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  1. Top 10 skills needs for advertising

    What do you need to succeed in a career in advertising? This is a role that is essentially focused on communicating a significant element of an overall marketing strategy. To get ahead in advertising you’ll need to nurture a number of key skills.

    1. Being able to work as part of a team. A successful career in advertising means being able to collaborate closely with others, from those at your level to people in management and more junior roles.
    2. Exceptional people skills. As well as others in your industry, if you’re working in advertising you’ll need to be able to communicate with clients too. People skills can be crucial as clients may be demanding or have expectations that need to be managed with insight and empathy.
    3. Effective decision making. If you’re able to weigh up your options, including the costs and benefits of your choices, and feed this into a decision making process then you’re more likely to achieve positive outcomes. It’s essential to be able to be decisive and to understand what your gut is telling you.
    4. Good with money. Advertising campaigns aren’t just about finding the right creative approach and working hard to put it into practice. You also need to be able to make the budget work. Ensuring that you can make the most of the resources available is key for forging a successful career in advertising.
    5. The application of creativity. Well developed creative skills will allow you to find new perspectives to communicate about an existing product or service.
    6. Solutions-orientated. Being a fast and effective problem solver will stand you in good stead in an advertising career. Issues can arise at any time and if you’re able to respond to these swiftly and effectively you’ll find yourself in great demand.
    7. Motivated and organised. It’s essential to be able to manage your own time so that you meet deadlines and deliver everything on time.
    8. Resilience and patience. Especially when you’re starting out in the advertising industry you’re going to make mistakes – this is how everyone learns. It may take time to see a campaign come to fruition or to find the right approach for a particular ad – if you’re patient and want to keep learning then you’ll find it easier to get ahead.
    9. Communication and persuasion. From the clients you work with to the consumers you’re targeting with your ads, being able to communicate and persuade is essential. Are they willing to try your product, provide an opinion or increase the campaign budget? If you have the skills to ensure they say yes then you are likely to go far.
    10. Being able to listen. This is probably one of the most important skills in advertising. Not only will it tell you what your clients are really trying to achieve but it will also shed light on what consumers want – and how you can work with both to achieve your goals.

    These key skills will make it much easier to get ahead in advertising and create your dream career. Find out more by booking onto our Essential Advertising training course…

  2. How to build excellent working relationships

    Strong working relationships not only make it easier to progress in your career but can also enhance the day-to-day experience that you have. People who are able to build strong bonds in their professional life tend to be more engaged and productive, better at working in a team and generally happier in their role. The process of creating these positive interactions begins from the moment you start a new job – if you can put the effort into others around you from Day 1 then you’ll start to create a powerful and effective network for the future.

    Put yourself out and offer to help

    It’s essential to ensure that you don’t end up with too much on your plate, especially when you’re new to a role. However, you can start making a positive impression from the moment you arrive by being proactive when it comes to helping others. Where could your knowledge and experience be useful, can you help ease the burden on some of your colleagues and how can you contribute to group tasks?

    Take part

    From team building activities and events to department meetings, make sure that you show your face at as many as possible. Make positive contributions to meetings and be prepared to proactively listen and respond to others too. You’ll be able to make connections outside of your immediate team like this and also begin to build a profile as a valuable participant.

    Build positive relationships at all levels

    There is often a temptation to focus purely on those senior to you when you’re establishing connections. However, you’re unlikely to make a good impression if you’re dismissive of junior colleagues and this could be misguided as they may not be your junior further down the line. Instead, nurture relationships with people of all levels, be helpful and respectful to everyone and aim to make a good impression on all those that you meet.

    Communicate and deliver

    Letting someone down by not meeting a deadline is one of the fastest ways to erode relationships in the workplace. Make sure you do everything you can to deliver work on time and to a high standard. Don’t be that person who constantly misses deadlines and ignores people who try to chase you up. If you’re not going to finish something on time then let people know with plenty of notice. You’re much more likely to preserve relationships if you show you can communicate when something goes wrong – and then focus on fixing it.

