Critical PR Issues Debated at Counselors Academy Event

May 12, 2014
Issue 19 Vol. 70
Critical PR Issues Debated at Counselors Academy Event
New services depend
on measurement
The Counselors Academy
spring meeting, held last week
in Key West, Fla., hit on all the
major issues impacting business communications. But two
themes resonated throughout
the program: measurement
and brand impact.
In a hypercompetitive
marketplace, the message
was that agency owners and
managers not only must grow
their media services, but con-
1. The so-called “iGen” will
likely bring more radical
changes to PR. (p. 1)
2. People repost news items
more often than they post
their own content. (p. 1)
3. When rebuilding a city’s
image post-disaster, don’t
dwell on the past. (p. 2)
4. Corporate reputation
requires constant nurturing
by PR managers. (p. 3)
5. During live events, use
real-time messaging via your
social channels. (p.4)
6. Mobile PR starts with
assessing your audiences’
social media activities. (p. 6)
7. To enhance the value of
PR, start building integrated
leadership teams. (p. 8)
vince their clients of the value
of PR, particularly when it
comes to the growing influence of earned media. As one
attendee put it, for PR agencies
jockeying for media budgets,
it’s all about “table stakes,” as
the cost of entry gets increasingly more expensive.
The two-day event, which
attracted 126 PR executives,
covered a wide range of issues,
including identifying more
effective ways to build online
communities, the growing
mobile channel, and, of course,
Page 6 ▶
SPRING FLING: A few members of this year’s Counselors Academy (PRSA)
leadership team gather for a group picture during the Counselors’ spring
meeting. From left to right: Mike Neumeier, Arketi Group, Chair; Abbie
Fink, HMA Public Relations, Chair Elect; Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group,
Conference Co-Chair; Chuck Norman, S&A Cherokee, Conference Co-Chair.
▶ PR Measurement
How to Listen for the ‘Digital Echo’
Earned media more
important than ever
reporting news on their own
in real time.
There are notable examples
of citizen journalism, from one
of the earliest and most infaThe lines continue to blur
mous photos by a passenger of
between news delivered
downed U.S. Airways 1529 in
through traditional channels
the Hudson River, to a tweet
and through social networking. about the helicopters that parWhile many people are now
ticipated on the raid in which
getting news from social media, Osama Bin Laden was killed.
much of that news is shared
Social media is most
from traditional media sources. often used as an impromptu
It’s true that some details
news channel in crisis situof breaking news stories are
ations. A case in point: Last
being reported by average
year’s bombing at the Boston
citizens through both mainMarathon, where the Boston
stream social networks, such
Police commander demanded:
as Facebook and Twitter, as
“I need somebody up there to
well as specialty platforms like get on social media….”
CNN’s iReport. Still, more
Even though citizen jourpeople are sharing mainnalism can impact news covstream media reports than
erage, most people aren’t doing
By Kami Huyse
it yet. According
to the Pew
Research Journalism Program,
only 14% posted their own
photos of a news event, and
only 12% posted a video.
On the other hand, 50%
reported they had reposted
news stories, images or videos;
and 46% had discussed a news
issue or event.
Reddit is a good example of
a social network and aggregator
whose users specialize in the
curation of links from news
organizations and blogs.
In an interview for the
Twitter blog last year,
Andrew Miller, Guardian
News & Media CEO, said
Page 7 ▶
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By Brad Weaber and Kelly Schulz
Rebuild a City’s Image
In the last decade New Orleans
has been struck by two major
disasters that brought major
blows to the city’s brand, visitor
perceptions and the travel
economy as a whole: Hurricane
Katrina and the BP Oil Spill.
The tourism-dependent city
has made a remarkable recovery,
going from 80% underwater and
many visitors questioning the
future of the destination to one
of National Geographic Traveler’s
Must See Places for 2014.
Tourism means big
business for New Orleans.
