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Brilliance@Work and the Stars Who Make it Happen: Jeff Herrington

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar communication professionals and their best practices at work.

Jeff Herrington

Jeff Herrington

On April 16, IABC Phoenix is proud to present writer, trainer, speaker and communication expert Jeff Herrington of Jeff Herrington Communications as he leads two renowned writing workshops and “talks pop” over lunch. Jeff’s techniques and tools are designed to help you re-energize your writing and become more effective at conveying powerful messages through different channels.

For this special event, there are several options from which to choose:

– A morning or afternoon session with lunch

– Lunch only (this is IABC Phoenix’s regular monthly luncheon program)

– All day with lunch included (the best value)

Register at http://www.iabcphoenix.com/reinvigorate-your-writing-transform-your-results/

For more information, visit www.iabcphoenix.com.

In the meantime, learn more about Jeff and his best practices to help make your writing more powerful.

Peggy Bieniek: What is most important for people to know about you?
Jeff Herrington: That I have no tolerance for corporate writing that insults the intelligence of those who encounter it or has as its goal ‘impressing’ readers rather than helping them. At the same time I have infinite confidence in the ability of corporate writers to produce content that is interesting and informative once they encounter the simple guidelines that can help them get there.

PB: What are you most interested in and speak most enthusiastically about?
JH:
 Writing for the Web. The Internet showed up midway in my career and massively altered how we access information and absorb it. Yet so many organizations write content (web copy, blog copy, emails, etc.) as if it is still 1987. I love seeing the ‘aha’ my workshop participants get when they encounter web content that is simple and clear. They understand the web is more about navigation than narration and immediately alter how they write.

PB: What communication projects are you most proud of?
JH: That is tough. There are so many, but here are two projects in particular:

1) When I first went self-employed in the 1980s, I focused my business on producing articles about the overseas operations of American companies, which they published in their internal and external publications. That business became so successful for me that I once had 27 assignments on one trip to the Far East, including five assignments for IBM and six for AT&T. I continued that work for nine years, from 1982 to 1991, when I basically collapsed on the floor of my apartment from sheer exhaustion.

2) Five years ago, Dallas sought to build a downtown convention center hotel. A competing hotel magnate launched a campaign to stop the hotel from being built. A group of civic-minded 20somethings in Dallas hired me to guide their efforts to produce an unorthodox social-media-based campaign designed to get young professionals in the city to vote FOR the building of the hotel. Three months before the election, the hotel’s passage was 30% behind in the polls. But because of our controversial and innovative campaign, it passed on Election Day by 2%. Even better, Dallas’ mayor at the time cited our campaign as the margin of difference.

PB: What makes you stand out in a crowd of professional communicators?
JH: The fact I can turn my feet 180-degrees backwards. Oh, you mean PROFESSIONALLY? Likely my international experience – I had the good fortune to work in more than 40 countries on five continents – before the age of 30. That AND my commitment to simple, clear writing regardless of the topic or audience. You’ll never see me use such a phrase as ‘facilitate operational outcomes’ in my writing or in my workshops. That’s not intelligent, that’s boorish.

PB: What are some communication best practices you’ve developed and/or helped to implement?
JH: They are very simple, technical practices so many organizations forget about. Things like keeping all of my online sentences to 25 words or less; keeping online paragraphs to three short sentences or less; leading off with the most important point rather than writing my way up to it; avoiding trite words and phrases like ‘This product enables’ or ‘Thanks for reaching out.’

It’s stunning to me how much work I see that isn’t observing those very important concepts of effective authentic writing. Yet many communicators do observe them, and the difference between how effective Sample A is compared to Sample B can be startling.

PB: How do you incorporate strategic storytelling into your work?
JH: If it is a print piece, I do it a fair amount, using classic feature story techniques. But if the reader will likely encounter the work online, I do it sparingly. People don’t have as much time and patience for storytelling when they are on the web, and I try to respect that.

PB: What are your current projects as you continue to develop your professional skills and knowledge?
JH: Right now I’m managing all of the communication and media for a festival that will celebrate in June the opening of FOUR major civic projects connected to the Trinity River adjacent to downtown Dallas. One of those is a former car bridge over the river that has been completely re-designed as a pedestrian and cyclist park, complete with misting machines, a bocce court, a labyrinth and more.

Also, I have writing workshops coming up for the communication teams of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Phillips 66 and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, all of whom have me conduct a couple of writing programs for them each year.

