How do you move past the betrayal once you’ve uncovered the truth?
For me, it occurred when I was working on a corporate project and our General Counsel asked me to send an email requesting clarification on one component. What was a relatively easy request, turned into quite the debacle when one of my peers inadvertently replied to my email. The message he sent was an extremely negative comment about me he actually intended to forward to one of his staff. When he noticed his mistake, he contacted me to apologize and make light of it, saying it was merely a joke.
It was not a joke to me.
I took the email to my boss and we addressed the issue. Our company was going through a difficult time with significant changes caused by a company-wide employee reduction program. No one’s job was secure, everyone was walking on eggshells, and my peer’s comment put me in a negative light. I always considered the man to be a normally kind colleague, but to learn how he quickly he would bend over to hold on to his job by putting another employee down was disturbing. It was also a kick-in-the-pants reality check for me.
We continued to work together on projects for another year or so after that debacle, but the relationship was strained. It was particularly frustrating for me to hold my tongue about the nickname the Executive Team had given him over the years, of which he had no idea. Oh how I wished I could have told him that the top brass referred to him as “Cupcake” behind his back. But I held it in.
From that incident, I learned not to wear my heart on my business-sleeve. It’s still there, but maybe a bit more protected. I’m more alert to those who intend to do harm and also kinder to those who do not.
#lovethechallenge, Alverno College, college, communications, faculty, influencers, information, Libby Morse, Lipman Hearne, marketing, online presence, Sebastian Thackenkary, social media, staff, strategies, students
How is your online presence evolving to meet the needs of your target audiences? Here is an article I wrote on how Alverno College is reaching students and the community.
As Alverno rolls out its newest marketing campaign, Sebastian Thachenkary, director of Marketing Communications, wants to be sure audiences are receiving the right messages in the right medium. When developing Alverno’s plan, Marketing conducted research with both current and prospective (high school) students, faculty, and staff to help define the messaging and approach perspective audiences find appealing.
Three key terms emerged: history, tradition and innovation. “People want to see a more complete picture of what Alverno really is, and what makes the College unique,” says Thachenkary.
Alverno brought in Lipman Hearne (LH), a Chicago-based agency known for its work with educational institutions including women’s colleges like Smith, Bryn Mawr and St. Catherine. Using the research and marketing history, LH recommended the media buy move away from traditional print and billboard media.
“We put a greater focus on digital advertising because that’s what our audiences are using,” says Libby Morse, LH’s senior VP and creative director. “We’re seeing strong growth in this area, and it’s a great way to engage with students.”
In addition to broadcast and outdoor media, Alverno has a greater digital and online presence than before, including tablet and mobile websites, and paid and earned social media.
A new element is the #LoveTheChallenge hashtag campaign, giving the Alverno community a chance to share information. Students, faculty and staff use it to talk about events, programs and experiences. “A successful hashtag campaign will generate more social media views and conversations about Alverno than anything we could buy,” explains Morse.
The new marketing focus will help the College raise awareness and grow enrollment. While targeting enrolling students is a primary focus, the program will also reach influencers such as parents, employers and school counselors. Other components of the marketing mix will target prospective graduate, transfer, adult and returning students.
“We have additional targeted strategies in place to communicate with all audiences,” notes Thachenkary. “We’re also incorporating video, which provides a great avenue for people to talk about Alverno from various perspectives.”
Written for Alverno College Magazine Fall 2015
See more at: http://www.alverno.edu/magazine/our-college/lovethechallenge/#sthash.OSi18mHv.dpuf
When I talk about proofing work and fixing typos or grammatical errors, I typically refer to reports, articles or emails. However, proofing isn’t only for traditional writing.
Don’t forget about text messages. Or, more specifically, your voice-to-text messages.
How often do you speak into your Smartphone, see the words pop up and hit send without really thinking about it? I do it all the time. Hands-free is convenient. Plus, we’re in a changing business environment where people expect faster response times with almost no lag time. I know you have your phone with you, so you had better respond ASAP! Texting is rapidly replacing emails and phone calls.
But again, don’t forget to proof your text messages – especially in business. This means content along with technical components.
Recently, a business associate of mine was communicating via text messaging with a vendor to arrange an appointment. Unfortunately for the vendor, he did not proof his voice-to-text message before he hit send, and my associate was surprised to find a juicy expletive-filled sentence in the middle of the message. When my associate asked the vendor to review his text, the vendor was mortified. So much so that he discounted the project he was managing and lost money on the deal. If he had just taken time to review his message, he would not only have saved face but also kept a profit.
So I caution you: slow down. Use voice-to-text, but be sure to read your message carefully before you hit send.
When asked, most companies who do not have a complete and vetted crisis management communications plan reply they will be able to handle or respond to a crisis when it occurs.
Unfortunately, when an event does occur in a company without a set plan and educated key internal groups, it may result in a negative experience. Adverse results may include:
- diluted or unfocused messaging
- inability to respond/react in a timely manner
- lack of shared and relevant information and inability to deliver materials to internal and external audiences
- negative media coverage
- confusion by internal and external audiences and
- other crisis pressures triggered by consumer concerns, activist groups, and discussion in social media.
Develop your Crisis Communications Plan
The first step to a solid crisis communications plan is to assemble a crisis response and communications team. The team should conduct an audit to assess the company’s or association’s situations, including:
- documenting procedures and policies
- collecting information on the perception of the company (which may help identify resources for information)
- identifying locations and resources and
- identifying crisis scenario modules.
The crisis scenario module should include a myriad of potential situations that ultimately compose the bulk of your plan. Crisis scenarios may include a natural disaster event, a product safety issue, or even an activist protest. Each module is structured to define key messages, statements, resource materials, an information chain, and a spokesperson, but the specific situation will determine which and how each of those elements are used and when.
Going through a crisis is never a pleasant experience, but planning and developing a solid communications plan may produce beneficial results and potentially lessen an impact by mitigating on-going risk. Developing an effective crisis communication response plan is an important first step.