Admission to top colleges is getting tougher every year. Many schools, including Yale University, Brown University, Duke University and Cornell, reported record high early application numbers for the class of 2021, according to IvyWise, an educational consulting company. Most students have until May 1 to decide where to go. Marlborough School’s Dr. Priscilla Sands spoke to the Wall Street Journal about what she tells students and parents when things don’t necessarily go as planned. Dr. Sands draws from her own personal experience, from working as a waitress from graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a doctorate in Educational Leadership, to illustrate the importance of resilience.
“I talk with parents and the girls about how my life took all sorts of twists and turns, how I was disappointed and didn’t go to the college I wanted or get the job I wanted,” she says. Each disappointment, she tells them, put her on a new path forward.
Read the full article: How to Help When College Rejection Letters Land (The Wall Street Journal)
Deborah Shames, co-founder of Eloqui, a communication and presentation company based in Calabasas, and author of the new book Out Front: How Women Can Become Engaging, Memorable, and Fearless Speakers, stresses that strong public speaking skills are necessary for career advancement. She states that while women have advanced in many arenas, women will never achieve their full potential if they avoid public speaking.
“It’s time for women to create their own destinies. Better communication and public speaking gives women the ability to seize every opportunity and aspire to new heights,” said Shames. Whether pitching for new business, delivering a talk at a conference, raising money for a favorite non-profit, or communicating one-on-one, women can become a powerful force when they speak with authenticity and confidence.”
Read the full article: What Holds Women Back From Becoming Strong (Thrive Global)
At 57, Nancy Durham decided it was time to go back to school–but not exactly. She had heard her husband and his friends rave about online courses so she decided to give them a try. In doing so, she found The Great Courses, a provider of online courses for personal growth which has gained 125,000 subscribers since 2015. She registered for a 24-part video lecture series on mindful meditation, with interactive exercises, taught by a mostly suit-jacketed Harvard professor of religious studies.
“In the video series, the Great Courses instructor spoke with the warm, folksy optimism of Garrison Keillor and came across as the ideal mindfulness Sherpa. His voice and initial presentation — he likened his own life to a movie he couldn’t enjoy due to the ongoing background commentary — sold me,” said Durham.
Read the full article: A+ for E-Learning (AARP)
Bertrand Patriarca launched WashOS with co-founders Benjamin Guez, Francois Pradel and Kevin Guez in 2015. While copycat apps have come and gone, Patriarca explained to Crain’s how the WashOS softward and its eco-friendly processes have made it the largest car detailing app in Southern California. Nothing more than an average size parking space is required for WashOS to clean a car, sparing customers the hassle of driving to a car wash and waiting while the work is done. In fact, you don’t even need that much water.
“We wash a complete car with less than one gallon of water, using eco-friendly solutions and microfiber cloths,” Patriarca said.
Read the full article: Washos puts eco-friendly spin on mobile car detailing (Crain’s LA)
Last week I spoke on “How to Lead Your Organization’s Social Media Messaging in a Crisis” during PRNews’ Digital Summit in Huntington Beach. Here are some key points from my remarks and those of my fellow presenters at Crisis Management Boot Camp:
Download the PDF version here: 8 tips from Crisis Boot Camp
- Be ready — and few are. Only 50 percent of companies have a ready-to-go crisis plan — and only 5 percent of those have a designated response team. A plan only helps if people are assigned and trained in advance to do the work, and there’s a lot of work to manage.
- Assess your risk. Measure the crisis on a scale of one to 10. Not every crisis requires a 10 response. Check out OWC’s Crisis Response Risk Assessment Tool.
- Prepare emergency “holding statements.” A major crisis breaks fast, and a response needs to go out within an hour and a half. A holding statement is the company position on a potential threat or foreseeable emergency. Think it through before it happens. “Semper paratus” (“always ready”).
- Don’t leave your fate in the hands of outside web developers. In a crisis, people will check your website. Do you have a person in your office who has the access and training to upload changes to your site? Most don’t, but you can change that today. It’s easy with a modern content management system such as WordPress.
- Be timely and ready to go on camera. Are you prepared to respond with a YouTube or Facebook Live video within 90 minutes of a crisis breaking? Especially if the source of the crisis is itself a video, you must respond through the appropriate platform and be prepped like a seasoned pro.
