Protocol Preserves Image

The formal etiquette and code of behavior, precedence, and procedure for state and diplomatic ceremonies is vital. It should be considered by anyone planning an event.

Protocol practice is unquestionably associated with any communication process. Nevertheless, it is within the framework of Public Relations where protocol becomes a key part, given the need to adapt the message to specific ceremonial guidelines.

“Protocol is the art of creating a distraction free environment that permits the free and open exchange of information to resolve issues and build relationships in international business and global diplomacy.” (Frye, 2015)

The key part of this definition is “creating a distraction free environment”. International clients expect their rank to be respected, their religious values and practices to be honored, all logistics to be flawless and they expect any distracting issues to be resolved quickly. Distractions take a client’s focus off of business and results in the client feeling uncomfortable. This you want to avoid at all costs by doing your background check on invited guests.  One of the most important elements of protocol is order of precedence. It is critical to international businesses and governments.

Wrong seating arrangement courtesy of Google

Order of speeches also falls under protocol. The chief guest at a function should speak last. That’s the essence of a keynote speech. Strategic thinking must be involved in selecting your guest speaker. We do not want to make other senior people feel offended. This does not in any way mean that senior people are petty and take offense easily. It is just a standard procedure to do things rights.

Speeches should be carefully decided on based on the theme of the event. Image courtesy of authenticentrepreneurspeaker.com

Titles of address should be right, starting from the invitation card or email to the material day. It is an embarrassment for an organization if an MC accidentally refers to someone using the wrong title. When planning an event, you should spell the name correctly and use the right titles on the invitation material. The master of ceremony should also have notes concerning the important persons in attendance and their hierarchies in terms of seniority.

Most organizations maintain the official ranking of any government and military personnel from the president to junior staff officials.  Corporations dealing globally need to pay close attention to the order of precedence for their organization as well as the client’s. By doing so proper respect, introduction sequence and seating arrangements are always done correctly. Result: you will never inadvertently offend anyone.

Organizations need to have standard guidelines for protocol to be followed. This is a document that can be referred to by any team organizing an event.  At Twinkle PR, we coach organizations on development of protocol documents and other Public Relations material.

 

Networking tips

It’s time for one of those corporate meets. The unusual or the occasional types  that can lead to a beneficial business relationship or just a strong friendship that who knows might pay out in the future.

Courtesy of http://www.marbellafamilyfun.com

Events like these are numerous in the corporate world, and it is better to be prepared for them. They might range from cocktail parties, dinners, luncheons to simple meetings with an important person on an elevator. We call them Networking opportunities in the Public Relations language.
Here are some tips to always stay at the top of your game depending on whatever event.

Dress the part

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of us all?”. We can not over emphasize this point. You need to always package yourself right in order to be taken seriously and for confidence on your part. You would be amazed at the amount of confidence that oozes from a gentleman in a tie or a lady in six feet heels. Of course I am mentioning these as examples because every event requires its own code of dress.

Be informed

Nothing is as embarrassing as a stunning looking lady or gentleman without content. One should always ensure they stay abreast with the current news. This provides content for small talk. That’s how conversations and probably lasting friendships are made. Two years ago I went for lunch with some friends of a friend. I had never met them before. Turns out, they were in the renewable energy business and were surveying the country for possible setting up office.

As a student, I had just written a speech project on renewable energy. I could have never cared for the green planet cause (I do by the way), but due to my research on the topic, our conversation became so lively. One of the bosses in that organization ended up asking me whether I could work for them should they set up an office in the country.That is the power in research.

Courtesy of financesonline.com

Focus

You should never go to a networking event on an empty stomach. You are there for the purpose of meeting new people. I know the urge to gravitate toward the refreshment table is great. Resist the urge and talk to human beings, they don’t bite.

Business cardetiquette

Always have a card holder with you. How you treat people’s business cards says a lot about you. Somebody went through the trouble of investing in their brand by developing their business cards. Handle it with respect and show concern, if it does not interest you, at least there is no harm in feigning interest.

It is a good idea to jot some few notes about the person at the back of the card, so that you remember them. This also helps connect with someone when you make a follow up phone call. People will appreciate if you talk to them from a point of knowing something about them. This you would easily get as you ask about them during the first meeting. Uncle Google also has some great stuff on individuals so make him your friend.

Some people quickly get their wallets and slip the business card in, then return their wallets to their pocket which they end up sitting on. Guess what shape the business card will take. I rest my case.

Brand matters

How strategic are you with your brand?  This is perhaps the most important question that marketers of every brand should ask themselves. There are many products that compete for attention of that one consumer. Yes, it is one consumer that makes a thousand and even a million.

We have selected what we call the four Ps of successful brand. Try them and see your products and services flying off the shelves.

Packaging

It’s a subtle fact that the world treats you the way you treat yourself. If you do not take yourself seriously, neither will people take you seriously. Packaging is an integral part of your brand.

You should think through what you want and work towards attaining it. Packaging could be anything ranging from how we dress to how we brand our products. Ever asked yourself why some brands have so stubbornly stuck to people’s memories? For instance, there is a washing powder in Kenya that is used to refer to all washing powders in the market. I know it has already come to your mind if you are a Kenyan. For the purposes of remaining neutral, I will not mention it. The answer is branding that is a part of packaging.

Courtesy of Google

Peer Feedback

After packaging, it is a wise thing to test your brand through peers who will give honest feedback. Do not hurry to take your product to the market before testing the waters. This feedback helps you improve on the quality of your brand. Your ultimate goal is a two way traffic- satisfaction for your clients while at the same time, maximizing on your profits. Otherwise, you would not be in business in the first place.

Product Placement

Just like people do not light a lamp and place it under a table, so you do not go through all the trouble of developing your brand only to sell it in dingy places. It is like having a full tank Bugatti Veyron and driving it at 10Km/hr.That is an insult to the world’s fastest car.

Publicity

You’ve done everything according to the book, good job. The work is not yet done. You need to make noise about your products because they will not sell themselves. This is where social media, media campaigns, networking events come in handy. Go ahead shine and move your products.

Why stagnate when the key to mobility is in your hands? Come to Twinkle PR and get more tips.