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Gratitude in Quarantine: The 3 lifesavers of lockdown

As restrictions ease a little here in the UAE this week, enabling us to go out for daily exercise, and with malls, shops, cafes and restaurants gradually reopening, we’ve been reflecting on the things that we have been most grateful for during the strict lockdown period, in the the hope that by committing them to print (or screen!) we will immortalise them, as a reminder in the future to remember the simple things that hold such importance in times of crisis.

There are many things I could have listed here, but focusing on the things that have been of most importance day-t0-day during lockdown, I can limit them to three basics:

 

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Concerned male thinking about company problem solution

Communicating during COVID: Showing you care

During these unprecedented, uncertain times, our most important currency is kindness. As we confine ourselves to our homes, the line between business and personal blurs, and external distractions/pressures decrease, which should give us greater capacity, time and space for kindness at home and at work.

The greatest kindness you can offer, is showing that you care and are available, and you need go bear this in mind for your communications with clients and community, as well as family and friends – the same rules apply.

 

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5 steps to improve your business from home during lockdown

Getting bored at home? Think you’ve got nothing to do? There are lots of things you could be using this time to do that will benefit your business tremendously, and ensure you’re in great shape to hit the ground running when the global situation improves…

If you’re anything like us, then there are probably a number of things you would like to improve about your business and the way you operate – if only you had the time… Well, now you do! Investing time in these things now will not only put you in a stronger position once business picks up again, but will also ensure you are using your time productively. Achieving goals and completing projects you’ve had for a long time, will contribute to your happiness in such difficult times, through a sense of accomplishment and control over your time.

We’ve listed five areas of business that it might be worth casting your eye over…

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#StayHome routines to keep you sane

We’ve been working with our university clients over the last couple of weeks to share ideas and tips for parents now trying to juggle their new role as teachers – in a confined environment where their children cannot leave the house.

It occured to me that a lot of the advice shared relates to us all (those of us who are being responsible and following the rules by staying at home anyway!!) It’s an uncertain time, our daily life is all over the place and most of us are experiencing a huge range of emotions from fear,  frustration and anger, to disappointment and anxiety, and we’re venting those frustrations on the other members of our household because we (and they) cannot escape anywhere else to vent.

So what can we do to stay sane, and to preserve the health (mentally and physically) of those in our households?

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Three ways to build public confidence and trust

As the sterilisation programme unrolls in the UAE, there have been many mixed messages on what the current guidelines, advice and indeed, the law, now are regarding public movement and social distancing. From what I’ve seen on social media (and in person from my own garden), most people understand that we are supposed to be at home day and night, except for essential visits to the supermarket or pharmacy, and for essential workers. However there are a huge number of people who still believe it is ok to be exercising – running, cycling, walking their dogs, or taking the children out for a stroll, contrary to the messages shared by Dubai Police. I myself posted on our community Facebook group to ascertain public opinion, and it really is divided. At the same time, newspapers and online outlets have been sharing contradictory stories and visual graphics which have been shortened and therefore do not contain the full information. This demonstrates a fundamental flaw with current messaging across the country, because the public remain divided, uncertain, and not sure who or what to trust. Social media is awash with different opinions and beliefs, and in the current pandemic situation, this has serious implications for the health and wellbeing of all of us in the UAE.

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Communicating in times of crisis: Four top tips

It’s been a crazy few weeks, speaking as someone who literally only 48 hours ago had to postpone her wedding (which was due to take place in only two weeks), I know all too well how disruptive, stressful and worrying these uncertain times are. This week’s blog post is not going to be a pity party however, not when there are so many people suffering a lot worse. Instead, as I try to be positive and set myself to trying to reschedule and make arrangements anew, I thought I would look to ways I could add value to others.

With this in mind, this week, I wanted to share a few tips for communications during these difficult times, and moving forward, every week, I will share a different PR and social media template to help you manage your communications.

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Ten ways for women to win: Develop your personal brand ladies!

On International Women’s Day, like so many others, we are focussing on the ladies! Women dominate the communications industry, we like to talk, to get to know each other and create strong networks… So why are we so reluctant to talk about ourselves and give ourselves the recognition we deserve??

A strong personal brand can develop our businesses and advance our careers but you can’t have a strong personal brand without putting some work into your own self-promotion. It may not feel very comfortable for the majority of women, but if done right, your personal branding can expand your network and exposure, increase credibility and trust in you, attract more of the right kind of clients/partners, increase your perceived value and therefore your earning potential, and keep you front of mind, leading to a more consistent flow of opportunities for personal and business development.

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Group of people working out business plan in an office

Engaging B2B Content

This week I’ll be joining PRCA again to talk about B2B communications and how to create and develop engaging content, and whilst I couldn’t possibly share the content of a full morning’s session, I thought it might be useful to share some thoughts on the types of content you can develop for B2B PR and social media.

Just because you don’t have a shiny consumer product to show off, doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to say – in fact there is a lot of value you can contribute to your B2B audience in terms of knowledge, skills and insight. You just need to make sure you’ve taken the time to get to know your different audiences properly so that you know exactly what they are interested in and what concerns and issues they have in their lives.

Once you’ve done your homework and have a targeted SMART communications strategy in place, you could think about developing content in the following areas:

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Writing tips: Ten common mistakes

We had a fantastic, interactive session with a group of PR agency professionals at our Writing 101 workshop for PRCA MENA last week. Not only did we review writing strategy, and examples of successful (and not so successful) written content, we also looked at writing structures and some of the golden rules and common mistakes.

This week, we wanted to share some of the errors that we see most often in written content (stay tuned for more tips next week!)

 

 

 

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Little boy making a heart shape on a tree

Kindness in communications: 5 Acts of kindness

Kindness is a focal point for people around the world this week. Monday is Random Acts of Kindness Day, and it’s good to see more and more people recognising and embracing the spirit of such a symbolic day.

It’s important to remember that kindness is a state of mind, it’s far more than simple actions – opening the door for someone, buying them a coffee, paying them a compliment, etc. Whilst all of those actions contribute to a kinder society, and can certainly make a difference to the individuals in question, kindness is really a mindset. It’s about being cognisant of those around you – if you are aware of yourself and others, you will pay attention to how your actions impact others, and naturally become a kinder person.

Getting back to the day in question however, it got us thinking about how we can be kind in our communications, and those acts of kindness that could make a difference, purely from our communications with others. So, in no particular order, here are our top five:

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