An “Amen for PR”

A few weeks ago at the PRSA International Conference, keynote speaker Jeffrey Hayzlett left the crowd, full of public relations professionals and students, excited about public relations and marketing. He was bold and energetic, making his presentation enticing and a pleasure to watch. Below are some of the topics he touched on.

1. The new elevator pitch

Hayzlett made us aware of the new elevator pitch: the 118. 8 seconds is the average length of the human attention span and 110 seconds is the average elevator ride. Essentially, you have 8 seconds to grab a person’s attention and 110 seconds to sell yourself. Quickly make evident why you are unique, your goals and what benefits or services you can provide.

2. Leadership

Set clear conditions of satisfaction (COS) early, laying out what is acceptable and what is not. How much time do you spend on COS? The more time you spend laying it all out, the less time you spend attempting to figure it out. Cause natural tension and be who you are. Challenge those on your team because “you can only be as fast as your slowest common denominator.”  Use the FAST model in your organization as a standard operating procedure: (F)ocus (A)ccountability (S)implicity and (T)rust. Focus tasks, hold someone accountable for each action, do not overcomplicate things, and trust those on your team. Act FAST,  even if a mistake is made – “No one is going to die.”

3. Get Social with the 4 E’s

(E)ngage, (E)ducate, (E)xcite, (E)vangelize

Engage and educate your audience by directly communicating and interacting with them. Engagement is the new ROI – Risk of Ignoring. Engaging and educating your audience on issues, problems or your product can create a positive brand reputation and excite people, even if there is no solution to all the problems. After people are excited, they will evangelize and spread your messages. “That’s the wow factor. Getting millions of people to talk about you.”

Hayzlett suggests mixing traditional tactics with newer ones in order to adapt to the changing time. This is vital to the successful marketing of products and public relations campaigns. PR professionals must be able to reach people where they currently are, and depending on the audience, that could be through social media or through traditional means. Ignoring one or the other could be detrimental to a campaign or initiative.

Overall, Jeff Hayzlett delivered an empowering speech that easily meshed old and new, and provided easy-to-remember steps to effectively lead your team and interact with your audience.


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