Archive for 2016

What shark cage diving taught me about communication

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on October 06th, 2016

A couple of years ago, I found myself in South Africa meeting with one of our travel clients, Londolozi – a five-star safari lodge. Like most professionals that I know who are fortunate enough to travel for business, I took the opportunity to add some time onto the trip to see some of the beautiful country of South Africa. What an incredible place. I loved every minute of my time there and am looking forward to the day when I can go back.

One of the activities I did was cage diving with great white sharks off the coast of …

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Communications lessons from the Gilmore Girls

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on September 22nd, 2016

Four new 90-minute Gilmore Girls episodes are set to air on Netflix late in November 2016. I hadn’t seen the original series and after seeing the excitement for the release of this Gilmore Girls revival, I thought I would check it out. And while watching Seasons 1 through 7 over a couple of weeks, I realized that there are some communications lessons worth sharing, hidden in the episodes.

We’re going to assume that you have a working knowledge of the characters so as to not make this post too long with the explanations of who is who.

The top three …

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5 reasons for Pokémon Go’s success

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on September 19th, 2016

Our associate, Los Angeles-based communications professional Gabrielle Boyd has written a guest post for the AHA blog on the overwhelming success of Pokémon Go.

 

As a public relations professional, I was simultaneously astounded and envious by the success of the Pokémon Go launch. You couldn’t turn on any radio station, television news or even go on Facebook or Twitter without hearing some story about Pokémon Go. Hate it or love it, everyone was talking about it and aware of it – which is the goal of most brands. And almost two months after the game’s release, it is still …

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Social media and the public sector

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on September 15th, 2016

Recently, I started The AHA 100 Cups of Coffee Campaign. The intent of this initiative is for me to get out and connect with 100 people – to introduce myself, catch up and have a conversation. It’s not just about networking and business development, although that has certainly been a positive byproduct. It is about making sure that we, as AHA, are engaged with what is going on in the world, what people are thinking and doing, and what they are passionate about and committed to achieving. It has been incredibly interesting and inspiring.

Not surprisingly, some of the …

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Why structure is important in strategic communications

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on September 08th, 2016

Della Smith, my friend/colleague/mentor, is running a great blog series called Dining with Della. Each week, she profiles someone and asks them three key questions about communications – the answers are often about a key moment in the person’s personal or professional life, they are incredibly honest, and there is always an important takeaway. This series is worth reading. The most recent piece had a response that spoke about the importance of value in structure, and it got me thinking about structure and its role in strategic communications. Here at AHA, we do a fair amount of work regarding …

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Great content needs an audience

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on September 01st, 2016

We spend a lot of time talking about, producing and getting client approval on great content here at AHA. We create a range of pieces – from speeches to newsletters, web content, editorial-style articles, infographics, presentations, video series, photo essays, news releases, media pitches, social media content (including Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn and more), blog posts… and so much more. And – before we put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, turn the camera on, or open PowerPoint, Keynote or iMovie… we identify who the targeted audience/community is and work out where the content will be distributed, shared or shown.…

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3 steps to creating engaging content

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on August 17th, 2016

Early in my journalism career, I applied for a section editor position at a national magazine where I worked. The section editor was responsible for following trends, fads and news, identifying the types of articles that would be written for the section, pitching them at the weekly story meetings, and assigning and editing articles. I thought it would be a good step forward in my career.

During the interview for the job, the senior editor asked me what I thought was more important – understanding which topics our readers wanted to see or going with what I thought we should …

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An organization needs to tell its own story

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on August 10th, 2016

On Tuesday, I saw an announcement that the Toronto Star, the largest daily newspaper in Canada, has laid off 60 people – most from the newsroom/editorial side of the paper. This unexpected mass layoff is devastating news for the individuals involved, for journalism in Canada, and for organizations who use media relations and publicity to raise brand awareness, to tell their story, to humanize their business, and to show how they are a good corporate citizen and member of their community.

Here in the AHA office, we feel terrible for the people who lost their jobs. Not only did …

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Sensitive subject matter and social media

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on August 09th, 2016

The AHA team has earned a strong reputation for strategic communications surrounding sensitive subject matter. Quite often, this means working with a client during an issue or crisis – but not always. Many organizations deal with sensitive subject matter on a daily basis and taking a “typical” issue or crisis communication approach isn’t necessarily the right way to go when this is the case. The widespread use of social media and a 24/7 news cycle has made this more complex – and often complicated. Understanding this is only the start of being effective and in ensuring that stakeholder groups (including …

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The AHA 100 Cups of Coffee Campaign

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on July 27th, 2016

Several conversations with colleagues, mentors and the AHA Creative Strategies team recently inspired me to take on an interesting campaign. We’re calling it The AHA 100 Cups of Coffee Campaign. In a nutshell, I am aiming to meet 100 different individuals for a cup of coffee (or tea – we’re not sticklers for that detail) from July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017.

I am currently at person number five and I am loving this opportunity. I am meeting with people I know and those I don’t – people recommended by friends and colleagues and others who I am …

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