APR

Asiatic Public Relations Network (Pvt.) Ltd. Karachi – Lahore – Islamabad


Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Friday, September 7th, 2012

An old saying in English is that ‘the first impression is the last impression.’ The meaning of this is quite clear. If someone meets you for the first time, whatever impression he or she forms of you in his / her mind, will remain what he or she thinks about you for a long long time.

Hence it is vitally important that we, especially as we are in the PR business, make a very positive first impression. This applies to everyone who interacts with outside people – whether you are in the client service department or the media department or graphics or even general duty for that matter.

Anyone’s first impression of you will be based on 3 main criteria – what you look like or your overall appearance, what you say and your body language.

Appearance refers to your dressing that should be neat and clean. Not necessarily expensive, but well coordinated, well-pressed and refined. And remember it is always better to be a little over-dressed than under-dressed! Hence wearing a tie by gents is highly advisable.

Appearance also refers to your hairstyle and yes, even your shoes! Research has shown that people really get put off, even if subconsciously by people with dirty, unpolished shoes! Then the second way people judge you is by what you say, or what you don’t say! In our business it is important to be a good conversationalist, without becoming a talking machine that bores everyone to death! So your talk must be sensible, with always some humour in it and with regard to people’s sensitivities. For example avoid discussion on politics or religion! The third and sometimes the most critical way people judge you by is your body language, also unknown as non-verbal communication. A person who slouches will automatically be assumed to be a lazy person. A person who avoids eye contact while talking is assumed to be trying to hide something or not telling the truth. So we need to consciously practice a positive body language style, that gives a clear message to the person you are interacting with – that you are confident, active, trustworthy.

Good luck with practicing all of the above to make your next first impression a great one!

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BODY LANGUAGE

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Psychologists estimate that between 60 percent and 80 percent of all of our communication with other people is non-verbal. That’s a huge percentage. For us in the public relations business especially, it is vital that we acquire at least some basic skills in understanding people’s body language. Of course we can immediately recognize when a person is happy or angry, even if the person has not said a word. A big, pleasant smile denotes happiness, whereas a frown or glaring eyes clearly convey anger.

But body language is much more than this and understanding it comes only with a lot of practice. What I am going to do is to talk about this very interesting subject in the next post, so that all of us dealing as we do with a wide variety of people, are better able to recognize, interpret and react to the unsaid messages that are coming our way.

At the same time it is equally, if not more important to control your own body language, because your body too is giving out unsaid messages to the other person you are interacting with. One survey for example has shown that people remember only 3 percent of what you say, 7 percent of how you say it, but 90 percent of how you look when you say it! That is how important body language is!
So, to start off with, here are the top 3 “Do’s” of body language that you can practice next time you are in a meeting with someone:

1. Smile! There is nothing like a genuine and broad smile at the very start, to give a clear positive signal to the other person.

2. Sit up straight. Slouching in a meeting, sliding down in your chair, resting your head against the wall are all negative body language signals that makes the other person think you are not really interested in what’s going on.

3. Maintain eye contact. This is also very important. Avoiding eye contact with the person you are talking with indicates you have either something to hide, or again, you are not really interested in what’s going on.

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