March 2012





There is an unflattering news clip making the rounds right now of B.C. Premier Christy Clarke’s new communications director. I am sure it is going to be included in every media training session for the next decade – it is a perfect example of what not to do. If you haven’t seen it, you can view it here.



I have an entire rant about how valuable journalists are to a free and just society and how I believe communicators and journalists actually work in partnership (we don’t always have to agree or even like each other, but we do have work together). The actions of this communicator go against everything I believe you should do in media relations. But that’s not what I am going to talk about today. Today, inspired by this video, I want to go back to some common courtesies of communication. The basics.



I am often amazed (and appalled) at the lack of courtesy and common decency that I see in the world. Seemingly small things like please and thank you. Holding a door so that the person behind you doesn’t get it slammed on them. Responding to an email or phone call in a timely fashion. Showing up on time to meetings and appointments… the list goes on.



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I am sitting in a ferry lineup as I write this blog post. I commute from Gibsons, BC – a pretty little seaside town on the Sunshine Coast that is only a 40-minute ferry ride from West Vancouver. We have our AHA office in Gibsons and we have a business development office in Vancouver. (I am rarely in the Vancouver office because I go to the offices of our clients.)



We have an Internet stick that I use when I commute, when I travel, and even if we are out and about on the Sunshine Coast and I might need to do something for a client. My computer and Internet stick are my constant companions. I have spent most of my life travelling for work or for pleasure; and when you run your own agency and are a bit of a control freak like me – when you travel for pleasure, you are often working too.



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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.



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