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

The I Ching of Branding and Marketing

Branding is the attempt to set one organization apart from another. Successful branding is setting apart your brand from your competition. The ability to do so isn’t as complicated as you might think.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

A recent client in the tech industry asked me to write a corporate positing document that has one purpose: succinctly yet comprehensively explain what the company does. It has two primary audiences: potential investors and healthcare CEOs/COOs/CFOs. However, when the President/CEO of the company sent me the initial draft of what she wanted, the opening paragraph consisted of 128 words and two sentences laden with redundant tech industry corpspeak. “You can wordsmith it however you’d like,” she said. “But I’d really like to keep the tone of it.” Continue Reading

Social media can’t do everything

Social media has transformed virtually every area of our lives. That’s an understatement, I know, but it is humorous to remember way back – oh, say five years ago – when curmudgeonly corporate execs and know-it-all pundits labeled social media as a fad. Unbelievably many still do, and they are becoming as relevant as cassette tapes.

Tablet image

Image courtesy of

However, while social media is a force, it is also true it can’t do everything. The understanding of how social media benefits organizational communications ranges broadly. Some have leveraged its power for either their for-profit or non-profit organizations while others throw in a little social media and expect miracles. Hint: Social media is not pixie dust. Continue Reading

Is your social media marketer prepared to handle a crisis?

Social media marketing is all the rage with companies adding social media strategists faster than most people can hammer out 140 characters and send a Tweet. The rapid increase in available positions is testimony to the effectiveness of social networking in driving business and validates the millions of dollars shifted from traditional marketing strategies to digital strategies. But is the explosion in new hires exposing companies to crisis risk?

Photo courtesy of

I live in the Nashville, Tenn., area and a quick search of several job sites generated no less than 23 positions seeking social media marketing specialists. Only two of those positions were senior level positions like a digital marketing strategist. The remaining positions required, on average, two years or less experience. Translation: Companies are putting relatively inexperienced people in frontline customer interaction positions. Continue Reading