For some of you, DSEI probably feels like a distant memory – the question is, did it deliver everything you wanted, or was it like a three-day hangover you’d rather forget? There was certainly buckets of excitement at DSEI this year and my feet are still paying the price, but all in all, completely worth it. With coverage in every single Show Daily and several successful interviews with key defence press, we can safely say we had a fantastic show! But what’s next? It needn’t end there – here’s some hints and tips to maximise every penny of your investment.
1. Follow up – even if there is no specific reason to follow up, it’s always good to touch base with the journalists that you met at the show, or the journalists who may have stopped by the stand and left a business card. This is how we build and maintain strong relationships with the media.
2. Editorial calendars – Review the editorial calendars of your top 5 publications and speak to the Features team about interview opportunities/contributions. They are more likely to now have some breathing space to talk to you.
3. Thought leadership – It’s worth talking to your experts who attended the show to see if they have any particular views/opinions on the show – or maybe some of the presentations sparked ideas that you could turn into thought leadership articles.
To help you in the aftermath of DSEI 2017, we’ve created a useful guide to upcoming features in key international defence publications with the submission deadlines. You can download your free guide here now . Note, we will ask you for your business email, but we promise not to spam you.
With 3 weeks to go until DSEI, you should now be well on your way to identifying what material you have for your press pack. There are lots of opportunities to engage with media not only during the show but also before – but you need to act fast! Here are some handy tips to consider:
1. Show Dailies:
Think about offering your news under embargo to the show daily contacts – this could give you greater leverage and an increased chance of securing those all-important column inches. Industry leading publication, Jane’s is once again producing the glossy magazine, as well as managing the online news portal so get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Images are crucial:
Good quality photography provide you with the perfect opportunity to bring your story to life. Don’t send out news without images. And remember, they have to be at least 300dpi (dot per inches) for any magazine to be able to consider them.
3. Make contact now:
Have a clear idea on which journalists you want to engage with at the show and start talking to them now. Their diaries will fill up fast – don’t leave it too late!
4. It’s not just about news:
Ensure that your press pack also includes any recent thought leadership articles or abstracts in development. This will stimulate interest with Editors and provide you with a strong hook to securing press interviews for your subject matter experts.
5. Maximise distribution:
Formulate your press pack and make sure you send what you can to both the CMS Strategic team at: email@example.com as well as ADS Group if your stand is in the UK Pavilion. Contact email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a huge amount of excitement around this year’s DSEI and Lorraine and I can’t wait to be a part of it. If you’re looking for more advice or guidance on how to maximise media strategy, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Either at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2 weeks’ time, the floor at Infosecurity 2017 is going to be buzzing with people. The question to ask now is: can I be doing anything now to prepare/plan my social media communication? The simple answer is yes of course. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram can all provide you with an opportunity to shout about all the exciting things your company is doing. Here’s some top tips that you can be actioning now:
1. Follow, Follow, Follow.
Take a look at your Twitter account and make sure you’re following everyone who you believe can help you get your message out further. Does the event have its own Twitter page? If so, follow it. Also, look at who you would like to connect with on LinkedIn and send out your invitations this week to maybe meet them for a coffee at the show.
2. Decide who will take charge.
Be clear on who is going to be the social media lead during the show and let them take charge on each of the channels mapping out what they can be talking about before and during the show.
3. Use hashtags.
@Infosecurity is the official hashtag for the show. Make sure you use this as part of your own company tweets. Also, with over 13,000 followers have a look at the show’s Twitter page to see if there are any useful connections you can make. Be an active participant in conversations linked to this hashtag and be willing to comment and retweet interesting updates.
4. Give credit where it’s due.
Try to include links to interesting content – this could be from your own website or someone else’s.
5. A picture speaks a thousand words.
Give people a sense of buzz and excitement of what’s happening on the ground either with pictures or short video clips. These could be of your own company stand or the exhibition floor. Smartphone cameras are amazing quality these days so this doesn’t have to be overly complicated with fancy/expensive equipment.
As with any form of communication, always think about what outcome you want from this activity. That way you can effectively measure success and look at ways of doing things differently next time round.
