Frequently asked questions

How do I know if I want or need PR & Comms?


PR & Comms is all about building relationships and there are many reasons why you would want and need PR/Comms. Think about your brand and your product or service. Who are the kind of people you come into contact with? It could be clients or customers, shareholders, employees or more. Now think about what it would be if you had no relationship with them. For customers, how would you sell your products? Would they trust you? How would they even know about you? The real question is why wouldn't you want PR/Comms?!!? Here are some points to consider: *PR/Comms helps magnify your message and brand and helps to build awareness *PR/Comms can position you in a like and trusted space (thereby customers are more likely to purchase from you) *PR/Comms lets others know your story and why it is good for them (and you too) *PR/Comms can help drive traffic to your website and increase your ranking *PR/Comms can help you grow exponentially overnight with one great media article *PR/Comms and Social media can help let others know about you in real time and engage in two-way conversations *PR/Comms and Social media can increase your credibility with mentions, sharing and opportunities *Your competitors will have PR/Comms The list is endless, and yet the benefits are many - that's why you need PR/Comms.




Doesn't it cost a lot?


Like anything in life, the cost of something depends on what you need and what you are hoping to achieve. There is a myriad of options that you can choose from to help you work within your budget: *You can do the PR/Comms yourself with some guidance and consultancy *You can choose a few PR/Comms activities you need to get you started (like a press release) and then empower yourself to do it from there (with or without our guidance). *You can uptake our skills and outsource it all to do to us with the idea you will take it over at some point *Or, you can outsource it all to us and concentrate on what it is you need to focus on in your business to keep it thriving and successful. If you would like to learn more then please email us: info@cindication.com




How much does your PR & Comms cost?


We have a variety of options to suit you and your budget. You can choose from what is essentially like a menu - you can choose a few items you might need to help you get started, like a press release, x 3 blog pieces or a month's worth of social media content. These costs are generally a set-one-off cost or paid per hour depending on the activity. Alternatively, many prefer this option, to pay a "Retainer" amount which includes a range of PR/Comms activities required for a set number of hours of work. This works out to be more advantageous to you as the client. There are a number of package options available depending on what your "needs" are, your budget and what you are trying to achieve and we can create a bespoke package specifically for your needs. Just email us with your initial thoughts and we can take it from there: cindy@cindication.com




What guarantees are there?


There are no guarantees in PR/Comms. But what we can control is the crystal clear messaging we can provide for your brand or product/service and how we get that message out there to the right audience. There is more than one way to solve a problem and more than one medium to get your message out there. In addition to this, sometimes news stories break (like a pandemic), news happens and is reported on, a perfectly executed story strategy can be filmed and end up on the cutting room floor. Does this mean you shouldn't try at all? The answer is of course not! There are many ways in which successful PR/Comms can be done, but it can be hard to measure. Sure you can add up the number of media appearances you have had in a month, you can see your "Likes" and "Shares" increase on your Social media platforms. These are all great returns on investment, but they aren't the full story. How does your customer feel about your brand? Do they trust and like your product? Do your employees like working for you? These are harder to measure, feelings are harder to measure. You should look at PR/Comms as an entire matrix. Parts of it can be measured with numbers, ROI and so forth and parts of it are immeasurable through the feelings your stakeholders may have for you as a brand and business. PR/Comms is more than just getting a 4-minute spot on the TV, it's about content, blogs/vlogs, relationships, social media, perception and trust management, reputation, corporate social responsibility and so much more. Analysis can be done in many of these areas but it is far more complicated than that. So rather than thinking it's all about ROI (Return-on-Investment) try to think of it as ROI (Relationships-of-Influence).




What do I do if I get negative PR & Comms?


You employ "us". Firstly, it's always good to have a PR/Comms Contingency Plan in place in the event of negative PR/Comms. This may form part of a "bigger plan" required and is often referred to as "Crisis Management PR Plan". (We saw in recent months that many businesses did not have any plan in place for a widespread situation such as the pandemic). And whilst we can't plan for everything we can set up some parametres to help mitigtate risk and protect your company brand and reputation. Things to think about in a crisis; who is the spokesperson in such event, what needs to happen (an apology, a retractions, a refund, other?) Some tips to consider if you get negative PR/Comms: *Work out where it has come from and why *Try to mitigate any fallout possible *Apologise if necessary *Own up, be authentic *Work out what needs to happen (messages, interviews, press conference) *Focus on your team and core messages Remember it's not often the crime but the coverup that upsets people! Next step, email us at Cindication (info@cindication.com)




Can't I just do PR & Comms myself?


