Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Media Training Course Perth

Feedback from delegates at my course on November 12th 2013.

Next course Tuesday February 4th 2014. Book here.

Leadership with Dr Janet Holmes a' Court

Dr Janet Holmes a' Court explains her leadership style and how she turned her business around with Thomas Murrell. She spoke at a Graduate Management Association (GMA) Up Close and Personal lunch at the University Club on Thursday November 21st 2013.

Janet Holmes à Court is owner of the Janet Holmes à Court Collection. She is also Chairman of the John Holland Advisory Board, one of Australia's leading construction and engineering companies; the West Australian Symphony Orchestra; the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and the Australian Urban Design Research Centre (AUDRC).

She is a Board Director of Vision 2020 Australia, Board Member of the Rio Tinto WA Future Fund, the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO), the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG) and Chamber of Arts and Culture WA.

She is a science graduate from the University of Western Australia and taught science for a number of years before working more closely with family business matters.

She has won numerous awards recognising her contribution to the community and to business, including a Companion of the Order of Australia.

In August 2012 Mrs Holmes à Court was awarded the 2012 Champion of Entrepreneurship at Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in recognition as a leader with a long-term record of outstanding entrepreneurial achievement.

In November 2011, Mrs Holmes à Court was elected an Honorary Fellow of The Australian Academy of the Humanities. In September 2011, Edith Cowan University awarded Mrs Holmes à Court an Honorary Doctorate "Doctor of Arts honoris causa". In March 2011, Mrs Holmes à Court was awarded the Australian Achievement in Architecture National President’s Prize for her contribution to the Australian presence at the Venice Architecture Biennale of 2010.

In early March, Mrs Holmes à Court was inducted into the International Women’s Day WA Women's Hall of Fame in recognition of her business acumen. The awards program is dedicated to unsung heroines from all walks of life, from all over Western Australia.

In March 2009, Mrs Holmes à Court was awarded The Woodrow Wilson Corporate Citizenship Award in recognition of her exemplary business acumen and tireless commitment to giving back to the global community through the arts, health and education.

In October 2008, Mrs Holmes à Court was awarded the 2008 United Way Philanthropist of the Year Award in recognition of her support to the arts, conservation, peace and local community groups. In March 2008, the Charles Sturt University awarded Mrs Holmes à Court an Honorary Doctor of Business Award.

In September 2007, The Institute of Engineers Australia awarded Mrs Holmes à Court a Companion of Engineers Australia. In August 2007, Mrs Holmes à Court was awarded the Australian Institute of Company Directors WA Gold Medal Award. This award is presented to a director who embodies the values of excellence and integrity and encourages the highest ethical standards.

In May 2007, Mrs Holmes à Court was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business from University of Ballarat and in January 2007, was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia in recognition of her service to business, particularly as a leader in the construction, wine and cattle industries, to the advancement of Western Australia's musical and theatre culture, to the visual arts, and to the community.

In May 2004, Mrs Holmes à Court was awarded a Champion Award for the Year of the Built Environment 2004 Western Australia in recognition by the State Steering Committee for excellence in field for championing improvements in the way we plan, design, construct and operate our built environment.

In November 2003, Mrs Holmes à Court was awarded The Lifetime Commitment Award from the WA State Arts Sponsorship Scheme Awards for her leadership and outstanding personal commitment to making a significant contribution to arts and culture in Western Australia. In August 2003, she was awarded the 2003 AbaF Richard Pratt Business Leadership Award.

In January 2001, Mrs Holmes à Court was awarded a Centenary Medal of the Order of Australia for her service to the arts as Chair of the WA Symphony Orchestra and Black Swan Theatre Company.

In February 1998, Mrs Holmes à Court was one of nine (9) Western Australian delegates to represent the Australian Republican Movement at the Constitutional Convention in Canberra and in September 1998. In 1998 Mrs Holmes à Court was also awarded the International Business Council of Western Australia Business Award.