PB: What are some of your favorite resources that inspire your work?
JH: Television series like Mike and Molly, Scandal, The Big Bang Theory and The Good Wife – great writing there! Also, sports sections of city newspapers and Sports Illustrated magazine.

Finally (and it will come as no surprise to those who know me), great songs. With a song, you have three minutes max to convey a compelling story. That’s tough, and people like Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars, John Mayer and James Blake know how to do that expertly.

PB: What is your contact information for questions, comments and ideas?
JH: You can contact me at jeff@jeffherrington.com.


What best practices in communication would you like to share in future Brilliance@Work profiles? What are your ideas for topics or people to be featured in upcoming profiles?

 

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Brilliance@Work and the Stars Who Make it Happen: Crissy Saint

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar communication professionals and their best practices at work.

Crissy Saint

Crissy Saint

Crissy Saint, Senior Communications Strategist at MM Identity Lab in Phoenix, Arizona, will share her insight on strategic content marketing as part of the panel discussion, “Cross-Platform Convergence Platform: Best Practices for Blending Online and Offline,” during the Digital Summit Phoenix, March 31-April 1.

With huge passion for innovation and the power of collaboration, Crissy helps businesses of all sizes to streamline their content marketing efforts. She loves to tell visual and written stories through social media, brand identity and strategy, public relations and community building.

To learn content marketing best practices from Crissy in person, join us next week at the Digital Summit Phoenix. As an event sponsor, IABC Phoenix is offering a $50 savings on registration. Don’t miss out on two days of career advancing-business growing content, hours of peer networking, open bars, good food, cool swag and lots more!

In the meantime, read on as Crissy shares her insight on building a successful brand content strategy:

Peggy Bieniek: What is most important for people to know about you?
Crissy Saint: I crush on storytelling for brands that has a positive impact on humanity at large and opens up a two-way dialogue for brand-consumer conversation.

PB: What are you most interested in and speak most enthusiastically about?
CS: Building brands from the ground-up has always been a passion of mine. Helping brands mature from grassroots entities to well-known brands is another.

PB: What projects are you most proud of?
CS: Every project that I’ve worked on with the MM Identity Lab has been memorable and notable. Working with various nonprofits around the Valley always makes me beam because of the positive impact it has on our local community in Phoenix.

PB: What are some communication best practices you’ve developed and/or helped to implement?
CS: Oftentimes, our clients want to jump straight to tactical implementation and they overlook the building of a strategic brand foundation. I’ve helped clients take a step back and get an elevated view of their communications efforts so that there’s consistency across all platforms and mediums for their brand voice and content development.

PB: How is content marketing a key driver of your digital marketing efforts?
CS:
Over the last few years, we’ve seen search engines change their algorithms to focus on quality content over outdated link-building efforts to promote content exposure online. The development of quality content that has the ability to live in various places online and in different formats is key. Without quality content, digital marketing efforts often fall short and can fracture brands.

PB: What is your process for creating original content?
CS: Creating original content for brands based on their core brand strategy is a balancing act. It’s based on understanding the target audience as human beings instead of dollar signs and creating a content strategy that is tailored to both the functional and emotional assets that are shared between the brand and the reader.

PB: What do you focus on when creating content for your audience?
CS: From a brand perspective, I focus on consistency in the telling of the brand’s story. From a content perspective, I focus on creating original content that can easily translate to various platforms. From an audience perspective, I focus on content that strikes up conversations and appeals to the audience by providing meaning, education and value.

PB: I read that you are an avid photographer. How did you get started in photography?
CS: Photography is another means to tell a visual story. Being a lover of stories in all forms, it made sense to explore this hobby more in-depth.

PB: What type of photography do you enjoy the most?
CS: Landscape and candid photography.

PB: How do you use photography to tell your organization’s stories?
CS: At MM Identity Lab, we partner with various photographers based on our particular storytelling needs or the needs of our clients.

PB: What are your current projects as you continue to develop your professional skills and knowledge?
CS: I try to make it a priority to meet other writers in the Valley, read books and journals, and write as often as possible. Not losing my passion for the art of writing is something I value greatly.

PB: What are some of your favorite resources for content and digital marketing inspiration?
CS: Seth Godin’s blog, as well as other business publications have always been solid resources for inspiration. Also, attending local meetups for in-person inspiration from other writers and content strategists is big for me.

PB: What is your contact information for questions, comments and ideas?
CS: You can connect with me at Crissy@mmidentitylab.com.

