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How to look good on video conference calls?

Coronavirus has brought about numerous temporary changes to the way our routine life works. One of these changes is how important video conferencing has become, in both personal and professional lives. If you’re a PR agency, you have to be very careful about how you look, to both your colleagues and clients because they will definitely focus on how you look.

 

Here are some tips on how to look on point for your video calls:

 

Lighting matters

 

Find a spot at home that is well lit, or else use a small table lamp with a lower colour temperature – move it as close or as far as you need to give you the best lighting. Bright windows behind you are a big NO! They will only cast a silhouette, making you look like a black figure on the screens of your peers. Try not to sit right under a light-source either to avoid shadows under your eyes and keep your laptop at eye level and avoid the much-dreaded double-chin shot.

 

Soundcheck

 

Sit close to the mic or wear headphones. The mic on headphones cut down on background noise as much as possible, so no barking dogs or noisy kids.

 

Choose the perfect seat

 

Try to find a sturdy stool or an upright, sturdy chair on four legs and keep your feet planted on the floor to avoid shuffling. If you’re sitting on a couch or an office chair, make a conscious effort to not slouch or swivel around.

 

Composition is important

 

As with anything that is visual like photography or videography, composition is key – especially framing. Sit at an optimal distance from the screen where people can see your head, shoulders and your chest.

 

Find the perfect background

 

A monotonous wall with nothing too distracting around you would be the ideal background for a video conference with your peers or with a client. With the development of technology, many platforms such as zoom offer a function with which you can change your background to something of your liking. At Vivaldi PR we make full use of this feature on special occasions such as birthdays.

 

Look at the camera

 

Don’t keep glancing to the side to check yourself out, it’s distracting. Try to place an object behind the camera for you to look at, which will give your audience the impression that you’re looking at them.

 

The dreaded nostril shot

 

Make sure your monitor or camera is level with your face. If your laptop is too low, you will end up looking down at the camera – gracing your audience with awkward views of your nostrils.

 

You can practice video calls with friends before you have to take important calls on video, this will help you get a hang of things and get closer to looking on point in front of the camera.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

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How to maintain productivity and stay focused while working remotely?

The answer to this question is quite simple. The biggest challenge in working from home for an PR professional is a lack of structure and routine which you are generally accustomed to in an office environment.

 

It’s up to you to create a work environment at home with a structure that caters to both your professional and lifestyle needs. These six simple tips will help you stay focused and productive throughout your workday at home.

 

Define your working hours

 

It is very easy for your work life to creep into your personal life and vice versa, especially when your office is probably 15 feet away from your bedroom and a simple way to avoid this happening is to define when your work day starts and ends – have a predetermined schedule, whether that is done by your employer or yourself. This rule obviously can be broken when you need to work out of your usual hours to meet a deadline.

 

Designate your workspace

 

Whether you have a home office you set-up shop in the middle of your living room, having a designated workspace can help you mentally prepare to stay focused throughout the day ahead. The bedroom is a strict NO (unless that’s where you’re most productive, in that case, to each his own) because it’s very easy to lose focus and crawl under the covers to take a nap or binge watch your favorite series, especially towards the weekend.

 

Dress for work

 

Dressing up like you normally would if you are going to step into the office will add to your productivity. Wake up, drink your coffee and get dressed like you normally would before you sit down to work. This seemingly insignificant practice can help you mentally prepare yourself for your workday and acts as a level of separation between your work and home life.

 

Avoid tending to household chores

 

Those dirty dishes in the sink, the dirty pile of laundry, a messy living room and everything around you can distract you when you’re working from home. As tempting as they can seem, hold off on all personal talks until your predefined workday is done. Try and tidy up before going to bed every night so that you don’t feel the urge to take it on during your workday.

 

Take scheduled breaks throughout the day

 

Schedule microbreaks throughout your workday besides your lunch break. This will help you recharge both physically and mentally – take a little walk around the house, call up a colleague, check on your social media, etc. to prevent getting too immersed in your work and eventually breaking down.

 

Take advantage of the technology on offer in 2020

 

Not everybody loves being alone. If you’re an extrovert and you thrive on interacting and sharing your ideas with other people, take advantage of text-messaging platforms like Line to converse with your coworkers all day long. If something important comes up, you can connect with your team on Zoom to have virtual face-to-face conversations. At Vivaldi PR, we are set-up to make full use of the technology at hand.

