Posts in October

Message from the White House

October 10th, 2013   •   no comments   
Message from the White House

As a communication professional I admire good PR regardless of creed or politics. So I’ve decided to share a letter that the Obama White House issued to address the government shutdown with U.S. federal employees. Simply because it provides, in my opinion, an example of good PR writing.

Why? Because it begins with an understanding of audience. Continues with an emphasis on the 3 most important letters in PR (“y-o-u”). Because it tells the truth (or contains factual information). Because it is true to its brand, with core messages throughout. Along with ample amounts of the secret ingredient of all good communication: emotion. read more

Flying solo

October 2nd, 2013   •   2 comments   
Flying solo

It seems fitting to begin with a story. I’m a writer who believes in leaving no story untold, so here’s a recent chapter of my own: how I came to start up an independent communication consultancy.

In April 2012, the multinational group I was working for announced its decision to close divisional headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. This was not entirely unexpected – we’d experienced some setbacks in the pipeline and, like many pharmaceutical companies, needed to streamline operations.

Change is never easy. The announcement that over 1,000 jobs would leave the beautiful glass tower we occupied in Geneva shattered quite a few illusions. News on that scale leaves no one unmoved. Being one for silver linings, however, I began almost immediately to think about my own plan B.

Attending a social media workshop at the university a few days later, I found myself uttering the words that had begun to crystallize in my mind:  “I currently work for a major biopharmaceutical company but am preparing to launch a business as a freelance copywriter and communication consultant.”

At the break, one of the other participants came up to me and commented: “So, you’re leaving the corporate world?”

“Leaving the corporate world.” That gave me pause. It sounded so harsh and final, as if I were permanently exiling myself from a known world. “Well, yes, although I still hope to stay in touch with it through my future clients,” I smiled. But her question was well-timed in that it made me ask myself a few tough questions. read more