What best practices in communication would you like to share in future Brilliance@Work profiles? What are your ideas for topics or people to be featured in upcoming profiles?

 


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Build Customer Relationships That Matter Through Social Media

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Photo by paul bica

Today on Customers 1st, I posted “Build Customer Relationships that Matter through Social Media” as a follow-up to last Friday’s post, “What Your Customers Say When You Don’t – or Won’t – Listen.”

I’m enjoying guest blogging for the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, April 9-11, in Miami, Florida. This year’s Summit focuses on “Return on Relationships: Factoring Empathy into the Stakeholder Equation.” To learn more about the event and register, go to http://www.iirusa.com/totalcustomer. Stay connected with TCEL:
  • twitter.com/TotalCustomer #TCEL14
  • linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
  • facebook.com/TotalCustomer

How do you build customer relationships on Twitter?


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Know. Grow. Show. Digital Summit Phoenix.

Flickr_-_paul_bica_-_cutting_edgePhoto by paul bica

Join me at the Digital Summit Phoenix, March 31-April 1, presented by TechMedia, for leading edge digital media and marketing content and top flight networking opportunities with internet execs, online marketers, entrepreneurs and digital strategists.

Why should you attend Digital Summit Phoenix?

  • Know: Be educated on top-level trends, leading technologies, best practices and hands-on techniques in sessions designed to help you excel in the quickly evolving digital space.
  • Grow: Stay educated with the latest insight into trending and emerging technologies that affect your continued career knowledge and your company’s bottom line.
  • Show: See over 75 speakers from leading brands. Meet potential customers, vendors, expert resources, friends and colleagues.
  • . . . and SAVE: As a sponsor of Digital Summit Phoenix, IABC Phoenix is offering a $50 savings on registration.

Don’t miss out on two days of career advancing-business growing content, hours of peer networking, open bars, good food, cool swag and lots more!

Stay connected with Digital Summit Phoenix:

  • twitter.com/DigSumPHX  #DSP14
  • linkedin.com/Digital Summit Phoenix
  • facebook.com/digitalsummitphoenix


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Brilliance@Work and the Stars Who Make it Happen: Paul Barton, ABC

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar communication professionals and their best practices at work.

Paul Barton, ABC

Paul Barton, ABC

Veteran communicator Paul Barton, ABC, of Paul Barton Communications, LLC, specializes in internal communication and has helped organizations communicate effectively with employees for over 20 years. Read on as Paul shares his insights on strategic internal communication planning and best practices for boosting employee engagement.

Peggy L. Bieniek: What is most important for people to know about you?
Paul Barton: I’m an eternal learner and very passionate about internal communication.

PLB: What makes you stand out in a crowd of professional communicators?
PB: My ability to take high-level philosophies, find all their nuances and then see ways to apply them to the world communication challenges makes me stand out, along with my depth and breadth in communication. I grew up in the back shop of my father’s weekly newspaper, so I learned writing, photography, layout and design at an early age. I’ve helped usher in a lot of technological changes. I helped four different companies launch their very first intranets, and I helped two companies begin their first-ever forays into social media. A lot has changed, but the basics of communication remain the same, and writing is still the fundamental skill. Clear writing is still a reflection of clear thinking.

PLB: What are you most interested in and speak most enthusiastically about?
PB: The things we do as communicators that not only help organizations be more successful, but also enrich the lives of employees and their families. What we do is a noble profession, and I am very proud of that.

PLB: How do you help organizations inspire and inform employees?
PB: The first step is usually to put out the immediate fire. Often that’s a credibility gap between the organization’s leadership and its employees. You have to ensure your leadership has credibility before you can attempt to reach employees. Without credibility, a message is worthless. You begin to inspire employees when they see what they personally do is vital to the overall success of the organization, and then you help them to not only understand but to become part of the organization’s vision. Employees want to know that what they are doing has meaning. They are seeking clarity and purpose. If we are communicating just to inform, then we aren’t really communicating at all. We need to approach communication as an ongoing process. That process seeks to influence, is inclusive and listens to employees.

PLB: What inspired you to create your blog “Employee Communication Nirvana” and what types of information and ideas do you share with your readers?
PB: I wanted to share a vision for what the nirvana state of employee communication would look like. What would an organization look like if its internal communication function was as good as it could possibly be? What is our ultimate goal? I share philosophies and best practices that I hope inspire internal communication professionals to strive higher. I really like the feedback I get from my industry peers and the ongoing dialog.

