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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?
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

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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Award-Winning Case Studies: Improving PR with Six Sigma

Photo: Sunset at Lake Success, Patrick Mackin

Photo: Sunset at Lake Success, Patrick Mackin

As a follow-up to last month’s post, “Six Sigma Project Ideas for PR,” here are two recent award-winning case studies provided by Mark Weiner, CEO of PRIME Research,

2013_PR Platinum Award_Best Research, 2012 CMS Open Enrollment Research Program_case study

Mark shows that research-based PR requires discipline and focused application from Six Sigma thinking. These case studies demonstrate positive business outcomes, reduced waste and greater efficiencies.

What are some examples you’d like to share?

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How to Calculate the Value of Organizational Communication

© Jorge Royan / / CC-BY-SA-3.0

© Jorge Royan / / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Communicators know that effective communication delivers value to business in many tangible ways, but how can you show this value in a quantifiable way that is easy to understand?

Lorenzo Sierra of LoSierra Strategic Consulting,, created a solution to this dilemma:


That is, the value of communication is equal to the costs plus the efforts of what you’re communicating to the power of perception.

This equation is further explained in the attached article from the June/July 2003 edition of IABC’s Communication World. Sierra’s Theory of Communicativity_IABC CW

This concept was also applied to calculating the value of total rewards communication as detailed in the attached article from WorldatWork’s 2004 edition of Workspan. Lorenzo Sierra_Workspan_0204

How can this equation be applied to show the value of communication at your organization?


Six Sigma Project Ideas for PR

Six Sigma

What is Six Sigma and how can it help you improve your organization’s communication processes?

According to, “Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects in any process – from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service.”

I earned my Six Sigma Green Belt certification in 2004 by improving our employee newsletter. Six Sigma can be applied to all of your communication processes to help improve costs, engagement and productivity.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your public relations efforts, here is a list of “Six Sigma Project Ideas for PR” created by Mark Weiner, CEO of PRIME Research,

This list was published in IABC’s January/February 2004 Communication World. See attached article.
Six Sigma PR_IABC_CW 2004.

Six Sigma Project Ideas for PR

  • Reduce time for press release approval.
  • Improve media targeting (identify media that have proven reach among your target audience).
  • Assess journalists’ preference and satisfaction with current PR initiatives.
  • Assess “internal client” preferences and satisfaction with current PR initiatives.
  • Improve the ratio of releases sent versus releases used.
  • Improve the ratio of placements featuring critical messages.
  • Improve the ratio of placements featuring a company spokesperson.
  • Improve the ratio of stories featuring visuals or graphics.
  • Improve the ratio of stories that are either exclusives or feature-length.
  • Improve the ROI of events and event sponsorships.
  • For agencies, improve percentage of billable hours.

How do you use Six Sigma principles to improve communication processes at your organization?

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

Thai Shadow Puppets by Steve Evans,

Thai Shadow Puppets by Steve Evans,

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?