Approximately nine million
visitors spend more than $6 billion annually and account for
nearly 80,000 jobs. Recovery of
the city was contingent upon
the resurgence of tourism,
which is an industry driven by
image and perception.
PR played a critical role in
convincing visitors to return
despite intense negative media
attention. Uninformed questions abounded, such as “Is the
city still underwater?” and “Is it
safe to eat the seafood?”
Long after the immediate
danger had passed, and the destination was ready to welcome
guests, travelers stayed away
because of misperceptions.
So, when Typhoon Haiyan
struck the Philippines last year,
the country’s tourism leaders
reached out to the image and
disaster recovery experts at the
New Orleans Convention and
Visitors Bureau (CVB).
We recently traveled to
the Philippines to meet with
tourism stakeholders in Manila,
Cebu and Boracay, to share
recommendations for bringing
back tourism and conventions
to the Philippines.
The PR lessons shared include:
▶ Over-communicate with
internal and external stakeholders. If there is advance
warning of a crisis (such as a
pending hurricane), inform all
key audiences in advance about
how and when communications will be issued throughout
the crisis situation. It could be a
daily email blast, a special website, newsroom or text messages.
▶ Capitalize on disaster
tourism. Yes, there will be some
visitors who choose your destination specifically because of
the disaster. Tactfully use them
as brand ambassadors without
exploiting them. They will be
the first group to rebuild a relationship with your destination,
a relationship that will likely be
stronger than the average visitor
because of their motivation.
▶ Don’t wait for media,
go to them. Take your destination on the road to major
media markets armed with key
spokespeople, high-res images
and B-roll. To counter concerns
about New Orleans’ seafood,
we brought an executive chef
along for interviews
and cooking demos
serving up savory
examples of Gulf seafood products.
“Yes, there will be
some visitors who
choose your destination
specifically because of the
disaster. Tactfully use
them as brand
ambassadors without
exploiting them.”
▶ Change the
Leverage the media
attention your destination is receiving
to shine light on
the recovery efforts.
While many media
outlets will want to | 5.12.14
publish the most disparaging
news, give them the positive
content, such as how many
homes have been rebuilt, the
number of volunteer hours
dedicated to relief efforts,
stories of resilience and overcoming obstacles. In New
Orleans, we said “soul is waterproof.” Change the message
from disparaging to uplifting.
▶ Update your media
toolkit. Unless you provide fresh
images, the media will continue
to use the ones highlighting devastated areas. Invest in new video
and photos showcasing the city.
▶ Have a plan for post-crisis
recovery. At a certain point, it will
be appropriate to resume business as usual. It is important to
welcome visitors, journalists and
customers back to a destination.
▶ Don’t dwell on the past.
Recognize when it is time to put
the disaster to bed. Tourism in
New Orleans is no longer being
affected by the BP Oil Spill, so
we no longer include references
to the spill in our messaging.
The relationships formed
during the international New
Orleans/Philippines mission
continues. The New Orleans
CVB has committed to help
spread the message that the
Philippines is open for business.
Communications played a major
part in making it happen. PRN
Brad Weaber is executive
VP of New Orleans CVB.
He can be reached at
[email protected]
com. Kelly Schulz is head
of communications at St.
Jude Children’s Research
Hospital and former VP of
Communications at New
Orleans CVB. She can be
reached at [email protected]
▶ Data Points
Nurturing Reputation
Metrics that are helping to define the communications field.
Communicators know that building a solid corporate reputation could take years—and vanish
overnight if the company slips up. That’s why it’s so important for PR pros to play long ball.
