Lessons from Jeff Kennett

Recently I saw a feature segment on 60 Minutes regarding Victoria's 'shy and reserved' Premier, Jeff Kennett... not!

Nearly everyone who has lived in Australia during the mid to late 1990s would be aware that this man has been on a personal and professional "promotion" mission extraordinaire. And, for the most part, it's been highly successful.

First, the Good News

The 60 Minutes show highlighted many of Kennett's achievements as a high profile state leader. Being humble and thankful was nowhere to be found on the list. To his great credit, he has masterminded the negotiations for bringing many high profile events to Victoria.

For example, the Grand Prix, Phillip Island Motorcycle World Championships, the President Cup Golf Tournament, and the list goes on.

He has also helped build the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, locally known as Jeff's Shed, into a first-class convention operation and is heavily involved with the near completed down town 50,000-seat Colonial Bank Sports Stadium.

Jeff Kennett knows the promotion game inside out, and because of his expertise, Victorians are basking in the international financial limelight.

Not Such Good News

The recent election results pointed out sharply that even the best-promoted product (www.Jeff.com.au) can unravel very quickly in the public eye. Experts have often stated that Jeff Kennett could be more humble or caring with the public if he wanted to be "re-purchased", or in this case, "re-elected" as a politician.

(As of this writing for Corporate Trends Magazine, the election polls are in progress and it is unknown if Jeff Kennett will be re-elected.)

Conversely, hasn't billionaire Gerry Harvey done well with his low-key, yet highly upbeat method of gaining public attention and support through the Harvey Norman Group of Companies?

So, what are some of the lessons to be learned from an example like Jeff Kennett regarding promotion at a personal or corporate level?

Simply this - it's no use having a great product or service unless it can be effectively promoted and even then, the product (Jeff) must be able to deliver the goods for the target market.

If you take on board some of the following ideas, you are bound to have one of your best years ever.

Here are a few pointers for successful self/company promotion:

Reflection and Goal Planning Time

This isn't a movie! Look at every decision you make as the basis for a lifetime of win-win situations for all involved. Your life and business usually involve a pretty significant investment in terms of both time and money. Invest more time in planning, correcting and adjusting your goals than you do for a one or two week yearly holiday. The benefits will be a lifetime of rewards.

Get Healthy

You won't do well in the marketplace if you don't feel well. I suggest investing an absolute minimum of 1% of your day to start with (14 minutes) to do some sort of aerobic activity and build up from there. Getting oxygen into your system is critical to feeling well each and every day. Walking is ideal, running or swimming can be very beneficial or just a nice bike ride in a park or near a beach with a dear friend or family member. You'll feel and look better for it as it both stimulates and relaxes.

Business Cards

They are your "silent salesperson" and must continue to do the job long after you've met the person. Consider having your photograph on your card. This has the effect of making you more memorable to your customers. Remember, people are buying YOU, as well as what your product, service and company can do for them.

Kodak proved it over 150 years ago with their slogan "A picture is worth a thousand words". We would like to change that to "Your picture could be worth thousands in new business with the right customized card for you or your firm".

Upgrade Your CV/PMB

An updated CV/Personal Marketing Brochure will help you focus on the successes in your life, especially if you've been in business for some time. If you've been busy, you may not have kept these up to date. There may be courses you've finished, community work that will compliment you, or special projects as a team member to be added. Make sure you can fit these into a new employer's key interests.


Get your own personal or company Web site. Regardless of the results, the www.jeff.com.au Web site proved to be highly popular. Remember having your first fax machine in the late 1980s, a cellular phone in the mid 90s, and lap top computer in the late 90s? Well, a Web site will be essential over the next few years. Make sure it is professionally designed.

In a recent study on the top 300 Web sites in the world, visited daily, not one Australian company was listed!

By the way, when you make it to the top of your field or profession, try and remember some humility and thankfulness to your constituents and customers.

This is working well for billionaires like Gerry Harvey of the Harvey Norman Retail Chain in Australia, and worked extremely well for Founder Sam Walton of Wal Mart Retail Chain of stores across the United States.

About the writer / author

Rob Salisbury, B. Com, CSP has addressed over 450 Australian companies and over 2000 teams / events in the U.S. New Zealand, Singapore and SE Asia over the last 20 years.

Rob served as 2001 to 2003 President of the NSW National Speakers Association and five years as a Director on the Australian National Speakers Board. An industry recognised sales and marketing strategist, he was tranferred from sunny Scottsdale, Arizona in 1997 to Sydney Australia.

For more information, contact Rob in Australia at 0412 414 835 or our web site at www.strategicresources.com.au or

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