Our Industry, Your Answers: Breaking Down the 2018 JOTW Communications Survey

communicationsGuest Post by Scott Kaminski Corporate communications and PR can be a lonely business of sorts. As communicators, we are sometimes holed up in self-imposed exile creating content for others to deliver on ever-shrinking budgets. Or are we? A recent survey conducted by Ned Lundquist’s Job of the Week (JOTW) in partnership with Sword and the Script Media, LLC sought to find out the true status of our industry. Conducted in February 2018, the online survey solicited the thoughts and opinions of 5,500 JOTW newsletter subscribers, mainly consisting of senior in-house and corporate communications professionals across a variety of industries. Let’s hit it. Let’s Talk Money The idea of doing less with more is not uncommon to communicators. And 63% of survey respondents cited budget as their top challenge – even as business and employers expected them to do more with a rapidly increasing list of things to do. As
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Inspiring Communications: What You Make Is Not What You Do

communicationsGuest Post by John Friedman Inspiring communications focuses people on the real value in your products or services.  Three months after I joined and spent my first three months traveling – at no small expense – around North America, I stood in front of the President to answer a simple question; what had I learned about what the company did. It was a new industry for me – and my first for-profit company. I took a deep breath, steeled myself, and told him “What I learned is that people in this company do not know what it does.” “You’ve got 60 seconds to explain that, or you’re outta here.” “Well, sir, you think you make concrete, wallboard and asphalt … but that is what you make, it’s not what you do …” I began, and then proceeded to tell him about the value and impact those items
John Friedman
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A radical kind of brand activism

There is always time for a first when it comes to CEO Activism. First we had the CEOs in opposition to the anti LGBT laws in 2016. Then we had CEOs against the Trump ban on immigration. Then we had the advertisers pulling ads from Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, a favorite station of the president’s. And most recently some CEOs protested against the climate change withdrawal from the Paris Accord. All of these are part of an evolution of how business is being held accountable to corporate values and standing up for principles that are the foundation of corporate behavior. Then this week we saw the Reebok “flow chart” which criticizes President Trump’s comment about what great shape French President Macron’s wife is in during the presidential visit to Paris and Reebok jumps on this ill-advised statement to say that they take offense. After all Reebok is  all about the women’s fitness Continue reading "A radical kind of brand activism"

Work as a refuge

I wanted to share this post that I wrote for HBR on this idea I had on Sanctuary Companies or Work as a Refuge. It is based on our Civility in America ongoing research with Powell Tate and KRC Research and the learning that work might be one of the last stops for erasing (or at least reducing) incivility. The fact that people consider their workplaces as safe havens from the rude discourse and behavior that is mounting in America made me think how work might just be the remaining safe harbor where people of all backgrounds, ages, gender, etc.  can come together with a common goal and get to know each other, regardless of their political persuasions. I hope you agree or at least entertain the idea that work might just be an incubator for democracy.     The post Work as a refuge appeared first on ReputationXchange.

Work as a refuge

I wanted to share this post that I wrote for HBR on this idea I had on Sanctuary Companies or Work as a Refuge. It is based on our Civility in America ongoing research with Powell Tate and KRC Research and the learning that work might be one of the last stops for erasing (or at least reducing) incivility. The fact that people consider their workplaces as safe havens from the rude discourse and behavior that is mounting in America made me think how work might just be the remaining safe harbor where people of all backgrounds, ages, gender, etc.  can come together with a common goal and get to know each other, regardless of their political persuasions. I hope you agree or at least entertain the idea that work might just be an incubator for democracy.     The post Work as a refuge appeared first on ReputationXchange.

Nameless faceless CEOs

The headline was America’s Invisible Bosses and naturally I was curious. The research by APPrise Mobile found that nearly one quarter (23%) of Americans who work in companies with over 500 employees (midsized) were not sure whether they could name their CEO. This was more common among employees under 24 years old (not a surprise). I guess what did surprise me was this was not what I would call a case for “invisible bosses.” As I see this, the research says that nearly 3 in 4 employed Americans (77%) know their CEO’s name. That’s actually a pretty high number and certainly tips more on the “visible” side of the scale for me. CEOs are not as nameless as one might suspect. APPrise included a great question in the survey. They asked whether employees could identify their CEO from a lineup. That made me laugh. Just imagine a line up Continue reading "Nameless faceless CEOs"

Client Messaging 101: Inside the ‘War Room’

Client Messaging 101: Inside the ‘War Room’One of my favorite things about PR is messaging – specifically, the messaging session. It’s the culmination of a much longer process; at March, we identify when is an appropriate time (and why) for a client to undergo a messaging revamp and pull together the essential building blocks that will lay the foundation for that new direction in messaging. The messaging session itself is when we get all the main players into a room and just hash out ideas – ours, theirs and any new ones that pop up along the way – until we finally settle on the perfect message that everyone looks at and goes, “Yes. That is who we are.” But, no matter how many messaging sessions you might attend (and I’ve led plenty myself), the challenge is the same each and every time: how to get a room full of people to sum up what
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Executive facebooking

