Communicator superhero training course

CONFIDENCE IN COMMUNICATIONS “How to Grow your own Gravitas”

How many training courses do you come back from saying “That was amazing” or “That was the most practical training I have ever been on?”

Well, it happened to us when one of my colleagues came back from a course with Jayne Constantinis and immediately became one of those five-star reviews which say: “Brilliant, couldn’t recommend this training highly enough!” 

We were so fired up by the course that we asked Jayne and the PRCA if they could run it again for the benefit of more of our staff, so this amazing, empowering enjoyable course is taking place again.  Book now to avoid disappointment!

Oh, what does the course include? …..Well, it’s a day of practical skills and training in how to present yourself and your ideas with confidence; how to deal with difficult situations, and basically feel like a superhero in the workplace.

And if you know Jess, our account director, you might be surprised to discover that it was she who went on the course.  Jess doesn’t exactly come across as a shrinking violet;  she is a superb presenter and communicator – but who doesn’t like to learn new tips or add to their skills?!

It’s a full days course, taking place in the Jam Factory in Oxford on Thursday March 28th.

Official details from Jayne and the PRCA below:

Many people in the communications industry struggle with issues of presence and gravitas.  They feel undermined and judged by clients and (senior) colleagues.  They want to get their point across in meetings  but fail to do themselves justice on conference calls, in presentations and pitches.  In essence, they are missing opportunities to contribute, to grow, to impress.  And all the while, confidence and credibility are being eroded at an important phase in their career.

The key to solving these common problems lies in establishing robust communication habits.  By addressing both your mindset and your skill set, you will be better able to deal with challenging situations.  You will be more in control and therefore more confident.   Crucially, you will discover that confidence is not a mystical force field or an inherent quality but something which can be created and developed.

During the session, we unpick ‘gravitas’ and ‘presence’ so that you can acquire practical tools to grow your own.

You will learn:

  • How effective preparation underpins confidence, ‘gravitas’ and ‘presence’
  • The value of rehearsal in building self esteem and credibility
  • Audience and message planning techniques, to be able to resonate with audiences
  • How to make content memorable and impactful – not just what you say but also the language you use around your content (e.g. apologetic, hesitant)
  • To maximise the potential in your voice – intonation, volume, pace
  • How to use body language and eye contact for maximum effect
  • Practical techniques to combat nerves so that you can perform well under pressure
  • Individual strategies for dealing with interruptions/challenge
  • The art of being assertive, not aggressive
  • Negotiation/persuasion techniques.


Jayne Constantinis has been in the communications business for 25 years.  Her range of experience includes: live voice-over announcing on BBC TV;
business reporting on BBC World; fronting corporate programmes for blue-chip companies; facilitating live events; communication skills training for
individuals and groups.  Her BBC TV series on Mexico was nominated for a BAFTA; voice over credits include Sony and Channel 4 and she has written for
Condé Nast Traveller and Good Housekeeping.  She learned journalism at the LCP; has an acting diploma from the Royal Academy of Music and a Modern
Languages degree from Cambridge.  She started her working life in PR and advertising and at one of the world’s leading branding agencies – Wolff Olins.

Working with Olympic superstars prompted her to confront and dispel the myths around confidence in communications – she has consequently developed a
unique approach to empowering those who want to be skilful, effective and memorable.  Jayne understands how career/life enhancing being a good
communicator is, and she derives huge satisfaction from helping others to ‘shine’ as brightly as they can.

If you need any more incentive to book on this course, anyone from the Oxford Public Relations group can have a 10% discount by applying the code OXPR19 at the PRCA checkout.

Confidence in Communication


How do you measure creativity? PR measurement systems that work

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At a conference in Barcelona this year Alex Aiken, head of the UK Government Communication Service, said: “I believe that measurement is the most important communication discipline.”

There are some simple, easy measures you can put in place to evaluate your PR activity and I will outline them below.

But first a philosophical question you might ask.  ‘Does measurement kill creativity in PR?’ Having just read ‘The Tyranny of Metrics’ by Jerry Z. Muller, I’m tempted to say yes.

The following paragraph from the book sums up the problem with measurement which applies to public organisations such as schools and hospitals and, in a much smaller way, PR agencies too:

“Primary schools, for example, have their tasks of teaching reading, writing, and numeracy, and these perhaps could be monitored through standardised tests. But what about goals that are less measurable but no less important, such as instilling good behaviour, inspiring a curiosity about the world and fostering creative thought?”