In March, 1997 Mrs Holmes à Court was presented an Honorary Doctorate from Murdoch University for her contribution to the development of education to Western Australia and to the nation, and in September 1997, The University of Western Australia admitted her to the Honorary Doctorate of Letters. In May 1997, Mrs Holmes à Court was awarded the Institution of Engineers Medal which recognises organisations and individuals who have made a significant contribution to the economic or social development of Australia.

In 1995 Mrs Holmes à Court was awarded the United Kingdom Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year. In the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June, 1995 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to Business, the Arts and the Community and in 1994 she received an Honorary Doctorate from the Central Queensland University.

Listen to the podcast interview here. This will take nine minutes and 52 seconds.

Down load the audio from here

Here is the stunning glass platter presented to Dr Janet Holmes a' Court and made by Kim Fitzpatrick of Tradition Stained Glass.

Need a speaker, professional MC or moderator? Contact Thomas Murrell today.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

LinkedIn for Legal Assistants - LinkedIn Tips For Legal Professionals Course Thursday 14th November 2013

Thanks Tom for a very insightful and inspiring couple of hours!"

"Friendly, professional and easy to understand"

"It inspired me to re-instate my LinkedIn page!"

"Overall presentation was excellent and interesting"

"Very interesting"

"Engaging and helpful"

"I liked his knowledge of the subject content and delivering it with energy and humor"

"I liked the overall content and his enthusiasm"

Need help with LinkedIn? Consider an internal workshop for your team. More detail here.

Professional Moderator Perth - LESANZ Great Debate 2013 Does Government help or hinder innovation?

 Wednesday, 30th October 2013, Perth
LESANZ Great Debate 2013 Does Government help or hinder innovation? Pictured with opposing debaters Brodie McCulloch and Michael Beilby.

Carbon Footie Case Study - Public Relations Campaign Perth

Perth-based Carbon Footie have married financial savings with environmental advocacy by becoming leading Energy Efficiency Specialists in green consulting and energy saving.

Here is a case study on what they are doing.

The marketing strategy was to leverage the installation of a 30 kilowatt solar system into greater visibility and credibility especially amongst potential prospects in sporting clubs.

"Journalists want direct links to images, video and audio content for their stories, with no big emails and no cumbersome digging around," was a key message to come out of the PR industry's national conference being held in Adelaide.

So here is a quick case study on how we provided all this for Carbon Footie's CEO Paul Connell.

The event was the launch of a 30 kilowatt solar panel system for the Osborne Park Bowling Club.

1. Get a photographer to take quality visuals.


Carbon Footie, a set on Flickr.
Launch of new 30 kilowatt solar system at Osborne Park Bowling Club.

Via Flickr:
Carbon Footie are energy efficiency specialists.

2. Get a videographer to create a short news video of the event.

 Here is the YouTube video.

3. Media train key spokespeople

Here is the link to the raw media interview done as a training exercise with CEO Paul Connell.

This is 10 mins and 45 seconds.
Note you would never send this to the media. But you could easily create a real audio file to send.

4. Pitch story to local media.

Here is the link to the real media interview done at the local radio station where Paul Connell CEO Carbon Footie, a Perth-based energy efficiency firm is interviewed on 89.7fm by morning program host Sue Myc (pictured).

 This is 15 minutes and 44 seconds.

5. Monitor Media for coverage.

Here is the story in the local paper.

Here is the story on the Osborne Park Bowling Club website.

Need a PR campaign for your product or service? Contact us here.

Carbon Footie Launch Photoset


Carbon Footie, a set on Flickr.

Launch of new 30 kilowatt solar system at Osborne Park Bowling Club.

Via Flickr:
Carbon Footie are energy efficiency specialists.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Where Do I Look? Media Presentation Tips for Scaredy Cats

Where Do I Look? Media Presentation Tips for Scaredy Cats

By Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP International Business Speaker

The most common question I'm asked in practical media training sessions is, "Where do you look when doing a TV or video interview?"

My answer, "Look at the journalist or person asking the questions because they are the storyteller."

