Having a voice.

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in communication, marketing

Having a voice.

Because I have a right to be heard! I have a voice! This quote, from the King’s Speech, was made by from George VI as played by Colin Firth. The King’s Speech is one of my favorite movies because it sports an excellent cast, contains quite a bit of history and tells a excellent story.  Americans love following the adventures of the British Royal family but I wonder how many Americans appreciate how deeply revered and loved George VI and Elizabeth were.   George VI overcame personal challenges and faced the rising menace of Hitler by personal courage and the support of his wife Elizabeth,  known to most as the “Queen Mum”.  He found his voice and became a symbol of wartime strength. Though the story focuses on the Royal family I firmly believe that it has a message for us all.  We all have voices and stories that need to be heard.  It is just the medium that differs.  As a marketing professional I try to learn what stories my clients need to tell and find the best way to give voice to those stories.  If they are heard and can make a connection with clients then their businesses will prosper and grow. Our duty as business professionals is three-fold.  First, we need to accept the challenge to selectively find and promote useful voices and stories.  Second we need to sift through the growing cacophony of noise to help both colleagues and clients.  Third, we need to make sure we don’t add the to noise.  Think about all the places voices can be heard: elevator speeches, one-on-ones, networking events,  websites, blogs, journal articles, seminars, etc.  Consider all the stories you have heard.  The more genuine the story, the more resonance we feel.  Personal stories with useful information, (e.g. those that move beyond the corporate standard  line/agenda) are far more likely to draw us in an engage us. Sometimes those stories are very personal.  At the Chamber Meeting last Tuesday afternoon we heard from Julia, the first person to complete LifeSteps’ Transitions program.  LifeSteps provides services and programs for individuals and families with special needs.  Julia is a young woman with Down’s Syndrome. Just like George VI, she overcame personal challenges and she has a voice which needs to be heard. Julia told us of her plans for the future, I wish her the all the best as she works to make them come true. What story do you need to...

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Authenticity

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 in communication, marketing, Photography, websites

Do you ever have a conversation and an idea sharpens the focus of you thoughts and lingers in your consciousness? Like a bobber on a fishing line or a weather vane, the idea reminds you to make sure you have your bearings and be sure you understand what is happening. This summer I was part of a panel discussion about building better websites and one of my colleagues raised the issue of authenticity. It was not a new notion to me but sometimes you just hear the right thing at the right time. A few years ago my career changed course; I switched from working in the marketing department of a large multinational firm to working with small businesses. Making sure that my work was authentic in a more diverse and changeable environment is critical to my clients and my business’s success. The word authenticity focused the element of my consciousness that always wanted to make sure the work we did was personalized for each client and their business. Authenticity is not a hugely common or pervasive element of modern society, especially during election years. Moreover, while there are many ethical and honest marketing professionals it is not the first term associated with our industry. Personally, if I think about the purchases I have made and been happy with, much less the things I enjoy or are proud of they are all based on authenticity. Authenticity can apply to many elements of life, both personal and professional. For example, on a personal level I would rather kayak down an Adirondack Lake than go on a beach holiday I love the smell of coffee, I can’t stand its taste and prefer tea or hot chocolate On a professional level it is includes: trying to always use local images instead of stock photography; if I have to use stock photos making sure the photos have a theme and aren’t just appropriate shots for the page’s content. making sure conversations with fellow business people are about more than just getting business. I firmly believe that real growth, personal or professional, comes from authenticity. We seek it and will return for more if we find a source. Though I work in the digital realm I readily admit to an addiction to books, a favorite is Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. Just for fun I look to it for inspiration and was surprised they only have one quote for authentic, but it is a good one: But as when an authentic watch is shown, Each man winds up and rectifies his own, So in our judgements –Sir John Suckling,...

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