Monday, July 28, 2008

It's nice to be important but more important to be nice...

Growing up, my mom impressed upon me how important good manners and courtesy are-- no matter where you are in life.

But if you're like me, you can always use a refresher course. That's why I loved the summer edition of the "Communications Cocktail" from Frause reminding us that "Courtesy Rules!"

Who better than public relations professionals to set the bar on courtesy and gracious living?

Among other refreshing tidbits, Bob Frause shares some helpful Web sites to help you brush up on your table etiquette:
  • What's Cooking In America
  • Dining Etiquette for the Fast Food Generation
  • Eating Etiquette

  • I learned one of my favorite personal etiquette tips from Attorney General Rob McKenna who has attended just few Rotary lunches and charity auction dinners. Who hasn't been at a table where someone selects the wrong bread plate and by the time the bread basket makes it around the table there's an odd man out with a roll in one hand and a bread plate across the table? Rob taught me an easy way to always remember where the bread plate and drinking glass go.

    Simply touch your index fingers to your thumbs on each hand and leave the rest of the fingers straight. Your right hand will form a "d" to remind you your drinking glass goes to the right of your place setting. Your left hand will form a "b" to remind you your bread plate is on the left. Now you can always start your table off in the right direction!

    Don't say I never taught you anything...

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008

    Changing face of the newsroom

    A reporter friend and I were chatting about the increasing pressures on traditional print journalists in a rapidly changing media environment the other day. Reporters are blogging and shooting video--all while filing their daily stories for the print edition and worrying whether they'll be included in the next round of staff reductions.

    To learn how this impacts us, media relations professionals might be interested in this recent study by Pew Research on the changing face of the newsroom.

    The study covers six main areas:
    Cutbacks--examining the depth of staff reductions and how larger and smaller newspapers have been affected;
    Changing Content--looking at what topics are losing space and resources, which are growing and which are holding steady;
    The Changing Newsroom--charting the transformation of newsroom skills, demands and culture; The Influence of the Web--studying the enormous impact newspaper websites are having on newsrooms and on daily newspaper journalism;
    Citizen In the Newsroom-- exploring the growing influence and impact of journalism produced by non-professional journalists; and
    The Future--weighing the implications of smaller newsrooms, greater innovation, more financial pressures and the struggle to monetize the web.


    Thursday, July 10, 2008

    Easy ways to improve employee communications

    Following up on last month's program on employee communications, Ragan Communication has an intriguing story today on easy ways to improve internal communication--without asking permission.
    #1: Focus on the why
    #2: Hold informal focus groups
    #3: Create experiences for employees
    #4: Stop hiring writers
    #5: Give management options
    #6: Lighten up