5 Things Every College Comms Major Should Hear

This spring I filled in as an affiliate professor, teaching Intro to Public Relations, at Loyola University in Baltimore. The department chair seemed sheepish at the prospect of asking someone with my experience to teach the basics to freshmen, “I understand this may be rudimentary and not very interesting for you, but we could use […]

Just Breathe, It’s Only Communication

Communicating is one of the most fundamental of human activities and the simplest of human processes, next to breathing. We begin communicating the second we leave the womb and, in many cases, before that with a kick or a stir. We communicate in much the same way that we breathe, without thinking much about it. […]

Death, Taxes, Crisis in 2014

This past year reinforced the ongoing need for solid crisis management strategy and communication planning, regardless of what your organization does. I didn’t attribute this quote because in our community, as far as I can tell, this is essentially a cliché. It’s cliché because if my great, great grand pappy (conceptually pictured here) were a […]

Four characteristics of effective messages

What’s the message? Doesn’t really matter whether you’re in crisis communications, marketing or an in-house corporate communication office – you’ve heard this question before, and probably asked it too. If your experience is like mine, there are no shortage of answers (from qualified sources and otherwise,) but it’s the next question that gets us hung up […]

A Template for Learning from Crises

An often overlooked crisis communications tool – which has more power than many people give it credit for – is the after action report (AAR), or “lessons learned report,” if that sounds more familiar. A well-written AAR has several inherent benefits: It provides your leadership with a clear picture of you/your team’s important incident actions. […]