Internal Communication

What We’ve Got Here Is Failure to Communicate—With Millennials

January 31st, 2014 by

Maybe you recall Strother Martin’s pained, twisted line of dialogue spoken to Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke, delivered after Martin has struck chain-gang prisoner Newman with a blackjack: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” I thought of this line after seeing the story making the rounds yesterday that British millennials check their… Continued

Why Smart Communicators Use the Phone

January 17th, 2014 by

You can feel yourself age when you use such antiquated words like “telephone” in front of your 12-year-old son. “Mom, who says ‘telephone’ anymore?” He has a point. Every now and then “telephone” creeps into my language, as do other throwbacks like Rolodex and VCR.  Just as we don’t say “telephone” very often, we also… Continued

Words and Phrases to be Banned, 2014 Edition

January 13th, 2014 by

English has 1.1 million words, more words than any other language, according to the Global Language Monitor and other sources. That’s double the next most prolific language. And English adds about 15 words per day, or one every 98 minutes. So 400 years after the greatest English wordsmith of them all, William Shakespeare, the language… Continued

New Year’s Resolutions for the PR-Minded

December 31st, 2013 by

The good thing about New Year’s resolutions is that no one is really listening closely to what you are resolving to do.  But resolutions do crystallize our goals and make the month of January, at least, a little more interesting. For communicators the world over, you should expect 2014 to bring the following: > Crises,… Continued

Non-Verbal Communications: The Underutilized Skill

December 19th, 2013 by

There are certain people who even when they’re smiling warmly have a certain gravitas. They have a certain air that suggests intelligence, calculation, control, even as they engage the people around them. Bill Clinton has that. So does Denzel Washington. Oprah Winfrey. Colin Powell does, and Ronald Reagan did too. One thing that struck me… Continued

The Hunger Games at Work: How to Sound Very Fantastic This Week

December 2nd, 2013 by

It’s said that we speak an average of 16,000 words each day. That’s a lot of talking. As communicators, we appreciate fine words and clever turns of phrases.  But on this day after a long holiday, still recovering from a turkey and pumpkin pie stupor and constant conversation with distant relatives, I challenge you to… Continued

The 10 Tough Questions to Ask Yourself Now

November 4th, 2013 by

“Anything bothering you?” That was the question posed by my physician during a recent annual check-up. As he peered at my chart which was looking pretty boring in a good way, I wondered whether I should share something small, like “I get headaches every now and then.” Or should I tell him I’m feeling great,… Continued

CEO PR Gaffe of the Week, Barilla Edition

September 27th, 2013 by

What is it about CEOs? How can so many of them be so smart and so accomplished, and yet still say so many bad or dumb things? It’s enough to keep a communications team up at night—and if they get to sleep, they have anxiety-driven nightmares. Just this week, Guido Barilla, the CEO of one… Continued

Where You Sit is What You See

September 24th, 2013 by

I picked up a sound piece of advice the other night, during a college admissions event my daughter and I attended.  Among the questions the prospective students asked of the alumni panel was whether the class sizes are so big that you can’t see, hear and learn in them.  The very articulate Class of 2010… Continued

BuzzFeed CEO’s Vision of Media’s Future (and Great PR)

September 9th, 2013 by

Last week, Buzzfeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti published a long memo on LinkedIn. It was titled a memo to the staff, but really was only partly directed to the staff. It was also a PR message to all stakeholders as well as competitors. At any rate, it was brilliant. It was the most clear-headed,… Continued