Words can make a difference, but are most companies making the most of the potential to shape a narrative through their choice and deployment of words? This interesting piece of research looks at annual reports from a range of U.S. companies to discover if message shaping is being used by management, particularly when it comes to over- and under-performing companies.
From me to you!
Should you be honest and open with communications? Absolutely, that is what I say. Of course, you may have a particular profile, image or impression to convey, but within those parameters, you can still personalise, be authentic, and be honest.
Some people may notice that this website recently had a slight change of look. A redesign. A job, it must be said, which did not fill me with excitement, even though it was necessary. Perhaps it is less fun talking or writing about oneself? It could also be because I am struggling to focus on the exciting tasks I want to do, because of a chronic lung sickness. Some people say you should not highlight "weaknesses" or "problems". I say BS to that. When seriously ill, it is understandable that one may need to rest and that work can be viewed as unimportant. For me, in any case, my research and activities are important. It is one of the things allowing me to "look forward".
If in the future, I get a lung transplant (this seems to be the only option and investigations are ongoing by doctors) then I hope I have still achieved something in the intervening years where I could have been "signed off work, sitting at home and sleeping". As it is, I am formally "signed off work" but permitted to study and thus my various research and related actions can continue. Even if I am seemingly functioning at a mere fraction of my previous speed (at least by my interpretation).
So please bear with me. But use my situation as an example of openness, honesty and authenticness. I don't claim to be perfect. I may drop a clanger or miss the odd deadline (I try not to and do warn everybody, and I think so far that I've met each deadline anyway with the desired material). Just inform, under-promise and over-deliver and think positive.
Accomplished professional with significant experience in business communications, journalism, public relations, marketing, administration, information technology and management. A highly creative entrepreneur who weaves technology, business and creative arts together. Exceptional skills in directing operations and providing services across diverse sectors for start-ups, SMEs, multinationals and government bodies.
Undergoing a career pivot, using past experiences, motivational and mentoring skills, and a quest for knowledge to take me personally and professionally into new areas. Academia is my new challenge, having qualified as a professional vocational teacher, and I am now working towards my doctorate. Oh, at the same time whilst trying to juggle several projects, research and deal with a chronic lung sickness (I am waiting to hear about lung transplant eligibility presently).
As an inquisitive sort of person I can't help not wanting to learn more, so do feel free to engage and share your research. If you have ideas for possible research (whether a need or a desire to collaborate), do get in touch!
I can, even with limited availability, help others when they have an interesting challenge or two. Through this website and social media learn more about some of the ways I can help you and your company.
If you don’t see what you are looking for then ask, and if I don’t know the solution I will, at least, try and point you in the right direction (and learn something new at the same time)
Latest Publications & Commentary
This is a book one began to warm to, but it does require a more in-depth, more sequential read for best effect, which is perhaps not a surprise when it advocates the use of storytelling as a means to transform how you communicate, ostensibly for business purposes.
It is frustrating, depressing reading and the subject is uncalled for. The results, if universally applied (or even worse!), are shameful and no doubt indicative of problems existing in other communities too. The issue? Online harassment and abuse metered out to female journalists who are doing their job.
It seems that crises are everywhere if you only take your news from headlines and key stories. Therefore it is no wonder that the perceptions of many can be shaped by what passes through their self-developed news and cognitive filters. More broadly, do the headlines and stories help develop what we think, both positively and negatively. The short answer is, it varies, as you may expect, although the nuances are interesting.
In short, this is a specialist-orientated book that looks at the management, processing and governance of information within an organization, providing an encompassing means to undertake such activities ethically and sensitively. Getting it wrong has implications, and today for many companies it can lead to very many unpleasant headlines, investigations, financial consequences and more!