Insights: Creativity, Idea Generation, Humor

How do you build consensus for creative work?

A colleague finally has time to review the creative work you’ve been managing. You’re convinced the creative solution achieves strategic business goals. It can be challenging to build consensus for creative work. Here are six suggestions to help you succeed.

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Humor in Business Communications

Have you heard the one about humor in communications? It’s funnier — well, at least more effective — than you might think. Humor can be an effective tool whether you’re talking to B2B or B2C audiences. Here are six serious tips for transforming business-as-usual communications into effective funny business.

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Brevity in Communications: It’s Beautiful

Brevity isn’t only beautiful aesthetically; it can also affect the bottom line. If your company’s communications aren’t hitting their intended target because they are wordy, vague or too detailed, they could be costing you business.

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Headlines: Read all about writing them

Often formulaic, frequently unimaginative, and sometimes just plain terrible, headlines are among the most underappreciated of marketing communications tools. Of all the words on your website, brochure, print ad, packaging, or sales letter, the headline is unquestionably the most important. How do you make sure your headline lets readers know that your product is worth their time and money? Put your investment to the test with these five simple questions.

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Storytelling in Business: Using narrative to build your brand

Looking for ways to capture an audience? Try telling a compelling story. Human beings are hard-wired for narrative. It starts with the nursery stories and fairytales we hear as children. By the age of 4, most people understand the basic Aristotelian arc: beginning, middle, and end. We know to anticipate — and yearn for — the moral or the happily-ever-after. According to business experts such as Stephen Denning, author of The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling, we never lose that yearning — which means narrative is one of the best ways to convey information, even in the business world.

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Taglines: Your brand in shorthand

What, exactly, is a tagline and why do we have them? A tagline is a succinct statement of your brand position, a phrase or sentence used to capture attention and communicate value. “The Uncola,” “Betcha Can’t Eat Just One,” “M’m! M’m! Good!” (Come on, you know the products.) The best taglines convey a primary benefit in a memorable way — and have staying power, even years after they’ve been replaced.

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Presentation Mistakes Everyone Makes

Planning a presentation? You should know that public speaking is only partially about speaking. “War and Peace” is a brilliant novel, but if you stood at a podium and read it word for word to an audience, no matter how well you read aloud, you’d soon be reading to yourself. Your content and what you say are certainly important, but how you say it and how you present it demand equal attention. Whether you’re using PowerPoint or Keynote, speaking in a large auditorium or a small conference room, you can give an effective presentation by avoiding these common mistakes.

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Communicating Optimism: 5 smart steps

It’s natural to be cautious in times like these. But it’s just not good for your business — or your brand — to scale back marketing or communication drastically during this transitional period. Show your stakeholders that you’re looking forward to what the future holds.

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Holiday Greetings: Should you?

When it’s time to think about your company’s annual holiday card, do you start channeling your inner Grinch? Or do you go to last year’s card, change the date, and hit send? It’s easy to take your holiday card for granted or simply not send one at all, but is that a wise decision for your business?

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Personas: Using fiction to inspire fact

Your communications must speak to audiences in terms as familiar as an instant message, addressing their unique priorities and needs. Otherwise, you’ll never motivate your desired response. Don’t know your audiences that well? That’s where personas come in. Personas can help you discover what will enthuse target audiences and inspire them to act.

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