Are you still presenting like it’s 1999? Take this quiz

Remember 1999? It was a magical time: The dot-com boom promised an era of universal prosperity. George Lucas introduced us to Jar Jar Binks, sure to be a fan favorite. And PowerPoint 2000 was released, ushering in a Golden Age of business oratory. Yeah, not so much. Maybe Prince was right. Party over, out of time. Amazingly, even Microsoft’s addition of a sparkling new feature that allowed users to view their slide,… Read More

AI will be a crucial part of PR, but the industry is nowhere near ready

Christopher Penn attended World of Watson last month, a conference named for IBM’s question answering (QA) computing system that brought 20,000 people together to learn and share about data and artificial intelligence and how they can transform businesses and industries. It’s no surprise that Chris, SHIFT Communications’ vice president of Marketing Technology, bought a ticket for the show; Chris is a data geek. What is surprising is that, as far as he… Read More

Nice guys finish first: An interview with Doug Sandler

Being a great leader is a strength many communication professionals strive for. What skills do you feel make a great leader? Being a good listener? Perhaps being polite and helpful? Or maybe being ruthless in edging out the competition? While some may believe that you have to be aggressive to take on a leadership role, “nice guy” skills actually allow you to successfully build lasting relationships and strengthen connections as a successful… Read More

5 of the coolest communication strategies from around the world

The ubiquity of social media use around the globe means that communicators often use similar platforms and tactics in their campaigns. However, in my recent interviews with senior communicators in 31 countries, I found that professionals in different cultures also implement a wide range of imaginative, effective, homegrown communication strategies that practitioners can learn from and consider using in other global markets. Here are five of the coolest strategies I discovered around the world.

Transform your network with these simple practices

Would you rather go to the dentist than to a networking event? If so, read on. Networking is considered a professional necessity. Conventional wisdom states that if we don’t build and sustain our networks properly, we’ll lose out on opportunities like promotions, new jobs, and important information. The bad news: The conventional wisdom is right. The good news: Most of us are networking all wrong. Read on for three simple practices to… Read More

How to add measurable value as a strategic adviser

Many communication practitioners want to add measurable value but they don’t know where to start. In a recent interview, internationally recognized business adviser Jim Shaffer, IABC Fellow, shares key questions he believes communication professionals should ask themselves when searching for the best opportunities to improve performance and results by managing communication efforts within their organization. “Where are the best opportunities to improve performance by better managing communication and what’s the size of… Read More

Case Study: Hyatt employees leave Town Hall 95 percent more informed and engaged

Many business leaders like to have an “open door policy” to stay in touch with their employees and provide a two way dialogue. However, for many enterprises with globally dispersed workforces it takes more than an open door for them to reach their employees. With the luxury of having a global company, comes losing the opportunity for your team to pop into your office with a question or concern. So how are… Read More

Are your PowerPoint slides damaging your reputation?

Any time I join a meeting and see dull black text projected on a plain white background, a little piece of my soul dies. Word slides are the worst. Not only are they proven to be ineffective, but they imply that you may be out of touch and behind the times. Which is a terrible position for a communication professional to be in. In fact, I’d go as far as to say… Read More

Grow from the ground up: A lesson in living work from the first organizational chart

Organizations are living systems! With life in them! That’s something we knew way back when. The first organizational chart was drawn as a tree, where leadership is not at the top but rather at the roots and the team are tall, elegant branches that grow out of the leadership foundation. It was made for a railroad—one of the earliest modern forms of connecting human beings to each other, and to where they want to go. How we think about structure… Read More