Preparing Your CEO for the Role of Senior Statesman
December 6, 2016
There is a need for a stronger voice of leadership in the C-Suite, but many executives struggle to articulate how and why their business matters to society. As communicators, we must be better prepared to help guide these executives to tell the story beyond managing the company and articulate its relevance to society and the...
Is NGO Scrutiny Reducing Supply Chain Transparency?
November 18, 2016
NGOs play a vital role in regulating and holding brands and retailers to account, especially when it comes to the transparency of their supply chains – but are their radars locked onto the wrong targets? In developing markets where legislation struggles to keep apace of new developments, NGOs play a crucial role in holding companies...
Millennials Rise to Power in Hong Kong
October 5, 2016
The dust has settled on the floor of the Legislative Council, more succinctly known as LegCo. Following a six-week campaign period, a record high turnout at polling stations voted in Hong Kong’s youngest legislature since the handover in 1997. Now, 17 of the Legislators will be under 40, compared with seven last term. Young new...
The Age of the Media Artisan
October 3, 2016
I cringe when I see the word artisan. It’s over-used and applied liberally when there is no evidence of real craft. I saw a large property company recently claiming their development was artisanal and the mind boggled. However, it is a word we could think about applying to aspects of the PR profession: the ability...
Is Your Reputation 2017 Ready?
September 22, 2016
Reputation. Every company has one, like it or not, and almost everyone would agree that reputation is a business asset. Many business leaders, however, particularly within SMEs, are leaving the management of their reputation to accident. At best, this is a wasted opportunity to differentiate the company from the competition and build commercially useful profile;...
How Important is Integrity, Really?
May 23, 2016
There is a saying that integrity is about doing the right thing, even if no one is watching. For companies, the motivation to do right can be viewed from two perspectives. On a base level, it dramatically reduces the risk of a public-relations disaster and long-term financial and reputational impact on account of having done...
Crafting a Compelling Story: Top Ten Tips
May 4, 2016
Charles Muggeridge, who helps lead the healthcare team for FleishmanHillard's Toronto office, recently summarized a talk the agency delivered at a start-up hub in downtown Toronto. The session was focused on top ten tips for crafting a compelling story. They also used the opportunity to insert Authenticity Gap data into the presentation by drawing a...
Three Qualities PR Professionals Can’t Afford to Lose – and Two They Need to Gain
February 18, 2016
My husband was a great fan of David Bowie and really grieved for him when he died. When he heard the news he changed his Facebook profile picture to his favourite Bowie image and played his music every night for at least a week. I also liked Bowie’s music but not to the same extent....
A Truth Well Told: PR Professionals Should Keep the Art of Writing Alive
November 18, 2015
Content marketing specialists seem to be the new “job du jour.” Every creative and communication firm wants one and those that have them claim that their person can create gold from straw. For PR professionals, now is the time to reclaim what used to be our bread and butter – our ability to create engaging...
Cybercrime – from the IT Department to the Boardroom
September 9, 2015
Where we shop and what we purchase, to how we travel to work, we constantly give up personal information for the sake of convenience – the Internet of Things (IOT) has effectively made mines out of our mobile phones for marketers to profit from. But while we now get personalized messages and offers, we easily...
Cannes - The short and long of it. From Lions to Elephants.
August 26, 2015
The dust is settling following the 2015 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The winners of the coveted gold Lions were decided following a marathon judging effort. The results were then dissected amidst a whirlwind of backchat and canapés. Among the winners of the coveted PR Lions were some great, great campaigns. Ones that provoked...
Who Says What You Say?
August 4, 2015
Marshall McLuhan’s mantra, “The medium is the message” is never so on display as in the selection of a spokesperson in times of crisis. Nor is the Authenticity Gap – the delta between an organization’s behavior and the public’s expectation. It's not enough to "tell the truth" when subjected to a critical spotlight. The selection...
Authentic Sponsorship - A Win for Athletes, Fans and Internal Teams
June 19, 2015
Two exciting events in women's sport kicked off this week – the FIFA Women's World Cup and, perhaps lesser known, the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. And while FIFA continues to inspire debate around ethics and equality in sport, KPMG's backing of women's golf is a shining example of the strategic role sponsorship can play in...
If the Shoe Fits and Looks Great, Do Ethics Really Matter?
May 6, 2015
I recently purchased a suit from the Canadian apparel company Judith & Charles. I was drawn by the cut and fabric, and sold on fit and price – at 30 per cent off, it was a steal. Days later, when removing the tags, I learned that my new skirt and jacket had been "tailored with...
From Know Thyself to Be Thyself
May 6, 2015
Every CEO should have a go at answering the Proust Questionnaire. You know the one. It forms the basis of Vanity Fair's inside back page and has questions like: What is your greatest fear? Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Which talent would you most like to have? What is your motto? What is your...
