May 2012





There are many ways to communicate these days – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, texts, email, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr… the list goes on and on. But it’s important to understand the protocol, uses and the impact these mediums can have if they are used in an inappropriate or ineffective manner.



Specific tools are good for certain messages. An “I’m at the coffee shop. Where R U?” is a good use of a text. However, texting to inform someone that a meeting has been cancelled, that you are home sick and won’t be into the office, or that you quit is not a good use of this medium. I have seen people share information such as “Grandmother is in the hospital, not expected to make it – please send prayers” – which, while that’s not a place I would share this kind of news, might not be so bad for that person (they are asking for support from their community, after all), except that they had not yet informed all family members of what was going on.



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In the past week, we have had several conversations with clients about social media and what they could be doing or doing differently in this area. It’s always interesting to have these types of discussions and to take a good, hard look at what is being done, what needs to be done and what could be done differently.



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As communicators, we are tuned into several areas of communication. There is written, verbal, non-verbal (body language, what is left unsaid, etc.) and there is silence.



Today, I am going to talk about silence. There are many aspects of it in our world. There is the “in-person” silence – where the person doesn’t respond. This can happen in a meeting, in a brief exchange in the elevator, and while a broadcast journalist is interviewing you. Doing this during an interview is a great way to get people to blurt something; just look at them and don’t say anything. Most people will feel uncomfortable and try to fill the space. And then there is the phone call or email silence – which, I have to admit, is a personal pet peeve of mine.



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Delivering several blog posts a week can be a challenge. Here at AHA, our goal is to always do two blog posts and a Fast Take Friday. Unfortunately, we haven’t met those goals in the past few weeks due to a New Zealand business trip.

One of the challenges in writing a regular post is that every once in a while, you can hit a period where you are either a) too busy or b) struggle with what to write about or c) have things to write about, but can’t seem to actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). And sometimes, it feels like a combination of all three.

We’ve been busy here at AHA and I have been a little challenged in finding some interesting things to write about. Part of that is because when we are busy, it is much harder to find the time to check out all of the interesting information online. That’s where I find information and inspiration for these blog posts. It helps me put what we are experiencing at our PR agency into context and it gives me food for thought.

We always advise our clients to be transparent with their communities, and I believe we have to do that as well – so here you have it. As the main blog writer here at AHA, I have had challenges balancing everything that needs to be done for clients with my commitment to this blog and to Fast Take Fridays. After a good long weekend here in Canada, where I got to refresh, re-energize and re-organize myself in both my work and personal life, I am feeling back in control and have some solid ideas for new posts. One of the things I did to break through my block was to make a list of all the key points of communication I have experienced recently with client work, to look at what is exciting in the world of social media and traditional PR, and to look at areas where I want to learn more.

I am committed to getting back into our regular schedule and returning to the conversation with our blog readers and Fast Take Friday viewers. And – taking a page from the advice we give to clients, we’re also focused on creating an opportunity for some guest bloggers here and in getting a few blog posts in the can, ready to go when life gets in the way.

I hope you have a great week!

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