    Be wary of office politics and gossip

    These exist in every working environment and you will come into contact with both at some point. It might be tempting to get involved in gossip, as this sometimes feels like a fast way to bond with new colleagues but it may mean being perceived as talking behind others’ backs or joining in jokes at someone else’s expense. When it comes to office politics try to take a step back, especially if you’re new. It’s very easy to ruin relationships by getting involved in the more negative side of office interactions unless you’re careful not to.

    Excellent working relationships can help you to build your dream career – and enjoy the experience of doing it. Find out more by booking onto our Building Excellent Working Relationships training course…

  3. Our top tips for adopting a successful quality control system

    There are many benefits for any business in adopting a quality control system. From improving efficiency and boosting productivity to supporting more positive relationships with customers and increasing customer satisfaction, a lot can be achieved by this simple shift. If you’re about to start the process of adopting a quality control system then these are our tips to ensure that implementation is successful.

    Identify why you need a quality control system

    For most businesses this will be driven by the need for greater efficiency. Organising and keeping track of documents is essential to avoid wasted resources, staff frustrations and errors and mistakes. Adopting a quality control system will support greater efficiency and allow your business to run more smoothly. To ensure that you pick the right option, start by looking at why the quality control system is so necessary for your business. What are your objectives in using it and what functions are you going to need?

    Plan the adoption process at every stage

    The more effort you put into planning the more likely your adoption will be successful. This isn’t just about planning the process of implementation itself but ensuring that the quality control system will work to support your business objectives. What are the goals that you’re hoping to achieve with the quality control system and how are you going to track and measure progress? At this stage it’s also useful to identify the role that each employee will have in the adoption process, as well as the support they might need once the system is up and running in order to use it successfully.

    Promote healthy attitudes to change

    In any business there can be resistance to change, especially when it involves the need to learn something new or acquire an unknown set of skills. Your workforce may not be fully aware of the benefits of a quality control system and, as a result, there may be some negative attitudes to the process of adopting the system It’s essential that you have all your employees on board when it comes to new systems – enthusiasm and engagement will be necessary to ensure that the adoption is successful and the new system performs positively for the business. If the values at the heart of your business culture are designed to help staff embrace change you will find it much easier to support this kind of evolution.

    Use automation where it works for you

    Although automation is something of a buzzword these days it’s not a cure all for every issue. There are many benefits to opting for a system that integrates automation, in particular the way that this can improve efficiency and reduce the time that staff spend on manual tasks. However, it’s essential to opt for a level of automation that suits your operations and which your team can work with, or it may cause more work than it saves.

    Successfully adopting a quality control system is as much about the planning as it is the system itself. Find out more by booking onto our Introduction to Quality Management training course…

  4. 5 tips to improve your business through risk management

    There are many benefits to fully engaging with a risk management process for your business. From improving decision making through to better preparing your organisation to cope with unexpected change, effective risk management is essential to ongoing growth and development. If you’d like to use better risk management to improve your business there are some very simple ways to do it.

    1. Do the groundwork. Risk management is impossible without first acquiring an in-depth knowledge of your business. What are the different components that make up your organisation, what are its objectives and where is the business going? Consider any possible events and incidents that could influence outcomes going forward so that you have a full picture of where the risks (and opportunities) lie.
    2. Focus on the key vulnerabilities for your business. You can apply risk management analysis to virtually every area of your business – and spend a lot of time and resources on this. However, not all of these metrics matter and your approach will be much more effective if you apply risk management as a priority to those parts of the business where the biggest vulnerabilities exist.
    3. Create the right team. Risk management needs to be handled by a carefully chosen team – it may be necessary to delegate this responsibility to ensure that it is properly and extensively handled. Identify the individuals who will be effective when it comes to using risk management to improve the way your business is functioning. It may also be useful to have a manager who leads the entire process and who is responsible for some of the key functions of risk management, such as identifying the biggest vulnerabilities, creating reports and handling incidents if they arise.
    4. Make sure risk management is integrated into the business culture. To see true improvements from risk management it will need to be something that is inherent in strategy and approach right across the business. This means that those directly handling it have a responsibility to effectively communicate with everyone, from employees to executives. Even those who aren’t directly involved in the risk management process will need to have a sound understanding of why it exists and what measures the business is taking to ensure it is effective.
    5. Consider doing more with business intelligence. The data that is generated by business intelligence software can provide crucial insight, not just when it comes to risk management but across the entire organisation. Business intelligence tools can be used to handle a range of different elements of risk management to improve the way your business functions, for example by setting up a more effective and targeted incident management process. The opportunities that business intelligence analysis opens up include greater understanding of where risk management can be best applied as well as how to anticipate and handle change.

