Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The Value Of Hiring A Professional Wordsmith

I once noted on Facebook that you know you have a popular profession when everyone tries to dabble in it. Such is the case with writing. Everyone believes that professional writers do something very easy. After all, everyone writes words. How hard can it be?

In fact, every word a professional communications consultant writes must be carefully considered and written with the knowledge and experience gleaned from their entire career.

I know, for instance, that a single improper word, whether written or spoken, can not only lose the trust of your reader, but can ruin a reputation or derail a campaign overnight.

Such was the case of George Allen, a Virginia Senator who was running for re-election in 2006, and planning a future presidential campaign.

During a campaign event, he made an unscripted remark when he referred to one of his opponent's staffers, who was there taking pictures, calling him "Macacca." The staffer was of Indian descent, and the word was used as a slur against brown people in India. 

The resulting media firestorm ruined his campaign and any chance for a future in politics.

This is among the primary examples I use when telling candidates for office that they must campaign from written speeches and ought not ever tweet or use Facebook themselves.

The same is true for a CEO of the major company, or a single businessperson just starting out in their profession.

Professional writers know what words to avoid, and not just obvious slurs. Avoiding the wrong words, phrases, slogans, context, tone, confusing jargon, trigger words, or trite sayings - and using the most effective words - can keep a message on track, either for a politician or a business professional.

Words have the power to move people to action, to inspire the mind, and to touch a human being's deepest emotions.

Words, therefore, ought to be chosen and used with great care and skill. Professional writers are worth having, and worth compensating fairly.

When so much rides on the written word, it just makes sense to have someone assist you who has made a career of writing. 

Consider Stephen Abbott of Abbott Media Group for your firm, campaign, or group's communications needs.


Stephen Abbott is principal of Abbott Media Group, located in Central Texas, but available remotely, worldwide. He brings decades of news media, political, and business writing skills, along with political and social media management skills to the table for every client.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

4 Ways To Build #Trust With Your Customers [Abbott Media Group]

People will do business with those whom they trust. Public Relations is an effective tool to help you build that trust with your customers.

There are several ways a PR can help you to begin to build trust with your customers and with future (potential) customers. Among the most important of them are Consistency, Courtesy, Care, and Community Involvement.

Consistency is a critically important factor in a business' future success. There's a reason why fast food restaurants, pet stores, hotels, and hardware chains, among others, are so popular. Ideally, they offer consistent service and products in multiple locations. Customers know they can get the same products and services offered for about the same price, wherever they go. For some, that may seem "boring," but customers actually yearn for boring over the alternative: inconsistent service and the inability to get their favorite products.

Public Relations professionals can guide a business to craft and disseminate standard internal policies, graphics and messaging that will help create a consistent experience for customers.

Courtesy is also an important factor in building Trust. If service is offered in a cold manner, or worse, in a rude manner, the bond of Trust between a customer and a business is broken. This is even the case in a long-term business relationship. There's no such thing anymore as a small incident of discourteous conduct. Even one incident in which a customer is treated poorly can ruin a company's reputation in this era of instant online reviews and cell phone videos.

A Public Relations professional can help isolate and identify areas in which internal standards aren't being met, and can, once those are addressed, help repair and rebuild Trust with customers who experienced a lack of courtesy during a business transaction.

Care is shown in a multitude of ways by a business, and customers recognize when it's not there, contributing to a lack of Trust. Products or services offered in a sloppy, slapdash way can instantly signal to the customer that the business doesn't really care about them. Caring isn't a small thing, it's a major thing, and in fact, should be a top concern of any business. If you're not in business to care for the customer, why are you in business? 

Care can be bolstered by proper training and internal messaging that makes it clear that business owners have high expectations of their employees. (Caring generates caring.) PR can deliver those internal messages in a compelling and clear way that leaves no doubt that Care is required from everyone.

Finally, Community Involvement can be a tremendous trust-building tool. While some effort should be made not to alienate a customer base with involvement in overtly political or controversial causes, showing concern for one's community is more than a gimmick to grab headlines.

Instead, it shows that a business is intimately tied to the community in which they do business, and that they care about their customers' well-being, not just as a source of cash. Public Relations professionals can help identify community activities that reflect well on a business and help this involvement lead to stronger feelings of trust with their current and future customers.

For more information about building Trust, visit Abbott Media Group at www.abbottmediagroup.com.