Let Go of The Brilliant Phrase

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Ever had that experience of the perfect phrase coming to you out of the blue when you’re doing something unrelated? I’ve often had writing ideas come to me when I’m running, which research shows is not an unusual connection. Those phrases that arrive are a gift, yet I’ve also learned that sometimes they need to be left behind. Read more

I Don’t Want A Christmas Puppy

Bridging Communication Divides with Dogs 

I was the kid who scrambled around the grass on all fours, pretending to be a dog. (A neighbour complained if I barked too early on Sundays.) I was the kid who wanted to pat dogs, got bitten more than once but persevered. (I knew little about dog body language.)  I wanted a happy dog smile in my life, at my side.

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Power Hashtag Feeds Fundraising Campaign  

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I’m fond of well used hashtags, so I like this one: #BeingHungrySucks.  It’s a tag, it’s a statement, and it’s a campaign driven by A Better Life Foundation, whose mission is to raise funds towards food security (a significant social determinant of health) as well as provide job training and employment opportunities. Programs serve Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, a trauma ridden neighbourhood that’s also rich in community and heart. Read more

Moon Reflection: The Gift of Words

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Last night people all over the world were looking at the moon in awe. As I stood in awe myself, I thought about the fact that not everyone had the safety, time, or cloudless sky to do so. There are places where violence is the norm, homes where fear rules. There are limits and laws that hold girls from education and opportunity; limits that hold boys from veering from strict ideas of masculinity. Read more

Partnerships Take Time

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In his latest post, Seth Godin warns us to resist the charm of The Myth of Quick. He recognizes we all want it, but he it’s a rare occurrence indeed and shows the power of time. Hear, hear.

I’m going to add an example to his many: the multi-partner communications project.

Multi-partner projects are exciting, for they offer more than one perspective, more than one set of skills and more than one voice in the works. Bringing together many voices has power. But as Godin advises, be wary of quick.

Take time for excellence.

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Twitter Tip: Hold That Hashtag

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I’ve managed several work-related brands and my own Twitter stream for seven years, so I’m not a newbie to wading through the rapid fire of tweets and hashtags. I use both TweetDeck and Hootsuite for management and have multiple streams on the go when I check in, so lots of information moves across my screen.  (Note I didn’t say screens. I’m not using two monitors, so you communicators out there who are, hats off and my sympathies.)

The other day I bumped up against a tweet that was entirely hashtags. I say bumped up against, as not one word stood out on its own and the tweet was a mess. It was a tangle of tags, one of which, ironically, was #communications. Read more

Improving Communications with Miller

miller_may29_16Bridging Communication Divides with Dogs 

It’s the weekend, a rainy Sunday, and I’m staring down at the family dog, PuffleBunny (his actual name is Miller). He’s got me thinking about what feels right and good in our relationship. He is stretched out next to me like a basking seal and he is relaxed; very relaxed.

This is a big change from our early days after my family adopted him, when we gave him the nickname Space Man to respect his needs.

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Science or Scones, Communications Must Be Clear

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I tweeted this piece from Marshall Shepherd yesterday: 9 Tips for Communicating Science to People Who Are Not Scientists. I shared it because Shepherd covers some fundamentals for good communications, no matter what the topic. Read more

Do You Need to Be On Twitter?  

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When you build your business or organization, a web presence is necessary. People expect  a website. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should provide the basics: who you are, what you do, and how to reach you. Beyond that, you have some choices to make. I’ve heard “We should be on Twitter” from small businesses and organizations alike.

Let’s start with the word should. Who’s the boss of your communications efforts? Who says you should be anywhere? Social media is a great way to expand your services, but you need to consider what’s a reasonable reach. Read more

Why Use Data Visualization in Health Communications?

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I’ve never been to a presentation that started off with the audience drawing pictures, but it was a great place to start on the topic of data visualization. Everyone at last night’s Evening Rounds event was asked to draw as many representations as we could of two numbers. Starting her introductory overview of data visualization, presenter Ana Crisan told us that this drawing exercise has been a good eye-opener for those working in the field. Read more