Communication

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What to Know Before Starting Business in Canada

There's been an onslaught of ink surrounding Verizon's potential entry to Canada and, more recently, the cellular giant's indifference. With this in mind, I'd like to share some communications principles I've used to help American companies come to the Great White North.
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How PR Is Extending Its Reach

The most common mistake companies make when engaging public relations in the marketing mix is trying to use it as a blunt instrument to simply sell to an audience. I want to issue a wakeup call on how to effectively use PR in a time where it's becoming increasingly more valuable.

A Midsummer Check-In on My 2013 Resolutions

Last week's Summer Solstice marked the time of year when the sun reaches its most northern position, resulting in our longest days with the most sunlight we'll experience all year. It's also the halfway mark in our calendar year -- midsummer -- making it a perfect time to check in on those resolutions we made way back in the short, dark days of January.
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Learning to Hear All the Ways People Say "I Love You"

One of my favourite self-help-style books and one that I still think about every day is the The 5 Languages of Love. The book made me reflect on how I express love to those in my life, but also on all the ways people tell me that they love me too. After all, isn't it sad to think that people are telling us they love us in ways we're too "deaf" to hear?!

Has Politeness Become Passé?

I remember meeting an executive at a corporate reception a couple of years ago who was bemoaning the fact that he's just too busy to deal with what he called "the niceties" of peer-to-peer communication. According to him, there just aren't enough hours in the day to swap insignificant comments of courtesy. When he said, "I wish people would just get to the point" it struck such a chord in me that I Tweeted about it, suggesting that maybe he's missing the point:

The Problem With Allowing Consumers to Opt Out

As a marketing professional, there is nothing I hate more than receiving any form of communication (email, Web experience, social media, mobile, whatever) and not see an obvious place where I can either opt out of the communication or protect how much information is being captured. As a consumer, I probably hate it more.
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What Marissa Mayer Could Learn About Collaboration

Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer feels that without physical interaction in the workplace, employees are missing out on important collaborative experiences and more importantly, the company is missing out on new ideas that spring from the collaborative process. What Mayer is missing with her edict is the fact that bringing people physically together does not solve the communication or ultimately collaboration problem. Collaboration leads to innovation. Without innovation, every company, small and large, from tech to manufacturing, will not survive the next century.
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What Happened to Integrity Among Leaders?

We have created a political system bent on sound bites and quick hitting verbal assaults. We like the one-liner and a good zinger. But as leaders, this is not realistic. We need people to stand up for integrity. Without it, there is no trust, and without trust there is no real communication.
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Do You T.H.I.N.K. Before You Speak?

Many people do not realize that there are some cardinal rules of giving and receiving feedback. Many years ago, I developed an acronym for a client who asked me to provide a keynote for their leadership team on Effective Feedback. It goes like this.

Why Businesses Should Become More Vulnerable

Vulnerability is a business skill that every leader should consider in good times and bad. It's not weak. It takes greater strength to recognize and acknowledge criticism than to will it away. It's not submissive. It's about taking responsibility and being accountable. It's not being afraid to make tough decisions. It's about recognizing the impact of them.
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How to Get the Most Bang for Your Marketing Buck

All too often, marketers of all industries will look at one piece of measurement and decide whether a campaign was successful or not. If sales are up, the campaign worked; if sales didn't move, the campaign flopped. But how can you measure the success of each of the campaign's elements? How can you make sure you're getting the most bang out of each of your marketing bucks?
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Want Your Employees to Love Work? Create a Community

A collective identity is the organizational DNA that gives people a common sense of culture and belonging, and allows them to feel that they are part of something bigger than themselves. It's one of the reasons why we hear so many people say they love their company or profession and talk about it as a lifestyle. As the next generation moves into the workplace, a generation that is more connected through social media than any other, here are a few tips for corporate leaders to develop and foster a collective identity in their organizations.
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How Technology Can Help You Strike a Better Work-Life Balance

I don't believe "balance" is a matter of compartmentalizing work and life, but of making the two integrate seamlessly. And while many find that technology is one of the major things hindering their work-life balance, for me it's a major tool in enabling a healthy work-life integration. If you're struggling to maintain relationships throughout your busy days, or over a long distance, here are some of my favourite things to do.
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Why Didn't My Customer Call me Back?

When it comes to running a business, one of the most important skills is keeping in touch with your customer base. Sending out a regular e-zine/newsletter is an effective way to keep in touch with your customers, and is a useful tool to recruit new ones too. Follow these tips to effectively communicate with your clients.

How to Create Your Brand's Story

Of all the stories that interest me, the ones I follow the closest are the stories that last. I watch especially closely when those stories are pitched out by a brand. In today's incredibly rapid and completely democratized media landscape, there are a small number of campaigns that manage to create a lasting impact, and they are able to do this because they follow a solid recipe for success. Here are that recipe's four key ingredients:
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Reply All: Good for All? Or Threat to All?

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney set off a frenzy in Ottawa after he accidentally sent an e-mail in which he described Alberta's deputy premier as a "complete and utter asshole" to a larger audience than he intended. Such is the problem of the "reply-all" function in e-mail. This simple mistake shows how we have devalued communication and correspondence. Yet, it also exists as the ultimate communication tool.
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Thousands of Texts, But No Connection

The pervasiveness of email, text and chat has made it easy for every one of us to find a multitude of channels to communicate over great distances. We've grown dependent on these media but it has also moved us one step further away from human contact. We've lost all context and connections with our friends and families because we've insulated ourselves in these devices.
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How to Be Creative in Five Easy Steps

I love it when clients ask us for a "creative idea." While it's not much to go on, somewhere between the lines it usually means they want something they haven't seen before. The underlying caveat is that the ideas must deliver. Nobody wants to pay for creativity without results.
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Tips on How to Get the Message Across

Internal communications can be one of the most complex pieces of an organization and yet, it is one area that everybody thinks they understand -- simply because they are an employee. No one would ever suggest that it's not important; however, the lack of understanding also causes some disparity in what is required in order to do communicate properly.

How to Con Your Parents into Listening to You

The thing is, most of the time teens are fine with not being listened to by their parents. But here's the problem: What happens when you really need them to? You see, all your training in getting them to ignore you isn't going to come in handy. You're, like, the kid who yelled woof! Or barked, or something.
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Digital Divide Continues for African Women

If the gender dimensions of the digital world -- in terms of access and use, capacity building, employment and potential for empowerment -- are explicitly identified and addressed, the result can be a powerful catalyst for political and social change for women, and the promotion of gender equality.