Only look at the camera if you are the host of the show or looking at the interviewer via a satellite hookup or prerecord.

This is the most common mistake novice media performers make.

Over my 30 year career, here's my media presentation tips for scaredy cats.

1. Look at the Journalist.
They are the storyteller not you.
You are the one with the important information and they are the one linking it all together and telling the story.

2. Don't Look At the Camera.
The camera is made of glass and steel and won't smile back!

3. Only Look at the Camera if it is a Remote Interview.
This is usually when it is not face to face such as a satellite hook-up or remote interview via a second camera.

4. Ask the Journalist to Repeat the Question.
Use this technique if you need more time to think, didn't hear the questions properly or didn't understand the question.

5. Radio Notes.
If it is a radio interview have notes in front of you but don't rustle them.

6. Memory Hooks for TV.
For TV you will have to commit your key messages and points to memory.
Use memory hooks - such as alliteration to make them more memorable.

7. Use Quotable Quotes More than Once.
You should have spent time prior to the TV interview working on your sound bite, news grab or quotable quote.
Don't be afraid to use it in the TV interview a number of times.
The editors and producers will choose the best one so give them options.

8. Get the Quote Out Early
Get your quote out early in the interview because you never know when the interview may have to wrap up.
The first question is nearly always a broad open question from the journalist.

9. Avoid Visual Distractions
This can be a fly, car driving past or someone trying to do a photo-bomb.
For TV interviews in a studio or in the field a monitor can very distracting so get it turned off or turned away where you can't see it.
There is nothing more distracting than seeing yourself on the screen while trying to do an interview.
For live radio interviews always turn the radio off because often there will be a seven second delay and this is really confusing for listeners.

10. Always Remember Everything is "On The Record"
You've packed up and everything is turned off and then you make a comment thinking the interview is over.

This can become the headline if you're not careful and disciplined.

Everything is on the record when talking to a journalist.

Want to know more and practice in a safe friendly environment? Please consider:
Tuesday November 12th 2013, HLB Mann Judd, L4, 130 Stirling Street, Perth Australia, Australia
Winning the Media Game
Numbers are strictly limited so book here.

Thomas Woodford added:

Hello Tom

Thanks for the recent cast on interview techniques.  It's great to be able to look at your material through the prism of psychology.

What I have noticed is the importance of background in an interview.

For example if I am going to confirm a theory to an interviewer,  who is challenging the science,  I will choose an academic backdrop e.g., library books  on shelves. 

If the theory is old and needs reinforcing an old style book case and books is best. 

If it's ground breaking technology then IKEA and clean-edged,  smooth but strong back drop office is good.

Crisis backdrops and anything to do with giving a united stance always has a person in the back nodding.

I wouldn't let an interviewer choose the background in my domain or my office  because its all in the rehearsal.  There's nothing wrong with setting up a camera at your office,  watch the footage with an objective friend. 

Also have a swag of different outdoor locations you look good in.  If reporters ring for a doorstop deflect them to an outdoor location you have been before.  If you feel good in a location it will come across.

At the office experimenting with backdrops can make a difference and then dictate terms when the reporter arrives in the nicest possible way  e.g., sparkling water and lemon in a tall glass a comfortable place to wait for the talent,  who arrives just after appointment time.

 Greeting reporters unprepared and waiting while they set up just leads to unnecessary talk.  A walk on to the set is best when they are ready.

Conduct the interview and walk off leaving them to pack up.

You're right; whatever you do don't look at the camera.

 Kind regards

Thomas Woodford (BBA), (Grad. Dip. Ed), (MRE).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mining is an undervalued success story

Mining is an undervalued success story according to Graduate Management Association AGM and Twilight   guest speaker Emeritus Professor Andre Morkel . 

Pictured with Graduate Management Association Patron Dr Michael Chaney, guest speaker Emeritus Professor Andre Morkel and GMA Councilor Keith Rappa.

How to Write a Press Release Course Perth October 22 2013

Media release writing training Perth feedback from delegates (pictured). Content included how to write a media release, how to pitch a press release, how to write authored articles, how to write an article for a trade magazine.

