Bulletin No. 8 | March – April 2002

Topics in this issue

REMARKS FROM THE EDITOR


Working smart can be confusing, especially for recent graduate or young professionals. As we progress in our career, we discover that we will need to handle ambiguous situations constantly. The nature and scope of our responsibilities, how to interact effectively with colleagues, how to get things done, decide how much risk to take. It’s just part of the nature of being a successful professional in a rapidly changing work world.

In this edition, your editor has chosen a tip of a month – How position yourself to overcome skepticism. A complete tip from A to Z on handling crisis communication will give you some guidance on how to anticipate the unexpected. If you deal with human resource management, you’d better reflect how you transfer your positive attitude to your colleagues. In the management track you will find the expert advice on how to be a more tolerant, likeable, and respected manager. Whether you work for a not-for-profit organization, government agency, or a corporation, you will be able to adapt those strategies and tips to your situation.

Reading, talking and trying, will play a role in your learning process. It’s really a matter of leading with your strenght. Make it easy on yourself and go with what works best for you. Enjoy your reading!

Best wishes, 
Elizabeth Goenawan Ananto
Editor


TIPS OF THE MONTH

Positioning Yourself to Overcome Skepticism

You cannot always control circumstances. But you can control your own thoughts. In today’s skeptical environment, how you position and present yourself to your customers and prospective employer determines how much access to the marketplace you can ultimately achieve.

How can you position and begin to present yourself effectively?

  1. Begin by focusing in the buyer’s perspective
    • What does the customer, the prospect in the marketplace want to see in someone like me?
    • How important I am to “You” and how I can make you sure that I’m the right one for “You”. 
  1. Keep things in perspective
    • How serious a setback to my long-term objectives is this situation?
    • How serious is this situation when I compare it to what others around me are going through?
    • How upset will I be about this one month from now?
  1. Avoid using negative self-talk in your personal and professional life
    • Negative self-talk reduces your ability to be positive
    • If you’ve had bad experiences, you can educate yourself to response positively to them
    • Speak to yourself in ways that reinforce your effort and esteem
  1. Practice self-control. Learn to  limit your depression
    • Every time you walk into a prospecting situation, you are on stage.
    • Think about what it is you-re trying to accomplish.

Feel bad? Shake it off, prepare for your next opportunity

Your opportunities are in the future, not in the past

Source: Endless Prospects – C. R. Weylman


COMMUNICATIONS

Crisis Communication from A to Z

Agnes Huff, Ph.D has the following suggestions that can help you manage communications in the event of crisis and protect your company’s reputation.

  • Always prepare for a variety of crisis situations
  • Be realistic about the outcome expected
  • Communicate with empathy, compassion and care
  • Develop a communications plan for your team and train them 
  • Enlist the help of others internally and externally 
  • Form an inclusive communications team 
  • Get the crisis behind you as quickly as possible
  • Help the media as much as you can
  • Incorporate internet strategies in your plan
  • Just do the right thing
  • Keep your cool. Stay in control
  • Look before you leap or you will be in big trouble
  • Maintain an appropriate sense of humor throughout the crisis
  • Never go off the record
  • Open the door to two way communications
  • Prepare your 3 key messages before your briefings and stick to them
  • Questions all potential crisis strategies and ask ‘What if’
  • Respect and respond to media inquiries quickly and professionally 
  • Stop to talking when you are finished
  • Think before you speak
  • Underestimate the power of media at your own risk 
  • Verify all information – no matter how reliable the source
  • Work hard to coordinate, cooperate and solve issues a they arise
  • Xerox paper so you don’t lose critical information 
  • Your reputation depends on how you handle the media. And last of all …
  • Zero tolerance for media distortion, inaccuracy and bad press

Presented in PRSA International Conference, Anaheim, CA


PUBLIC RELATIONS

Profiling Indonesian Practitioners

Public relations should be an approach more than a technique.

It is a framework that ensures consistency and maintains transparency, not a means to hide uncomfortable facts as a result of management defect.

  • A study by W. J. Keegan reported in The Administrative Science Quarterly in 1994 of the information sources drawn on by senior management found out that ‘public relations people are good sources of competitive information because they hear so much. Even if they are not directly involved, they are in the grapevine’.
  • A survey of 292 respondents (Ananto, 1997) found out that the majority of respondents were in-house practitioners (85%), educators and instructors (4%), independent consultants (6%), observers and others (5%). The respondent worked in private institutions (49%), state-owned companies (12%), educational institutions (11%), PR consultant (10%), government offices (7%) and others. 
  • Another study (Ananto, 2001) of 144 respondents found out that the respondents worked in private institutions (48%), state-owned companies (32%) and multinational corporations (20%). 73% of the respondents had internal and external publics to handle, 16% handle internal and only 11% handle external public. Working as Staff (52%), Manager (39%), and Director (9%), the respondents were in-house practitioners (66%), academia (18%), Observer (9%) and Consultant (7%). Length of service in public relations positions range from 5 – 10 years (36%), less than 5 years (30%), 10 – 15 years (21%) and more than 15 years (13%).Most of the respondents came from social science as much as 84% and only 16% had acquired exact sciences. The monthly salary ranges from less than 3 million rups (16%), between 3 – 5 million rups (50%) and 34% of the respondents were salaried more than 6 million rups. 
  • Both studies indicated that the higher the responsibility of a of practitioner is holding in a management position, the greater the demand a person has to acquire management science. It also found out that the more strategic the position of a practitioner in management position, the lesser tendency towards female practitioners as perceived to be the dominant figure in public relations practice. 

