We are currently spending quite a bit of time helping clients learn how to tell great stories. In days gone by, we might have referred to this coaching as “media” or “presentation skills” training. But today, thanks to the proliferation of social media and networking, savvy executives recognize the only way to truly communicate and connect is to share relevant stories that capture the hearts, minds and souls of the people they are trying to reach.
Points of View is our blog dedicated to exploring the critical corporate communications issues of the day through insights and videos of Fortune 500 business and communications execs, industry insiders and our team.
April 30th, 2013
May 17th, 2012
General Motors’ decision this week to pull its Facebook advertising is inconsequential in the overall scheme of its mammoth advertising/marketing budget. It has been reported that GM’s Facebook budget is $10 million of its nearly $2 billion spend in 2011. (more…)
May 7th, 2012
Story telling is something that is universal. We’ve all been conditioned to hear stories a certain way and communicating in the digital age has not changed this. Even in social media, people are still looking for the victim, the villain, the hero and the moral of the story. The best stories have the “X factor.” They combine facts with just the right amount of emotion to create colorful, multidimensional messages that resonate across media. Our new video explores this very concept. (more…)
April 11th, 2012
Universities around the country are responding to a new era of competitiveness with a new breed of professional on campus: The Chief Marketing Officer. In this segment, the University of Utah’s CMO discusses the opportunities and challenges of developing a university brand. (more…)
June 10th, 2011
“A camel is a horse designed by a committee,” so the saying goes.
And while we’ve all suffered through too many committee meetings, we know that most of the time, collaboration is a good thing, producing a better product and speedier results.
But not always. Sometimes, a corporate culture that values collaboration can, overtime, evolve into a cumbersome, process-bound monster that devours innovation and crushes entrepreneurial spirit.
Are you confident that you know whether your organization is producing camels or horses?
Right now, it’s especially important that you do. Social media, advanced video conference technology and other online tools are taking the culture of collaboration – which took root in the 1980s as American companies emulated Japan’s “quality circles” – to a whole new level. On top of that, at a time of economic uncertainly, many middle managers in large organizations are especially insecure about their jobs, and may be inserting themselves unnecessarily into projects in ways that don’t add value, slow them down, and prevent the company from acting rapidly even when it is essential.
How can you tell whether your organization has a little too much togetherness?
• Take a look at the output of your creative efforts. Are you producing horses or camels? If what comes out of projects consistently looks different from what you expected, it’s a red flag.
• Do documents that should flow instead read like they were written in multiple styles by lots of different people? It’s probably because they were. Every document needs an editor, but not every document needs 10 reviewers. “Track changes” makes meddling too easy, and you may need to tell people to resist the temptation.
• Are you experiencing mission creep? Do projects lose their focus and broaden their scope over time? Involving too many people with too many different agendas may be a reason.
• Take a look at lengthy distribution lists for your emails, conference calls, and meetings. Do you really need all those people to be involved? Will each add net value?
• Are you dissatisfied with the flow of new ideas or with the amount of initiative you see among your people? If so, consider whether they have just become discouraged by the bureaucracy that smothers their initiative. Ask the most creative people in the company what they think about this.
Camels have their place. But most businesses today need to produce thoroughbreds to stay competitive. Make sure yours is one of them.
October 4th, 2010
Originally Published Risk Management Magazine, October 1, 2010
It’s not unusual for companies to generate more demand for their products than they can handle. But when that company was AT&T, which has struggled to meet bandwidth demand of its ever-expanding iPhone customer base, the company got a lesson in how social media can damage a company’s reputation.
Though the irony was probably lost on AT&T’s management, angry customers acting as an online “smartmob” used the very connectivity AT&T supplied to organize a national protest against what they believed was the company’s poor service. “iPhone Nation,” led by blogger and activist Dan Lyons, issued the following call to arms of users in 2009: “On Friday, December 18, at noon Pacific time, we will attempt to overwhelm the AT&T data network and bring it to its knees. The goal is to have every iPhone user (or as many as we can) turn on a date-intensive app and run that app for one solid hour. Send the message to AT&T that we are sick of their substandard network.”
July 29th, 2010
“Your reputation is what you are perceived to be; your character is who you really are,”
– John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach, 1948-1975
That is a profound statement that has taken on new meaning in light of a string of recent crises that have confronted major global corporations like BP, Apple, Toyota and others.
Is it time for communications and marketing professionals to move from simply managing brand and corporate reputation to more actively asserting themselves — at a board level — in the stewardship of institutional character? If not these professionals, then who should assume the role of truly looking at institutional character, not at a transactional level, but at the DNA level of the organization?
February 22nd, 2010
The fundamental rules of effective marketing are being rewritten. The rapid evolution of social networking technologies is making it easier for customers to get more precise information. It’s making it easier for them to consult one another, and it’s fundamentally impacting the way they make purchase decisions.
Customer experiences have never been more important. Word of mouth has been put on steroids.
So what does it mean to marketers? It’s the arrival of a new era, where engagement is the new currency that drives customer loyalty. But engagement must be defined as a true exchange of value and not just the act of pushing information. Getting someone to visit your web site is not engagement. (more…)
August 11th, 2009
With many economic indicators pointing to at least the beginning of the end of one of the greatest recessions since the Great Depression, is it finally time to start examining what life might look like on the other side of the downturn? Is it too early to start injecting hope back into your organization? Does your CEO have a new story to tell about the next chapter in your company’s history? Is there an agreement on a growth strategy? These questions are worth asking now, or soon, even if we believe the economic turnaround is still a couple of quarters away.
Why? Well, you wouldn’t think it would be too difficult to get senior leadership to start projecting a positive future, if indeed things are beginning to look a little brighter. But, the fact is that leadership teams find it far more difficult to get focused early on telling the positive story, than they do when the news is all doom and gloom. There is something about a deep dive in financial performance, severe lay offs and waning sales that focus a leadership team with laser like precision. It’s far more difficult, particularly in the early stages of the rebound. Why? (more…)
- What We’re Surfing This Week
- Is Your Internal Social Media Working?
- What We’re Surfing
- What We’re Surfing
- If You Want To Communicate And Connect, Tell A Great Story
- The Boston Marathon Bombing and Crowdsourcing
- Social Media Policies & Federal Labor Law: A Moving Target: Part II
- Sensing a Trend: A New Data Mining Resource for Brands
- Live With Your Customers Online
- SEC Ruling Summary
- The Weekly Pulse: 3/2/11
- PulsePoint Group Corporate Communication Index Series Part 7: Deeper Focus
- The Weekly Pulse: 2/23/11
- PulsePoint Group Corporate Communication Index Series Part 6: Change
- The Weekly Pulse: 1/26/11
- PulsePoint Group Corporate Communication Index Series Part 5: Managing Talent
- The Weekly Pulse: 1/19/11
- PulsePoint Group Corporate Communication Index Series Part 4: Governance
- PulsePoint Group Corporate Communication Index Series Part 3: Deeper Role
- The Digital Story of the Nativity
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