘The Blade Artist’ by Irvine Welsh are at the top of our list. Read our 2015 blog post on being a bookworm for more literary inspiration.
• Refine presentation skills
As dedicated PR professionals, we are always looking to develop our skills. Improving the delivery of presentations is something that all PRs should work towards in order to communicate better with clients, potential clients, colleagues and journalists. One of the ways we aim to do this is by banning passive phrases and using direct language such as ‘I will’ and ‘I am going to’ when addressing our audience. PRs should avoid ‘wishy washy’ phrases such as ‘you should perhaps consider’ and ‘I was just thinking’. Clear, simply-worded statements are often the most effective and will garner trust and understanding from your audience.
• Be more direct in emails
The same direct style of communication applies to emails, too. If you’ve not already seen former Google and Apple employee, Ellen Petry Leanse’s opinion piece, it’s definitely worth a read. She believes the word ‘just’ is over used in emails and makes the sender sound subordinate and passive. Striking the word out will almost always strengthen and clarify your message. Try it yourself; we did, and she’s right.
The Jammers are also in debate about opening emails with ‘I’, as some suggest this immediately sends a message that you are more important than the person you are communicating with. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this… Tweet us @JAM_Manchester.
• Master the Twitter pitch
The PR industry is heading towards a fully digital approach, utilising content such as video and infographics to communicate key messages. Grabbing the attention of journalists via Twitter, rather than in an email or on the phone, is an increasingly effective way to execute a pitch. According to a report by Triggertrap journalists make up almost 25 per cent of all Twitter users, so mastering a Twitter pitch is an invaluable skill for all PR professionals. We’ve already seen great success from doing this in 2015, and pledge to use Twitter as a pitching platform even more in 2016.
We wish all our lovely friends, followers and clients a successful 2016, and if you would like to know how the Jammers could help your business this year, please contact Jaime@jampr.co.uk.