Newsletter article writing training for the Perth course was another focus.

"I liked the use of real media releases to illustrate poor communication. Challenging case studies that took me out of my comfort zone and made me think differently."
David Healy, Supervisor Corporate and Audit Services HLB Mann Judd Perth

"Lots of excellent information which is easy to take away and apply in practice."
Leslee Hall, Marketing and Communications Officer WA Farmers, Perth

"I liked the case studies that we did were real - helps to put it in context."
Michelle King, Marketing Manager, BE Projects, Perth

"Great tips and knowledge of how to structure media releases and authored articles."
David Prescott, Supervisor Business Advisory Services HLB Mann Judd Perth

The next how to write a press release course in Perth is on Tuesday December 10th 2013.

The how to write an article for a trade magazine course in Perth will be kept to small numbers and feature a 90-day follow-up editing mentor program.

Book here.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013


The 10 Secrets of Writing and Pitching Winning Media Releases

The 10 Secrets of Writing and Pitching Winning Media Releases

By Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP International Business Speaker

I'm often asked, “How do you get so much media coverage for your clients?”

My answer, “Because I've worked in the media for nearly 30 years and I know the rules of the game.”

Also because there are many stories, many angles, and many opportunities for unpaid media coverage.

Small business owners and larger companies often blindly begin their capital raising program, new project or marketing campaign with little or no regard for the steps and the process of getting media.

They don't understand the link between media coverage and the secret formula that visibility + credibility = profitability.

They don't understand that PR can create leverage and momentum prior to launching a new product, project or capital raising effort.

Why? Because they are so focused internally and on paid advertising, mandates or roadshows that they do not see the external PR opportunities.

Over my 30 year career, a lot has changed in the media.

We've seen the rise of social media and content marketing.

To be successful, not just as a one off but constantly, you need to get inside the mind of media relations professionals.

How they target media channels, how they understand news values, how they know media cycles and deadlines,  and when and how to pitch.

They essentially think like a journalist.

A journalists favorite question is “So what who cares?”

Be able to provide a compelling answer to this that is of interest to their audiences and you’ll have greater success.
So here are the 10 Secrets of Writing and Pitching Winning Media Releases.

**1. Plan and Clearly title it a 'News Release' or 'Media Release'**

Avoid calling it a 'Press Release' - this just gets electronic and social media offside.

Plan and aim for a clear direct transmission of the message.

**2. Date the release**

Timeliness and immediacy are critical news values.

Make key points. Use short sentences and paragraphs.

Minimum waffle, maximum everyday language.

Positive and active words and phrases.

**3. Use letterhead**

This provides credibility. 

**4. Keep to one page**

Journalists are unlikely to read past a page. A second page can often get lost on the fax. If you need to provide more information for a complex subject use a 'Fact Sheet' or 'Media Backgrounder'.

**5. Use a title to grab the attention of the journalist. **

Keep this to one line and no more than 5 words. Less is best.

**6. Have Structure. **

Remember it is a stylized piece of writing following a set formula.

The formula is the essence of your story/news in the first sentence - it must grab the reader (news editor).

Often there is little difference between a release and published story. Read the paper to see how a reporter does it.

Here is the secret formula based on a pyramid model.

**7. Use quotable quotes from the spokesperson. **

These provide credibility, emotional connection and color.

**8. Put the most important information first**

Again journalists are time poor and you want to get their attention within the first line?

**9. Call to Action**

What do you want audiences to do after reading your media release?

**10.    Always include a contact number**

Often known as a "boilerplate" and comes after ENDS or ### which means this is where the public information finishes.

Office and mobile, email, skype, social media and website address so the journalist can get more details if interested.

Want to know more? Please consider:

**Tuesday October 22nd 2013, HLB Mann Judd, L4, 130 Stirling Street, Perth Australia** __Writing and Pitching Winning Media Releases__
[* Numbers limited so book here].

