Employee Engagement

Top 10 Takeaways from HCI’s 2017 Employee Engagement Conference

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Human Capital Institute’s (HCI) 2017 Employee Engagement conference at the end of July, which focused on “Creating an Engaged Culture through Purpose, Connection and Neuroscience.” With so many insightful presentations over the course of two days, I would have had to channel Game of Thrones’ Three-Eyed Raven to be able to take it all in immediately; but now that I’ve had some time to digest, here are my top 10 takeaways from the conference.

1. Why we work determines how well we work – The first keynote speech explained how our performance is driven by our Total Motivation, or the theory that why people work determines how well they work. There are six motives for why we work: three direct motives (play, purpose and potential) and three indirect motives (emotional pressure, economic pressure and inertia). Making sure that people’s direct motives outweigh their indirect motives is key to creating a culture of engaged employees.

2. Manage weaknesses, invest in strengths – This tip from the Gallup-led session makes so much sense to me. We’re always more engaged when we’re doing something we’re good…

PR Industry Trends

Leading with Courage

Leading with courage in today’s unsettled environment is not for the faint of heart. Whether you identify as alt-left or-right, gay or straight, Republican or Democrat communicating your point of view can feel like walking through a minefield.

The recent horrific events in Charlottesville, Virginia, prompted responses from all over the globe.  Former President Barack Obama and Pope Francis took to Twitter. The celebrity world leveraged their influence by responding “Enough is Enough.” Everyday people used their social platforms to vent, seek perspective and to gain some sense of peace.

I’m trying to gain my peace by writing this. As communicators, the words and images we select for ourselves, our companies and our clients are critical. As I look back at what has been one of the worst weeks in America in a long time, I am struck by how powerful and persuasive clear communications can be. I’m also amazed at how it can all go miserably wrong.

First, let’s take a quick look at this past week’s communication disasters.

President Trump came under intense criticism for his overall response to the events in Charlottesville.  His response was almost a…

Digital Marketing

Amazon and Facebook: The Next Leaders in Sports Viewing

From The United States Air Force Academy

Whether they like it or not, broadcast is handing off sports viewing to streaming services. Photo credit: The United States Air Force Academy.

When we look into the future, magic ball of sports viewing, what do we see?

Social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter) and streaming services (Netflix, Amazon) are rejoicing, while cable and broadcast channels like ESPN, FOX Sports and NBC are wallowing in their fallen greatness.

Streaming has changed the game in how viewers consume content. As of now, the effect has been minimal on sports viewing, as most fans prefer live coverage, but that is soon to change. Broadcast entities like NBC and CBS will now have to compete with a growing number of streaming services and social media platforms for sports rights. These are properties that broadcasters are ill-prepared to lose, as live sporting events offer the highest return on advertising. As simple economics teaches us, a rise in demand will raise the price. All sports leagues, conferences and organizations should benefit from the streaming development.

A great example is Amazon. Starting in week four of the NFL season, Amazon…

Wine, Food & Nutrition

Pumpkin Spice, Pop-ups and Meal Prep: 3 Must-Try Fall Food Trends

As summer starts winding down, it’s time to start looking ahead to fall. And you can’t think about fall without thinking about your favorite fall foods. Here are three exciting food trends that will have you covered for breakfast, lunch and dinner, at home or dining out this autumn season.

  •  Millennials rejoice – PSLs are now in stores!
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte season is starting earlier than ever this year (to the delight of millennials everywhere!) with Starbucks announcing it will start selling bottled Pumpkin Spice Lattes (often referred to as PSL) in grocery stores at the end of August. According to Business Insider, the ready-to-drink PSL will be priced at $2.79 per 14-fluid-ounce bottle, which is significantly cheaper than a made-to-order PSL. In addition to the bottled PSLs, Starbucks will also sell pumpkin spice flavored ground coffee in stores.

    Dunkin’ Donuts is jumping on the pumpkin spice bandwagon by introducing its newest lineup of fall flavored foods and beverages starting August 28 per CNBC. Along with pumpkin-flavored coffees, donuts and muffins, Dunkin’ Donuts is also introducing a pumpkin cream cheese for its bagels. Beyond pumpkin flavors, Dunkin’…


    The Biggest Challenge with Health Care Advertising? Health Care Advertising

    The challenge with most health care advertising, is health care advertising. If you take any campaign and do the old “swap the logo” trick, you quickly realize that the plethora of disingenuous, vacuous imagery and rhetoric is a sea of sameness.

    What is fascinating to me is the somewhat separatist nature of health care marketing overall. The business of health care has and continues to change rapidly, but we seem to still be marketing in relatively traditional ways. The details, rules and restrictions are certainly unique and require a deep level of expertise to ensure all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed, but the process of delivering a message that shifts the needle for a brand remains the same whether it’s health care or automotive or fried chicken.

    As with any campaign, success metrics need to be identified along with a deep dive on the audience and environment. From all that data – hard, soft, big and small – a unique strategic insight must be identified to enable a singularly focused idea to be created. While this feels like table stakes, it doesn’t appear to be happening very often. That may be the reason we see a great