Crisis Management: 5 Dos & Don'ts

Crisis Management: 5 Dos and Don’ts

 

Crises are hard, you can’t necessarily predict their exact date for your planner. However, what you can do is prepare for how your organization will handle them. When planning for a crisis, here are 5 dos and don’ts to follow:

 

  1. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Often, after a crisis, your audience/the media may want exact answers of when things will go back to normal and how your organization plans to fix it. If you aren’t sure of an exact fact, then don’t promise it. Let the audience know that you’re doing your best to fix a crisis, but don’t let them think something is going to happen if you’re not sure of it.

  2. Do respond. Whether the crisis is your company’s fault or not, the worst thing you can do is shy away and ignore the problem. If you do this, expect the problem to build up resulting in an angry reaction. Respond with the information you have and the plans you’re prepared to take.

  3. Repeat your main message. Depending on what the crisis is, let it known that your organization has a purpose. If it involves safety, when addressing your public let them know that your main focus is the safety of your client.

  4. Have a main spokesperson. Who is a trustworthy person of your organization, who will deal with unexpected questions confidently? Identify this person, and have them speak to your public when a crisis -- or any issue from there on -- arises. This creates a trust and familiarity between your public and your organization.

  5. Evaluate. What went well? What needs to be changed? No one can plan a crisis, but you can learn from it. Adjust the areas that suffered throughout the crisis, or expand the areas that were successful.

How and Why Females Should Be Earning as Much as Their Male Co-Worker

 

As a female, I like to admit what we’re good at; we are strong, passionate, intelligent beings. Sometimes, I don’t think we get enough recognition for that. Specifically in the workforce. In recent studies, it was found that male executives earn 38% more than women. Seeing how strong our gender is, I take this as a challenge. 2016 is off to a strong start for our gender, from America’s first female presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, to the amazing Harriet Tubman being featured on the 20$ bill. Females are beginning to get the credit we deserve. Today, we have the ability to take advantage of the growing media coverage on gender discrimination, and to learn how to overcome it.

 

Women make up 47 percent of the workforce, yet earn about 75 percent of what the average male worker earns yearly.  

To avoid this...

 

In the interview, don’t settle. Women are more likely to accept a lower salary for a starting job than their male counterpart. Your potential employer may expect you, being a female, to accept a lower salary. Challenge what they offer, even if you feel otherwise. You deserve more, and by taking initiative, you have a chance to be successful with your request.

 

Don’t assume any job is a only a man’s job.  Studies found that women generally lose interest in math and science subjects as they advance in school, more so than males. This in no way reflects their intelligence, but the gender bias that is exacerbated in these particular subjects. Don’t sway from any subject/job just because people may assume it’s more in the male interest! You’ll most likely stand out, as being the female who ignored the gender border.

 

 

Already landed your dream job? Have you been at your job for at least 6 months and received positive reviews? Ask for a Raise. Along with women being more likely to accept a lower starting salary, they are also less likely to ask for a raise. LinkedIn studies found that only 27% of women had asked for a raise in their job, however about 84% received a raise when requested. Know your worth, because your employers are likely to know it as well.

 

 

“He” isn’t the only one in the office. In language, people generally use males as their subjects: “...he sent the office memo.  He used Adobe Suite to create the file.” In your next meeting, notice how often a male is used as the subject, and challenge that by using female pronouns more often.  

 

 

Is the term “sorry” all too familiar in your vocab? Quit it! In a 2010 study, it was found that men had a higher threshold for what they felt they needed to apologize for.  AKA, females say sorry more than men. As a female, you may be apologizing for a problem at work, for a run-in on the sidewalk, for taking an extra few minutes when ordering off a menu… all before realizing why you’re saying sorry. Are you actually in the wrong? Start to think twice about this, especially at work. Don’t constantly apologize if it isn’t your wrong doing. Stay strong in your opinion/choices… odds are you’re probably right.

 

Adjustments, both large and small, can help for you to get that raise. Get that promotion. Become Manager, Director, CEO… Strong, passionate, intelligent humans deserve all of above, whether they follow the work day with a pedicure or Budweiser. Know your worth!



 

Hiring a Social Media Agency?

     When was the last time you spent the day at the office without seeing someone scrolling through their iPhone? Last month? People have become addicted to their phone's constant news feed, making social media platforms the newest marketing trend. But how does a thriving social media account come about? The company may have created the account themselves, or (more likely) they hired help from social media agency. If this is what your business has in mind, then prepare yourself before you hire an agency.  

