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Category: Consultative Skills

Top 3 Skill Sets for Communicators

I’m often asked about what core competencies are most important in building a career in communications. At a high level, I would put strategic thinking and a results-based mindset at the very top of the list. But there are also three nuts-and-bolts kinds of skills that are vital for you to master and exercise in…

Becoming a Strategic Communications Rock Star

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of leading a packed house full of dynamic communications practitioners through a workshop on Becoming a Strategic Communications Rock Star for the Ottawa chapter of IABC . The group was a great mix of staff communicators from the private, public and NGO/association sectors, and a number of consultants. As you can imagine, the…

Making Your Workshop Work

It’s probably the case that most of your work as a communicator consists of one-on-one discussions with internal clients, management or external stakeholders. But from time to time, your job calls for you to stand up before a larger group of people and make communications magic happen. One of those times that I find most…

Why Communicators Don’t Get No Respect

Let me take a wild guess: a certain amount of your interactions with colleagues inside your organization leaves you quietly banging your head on your desk. We may as well laugh about this aspect of our jobs when we can. Take a look at these Twitter-sourced suggestions for “Sh*t Communicators Say”, and think about how…

Chickens and Eggs, Budgets and Tactics

Here’s a puzzler: in creating a communications strategy, which comes first – the tactics or the budget? I’m often asked the above question in Results Map workshops. And the answer, as with so many of life’s great chicken-and-egg questions, is “it depends”. But let’s backtrack a moment to some general points about communications budgets. You…

Why do Most Communications Strategies Fail?

As a strategic communications junkie, one of the saddest realities to face is that I’m convinced that most communications strategies fail. Yup, you read that right. The majority of communications strategies fail, because they never get implemented. Overwhelmingly, the reason is simple: Because the strategy was written as a document, rather than being the results…

Unleash Your Inner Consultant

One of the things that often drives communicators crazy about their jobs is the Superhero Consultant syndrome. You’ve been advocating for months—maybe even years—in favour of a course of action your organization should take to step up its communications. You know it’s the right thing to do, and you’ve got research and consultation findings to…

A Penny for your Thoughts

It’s easy, when you’re planning a communications strategy or project, to get caught up in the reams of material to read and the plans to be written. But there’s no substitute for leaving your desk and going to talk to people. By consulting your colleagues and audiences, you’ll feed ideas, perspectives, opinions and (if you’re…

The Communicator as Knitter

As people whose business it is to communicate with impact and flair, we all have our favorite metaphors that we draw on repeatedly. Knitting, I must say, has never been one of mine. That said, I’ve found myself thinking that it’s the best way of describing one of the most important leadership functions that we…

Taking Credit Where Credit is Due

Do you feel that it’s difficult to explain—and take credit for—the contribution that your communications efforts make to the overall success of your organization? Sometimes it’s hard for communicators to take credit for big picture outcomes such as the number of new members recruited, rate of client satisfaction, revenue, or influence leading to a regulatory…