April 2012

I have seen a couple of incidents of criticism that were wrapped in the concept of  “feedback” that are still wrinkling me. Given that as communicators, most of what we do is put out for review and input, I think that there might be some value in my little rant about what is and isn’t constructive criticism.

I have a friend that is currently working on a volunteer project. She is putting in many, many hours as a volunteer to help our former high school celebrate its 100-year anniversary. The small group of volunteers producing this event have done a spectacular job and should be applauded.

In a short time frame, they have reached out and found many grads and engaged us in the celebrations. They are producing a video that showcases some grads doing interesting things in the world. They somehow got funding from a former student, now a successful businessperson, to pay for ads in a large daily newspaper to promote the anniversary celebrations. There are active Facebook events, which include a pub night, a gala and many other activities.

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We’ve been having some interesting discussions in the AHA office. It’s time to review our case studies and do an update. We have had several projects recently that just cry out to be highlighted in a case study and I am looking forward to writing them. We have been chatting about whether or not to revise the format we use for case studies and discussing what the objective of a case study is, and several points have come up.

The objective of a case study is (or can be):

  • An example of the skill set and abilities of the agency (showcasing the approach and results) – used for business development.
  • An example of approach and results – used as a component of building a “business case” for other projects.
  • An opportunity to review the success/challenges of a project with some distance, clarity and context.
  • An opportunity to put a project into context – used for the client/agency relationship and for AHA crew members to see the big picture of what, why, when and how.
  • A part of the AHA legacy – used for internal purposes in the long term to review our professional path and agency evolution. Could also be used for an anniversary celebration for AHA.

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    [caption id="attachment_5159" align="alignright" width="300" caption="I am in red."][/caption]

    For many of us in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland, yesterday was an important day. It was the annual Sun Run, a 10K run through the beautiful streets of Vancouver. It was my first Sun Run and it was a very good personal experience. Interestingly enough, as I sat down with a cup of tea (and two extra-strength Advil) last night and reflected on it, I realized that there were some solid communications lessons in it as well.

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