The University of Western Australia Business School's MBA 40th anniversary Dinner!

How to Sell A Family Business with Robyn Ahern

How do you sell a family business with multiple owners and stakeholders?

Former CEO of the Aherns retail empire in Perth and MBA Graduate Robyn Ahern explains how in this podcast.

She was a guest speaker at a Graduate Management Association Up Close and Personal Lunch.

Click here to listen...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Ten Most Common Investor Presentation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

The Ten Most Common Investor Presentation Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

By Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP International Business Speaker

Having spent time listening to nearly 60 investor presentations recently its time to analyse what works and what doesn't.

I attended two international conferences and was the MC of the technical session for one where I caught up with fellow professional MC and former Australian Broadcasting Corporation broadcaster Gerry Gannon (pictured).

These are the most common mistakes CEOs and Directors make when trying to communicate their business strategy, competitive position and value proposition for an investor audience.

And of course there are tips on how to overcome these mistakes.

So here are The Ten Most Common Investor Presentation Mistakes and What to Do About Them.

1. Poor Set Up

How a CEO or Director is introduced is critical to the success of an investor presentation.

Do not leave this to chance!

This is the first message an investor audience will hear about the investment opportunity.

Do not let it be an uncontrolled message.

Always write an introduction for the MC or person who introduces the speaker. Or get your PR person to do this.

One of the main reasons investors will part with money is the quality of management.

Make sure sure the introduction highlights the qualifications and experience of the person giving the presentation.

2. Complex Business Strategy

Most investors will turn off if the business strategy is too complex.

The most successful investments have a simple business strategy.

Think Google, Microsoft and Ikea.

How can you make the value proposition simple and easy to understand?

3. Information Overload

Too much content is the most common mistake I see.

The presenter somehow needs to explain every tiny detail and audiences just switch off!

Symptoms include the speaker going over time, looking at the screen for long periods of time or reading notes.

Remember the presentation is about the spoken word not the written word!

Save the minutiae for the detailed and written Prospectus, Quarterly or Annual Report. 

4. Lack of Confidence in Content

If you don't have confidence in your content and investor message how can potential investors?

You need to believe very strongly in your business case, competitive position or value proposition.

You need to be able to recite this off by heart.

5. Poor Visuals

The symptoms are presenters use the slides as speech notes.

Wrong approach!

Visuals should be treated like a TV screen.

Common mistakes are too many competing images/photos on a slide.

Other mistakes are on the master template footer no page numbers and no website to drive people there for more detail.

Other mistakes are getting into the "Header: Bullet Point" trap of every slide having this format rather than really good graphics.

I mean digital, slick graphics that I call "eye candy".

It is just good to visually look at.

That brings me to my next point.

6. Too Many Bullet Points Per Page

Yes, it's true. I heard a presentation that had eight bullet points on a page.

No more than three please.

7. Visual Distractions

The quality of your design reflects the reputation of your company.

Don't skimp on this.

If you look cheap and nasty - no one will invest.

Always get an external professional to have input into your visuals and speech.

You can be too close to your content.

And when you get on stage to present - take your name badge or lapel badge off.

This will give you more power and authority because the badge or security tag is just a visual distraction.

8. Headers That Are Descriptive and Functional With No Benefit

Here's the header "About XXX Company" followed by eight bullet points.

It is much better to have a benefit laden message in the header rather than a purely functional or descriptive phrase.

For example, instead of having "About XXX Company" - have the value proposition in the Header.

Keep this to five words or less.

If you want simple background to the company - when started, how big etc - have this in the formal structured introduction.

9. Poor Structure

Do you really want to start your presentation with a disclaimer?

The lawyers will tell you this is the most important slide in your deck.

Don't listen to them.

I know lawyers who are now CEOs of publicly listed companies and they put the disclaimers last in the slide deck.

Disclaimers are there for compliance not impact!

OK, so you say let's start with the corporate structure of the company?

Who owns shares, how many shares on offer etc?

Is this really the best you can hit me with as a potential investor? Your company structure?

