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Arizona’s Business Leaders Have Collaboration Edge with Paul Barton, ABC

What’s the one skill we can all learn to master that applies to any job in any industry?

It’s collaboration.

Collaboration is one of those “sink or swim” things when it comes to organizational success. Leaders who encourage collaboration within their organizations succeed. Those who don’t -won’t. But how do leaders learn to build their collaboration skills? Through mastering public speaking.

Paul Barton

Paul Barton, ABC

Arizona Business Communicator Paul Barton of Phoenix Public Speaking says that “all the world is a stage, and life is a series of presentations – networking, job interviews, pitching an idea to a client, even trying to get your colleague to try a new place for lunch – they are all persuasive presentations.” Mastering your life’s presentations is about mastering public speaking, which leads to improved collaboration skills to help ensure your personal and professional success.

Paul’s highly interactive workshops and real-world methods are about more than traditional public speaking. They are geared toward everyday business situations to promote collaboration with easy to remember tips, tricks and formulas to stand out from the crowd. Topics include:

  • Business presentations that turn heads, win hearts and get results.
  • Powerful storytelling techniques to make a lasting impact.
  • Making powerful first impressions.
  • Crisis Communication: Be Your Best When Facing the Worst
  • Improved collaboration using active listening skills.

Paul has been connecting minds of organizational leaders with the hearts of their audiences for more than 20 years. His successful career includes being one of the top communication thought leaders and collaboration strategists in Phoenix, Arizona. Paul also led internal communications at six successful brands including PetSmart and Hawaiian Airlines and authored the book Maximizing Internal Communication: Strategies to Turn Heads, Win Hearts, Engage Employees and Get Results.

He’s also a frequent guest speaker, blogger and workshop presenter on the topics of crisis communication, internal communication, and HR communication strategies. Paul also teaches courses in public speaking and business communication as an adjunct faculty member.

Put your public speaking fears in the rear-view mirror! Contact Paul to learn a unique and fun approach to “owning the room” while mastering your life’s presentations.


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A Crisis in Vegas Does NOT Stay in Vegas

WelcomeToVegasNitePhoto: The Las Vegas Strip. Wikinews:User:David_Vasquez in April, 2005.

You’ve probably heard that “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” But when a crisis happens in Vegas, it doesn’t stay in Vegas. Everyone outside of Vegas hears about it.

When (not if) a crisis happens for your organization, do you have a plan?

Be prepared with a powerful and quick response to protect and enhance your brand’s reputation when the crisis hits. Register today for “Be Your Best When Facing the Worst,” a crisis communication workshop sponsored by the Las Vegas Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. Crisis Communication Workshop in Las Vegas October 7 2015Read about our workshop presenter Paul Barton, ABC on his website and my interview with him last month.

I’m looking forward to attending this workshop! Watch for highlights.


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Be Your Best When Your Organization is Facing the Worst

Golden_and_pink_sky_tree_silhouettePhoto: Sunset, Randers, Denmark. Malene Thyssen, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Malene. Dual license: GNU Free Documentation License, Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5

It’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN your organization will face a crisis. Are you ready to help your organization through it?

Be prepared with a powerful and quick response to protect and enhance your brand’s reputation when the crisis hits. Register today for “Be Your Best When Facing the Worst,” a crisis communication workshop sponsored by the Las Vegas Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators.Crisis IABC-LVRead on to learn more about communication expert and workshop presenter Paul Barton, ABC and how his workshop can help you to prepare your organization for a crisis:

Paul Barton, ABC

Paul Barton, ABC

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: What is your experience in serving companies in crisis situations?
Paul Barton, ABC: I have helped create crisis communication plans, dark websites and practice drills for PetSmart, APS, Phelps Dodge, America West Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce. I’ve have helped companies get through a wide variety of crisis situations including employee deaths on the job, major business disruptions, shootings and natural disasters. One of my more unusual experiences was not only coordinating communications, but also helping to coordinate supplies for search and rescue dog teams at Ground Zero in the immediate aftermath of 9-11.

PLB: What are some common missteps organizations take during a crisis?
PB: The top three missteps I see are:

(1) Some businesses think they need to wait to get all the facts verified before they say anything to the press, their customers and their employees. What they should be doing is getting out in front of a crisis right away and establishing themselves as the most credible information source. It’s OK to say “We don’t have all the facts yet, but we are aware of this incident, and we are making sure that all our employees and customers are safe and sound. We promise to keep you updated as soon as we have all the facts.”

(2) In the rush to get information out, some companies forget the importance of addressing the emotional side. Until people know that you care, they don’t care what you know. You need to establish that you care early on with a statement such as  “Our immediate concern is for the safety and well-being of our employees and our customers. Our hearts go out to the victims.”

(3) Some organizations are so focused on getting statements to the news media that they forget about their own employees. It is quite often the employees who will determine how fast and how fully an organization will recover from a crisis. And it is employees who are the face of the organization to the customers. They can be great and credible advocates for the organization if they have the right information.