Consider what you already know about your business. Are you small, large, an entrepreneur?  What are your strengths within and what have you done that hasn’t been so successful?  When you’re able to pinpoint these, the agency you hire is going to be able to produce the best results. Your history and experience with your business is something that a social media agency -- no matter how great -- won’t be able to obtain.  

So, ask yourself these questions about your business:

  1. What is your brand? What message do you hope to get across?  When your target audience views you, do you want them to perceive your brand as “hip” and “fresh”, or having a less creative, more serious tone? The agency you hire may have their own expectations for your business, so be clear on what direction you want to take.

  2. Which marketing strategies of yours have failed, and which have created the results you wanted?  Targeting your previous failures and achievements will allow your social media agency to identify which strategies they need apply to your business, and which to avoid. The agency you hire can only do so much research, and may not be able to pinpoint what directions you've previously taken that have been a flop. This saves both time and money, for you and your agency. 

  3. Be honest.  What realistic expectations do you predict?  Tell your social media agency what results you anticipate. Don’t assume they are on the same page, vocalize your expectations from them and you’ll see valuable results.

Putting your brains together to discuss strategies will be your smartest marketing move.

 

 

5 Hump Day Tips

It’s called “Hump Day” for a reason. With two long days until Friday, you find yourself losing motivation in the office. How do you fix the laziness? According to science, here are some tips to increase your productivity:

  1. The night before a busy day, create a to-do list of what you need to do when you wake up. Often, we stress ourselves out laying in bed, remembering what we need to get done the following day.  If you schedule your Wednesday on Tuesday night, you won’t be constantly worrying about what you're forgetting.  With an itinerary, you’re able to allow yourself the right amount of time for each task --- making the day much less stressful and more productive.

  2. Exercise. Studies have found that by doing physical activity, dopamine is released in the brain and can lead to that “runner’s high”.   Whether you take a run, walk the dog, or play a game of frisbee -- the activity has the potential to drive your determination for the rest of your workday.

  3. Continue to be a coffee-fiend.  Need another reason to feel guiltless for that fifth cup of coffee before noon?  Coffee has natural supply of dopamine. It keeps you and your brain on the go. So, pour that next cup when you feel yourself drifting off. Guilt-free.

  4. If you’re stressed, talk about it. Call a buddy. Call your mom.  Find an ear who is willing to listen. The longer you keep something stressful to yourself, the longer it builds up and prevents you from staying focused. Being able to talk about your own life leads to greater productivity in all areas.

  5. Find time for yourself!  After you’ve made that list of things you need to do, create a list of things you want to do.  If your planner is only filled with work-related activities, then you may crash and burn. Set aside time to relax and enjoy yourself. While Wednesday is in the middle of the week, it's also a day closer to Friday than yesterday. Enjoy your time and it’ll go by faster.

 

 

5 Ways to Engage Your Audience Without Selling

You have a social media following, but how do you engage your followers without obviously selling your product? There are companies who know how to engage their audience on social media, and then there are the one’s who fail miserably.  The difference is selling your company’s brand rather than product.  You never want to make someone feel forced to buy your product. But, you can make them interested in how your brand stands out among the rest. Here’s how: 

1. Create audience participation:  Contests with prizes are a great way to compel your audience.  Are you a restaurant with a great bar selection?  Create an Instagram campaign.  Ask your audience to create a name for your newest martini.  If you are a clothing store, have your Twitter followers tweet a caption to a picture of an employee decked out in your best apparel.  Everyone loves a little competition, and make your audience their own competitors.  It creates a fun and memorable atmosphere for your business, without requesting your customer to buy a product.

2. Be Casual:  Do not ever seem desperate to sell your product.  If you have a special or sale, post about it an appropriate amount of times.  Once a day at most.  While it is good to remind your customers about your product, desperation is forever a turnoff.

3. Show interest in what your audience has to say Customers who buy your product have an opinion. Whether it is good or bad, show them that you care.  Create a poll, asking your customers for genuine feedback.  Respond to Yelp reviews.  Communication has been proven to be the main ingredient to success in any relationship, so consider this with your own employee-customer relationship. 

4. Be Relevant: What are you posting?  Are you posting pictures of your high school trophies, or of something relating to your business?  Your audience is following you not because of your personal life, but because of your company’s product.  That’s where their interest lies, so make sure that is your post’s priority.  If they are disinterested in your social media, they are likely to become disinterested in your product. Understand your audience to create content your followers genuinely enjoy.

