Tag Archives: communications

Savvy Saturday August 26th, 2017

Why do we need great writers? Because they are integral in building our brand and our following. Because they help articulate our values and our beliefs. Because they help paint the vision that our followers, our tribe or our organization are working towards. They help us lead by example through articulation of our actions. Writing is a reflection of our thinking and of ourselves – whether as people, as organizations or as society.

From “The Written Word”  by Esther Clark.

 

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Savvy Saturday October 15th, 2016

The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said. – Peter Drucker

 

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Communications in the “worst of times”

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, …”     –Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.

I often use this Dickens’ quote when describing situations in business (and life!). It is also applicable to Communications: the area of every organization that is responsible for communicating with an organization’s “publics”.

While Communications is a fun and exciting area to work in, there are many times when the real importance of Communications becomes apparent only when dealing with crisis management or, as the title to this post suggests, “the worst of times.”

Issue and crisis management supports organizational leadership when things don’t go as planned. Communications has a key role to play because these professionals can often see the forest from the trees; unlike management or individuals directly involved in the issue, Communications professionals are not players in the issue at hand but rather generalists who can tie in ideas and areas of the organization promoting a crisis turn-around or positive outcome.

One such example is Communications’ obsession with getting terminology correct. Take, for example, the often confused difference between issue and crisis management:

Issues Management involves identifying any potential issues as a result of policy, communications, actions etc. and creating a strategy that serves to address issues in a positive way.

Crisis Management relates to managing the damage an issue might have on company reputation or bottom line. It involves recognizing warning signs such as: 1) unexpected event 2) media and stakeholders demanding info/resolution 3) online rumors 4) loss of control (when unfortunate events expand in scope).

Organizations and individuals may experience “the worst of times” but it is up to both leadership and individuals seasoned in the art of Communications to leverage these as opportunities to show increased clarity, values, ethics or empathy with the public. While planning ahead for a crisis (who, what, where, when, how) is part of the role of a Communications or PR professional, the moments of truth may very well be  in “the worst of times” and the goal should always be to bring around the issue or crisis to embrace, once again,  “the best of times.”

-EMC

 

 

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Savvy Saturday March 19th, 2016

The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.

  • Peter Drucker
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Savvy Saturday February 14th, 2015

The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.

—Peter Drucker

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Impressions and Imperfection

donuts

Malcolm Gladwell (author of David and Goliath, Outliers, The Tipping Point) said in an interview a few years ago that our impressions of people are usually more positive than reality. If we hear a deep velvety voice on the radio we tend to associate it with a “deep velvety” persona – whatever our interpretation of that may be. Has it ever happened to you that you have met a radio personality in person and there is a mismatch with what you imagined?

We choose information to fill in the blanks.

In business, we also choose information to fill in the blanks and our bias sometimes gives us a polarized impression of what a marketplace or a customer is about. We can never have perfect data and certainly there is value in shipping “less than perfect” because awaiting perfection might mean we miss out on the opportunity altogether.

Quotes like these make me smile and nod my head in agreement:

If you see a bandwagon, it’s too late. – James Goldsmith

If you are not embarrassed by the 1st version of your product, you’ve launched too late.– Reid Hoffman

So as entrepreneurs and business people we have to fill in the blanks in order to get our product or service out there, to get it into the hands of customers in new markets and to guess how it’s being purchased, used and talked about. Consulting firms, like Hipona Consulting, can help you with business intelligence and connections in the marketplace but there still will be gaps that have to be filled with assumptions, associations and creativity.

Now the flipside…

The question that might be interesting to consider is this: looking from the customer viewpoint is it more valuable for your brand to have more reality based impressions (based on information) or fill-in –the- blanks-imagination based impressions?

I would argue that it needs to be a beautiful mix of the two. That a company provides enough information to create customers and yet leaves a little to the imagination…

EMC

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Savvy Saturday January 25, 2014

“Authentic brands don’t emerge from marketing cubicles or advertising agencies. They emanate from everything the company does. . .” –Howard Schultz

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Savvy Saturday December 7th, 2013

The humanities of business in this age have become more important than the techniques of business. Each business and industry has to sweep the public misunderstandings and the false notions off its own front walk. Thus will a pathway be cleared for popular appreciation of the important rule of business in our freedom and in our way of life.

–Harry A. Bullis

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Good News Stories

Bad news travels faster than good news.
While this seems to be a global truism it is only when living in Latin America that I repeatedly heard this expression.
And it’s unfortunate.
Bad news sells – but I think – and hope – that good news has an equal if not higher probability to “sell” if we give it the opportunity. If we share the stories that inspire rather than just the ones that criticize, I think we could be on to something powerful both for business and for society.
But it takes effort and courage. I recently came across a good news story about one of my companies (link here) but I only saw it a month after it was released.
Being proactive and positive in our communications is a two way street and I think we have just as much a duty to demand good news (and seek it out) as we have in creating it ourselves.
Here’s a great quote from Anne Frank:

Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!

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