- Social strategy is media strategy. Sixty-two percent of U.S. adults get their news from social media, and 18 percent do so frequently. So, bad news travels even faster. Monitor social so you know immediately when you’re being discussed in blogs and on Facebook and Twitter. Here at OWC we use Hootsuite and Google Alerts.
- Robots aren’t just driving our cars. They’re now a part of newsrooms. The Associated Press has a robot that takes information from SEC filings and press releases and automatically produces wire reports on earnings that are completely devoid of context and nuance. It’s now more important than ever for organizations to expand on sparse news reports with a more complete message through company-controlled platforms.
- We’re all in the data business. What would a data breach mean to your clients, customers, employees and how quickly would the news spread and on what platforms? In a breach, IT will be too busy to help. Management needs a plan.
Crisis comes just when things seem to be going so well. We all heard about the Oscars Sunday night. We’ll see in real time how Uber deals with the self-inflicted blows to its image and brand. Three out of five CEOs believe corporate brand and reputation represent more than 40 percent of their market capitalization which is why crisis preparation and response is a bottom-line job.
The Grammys are over but the major business awards are just getting started. The most prestigious of all business awards is “EY Entrepreneur Of The Year.” Now in its 31st year, Entrepreneur Of The Year honors successful entrepreneurs in more than 145 cities in 60 countries who demonstrate extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment.
Download PDF of this issue: Calling All Entrepreneurs
Since its inception, the program has recognized more than 9,000 executives who were estimated to have created over 14 million jobs in 2015 alone, based on the recently released Harvard Business Review report “The Entrepreneur’s Purpose.”
Here are just a few of the benefits that past participants shared:
One of the truly great aspects of the program is its inclusiveness: Anyone can nominate anyone. Many of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year participants are nominated by proud colleagues, their vendors or admirers who think recognition is due. Self-nominations are even welcome. Learn more or submit a nomination today. The deadline for applications is Friday, March 10, 2017.
Full disclosure: Olmstead Williams Communications is a very proud sponsor for Entrepreneur Of The Year. But, that’s not the only reason we love the program. In fact, we’re big proponents of many top award programs. They’re one of the least expensive ways to raise your company’s profile and generate news.
From the Inc. “30 Under 30” and Fast Company’s “Innovation By Design Awards” to industry specific honors such as the “M&A Advisor Awards,” there is an awards program that will help drive your business forward.
Check out this chart of top award programs. We’re always here to brainstorm about these and other programs.
Forbes recently asked Bryce Maddock, CEO and co-founder of TaskUs, about the most effective ways to showcase a company’s culture. Maddock shared five tips on how his company uses social media to showcase its corporate, build employer awareness and attract talent. TaskUs is active on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat. Last year, the company gained 181,428 followers on social. As a result of these efforts, the company received 33,195 job applications just last year.
“In a social media world, everyone wants an office worthy of Instagram,” says Maddock. “Employees know they are valued when they are seen. More powerful than word of mouth, social media lets people see our offices, group activities and, most importantly, happy employees.”
Read more: These 5 Clever Tricks Can Help Showcase Your Outstanding Corporate Culture (Forbes)
Digital Guardian spotlighted OWC’s CEO and President Tracy Williams’s recommendations for organizations to build an effective response plan in the face of a cyber attack. No organization, regardless of size, is exempt from cybersecurity threats, and having an established plan of action that immediately executes following a security breach is crucial to limit incident costs and damages to the company’s reputation.
For Williams, some of the most important things to remember when it comes to a cybersecurity crisis are:
- Share company-wide, verbally and in all written materials. Don’t neglect your own employees. Protect your people by empowering them with knowledge. They’re your most important asset.
- Identify all stakeholders and quickly develop communications strategy for each.
- Your communications intent should be compassion, honesty, and transparency.
Read the full article: Cybersecurity Incident Response Planning: Expert Tips, Steps, Testing & More (Digital Guardian)
The first Lowe Institute Los Angeles Consumer Sentiment Index (“Index”) unveiled today shows a 12 percent decline in the fourth quarter 2016 versus third quarter 2016 results, a period when there was a sharp rise in consumer sentiment. This is important data as the Index provides guidance on future consumption activity by Los Angeles area residents, key to assessing the overall prospects for the local economy. Consumption accounts for, on average, 70 percent of all U.S. economic activity and its importance cannot be overstated.
