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Principles in Practice

You have seven seconds…Go!! You’re probably thinking, seven seconds for what? Well, according to research, people tend to make their first impression within the first seven seconds of meeting somebody. How we look shapes the message we are conveying.

Body language communicates attitude, emotions, and intentions and can punctuate, emphasize and enliven messages.

 Communication involves both verbal and nonverbal messages to create a shared understanding. In today’s world, much of our communication is digital and often it’s difficult to understand the true meaning behind the electronically-delivered content. Being behind a computer, we tend to forget the principles of body language that come naturally when we are speaking with somebody, whether at a conference, a business development meeting, or with colleagues.

I recently read an article on Leonardo da Vinci’s “painted psychoanalysis,” the Mona Lisa. The portrait illustrates mixed emotions. Depending on the angle the portrait is viewed, the woman is sometimes perceived to be smiling, while other times appearing more serious.  The painting allows viewers to create their own opinion of her depending on their observation.

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Hydration Motivation

When most of us think dehydration, what usually comes to mind is running on a hot day, sweating through our shirt and gasping for breath. Crawling in the desert, looking towards a mirage may be a second thought. What we don’t think about, is the businessman, wearing a collared shirt with a jacket, getting lost in his work for eight or more hours, that forgets to drink a glass of water.

He stands up quickly, throwing off his balance, dizzy, but thinks nothing of it. He gets tired earlier and easier, but he’s been working too hard lately. His skin starts to sag slightly, losing some of it’s color, but that’s just due to age.

Unfortunately, each and every one of these symptoms is caused by lack of water, or dehydration. With meetings, calls, presentations and other activities that happen in an office daily, drinking water is not the highest priority for anyone and usually becomes an afterthought. But, forgetting to drink high quality H2O has adverse effects on your work quality and health.

The body is made of up to 78% water, which helps to maintain temperature, brain function and protect organs. Trying to memorize a presentation or concentrate on reading a proposal becomes easier when your brain and body are nourished. From a beauty standpoint, drinking water helps to clear skin, quicken metabolism and lose weight.  In comparison, losing just 4% of your body’s water, which could be meager pounds, will cause fainting, skin shriveling, blood pressure dropping and your body overheating. Further water loss can result in organ damage and, at 10%, loss of life.

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Make Your Content Count

As strategic communication professionals, one of our most crucial obligations is exceeding client expectations. Fostering two-way communication and creating a dialogue allows us to better understand their values and beliefs that contribute to strategizing and researching campaigns. After all, our end goal is to generate impactful and measurable results.   

Public Relations Tactics contributor, Ivan Ristic, mentions, “Research, in its most ubiquitous PR use, is a tried-and-true tactic that can provide unique, substantiated content.”  In order to effectively ensure client partnerships are constantly part of media conversations, a component of creative and extensive research should factor into the campaign method.  

Collecting accurate research provides an immeasurable amount of value to the work we do. With this data we can create newsworthy material with compelling headlines that position clients in front of the right media. 

So you might ask, how do we tap clients into the national conversation without knowing what that conversation is? It’s the power of storytelling. It’s the stories that give meaning to the complex information we want our audience to remember. The reader is more likely to remember a descriptive story rather than data and numbers.  Everything we put in front of them needs to be relevant to their interests, allowing them to identify and engage emotionally.  To create a compelling story, think visually, be creative and take the reader on a journey they won’t forget.

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It’s Not About You

“Think back to the first time you were asked to manage. How did it feel to lead? What got you to where you are now?” So opened an informative and inspiring presentation by Pat Falotico, CEO of the Robert K Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership. Our Dec. 2nd leadership forum, co-hosted with Randy Hain of Serviam Partners, was attended by more than 70 senior Atlanta business leaders, all of whom expressed varied feelings in response to Pat’s opening questions about leading teams.

As Pat spoke more about what defines true servant leadership, she asked us, “Who are you for yourself, for others, and for your organization?”

Who are you for yourself? Leadership begins with the innate feeling that you want to serve, and serve first. Pat zeroed in on this conscious choice we’re required to make as leaders. Many of us have had a manager who tried so hard to be sincere, but it was clear they were not meant to lead. There is no place for pretending to be authentic, and no one is buying it anyway.

Self-awareness plays a huge role here. Pat used an example from the TV classic, Seinfeld, where George believes every decision he’s made in his life has been wrong and decides to do the opposite of everything. To his surprise, this approach actually worked for him. As Robert Greenleaf said, “Awareness is not a giver of solace, it is a disturber and an awakener.” Once we are aware of our weaknesses, we can try different approaches and become a more purposeful leader.

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Employer Branding & Company Culture 

In the same way a successful brand attracts customers and clients, employer branding attracts employees and partners. Effective employer branding depends on how a company’s internal and external messages align and complement each other, as well as how they are strategically communicated. This is the place where an organization’s human resources (HR), public relations (PR) and executive communications teams should align under one strategy.

Forbes contributor, William Craig, names a few factors that contribute to a company’s culture: vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs and habits. All of which support the core purpose of the organization. If its culture is enthusiastic and innovative, it will attract like-minded employees who fit that demographic. If a highly-professional and bold, the same thing happens.

Having clarity and understanding here is a huge competitive edge for an employer. Craig also specifies that culture is intrinsic to the organization: employees cannot change the philosophy of an organization. But what they can do is reflect it. Here are a few ways to activate employees to reflect your company culture as a way to attract new, aligned talent.

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3 Ways Facebook is Becoming Less “Social”

A recent article from The Content Strategist suggests that Facebook is no longer a social network. It isn’t a place to keep up with close friends and family anymore, notes author Dillon Baker, “it’s becoming a place to find (and share) the content you want.” But personal sharing has dropped by 21% since last year and Millennials and Gen Z have migrated to Snapchat and Instagram.

Has the reigning king of social media been dethroned? Or has it outgrown the social media sphere to become an omnipotent communications network? We think the latter, and here’s why.

Facebook capitalizes on mobile users.

In 2015, companies spent $27.8 billion on mobile advertising, and Smart Insights predicts a 41% increase for this year. More than ever, people have their eyes on mobile (literally) and from FB Messenger to News, Facebook provides all the essentials in the realm.

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