▶ Slow and Steady Wins the Reputation Race: Corporate reputation
can be like the Santa Ana winds, ranging from hot to cold, depending
on the prevailing temperatures in the area. There are myriad factors
affecting reputation, of course, such as customer service, corporate
social responsibility (CSR) and, of course, stock price. Whatever the
case, it takes time to nurture corporate reputation, as indicated by
corporate reputation tracked during a five-year period by brand consulting company CoreBrand. “Reputation is earned,” said Jim Gregory,
CEO of CoreBrand. “It is based on what you have done and how you
are perceived for what you have done.” Gregory stressed that the com-
panies listed below have been able to improve their reputation during
the last five years. “Some companies, like Tyco, were rebounding off a
crisis, which explains the growth, [while] others are rebounding from
an industry recovery.” He added that corporate reputation can sometimes be a bit of mystery. “In some cases, the growth of reputation is
hard to explain—the cause for Jacobs Engineering Group’s growth,
which has grown the most in the past year, is not readily identifiable—
which proves the point that sometimes you can grow your reputation
by focusing on your business and doing well.” PRN
Source: CoreBrand
Positive Movement 1-10 5-Year Overall Reputation Variation
2013 Rank 2012 Rank
One Year Variation
2008 Rank
Five Year Variation
Telephone & Data Systems
Jacobs Engineering Group
Building Materials
Edison International
Electric Utilities
Pepco Holdings
Electric Utilities
Tyco International
Diversified Industrials
Diversified Financial
Hartford Financial
Consolidated Edison
Electric Utilities
Limited Brands
Consumer Cyclicals
Make Our Team YOUR Team.
At Daily Buzz, our customers rely on us to deliver the most accurate tracking
of their mentions—meticulously edited by our professional researchers—so they can
focus on their clients’ PR needs. We provide dedicated account management with 24/7 support.
Contact us today and start working with the industry leader to streamline
your firm’s media monitoring efforts! | 5.12.14
▶ Case Study
‘Nightclub Series’ Gives Zumba a Brand New Beat
the culture of Zumba: music,
lights and sounds.”
Indeed, with their dance floors
and built-in sound systems, nightclubs would seem to be a natural
Since its 2001 debut Zumba
extension for the Zumba brand.
Fitness has grown from a
So, in the summer of 2012
branded fitness class into a
Zumba partnered with PR
multi-faceted lifestyle brand
agency MWW, celebrity DJ
with universal appeal. The
Lil Jon and celebrity Zumba
fitness class, which caters to
instructor Gina Grant to create
more than 15 million people in the Zumba Nightclub Series, a
180 countries, fuses entertain- four-city, six-show tour highment and culture into Zumba’s lighting the Zumba experience.
signature dance-driven
The series, which kicked
workout. “One of Zumba’s
off last summer, brought the
mottos is that it doesn’t matter Zumba experience to nightwhere you are, you can take a
clubs in Boston, Pittsburgh,
Zumba class anywhere in the
Queens, N.Y and Cincinnati.
world,” said Allison Robins, PR
“We wanted to pick cities
director of Zumba. “So why
which had a good base of
not break into a space that
[Zumba] instructors and could
fits so well into the brand and use an injection of Zumba,”
Robins said.
The effort, dubbed
“Experience Zumba in the
Club,” was designed to:
Number of media articles
• Build awareness of the Zumba
(at the national and local
levels) generated by the
Zumba Nightclub Series.
• Bring consumers into the fold
who otherwise might not be
familiar with the brand.
Photo courtesy: Zumba Fitness
Dance clubs play into
the brand reputation
Celebrity Zumba Instructor Gina Grant, alongside Lil Jon on the turntables,
leads a Zumba class at Amazura nightclub in Queens, N.Y. (one of the many
stops in the Zumba Nightclub Series).
• Expand the job opportunities
for Zumba instructors, who
have an entrepreneurial bent.
Zumba and MWW got the ball
rolling by announcing the Zumba
Nightclub Series at a Zumba
Instructor conference in February
2013. From a communications
standpoint, Zumba wanted to kill
two birds with one stone.
“We knew we had the talent
(instructors) already there,
photographers and our social
media messaging set up,” Robins
said. “So it made sense for a preannouncement on when tickets
would go on sale (early 2013).”
The campaign got the
word out via numerous media
channels, including email
blasts, video, social media
and messaging at countless
Communications Tips for Multicity Campaigns
The introduction of Zumba classes in the
nightclubs marked a new category through
which the brand could further grow its
reach and expand into new territories.
