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The Communicator as Chef

It strikes me that there is an interesting parallel between being a strategic communicator… and being a chef. A chef is respected for his or her mastery of the craft. A chef is able to perform at a sophisticated and uniquely competent level because of a deep understanding of all aspects of the profession –…

Social Media in the Public Sector: Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

Yesterday, I enjoyed the opportunity to present to the Conference Board of Canada’s Public Sector Social Media Conference. The session was co-hosted with Yves Desjardins-Siciliano who shared an insider, executive-level perspective on VIA Rail’s gutsy and extremely successful social media campaign led by its @VIA_Rail customer service presence on Twitter. Clearly, social media is a…

What I’ve Learned from Not Blogging

I’ve been away from my blog for a while. Make that a long while – a four month hiatus. While common wisdom holds that once a blog is launched it needs to be maintained judiciously and regularly, unfortunately that has not been the case. The good news is that it was done by design. In…

Top 5 Suggestions to Kick-Start Your Communications Career

I’m often asked about what core competencies are most important in building a career in communications. Here are my top five: Project management: To excel as a communicator, you have to be comfortable with complex projects with many moving parts, shifting and changing in order of priority in real time. Project management is the discipline…

What does audience have to do with it?

A simple way to add value to your audience segmentation efforts is to deliberately consider types of audience groups. While some audiences may be simply constructed as receivers of information, most often as communicators we impart a role to audience segments. For example, in an internal communications plan, we might identify Managers/Supervisors as an audience…

Best Practices in Strategic Communications Planning

I recently had the privilege of contributing to the March edition of Canadian Government Executive magazine. My article focused on practical best practices in strategic communications planning, and you can read it here.

Consider the Source

Sometimes, the source of the message matters more than the message itself. Take the time to deliberately plan your communications so that the source of information is not left to chance. Consider, for example, the experience of finding out about layoffs from the grapevine, or via email, as opposed to learning the news in a…

The Power of Objectives

The first – and perhaps most important task when writing a strategic communications plan is to craft sound objectives. No matter how brilliant your public environment analysis may be, how inspired your audience segmentation is, or how much your messaging sparkles, developing strong communications objectives, rooted in clear corporate objectives is a must. This is…

Stepping up your Communications Evaluation Game

The cold hard truth of communications evaluation is this — most communicators either don`t evaluate at all (due to lack of time, lack of systems or lack of budgets), or focus all of their measurement efforts on evaluating activity metrics that have little or no relation to the true unique value they contribute. This leads…

The Real Impact of Social Media on Employee Engagement

Yesterday, I was honoured to be part of the Conference Board of Canada’s Public Sector Human Resources Conference, HR Excellence in a Changing World. The conference brought together an impressive cross-section of leaders in HR across both the public and private sectors. The theme of my presentation was employee engagement and social media and for fun,…