I'm interested in this one overall question?

What is the compelling reason to invest? I call this the CR2I.

Your CR2I should set you apart from all others and answer these questions.

What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
What is your sustainable competitive advantage (CSA)?
What is your RPOD (Reputational Point of Difference)
What is your strategy to leverage the opportunity?
What is the upside for investors?
What is the exit strategy?
What is your ability to execute the strategy?
What is the reputation, credibility, experience and qualifications of the people involved?

All this information is of far more interest than corporate structures.

And can you explain all of the above in one visual or one memorable and sticky phrase or tagline?

10. No Call to Action

What do you want investors to do after hearing your speech?

Fill in the Prospectus?
Call their stockbroker?
Write out a cheque?
Visit your booth at the trade show?

Please consider Tuesday 8th October, 9.30am to 1.00pm, HLB Mann Judd, L4, 130 Stirling Street, Perth, Australia.

Presentation Skills Masterclass - Powerful & Persuasive Speech-writing.

Numbers limited so book here.

Social Media Marketing with Dr Paul Harrigan

Thomas Murrell interviews Social Media Marketing expert Assoc Professor Paul Harrigan from the University of Western Australia (pictured).

Listen to the podcast. This will take 9 minutes and 31 seconds to listen to.

Click here to download…

Want help with social media marketing? Contact Thomas here.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Professional MC Perth - Thomas Murrell - Australia India Business Council Event Aug 15th 2013

Professional MC Perth - Thomas Murrell - Australia India Business Council Event Aug 15th 2013

Photos of the event.

Photography by Julissa Shrewsbury New Work Photography.

If you require a professional Master of Ceremonies, MC or Moderator please contact Thomas.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Top Ten Pre-Pitch Media Must Dos

Top Ten Pre-Pitch Media Must Dos

 By Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP International Business Speaker

Having a plan on how you will pitch your story to the media and journalists will increase your chances of getting media coverage.

Different media have different deadlines, different styles and different requirements.

So how can you improve your chances of success in gaining media coverage that will drive sales and profitability through increased visibility and credibility that editorial coverage brings?

These are the Top Ten must dos before pitching your story to the media.

1. What's New?

Ask Yourself - Is It Newsworthy?

If it's not don't waste the media's time and burn important relationships.

If yes, analyse what hot news buttons does it press for the reporter or editor?

The most important news values on which editorial decisions are made include currency, timeliness, immediacy, drama, consequence, natural disasters, conflict, prominence, human interest and the quirky and unusual.

2. Target Media

What is the best media platform, media vehicle or media channel?

Newspapers contain more detail and have longevity.

Radio has immediacy while television has visual impact.

3. Target the Reporter

Build a relationship with a journalist who covers stories relevant to your media pitch.

It is better to target journalists than do a mass email blast to everyone from a list you may have purchased.

4. Google both the Reporter and News Media

Like researching a company and panel for a job interview, do your research on the media outlet and reporter.

5. Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the best platform to research the background of journalists and reporters.

Find a common connection and common area of interest you can talk about when you pitch to build rapport.

6. Know Their Most Recent Work

The more you know the journalists most recent work, the more likely your pitch will be successful.

For a refresher on what motivates journalists this past article summarises media archetypes. http://tinyurl.com/kd3juwj

7. Prepare a Media Kit

This should contain a media release, media backgrounder and or fact sheet.

8. Prepare Other Angles

Who also could the media interview to add to the story?

Seek out these angles and people and have them media ready via media training.

9. Prepare Media Opportunities

These could be photo opportunities or interview opportunities.

Always know the deadlines and news cycles of the media your are pitching to. See point #2.

10. Prepare a Script

Always work from a prepared script. It will save time, be less stressful and be more professional.

It will increase your chances of success.

Please consider Tuesday 20th August, 9.30am to 1pm, HLB Mann Judd, L4, 130 Stirling Street, Perth, Australia
Media Writing Masterclass - Writing and Pitching Winning Media Releases

Numbers are limited so book here.