ABCs of Strategic Public Relations

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This week’s blog comes from The ABCs of Strategic Communication (AuthorHouse – 2008), which contains 7,000 strategic communication definitions plus 282 Tips and Techniques.

• Anticipate = For every public relations action there is a reaction. Explore all possible reactions in advance. Successful practitioners are never surprised.

Be Prepared = For that first call from the media. Don’t go public until you are absolutely ready.

Communicate = Clearly, Concisely, Calculatingly, Consistently and Completely (Specifically and Simply)

M. Larry Litwin, APR, Fellow PRSA – The
Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook
(AuthorHouse – 2013)

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Staying positive: Smile

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This week’s blog comes from The ABCs of Strategic Communication (AuthorHouse – 2008), which contains 7,000 strategic communication definitions plus 282 Tips and Techniques.

We all know we should appreciate who we are and what we have. But sometimes it’s so much easier for many of us to believe the negative things we hear and think about ourselves than it is to
listen to, and believe, the best.

Here are some tips on what you can do to become more aware of the positive things in life right now, feel better and be more productive.

• Send yourself an e-mail or call your voice mail and say something positive about yourself or note one thing you are happy about today.Make this a daily routine.

• Add an area to your things-to-do list where you can list at least one thing each day that makes you smile.

• Once an hour, stop, look around and find something or someone that you can say something positive about.The harder you have to look to find that silver lining, the better.

• Decide today that you will no longer compare yourself to others.

• Create a place where you can keep photos, positive letters, articles and other reminders of good things that you have accomplished
and that are a part of your life.

Thanks to: Lee Silber – Organizational Expert and Author –

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Do you realize YOUR impact on society?

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This blog is not as self serving as it might appear. Last week, Rowan University — where I spent 42 years as a part-time and full-time instructor and eventually associate professor — sent me student nominations to the University’s Faculty Wall of Fame. I was inducted for both “teaching and advising excellence.”

I include much of what Jenna Buchholtz and Caitlyn Coppenbarger wrote as incentive to others who have a chance to impact students — whether it be college age, high school, middle school or lower.  As I’ve expressed to my students previously and to members of Rowan’s nationally-acclaimed Public Relations Student Society of America, my greatest thrill is when one of them succeeds and/or is recognized for outstanding work.

Below are Jenna and Caitlyn’s word. My challenge is for you to substitute your name for mine. That is the very same challenge many of my Parsons College professors gave me nearly 50 years ago. I sure hope I met their challenge and lived up to their expectations.


Larry Litwin, Public Relations

 “Professor Larry Litwin had the greatest impact on my learning at Rowan. He was attentive, extremely knowledgeable in the PR field and always willing to help. He not only taught me inside the classroom, but also helped me prepare for the “real world” by teaching me how to write cover letters, editing my resume, preparing me for my internships and referenced me to important connections. Without Professor Litwin’s help I truly believe I would not have been as successful in and out of Rowan as I was and as I am today. He deserves the award, hands down.”

 Jenna Buchholtz


Larry Litwin, Public Relations

“Anytime of the day – rain or shine – Professor Litwin would always be happy. He made class fun, yet would get his point across. He truly loves and enjoys teaching. When I was struggling or having academic issues he was always willing to help me or slow down the class to help anyone. He offered a new perspective on teaching and was very up with the times – technology wise.

“Professor Larry Litwin is the most organized when scheduling appointments to meet with students. He is willing to help with academics along with personal issues. He genuinely cares and looks out for the student he’s helping even if he gets backlash from fellow teachers. Anyone who has met Professor Litwin has been helped and touched by him in so many ways.”

Caitlyn Coppenbarger

Thank you everyone. Words cannot express my appreciation.

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3-Minute Drill

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Strategic communication guru Jim Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, CCEP – (created in 1998) is the “father of the Three Minute Drill.” I live by it. Details may be found in The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook for (all) Strategic Communicators (Play 6-10).

The Three-minute Drill is an abbreviated version of the counseling paper. It was conceived by public relations strategic adviser James Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, CCEP. In essence, it is a simpler written approach that carries out the counseling “tactic.” In Jim’s words, “It helps solidify why respected public relations strategic counselors are the number one, Number Two (person in the organization) – the trusted adviser.” Keep in mind that each 150 words equals one minute. Think in terms of: Issues, Questions, Situation:

1. Situation Description Explanation – Introduction (60 words)Briefly describe the nature of the issue, problem or situation that requires decision, action or study. “This is the subject and here is what we know.”

