Being aware of the need to constantly challenge your own assumptions, can have tangible, practical benefits and result in better campaigns, more effective PR and smoothly-run events.
If it can go wrong, it will go wrong. Unless you think ahead. Beware of believing that the arrangements you have made are set in stone or that what is obvious to you is obvious to everyone else. The devil is always in the detail.
- You are used to communicating within your industry and now need to address a less specialised audience. Remember that what may be clear or familiar to you may not be to them. Check that technical terms are explained and acronyms spelt out, but don’t patronise your readers
- You plan a summer event and have visions of elegant guests sipping prosecco, strolling in bright sunshine – what will you do if it rains all day?
- Is the person you made the arrangements with going to be away on leave when the event takes place or the article needs to be submitted? You need to know who will deal with everything in their absence and make sure that that person actually knows that they have been given that role. It’s too late to find out that there has been no handover on deadline day
- You booked a laptop and projector but what about cables? Can the room be sufficiently darkened so that the audience can see the presentation? Do you have a back-up plan if the equipment fails? How many copies of the presentation do you have? Have you checked whether the embedded videos run on the hired equipment?
- A colleague sends you an image to use for a campaign, but does your organisation have permission to use it? Is a photo credit needed or a royalty payment? Has it been used before and in what context?
I could go on but I am sure that you get the idea. Check and double-check at every stage. Don’t just keep your fingers crossed.
Instead: assume nothing.