Forbes feature article: How To Create A Culture Of Collaboration by Erica Dhawan

AseatAtTheTableParagraphSeveral weeks back I was interviewed by Forbes Contributor Erica Dhawan. I invite you to read the article which appeared on-line 01/27/2017 entitled How To Create A Culture Of Collaboration.

Excerpt: “When I was working at Citigroup we used to say that the traders were “speaking their position,” said Leah Johnson, a communications strategist who spent years at top posts at Citigroup and Standard & Poors. “For example, if you’re holding a lot of a certain financial instrument that you want to sell, you’re going to talk it up. That’s what teams or groups within organizations do.”

Wanted: Diversity in the (War) “Room Where It Happens”

AseatAtTheTableParagraph In one of the more memorable songs in “Hamilton,” the award winning Broadway musical, Aaron Burr, the show’s complicated anti-hero and narrator, sings of his desire to be “in the room where it happens.” Hamilton, Jefferson and Madison have cast Burr aside as they negotiate everything from fiscal policy to where to place the new nation’s capital, and he laments his lack of influence. He is both literally and metaphorically outside the room.

In political campaigns, choosing who gets to be “in the room” when communication strategy and messages are created is almost as important as who the candidate is (or what the issue is). Decision makers benefit enormously when as many diverse perspectives as possible are included in the process. Political campaigns, especially, capitalize on this integrated model. They synthesize minute-to-minute information by looking at different current events, polling, policy proposals and data from social media to create targeted messages for the candidate.

This kind of “war room” approach, so common in political life, can also serve as the nerve center of operations in corporate and government crisis management. It can be equally useful, as well, in day-to-day communication planning. Why shouldn’t you process and analyze all of the best thinking, data and information in order to make informed strategic decisions and the communication that follows? (more…)

Communications Diagnosis Test: Is Your Business Sick Or Do You (Merely) Have a PR Problem? Take the Time to Find Out

AseatAtTheTableParagraph When confronted with a public relations problem, the question is always, is this a singular event or does it indicate a more systemic issue in the company? While working in-house, I would often have senior managers slip into my office to say, “Leah, we have a PR problem.” The first thing I had to consider was not only the issue at hand, but if there was an underlying problem and, if there was, how could we fix it. Along the way, we would also figure out how to talk about it.

Large businesses are often bound by habit, systems and processes. When a problem arises that could affect a company’s reputation, in addition to considering the different tactics that might be employed to avoid the hit to reputation, it’s vital, I think, to look at the underlying causes. (more…)