Storyworks.me: Leading Through Turbulent Times

Political uncertainty leads to economic uncertainty, which, in turn, leads to business uncertainty as people fear for their job security and the future success of their company. What people want, and need, during tough times is strong leadership.

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Get More From Your Content: How Brands Can Balance Sounding Too “Corporate”

Think about the music you love; the podcasts you listen to; the TV shows you watch. Heck, think of your oldest friends.

Do any of these things or people have voices that you just can’t stand? Probably not. We like things and people that sound pleasant to our ears. No one ever said, “I love this show because the main character sounds like a very sad cat,” or “I love this magazine because it bitterly condescends to me.”

Any successful voice must be appealing to its audience. This goes for brands as well as human beings (for now we will leave out animals and their emotional states, however valid).

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Communications Lessons from the Empowered Healthcare Consumer

Healthcare spending has comprised a very large and growing portion of the U.S. economy for decades, and healthcare policy is a constant in the national media dialogue. At the same time, even with those two fundamentals remaining largely unchanged, there is a massive shift taking place where consumers, driven by Millennials and GenZ (and GenZennials), have taken ownership of their personal wellness in an unprecedented way. Traditional healthcare providers, and newer alternative wellness companies, are succeeding in the marketplace by taking notice and connecting with young consumers who increasingly view their “health” equal to their “wealth.” Therefore, coining a new train of thought: “Well-thy.”

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Forget a Successful Career. Invest in a Successful Life.

I recently had the pleasure of giving the commencement speech at Modul University in Vienna. In my remarks I shared three principles, which have either knowingly or unknowingly forged my career and life. I hope they resonate with both recent graduates entering the workforce, and any professional looking to invest in both their professional and personal happiness.

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A Pilot’s Guide to Conference Calls

I’ve been on a couple of conference calls recently that were great reminders of everything that’s challenging about these valuable, yet inescapable, staples of office life.

They also reminded the pilot in me of what we can all do to make conference calls more productive.

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Taking a Spontaneous Leap Often Begins with a Plan

People who know me would surely list among my attributes as being very organized as well as a thoughtful, creative and yes, at times, anal planner. And they’re both true. I enjoy thinking ahead and planning to ensure I get to see those I care about, do the things that matter and enjoy the meaningful moments in my life while working work around them. While some would argue it’s about putting the big rocks in first, I would take it back a step and say it’s really about knowing what the big rocks are.

But sometimes the secret to enjoying life is adopting a seize-the-moment mentality. To leap ahead and quickly say yes to something you never would have imagined. It’s about the times you have but a moment to respond – “Do you want to join and go on vacation to…” or “I have an extra ticket to tonight’s….” In those moments, yes is almost always my answer and I figure out the details later.

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Quick Tips to Boost Your Work EQ

Think about your week at work. Have you struggled with any of the following?

Making a tough decision
Finding time to care for yourself while also tending to your team and/or client
Dealing with an interpersonal conflict
Losing some sense of control
Meeting a deadline
Making a mistake

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ColorComm 2017: Earning Our Seat at the Table

Feeling a sense of belonging at this years’ Annual ColorComm Conference – Surprise Yourself, allowed us a peek at what a matriarchal society could look and feel like! If you’re not familiar, this conference attracted over 400 women of color (and a few good men) in communications at the mid- and senior-levels. This unique community is able to discuss important issues and learn from the best talent in the industry on taking your career to the next level. A microcosm of a matriarchal society. Cue the song by Beyoncé Girls Rule the World!

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Authenticity 2.0: unfiltered and flawed

Relationships evolve, usually in three stages.

You start off on your best behaviour, always wanting to show-off the best version of yourself. Minding your P’s and Q’s. Then, as the relationship grows, you relax and are easier to connect with, showing your real self, learning to speak with your partner, understanding what they like and how to make them happy. Then finally, as you move into genuine intimacy, you really let your true self out. Not closing the bathroom door, barely bothering with matching underwear, squeezing your spots, not hiding your flaws – letting your partner see the true you, warts and all.

And that is how our relationship with audiences has evolved. For the last few years we have been talking about transparency and authenticity in our work. We have been advising our clients to produce content that is credible and real from their brand, talking in an honest and open tone of voice and speaking in a language, and with messages, that their audiences can relate to. Native, transparent, authentic, real communications.

Like all relationships we have now evolved… the emerging phase of our communications relationship is Authenticity 2.0 – unfiltered and flawed.

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Retail Roundtable: Can Brick-and-Mortar Thrive in an Omnichannel World?

These are dark days for many retailers, especially those brick-and-mortar stores that are losing store traffic and market share to aggressive ecommerce retailers.

By some accounts, as many as two-dozen major U.S.-based retailers are in danger of bankruptcy due to poor credit ratings. More than 3,500 stores – and counting – have closed thus far in 2017. And countless malls and shopping centers are facing vacancy rates that dwarf those of the Great Recession of 2008.

Is the ecommerce tsunami ushering in a sea change for traditional retailers? Or is the brick-and-mortar environment simply experiencing a natural evolution, which will sacrifice weaker players and leave stronger, innovative, omnichannel companies poised for long-term success?

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