How are executives using Facebook? An article in Inc. recently answered  that question. It talked about how Facebook was ramping up its executive onboarding to help companies use the platform better. It has signed up over 100 executives. As the person in charge of Facebook’s global influencer partnerships said, “Facebook in many ways is the new town hall for business leaders” because of its ability to engage stakeholders. He mentioned that Facebook Live is a big part of their new solution to overcome inroads made by LinkedIn and Twitter. So I wanted to check out a few. Here is an example of a CEO using Facebook Live — Travis Kalanick of Uber. Others have used for town hall meetings and the CEO of Walmart broadcasted his shareholder’s meeting one month ago to employees. Our research on Social CEOs found that employees want their CEOs to be social. 76% of business Continue reading "Executive facebooking"

Client Messaging 101: The Building Blocks of a Strong Message

large blocksLast month, I dove into one of my favorite topics in marketing and PR: client messaging. Messaging is one of the most crucial elements of any successful brand – you can have a killer product, a great management team and the best employees in the world, but without the right message to frame whatever you’re offering, all of that hard work will fall on deaf ears and go to waste. That’s why, in my last post, I explored why brands should undergo a messaging revamp, when to do so and how a PR agency is uniquely positioned to leverage the right kind of messaging for a brand’s target audience. But, don’t be fooled – nailing down the right message is not a simple get-in-and-out affair; don’t expect to knock it out in a single half-hour meeting. One blog just isn’t enough to talk through all the need-to-knows there are about strategic
Planning the perfect product strategy takes three different phases: pre, during and post.
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The 80-20 Rule for Giving Events

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This band performed at a Crescent City Farmers Market fundraiser. Only 20 percent of the actual actions in a fundraiser should actually occur during a giving day or event. Just 20 percent. The other 80 percent should be spent getting ready for the event (50 or 60 percent) and then post-event follow-up (20-30 percent). Follow-up is more than a thank you. It consists of making sure you fulfill your promises, and cultivate the relationships that you just invested so much energy in consummating or renewing. Yet most people are super worried about the day of. And rightly so, it is the most public aspect of your giving event. Over-focusing on the day of can create a failure. The day becomes a panicked scurry to try and turn the tide. If your organization manages to be successful in spite of its lack of preparation, but you fail to follow up with
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Client Messaging 101: The Whys and Whens

Running a successful company today isn’t just about the product or service you have to offer, but the story you have to tell about that product or service – and just as importantly, the story you have to tell about yourself. Businesses have never had more immediate, interactive access to customers (and vice versa) than they do right now. Video, email, social media, chat – these are all direct avenues for your customers to reach you. Client Messaging 101 But, you’re not the only one with these tools at your disposal. And, if you want to cut through the noise of your competition and ensure that customers coming down the funnel are heading to your business and not your rivals’, you need to have something to hook them. Something inspiring, something compelling, something personalized. That’s what your message is – and that’s why it’s so important to have a clear, concise and up-to-date Continue reading "Client Messaging 101: The Whys and Whens"

First 100 Days Advice from the world of Sports

Advice from the newly named president of the Harlem Globetrotters on the first 100 days. The writer of the article sums up the new president’s counsel saying that leaders must pivot forward to the next decade by focusing on “to be” goals and “to do” goals. Smith is saying: “The first asks: “What kind of organization do we want to be?” The second focuses on: “What do we do to deliver results?” Fairly simple and eminently useful. Smith’s wise advice, however, got me thinking about the use of the word “pivot.” When did this word arrive on the scene and when will it go away? I actually started hearing it about three years ago and assumed it was a political term being adapted for corporate communications. I often heard it in conversations about getting a CEO or company to change the conversation. I try not to use “pivot” because it is a subtle Continue reading "First 100 Days Advice from the world of Sports"

Brevity takes time

In a world of instant communications people often want to understand the shortcuts.  How can you drive great results faster, with less effort? The truth is – for the most part -  you can’t.  You get what you put into it. Effort shows.  Your investment of valuable time let’s people know you care.
“I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter." Blaise Pascal, The Provincial Letters, 1657
How often have you received a long, confusing, rambling email about something important? It’s a missed opportunity. If something is actually important, invest the time. Ironically, brevity takes time.

Summer Reading from Gates

How much fun is this! An animated summer reading list from Bill Gates. A smart way to communicate without the formality and pomposity that goes with most chief executives. A newer way of storytelling from the top. Clearly, Gates is just sharing with us his favorite books for the summer and does not need to further building his reputation.  He has enough good will already. But it makes him and all the initiatives at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation appear even more grounded and ahead of the curve because of his focus on deep thought and learning. Short, snappy and makes you want to read each book. Clearly, no romance novels. It is entertaining (love the robot), accessible and it feels like he is sitting right next to you having a conversation. And what could be more important than reading a book, an activity we have little time for these days. Continue reading "Summer Reading from Gates"

We all talk of innovation, but few us start with innovation in our own work

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Photo Credit: Brian Fanzo I don’t normally share things like this, but…I’ve had a heck of a week. On Monday, I released what I would consider my most significant research to date on the subject of digital transformation, “The Race Against Digital Darwinism: Six Stages of Digital Transformation.” I also spent traveled to San Diego (SMMW), Las Vegas (SAS) and Huntington Beach (WCPRSA). Not the most extreme mileage in comparison to previous trips, but each event, was in its own way, unforgettable. I wanted to share with you some highlights from each.

Social Media Marketing Worlds 2016 – San Diego

It’s been awhile since I spoke about social media. My entire career has been built by pushing emergent and promising industries across the bell curve and then moving back to the left side of early innovation. But my long-time friend Michael Stelzner believed that with X, my new
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