July 31, 2008
Thanks to PRSA National’s Chair Elect, I found out some very interesting news….As reported in IR Web Report and elsewhere last night, the SEC yesterday has determined that “under certain circumstances, companies can rely on their websites and blogs to meet the public disclosure requirements under Regulation FD, according to new guidance unanimously approved by the US Securities and Exchange Commission today.”
This is a dramatic shift, but it is one the recognizes the changing communications landscape and the vehicles that key stakeholders use to research and gather information. This is no longer the mid 80s and 90s when I was using my 300 baud modem to dial up to Compuserve for my news, or using an MCIMail account. With the wide availability of the Web, its increasing role in breaking news, and technologies such as RSS and Atom (which the SEC chairman mention), it is high time this change occured.
There are subtleties to this ruling that I am still parsing (and reading about from others, such as Jennifer Leggio). There are stipulations. I am sure they are going to want to make sure the infromation is in a visible place and not buried on some obscure page. I would not counsel my public clients to changing things tomorrow – but we all need to read up and learn more about this.
The next few months are going to see some major shifts in the way people are approaching this, and I look forward to working with my clients and their CFOs and IR firms to navigate this new landscape. As PR professionals, we all need to be aware of this and what it can mean to our clients.
July 3, 2008
Recently, I have written and shared essays on how PR is like Golf, the Fung Shui of PR, and beyond PR Puppy Love. Now, in honor of the World Series of Poker Main Event starting today in Las Vegas – it is time to turn my attention to another essay – PR and Poker.
A few lessons PR pros can take from the best (and even pretty good) poker players.
- Practice, practice, practice—The only way to become good at PR and poker is to be engaged. Theory is great, but execution is key. Otherwise, you will run into a competitor who is a shark and who will eat you for lunch.
- It’s skill not hunches or luck—Many people don’t know it, but good poker play is founded on complex mathematics and a solid understanding of probability. The same holds true to PR campaigns. Have research to back up your plans. It does not mean to always be conservative. Sometimes research shows the odds are right to make the big gamble.
- Can’t eliminate risk—No matter how well you plan or how careful you are, you can’t eliminate all risk. No matter what you do, something bad may happen at the last minute. You get killed on the river. Plan for it and how you can recover.
- Know your opponent—Playing just your cards is OK, that is block and tackle PR. It may give you modest success, but to really win you need to get to know your opponent and competitors. Understand what they are likely to do, what PR techniques they are likely to use. This will enable you to seize the agenda and control play, rather than ceding the initiative to them.
- Some unpredictability is good—If you always follow the same style and the same actions at the same time, your competitors will be able to plan effectively against you. Change the timing of news, try new things, this will keep your competitors off balance.
- Information is precious—Your corporate brand is how you plan and what you show. Everything you do either helps or hurts you. Gather what you can from your prospects and competitors and the market. It will all help in the long run.
- Understand E—Understanding expected value is a great way to know if you should walk away from something that looks attractive in the short term but may hurt you in the long run (and vice versa). Don’t be seduced by an opportunity that looks too good to be true. Will it aid your brand and PR campaign in the long run? If not, walk away.
- You need others—PR and poker are not solo sports. You need friends – users, analysts, reporters and competitors. Cultivate your relationships.
- Always tip the dealer—Saying thanks when something goes well is always a good idea. This applies to the dealer in the casino, as well as the user who agrees to the case study.
- There is always another day—No matter how poorly things go, there is always time to recover. If you fail. Learn from your mistakes and start again.
What other anecdotes do you have to share about PR lessons from Poker? Leave a comment and have a great 4th. I will see you soon at a PRSA conference or at Foxwoods…