Penetrating a new market also helped
Zumba Instructors, or “ZINs,” expand their
own businesses. Here are a few rules for
PR pros to follow when they need to implement a multicity PR campaign.
▶ Know the market. Every city is different
and so are its consumers and media. When
mapping out your campaign and the cities
you want to target, do your research so you
know what to expect. For this campaign,
we made sure we chose cities with a great
media presence and high traffic of our
licensed Zumba instructors to help elevate
our story. We also made sure to make the
event feel organic to the city, choosing
venues that were relevant and popular with
local residents, and could provide the ultimate “Zumba in the Nightclub” experience.
▶ Create a VIP experience. Creating a mul-
ticity campaign brings new opportunities to
the table, but make sure you are creating a
memorable experience for each city. By hiring
a famous DJ, and bringing along one of the
top Zumba instructors, we gave fans a onetime-only authentic experience, positioned as
“a tour” blending Zumba’s distinct style and
brand personality with a VIP nightclub. From
lighting and sound to music choice and class
set up, the effort aligned stylistically with the
Zumba brand and gave fans a turbocharged
Zumba class experience.
▶ Leverage resources beyond PR. It takes
a lot of manpower and time to execute a
multicity campaign, so look beyond PR and | 5.12.14
leverage your resources
to get the results you
want. From choosing a
venue, to finding partners, launching ticket
Allison Robins
sales (and a microsite)
and on-site production, being able to have
resources at your hands is an extremely
valuable tool and really makes the campaign a 360-degree experience.
While launching a multicity experiential
campaign can be daunting, the Zumba
Nightclub Series gave us an opportunity not
only to share a new chapter of the Zumba
brand story on a larger scale but also
expand our business in the nightclubs category both in the United States and abroad.
This sidebar was written by Allison Robins,
PR director at Zumba Fitness LLC.
What is more,
to secure media
at every stop, PR
reps deployed the
“Experience Zumba
in the Club” strategy
and made each show
a media event. Take
the Zumba gig at
Amazura, a nightclub in Queens, N.Y.
The week of that
event Lil Jon was
featured as a guest
DJ during the fourth
hour of NBC’s
TODAY show.
The PR team
was also careful
to promote the
nightclub series in
real-time, including
videos and still
images from the
events that were
posted on Zumba’s
Facebook page,
The Zumba Nightclub Series generated solid returns for Zumba Fitness.
live tweeting from
every site and the
via 80 articles that ran in both
expanded in more locations
dissemination of the hashtag
local and national outlets.
and made it a lot bigger,” she
added. “When you have a really
Zumba instructors were also
• Coverage of the series ran in
good concept and get people on
encouraged to tweet, post and
Media relations was also key
several major media venues,
board, you have to trust your
spread the word via their own
in promoting the nightclub
including The Boston Globe,
instincts and go big.” PRN
social media channels.
series, which took place last
“One of the things to look Huffington Post, In Touch
summer. In each market, for
Weekly, the New York Post,
at when you do a campaign
example, the PR crew identiSELF, as well on a handful of
like this is to take existing
fied select reporters who got
broadcast outlets.
Joe Cohen, [email protected];
resources to create more
a VIP Nightclub experience.
Allison Robins, [email protected]
buzz,” Robins said.
This included bus transporta• The campaign had KPI
The campaign also
tion to the events, with Zumba deployed a post-event
(key performance indicainstructor chaperones, who
tors) of 87.5%
strategy, reaching out to
conducted media interviews
pull-through (as
reporters who covered the
during the ride to the club.
measured by the
events and providing them
Zumba music—featuring Lil with video (raw or pre-packinclusion of the
“What proved
Jon’s tune, “Work,” was piped
term “Nightclub
aged), images, metrics and
into the bus while healthy
Series” and/or
follow-up interviews.
very effective in
refreshments were made availlink to the ticketdriving the success
able to media reps.
purchasing site).
