Jacobs Communications Consulting, LLC, offers a number of training programs in Enhanced Leadership and Management, Improved Client Relations, Advanced Communications, Managing Time and Money, and Essential Public Relations Skills.

All our workshops are customized to the specific needs of the agencies and the participants.

Enhanced Leadership and Management

From Manager to Leader

Many professionals in our industry are promoted into leadership positions simply because they’ve been good managers of accounts, clients, budgets, and processes. But it takes a different skill set to be a truly effective leader with motivated followers.

This program is based in part on an article I wrote for The Public Relations Strategist, which originated with a series of interviews I did with a number of our industry’s top communications leaders.

The session includes such varied and important topics as “Differences Between Managing and Leading,” “Differences Between Transactional and Transformative Leadership,” “Choose to Be A Leader,” “Nine Keys To More Effective Leadership,” “Seeking Out Leadership Mentors,” “What Do Great Leaders Have in Common?” and “Earning Leadership.”

Leading, Motivating, Empowering, and Inspiring Your Team

This highly interactive program offers strategies for more informed leadership and specific tactics that result in having truly inspired followers. Topics include “Take Responsibility for Your Communications,” “Tailor Your Leadership and Communications Approach for Each Team Member,” “More Effective Listening,” “Articulating Your Hot Buttons, Vision and Standards,” “Motivating Based On Their Needs, Not Yours,” “Delegate Or Die,” “Giving Clear Direction and Helpful Feedback,” “Walking The Tightrope Between ‘Constructive’ and ‘Criticism’,” “What Do Truly Motivating Leaders Do?,” “20 Tips To Better Motivate And Engage Your Team,” “Expect Superior Performance, Not Perfection,” “You Want Initiative? Empower!,” “Don’t Wait For Responsibility to Be Taken,” and more.

This program emphasizes role-play and open discussion.

“Leading, Motivating, Empowering and Inspiring Your team” and “From Manager to Leader” programs can also be modified for newly appointed account supervisors, who may have had little previous supervisory or management experience, into an Introduction to Supervision workshop.

Managing, Motivating and Leading Millennials (Gen Y)

Millennials, AKA GenY, are our largest and fastest-growing part of the labor pool. Many leaders are frustrated that the leadership and management techniques that worked with them and with GenXers fail when applied to Millennials. Indeed, it takes a special approach to manage, motivate and lead this generation. But when you’ve “cracked the code,” they can contribute volumes to your agency’s success. This program is designed to do just that.

Topics include “Why We Must Get Better At Managing and Motivating Millennials,” “Gen Y’s Top Ten Traits, Which You Must Understand To Succeed At This,” and “What’s A Leader To Do? 20 Actions You Can Take To Succeed!,” (including Provide Structure & Guidance, Give Multiple Tasks With Short-Term Goals and Interim Deadlines, Paint The Big Picture, What Job Satisfaction Means For Millennials And Four Things This Requires From You, and more.)

Managing Up

Managing Up is a critical skill that communications professionals must hone to have a successful agency career. Those who manage up effectively will accelerate their career trajectories, yet few are taught what it is or how to do it well. This highly interactive workshop will help participants learn both.

Topics include “Managing Up: What It Isn’t, What It Is,” “Why Managing Up Effectively Is So Important,” “Nine Steps To Manage Up More Effectively” (including How To Develop a Better Relationship, The Importance of Trust, Communicate, Communicate, Communicate, Make Your Leader’s Priorities Yours, Lead With Her Need and Make Your Leader The Best Leader For You), “Creating Win-Win Situations,” “Negotiating Deadlines: Saying No Without Saying ‘No’,” “Adopt the MVA (Management Value Added) Mindset,” and more.

Improved Client Service

Five-Star Client Service

This workshop is built around the premise that many agencies can offer strategic counsel, creative ideas and excellent PR, communications and digital execution. But firms whose professionals who can offer five-star client service, to every client, every day, will enjoy the greatest success.

Topics include “What Do Five-Star Service Brands And Companies Consistently Provide?,” “Why Superior Client Service Is Imperative In Today’s Environment,” “Ten Things Companies Known For Five-Star Client Service Do Consistently,” “Understanding Your Clients’ Worlds,” “Observe, Ask, Listen, Think, Remember,” “Surprise & Delight,” “Don’t Be Satisfied With (Merely) Satisfied Clients,” “Managing Difficult Clients,” “12 Tips To Improve Client Relationships,” “Building Trust-Based Client Relationships,” “How To Constantly Create Win-Wins,” “Saying No Without Saying ‘No’: Pushing Back,” “Active Listening Techniques,” “Speak in Terms Clients Understand and Value,” “Negotiating Deadlines,” “CBE: Consistently Beat Client Expectations,” “Always Be Selling, But Sell Without ‘Selling’,” and more.

Dealing With Difficult Clients

Giving Five-Star Client Service to “every client, every day” can be challenging enough. But managing difficult clients has its own special challenges. This program will help you better understand various types of tough clients, and create different strategies to manage each type, without losing one’s sanity!

Topics include “Understanding Client Drives, Personalities, Values, and Communications Styles,” “Insights for Dealing With Any Difficult Client,” “What You Must Accept To Manage Tough Clients,” “Nine Difficult Client Types” (including Assertive/Demanding Clients, Time Bombs/Angry Clients, Time-Sucking Clients, Intimidating Clients, The Moving Target and The Worrier, “Don’t Confuse Politeness With Passivity,” “Standing Your Ground,” “How to CYA,” and more.