2. Analysis (60 words)A description of what the situation means, what its implications are, and how it threatens or presents an opportunity to the organization. “Here is why it matters.”

3. Goal (60 words)A clear, concise statement of the task to be accomplished(sometimes the reason or purpose for accomplishing it), the target to be reached and when. “Our destination.”

4. Options (150 words)Provide at least three response options to address the situation as presented and analyzed:

     1. Do nothing

     2. Do something

     3. Do something more

5. Recommendation (60 words) Make a specific choice among the options you presented. Be ready with a recommendation and supporting information every time because the boss is going to ask you for one.

6. Justification Unintended consequences (60 words)Briefly describe the reactions or circumstances that could arise resulting from options you suggested, including that of doing nothing. Identify the solution option with the fewest negative intended or unintended consequences.

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6 Resourceful Tips To Consider Before Making Layoffs

Dale Carnegie e-Newsletter

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Dale Carnegie e-Newsletter
By Anita Zinsmeister, President of Dale Carnegie® Training of Central & Southern New Jersey



6 Resourceful Tips

To Consider
Before Making Layoffs
  • Word count for this issue: 645
  • Approximate time to read: About 2.6 minutes @ 250 words per minute

If your business employs a small yet dedicated staff, chances are that you’re anxious to survive downturns without having to resort to layoffs.  Experts say the instinct to avoid layoffs isn’t just human; it’s good business practice.  Layoffs may leave a company flat-footed when the economy picks up, and can also be surprisingly expensive when severance packages are figured in.  Below, you can find six resourceful HR cost-cutting tips to help you avoid having to make layoffs:

1.  Have Your Employees Contribute To Their Health Plans – This option is often an employer’s first move to reducing labor costs.  Small businesses that have been very paternalistic in the past may have lots of room to ask employees to contribute.  


2.  Use Subcontractors, Temporary And Part-Time Workers – When you lose an employee to resignation or retirement, try to replace that person with a part-timer, contractor, temp or self-employed freelancer.  These contingent workers do not receive the same benefits as other workers, and, if necessary, can easily be released by a firm.  As more companies lay off full-time employees during a recession, a deep pool of talented but unemployed individuals will be available for contingency work.  And when the economy turns around, if your contingent workers have proved their value, you can always bring them into your full-time fold.


3.  Freeze Or Cut Salaries – Although reducing employee salaries is a highly effective step in cutting HR costs, the move must be made carefully.  The first principle should NOT be fairness.  An across-the-board salary cut may hurt the organization in the long term if the move turns off top performers.  Although it’s important that everyone in the company share the pain, business owners should still try to compensate their top producers. 


4.  Reduce Contributions To Your Employees’ Retirement Plans – Companies with defined benefit plans don’t have much flexibility, because they need to make sure they are meeting the legal requirements for how much money is in their funds.  However, reducing or eliminating a company match for a 401(k) is a step that’s fairly easy for many companies to take.  Small businesses that use a standard format for setting up their 401(k) plans will probably find that they have flexibility about whether and how much they match.  In addition, employees will likely accept a one or two year reduction in the 401(k) match if a company communicates the reasons.


5.  Reduce Hours For Everyone’s Workweek – The 35-hour workweek has become an institution in many European countries, as well as in Asia.  Reductions in work hours — and corresponding reductions in pay — are considered far preferable to layoffs.  Treat the 35 hours as a base, and award extra leave to compensate for any excess hours worked.  Just be careful: if employees work overtime, they must be paid, or you run the risk of being noncompliant with the Fair Labor Standards Act.  You will risk a backlash if the 35-hour workweek is just a 40-hour stretch under another name.


6.  Attract Top Talent With Flex Hours – Flexibility has become a key factor in drawing top-notch talent.  Many workers are trading bonuses or pay raises for flexibility, allowing employers to get just as much productivity without the higher costs.  For small companies, using flexibility on a temporary basis is a great way to go during a downturn.  When trying to keep HR costs down, focus on output, not face time.


Executive Summary:  While layoffs are often unavoidable, they should be used as a last resort.  Cutting into your workforce can leave your company vulnerable in the short-term, and also unable to capitalize on an upswing in the long-term.  If you employ some of the strategies outlined above, you may find that you do not have to take drastic measures with your personnel.  Most companies can make significant cuts in overhead expenses without
resorting to layoffs. 
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