5. Create a popular hashtag: And continue to use this hashtag within all your posts.  Let your customers know to use this hashtag when they post something which involves your business.  It helps audiences follow your content by clicking on the hashtag, and promote your brand throughout the social media community.  It isn’t exactly selling your product, but allows your business to avoid disappearing when you aren’t actively posting. 

 

Make Your Social Media Great

Social media can be exhausting.

It involves pinpointing a target audience, followed by posting at relevant times with strategic creativity. The job is underestimated. It’s almost like a layered cake, where the separate hidden layers are what make it great…

Who knew posting pictures could have this much to it? What you thought may be an easy task ends up being mentally draining. Additionally, when you’re running a social media account for a particular business, the job is even more grueling.

How do you keep your business’ social media successful, as well as staying successful in your day-job? A social media audit can help by giving you direction. It helps eliminate what you’re doing wrong, and where your strengths are. It finds the information necessary for maintaining an effective social media platform, helping you to keep your sanity.

A clear, cohesive message across each social media platform is critical in attracting your target
audience. Your followers initially followed you because they have interest in your business’
message and style. Keep this apparent in each post. And through which platform are you
sending this message? Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? For whatever content you’re posting, it should be catered around which platform you plan on using. A majority of Facebook users consist of the Baby Boomer generation. Instagram, however, is mostly occupied by Millennials and younger.

So, which platform you use should depend on your audience. What about the platforms that are newly trending? Snapchat and Tumblr being examples. These platforms allow you creatively demonstrate your content while reaching a wide array of audiences.

A social media audit will report and update suggestions for your own social media. It allows you to enjoy your social media strategy, knowing the outcome will be successful. Have your layered cake and eat it too!

Kickstart your social media audit today!

DIY Social Media Course for Small Business Owners

Are you a Small Business Owner looking to get started with Social Media?

Find yourself overwhelmed with all the social media platforms current and potential customers are using?

This DIY Guide to Social Media basics will help you get started, get confident and get posting. A proven method developed over years working with small business clients who were limited by budget and wanted to gain control of their online presence. With an easy to understand strategy (including checklist), cheat sheet guides to each social media platform and a spreadsheet for tracking results, you'll be a tweeting in no time!

IT’S TIME FOR AN AUDIT: SOCIAL MEDIA AUDIT

SOCIAL MEDIA AUDIT: ENSURE YOUR CURRENT EFFORTS, STRATEGY AND PAGES ARE OPTIMIZED

Are you maintaining social media for one or multiple pages ‘on the side’ while working a full time job? 

Maintaining a social media presence can be a full-time job, which can be challenging if your full-time job requires your time and attention be spent elsewhere. Social media profiles can quickly fall into disrepair if left alone / out dated. An in depth audit, with reporting and update suggestions can help get things back on track.

A key part to creating a successful social media presence is developing a clear content strategy, and ensuring all pages, platforms and messaging are consistent. One way to do this is conducting a social media audit. This assesses how well your current social media use works for you. There are many different steps involved when doing a social media audit, working with an external expert will run a thorough audit of all existing social media (including audience, reach and competitive benchmarks). Following the audit your reporting should provide a clear and easy to navigate roadmap where you are preforming well and what areas need improvement.

Are you on facebook, twitter and instagram (among others) all day, every day posting, linking, sharing till your mouse runs out of batteries?

On the flip side, you may be over-posting to your social media profiles, which leads to unfollows and loss in reach. While you may take great pain to keep everything updated and cohesive, without a clear strategy and content calendar your efforts can sink your social ship. Audits are helpful in these instances, too. They can serve as much-needed opportunities for reflection and growth.

To kick start your social media audit, visit our Small Business 'centric Social Audit package. 

Things to Consider before launching your Social Media Strategy

When working with social media, there area a number of businesses doing well with monitoring, and engaging... There are also many who are falling behind or missing the mark. We've found the common X factor between the two is STRATEGY those doing well have one. 

When you take the time to develop a social media strategy you are more likely to engage your target audience, post relevant content and meet your benchmarks / goals. Don't worry, this doesn't mean you have to plan every post, tweet, instagram and facebook post. Rather having a clear overall strategy (think: roadmap) you and your social media / business is working towards.

Ask yourself these  KEY QUESTIONS before kicking off a social media strategy OR engaging an agency to manage your social media. 