    Risk management is an essential part of a positive business strategy today. These top tips are designed to help any business to use it to make improvements. Find out more by booking onto our Risk Management training course…

  5. How to develop a plan of succession

    Succession planning is essential for any enterprise, whether you’re a family business or a large international organisation. Investing in this process ensures stability in leadership for the business, as well as providing for strategic goals and human resources to be aligned, and improving the business’ ability to respond to change. No matter what the size or sector of the business there are a number of key steps involved.

    Start with the “why”

    When you’re developing a plan of succession the first place to begin is by looking at your reasons for doing so. Is the business moving in a new direction? Are you concerned about key staff being poached by competitors or do you know that departures are coming? Understanding why you need succession planning will enable you to ensure that what you create is intentionally designed for the business’ specific requirements.

    As well as the “who”

    The next step is to identify the people you want to be involved in the process of succession planning. The right people will have a sound understanding of the business, be positive communicators and process-driven.

    Where might planning be thrown off track?

    This stage involves identifying those factors outside of the business that could have an impact on whether your succession planning is successful. For example, evolving workplace trends may mean that you need to add a different set of competencies when planning for recruitment into the most important roles. A changing workplace may require a new approach to developing talent.

    Align succession and strategy

    It’s essential that there is interaction between succession planning and overall strategic business planning. It’s your strategy that will enable you to identify the key roles that succession planning will need to include, for example. It will also be crucial in terms of setting timelines, such as imminent incoming change, or highlighting factors that could have an influence over whether succession planning is going to be truly effective.

    Identify your resources

    In particular it’s important to look at where potential candidates for succession planning are likely to come from. For most businesses candidates for succession will come from two key sources: internal or external. You may already have the next generation of leaders within the business so identifying potential routes to them will be important. Externally, a wealth of sources exist, from employment agencies to universities, jobs fairs and jobs boards. Whichever combination of options you decide to choose as your candidate pool, make sure that you have a clearly defined set of competencies for each key role.

    Put your planning into action

    The process of bringing planning off the page and into the process may involve a number of different steps. Start by identifying the timelines involved and ensuring that the people who are key to the process are aware of their role and tasks. Set goals and then put methods in place for tracking them and ensure that you provide for ongoing evaluation of succession planning so that it’s always focused and relevant.

    Succession planning is a crucial part of the process of growth and survival for any business today. Find out more by booking onto our Succession Planning Masterclass.

  6. Top tips for becoming an exceptional PA

    There’s a big difference between being good at your job as a PA and being exceptional. If you’re willing to go the extra mile in this role it could open up a wide range of exciting opportunities for your life and career – so how do you get to that point?

    Be a great communicator

    You must understand the importance of making a good first impression, especially as you’re often doing this on behalf of your employer. Professional, concise communication is critical, as is being able to discuss and negotiate with people of all managerial levels.

    Always keep a record

    Whether you use a pen and paper or tech, such as a tablet, it’s essential to be able to keep a note of what has been said and what is required. Even if you have a good memory, an exceptional PA will ensure that nothing is likely to be missed by taking precautions and writing it down.

    Upgrade your organisational skills

    General time management and organisational skills are essential for a good PA. You can ensure that you stand out as exceptional by taking this to another level and establishing systems that allow for seamless management of diaries and appointments, noting deadlines and ensuring action points are met.

    Learn how to be calm under pressure

    When everyone else is panicking an exceptional PA can step in, make suggestions and take decisions that help to take the heat out of challenging situations. If you’re not naturally calm in a crisis then this is an essential skill to learn.

    Be perceptive when it comes to the needs of your employer

    Most employers will already have an established approach and you will need to be perceptive about how things operate when you arrive. Picking up quickly on the needs, likes, dislikes and demands of an employer will enable you to hit the ground running and fit effortlessly into the support structure.

