Online Communications

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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You’re wrong (and I’m right)

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

There appears to be an unfortunate trend happening in how we communicate. It’s the “you’re wrong” approach, typically followed by “and I am right.” It is an incredibly ineffective, divisive approach to authentic and engaging communication, yet it is one that is growing – particularly when it comes to public discussion and discourse. The challenge is that once this type of approach becomes “normal” or typical, it bleeds into how we communicate in other ways.

The recent Canadian federal election and the upcoming U.S. presidential election appear to be key contributors to this fast-growing trend – as do many of …

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Digital content is important

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on June 24th, 2016

The AHA team recently met with several of our clients and a few prospective clients to plan out communications initiatives. More and more often, digital content and brand storytelling is an important component in how we are helping our clients to tell their stories, moving forward.

In this day and age, an organization cannot rely solely on media relations or publicity to tell their stories. More and more media outlets are shifting to sponsored content, especially in the “softer” news segments (think breakfast TV, talk shows, lifestyle and business sections of publications and, of course, online). They might not announce …

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Social Media 101 – The Series

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

We have had an exceptional response to our Social Media 101 series (Facebook; Twitter). In fact, I met with a client the other day, a senior executive at a high-profile organization, who told me that he really appreciates the series because it is helping him to better understand social media tools, technology and tactics. He laughingly told me: “I kind of have to fake it a bit when my team talks about social media because I know so little and I don’t want to admit that to them.” And he said that our series is giving him …

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What’s the purpose?

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

What’s the purpose? That’s a question that we often ask when working with clients to plan proactive, positive PR campaigns, in delivering issues or crisis communication, and in creating any type of content – articles, online, web or social media copy, video, news releases, speeches, presentations, media pitches, brochures, ads and so much more. And it’s one we ask clients over and over again because it’s easy to get sidetracked with what you can do – and the reason for doing it can take a backseat.

The challenge that we, as communicators, face in today’s world is that we have …

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Social Media 101 – Twitter

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

Next up in our Social Media 101 series is Twitter. Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that allows users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets.” As of the first quarter of 2016, Twitter averaged 310 million monthly active users.

If Facebook is like a coffee shop where (almost) everyone knows your name, Twitter is a busy airport pub where you are welcome to join the conversations that interest you and connect with strangers (who can often become clients, colleagues and even friends).

Depending on your organization and what you provide – Twitter can support …

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AHA Fast Take Friday – No fooling

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

In today’s Fast Take Friday, I talk about how to deal with negative comments about your organization online.

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