Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Creating Catalyst Events

Creating Catalyst Events

By Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP International Business Speaker

I recently attended two business events.

One was with a large national retail chain and featured guest speaker, financial commentator Michael Pascoe (pictured).

It was well organised, well attended and you were encouraged to network.

You even left with a show bag full of free goodies. It was excellent for building goodwill with stakeholders and in this case customers.

They have even reorganised their retail outlet to provide a free meeting space for business owners.

The other event was poorly attended, the guest speaker turned up more than half an hour late and the organisers failed to provide any business cards or marketing collateral.

It was a real lost opportunity.

These events are called catalyst events.

The aim of such events is to bring people together in situations conducive to forming symbiotic relationships.

Here are five tips on creating a great catalyst event to help grow your business through referrals.

**1. Invite the right people**
Invite people who would benefit from a deeper relationship with each other within a business context.

People who could benefit from referring business to each other for example.

An architect and a builder, an accountant and a lawyer and a printer and a graphic designer for example.

**2. Keep Them Exclusive**
Catalyst events should not be open to the public. They should be exclusive and be invitation only.

Remember people are investing their time, effort and social capital by attending.

Exclusive business clubs, golf clubs or special screenings of movies all work well.

I've even been involved in events where an exclusive group of people, mainly sponsors and other influencers, were able to have exclusive pre-event access to the keynote speaker at an event by meeting at the venue early.

**3. Hold them regularly**
Catalyst events should be held regularly and be part of your marketing mix and budget.

**4. Repeat them**
Once you have invested time, money and effort in holding a catalyst event, you should repeat them.

You need to leverage the effort you have put into the logistics of organising the event.

**5. Have An Attractor Factor**
One of my clients when they were in start up phase organised a chartered fishing trip.

This was a fantastic catalyst event that provided a thankyou to all their investors, supporters and suppliers that had helped establish the business in the early start up phase.

Another attractor factor could be a great guest speaker or a free sample or give away.

If you're looking for a guest speaker at a catalyst event, please email and I would be happy to help plan your next event to make it a great success.

If you have to give a short presentation at a catalyst event, please consider our last public program for 2010:

**Tuesday December 7th 2010, Subiaco Arts Centre, Perth, Australia**
__Powerful and Persuasive Speechwriting__
Numbers limited so book here].

How to Use LinkedIn as a Marketing Tool

Listen to this podcast with Peter Taliangis.

Click here to download…

Friday, November 26, 2010

Don't Eat Cookies in TV Interviews

Here's a lesson in dealing with the media and how to handle a TV news interview.

If you want media training, and be better at dealing with the media then avoid this kind of blatant mistake!

Here's the story from ABC news online:

*Cookie crumbles for Australian health bureaucrat*

A incident involving a cookie has caused a top Australian health bureaucrat to lose his job fixing the Alberta Health System in Canada.

Stephen Duckett was hired last year to reduce Alberta's long hospital waiting lists, but when he was doorstopped by journalists a few days ago he did not want to talk about the problem.

"Isn't it ridiculous that the media are not prepared to go to the media scrum, and I'm eating my cookie," he said.

When one journalist said: "I think people are interested in hearing from you sir", Dr Duckett replied: "I'm interested in eating my cookie".

Footage of the encounter in which Dr Ducket repeatedly uses the cookie reply has gone viral on the internet.

He apologised the next day, but the Alberta Heath Services Board has since announced his departure, saying there was mutual agreement it was time for him to move on.

Dr Duckett was previously in charge of fixing Queensland's health system and has been secretary of the Australian Health Department."

Here's the video:

Lessons learnt:

1. Always respect the media
2. Don't make silly and flippant comments - once recorded they live forever on the internet
3. Stay on message

Need more help dealing with the media. Our next Perth course is March 22 2011. Book here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why China Will Continue to Power Our Economy

Why China Will Continue to Power Our Economy
By Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP International Business Speaker

China is driving the world's economy.


Because of massive demographic shifts and this is good news for anyone living in the Asia Pacific region.

This was the main message in a business trends presentation from business commentator Michael Pascoe.

Here's his compelling argument:

1. History
China is the middle kingdom.

Historically it has been a world powerhouse for trade, commerce and innovation.

There was a dip during the communist revolution but they will build on history and their sense of destiny in the world.

