MCM Winter Residency 2014: Strategic reputation management through research

This week, I have the pleasure of hosting the McMaster-Syracuse MCM Winter Residency 2014. Both the first year and the second year cohorts are here. Here’s what they will be taking: First Year MCM (2nd Term of Program): COMM MGMT 722 Managerial Finance COMM MGMT 712 Public Relations and Communications Research Second Year MCM (5th …

Strategy is a very human thing.

When we say “thinking strategically” we often seem to mean thinking managerially. We confuse strategy with good planning. However, planning really is a question of organizing your tactics in a logical and efficient way. Strategy goes beyond planning and setting measurable goals and objectives – it means being able to imagine how your organization or …

Law vs PR: is there an arena or a court of public opinion

I have been thinking about what it means to manage a reputation or deploy a communications strategy. So often, public relations professionals will start with a strategic vision for a brand, public figure or idea and then quickly be pulled into the vortex of tactical responses as context and circumstances overwhelm strategy. Why does this …

Startups need strategic public relations

Building and managing relationships strategically is at the core of a business startup. When you have an idea for a new product or service, the first thing you do is build the  relationships you need to nurture the idea.  You find people you trust: mentors, partners, financiers, potential founding clients, gauging carefully whether they will …

My FP Infomart blog Q & A: Overcoming the right brained fear of numbers

My thoughts are featured on this week’s Data Points, the FP Infomart blog. In it, I make the point that we need metrics to tell the story of our professional practices. The biggest challenge we have now in professional communication is our general fear of numbers. Many people who excel in our fields are creative, …

Can a warrior Canada win hearts and minds?

I was reading  Aaron Henninger’s (Director, Unted States Air Force Public Affairs Center of Excellence) JPC article “The argument against winning hearts and minds”. He makes the point that it is impossible for the United States to try and win the hearts and minds of an occupied place against a backdrop of humvees and fighter planes. …

5 reasons to join a professional association

In 2009, my colleague, mentor and friend Terry Flynn, suggested that I join the Canadian Public Relations Society. I did, and I have found it to be incredibly rewarding. I now recommend joining a professional society to every professional communicator I know. Here are five reasons to join a professional association: 1. Ethics Code: One of …

The challenges of teaching professional ethics

I have been having many discussions – with colleagues and practitioners – about what it means to teach ethics to professional communicators. Ethics is a challenging subject to teach at the best of times, because it requires that the practitioner have experience. How do you get a student or a mentee to have that experience, …

Community building in the emerging oral culture

Everyone seems to be talking about building and managing community these days. But what does it really mean? I think some of the answers lie in awareness of what culture is and how it works. We used to be a print and language based culture. Things were only deemed to be “official” or legally or …