    Don’t forget the small things

    It’s often by focusing on the smaller action points and to do list items that you can get more done in a shorter space of time. Clear the less challenging tasks quickly and leave yourself more time to tackle those that are going to require more effort and brainpower.

    Get tech savvy

    You might be required to use a wide range of systems and software in your role as PA and being able to effortlessly absorb information and techniques will set you apart from the rest. Stay on top of the latest developments in your sector so that you’re prepared to tackle new technology as soon as it becomes relevant to you.

    Focus on solutions

    In a situation where everyone is highlighting issues or problems, be the voice that focuses on solutions. If you’re renowned for being an effective trouble-shooter then your PA stock will rise.

    Be professional – but human

    Professionalism can take many forms but is often based around trust – an employer should know that you appreciate how important discretion is, as well as the need to keep certain information confidential. Remember that it’s okay to make mistakes sometimes, everyone does, it’s just part of being human. But if you aren’t prepared to admit to mistakes then this could damage your credibility with an employer.

    If you want to be an exceptional PA these are some of the top skills to learn. Find out more by booking onto our Developing Your PA Potential to Ensure Success.

  7. Our top 9 tips for increasing exhibition sales

    Exhibiting can be a goldmine when it comes to sales. It’s an opportunity to get face-to-face with potential customers and put your business on the map. So, how do you ensure that you’re generating positive return on an exhibiting investment and increasing the number of sales that you make?

    • Create your stand carefully. In an exhibiting environment you’re going to be present with all your competitors so it’s important that your stand design really makes an impact. Only 20% of banner designs feature a call to action (CTA) so you can distinguish yours by including this. Make sure you keep your messaging clear and simple, don’t clutter the design and focus on that all important CTA.
    • Set your goals. In particular, focus on what it is that you’re hoping to achieve from the exhibition when it comes to ROI. Be realistic about this and be sure to factor in all the costs that have been involved, from transport to banners.
    • Activate your team to achieve more on the day. Do your staff know how to convert visitors? Have you made sure they understand the dos and don’ts on the day (e.g. put your phone away)? The people that you take with you can be your biggest asset if you give them the tools to convert more.
    • Make sure they have all the right knowledge. Crucially, staff should be able to answer any questions put to them about the business and also the products and services that you’re selling. Are they ready to answer questions about USP, brand history, objectives and benefits?
    • Find ways to keep everyone motivated. Motivated staff want to be there and are keen to open prospects’ eyes to the benefits of your products and your brand. Setting goals for staff, offering prizes and making sure they get regular breaks can help to ensure that the people representing your brand make the right impression.
    • Aim to attract attention – but avoid gimmicks. Anything that you include on your stand on the day as a way to engage visitors should also be something that your staff can use as a conversion tool. That may mean thinking in advance about the best methods to show off products in a way that will enable sales too.
    • Avoid the hard sell. Not everyone will be the right match for what you’re offering and bullying people into a sale on the day could leave a sour taste in the mouth for everyone involved. Instead, ask questions and listen to comments on need or expectations – look for ways in which your offering matches up with this as opposed to just listing all the generic benefits.
    • Be open and respectful to everyone. If you’re just targeting senior staff you might miss out on the opportunities that someone else could present for making sales. Treat everyone the same and be open, friendly and approachable to all. Follow up with everyone too – research shows that up to 50% of sales are won by the vendor who is first to respond after an exhibition.
    • Don’t leave early. If you want to maximise the potential for sales then that means staying until close.

    These are some of the simplest steps you can take to increase your exhibition sales. Find out more by booking onto our Selling Skills for Exhibitions

  8. 10 tips for busting stress

    Stress has become a constant in today’s busy world. From individual problems to stress that affects us all, such as political upheaval, it’s difficult to escape no matter what you do. Given the constant presence of stress in most of our lives it’s important to learn how to cope with it – these 10 tips will help to ensure you’re able to keep stress under control.

     

    1. Exercise

      . Being active will help to disperse some of the tougher emotions that stress can trigger, make you feel strong and make room for clearer insight. It will enable you to approach issues with a calmer mind and be more productive when it comes to finding solutions.

    2. Reach out to others

      . Connecting with friends or family will instantly help you to feel less alone with your problems. They may be able to provide an alternative perspective and hanging out with people whose company you enjoy may take your mind off the major issues.