PLB: What communication projects are you most proud of?
PB: The ones that really moved the needle for companies and at the same time made a real difference in the lives of employees – the wellness, 401(k) and safety campaigns, and the culture change and performance initiatives. I’m also proud that I was able to take struggling internal communication functions and turn them into high-performing teams. I believe I inspired a lot of young professionals who were new to internal communication. I still get calls from people who worked for me asking for advice and that’s a great feeling.

PLB: What are some communication best practices you’ve developed and/or helped to implement?
PB: I’ve developed a lot of tools, templates and processes over the years that have helped me get out in front of my work, think strategically and act as an executive counselor. You have to plan the work or it will plan you. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. Having the right “tools and rules” in place sets you free to do higher levels of thinking. For instance, my colleagues and I developed a strategic communication planning template that we improved upon continuously over a 15-year period in four different industries. It gives us the structure to make sure we are on time, on budget and on brand, and the process itself has been the springboard for some real breakthrough thinking.

PLB: How do you incorporate strategic storytelling into your communication programs?
PB: Storytelling is a powerful way to communicate because it gets to our emotions. Logic makes us think, but it is our emotions that get us up out of our chairs and willing to take action. I’ve seen a CEO tell a story to a group of managers that had them pumping their fists into the air and yelling in support, and I’ve seen a safety video that had a widow telling a story about the husband who was no longer with her and her children that made the audience openly weep. A lot of front line managers think they can’t communicate company messages because they aren’t great presenters, but get them telling a few stories, and they turn into very effective communicators. The most successful employee communications appeal to heads and hearts, and storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to do that.

PLB: What are your current projects as you continue to develop your professional skills and knowledge?
PB: I’m just about to go to press with a book called Maximizing Internal Communication. It will be available in a couple of months on my website at http://paulbartonabc.com and on http://www.amazon.com. It’s full of all the tips, tricks, templates and techniques that I’ve learned and developed over my career. I’m also developing workshops about strategic communication planning, communicating change, crisis communication, employee benefits communication, and how to be an effective internal communication consultant.

PLB: What are some of your favorite resources that inspire your work?
PB: I’ve been fortunate to have worked with some great corporate communicators over the years and learned so much from them. I’ve also learned a lot from workshops and reading from the greats like the godfather of internal communication Roger D’Aprix; communication consultants Tom Lee and Bill Hiniker; writing coach Ann Wylie; measurement experts Angela Sinickas, ABC and Wilma Mathews, ABC; and technology guru Shel Holtz, ABC. I stay current by reading and participating in the LinkedIn groups dealing with internal communication and by following the #internalcomms hashtag on Twitter. There are a lot of great ideas out there!

PLB: What is your contact information for questions, comments and ideas?
PB: You can connect with me in a variety of ways. My blog is http://www.paulbartonabc.com, my business Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/PaulBartonCommunicationsLLC, my Twitter handle is @PaulBartonABC, my LinkedIn profile is http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulbartonabc and my Google Plus profile is https://plus.google.com/+PaulBartonABC/posts. I look forward to talking internal comms with you!

What best practices in communication would you like to share in future Brilliance@Work profiles? What are your ideas for topics or people to be featured in upcoming profiles?


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What Your Customers Say When You Don’t – or Won’t – Listen

Flickr_-_paul_bica_-_later_that_day___Photo by paul bica

As a guest blogger for this year’s Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit (TCEL), April 9-11 in Miami, Florida, I posted the article “What Your Customers Say When You Don’t – or Won’t – Listen” on the Customers 1st blog today.

This year’s Summit focuses on “Return on Relationships: Factoring Empathy into the Stakeholder Equation.” To learn more about the event and register, go to www.iirusa.com/totalcustomer.
Stay connected with TCEL:
  • twitter.com/TotalCustomer #TCEL14
  • linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
  • facebook.com/TotalCustomer

What are your customers saying about your organization?


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A New Twist on Storytelling – The Cleveland Clinic Empathy Series Continues

Flickr_-_paul_bica_-_high_parkPhoto by paul bica

To follow-up on my post “What’s Missing from Your Corporate Videos,” here is the next video in the Cleveland Clinic empathy series. “You’ll be moved by these life-changing stories, and astonished when you learn what these patients have in common.”

