Brand Influence Begins with ‘V’…Three of Them

Organizational vision statements are great, but every “corporate vision” begs the question: Are the actions of the organization and the responses of the organization’s stakeholders harmoniously working together to reach the brand vision for everyone’s benefit?


It’s a question few organizations consider and one that has everything to do with brand image. According to, a vision statement is, “an aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish…and is intended to serve as a clear guide for choosing current and future courses of action.” However, no organization operates in a vacuum, especially non-profits, and needs its stakeholders to embrace the vision if the organization is going to “achieve or accomplish” its goals. In an age of corporate suspicion, organizations can’t assume buy-in or brand loyalty. If your organization wants to share ownership of its vision with its stakeholders and create brand loyalty, it has to embrace the  “3Vs” that culminate in brand influence. Continue Reading

Is your organization social media rich but strategy poor?

There is the perception that if your organization is not fully engaged in social media then you are losing ground to competitors, losing touch with supporters and falling woefully behind the times. To some extent that’s true. However, too many organizational leaders put the Twitter before the proverbial horse.


We do live in an age where social media is the way individuals communicate and digest news and information. On the business side there is an urgency to employ social media – and often social media experts – to drive the organization’s social engine. Many leaders know social media is important, but frankly I believe weight it too heavily in the grand scheme of things. When that happens, your organization may find itself social media rich and strategically poor from a marketing communications perspective. Continue Reading

Does your communications strategy have one rail or two?

Have you ever considered why railroad tracks have two rails? Probably not because the answer is obvious. Unfortunately too many organizations only lay one rail of a communications strategy yet expect it to offer a smooth ride and a destination arrival ahead of the competition.


I was talking with a prospective client and exploring what it is his company needs as it repositions itself following a couple of years of rapid growth. We talked messaging, and vision statements, and speaking points, and visual branding, and elevator pitches, and content marketing strategies; you know, the bling people see and hear. But then I asked him about the other rail. Continue Reading

Is Your Communications Strategy More Than Lipstick on the Pig?

A communications strategy not built on the foundational elements of an organization’s vision, mission and the actions of its leaders and employees amounts to putting lipstick on a pig.


I had  a recent conversation with some organizational leaders about communications strategies and how to better tell their organization’s story. I had to manage some expectations because there was the idea that an integrated communications strategy can make everything better. And let’s face it, it can, but only if there is some substance to the organization worth communicating. Continue Reading

Social Media is not Pixie Dust

Social media continues to gain mainstream acceptance among the executive leadership of businesses and organizations. However, many (most?) leaders still do not understand social media and may not necessarily like it. However, they may concede where there is the proverbial smoke there must also be fire – and instinctively believe it is fire their organizations need to stay competitive.

Image courtesy of

The reaction is often times to call in the human resources manager or director of communications and confidently mandate, “Get us some of that social media.” Unfortunately, a lack of understanding too often leads to the belief that social media is like Tinker Bell’s pixie dust: to have some sprinkled over your organization’s marketing plan magically makes you “fly” with your stakeholders. Continue Reading