Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on April 20th, 2017
Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably know about the challenges that United Airlines has experienced recently. While one incident garnered the most news coverage and criticism on social media, several situations that could have been avoided, had they been handled differently, have come up and have shown the ugly underside of the culture of the organization. And it has cost them dearly – financially (their stock has dropped in the hundreds of millions) and with the long-term damage to their brand.
The biggest incident, with a 69-year-old doctor being physically assaulted and dragged off the plane, … Read more
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 … Read more
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 … Read more
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.… Read more
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 … Read more
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 … Read more
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 … Read more
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 … Read more
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 … Read more
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 … Read more