Reporters were also given
The Zumba Nightclub Series
of the campaign was
multi-dimensional press kits
was deemed a success, with
The series also
an interdisciplinary
that included Zumba apparel
all six shows selling out in
helped spur the
and accessories, press materials just two weeks. The series
number of Zumba
approach to promote
and an advance copy of “Work.” established a new category for classes as well
the events before,
Media reps also got backZumba and a new channel for as participants,
its instructors. Specifically, the Robins said. “If I
stage passes during the preduring and after
series generated:
had known how
and-post show activities and
the experience.”
successful this
were able to conduct interviews
• More than 185 million
would become
and photo shoots with Lil Jon
impressions that were secured
I would have
and Gina Grant. | 5.12.14
Courtesy: Zumba Fitness
Zumba classes throughout
the country. Another way to
promote the various events:
a steady of stream of tweets
from Lil Jon and Gina Grant
plugging the four-city tour.
“What proved very effective
in driving the success of the
campaign was an interdisciplinary approach to promote
the events before, during and
after” the individual event, said
Joe Cohen, senior VP at MWW.
He added: “Zumba did a
really good job of spreading
awareness both internally
as well as through different
communications channels
and online forums that reach
Zumba instructors.”
Robins stressed that
internal communication was
mission critical. “It’s important to support our instructors and make sure they get
the inside scoop” on Zumba’s
PR and marketing activities,
she said. “We want to attract
new people and have instructors bring their colleagues and
friends” to Zumba classes.
Counselors Academy
▶ Page 1
“Strategic Planning,” focusing
on the scope of work, timeline and budget, and “Success
Metrics,” which delves into
specific metrics needed to
monitor the work.
According to Womer, the
measurement approach also
identifies metrics that matter
most to clients: exposure, influence and conversion.
“There’s a consistency
factor” now in measuring PR
campaigns, Womer said. “By
our team talking about measurement and sharing meaningful results and analyzing
data, clients can see the value in
what we do.”
Source: The Garrett Group
The four-step approach to mobile
Key roles and mobile objectives
GOING MOBILE: During the Counselors Academy spring meeting, attendees
were provided with some tips on how to fuel their mobile communications.
“We were struggling with
evaluation and needed to give
employees better questions to
ask about measurement, strategic planning and reporting,”
she said.
Earlier this year Linhart
created its own branded measurement program, called
Linhart PRoof. The tool features a seven-step process
designed to boost the agency’s
ability to measure its commu“Measurement doesn’t
nications efforts.
happen in a vacuum,”
The process starts off with
said Kelly Womer, VP and
“Mission and Objectives,”
partner at LinhartPR.
which includes such questions
Womer hosted a work sesas: What is the client trying
sion on how to bake meato achieve? What does success
surement into agency culture look like? Who are you trying
and sell it to clients.
to reach? It also includes
how to engage millennials and
the “iGen” (people born in
1994 or afterward).
Expanding and enhancing
PR services were discussed at
length and with great insight in
several sessions.
But with brand managers
watching their every penny,
offering new services is predicated on how to measure them.
Linking measurement tools
to the PR process is one way
for agencies to boost their
standing with clients and
demonstrate that they can
move the sales needle.
Another way for communicators to fundamentally
change their mindset is to stop
targeting eyeballs and earlobes
and start providing a superior
brand experience, said Stan
Phelps, founder and chief measurement officer of 9 INCH
Marketing, who delivered a
keynote during the conference.
Phelps is the author of
“What’s Your Purple Goldfish,”
which centers on differentiation via added value, or giving
consumers a little something
extra that—depending on the
execution—could result in
enhanced lead generation and
fond feelings for a brand or
A superior brand experience could mean providing
consumers throw-ins, and/
or samplings and making a
solid impression before and
after transactions. The Hard
Rock Hotel San Diego, for
example, has a program used
at guest check-in, where customers are given a Gibson | 5.12.14
guitar (sans amplifier) to
noodle around with during
their stay. Can’t play the
guitar? Well, there’s a 24-hour
TV channel providing a tutorial on how to get started.