Cleveland Clinic’s Empathy Series Continues – Patients: Afraid and Vulnerable

As a guest blogger for this year’s Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit (TCEL), April 9-11 in Miami, Florida, I’d like to make you aware of two sessions where you’ll “discover the emotional drivers that are critical in creating an effective customer story and how to factor empathy into the bigger equation to get a return on customer relationships:”

  • “Bringing Empathy into Your Organization,” Crystal Collier, CEO, Tarp Woldwide and Dan Hill, President, Sensory Logic
  • “Empathetic Marketing for Total Customer Experience,” Mark Ingwer, Ph.D., Founder, Insight Consulting Group
This year’s Summit focuses on “Return on Relationships: Factoring Empathy into the Stakeholder Equation.” To learn more about the event and register, go to www.iirusa.com/totalcustomer.
Stay connected with TCEL:
  • twitter.com/TotalCustomer #TCEL14
  • linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
  • facebook.com/TotalCustomer

How are you developing more empathy in your professional and personal lives?


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The Critical Element Missing from Your Customer Experience Programs

Flickr_-_paul_bica_-_nature's_painting

Photo by paul bica

As a guest blogger for the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, April 9-11 in Miami, Florida, I posted my second pre-event article today called “The Critical Element Missing from Your Customer Experience Programs.”

This year’s Summit focuses on the “Return on Relationships: Factoring Empathy into the Stakeholder Equation.” I encourage you to learn more about this event and to “discover the emotional drivers that are critical in creating an effective customer story.” Please also share this information with those who might be interested in attending.

Here are other ways to stay connected with this event:

  • twitter.com/TotalCustomer #TCEL14
  • linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
  • facebook.com/TotalCustomer

In the meantime, please continue to watch for my pre-event posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Customers 1st blog, and my blog, and please share with your networks. Let’s keep the conversations going!

How are you developing more empathy for your customers?


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How to Create an Emotional Customer Experience

Flickr_-_paul_bica_-_forward

Photo by paul bica

As I announced last week, I am a guest blogger for the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, April 9-11 in Miami, Florida. My first pre-event post is “How to Create an Emotional Customer Experience.” I hope you find it helpful!

This year’s Summit focuses on the “Return on Relationships: Factoring Empathy into the Stakeholder Equation.” I encourage you to learn more about this event and to “discover the emotional drivers that are critical in creating an effective customer story.” Please also share this information with those who might be interested in attending.

Here are other ways to stay connected with this event:

  • twitter.com/TotalCustomer #TCEL14
  • linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
  • facebook.com/TotalCustomer

In the meantime, please continue to watch for my pre-event posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Customers 1st blog, and my blog, and please share with your networks. Let’s keep the conversations going!

Thank you very much for your continued support. I’m very excited about this opportunity!

How is your organization creating emotional customer experiences?


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Brilliance@Work and the Stars Who Make it Happen: Jeremy Schultz

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar communication professionals and their best practices at work.

Jeremy Schultz

Jeremy Schultz

Employee communication expert Jeremy Schultz leads a team of internal communicators at Intel in Hillsboro, Oregon.

At the March 20 IABC Phoenix professional development luncheon, Jeremy will present “Trends in Global Employee Communication and How They’re Taking Shape at Intel.”

During this event, you’ll learn:

– What global economic, social and workplace trends are affecting employee communication

– How communicators at Intel are keeping employees informed and inspired

– Ideas and tips from mini case studies – cutting-edge and tried-and-true communication practices put to the test at Intel

Register for the luncheon at http://www.iabcphoenix.com/trends-in-global-employee-communication-and-how-theyre-taking-shape-at-intel/

For more information, visit www.iabcphoenix.com.

In the meantime, read on to learn more about Jeremy and his insights on global employee best practices:

Peggy Bieniek: What is most important for people to know about you?
Jeremy Schultz: Probably that I just love to learn. It’s the big thing that drives me every day. One of my favorite things about internal communications is the constant opportunity to meet the people moving the company, learning about them and their work, and helping them to be successful. That, and drawing ideas from a wide range of sources, gets me up in the morning.

PB: What makes you stand out in a crowd of professional communicators?
JS: I think it’s my combination of technical aptitude and communication skills. I was a math and science whiz in school, got my degree in engineering, and worked as a software developer for several years before finding my way into communications. This gives me the ability to understand my (very technical) company’s products and the business strategies behind them, and then explain them in plain language for a broad audience. My abilities as a writer allow me to do that. I get to tackle projects from hour-turnaround news event reporting to informal blogging to longer-form, in-depth analyses. Writing is a blast, and a skill I’ve found isn’t too common, even within communications.

