#UnitedSUCKS – Part II

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on November 27th, 2014

In my last post, we were just about to board our flight from San Juan to Houston to connect to Vancouver. In writing this installment, I realized it was going to take three blog posts to cover it all. This story of poor service has too many elements and I don’t want to jam them all in and overwhelm you.

As we waited to board the plane, the United representative at the gate announced that the flight was overbooked and they were offering $300 per person for someone to take a later flight. I thought that was interesting because the …

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What is community engagement?

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on July 30th, 2014

When discussing public relations or strategic communications, the word “engagement” comes up a lot. It is always interesting to hear what engagement means to a communications professional. It can mean different things to different people, including consultation, education, participation, active discussion and more. Quite often, it is spoken about in hushed tones and feels like the “holy grail” for communications professionals, which it can be – especially in this day and age of online connection through social media.

I was speaking with the communications manager of a potential new client and she was telling me about how much community engagement …

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The many sides to communication

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on January 08th, 2014

Happy New Year. On behalf of the AHA crew, we want to take this opportunity to wish you much happiness and success for 2014.

I had several interactions throughout the holiday season that made me think about how many levels and approaches there are in the world of communication (and in the world!).

I had the good fortune to travel to South Africa in December and, while there, I met several people I will keep in touch with. In our conversations about how to keep in touch, the response was split pretty evenly – half of the people were on …

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How to effectively communicate during an issue or crisis

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on June 04th, 2013

Being prepared for an issue or crisis is important. Even if you don’t think something negative will happen to your organization, take a moment and think about all the worst-case scenarios that could possibly happen. Then, at the very least, outline the chain of command for communication, how you would provide this information to those affected and to other stakeholders – including media – and how you would follow up and ensure that you consistently communicate and update people as the issue or crisis evolves or is resolved.

Here at AHA, we have worked with clients on some incredibly challenging …

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What Matters the Most – Kiwi Style

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on April 29th, 2013

Each year, around this time, AHA heads to New Zealand to blog for TRENZblog. This initiative is part of our work with Tourism New Zealand. We spend a week travelling the country and then we attend TRENZ, New Zealand’s largest travel trade show – and we blog our way through the country and the trade show.

Each time I visit New Zealand, I learn both life and communications lessons. Most times, they are intertwined (after all, we all communicate and it is one of the most challenging aspects of life sometimes). Each time, one big lesson stands out. This year, …

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It’s all about communication

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on April 10th, 2013

As some readers of this blog know, I have been dealing with an issue with H&R Block on behalf of a family member. I believe that it is important to acknowledge their efforts when an organization responds to an issue that is put in front of them.

Yesterday, I received a response from H&R Block that they are dealing with this issue. What they have put forward satisfies me for the moment. They have had someone with knowledge about the type of issue that my stepmother is facing (due to their error) look into this and they are taking steps …

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Why Shorter is Better

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on January 21st, 2013

How people take in information has changed. I read The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains a while ago and it resonated with me. Communication has shifted and people want short, informative pieces that they can quickly read, hear or view.

Years ago, when I worked at Maclean’s magazine, the People page was consistently the most read page in the magazine. It wasn’t because the people who read Maclean’s weren’t interested in the other longer pieces – it was partially because that page had information on interesting people and partially because the pieces were short bites of …

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Maintaining a Fresh Perspective

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on March 13th, 2012

They say: “timing is everything.” It’s true. And perspective is right there beside it.

We have a fun, interesting looking clock in the AHA kitchen. I am sure it was inspired by the works of Salvador Dali. It is kind of melting and surreal, and when a person first sees it, they are unsure how to tell what time it is. It’s been hanging in the kitchen for about a year now. It seems perfectly normal to those of us who spend any time in the room.

We had an AHA crew member come by a few days ago and …

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What’s being reflected back to you?

Posted by Paul Holman of AHA Creative Strategies on September 23rd, 2011

In today’s AHA Fast Take Friday, Ruth talks about the importance of listening to your stakeholders when you are communicating.…

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Can You Respond in Time?

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on July 04th, 2011

At AHA, we are working with a new client that is dealing with a serious issue within its organization. This particular issue had a great deal of misinformation, miscommunication and speculation around it. One of the challenges that this organization faces is that for quite some time, it has had an internal culture of little or no authentic communication. Not because the senior executive team is uncaring or doesn’t want to communicate, but it is a busy, successful business that has seen rapid growth in the past decade. For many people, there just didn’t seem to be the time to …

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