“Marketing is not about
impressions,” Phelps said. “It’s
about making an imprint. It’s
not about what you say the
brand is but the beliefs by consumers and how those beliefs
are grounded in the experience
with the brand.”
He added that the onus
is on communicators not to
chase the “thousands in the
bush but take care of the ones
in the hand.” The payoff, he
said, is that “happy customers
drive growth via retention
and referrals, because word
of mouth is the most trusted
form of marketing.”
Total percentage Linhart PR
recommends allocating of
client program budgets to
measure influencer-related
activities and results.
Earnings consumers’ trust
was the focal point of a presentation by Stefan I. Pollack, president and CFO of The Pollack
PR Marketing Group, who
spoke about how communicators can engage with the “iGen,”
or the “disrupted” generation.
“It’s hugely about trust,”
Pollack said. “For years
they’ve been told by their
parents not to trust anyone
online. So you have to develop
those circles of trust before
you can engage them.” PRN
Stan Phelps, [email protected]
com; Kelly Womer, [email protected]
▶ Page 1
For the public relations profession, this suggests that
earned-media placements
and bylined articles in prestigious publications might
mean more than they ever
have before.
’s Women
Total social
media shares:
fr o
prefer news to come directly
from a news organization.
And three-fourths of all
Americans said they still see or
hear news daily, including 6 of
10 adults under age 30
ig n
Th e
Percent of social networking site users who have...
Courtesy: Pew Research
Twitter drives traffic for
breaking news stories to the
U.K.-based newspaper company. Miller said that 10% of
the newspaper’s traffic now
comes from social media.
When the Guardian broke
the news about whistleblower
Edward Snowden on Twitter,
the story set a one-day traffic
record of almost seven million
unique visitors.
Reporters look to Twitter
and other social networks to
discover news. They are using
tools like Storyful to search for
specific topics and cut though
the noise.
Storyful searches for
breaking news and interesting stories for further
development by reporters.
Earlier this month Facebook
launched FBNewswire, where
breaking news stories are
And, according to a study
by NORC in February, people
are looking to media outlets,
both online and offline for
news, with six in 10 saying they
Social media plays an increasingly important roie in spreading content.
Articles that may seem
lackluster on the webpage of a
news organization, with very
few comments, may take on
an entirely different life on
social media.
One way to show more
value to the client or boss is
to measure the spread of the
article beyond its initial placement and the potential impressions based on the publication’s
Many news articles are
shared widely, either organically or by the PR team, on
social media. This should be
captured to show the true value
of the placement and the hard
work of the team.
You can get a very quick
read on the digital echo of a
story by using some free tools in
the marketplace, such as Muck
Rack’s Who Shared tool ( or the
Velocity tool (www.tomjepson.
As an example, a bylined
article, written by Swanee Hunt
for the prestigious magazine
Foreign Affairs, about how
Rwandan women rebuilt their
country after the genocide,
appeared not to have much traction. The online version only
generated two comments.
However, a quick look at
the stats show the article had
a healthy number of shares | 5.12.14
in social media, with it being
shared across five social networks a total of 2,281 times
(see graphic nearby).
By pasting the URL of the
article in the search bar, these
tools give a simple read of how
many times the article was
shared on social media, and
across which networks.
This digital echo brings
to light an area in which PR
professionals who work on traditional media placements can
show more value.
Paid tools, such as
Tellagence, can help you pinpoint who shared the link,
determine which communities were most engaged, and
determine which individuals
may have been the most influential. By understanding the
context around the sharing of
the article, the organization can
determine which messages and
information is resonating most.