 

Follow these simple steps and you will be good to work from home – focused and just as productive as you’d be at the office.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

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What you say and do during COVID-19 will define how people view your company or brand when the crisis passes

We are all, of course, trying to navigate the unchartered waters of the COVID-19 crisis; we are living on a day-by-day news cycle as new information and statistics constantly come to hand. Now is the time for companies and brands to show what they stand for and what they believe in. This is where your values become very public.

 

Those who step up to the challenges we’re all confronted with and offer either a solution or a helping hand will not be forgotten, because consumers can see they are doing something with a purpose and not for a profit.

 

Take Coca-Cola in the Philippines for example, they put commercial advertising for Coca-Cola and all their other brands on hold and committed their advertising space and budgets towards supporting COVID-19 relief and response efforts across the most affected communities in the country. In their statement, Coca-Cola said they will re-channel PhP 150 million to the provision of protective equipment, beverages for health workers, deliver food packs to the most vulnerable families and they are also supporting small retailers affected by the crisis.

 

All business owners and leaders need to reassure their staff, customers, and suppliers throughout this crisis. They need to be present and reach out and ask what they can do for others. Instead of looking for sales, look for ways you can help. This kind of understanding and compassion will be reciprocated once the crisis passes, and it will pass eventually.

 

There’s not one business that is immune to the commercial and personal affects of the COVID-19 crisis, we are all in this together, so the more we all communicate, share information, and work towards ways to help each other the better positioned we will all be when we return to business as usual.

 

If you need some advice, please feel free to call us.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

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HOW WORKING REMOTELY CAN BE BUSINESS AS USUAL

The growing concerns surrounding the spread of Covid-19 is forcing business owners to look at alternatives for how they can stay operational yet protect their staff, customers, and suppliers. For many businesses, one option is to initiate a remote working policy and have all employees work from home. But how is that manageable?

 

Some companies embraced remote working many years ago and they have proven it can be done; one prime example is Automattic, the company behind the popular WordPress website and blogging platform. This is a billion-dollar company with around 400 employees and no offices, that’s right, not one office.

 

The technology available to us all today makes remote working easy and productive. Aside from email, we have Skype, Zoom, Slack, Eko, WhatsApp, and more. Even the good old-fashioned conference call is effective.

 

One of the most important factors to making this work is having a project manager or a project management tool. The aforementioned Slack is one such option, as is Thailand’s own Eko, developed by Korawad Chearavanont as an alternative to Slack and other apps.

 

Change is difficult for many, but when circumstances such as those confronting us all right now arise there is a need to embrace change and make it work for your business.

 

Once a company masters the remote working process they can continue to use it to their benefit once the Covid-19 crisis passes. It opens the door to engaging the skills and talents of freelancers and consultants from all corners of the world. This, of course, expands the capabilities of a company.

 

There is another benefit to embracing remote working and that is staff morale. There are times when some staff may need to be at home for personal or family reasons, giving them the option to work from home while still being a productive member of the team gives them a boost and shows them that the company respects their needs.

 

At Vivaldi, we started to explore the potential of remote work in early 2019 and we have not looked back since. If you would like to discuss our experiences with this and how we make it work for us please feel free to get in touch.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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A world even more online

E-commerce will continue its rise in 2020, making buying things easier than ever. AI will seep into more facets of everyday life, helping automate previously complicated problems related to Internet usage. Cloud services and storage networks will become more standard as well. Websites will be easier to create as coding requirements decline. Overall, 2020 looks to be a year full of opportunities for anyone involved in shopping online, from sellers and buyers to digital marketers. However, industry watchdogs are concerned that more privacy protection will be needed.

 

Make life simple

 

Two years from now, over 60 per cent of Thailand’s economy is expected to be digital. Getting all kinds of products and services, from groceries and taxis, to airline tickets and meals delivered to your home, will be increasingly simple and efficient. Moreover, Thailand will focus on fully developing 5G network services. Sectors linked to healthcare and transport in particular are expected to be made more efficient to benefit society, according to the Digital Economy and Society Ministry. The resulting opportunities for e-marketers is unprecedented.

