How to Win and Influence People [Infographic]

Oct 20 2014

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In a previous blog post I talked about how to win and influence peoplethe art of persuasion and the ethical principles of influence as defined by Robert Cialdni. Today, I want to share with you further important principles from the work of another brilliant man – Dale Carnegie and his best-selling book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. The difference between this post and the one about persuasion is that with the advice from this post you can go a step further – from influencing people to making friends, or in the language of business, from influencing strangers to delighting them into becoming your loyal followers.

I read Carnegie’s book a while ago and I’ve been thinking about how to best present my impressions. He offers valuable advice in the form of well categorised principles and I though it doesn’t really make sense to just list them. So I got a little creative and put together an infographic that serves as an ethical guide to human relations and making friends.

Why is that important in your professional life?

As Dale Carnegie says,

“Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face, especially if you are in business.”

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Time for Disruption: Why We Need a New Sustainability Narrative

Oct 13 2014

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What is sustainability? You’ve got 15 People don't know what sustainability meansseconds to define it in one sentence! Go! Tough, right? It’s difficult for businesses to describe what sustainability is, but it’s even more difficult for consumers to understand it. Companies have already recognised the value of sustainability to waste and energy reduction, cost savings, increased profitability over the long term and a prosperous future for all of us on our endangered planet, but has the mainstream consumer realised that? Does she see the need to adopt and demand sustainable consumption?

Sadly, I think no.

And that’s the biggest barrier for sustainability. The real problem behind making sustainable consumption mainstream is the lack of awareness among people that such products and services exist, and that these are a big part of the solution towards solving pressing global issues such as resource and water scarcity, pollution and waste, carbon footprint, urbanisation etc. I’m not saying that companies don’t have an important role here, I am only saying that if companies were facing much stronger demands from consumers for sustainable products, then companies wouldn’t have any other choice but to respond to that pressure in a timely manner and transform their business models. If that were so, then the process of aligning sustainability with overall business goals and especially financial strategy as well as embedding sustainability within the entire business, including developing metrics to track progress and tie in with external factors (e.g. environmental costs), would have already been largely adopted. And so would have consumer behavioural and consumption change already been mainstream. It’s a viscous circle… Continue Reading »

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The Future of PR is People and Relationships

Oct 06 2014

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There have been many discussions PR stands for People and Relationshipslately about why the PR industry must evolve and how it needs to change its business model. At the World PR Forum two weeks ago, Anne Gregory urged PR to reach for a higher purpose and stop obsessing with tactics, but to assert its role as a management discipline.  Recently, Richard Edelman proposed that PR should move into a much more  mission-critical role – Communications Marketing with communications being a full partner of marketing, beyond just building credibility to becoming the change agent. But by far the strongest and most inspiring idea I’ve come across lately is a visual guide by Brian Solis, Vision and Cision and brilliantly illustrated by Hugh MacLeod.

Released just last week, the eBook outlines a new vision for the PR industry to harness technology and deliver business outcomes. It’s a manifesto for building relationships in the digital age. And as we know, building relationships is at the very core of PR

But first, why the need to evolve? Continue Reading »

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The Eight Principles of Inspiring Storytelling

Sep 29 2014

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When was the last time you principles of inspiring storytellingsaw a presentation, visited a seminar or watched a speech that kept your full attention throughout the entire time? That’s a hard one, isn’t it? The last time I had such an experience was a few days ago when I watched Emma Watson’s speech, introducing her HeForShe campaign at the U.N. Headquarters last week. Her words not only kept me ‘glued’ to the screen, but also made me realise that all inspiring storytelling is based on eight common principles.

It doesn’t matter if we are talking about a speech, a video, an email or a social media post – all these communication avenues have the same purpose: to send a message. But to create and deliver that message in a way that really makes an impact and leaves a mark – now that’s an art, and a science.

Apart from holding a game-changing speech on feminism, Emma Watson also taught us some important lessons to help us master that art and science.

Written below are the eight principles that, in my opinion, are the cornerstones of inspiring storytelling. You don’t have to integrate all of them in a single piece, but they are a guidance of what your story should strive for.  Continue Reading »

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10 Books that Changed my Life

Sep 22 2014

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There’s a “challenge” spreading The 10 books that changed my lifeon Facebook, where people share the 10 books that have changed their lives and then nominate others to do the same. The rule: List them as quickly as possible – the first 10 that come to mind within just a few minutes. I saw Gini Dietrich turning that into a blog post on Spin Sucks and I thought, “This is great, I’m so doing it too!” Immediately, I took a pen and paper and wrote down the first 10 that I thought of at that moment. Funnily enough, I was challenged last week as well, so I decided to share these 10 books and why they are so special to me with you here.

But before I move on to the list, I just wanted to say that these really are the first 10 that came to my mind in no particular order. If I am to rewrite that list to make it “perfect”, I might choose other titles. But being fair to the challenge, I am not going to do so.

I admit, 10 life-changing books is probably a little strong, but 10 books that have impacted my professional and personal life is pretty accurate.

And yes, the majority of those books are business or somehow work-related, but that’s what I tend to read. (I know, I need to read more fiction…)

Here we go: Continue Reading »

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The Next Big Thing – from Storytelling to Storylistening to Storybuilding

Sep 15 2014

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Do you agree: storytelling is stories spread value #dmexcoTHE buzzword of the year in marketing and communications? From what I’ve seen, and read, and experienced, it sure is. I also got addicted (and still am) to studying storytelling and learning how to use it as a powerful tool in PR and social media (see here, here, here and here). Apparently, the hype hasn’t just affected me, but the whole profession seems to be fascinated with storytelling for business.

This was more than evident at the dmexco in Cologne last week – the international digital marketing exposition and conference with the motto “connecting the global digital economy”.

I was at the #dmexco on the second day and even though I got to choose which seminars and sessions to visit, many of them touched upon or were entirely focused on the importance of brand storytelling.

But why this sudden fascination? Why this massive interest?

Big shift in media

Well, one of the reasons, obviously, is the “big shift in media” that we’ve observed over the last decade or so.

This shift is what Jonah Peretti, CEO of BuzzFeed, presented in a really cool and funny way at the closing keynote at the event.

When talking about the “evolution” of BuzzFeed, he said that the company has quickly grown to an organisation which has the reach of a traditional media company, but doesn’t function as one. This has been due to the emergence of thousands of new media technologies and types, which on the other hand have transformed media consumption and information sharing.

Today, attention has shifted – your audience is on social and mobile, not TV or radio.

So, the learning here is this: be where your consumers are and be relevant. Continue Reading »

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40 Truths You Need to Know about Social Media’s Impact on PR and the World

Sep 08 2014

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My last piece got mesocial-media-implications-on-pr-and-the-world thinking about how much has changed in so little time and particularly about how much the world of PR has been impacted by the Internet and social media. I did a whole research on this topic when I was writing my first dissertation two years ago.

However, a lot has happened since then and I wonder how relevant my research findings still are…

You might think, two years is not enough for that much to change, but actually, it’s plenty.

Speaking about social media for PR, many practitioners believe that social media has simply offered additional tools and channels, but the nature of the practice has remained the same. I partly agree with that. Yes, PR is about building meaningful relationships with people and organisations and about establishing a positive reputation. And yes, social media has given us many more tools to do our daily jobs.

But the bigger picture in my opinion is not just about how social media has impacted PR, but about how it has influenced human nature and behaviour: about how we as individuals now connect, interact, make decisions, believe or disbelieve, communicate and present ourselves to the rest of the world.

Why is that important for our industry? Continue Reading »

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