    3. Get outside your comfort zone.

      Tackling personal challenges helps to build resilience and confidence, which can be key when it comes to stress. Try challenges, activities or adventures that will help you to learn and grow as a person and acquire new knowledge.

    4. Be proactive

      . One of the main reasons why stress starts to escalate is often because we believe that we can’t solve the problems that are causing the stress. Being proactive and taking steps to tackle whatever is happening to you will help to considerably lessen feelings of hopelessness and not being in control.

    5. Give back to others.

      Activities such as volunteering help us to get outside of our own lives, make new connections and see life from a fresh perspective. Even a small favour like helping someone with their shopping or cat sitting for a neighbour can create good feelings that last.

    6. Make time for you.

      We often assume that our lives should be divided into work and time spent with others. However, it’s just as important to have time that is just for you. Regularly set aside time to do what ever makes you feel good, whether that’s exercise, reading or walking and thinking – at least 2 nights a week is recommended.

    7. Be wary of avoidance behaviour.

      When stressful situations get too much there is always a temptation to turn to alcohol, smoking, food or overeating as a way to avoid or numb the situation. However, this is not a solution and can often make stressful feelings more intense.

    8. Work smart. Learn how to prioritise tasks so that you’re completing those that are the most important first and focusing your energy on what will make a big difference to overall outcomes.

    9. Practice acceptance.

      This doesn’t mean giving in, just accepting what you can’t change so that you can focus on what you do have some control over.

    10. Be positive.

      Gratitude is incredibly important when it comes to stress management – the more positive and happy we are the better equipped we feel to cope when things get stressful. Start by making a daily list of everything you’re grateful for. Even if it’s only three items long, it’s a good start.

    Learning how to manage stress can be transformative – these 10 tips will enable you to start today.

    Find out more by booking onto our half day Stress Busters training course…

  9. How to manage a sales team

    Successfully managing a sales team isn’t rocket science. However, it does require insight, experience and an understanding of what makes your people tick. These tips will help you to get more from those that you lead on a daily basis.

    Clarity is key when it comes to expectations

    Successful management of sales people means being up front about what you expect from them. Ensure that your team understands the lines between over performance and under performance and whether you’re looking for a consistent % of quota or will accept figures that are high one month and low the next.

    Be transparently sales driven

    Sales is a competitive environment and attracts people who are motivated to succeed. Key to successful management is being open about targets and rewards and drawing a clear line between productivity and results (as opposed to just activity). Be transparent about the sales metrics you’re focused on so that everyone is on the same page.

    Focus on high, yet achievable, goals

    If your team achieves 65% of a stretch goal they will be doing more than if they’re achieving 100% of a mediocre goal.

    Make ongoing training and development a priority

    A robust training infrastructure will support the positive development of everyone in the team. Depending on your business this may include modules that focus on product knowledge and understanding, communication, leads and prospecting and competitive intelligence.

    Get your team comfortable when it comes to taking feedback

    Not everyone finds it easy to accept feedback about their performance. If you’re interviewing people to join your team you can role play a situation and see how they respond to receiving feedback. For an established team introduce regular constructive feedback sessions so it’s a habit everyone gets used to going through and learning from.

    Don’t forget to incentivise

    This could be a system of rewards and bonuses – or it could be something as simple as public recognition of achievement. In a sales environment, displaying tables and live feeds of sales closed and each person’s totals can be very motivational.

    See your team as individuals

    You’ll need to identify the needs and motivations of each member of your team to understand how to manage them effectively. For some that could be more ambitious targets, for others it may be protecting them from office politics so they can go on and do a great job.

    Allocate the right people to the right tasks

    For example, the most expensive team members are usually best allocated to tasks that are low volume but high value, such as building partnerships and relationships. Lower value team members can focus on converting prospects to leads.

    Return to transparency at every opportunity

    The more transparently a business is run the more information the sales team will have to work with. With this approach, everyone understands what is expected of them, what the goals are as well as how the business’ culture, processes and policies are defined.

    Effective management of a sales team can make all the difference to how successful it is overall. It’s a key skill that can improve your team’s career prospects, as well as your own.

