My small, woman-owned public relations/marketing firm, Advice Unlimited, has been serving the Federal government marketplace for nearly 30 years to help companies with innovative technology get their solutions to the government. Every month, I’ll offer unlimited advice on how to work with this unique market. Please email me with questions or comments.

Advice Unlimited

Advice Unlimited

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Communications Rule #1: Learn from your Audience

I had the honor of running a workshop this morning at the Advanced Learning Institute’s (ALI) Social Media for Government Communications Conference, in Crystal City. My topic was: How Social is Your Communications Outreach?

The focus was on how to strategically drive public outreach using traditional and new media – and I emphasized the importance of choosing communication channels based on goals and objectives and how they work, not on what’s ‘hot’. One of my key points was: ‘listen to your audience.’ And I got to practice what I preach – I listened to my audience.

The group was outstanding – all government communicators, a good mix of public affairs officers, writers/editors, webmasters, community outreach specialists, social media coordinators. Military, civilian, and even state and local organizations were represented. And here’s what I learned, listening to my audience:

1. Most government communicators, as I’ve always believed, truly care about doing the best job they can, and understand the importance of the message they are often tasked with communicating.

2. Pay attention to your personal communication style, and translate what you like and why to how you can best reach your audience. When you’re comfortable with a certain communication channel, that’s going to show, and your enthusiasm will resonate with your audience.

3. Think through the demographics of the target audience you want to reach, and meet them where they go to communicate with the people who are important to them.

4. There is so much to learn about all the wonderful new ways to communicate and collaborate! Be open to learning new things every day, and trying new things – always motivated by what will help you better communicate with your constituents!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hope you can join me at the GovSec 2012 Conference & Expo and participate in my session!

CPM-10 Disaster Strikes: What's Your Social Media Plan?
Wednesday, April 4, 10:30 – 11:30 am

Use promo code: GSSPK for a 20% discount on the GovSec Conference!

I’m honored to be presenting at GovSec 2012, which brings together top decision makers in government security, law enforcement and first response. This is a great opportunity to attend three days of education and training addressing counterterrorism, critical infrastructure protection, cybercrime and cyber terrorism. Your paid conference pass provides you access to over 50 conference sessions, including my session. Learn more about the registration fees here.

At my session April 4, I’ll provide hands-on guidance on how to integrate social media into your disaster recovery communications plan. We will review real-world scenarios where social media played a crucial role, and discuss how we as government public servants can use social media to help us meet our mission: educating the public, disseminating critical information in a rapid, readable and easily understood format that our audiences embrace, calming fears and dispelling rumors. Several popular social media sites will be reviewed for their strengths and weaknesses, along with new, less known sites that we feel might be of value for disaster recovery and emergency response efforts. Attendees will leave with a clear understanding of the value of integrating social media into their disaster recovery and emergency response communications plans.
While you’re attending GovSec 2012 don’t forget to check out what’s new this year including:

Keynote Presentations
Opening Keynotes: Tuesday, April 3 – 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM - Ralph S. Boelter, Assistant Director, FBI Counterterrorism Division and Gordon M. Snow, Assistant Director, FBI Cyber Division
Wednesday Keynote: Wednesday, April 4 – 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM - Senator George J. Mitchell, Former U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace

Pre-Conference Workshops – Monday, April 2 – These half-day workshops provide you in-depth training before the conference begins!

Live Demos – Challenge your boss in our Force & Firearms Championship or see Bomb Response Robots in action in the exhibit hall.

Mobile Apps Experience – Discover how these enterprise-class mobile apps for government and first responders can be used to help your agency fulfill your mission and secure our nation.

…and much more!

I invite you to join me and your peers for a unique opportunity to help meet your comprehensive security challenges!