Tips on writing an RFP executive summary
Bloghound give us a list of the 10 Most common mistakes in writing an RFP executive summary, which makes this a tip in reverse I guess. The shortlist:
- About us vs. the prospect
- Proposal summary vs. a business case
- Opening with blah blah platitudes vs. guts and convictions
- Verbal runoff and information overload
- What’s at stake?
- General to industry vs. personal to prospect
- Educating vs. selling
- Bland writing inadvertently conveys lack of real interest
- Too many pages
- Where can I find more?
Effective executive summaries are about the prospect– not you. How you’re going to solve their problem. Advice on how to burn down their obstacles. How much money they are going to save. New ways for them to be innovative in their industries.
It’s definitely worth a read or bookmarking.
Track open records requests in Houston
The Houston Chronicle’s Houston Politics blog reports that blogHOUSTON has “launched a new forum to let readers post their open-records requests for everyone to read.” Worth watching, even if you aren’t subject to TPIA requests.
Public relations best practices
From BNET’s Catching Flack column:
The authors of the USC-Annenberg study of PR departments compiled a list of 13 best practices among the more than 500 PR departments that responded to their survey:
- Maintain a higher than average ratio of PR budget to gross revenue.
- Report directly and exclusively to the C-Suite.
- Optimize the C-Suite’s understanding of PR’s current and potential contributions to the success of the organization as a whole.
- Establish an effective social responsibility strategy for your organization.
- Establish an effective digital-media strategy for your organization.
- Establish an effective issues-management strategy for your organization.
- Optimize integration and coordination within the PR/Communications function, and between it and other organizational functions.
- Encourage highly ethical practices across the organization, beginning with communication.
- Encourage the organization-wide adoption of a long-term strategic point of view, beginning with communication.
- Encourage the organization-wide adoption of a proactive mindset, beginning with communication.
- Encourage the organization-wide adoption of a flexible mindset, beginning with communication.
- Optimize the integration of PR and reputational considerations into top-level organizational strategies.
- Measurably contribute to organizational success.
If you’re not already reading Catching Flack, you should add it to your list.
Learn better pitching from Hollywood
Another Catching Flack feature, “A Hollywood Exec Teaches Business Pros to Pitch Their Ideas.”
- It’s more important to be interested than interesting
- It might be counter-intuitive but focus more on relationship
building than the immediate outcome of a meeting
- Brevity has value, but don’t pitch your idea in an elevator (or at
the dentist, or in the men’s room)
- Traditional networking is a waste of time
- Send hand-written notes in non-business sized envelopes: assistants
will automatically put small envelopes at the top of the mail pile.
- Know your blogger.
- Don’t play by the rules because there are no rules.
- Lead with your personal brand.
- Become a part of their community.
- Content is king, even with PR pitches.
- The social media release.
- Be passionate and creative.
- Relationships still trump everything.
Let me repeat that last one: “Relationships still trump everything.” Just a reminder.
Looking for ways to enhance your personal brand? Chris Brogan has “100 Personal Branding Tactics Using Social Media” that has some very practical and easy-to-use tips. Even doing just a couple will help.