  10. 9 top skills need to become a successful administrator

    At the heart of any successful business is a talented administrator. It’s a role that involves not just the ability to ensure the smooth running of an office but also providing support to key people at management and executive levels. There are exciting opportunities available for those who make a success of an administrator role – these are some of the key skills that you’ll need to do it.

    1. Strong communication. As an office administrator you will be working with people of all levels within the business, handling a wide range of tasks and often tackling urgent matters. From dealing with new starters to handling office supplies this is a varied role that will require robust written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills to ensure success.
    2. Organisation and efficiency. Being organised is essential for an administrator. Others may be relying on you to manage calendars and schedules, meet deadlines, track calls or organise documents and records.
    3. Familiarity with current technology. Every business today uses technology at some level and it’s often in administration where it’s most frequently employed. This could be something as simple as formatting documents or could involve managing a CMS or web content. The more developed your tech abilities, the more likely you will be able to make a success of the role.
    4. Effective time management. Whether you are managing someone else’s time or your own it will be essential to be able to do this in a way that maximises productivity.
    5. Writing skills. Today, much of the communication within a business takes place in writing, whether via memos, email or chat. Skills like sound spelling and grammar, proofreading and an understanding of business terms may be essential.
    6. Problem solving abilities. Circumstances can change in an instant in business and one of the key strengths of the successful administrator is being able to respond to change positively and swiftly. Whether an issue relates to a staff conflict, a problem with orders, a shortage or a schedule change, being able to problem solve on the spot is a huge advantage.
    7. Office management. Being a good administrator requires an understanding of office management and the ability to grasp all the systems involved, from ordering supplies to anticipating and booking maintenance.
    8. Management skills. A more senior administrator may need to develop management skills, for example in order to deal with clerical staff or handle requests from other employees across the business.
    9. Attention to detail and planning. Being able to look ahead and anticipate what is required is the mark of a successful administrator. That could be with respect to something as simple as ensuring schedules don’t conflict or planning an event or meeting. An eye for detail is key – missed details can have wide ranging consequences.

    A successful career as an administrator requires mastering all of the above. From problem solving to organisational abilities, each of these skills is key to ensuring eventual success.

    Find out more by booking onto our The Effective Administrator training course…

In-House Training with PTP

PTP stands for Practical Training for Professionals and our aim is to make our training as practical as possible so delegates can return to the workplace with skills they can implement immediately. PTP now delivers training to over 40% of the FTSE 100.

What you get for your money

What is 1-to-1 training?

1-to-1 training can be based on any of the 100 plus courses that PTP provides, it includes an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site one to one training session at your premises with one of PTP's expert trainers and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

You have the option of a line manager being involved in both telephone conferences, the second telephone conference which can be for feedback and action planning is generally scheduled during the on-site visit.

Who does 1-to-1 training suit?

Individuals taking on a new challenge or responsibilities. Professionals who want a trusted "sounding board" and thinking partner. Executives or managers who want to enhance their leadership effectiveness to achieve organizational and career success. Executives and professionals wanting to compete successfully but still retain balance in their life. Individuals who want to understand their blind spots so that they don't stand in their own way on their path to success. Executives and Professionals who want to improve their interpersonal skills so as to be more effective with bosses, peers, subordinates, or people in general. How much does 1-to-1 training cost?

A 1-to-1 training session costs from as little as £400 + VAT and will include an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site training at your premises and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

What is U-Choose?

Choose from any of the 150 plus courses that PTP provides, and choose from 1 of our 50 plus UK wide training venues. You must book for 2 or more delegates and at least 4 weeks in advance, but that’s it, the course you want where you want it. The reason we ask for a minimum of 4 weeks notice is to enable us to market the course you have scheduled to other companies and organisations. However, if we fail to sell any additional places we guarantee to run the course just for you.

How much does U-Choose Training cost?

U-choose costs the same as our normal open courses i.e. the normal delegate rate. This includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day, framed certification and comprehensive training notes. A U-Choose booking can only be confirmed once we receive payment which can be made via credit/debit card, BACS or cheque. Payment is due at least 4 weeks before the date you request. Please note to be eligible for U-Choose you must book a minimum of 2 delegates on the same course & date.