We work for many organisations in the education sector and are lucky to work for one school which, through teaching the International Baccalaureate Programme, specifically sets out to foster a curious mind and creativity, among other qualities, in addition to the basic 3 R’s among its students. So I know that with the right approach, creativity and measurement can sit comfortably together – in other words, measurement need not kill creativity.

Creativity and measurement can go together

At Twelve we are absolutely wedded to the importance of creativity in PR – after all, the ‘Twelve ideas’ concept, where a new, good idea is presented every month to our clients, is a core part of our service offer.

I don’t see any conflict between creativity and measurement, in fact I think creativity without measurement is pure vanity.  Our business as a PR agency is to help other businesses and organisations thrive, and there are always tangible ways to measure this.

A brilliant creative idea needs to do something, for example increase footfall, achieve sales, build a new business pipeline and so on.

Tips on how to set up a useful PR measurement report.

The most important thing is to make sure that your reporting is ‘light touch’ but effective:

  1. Requires no more than 10 per cent of your own or your agency’s time or budget to produce.
  2. Can be understood and appreciated at a glance.
  3. Can be repeated each month or at regular intervals, such as after each campaign.

Measuring PR activities and outcomes

Measure activities, but make sure you have more information on outcomes.


Keep a record of what your PR agency is doing for you. Ultimately you don’t want a long list of activities, because what really matters to you are the outcomes. However, depending on what your agency has been tasked to do, a summary each month is a useful record.

For example, if it’s media relations, have a summary or list of stories or news items that have been distributed.  You need to know how many have gone out to assess your success rate; to either enjoy it or improve on it.

If the agency organised a series of events, list them.  Outcomes will, in this case, be attendance related: prospects, face-to-face meetings secured etc.

If your agency is creating content, then ensure you have a list of that content, when created and when hosted. But the key thing you need to measure is outcomes.

What PR outcomes should you measure?


Carefully consider the PESO model from Gina Dietrich, which is an excellent framework, shown below, but don’t use it rigidly.

Always aim to find the most simple way to measure what really counts for your business.

PESO Model for measuring PR activity

Reproduced from Gina Dietrich

Paid or earned

The concept of paid and earned is good, so use this as a basic definition to classify any coverage from media relations.  As the number of earned media channels such as national newspapers is diminishing, then achieving a result in them is especially valuable and worth noting.

Table heading showing Earned Media

Table heading to show paid coverage result


You may have pages and pages of content or copy published somewhere but it is of no value, or worse, damaging, if it is saying the wrong thing.  Have some form of assessment of your messages and use the same formula each month.

Google analytics

You could drown in data from Google.  Cut to the chase. We use a framework devised by our friends at Zanzi called a RACE report.

Sample PR digital metrics in a RACE Report

The report is based on answering key questions about the value of your PR activity.

  • Who do you REACH?
  • How do the ACT when they get there?
  • How well do you ENGAGE with them?
  • How many do you CONVERT?

You can see the heading for each element below. The hardest section to complete is the conversion chart, because in an ideal world this will contain your internal sales data. This is the most important measurement of all. If you have set up goals on your website then this should be a key metric in your conversion table.

Sometimes we use CONTACT data from e -shots if sales data is hard to track down.

Website reach different headings

Heading of website actions

Engage metrics table

Convert tables

Measuring influencer activity

Of course you can create any report you want.  Instagram for example isn’t shown in the above table but if that’s what you’re using rather than LinkedIn, switch it round or add it in.

These are just a few effective ways in which you can set up internal PR measurement systems.

There are a host of external systems you can buy such as Kantar Precise for media content or Trackr for measuring Influencer activity.

You will almost certainly need to use an external service to capture and collate your media monitoring if you have a significant PR programme in place.   A quick Google search will bring up a list of these.

Measuring your corporate reputation or values among stakeholder

If reputation management is a key, specific aspect of your agency’s role, then pre and post measurement of what your reputation actually is will be important. Measuring brand values, corporate reputation, perceptions among stakeholders etc., usually requires a third-party service.

If you would like to know which ones we use or would like to achieve PR results that are really worth measuring, give me a call or drop me an email.

Nicky Smith 01608 495014