Absolutely you can. Part of what we like to achieve is that we empower you to take the skills we have, learn them and then apply them directly to your business. No-one knows your business and brand better than you do. Try to imagine we are panning for gold, we will teach you the techniques required to sift through the silt to find your gold nugget and over time you can do this for yourself and go and collect your gold that the world has to offer. (*You can keep an eye out for our special training courses, manuals and templates to assist you with DIY PR/Comms). You can also look at it this way too... Sometimes business grows faster than what you are ready for. The most common mistake when this occurs is that people "freeze" and do nothing. They forget to listen to their gut instinct. The reality is that you will most probably feeling a little overwhelmed and running on adrenalin, so at this stage in your growth and scalability, you would be wise to outsource your PR/Comms to us so that we can help keep things moving along at a consistent rate as you grow. No matter how fast you grow, you will always need a strong team around you to help you support your business and brand.




What are our Editorial Guidelines and Complaint Handling Policies and Procedures?


Part 1: Editorial Guidelines for Cindication Co.

It is the responsibility of the Director of Cindication, as editor-in-chief, that all pertained journalists, writers, content bloggers and providers, ensure that all content focuses on truth, equality, fairness and is in the public’s best interest to know.

Whilst some of our editorial guidelines cover stylistic and grammatical expectations, we believe in transparency, and thus extend them to also include strategic objectives for the company. Our content will always endeavour to cover quality editing, proof reading, quality control and in turn a better result, a better reputation, a growing readership, and more leads.

To some people, such guidelines might seem a little strict, but if you think of it this way: if that’s how it seems, they're not right for Cindication. Enforcing guidelines is difficult, but it's crucial not to waver on the high standards we have set. Being steadfast with our editorial guidelines will not only improve our content performance, it will also save everyone time because we've provided clear directions on how to write appropriate content for our business and that of our clients.

Below are our Editorial Guidelines:

1. We always explain our content’s objective. Writers and contributors should know how our content fits into our business' overarching strategy. Whether that be lead generation, driving traffic to our website, reporting on an issue and the truth, bringing about education and awareness, gain more social media followers or showcase our clients work, services and products, we are clear on our objective.

2. Specific content for our audience. We craft specific content for our target customers and so our writers can create content and ensure that it is sensitive and is tailored to the needs and interests of our target audience.

3. Require topic approval. All topics must seek approval from the Director before they begin writing. The best content begins with an awesome topic; if a topic is weak, no amount of editing can save it.

4. Explain your linking policy. Linking to outside blogs/news/websites must be referenced appropriately. (i.e., Journalist/Resource)

5. Share your photo expectations. Images must be sourced responsibly through our account of BigStock.com or provided by the interviewee or recipient with permission to use. They must be tasteful and in line with the content and our brand values.

6. Give style and formatting tips. Writing should be in "short sentences," "break up large blocks of text with bold headings," and "bullet your major points." Writing and content should be clear, palatable and easy to follow. Writing should always focus on the main issue, the brand message, and reflect current issues, appropriate narrative and rhetoric of the current landscape, tone and terminology. Content should be non-offensive however can draw attention to issues on topics that are controversial but non-offensive.

7. Help with headlines. Great headlines draw more traffic and generate more social media shares and click-throughs.

8. Content review process. All content is edited and reviewed by the Director and client and sign-off in written form prior to being delivered, disseminated and published.

9. Re-posting policy. It is possible to re-post information once it has been approved and published without alteration to the original content nor taken out of context, everything must be referenced and sourced.

10. Inclusive, Sensitive and Fairness Content. All content must represent equality and be non-offensive and non-gendered (where possible). This includes Indigenous Content, Torres Strait Islander and cultural sensitivity.

11. Code of Conduct, including:

  • Inclusive of all, irrespective of race, religion, gender et al
  • Inclusive of disabilities and neurodiversity
  • Professional at all times
  • Respectful of space and sensitive to audience needs
  • Coarse language will not be tolerated
  • Non-paying for interviews
  • Sensitive to interviewing of children (must be with parental consent under the age of 18 years of age); including footage, imagery, podcasts, video with signed consent from a parent
  • Where possible use other communications, such as sign-language or subtitles
  • Reach as many audiences as far and wide as possible with respect and dignity
  • Produce work that is fact based and accurate content (sourced information as per journalist’s code of conducts/ethical standards)
  • No details passed onto third parties unless required to do so by law
  • Any advertising/sponsorship must be passed by the Director of Cindication and in line with any moral and ethical standards by law
  • Discretion is applied when outlined what needs to be considered in attributing information or negotiating the anonymity of a source.

