Make Sense of Consensus

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

As someone who coaches leaders and teams, I find that, for many, consensus is a misunderstood concept. Most people believe consensus is achieved when everyone on the team is satisfied with the outcome or decision. Actually, that isn’t the case. Consensus does not mean, “I am happy and filled with delight.” It does not even mean, “I agree.” What it does mean is, “I have been heard and I will publicly support this decision.”

In other words, each team member can report that they have been heard and have acknowledged that, as a collective, a general agreement has been reached. The good news is that it’s easier to accomplish general agreement than everyone being happy with the ultimate decision.

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5 Public Speaking Missteps You Need to Avoid

What’s one fear coursing through the veins of most people, even PR wunderkinds? Public speaking. You would think, at least in the PR industry, those fears are left at the door — but there it is.

How can some PR pros excel at their jobs without conquering public speaking? Well, they can be great relationship builders, phone pitchers and even masterful email writers — where they don’t have to speak much at all. But for business development, public speaking is critical. I’ve seen stage fright take hold in pitch meetings, and it’s not good for business. There are five tips I like to share to help people overcome a fear of public speaking, be it in a business pitch to five potential clients, or at a conference before an audience of 500 (click to tweet).

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FedEx Panda Express Takes Flight

FedEx Panda Express Takes Flight

FedEx carefully shipped pandas from China to zoos in Edinburgh and Paris on the FedEx Panda Express. Generating an estimated audience of 2.9 billion viewers and over 2,850 media clips, Ketchum and FedEx leveraged the shipments to expand brand identity in a highly visible, consumer-friendly way.

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FOMO vs. LOOI: What Compels Us to Be Social?

My family consists of myself, my husband, my college-aged son and high school-aged daughter — each of us addicted to our mobile devices in varying degrees. My husband ranks at the bottom of the scale — and we could argue over which of the remaining three holds the top spot as mobile monarch.

I have certainly read my share of articles on content, experiential, social, etc. and what fuels those eye-popping engagement numbers. Many experts are using the term FOMO (fear of missing out) as the underlying driver that keeps us all connected to our devices. But I’m not sure if that tells the whole story. As I look at my own family, it’s hard to identify any one driver underlying our mobile/social use across the board. Are we truly afraid of missing out, or are we just taking part in a fast-moving society where your online reputation comes from being in-the-know? And at the end of the day, does it really matter? (click to tweet) 

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Not Your Textbook PR Internship

As important as college is to building foundational knowledge, I think it’s often misrepresented as the place where you learn everything you need to know in order to land your dream job and be successful. Perhaps some majors work better than others in this model.

But in my experience, in the realm of public relations, only so much can be taught in lecture halls. Over the course of my internship with Ketchum, I have learned that the best way to develop the skills essential to thrive in PR is through hands-on experience.

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Clean Energy Plan Sparks Powerful Opportunities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced its long-awaited rule to regulate existing power plants and set the framework for state plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Most significantly, the “Clean Power Plan” includes goals to cut carbon emissions from electric power generation by 32 percent by 2030, increase generation from renewables to 28 percent by the same year and gives states and the electric utilities until 2022 to develop final plans to accomplish these goals.

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Twitter: You’re Doing It Wrong

There’s been much conversation lately about how Twitter is dead, and how nobody clicks anymore and how engagement is a thing of the past. I won’t disagree with the gist of the sentiment, but do you know what I find ironic? The folks leading the debate are the same folks who are killing it. Yup. I’m talking to you – all of you – brands, influencers, media: you’re doing it wrong. But you have the power to restore it back to the glory that it once was. Oh, Twitter circa 2010, how I miss you!

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Put Me in Coach: 5 Tips To Make a Good Team Great

Ed Gallagher

I come from a family of coaches. My granddad, uncle and cousin all made or make their living coaching kids’ basketball, American football and track teams – and one distant relative was the legendary (in Oklahoma) wrestling coach Ed Gallagher (pictured).

The quality of their teams varied. Raw talent is a major factor. Fitness and skill, another. Even great coaches can’t do much with poorly conditioned, inexperienced players.

In the agency world, we’re generally blessed with good teams: professionals selected from a deep pool of qualified applicants who are trained in the specific ways we help clients. Many teams are pretty solid without much guidance from us bosses, to be honest.

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Celebrating the Near Win (Video)

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. –Thomas Edison

A few important questions to consider: Does your culture foster innovation and celebrate not just the wins, but also the bravery it takes to present bold new ideas – ideas that often run a higher risk of failure? Do you celebrate risk-takers, regardless of the outcome? Are near-wins within your company “blame-worthy” or “praise-worthy?” These questions, and the ramifications of their answers, are of critical importance within an always on, real-time communications landscape.

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New Kid on the Blog: Insights From a Summer Fellow

Ketchum recently became my new home when I made the move from the publishing industry. My move – one from Johns Hopkins University (where I studied English) and the book-filled floors of my first internship at HarperCollins – felt comparable to another move I was making… a native, never-left-the-West-Coast, Californian’s heading to New York. I was entering unfamiliar grounds, and it was both daunting and tantalizing.

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