I believe that business leaders should have a media profile so that their customers and colleagues, current and future, can more easily identify and align with their ethos and, by default, that of the business. This is because, in the words of Simon Sinek, ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’. It makes sense for business leaders to clearly articulate their drivers in a way that is accessible to everyone involved with the delivery of their professional aspirations.
This is not a vanity or ego exercise. By clearly expressing who you are, what you stand for and what’s important to you, you are making yourself both visible and accountable. ‘I can do this in the privacy of my own office’, I hear you say, ‘why do I need a public platform?’ A public profile gives you the opportunity to connect with people outside your existing network who share your values and beliefs. A wider community of people offering a richer, deeper source of ideas and know-how that can help you to achieve your goals.
And on the flip side, not only can a proactive public profile help you to develop a tribe of loyal advocates who support and pass on your message, it can create a first line of defence in times of crisis; people in the community that believe in you and are prepared to fight your corner.
Many of us are fearful of the media. We expect our comment or contribution to be inaccurate or manipulated – or worse, we may be made to look foolish. Occasionally, the media get it wrong but in the main, journalists are professionals and they want to get it right. Yet, perception is your reality and this can be hard to shift. But imagine you were telling a child something important and they misunderstood a couple of times. Would you take the time and effort to explain in more detail or would you refuse to engage with them? If your business vision is important; give it a platform from which it can be heard, understood and valued. Think of journalists neither as experts nor enemies but as curious, well-connected people with excellent storytelling skills – isn’t that an opportunity worth grasping?
Effective communication requires you to take responsibility for achieving your desired outcome.
If someone does not respond to you in the way you had hoped, it’s usually because they don’t understand you and not because they are being deliberately difficult. In most instances, certainly in the work environment, people would prefer to collaborate and assist, rather than be deliberately obstructive.
Unless there is prior history which has created a block in the relationship or, you are asking them to do or consider something unusual, we have to assume it’s the communication that is flawed and not the person. You must take responsibility for ensuring the communication is understood sufficiently well so that the recipient is equipped to respond.
Effective communication, communication that provokes an intended response in thought, word or deed has become confused with, for example, butt-covering. Butt-covering is where you copy everyone you know in to every email irrespective of the quality of your email content.
I’ve heard people say its quicker just to email everyone in the team. This is not true if you then have to email each person again and again and then phone them and then meet them because no one understood what was required of them in the first instance because the message was badly thought out and poorly executed.
Bear this in mind:
• If you have a clearly defined communication objective, it’s reasonably straight forward to put in place checks and measures to see how well you’ve engaged the recipient(s).
• If something needs to be done it’s worth a conversation. This is your opportunity to get them to tell you what they think you’ve asked them to do and for you to clarify anything that isn’t clear.
• In a more formal environment you can get a show of hands or, use a feedback form to measure your success in achieving your objective.
Quality communication is not difficult but it does require thought and the application of a little intelligence. Anyone can write rubbish.
To write rubbish – just write, don’t think.
Great presentations flow because they have a structured argument designed to take you from your current perspective to a new one. The entire talk is tailored to carry your thoughts, opinions and judgements to a different place or point of reflection. Every phrase has a purpose.
This change in perspective is only possible with a clearly defined outcome or intention where each point or section leads logically to another, without hesitation. There is a subtle but vital difference between the task of giving a talk and the communication objective that underpins it.
Clarity of outcome is key to achieving new perspectives in the minds of the audience – assuming that the content is pitched appropriately (imagine the difference between the content of a talk about ‘the value of space travel to the human race’ delivered to a) pre-school kids and b) NASA astronauts. Confusion, distraction or boredom will only occur if an audience is unable to follow the logic of the presenter either because it is poorly pitched or because it lacks focus and intent.
A communication objective should provoke a response in thought, word or deed. Effective communication will provoke the response you intend. Never forget that communication without purpose is just noise
Do this one thing: next time you do a talk, set yourself a measurable objective and ask your audience for feedback. It will make you a better communicator, I promise.
I help engineers, scientists and technologists to be more effective communicators because I think they are awesome and want them to get the understanding and recognition they deserve. Sign up today for the next Presentation Skills & Networking workshop being delivered at RINA headquarters in London on October 19th 2016.