(Ananto, 2001)


MANAGEMENT

Those Who Care Will Gain the Respect

People do not pay attention to what you know, unless they know how you care for others. Communicate your care to others, then you can ask them to do something for You. people give responses if someone is sincere. It does nor mean that you give something. It really means that You have your personal interests so that you treat them well. 

They are not robots. They have feelings, they want to get appreciation, get respect. If you treat them like robots, you may probably get some output but you never get maximum creativity or something that can change your organization. If you treat your people unfairly, their unhappiness will be reflected in the way they do their jobs. Yet, one reminder that sincere is everything. It will be worse if you pretend to be sincere. Your people are able to ‘read’ you. If you are not sincere, they do not only think that you don’t care, but you are trying to cheat them. You gain no respect from them.

Mind You – For most people, it is just a work!

  • You seem to hire your people’s behavior, not their soul. You have the right to claim for productive and professional work in the office. But, do not expect them to do like you do after office hours.
  • Don’t expect your people to have the equal devotion like you do to your work. The reason is simple: You are the boss and you see work from different perspectives. Only a few people want to be in management. Support them well, yet only few people are exceptional. 
    The problem will arise when a boss wishes to work overtime (like he does) ; goes home late and carries work home (like he does) ; puts aside personal interests and families (like he does) ; As work is the centre of his life (most management think that work is everything).
  • Managers and leaders should act as models, yet there is a clear distinction between a role model and a hidden pursuer. Most people like to do the job, being productive and their work is appreciated personally and financially, but then they leave the office to enjoy their personal lives with families and friends. They do not want to ‘work mentally’ in 24 hours a day. 

If this unwritten role violates, there will be a greater chance towards dissatisfaction among employees. If you create this kind of gap, you’re the one who takes a risk. 

  • How do your employees perceive your attitude to your work and to your personal life? 
  • How do you distinguish between ‘giving an example’ and ‘claiming’?
  • How do you make a balance between your work and your personal life?

(Source : Reflections for Managers, B.N Hyland & M.J Yost)


HUMAN RESOURCE

Transforming Employee Attitudes: Positive Success Principles

Positive attitudes, behaviors and language are the most critical ingredients, supported by constant application, interpretation, and examples provided by organizational leadership. Virtually all studies of employee satisfaction show that influencing employee attitudes is more effectively done by local managers and supervisors than by any other force within a business or organization. 

  • Here are the most powerful principle-based techniques and behavior management must use if it truly hopes to redirect, redefine, and refocus how employees think, speak, behave, and achieve in their work environment. 
  1. Be constructive
    • Seek to make and solicit positive, constructive suggestions, every day
    • Seek out useful questions to answer every day
    • Critique performance constructively
    • Help others benefit more than you do
  1. Be positive
    • Teach others to have fun and celebrate some success every day
    • Use positive declarative language
    • Reduce the use of negative language
    • Eliminate negative emotional words
  1. Be prompt
    • Do it now. Ask it now. Answer it now. 
    • Fix it now. Sell it now. Attack, attack, attack
  1. Be outcome focused
    • Learn positive lessons from adverse situations
    • Focus on today and tomorrow
    • Commit to forward momentum
  1. Be reflective
    • What could you have done more or less often?
    • What could you have done to make something better?
    • Could you have conducted yourself differently and more consistently

(Source : How to Develop the MInd od a Strategist, Lukaszewski)


MARKETING

Traditional Business Card

How to put your future in the palm of someone’s hand.

Why are business cards important?

Think business cards as a mobile, one-dimensional version of yourself. An effective card is arguably the most valuable marketing tool you can have in building a business. A business card creates and makes a statement about who you are and how you conduct your business. A business card is 

  • An image builder
  • A first powerful impression that can judge you positively or negatively
  • A conveyer yo your personality
  • A unique insight into what you stand for
  • A reflection of your soul in business
  • A visual and representation of you

What should I put on my business card?

  • Include all your contact information : name, company, address, phone, fax, e-mail, webpage, if you have one
  • Include your logo, and be consistent with yours stationery and other printed materials
  • Use color stock or color ink. Gold or silver accents add an elegant touch
  • Use the back for your mission statement or testimonials
  • Use the back for a brief biography or product description

What are some business card don’ts?

  • If you have any contact change, don’t cross them out and write the new ones by hand. Print new cards
  • Don’t even think about putting a sticker over the outdated information. Get new cards. It’s your image we’re talking about
  • Don’t use neon card stock. It’s too hard to read the print
  • Use thicker letter rather than fine, skinny letters
  • Don’t use all capital letters, they are too difficult to read
  • Don’t use too many typefaces. The space is too small variety
  • Don’t use script or such fancy fonts, the image is less professional

Note : If you travel or do business overseas, have cards printed in both languages. Be careful with the translation. Words in one culture don’t always mean the same in another. Avoid socially unacceptable errors. 

(Source: Print’s Best Letterhead & Business Cards, R.C Publication Staff)

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