PLB: What is the most helpful action an organization can take to prepare for a crisis?
PB: Practice, practice, practice. Many organizations have a plan, but they don’t conduct regular drills. Phone numbers and contacts get out of date, pre-gathered supplies get lost, and key players don’t know where to go and what to do. A failure to prepare can turn a crisis into a catastrophe.

PLB: What are the top things that communication professionals can learn from your upcoming crisis communication workshop?
PB:

(1) How to create powerful crisis messages on the fly that not only protect your brand image, but actually enhance your brand reputation.

(2) How to turn social media into a third-party advocate and powerful listening tool during a crisis.

(3) The role good employee communication can play in helping a company to recover more quickly and fully.

(4) How to be at your best when your company is facing the worst by having a good plan on which to rely.

PLB: How is your workshop structured?
PB: There is interactive learning and hands-on work. Attendees will come away with a working crisis communication plan template and many samples that they can take back to their offices and easily develop into a full crisis communication plan for their organizations or incorporate into existing plans.

PLB: What other types of workshops, products and services do you provide? 
PB: In addition to the crisis workshop, I can assist clients with writing the plan. My services include consulting, writing, editing, communication audits and project support. I can offer fresh ideas or just an extra pair of hands. And with a wide network of videographers, graphic designers and event planners that I partner with, no project is too big or too small. I also offer several products on my website including a step-by-step guide for strategic communication planning and a book on internal communication.

PLB: What is your contact information for questions and follow-up?
PB:
Readers can find more information on my website at paulbartonabc.com or they can email me at PaulBarton@Outlook.com


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Transform the Way You Communicate

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Chicago Buildings” photo by Dasha

Next week, communicators from all over the globe will come together to learn and share ideas about reinventing their organizations’ intranets.

If you are unable to attend next week’s 2014 Intranet & Digital Workplace Summit, check out these pre-event stories to help your organization create digital workplaces that drive productivity, innovation and measurable business results.

How is your organization integrating social, mobile and video tools to evolve a traditional intranet?


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Need Help on the Road to a Digital Workplace?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Chicago Roads” photo by Dasha

We could all use some help every once in a while, especially when we need to change, but change isn’t easy.

If your organization needs to change the way it works and how it engages with employees, then “Getting from Intranet to Digital Workplace” by Stacy L. Wilson, ABC can help you get started with three simple approaches.

Stacy is president of Eloquor Consulting, Inc. and has more than 27 years of experience in internal communication and organizational development.

She is also the conference chairperson of this month’s 2014 Intranet & Digital Workplace Summit. During her session, “Roadmap to a Digital Workplace: Paving the Way to a New Way to Work,” Stacy will show you how to help your organization on its journey to a digital workplace, including:

  • How to identify ROI and business needs
  • Technical assessments that support digital workplace planning
  • Developing governance for the long haul
  • The pros and cons of different launch approaches
  • Planning for adoption, communication and training

How are you helping your organization on its journey to a digital workplace?


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Brilliance@Work and the Stars Who Make it Happen: Robin McCasland

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.

robin capitolRobin McCasland, Executive Board Chair of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), is a communication expert recognized for her creative approaches to employee engagement strategies and internal branding. She recently joined Tenet Healthcare in Dallas, Texas as Director of Internal Communication.

Previously, she led employee engagement and internal communication for a business unit of Dell Inc. Over the past two decades, Robin received IABC Gold, Silver and Bronze Quill awards and earned several Communicator Awards for her work on clients’ recruiting and benefits communication projects.

At the May 15 IABC Phoenix professional development luncheon, Robin will present “Growing Your Personal Brand and Protecting Your Reputation.” During this event, you’ll learn how to recognize the intangible qualities that enhance your personal brand and make you more valuable and marketable as a communication professional. You’ll also learn why it’s worthwhile to go “ego surfing” online to ensure your reputation is solid.

Register for the luncheon at http://www.iabcphoenix.com/growing-your-personal-brand-and-protecting-your-reputation/

For more information, visit www.iabcphoenix.com. In the meantime, read on to learn more about Robin and her creative approach to communication planning:

Peggy Bieniek: What is most important for people to know about you?
Robin McCasland:
I believe that creativity and an open mind can overcome virtually any challenge (including a lack of budget). Also, it’s helpful to know that I believe if you’re not having fun, you shouldn’t be doing it, whatever “it” is.

PB: What are you most interested in and speak most enthusiastically about?
RMC:
I love the process of employee engagement. I’ve experienced first-hand how workplace cultures can transform for the better with a long-term, consistent and creative engagement strategy. I love showing people how to take a more creative approach to strategic communication planning. I use a slightly different method that helps get at the “heart and soul” of an organization, engages employees and inspires them to do their best.

I also love presenting on personal branding and reputation. Most people don’t often think about their personal traits and habits that make them more desirable to employers and clients. Those traits are, in my opinion, key to their personal brands – more than their actual communication skills. It’s fun to get people thinking about how they can enhance those positive qualities that make them stand out from others.

