The Public Relations professional’s dictionary, an extract from the Zen of PR Thai language pocket book series, available from all good book stores in Thailand, and also at:
Third-party sites or printed publications which source and run stories from other media organisations but which may not be part of the same operating company or group – often in overseas markets.
Overview (summary) of a person’s professional career, current role, professional objectives and personal situation in reference to their own career-building, be it personal or in business.
The boilerplate is a standard appendix which goes at the end of a press release. Once created, it can be added to the bottom of all of your future releases, until such a time as the information on it changes. It should begin with an About Section, which gives one or two short paragraphs about your company; just a simple statement which echoes any pre-existing text you may have in your company brochures or on your web site. Something like, “XYZ Property is a leading developer of boutique condominium projects in South London. The company specialises in mid-rise high-yield developments of exceptional quality. Previous successful projects include The Maltings Residence and Victoria Tower, New Street.”
Written or spoken (or preferably both) instructions to the writer to prepare a press release. The quality of the brief has a heavy leaning on the quality of the resulting press release. It should cover the communication objective, key messages, product and brand info and any other stuff crucial to preparing an effective release.
A type of press release which highlights a future event. Text is typically short, highlighting only key points of the event intended for inclusion in the events diary of newspapers and news web sites. We’ll cover this in the next volume.
Coherent messaging describes the effective alignment of all of your corporate communications to the public via the media across all of your communication channels. A radio interview about your new factory should carry the same underlying message as your newspaper article on the current jobs market – that you are a leading company, and that whether you are talking about your expansion plans or your recruitment strategy, you will always come back to your key messages, be they about your brand, product or operations.
The actual reason for writing the press release, and the strategic and tactical missions of the business which the press release is supposed to support.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Super-broad and often cringe-inducing lightweight collective realisation of an organisation’s desire, real or otherwise, to show it is a responsible member of the community. Often focusing on tiny fund-raising activities which give excuses for writing press releases (which in turn is cheaper than buying advertising), CSR messaging may be treated sceptically by editors. We will cover this in depth in a later guide.
The ability to produce a desired or intended result.
Two, three or four short and true statements which we are trying to get across to the media.
File containing visual representation of how the feature will look. It is composed of text, images and the columns and borders “laid out” by the magazine’s graphic designer.
Graphical and easily identifiable representation of the company’s brand (and also possibly representative of its brand hallmarks).
The collective group of people and organisations to which we would like to communicate and thereby sell our product, service, personal profile, brand qualities or key messaging.
Massaging (of facts)
Whilst never a good idea to submit false information to the media, certain facts or statistics can be presented in such a way as to make them more or less prominent or important. If your market share is a disappointing 9%, up slightly from last year’s crappy 8%, then that’s great news; your year-on-year performance has improved by a market-leading 12.5%.
Media Questions & Answers (Q&A)
List of possible questions you’re likely to be asked in any sort of interview. Make sure it’s tight and all answers reflect key messages.
Very, very rough guide for calculating estimated advertising value of a published story. Poor PR companies use this “industry-standard” measure to falsely inflate the value of the work they do. To work it out, you need to know the cost of a full-page advertisement in the publication divided by the percentage of the editorial space given to your published feature. Or rather, take any number between 1 and infinity, times it by any other number between 1 and infinity, and then times the result by 100 dollars. Voila!
Sub-site hosted separately to the company’s main web site, often to allow development centred on a single product and presented in a way that is unique from the main site.
The publishing of information by media outlets which is either incorrect or presented in such a way that it may be perceived in a way that is different to what the person making the statement intended.
Paying a company or individual to complete or take control of specific tasks or duties. Big companies outsource their PR to public relations companies, who in turn outsource their event management tasks to event management companies; it’s rather like a crippling expensive waltz.
Handy document format for PRs as it enables images and text to be combined and “set”, so partners and clients can review content and make notes but cannot change the information; ideal for PR contracts, but also perfect for editors to send to interviewees for fact-checking purposes (again, journalists, please do this!).
A word of dual meaning in publishing, as print articles are “set in stone” once printed, and subsequent to this, have a long “coffee table life” or half-life.
The act of giving selflessly; or, from a PR perspective, a common means of adding credibility to the marketing activities of a company or individual.
Positioning statement (or personal positioning statement)
A short statement from a company or individual indicating the way it/he/she wishes or aims to be perceived by the market.
A detailed document containing a written and graphically represented strategy of how the company or individual intends to use public relations in order to achieve their goals. The plan will typically contain a calendar of events presented in graphical format which outlines what is to happen, when and where, and how forthcoming events and activities will support the overall PR strategy. Don’t worry, we’ll look at this later.