  • Resources: Do you or your team have time to manage and engage all social media?
  • Budget: Time is money allocate X time per platform is there value in working with an expert?
  • Tactics: How, When, Where, Why, What... There's a lot more that goes into social media than meets the eye
  • Platforms: New platforms seem to pop up daily. What are YOUR key platforms. Where is YOUR audience?
  • Competition: What is the competition doing? Evaluate what people are doing well, and use that as inspiration NOT carbon copy!

Without a clear strategy and answers to the questions above, you may do well... Why roll the dice with your business? 

Want to learn more, contact us for a complimentary 15 minute social media consultation. 

3,000 mile Cross-Country Bicycle Race Raises Funds for Ovarian Cancer National Alliance

Four San Francisco Riders Race Across America to Support Women with Ovarian Cancer.

A team of four San Francisco area men will race in shifts, relay style (non-stop) across the United States this summer with a goal of raising $100,000 to support women with ovarian cancer. Lane O’Connor, Dave O’Mara, Caleb Porter and Shawn Warthen have formed a team, ‘RACE4OCNA’ for the 2015 Race Across America (RAAM).

The race, a grueling 3000-mile race covering 12 states and 170,000 vertical feet that kicks off on June 20th. Team racers have a maximum of nine days to cross the country, from Oceanside, CA, to Annapolis, MD.

The RACE4OCNA team aims to complete the race in 7 days, averaging 500 miles a day, racing non-stop to cross the country.

100% of the donations raised will be donated to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA).

Lane O’Connor’s mother Diane is the inspiration for the RAAM 4 OCNA team. Diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2002, she is now a leader in both local and national ovarian cancer organizations. Diane currently serves as President of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance Board of Directors.

The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance is a powerful voice for everyone touched by ovarian cancer. We connect survivors, women at risk, caregivers and health providers with the information and resources they need. We ensure that ovarian cancer is a priority for lawmakers and agencies in Washington, DC, and throughout the country. We help our community raise their voices on behalf of every life that has been affected by this disease.

To Donate or learn more about the RACE4OCNA fundraising goals, visit their  For more information and the RAAM 4 OCNA (http://www.ovariancancer.org/raam). 

To learn more about the team please contact Michelle Quinn at Michelle@mwqpr.com

805-886-3756

Their Facebook page, a source for frequent inspiration (both through their incredible 60-70 mile rides and the beautiful landscape photo's- see below). 

 

 

Success starts before sun rise.

I have a confession, I'm a morning person. One of those cant sleep in, pop out of bed and  ready to go annoying people. 

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Until the time change... 

With an uptick in work (so thankful for amazing word of mouth referrals) & recently launched Groupon offer I've been struggling with a productive morning routine.

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Managing multiple social media accounts, my day starts with an iPad, scanning 100's if not 1,000's of messages, posts and trends. Following the advice of my talented Chiropractor at Thrive Studio, I begin the day stretched on a foam roller to alleviate the tension in my mind back (separate post on back health for entreprenuers). 

10 minutes of stretching, followed by listening to to morning news programs, reading emails (ranging between 200-600 somehow appear overnight) and creating my morning to-do list in Evernote

I frequently remind myself, "Success starts before the sun rise."  Keeping with that, before bed I always go through a mental list of things to be thankful for, repeat a personal manifestation (Separate post to come) and shut off ALL smart devices, phones, iPad, laptop, TV- anything that can distract my mind.  This aides in a deeper sleep and waking more rested and relaxed for a new day!

  • Warm water with lemon juice
  • 10 minutes stretching  
  • Daily to-do list  
  • Your favorite playlist (Cafe del Maré)

So, I've shown you mine... Now show me yours!

What is YOUR morning routine? 

It's all about the subscription... How new package offerings came to be

One of the big goals @MWQPR for 2015 is creating valuable offerings for small business clients. Those who are unable to work with an agency on a retainer basis, yet still need at minimum the essential Public Relations guidelines. 

During a creative session the team started looking at our lifestyle and how we expanded our knowledge base, wellness or way of life. Subscriptions, it is ALL ABOUT the subscriptions, the Gym, your cell phone, weekly mentorship groups, email lists, pod casts... You get the idea, thus we created 3 starter packages and continue to develop PR & Social Media subscriptions (release coming soon) 

 

Our first three packages include DIY PR, the basics for small business & one off projects, One & Done Social Media starter kit and Three Months of Social Media- get the social ball rolling. 

Sign up for our newsletter & be the first to know all the latest & greatest offerings!