The Power of the POV
April 24, 2015
I was talking to a friend last week who was vexed. Why, he wondered, was his colleague, a man with over 40 years of experience in his sector, so reluctant to express a point of view? He clearly had one. If you sat him down of an evening, with a cognac and a good cigar,...
The Fundamental Flaw of Traditional Employee Communications
March 1, 2015
Almost every change initiative fails. A depressing statement, yes. However, there’s hope. How you integrate formal and informal communications can help you be one of the few who succeeds. In 1996, John Kotter published Leading Change, considered by many to be the seminal work on change management. Yet despite vast forests of books and articles...
Fake It Till You Make It?!?
March 1, 2015
How many leaders have been successful with that strategy? Yet that’s the premise put forward in the most recent Harvard Business Review cover story. The article, “The Problem with Authenticity,” proposes that being true to oneself is limiting to one’s career success. The problem with the author’s premise is in her very definition of authenticity....
Four Trends for Better Business in the Years Ahead
February 24, 2015
As companies continue to become stronger, more engaged brands that maximize the positive value both for their businesses and society, here are four emerging trends that will impact our current and future clients. The Fundamental Business Model is Becoming More Socially Conscious than it is Today Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Net...
Day 15 of Pros and Conversation Series: Crisis Planning – A Letter to CEOs
November 21, 2014
As we conclude our 15 Days of Pros and Conversation series today, we end on what is arguably the most important of all 2015 planning topics – crisis preparedness and the growing need for leaders to anticipate issues and to have a well thought-out strategic and tactical response plan. Especially in today’s environment, where news...
Day 13 of Pros and Conversation Series: Executive Communications: Visibility Creates Credibility to Set Expectations
November 19, 2014
Looking at today’s big public stages for social and economic topics, it’s natural to ask, “Where have all the business leaders gone?” For many companies, these visibility opportunities may seem to present more risk than reward. That’s faulty logic, since executive visibility is both an advantage and requirement for success, especially today. Reputation and brand are both...
Day 11 of Pros and Conversation Series: Rocking A Social Enterprise - The Building Blocks to Electrifying Social Media
November 17, 2014
I used to be in a band. I was so serious about it that I spent my first couple years out of college trying to make it as a rock star and discovered that being in a touring band is a lot of work. Social media at the enterprise level requires so many people with...
Day 9 of Pros and Conversation Series: Principles, Passion and Purpose – the Key to Authenticity for Leaders
November 13, 2014
Alibaba’s Jack Ma is often held up as an example of a potential role model for the new generation of global leaders, not just in China, but also throughout the world. He has inspired such confidence not only because of his entrepreneurial brilliance, but also because of his strong sense of values and seemingly effortless...
Day 6 of Pros and Conversation Series: Your Change Initiative Will Probably Fail. The No. 1 Reason? Your Employees.
November 10, 2014
The speed of change in the world through technology, market forces competition and beyond necessitates that organizations adapt or die. “The only constant is change,” Greek philosopher Heraclitus said. So it’s disturbing that research shows that 75 percent of transformation initiatives fail – not because the strategy or core direction was flawed, but because employees...
Day 4 of Pros and Conversation Series: The Message Jungle
November 6, 2014
As communicators, how much time do we spend trying to craft the perfect message? By the time the key message document has gone through its umpteenth draft, most of us have lost the edge and excitement we started with and are no closer to the simple, communicable and attractive missive we set out to create....
Day 3 of Pros and Conversation Series: Published Voice vs. Perceived Voice
November 5, 2014
Brands take great measures to create messaging platforms and organic social media conversations provide a perfect environment to pressure-test how that messaging has been adopted, understood and received. But many organizations don’t take advantage of these insights that are sitting right at their doorstep. Doing a deep dive into a brand’s published voice relative to...
Day 2 of Pros and Conversation Series: The Credibility Gap in Corporate Communications and PR
November 4, 2014
For many communication professionals and teams today, the single biggest challenge is gaining and retaining an authentic, credible advisory voice at the C-suite table. More and more the price of admission for communicators is a deep grounding in how their organizations compete and make money. Understanding a balance sheet and business processes are as important...
Day 1 of Pros and Conversation Series: Behaviors of Authentic Companies
November 3, 2014
Welcome to day one of our 15 Days of Pros and Conversation series. Why is it that when we have more content and channels available to us than any time in human history, it is harder than ever to have a meaningful conversation? Why are authentic leaders harder and harder to find? Join me for a...
Did the Ice Bucket Challenge Educate the C-suite on How to Manage a Crisis?
September 10, 2014
CEOs all over the world are emptying buckets of ice over themselves in the name of a good cause, but has this viral phenomenon alerted them to the opportunities – and dangers – of social media in a crisis? The speed at which the ALS ice bucket challenge has built momentum and a dedicated, engaged...
February 4, 2014
To whom is in charge; Your company deserves all the success in the world and a loyal following that loves your offering and keeps on coming back for more. But sometimes things go wrong. Your product or service can have a malfunction, it may be improperly used. This can be your fault, it can be...