PB: How have your leadership roles within IABC influenced your career?
RMC: I’ve been a chapter leader twice – in Fort Worth and Dallas. Each experience taught me much about managing people (volunteers), public speaking, presenting, managing a budget, event planning, fundraising and more. I’ve used all of those skills in my jobs.

Those chapter roles provided management experience that prepared me to take on more senior roles in my career, with far greater responsibility. My IABC experiences over time have given me the confidence and courage to seek bigger horizons – in my career and within IABC.

IABC is in a challenging but necessary transition. The International Executive Board (IEB), staff and I have worked through some difficult situations to move IABC forward. It’s not been fun. However, the experience as IEB chair has made my career seem so much easier by comparison! The things that used to rattle me at work don’t usually faze me now.

PB: What communication projects are you most proud of?
RMC:
If I had to choose one, it would be the work I did at Texas Instruments (TI) to help transform its university recruiting program with creative employment branding. I had the good fortune to work with amazing human resources pros at TI who gave me a real budget and a lot of freedom to do incredibly creative work. Overall, our work was so effective in this area that the Corporate Leadership Council benchmarked our programs as best in practice. The work was so much fun that I couldn’t wait to get to the office each day. How many people can say they’ve had a job like that?

PB: What are some communication best practices you’ve developed and/or helped to implement?
RMC:
When I’m developing a strategic communication plan, I ask a few additional questions that will evoke an emotional response or cause people to take action or think differently. That’s the essence of developing clear, compelling messages. Depending on the circumstances and what we’re trying to accomplish, I might ask questions like:

–How do we make a difference in the world?

–What do leaders expect from employees? And – equally important – what should employees expect of their leaders?

–How do shareholders, customers and vendors view us? Is it easy to do business with us?

–How would we feel if any negative comments from those stakeholders were posted in social media? How would we respond?

–What do we value in this organization? Do we value the right things? How would others perceive our values? How would they discuss us in social media?

The answers to those questions and others help me build a more engaging, “living” communication plan.

Oh, and there’s one more unrelated, boring but tried-and-true best practice: Always have someone else proofread your work before you finalize it! Don’t rely on spell-check. Don’t rely on your own brain and eyes that have looked at the same copy for days. Have someone “fresh” read your copy. Always.

PB: What are your current projects as you continue to develop your professional skills and knowledge?
RMC:
I’m leading special event planning to launch a refreshed brand among employees. I’m excited to pull all the messages and activities together for this special event, which has the potential to impact tens of thousands of employees positively.

I’m developing a second-half 2014 internal communication plan for an organization in the healthcare industry. I’m learning the challenges of communicating with very diverse audiences, many of whom don’t sit in front of a computer on a daily basis.

PB: What are some of your favorite resources that inspire your work?
RMC:
I’m an audiophile. Music inspires my creativity. Music can literally change my mood in minutes! Some of my best ideas come when I’m listening to music. I love alternative and classic rock, but sometimes a beautiful movie soundtrack will help me engage emotionally in developing good communication.

Children inspire me. If they’re young enough, their creative minds aren’t stifled by people who tell them “no.” I like to approach each communication opportunity with no limits. Brainstorm as if there is unlimited possibility – and unlimited budget. That’s how kids think, generally. No limits.

PB: What is your contact information for questions, comments and ideas?
RMC:
The easiest way to reach me is via email at robinatiabc@gmail.com or on Twitter @robinrox.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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The Perfect Fit: How to Best Tell Your Organization’s Story

Thai Shadow Puppets by Steve Evans, http://babasteve.blogspot.com/

Thai Shadow Puppets by Steve Evans, http://babasteve.blogspot.com/

Timing is everything, especially when planning to tell your organization’s story as it’s unfolding. To do this successfully, you must have a strategy.

The attached article by Gary F. Grates, “The Perfect Fit,” explains how to successfully tell your organization’s story in a cohesive and compelling way. This article originally appeared in IABC’s October-November 2003 Communication World. Perfect Fit_IABC article

Use the attached template to successfully identify, design and communicate the “Perfect Fit” strategy for your organization. perfectfit

What are some of the ways you share your organization’s story?


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Template for Creating a Vision

Create a vision of success for you, your teams and your organization. The attached template published by the American Society for Training & Development can help you create a vision to inspire higher levels of engagement, productivity, business performance and communication.

Creating A Vision Job Aid Page 1

Creating A Vision Job Aid Page 2


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Template for Storytelling

Storytelling is a compelling and effective way to engage employees. The attached template published by the American Society for Training & Development can help you identify, create and track your organization’s stories. Once you uncover and document key stories, you can use them to support your communication strategy.

Storytelling Job Aid


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Show business value of communication

An effective communication program can help increase business performance. In this article, James Shaffer, IABC Fellow, thought leader and consultant, explains how to show business value through communication. http://bit.ly/16Adxy6

Article published in IABC Communication World, September 2013.