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 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 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 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 … Read more
Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on May 30th, 2016
I have recently had several conversations with colleagues and clients about the importance and value of a strategic approach. One former colleague, and now friend, who leads the communications efforts for a large multi-national organization was complaining about the lack of strategic thinking from her team, many of whom are mid-20s to late 30s. She was wondering what she could do about it and whether strategic thinking can be taught.
I said that I believed that it could. It takes effort and, wait for it – strategic leadership on her part – but I think that part of the challenge … Read more
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.
… Read more
Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on March 22nd, 2016
At AHA, we’ve recently been working on quite a few stakeholder communications projects. We really like this kind of work because you get to work with great organizations that understand the value of regular, consistent and useful communication to their stakeholder groups, and it makes a positive impact when done well.
I think that it can be easy to forget or overlook some stakeholders, especially during a time of change, transition, strategic or other long-term planning, or during an issue. Depending on what you are dealing with, the focus might be media or government relations or reporting to the board … Read more
Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on March 09th, 2016
I am a student of human behavior. I people watch wherever I am – in meetings, at coffee shops, in airports, on the ferry, in waiting rooms and in reception areas. I am always interested in how people act in public, when they think no one is watching. It is always interesting to see who is considerate and who isn’t. And I’m not talking about being a doormat here. Polite, considerate and courteous people can – and do – communicate when they are unhappy with something or are upset with someone’s actions. We just do it in a way that … Read more