2. Growth
China is building a city the size of Perth every month. This will drive demand for raw materials.

3. Ambition and Aspiration Driving this growth is ambition and a dream to fulfil their potential.

Like "a mothers desire for their child to have a better life".

4. Skills Shortage
This growth in China will mean growth in Australia but lead to a skills shortage.

5. Perspective

Most of the media presents a very American-centric view of the world.

Scary headlines, a crisis in confidence and people lose perspective.

The growth in China is rarely reported.

Need to refine your message for the media?

Please consider: Tuesday November 23rd 2010, Subiaco Arts Centre, Perth, Australia
Winning the Media Game
Numbers are strictly limited so book here.

Cloud Computing Podcast with Justin Davies from Emergination

What is cloud computing and how will it impact on your business?

Listen to this interview with expert Justin Davies from Emergination.

This will take 19 minutes and 57 seconds to listen to.

Click here to download…

Media Training Geraldton November 5th - City of Geraldton-Greenough

Feedback from delegates pictured:

"Tom really knew his topic. He used very current examples" Andrea Selvey, Director Creative Communities

"Comprehensive for a 1-dayer" Andy Darbyshire, Fire Chief

"Mix of theory, frameworks and real practical experience. Some good case-in-point examples. Appreciate coaching, frank approach." Andrew Outhwaite, Coordinator Environment, Health and Sustainability

"Real life questioning and experiences" Craig Wing, Senior Ranger and Deputy Chief Bushfire Control Officer

"Relaxed and comfortable. Great tips. Made me feel at ease." Sue Chiera, Public Relations Officer

"Professionalism. Knowledge of the industry, engaging manner and good advice." Susan Smith, City Librarian

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Why The Chilean Miners Received Media Training

Why The Chilean Miners Received Media Training
By Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP International Business Speaker

It has been one of the world's biggest stories.

It created a media frenzy and was watched by billions.

Before being rescued, the trapped miners in Chile were given media training.


They were taught interview techniques to help them cope with the inevitable media onslaught that came with their rescue.

Because of the news values of the story, the 33 workers became instant celebrities after surviving seven weeks in a collapsed mine.

This intensified when they were finally freed.

To help prepare them for the glare of the world's media, experts piped down instructional videos on how to handle TV and newspaper reporters.

They were instructed on "remaining poised during an interview, asking the interviewer to repeat the question if they don't understand it, and how to say that they prefer not to answer" a given question, according to Alberto Iturra, a psychologist involved in the miners' mental and emotional well-being.

So what made this the news story of the year and why was media training so important prior to the event?

Miners are good at being miners. They're not good at handling the world's media attention. Media training was essential.

They had time to learn and they had the technology to learn.

The story had seven critical news values that made media training essential.

1. Timeliness and Currency
There was a deadline to rescue. After rescue there would be mayhem with the media.

Working to this timely deadline was critical.

Do you have a deadline to a media critical event you are working towards? A new product launch, an investor announcement or any newsworthy event?

2. Consequence
The bigger the consequence, the bigger the news story. When people's lives are at stake, the consequences are always high.

3. Drama
The more dramatic the story, the more newsworthy.

This story was big on drama.

4. Proximity
This story resonated with everyone. Perhaps because it is every one's worst fear to be trapped miles underground not knowing whether you are going to live or die.

5. Prominence

Before the story the miners were nobodies. Today they are celebrities.

In fact, the first and last miner out are the most famous because people remember the first and last.

The involvement of Chile's most prominent citizen, President Sebastian Pinera, who stayed throughout the rescue operation and welcomed each miner personally to the surface added gravitas and drama.

6. Conflict and Danger
The story had it all. A possible tragedy with a fairytale ending.

7. Sex
Sex and scandal always create news.

When the story broke that the 21st miner to be rescued, had both a wife and a mistress the media went crazy over who would greet him at the surface. Many of them even got it wrong.

Need to refine your message for the media?

Please consider: Tuesday November 23rd 2010, Subiaco Arts Centre, Perth, Australia
Winning the Media Game

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Seven PR Secrets Every Business Owner Needs to Know But Was Afraid to Ask

Listen to this presentation on "The Seven PR Secrets Every Business Owner Needs to Know But Was Afraid to Ask"

Delivered to members on BNI Bamboo West on 21/10/2010

Click here to download…