I like to try new things and push the envelope, so I’ve been at the forefront of using social intranet tools to foster conversation and more employee-to-employee connection. Intel as a company adopted these tools very early, but the communications team didn’t. I’ve been able to change that dramatically over the years, and now our team is helping the company to continue to work more collaboratively and communicate more openly.

PB: What are you most interested in and speak most enthusiastically about?
JS: I like to talk about trying new things, what worked or didn’t work, and bouncing new ideas around. I tend to be more of a synthesizer and improver of ideas versus a creator of brand new ones, so I’m energized by talking through ideas and evolving them with a group. I love to take on and take apart what look to be big problems, getting to the root cause, and figuring out how to solve them.

Content planning and development makes up a big part of my role, so that’s probably my favorite topic when it comes to communications. I’m always interested to hear how other companies plan and produce content, how much they curate versus create, and how they tie it all back to outcomes and business goals.

PB: How did you decide to shift your career from software development to communications?
JS: Pure serendipity. Software got boring—I was working in IT on important but unsexy internal systems. I started working with a career coach to start from scratch, and after loads of research and interviewing and job shadowing, I decided to go back to school and become a naturopathic doctor.

Shortly after I started taking prerequisites, I got swept up in broad layoff. I received an opportunity to find another job at Intel and had about three months to do it. I wasn’t ready to start medical school just yet, and a job in communications opened up. With my career coaching so fresh, I was able to articulate very well how my current skills set me up for success in communications, despite the contrast. I got the job. It was only three weeks between the old IT job and the new job in communications. I decided shortly afterwards to put the naturopathy career on hold. Six and a half years later, I’m still enjoying and growing in communications.

PB: What communication projects are you most proud of?
JS: There are a handful of stories I’ve written over the past few years that I’m proud of. Despite the barrels of ink that the tech media prints on the industry we’re in, there’s still plenty of ripe territory important for employees to understand. My flagship pieces have in-depth analyses of rising competitors, explaining each company’s history, business model, and keys to success.

Over a longer term, I’m proud of how I’ve helped move our department’s use of intranet social media from fledgling to a big piece of everything we do. It took several years, but today employee communications plays a huge role in influencing our intranet and ensuring employees get maximum value out of it.

PB: How do you incorporate strategic storytelling into your communication programs?
JS: Storytelling underpins a lot of the work we do. Our most effective and consistent all-company channel is our global intranet news. We not only dig up and tell individual stories, but we also build out longer-term editorial plans based on overarching narratives tied back to the company’s top priorities.

On the other end of the spectrum, we offer storytelling training to managers and leaders to help them be more effective communicators. That kind of hands-on help extends to helping employees write more colorful, candid blogs, too.

Overall, it spans from asking good questions during interviews—explicitly asking for stories and seemingly minute details that make stories come to life—all the way to using stories to help us reach company goals.

PB: What are some of your favorite resources that inspire your work?
JS: Besides keeping up with a lot of the groups and sites that specifically focus on internal/employee communications—IABC (of course!), the Corporate Executive Board, and a handful of other communities and blogs—I like to read about the latest in journalism and social media.

On the journalism side, I follow groups like Poynter and PBS’s MediaLab, and then I’ve got lists on Twitter and Google+ that include a broad group of creative folks who share interesting things related to communications. I’ve read some great books on interviewing and writing—Jack Hart’s A Writer’s Coach is a particular favorite.

On the social media side, I follow some of the leaders in using these tools to achieve specific outcomes. Not everything that works online applies inside the company, but some of the same principles apply and it’s fun to see how people are pushing the envelope.

Otherwise, I’m a huge fan of Wired and Fast Company. I read a lot, but these are the two magazines I usually read cover to cover.

PB: What is your contact information for questions, comments and ideas?
JS: LinkedIn is probably best: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeremyschultz/. I’m fairly active on Twitter (@jschultz) and Google+ (https://plus.google.com/+JeremySchultz/), too. I’m happy to share this information, and I look forward to hearing from your readers.

PB: To learn how to incorporate storytelling in your organization’s intranet, read my post, “Every Great Intranet Reveals a Great Story.”

What best practices in communication would you like to share in future Brilliance@Work profiles? What are your ideas for topics or people to be featured in upcoming profiles?