 

Security concerns

 

A new survey of stakeholders in data security indicates that almost three-quarters of companies have in place processes for valuing data. However, less than 40 per cent of these firms report that data usage is consistent, significantly reducing the use of data for generating profits and plotting future investments. The amount of data on consumers is increasing dramatically. However, much better privacy protection is needed and industry experts are calling for clearer guidelines and stricter enforcement in order to build public trust.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

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Press releases done right – Part 2

Now that we’re up to speed on what a press release really is, let’s dive in a little deeper into the subject. For those of you wondering when and what you should write on a press release – organizations use press releases to communicate all kinds of messages, but let’s take a look at some of the most common press releases in the PR arsenal first.

 

Breaking news

 

This could be news that will boost brand reputation, information for stakeholders or introduce a new initiative to the public. These releases provide journalists with all the required information to help them break a story and keep their organization transparent to the public eye.

 

Product launch

 

Organizations that have worked hard to build and develop their product are always excited to share their efforts. Product launch press releases are quite common in the automobile and tech industry to announce new models and gadgets. These press releases are used across industries for all kinds of products that are new to the market

 

Partnerships & CSR

 

Organizations can boost their CSR by partnering together to create unique offerings and generate buzz that is mutually beneficial for all organizations involved. These partnerships usually employ joint press releases, for which organizations will work together to create a single, comprehensive press release, including branding and information from all parties involved.

 

Similarly, organizations eager to announce a charitable cause or other CSR initiatives will write and distribute press releases that aim to have stories published that will highlight and demonstrate CSR and amass good will.

 

Crisis communications

 

One of the most important aspects of tackling a crisis is to be ahead of the story. A PR professional representing an organization can use the press release as part of a crisis management strategy to make a statement, clarify facts, apologize and also emphasize on the remedial measures taken.

 

A crisis communication release usually follows a statement issued by an executive at the organization to acknowledge and apologize about what went wrong and also assure the public that they are working on it. A press release usually follows this statement to focus on how the company is moving forward.

 

Events

 

Media Relations experts generally send out invitations with basic event details to journalists as heads-up prior to an event. In this case, press releases are used to provide event highlights to journalists who maybe not be able to attend, and to provide a recap and supporting information to those who do.

 

Awards

 

Awards and accolades give organizations an opportunity to flaunt their achievements and share their successes with the world. Organizations will often use press releases to shout out the good news which can help attract talent, customers or simply boost brand perception.

 

There it is, your starter-pack on press releases with some of its most common types to give you a better understanding of the most valuable tool in the PR arsenal.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

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Press releases done right – Part 1

The press release is perhaps the most valuable tool in the industry, having been around for over 100 years. Public relations professionals have been using this tool to provide accurate, first-hand information to the media and public – the method of distribution is probably the only thing that has changed over the years.

 

The definition of a press release is quite broad. But to sum it all up in plain English – a press release is an official statement prepared by an organization which is sent to the media with the to convince them to publish a story based on information on the release.

 

This basic tool has withstood the test of time simply because it allows PR professionals to check a whole lot of boxes using one piece of content:

°Tell the story the way they want to

°Distribute these stories quickly and economically

°Present facts

°Secure media coverage

°And reach a wider audience

Let’s see how it all works.

 

A job well done typically means a press release goes through three stages:

 

  1. Write : The first and possibly the most important stage of a press release because this represents how your news is sent out to the media and eventually to the public.
    °Find the perfect angle that will resonate with people.
    °Make sure your press release is easy to read – do not ambush your readers with tons of technicalities. Try to find a press release template that works for you.
    °Write an attention-grabbing headline with 2 to 5 strong body paragraphs and supporting details.
    °Don’t forget to include contact information.
  2. Distribute : Once a press release is written, the next step is to distribute it. This can be done in different ways.
    °Pitching targeted media : Distribute the press release to targeted journalists along with personalised pitches to encourage them to read and publish your story. This task can be made easier using a media database.
    °Social media and owned media : You can post your press release on your own social media channels and send them out for internal distribution to members within your organisation’s database.
    °Newswire Services : These services distribute press releases to a large and broad spectrum of journalists. Similar to a social media newsfeed, a wire service is a platform where press releases can be posted and found by any journalist looking for a scoop that day.
  3. Post : After the press release is distributed, it is given a permanent place online to allow access to anyone looking for more information in the future. Many organisations have a “Media” or “News” section, where all of these press releases live forever. Companies that don’t have the resources to post to their own website can also post their releases to an external newsroom.