The holding statement is a pro-active document, not a reactive one. It is produced in anticipation of the media contacting us for a response on a crisis story, and is NOT for general release (such as we would issue a press release or official response).
Official public relations announcement given to media organisations to declare one or a number of developments within a company (or by an individual).
Press release format
The layout of essential text, marking and composite elements which make up a press release. Releases are less likely to be dismissed when adhering to the accepted industry format.
Number of days between the magazine closing its doors for content (“close the issue”) and the final published magazine being run at the printers.
Relevance (in communications)
In the case of PR, the appropriateness of communications to their intended audiences.
The handy and potentially lifesaving backchannel, or “second chance to correction,” familiar to anyone who has watched Thirteen Days.
A typing (caps) style whereby only the first letter of the sentence is capitalised; the rest of the sentence is lower case. As the name implies, this is the usual caps style we use to prepare written sentences. Typically, only people’s names, titles, company names or product names are capitalised. This explanation has been written in sentence case, for example.
Small Medium Enterprise (SME)
Small to medium-sized companies which typically employ less than 200 people group-wide. SMEs can operate in any business sector. They are typically more agile than larger organisations but have less capital to support their growth or development. Staff within SMEs typically have to cover a wider range of business roles, as opposed to larger organisations which would have people or teams assigned to very specific roles.
Unwanted emails from people you don’t know. Formerly, they were from people in Lagos offering you free money; now they seem to all be about Delhi-based SEOs.
Turning negative facts or news into a positive (or at least defensible) response, often achieved by purposely deflecting the course of conversation or deliberately altering the point of focus.
A single point of contact appointed to act as the media reference person for the management of this particular crisis. Note that it may be different from the person normally designated to handle media communication on a day-to-day basis, depending on the individual’s specific product knowledge, complaint-handling ability or visibility/reputation in the local media.
Star power (media magnetism)
The value that a person, event or object has in terms of attracting media attention to it or its activities. A factory open day event may not be very interesting, but if the US Ambassador will be there for photo opportunities, then so will the media. It’s that simple.
A relationship in which both members simultaneously need or benefit from the partnership with the other member (who is likewise co-dependent).
In terms of media, the reprinting of content in different territories by affiliates (or different business divisions) of a publishing house.
Unique selling points (USP)
The stand-out things that make your product or service special, different, important, superior or novel in the marketplace.
(Includes first chapter of book one and book two).
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org (เดวิด สวินเฟน) and get the introduction to both Zen of PR books sent to your email today …
Phetpraguy Publishing is pleased to introduce Zen of PR volumes I and II, a Thai language business/lifestyle pocketbook enabling all kinds of people to access the power of professional public relations to grow their business or public profile. Sold nationwide in Thailand by leading retailer Se-Ed, Zen of PR is priced at 155 Baht per book, placing top level PR expertise and advice within the reach of all; small business owners, entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, bar owners, students, models, MCs, TV presenters, musicians, sportspersons, designers, photographers, social media users, DJs, chefs, marketers … everyone.
Book One (“PR Yourself to Success”) offers advice on understanding how to use PR, how to design positioning communication for a company or a person, preparing documents, handling interviews and dealing with unexpected problems in print and social media. Book Two (“Rising Celebrity, Growing Business”) expands the range of advice to encompass strategy building and working in digital/social media. Its advice covers building relationships with media professionals, managing a following/fan base, publicising events and managing a crisis.
Together, the two books offer a complete course on Public Relations skills, broken down into everyday language that can be understood by anyone, from sole traders and ‘small-time’ artists right the way up to experienced directors.
David Swinfen, author of Zen of PR, explains, “My original concept for the book was ‘PR for Everyone.’ I have learned so much in my four years working with Vivaldi Public Relations, one of Thailand’s top PR firms, that I wanted to share knowledge, good practice and useful skills with people who could benefit and really need help – people who have either a small business (or just an idea for one), or an independent skill like photography or MC’ing, but have no money to grow their profile through marketing or by using a PR consultant.”
Zen of PR was named for its calm, straightforward and delightfully honest appraisal of how people interact with the modern world; in business, in social networks, and in their digital platforms – these are chaotic spaces that the book cuts through in a straight line, pulling no punches as it goes. “Both books provide the knowledge to amplify and communicate the things that are positive and exceptional about ourselves, and to make other people aware of how hard we work and what we can achieve – even if the reader is still at university and has not yet entered their chosen career,” said David.
This means the book could theoretically be placed into the hands of anyone and offer immediate benefits. The same principles offer tangible benefits to CEOs and marketing strategists at top international companies as they do for street traders and those working in jobs they hate who are looking to create new and exceptional opportunities for themselves.
