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What Public Relations experts know

1.  Establish a company blog

Having a corporate blog is a definite plus for companies of all sizes. A blog is an effective tool for small companies because it gives them a global stage from which to tell their brand story, add value and connect with customers and partners; large companies can benefit from a blog for the same reasons but more importantly because it can help an organisation to appear more ‘human’ with posts written by employees and, preferably, senior executives including the CEO.

2.  Be open

People appreciate openness and a sense of transparency from company leaders. Earlier this year PR firm Edelman * released its annual Trust Barometer, a global survey that gauges the public’s trust in government, business and the media. One damning statistic from the survey was that only 35 per cent of New Zealanders and Australians found CEOs credible as a company spokesperson. Being open and transparent at all times in your communications is one way to win back the trust of people – if you personally have made a mistake or the company has mis-stepped along the way, say so. Be open to your foibles as much as your strengths when the situation requires it and people will respect you (and your brand) all the more for it.

3.  Tell stories

Stories. We humans love ‘em. We’re hardwired to tell (and listen to) stories, it’s in our DNA. If companies in Australia and NZ want to improve their levels of communication and engagement with stakeholders, they could do worse than to develop and tell authentic stories that move people to action rather than bore them to tears.

4.  Use your own voice

Too many senior company executives rely on the crutch of jargon’. Their words – whether spoken or written – are impenetrable to the point that people – customers, employees, journalists – switch off.

Use your own voice, speak to people as you would at a barbecue rather than how you would to your executive board. Don’t try and emulate other CEOs who baffle people with impenetrable language designed not to communicate but to impress. You won’t get your message across and you will lose standing as a leader.

Posted on 10 September '12 by , under Business.

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The transition to retirement (TTR) strategy allows you to access some of your super while you continue to work.

You are able to use the TTR strategy if you are aged 55 to 60. You can use it to supplement your income if you reduce your work hours or boost your super and save on tax while you keep working full time.

  • Starting a TTR pension: To start your TTR pension, transfer some of your super to an account-based pension. You have to keep some money in your super account so that you can continue to receive your employer's compulsory contributions as well as any voluntary contributions you may be making.
  • Government benefits and TTR: The benefits you or your partner receive might be impacted if you choose to opt for this strategy. How and what exactly will change might become clearer upon discussing this with a Financial Information Service (FIS) officer.
  • Life insurance and TTR: In some cases, the life insurance cover you have with your super may stop or reduce if you start a TTR pension – check this before making any decisions or changes.

TTR can help ease your mind as you transition into retirement but it can be a bit complex. Before you choose whether you want to use TTR to reduce work hours or save on tax, or even if you want to use TTR altogether, you should figure out how this will impact all aspects of your finances.

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