 

Now that we have a good idea about the life of a press release, let’s take a look at the types of press releases on our next blog.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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Social media for your business

Mass emails tend to be ignored. It simply lacks the “cool” factor in this social media driven age. But does that mean you should turn to social networking to get your business out there for everybody to see?

 

The answer is no and YES. Facebook is not the best place to share business related content most of the time, Twitter could be a powerful tool if you play your cards right, but LinkedIn is a potential treasure trove for business. This platform exists to connect people and businesses and a well laid-out strategy will generate some high-quality leads, simply because of the professional nature of the platform.

 

LinkedIn as a tool to boost brand image

 

You can use LinkedIn to highlight your thought leadership, keep your followers up-to-speed about the good work you’ve been doing, talk about your company culture and what your employees have been upto and if you have a blog you can feed them directly to your feed. Relevant content should translate to footfall on your website or blog.

 

Your story could be about trends, stats, people, success. LinkedIn’s native video sharing is an effective way to communicate – if you follow a few ground rules on what intrigues people to click and watch a video. A mix of interesting talking points, invigorating visuals and bold, assertive text should do the trick.

 

Some tips to make LinkedIn more productive

 

Share some behind-the-scenes on how you came up with a concept or a product. People are always fascinated by how things are done within an organization. If you have a well-known designer or industry leader, that’s your golden ticket.

 

Talk about your employees and the values they bring to your company. Show-off the hard-work your team puts in during events. You can also showcase new-hires and the hurdles they’ve been through to be a part of your organization. LinkedIn is a great platform to attract the best talent to work in your company.

 

Tease a new product. Product teasers are fascinating, the aura of mystery behind them intrigues people to want to know more about your product and your business.

Native videos on LinkedIn are quite easy to post. But most videos on social media are viewed with the sound turned off. Placing bold, assertive text close to the subject or highlight of the frame is a way to tell your story event with the sound turned off.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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4 ways to boost CSR this year

In 2020, consumers are looking to align with brands or companies that prioritize corporate social responsibility (CSR). It is completely essential for public relations for a company to show care for society – according to various studies, around 90% of the general consumer pool will buy a product because it advocates for an issue they care about whereas 75% will not buy from a brand that supports the contrary to their beliefs.

 

Promote social and environmental activities

 

Donate to organisations to support good causes. You can also organize or sponsor events in honor of a cause. Brands with a huge audience can help educate them on current social issues and ways they can help make a difference.

 

Volunteering

 

Offering volunteering days to employees can serve a two-fold purpose – spreading your brand name among the supporters of a cause and also helps build camaraderie between members of a team.

 

Treat your employees well

 

The current job market is extremely flexible. Employees are constantly on the lookout for a cool working environment. To ensure that your company attracts the best talent and keep them happy, offer attractive perks and make your workspace the place to be.

 

Show care for your environment

 

People are looking to reduce their impact on the environment and some of them expect the brands they support to do the same. Cut down on plastics, try to reduce usage of energy from non-renewable sources or support a good cause. It’s the little things that can make a world of difference to how your consumers perceive your brand.

 

Whether it is about supporting a good cause, caring for the environment, making your employees feel at home or volunteering, it is important to take that step further and make a change that will impact society.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

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Email is king – but what accounts for its reign?

Despite the rise of social media platforms and their multitude of messaging applications, email remains the go-to communications tool for exchanging messages in the business world. This simple, efficient, inexpensive way of sending and receiving text and visuals was credited as the single-most important way to communicate with clients and customers, according to a new study. All the apps of today fail to compare. Yet much remains unknown about how and why email is used and how effective it still is.

 

Somewhat off-message

 

While communication teams crave knowledge about how useful email and other communications channels are, there is a lack of agreement and ideas on what, exactly, we need to know about the sending and receiving of messages. Deciding what metrics should be used and how to even start measuring communications brings up big challenges. Internal measurement of communications in companies remains mysterious. Finding clarity will be of incalculable worth to digital marketers, since persuasive messages need to be received in optimal right way at the right time if they are to be most effective.

 

Don’t forget to write

 

While ROI and SEO rank highly in the minds of businesspeople and the PR firms that help promote them, the lack of attention paid to how information is exchanged in the information age is of growing concern. Marketers who are able to paint a picture of and take advantage of precisely what effective communication is stand to greatly boost potential in years to come. As IT continues speeding up communication and giving us more options on how to communicate, the metrics of effective messaging will be of increasingly great interest to anyone with something to say.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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