This program has heavy emphasis on role-playing.

Growing Business From Existing Clients

PR agencies must grow income each year in order to survive, and to make up for business it loses for reasons beyond its control. The good news is we already have a great source of new business income right under our noses: our current clients!

This program is designed to help attendees get better at growing business from existing clients, and includes such topics as “Benefits Of Growing Business Organically,” “Why Growing Business Organically Isn’t Optional,” “Whose Job Is It To Help Grow Client Business?,” “The Special Role of VPs/AVPs/MSs/SASs in Growing New Business,” “Develop Your AGM: Account Growth Mindset!,” “Ten Strategies to Grow Business From Existing Clients” and more.

Advanced Communications

Constructive Confrontation: Having Difficult Discussions

Many of us deal with confrontation: By steamrolling until we get our way, or being steamrolled…until we explode.

This program is designed to help your teams avoid either extreme, and instead arm participants with the skills needed to have “constructive confrontations,” that benefit both sides.

Topics include: “Can Confrontation Be Constructive?,” “Why Discussions Go Awry,” “Understanding Why It’s Difficult to Confront,” “Confront Your Fear of Confrontation,” “Real Listening,” “Understanding the Other Person’s Needs,” “Creating Win-Wins,” “Presenting Your Needs in a Non-Confrontational Way,” “The Power of Language And Tone,” and more.

This program has heavy emphasis on role-play and discussion.

Managing Time and Money

Be A Time Management Rock Star!

Since communications agency pros make their careers in an industry that sells time, being able to manage one’s time effectively is an absolutely critical skill.

This program is designed to help communications pros, no matter their level, become highly-skilled time managers by helping them understand the concepts underlying effective time management, and specific tips to both maximize their time and avoid interruptions.

Topics include “You May Have A Time Management Problem If…,” “Time Management Benefits,” “The First Three Steps To Improve Time Management,” “Evaluate How You Spend Your Time,” “Do The Right Thing,” “Take Time To Plan,” “Identify Priorities, Set Goals,” “Do Your To-Do List,” “Get Organized!,” “What Steals Your Time?,” “Managing Interruptions,” “The Myth of Multi-Tasking,” “Manage Your Email,” “Maximize Your Meetings,” “Combating Procrastination,” “Negotiating Due Dates and Deadlines,” and more.

How We Make Money: Back To Basics

One of the critical differences between working on the agency and the client side of the business is the need for agency pros to have fiscal fluency.

This program shares the critical basics of how agencies make money, and includes “What Challenges Do You Face in Preparing And Managing Budgets?,” “How Do PR Firms Make Money?,” “Making Money from Time,” “What Your Hourly Rate Covers,” “What’s Profitability And How Do Agencies Achieve It?,” “Creating Accurate Fee Budgets,” “Questions You Must Answer To Budget Accurately,” “How To Develop More Accurate OOP Budgets,” “Scopes-Of-Work,” “ Managing Budgets,” “Why Is Keeping Accurate Time Sheets Critical?,” “Mark-Ups,” “Fiscal Prudence,” “Impact of Inaccurate Budgeting,” “Your Role in Making Your Firm Profitable,” and more.

During the session, participants create accurate fee and OOP budgets.

Essential Public Relations Skills

Programming: Getting Back to Basics

I created this program after judging some of the most prestigious public relations awards, and coming to the conclusion that some agency professionals need help in understanding communications programming basics.

Topics include: “Creating Measurable Objectives,” “Understanding Output, Outtake, and Outcomes,” “Definitions Of, And Differences Between Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics,” “Identifying Primary and Secondary Audiences, Opinion Leaders and Influencers,” “Understanding Stakeholders,” “Developing Strategies,” “Getting True Knowledge and Actionable Insights,” “Conducting the SWOT,” “Keys to Effective Research,” “Turning Key Research Findings Into Communications Platforms,” “Creating Messages and Tactics,” “Measurement and Evaluation,” “Turning Brainstorming Ideas Into Actionable Program Elements,” and more.

This workshop contains a number of interactive elements, as the participants break into groups which create Measurable Objectives, Strategies, Messages, and Tactics.

Write Better, Right Now!

Even as our business changes, one thing is still true: writing is an essential skill.

This program provides foundational skills in better writing for some of the key documents associated with our profession.

Topics include “Why Writing is Critical,” “Don’t Write…Think! Press Release Planning & Organization,” “Grab Their Attention,” “Avoiding Common Errors,” “Use Active Verbs,” “Write Tight,” “News Release Editing,” “Writing Effective Pitch Emails,” “Planning, Writing and Editing Client Memos,” “More Effective Client Activity Reports,” “Client Contact Reports,” “Irresistible Media Alerts: Before You Write,” “12 Tips For Writing Irresistible Media Alerts,” and more.

We’ll go interactive as participants edit one another’s news releases, media alerts, and pitch e-mails, which have been shared with the instructor in advance.

What Did You Just Call Me??!!

I’ve been called a lot of things in my 32.5 years of life – some more suitable for print than others.

But up until this past weekend, I had never been called a “Millennial,” a term used for the energetic, technologically savvy yet sometimes misunderstood youth in today’s workforce.

Read the entire blog post by Allison Bailin.