As the public relations
industry starts to use some of
these more meaningful measures, the tools will evolve to
support the trend, as well. PRN
Kami Huyse is the founder
and CEO of Zoetica Media, a
digital content agency. Follow
her on Twitter, @kamichat, or
Google+. She can be reached at
[email protected]
▶ Tip Sheet
Break Down the Silos and Connect the Dots
Work with departments
you’re not familiar with
As the steward of the brand,
communicators need to deftly
move among the various
leaders in the C-suite to
understand and engage their
work. Today’s communicators
need to practice a kind of integrated leadership that allows
us to collaborate with others
and see the connection points
in everyone’s role.
Here are five tips to help
you break down the silos and
work with different people
throughout a company—from
IT to human resources and
beyond—so you can integrate
all the assets to build a successful brand.
1. You’re only as smart
as the conversations you’re
in. To learn what is going on
throughout the organization,
place yourself in as many conversations and meetings as possible that are not related to communications so you can learn
first-hand about key initiatives
and strategies.
At Kaiser Permanente,
our communication specialists attend meetings and conferences focused on various
aspects of our business.
For example, we attend our
organization’s quality confer-
ence, diversity conference and
innovation summits to find out
what kind of work is happening
within the organization and
how we can better serve our
clients internally and tell our
story externally.
2. Broaden your horizons.
Expose yourself to a broad
level of subjects in order to
understand all aspects of a
company’s brand. This means
learning new technologies or
trying different approaches to
gain new insights. Last year I
judged a code-a-thon put on by
our IT department. Despite not
knowing a line of code, I was
inspired by the format of nonstop work to solve a problem
and come up with solutions
designed to enhance our
delivery of care and coverage.
Later, we held our own
design-a-thon, where we
engaged with the community.
Brand communication partnered with IT to brainstorm
technology that could engage
diverse consumers.
3. Stop and listen.
Sometimes we get so busy
telling people what we need that
we forget that they have something to say. Fred Cook, CEO of
GolinHarris, recently published
a career-advice book, titled
“Improvise.” In one chapter,
“Listen to a Guru,” Cook writes
about how while traveling
through the Himalayas he met a
man who introduced himself as
the “Hippie Guru of Darjeeling.”
As the guru talked about his
mastery of the spiritual world,
Cook wanted to impress him
with his own knowledge of
Eastern religion and launched
into a debate about an obscure
English author.
The guru responded with
a left hook to Cook’s jaw.
Cook writes that the incident
taught him a valuable lesson:
“Sometimes you should just
shut up! … If you’re not
talking or texting, a miraculous thing happens—you actually hear what the other person
is saying.”
4. Invite people to meetings with no agenda. I meet
monthly with leaders from
various functions to keep me
connected, not only because we
serve them, but also to learn
about their areas of expertise.
In a large organization, these
are people we may see occasionally yet engage with primarily on conference calls. But
by meeting face-to-face with no
particular agenda, except perhaps topics of shared interest, it
helps build relationships.
5. Build an entourage.
Cook offers another piece of
advice: “I have learned from
experience that no matter how
good you think you are, you will
By Diane Gage Lofgren
not be successful
without the
support of your peers and your
team.” This is so true.
I surround myself with
communication experts who
have their own particular
expertise, and with whom I
feel comfortable sending out to
represent me.
If we build our team with
executives who have skills we
might not have, such as a deep
knowledge of information technology metrics or public policy,
they can support us when we’re
working with departments we
may not be familiar with, and
in the end help us look smarter.
So the next time you hear
about something happening
within your organization and
you think it’s not your responsibility as a communicator, think
again. Our world is getting
smaller, and our reach is getting wider. Every informational
tidbit we learn helps inform an
integrated approach to telling
our story. PRN
Diane Gage Lofgren is chief
communication officer
and senior VP of brand
communication at Kaiser
Permanente. She may be
reached at [email protected]
June 3, 2014 | Grand Hyatt, NYC
In just one day, you’ll get dozens of practical takeaways to help you maximize your
Facebook, Twitter, online video, SEO and measurement initiatives and become the
top digital communicator (and measurement expert) in your organization.
Sponsored By:
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8 | 5.12.14
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