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Category: Consultative Skills

Be an Action Hero

So you’ve laid out a brilliant communications strategy, with clear goals, indices of success and messages—congratulations! Next, it’s time to move from the lofty levels of strategy down to the thickets of tactics. A tactical action plan is where the strategy all comes together, since it lays out the implementation schedule that will make your…

Asking Questions That Count

Yesterday, I had the opportunity of participating in the Government of Canada’s Communicators’ Learning Summit in Ottawa, with sessions broadcast to regional communicators across Canada. My session was on the Top 10 Strategic Questions that I think every communicator should have in their back pocket. The gist of it was this: no one likes to look uninformed…

Communications Begins at Home

It often amazes me to see that amid the oceans of material written about strategic communications planning, virtually nothing is said about how communications advisors operate on their ‘home turf’, in relation to senior management and colleagues in program or policy shops. It’s a peculiar omission, because the way in which you approach internal client…

Fish Perceive Water Last

Everyday, you swim in your natural habitat. You see the same people, the same issues and the same old challenges. It can be helpful to pull back from that sameness and ask yourself the question: What am I not seeing? That simple question can trigger a profound shift. It has the power to unlock problem solving,…

Strategic is a State of Mind

You’ve almost certainly received dozens of flyers or emails selling you on books, workshops and webinars on ‘How to Be Strategic’. The word is used so often that we’ve lost track of what it means. You might think it’s nothing but another bit of corporate-speak tossed around to make things sound fancier. But something real…

Kicking Off to a Strong Start

It’s no fun being far out to sea with a hole in your boat. And there are few worse moments in the life of a communicator than realizing that the big communications strategy you’ve been struggling with for weeks is foundering because some basic things weren’t clarified at the start. Part of the team thought…

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 –…

Everything you wanted to know about launching a technology start-up but were afraid to ask…

I am often asked about lessons from the trenches from my experience of bringing a technology product to market as a shift from a service-base consulting practice. Certainly, there are too many lessons learned to list here (!). However, I was recently interviewed by Canadian Women in Technology (CanWIT, on which I am privileged to…

Making a Shift – From Activities to Results

One of the easiest ways you can immediately enhance your strategic value as a communicator is to make a shift in the way you think about your function. Communicators generally are in the business of producing “stuff” – their focus is on the very real day-to-day challenges of writing press releases, developing key messages or…

Outside-In Thinking

As a communicator, you are essentially the “glue” between your organization and the public you serve. Communicators have the unique, powerful ability to bring what I call “outside-in” thinking to their organizations – the intangible skill, experience and instinct to know how an issue will play among your key audiences. In this capacity, you can…