Posts Tagged ‘communication’



Your Brand Promise and the Importance of the Front Line

Every person in your organization is telling your story. Paid, volunteer, happy or disgruntled, everyone matters when it comes to your brand’s perception. People talk about brand management like it’s something a highly paid executive carefully orchestrates from the company’s headquarters. But more often than not, managing a brand’s perception is left to those at the front lines of contact, such as hourly sales workers or volunteers. Millions of dollars in advertisement cannot overcome a poorly trained or unhappy minimum-wage employee.A while back, I went to the Guess store looking for a shirt. The store was somewhat busy, but soon a helpful sales lady opened a dressing room for me and brought me several shirts she she wanted me to try on.  Through the course of the conversation, she asked about my jeans preference and brought me 4 or 5 pairs to try. Beth was great at her job. When…

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Selling Tomorrow’s Ideas to Yesterday’s Generation

“How do I convince my boss to try new ideas and technology?” That is  one of the most popular questions I get during my speaking engagements. It’s often the young staff from businesses, churches, and organizations wanting to venture out into a social media campaign or a dynamic new mobile tool or app who face push back from leaders who don’t understand or are threatened by the new and unfamiliar. So how do you get your point across to yesterday’s generation without frustrating them and getting shut down? If I have learned anything in 20 years of marketing is this: you must speak the language of your target audience. And that goes for the people you have to help adopt a new vision or strategy. Often you have to use yesterday’s language to sell today’s idea to accomplish tomorrow’s mission. Church marketing is a perfect illustration for this principle. While…

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Persuasion and the Two Types of Motivation

What motivates you? That’s the fundamental question for every communicator, sales person and for all us in marketing and communication. While there are a lot of different motivators in our lives, we all fit in two big general motivation categories: 1.  Those who look at what they can gain from life: what can I get out of this? 2. Those who look at what not to lose in life: what am I missing and how can I avoid loss? Often both groups  of people will come up to the same conclusion and course of action, but they will arrive at their decision through completely different motivations. This classification goes beyond the “half-full or half-empty glass” perspective of positive and negative people. In my experience, those who look at life for what it has to offer them are always trying to push their personal and professional boundaries in search of the…

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Getting Your Way: The Art of Negotiating.

Life is a series of negotiations. We negotiate our way through traffic, we negotiate with family, with our boss,  with a car salesman, and with our clients. Some of us are better at it than others. But whether it comes naturally and easy or whether negotiating is hard work, your negotiating skills are on the line every day. In the art of the deal, proper communication is critical. Here are a few things to consider next time you want to get your way. Know your non-negotiables. Some things in life, such as your morals and convictions, should never be up for discussion, and they ought to be truly deal breakers. If you don’t know what they are,  you’ll always find your life in the midst of a mess. Figure out your non-negotiables before your life becomes unmanageable. Know what you want. I’ve seen people try to negotiate without knowing what…

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How to Impact the Emerging Generation

Impacting an emerging generation is not easy work, especially if you want to create a shift in thinking and attitude that lasts a lifetime and not merely create an emotional experience that is only remembered but has little impact. My son Marcus has been part of the Student Leadership University (SLU) for the past 3 summers and the experiential program has had a profound impact in his life. He has spent a week in Orlando going behind the scenes at Sea World and Universal Studios, a week in Washing DC learning about how our nation works and the faith of our founding fathers, and a week in England and France discovering how leadership and faith have transformed that continent. He’s looking forward to going to Jordan next summer to finish the program. For the next few weeks SLU is sponsoring a webinar featuring some of SLU’s staff.  Dr. Jay Strack, the…

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The Problem With Over Communicating

I used to believe one could not over communicate in a volunteer organization, specially church members, volunteers, or leadership, but I have changed my mind on that. Early in my career, communicating with a large group of constituents meant sending them letters, newsletter or post cards in the mail and for church members that would include a blurb in the bulletin and an announcement from the pulpit. The rule of thumb was that you needed to communicate seven times the same message before the majority of people would even become aware of it. Today we have more channels: email, text messages, social media to ad to the mix. But like anything else in life, sometimes more is not better but more is just, more noise, more junk mail, more interruptions. And instead of getting our message through, we become a nuisance to those we want to engage. So how should…

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Technology, Communication and Travel

I have been saying for a while now that technology and communication have fused into one discipline. I don’t think you can communicate effectively in our culture without using digital media. I was reminded of that Saturday night during my late dinner in a tiny Armenian restaurant in Madrid. Restaurant Vartan has been in business for over 33 years. It does not have a website and it is tucked away in a side street away from the city crowded streets. If you do not look for it diligently, you’ll miss it altogether. The fact that I have never been to Madrid and that there are over 3,000 sit-down restaurants in the city to choose from, and that I found my way into Vartan was a feat against all odds. While the establishment does not have a web presence, I found great reviews on the Trip Advisor app on my iPhone.…

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Visualcy and the New Language of Communication

The job of the innovator is to create a new culture. But the job of the communicator is to speak the language of the culture, or create a new language in order to communicate effectively. Recently, I heard David Kinamman, president of Barna Research, talk about visualcy. I immediately understood it and it gave name to a trend I have been aware of for quite some time. Content is moving from passive to interactive from literacy to visualcy The average American teenage consumes 34 gigs of information a day, mostly video games and television Printed words account for less than 0.1% of today’s total communication The average teen spends more than 10 hours a day looking at media What are the implication for communicators? How is this shift impacting how you communicate?

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Are you Adapting to the Change Accelerators?

Change is inevitable. Everything and everyone we know is a constant state of flux. As much as we seek stability in the comfort of a routine, we soon have to come to the realization that the world around us is changing at an increasingly rapid pace. There are three accelerators that drive most of change today. Here’s how people, technology and information are accelerating change. People The world population is currently estimated to be 6.915128 billion by the United States Census Bureau.[1] The world population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Bubonic Plague around the years 1348-1350.[2] Current projections show a continued increase of population with the population expected to reach between 7.5 and 10.5 billion in the next decade. Technology Radio 38 years to reach 50M TV 13 years to reach 50M Internet 4 years to reach 50M Facebook – 9 months to reach 100M Information…

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Communicating with a New Generation

If you’re going to lead anything you need to learn to communicate across generations. Most of us have no problem communication with those are older than we are, but we often stumble when dealing with the younger generations. I have studied, worked with and watch e generation that prefers learning in a non-sequential, mosaic way–no doubt influenced by the a culture saturated with endless sound and video bytes. I have experienced that first hand in the lives of my own children whose world is one large media bucket where they both learn and interact with information in a much more informal and yet dynamic way than I did at their age. We no longer search for information, but information seeks and finds us whenever we are. Between my Twitter and Facebook feeds I’m constantly aware of news, trivia, the important and the ridiculous searching for me every second of the…

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