Part 2: Complaint Handling Process for Cindication Co.

As part of being accountable and having good self-regulation, feedback both positive and negative (in the form of a complaint) is part of good practice and the ability to improve the quality of content. This helps to build trust with your audience and have loyal followers.

Considerations:

  • Contentious Program/Content Material – Legal proceedings adhered too, Royal Commissions, official and/or Police investigations adhered too.
  • Corrections/Clarifications addressed as/when necessary and advised too
  • Differentiating between factual reporting, analysis and opinion – the aim is to help with understanding and managing the crucial distinctions between types of content by providing definitions of opinion, factual and analytic content and guidance on distinguishing between them.
  • Domestic Violence - provided to assist staff involved in the reporting or discussion of issues or stories related to domestic or family violence. (Non-gendered, Family/Domestic Violence against both men and women)
  • State / Federal Elections - provides advice for coverage of Federal, State and Territory elections, including legal obligations, fair and balanced coverage, use of social media.

Allegations:

  • Fair opportunity to respond and be heard
  • Timely manner in which to respond
  • Dealt with individually and on a case-by-case basis
  • Drone recording – must act in accordance with privacy issues
  • Personal Social Media guidelines – at the discretion of the individual and that coinciding with the brand and values that Cindication upholds
  • Harm and offence - issues relating to Harm and offence and make informed decisions that uphold the standards while still enabling us to publish innovative content consistent with our Brand values.
  • Hate Speech, Terrorism & Mass Killings - addresses three separate but related phenomena – racist, discriminatory and hate speech; terror attacks; and non-political mass killings. It applies to factual content.
  • Impartiality - the hallmarks of impartiality: a balance that follows the weight of evidence; fair treatment; open mindedness; and opportunities over time for the principle relevant viewpoints to be presented.
  • Interviewing – encompasses all interviews, live/pre-recorded to follow and ethical line of questioning whilst gathering the truth/facts
  • Moderating User Generated Content - This applies to the moderation of user generated content appearing on our websites and on official interactive services established on third-party websites, such as external social media sites (Facebook, YouTube etc). User generated content includes text (comments, posts), photos, images, video and audio submitted for publication on our websites, official presences on third party sites or other interactive services.
  • Using/operating Official Cindication Social Media Platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and more) - must be read by anyone authorised to operate or administer an official social media account. It explains the rules around establishing official sites on third party platforms, operational procedures and security, as well ensuring adherence to our Use of Social Media Policy.
  • Removing Online Content – will be done by the Director and / or Account Manager, Admin of Social media if deemed harmful, hurtful or inappropriate.
  • Disability inclusion – at all times, imperative to our brand values
  • No secret recording devices can/will be used unless in accordance with the law
  • Suicide / Self-Harm - the coverage of suicide and self-harm in all our content, whether the reporting of real instances or fictionalised depictions of suicide, apparent or attempted suicide, assisted suicide (voluntary euthanasia), or self-harm. We set out some basic considerations and principles to better equip content-makers to address the issues in an appropriate and measured way.
  • Use in News / Reports of Pictures used/obtained via Social Media - Media organisations are making increased use of pictures obtained from social networking sites. This guidance note covers the legal and ethical issues questions you should consider when contemplating using pictures taken from social media other news reports.

How to handle complaints

Complaints received can be in the following ways:

  • Email/Written
  • Phone
  • Social Media comments

Firstly determine:

  • seriousness of the matter;
  • likelihood of harm;
  • potential to mislead;
  • proximity of person raising the matter to the substance of the complaint
  • scale of audience response; and
  • degree of risk of damage to public trust and confidence

Procedure:

  1. The nature of complaints should be determined
  2. Take details (email, date, time, nature of the problem and record in a spreadsheet)
  3. Alert Account Manager/Director to the complaint (meeting called if necessary)
  4. Director to advise on possible solution and response.
  5. The following should occur where possible:
    1. Respond to a complaint in a timely manner (within 30 days if possible, send email that the complaint has been received and respond appropriately as required)
    2. Give a clear and transparent reason in response to a complaint
    3. Help audience members to understand and educate them as to why a story/content was written
    4. Focus on a good resolution (this may include what is in our control, retraction of story, issuing a correction and/or apology, ethics on reporting the truth.
    5. Utilise an external and independent mediator if required
  6. Record all details and responses and outcomes in a spreadsheet

01.01.20 - These guideline information has been authorised by the Director.

The attached guidleines and content are in line with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).





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