“This is a notable drop in consumer sentiment though it is just for one quarter. If the first quarter 2017 results also drop then we can view this as a downward cycle,” noted Marc Weidenmier, Director, Lowe Institute of Political Economy. “Right now, businesses should be cautious and take a ‘wait and see’ approach before making major inventory commitments. For governments relying on sales tax revenue, it’s not time to redraw the budgets but time to pause and consider the potential ramifications if we head into a period of decreased consumption.”
National consumer sentiment has been measured by the University of Michigan since the 1950s and its predictive abilities have led to this sentiment series being included in the government’s index of leading economic indicators. Los Angeles County has a population of more than 10 million and is the third largest metropolitan economy in the world. The Institute deemed this a region that could benefit from its own consumer sentiment survey.
“The Index serves as a timely source of information crucial to assessing the pulse of the local economy but also as an example of how localized knowledge can be captured and utilized to improve forecasting and decision making,” said Robert J. Lowe, founder of the Lowe Institute and Chairman of national real estate company, Lowe. . “The fourth quarter results bear out the need for Los Angeles County data as the national consumer sentiment survey showed an uptick during this same period.”
Among the factors that can drive differences from the national survey is Los Angeles’ multicultural and diverse economy that is not reliant on any one industry, its position as a gateway to the Pacific Rim, and other business and economic variables that are distinct to the region. “Another factor in Los Angeles may be the ‘Trump effect’ as the majority of Los Angeles County is deeply Democratic with policy views that are opposite those of the new administration,” said Weidenmier. ”The fourth quarter survey was taken in December, after the election when Los Angeles area residents were absorbing the news following the surprising election outcome.”
The decline in Los Angeles consumer sentiment was across all ethnic groups – African American, Asian, Hispanic, Caucasian and other. The decline was also consistent across most age groups with the exception of senior citizen (65+) respondents. There was a significant uptick with senior citizens and a very small uptick in the 45-54 age category.
The survey also asks for respondent’s employment status and includes full-time and part-time employed, self-employed, homemaker/domestic engineer, students and unemployed. There was a significant decline in consumer sentiment across all six groups. There was a slight uptick in consumer sentiment among retirees.
Download PDF of this issue: 5 steps to become an industry thought leader
Take advantage of this gateway to media and influencers. Develop a thought leadership campaign to showcase what you know.
Step 1: Content Creation … white papers, studies, surveys and reports
Research and data are at the core of an effective thought leadership campaign. It could start with a research paper. For example, our firm worked with the USC Marshall School of Business and Professor Linda Hagen this month to get media attention for her study on portion control and weight. The findings have been posted online by the Journal of Marketing Research, “Rejecting Responsibility: Low Physical Involvement in Obtaining Food Promotes Unhealthy Eating,” and will appear in print in an upcoming issue.
Share thought leadership materials with media and influencers and offer interviews with the expert. OWC has secured stories in Forbes, “4 Tips To Help You Keep Your Resolution To Eat Healthier And Lose Weight,” and The Wall Street Journal, “To Avoid Unhealthy Snacks, Science Says Serve Yourself” about Hagen’s report. We use the print stories to reach out to television and radio. Target bloggers and influencers on LinkedIn and Twitter to spread the word to their audiences.
Step 3: Keep it going
Thought leaders report regularly. Build a following by publishing quarterly or semi-annually to create anticipation for the next report. OWC works with EY to position partners as thought leaders on venture capital and IPOs throughout the West Coast on a quarterly basis. Partners are routinely quoted in the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, Seattle Times, business journals and on radio and television.
Step 4: Speaking increases your value
Thought leaders are also sought-after speakers. Speaking, according to Warren Buffett, increases your value by 50 percent. Speaking brings new customers, referrals and insight. Thought leadership content can be repurposed for webinars, panel discussions, industry conferences or even within your own organization at other offices or to a sales team. Alumni groups host webinars and want to spotlight alumni who have become thought leaders within your own organization.
Step 5: Bylines/guest articles fine-tune messaging
The content created can be used for bylined articles for industry trade publications, blogs and newsletters — all published under the thought leader’s name. Give readers information they don’t know and knowledge they can’t buy. A recent byline placed by OWC in The Accountant focuses on BEPS, the most comprehensive change in international taxation history. Write what you know, and share all articles on social media and in the company’s eNewsletter.
As thought leaders on thought leadership, we’re here to brainstorm ideas that will drive revenue for your business.