Zen of PR: PR Yourself to Success and Zen of PR: Rising Celebrity, Growing Business are available now at Se-Ed and other leading stores nationwide. Priority review copies are available; please contact Pattaranit.email@example.com (Poom).
About the Author
David Swinfen is a public relations editor, magazine contributor and journalist. His writing has been featured on the covers of magazines globally, with over 200 published articles and countless successfully concluded media communication projects.
His work in public relations over the last half a decade has seen him consult with some of the world’s most loved brands, his writing coursing through the PR campaigns of Jaguar Land Rover, TNT Express, Dell, Ford Motor Company, Fujitsu, Remy Cointreau, Reader’s Digest, Accor Hotels, Sheraton, Glenfiddich, Regent Hotels and Guinot Skincare.
Swinfen’s articles have featured on the covers of some of Asia’s finest magazines, such as 2 Magazine, Glamor the Secret Society, Thailand Tatler, Tropical Living, In Residence, Global Coffee Review and Director Magazine.
He is dedicated to offering his experience of public relations in a brutally honest, charming, edgy and fun way, for the enjoyment of people not just in business but from all walks of life.
PR contact and priority review copies:
Pattranit Imampai (Poom)
Vivaldi Public Relations
Mobile: 089 893 4819
Tel: 0-2612-2253 ext 107
Mazda are calling it Jinba Ittai. It means oneness with the car, or the ‘horse and rider’ effect. I prefer to look at it as placing a palm on the road surface, changing direction through intention and feeling the short overhangs pivot around one’s waist with no hesitation or imbalance. It is the oneness specific to piloting a small, light driver’s car – not an easy thing to find these days.
Keen drivers know something about small cars that the general public does not; they are fun in a way that larger, more powerful cars are unable to be. A small footprint, low inertia, a tiny, fast-spinning flywheel and the subliminal sense of being pushed forward by an enthusiastic partner with strong communication abilities – James Hunt had a Mini; Enzo Ferrari had two. If this is how you want your mountain roads served up, there are very few places to eat in 2014; doubly so if you’re bound to the Asia Pacific, where high import taxes prohibit Europe’s masterclass of affordable small-hatched hard-chargers from being an option.
And so, as a niche maker (based on volume, and happily, world outlook), Mazda has identified a potential slab in the market – the small car buyer who is happy to spend more money to get something sporty and fun. It’s a bold play given that most sub-compacts in the eastern hemisphere are dreary, mass-produced bland boxes with automatic gearboxes and – for Christ’s sake – CVT. It’s a lamentable shame that there has been no other small driver’s car before now.
Enter the Mazda 2. And it’s GOT to be epic.
Firstly, it looks fantastic. I’m not going to discuss the Hazumi, Soul in Motion, the winking vagina grille or the other stuff you’ve read about elsewhere. It looks great in photos and it’ll probably look better in the metal. On the way to the office this morning, I noticed even the existing seven-year-old Mazda 2 still looks fine, and so this new iteration is gonna rock for visual residuals.
It’s the inside where the money’s been spent, and that’s the defining exception for this entirely new Mazda 2. Gone are the lunch tray plastics, rattling door panniers and Back to the Future orange alarm clock displays; what we have now is a proper sense of occasion. The wraparound logic of a sports car interior, made all funky and up-to-the-minute with an iPad welded to the dash, a head-up display to encourage you to play Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone whilst attempting a carrier landing, visual warnings which trigger in the mirrors when you’re about to kill a drunk motorcyclist, and leather … white leather (albeit not from a cow), covering the bits of the car that should traditionally have leather on them. It’s fantastic, and if the drive is anything as good as the interior ambiance, it will be the most complete small car for a generation.
We’re still waiting for confirmed numbers, but crowdsourcing from the internet (always the most reliable and accurate way) suggests 970Kg and 114 BHP in Thailand form; that’s about 117 brake per tonne – hardly hair-raising, but then the pace you’re going to derive from this thing is when you’re hanging on to it sidewards – 114BHP that’s always available to you at any moment or in any angle of entry or exit. It will be quick in a way that faster cars are not (if that’s a graspable concept), and doubly so on blind, undulating switchbacks. Remember that bit on Forza Motorsport? The impossible race where you were pitted against a crappy Japanese tuner car on the twisting mountain Road, and could never win, no matter how much power you rocked up with? Well, here’s a car manufacturer that’s just brought the experience to life.
At around 760,000 Baht for the top model, it’s not exactly cheap. And I didn’t want it to be. Actually, I wish it was more expensive. I wish it had even more kit, or more power. I wish it was a lot more expensive so Mazda could have done everything possible to make this the best small car in the world. But they couldn’t, so they’ve just built the world’s best small car for the money.
Bring it on Mazda 2; the mountain roads of Kao Yai are calling.