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Deirdre Breakenridge

Deirdre Breakenridge

Why Book Deirdre to Speak at Your Next Event


Why book Deirdre for your next event?

– 30+ years of public relations and marketing experience counseling senior level executives at Fortune 500 Companies.

– University professor, teaching on the graduate and undergraduate level at New York University (NYU), UMASS at Amherst, Rutgers University and Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU), who brings an academic and a business perspective to events.

– PR and marketing influencer and leader in business. NJBIZ named Breakenridge as one of the Best 50 Women in Business in the state of New Jersey. She also joined the ranks of the Top 250 Women Leaders published by Richtopia in from 2016 through 2019.

– International keynote speaker on the topics of PR, branding, marketing and social media communications.

– Six-time published Prentice Hall, Financial Times Press and Routlege Publishing author who has been sharing research in business books since 2000, with titles that include: Answers for Modern Communicators, Social Media and Public Relations, Putting the Public Back in Public Relations, PR 2.0, The New PR Toolkit and Cyberbranding.

– Media junkie who has been blogging since 2007, #PRStudChat Twitter Community co-founder, LinkedIn Learning video course author and Internet radio personality / host of the Women Worldwide podcast show and women’s business network.

Speaking Topics / Abstracts

The Influential Communicator 

When You Find Communications Alignment and You Create Influence, Then People Act.

At this point, you’re reaching a state of “Communications Flow” and in that moment, everything comes together.  You’re not working at your communication, on the contrary, the way you communicate is working for you.

The way you show up and share changes for the better when you reach a state of “Communications Flow?”

Right now, you may or may not realize that distinct moment in time when you’re connecting on a deeper level; when you’re igniting engagement, you’re leading pressing conversations at different touch points, and you’re creating value for your business

However, the state of Communications Flow starts with you and does not always happen easily. Why can’t you always reach this state of optimal alignment and influence to be The Influential Communicator?

With Deirdre, you’ll learn how to reach this state of Communications Flow in 60 seconds. How? By uncovering and embracing three important areas you can control. These areas must come together seamlessly as you communicate. It’s your vocal, verbal, and non-verbal cues, which affect how you show up, what thoughts your gather, and words and gestures that flow from you. When you’re in the “Flow” you can see how quickly others respond to what you share.

Of course, you would love to just be able to get in front of the camera, walk out on a stage, show up to social media conversations and in-person meetings always being calm, self-aware, and delivering your authentic self. Wouldn’t it also be great to share your story with ease, insights, and energy, framing out your ideas in a way that creates excitement as your story gains momentum. Then, others would immediately recognize you as the most sought-after expert in your field.

However, you have no idea how to prepare and show up this way, for these important communication touch points with peers, customers, the media and analysts or investors.

It’s not okay for you to show up to your speaking engagements, presentations, meetings, social conversations, and media interviews with the weight of a hectic day, and just your prepared messaging and one-sided frame of reference?

Most professionals prepare their messages and talking points, audience agendas, presentation materials and stories based on what they think people care about and it’s usually based on what’s going on around them.

Now you can experience the type of communication alignment that ignites your engagement, has you leading the pressing conversation and growing influence, because you are The Influential Communicator.

FEEL Before You Communicate

In an age of automation and Artificial Intelligence, it’s your emotional intelligence that separates you from the machine. Machines don’t have intuition, they don’t experience kindness and caring, they don’t show empathy and they don’t know how to build relationships. Millennials, which will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, as reported by EY and Accenture, are not shy about wanting their leaders to have more emotional intelligence. At the same time 79% of millennials would leave their current jobs for an organization that showed more empathy.*
When it comes to effective communication and building genuine relationships, research uncovers an approach that should be applied when connecting and engaging with the millennial generation. Based on 75+ millennial responses to interview questions over 52+ weeks, leaders and business professionals must FEEL before they communicate. FEEL stands for: Facing Fears, engaging with Empathy, using Ethics and good judgment and unleashing the Love of their mission to genuinely connect and to build loyal and unbreakable bonds.
Current research findings are a defining reason to step back and to evaluate the communication differences between generations; how people interact, the level of integrity, authenticity and the empathy in their relations. Are increasing communication touch points and a technology-driven world fueling stress and anxiety and hindering the ability to take relationships to a deeper level?
Communication can make a situation better; it’s an opportunity to put on your emotional intelligence hat so you can listen and assist people; an important first step to lending genuine support. When there’s good communication there’s more understanding and empathy; kindness and caring are also present. Most of all, good communication is a time for openness and transparency and even vulnerability. When good communication exudes passion and pure enthusiasm you’ll attract inspired and motivated supporters.
However, today, we’re seeing far less effective communication. Today’s leaders are required to be confident and strong, innovative visionaries who people want to follow. They’re supposed to be knowledgeable about the market and professional in their communication. However, millennials also prefer leaders who can strike a balance between the strength and IQ, by showing greater levels of Emotional Quotient (EQ).
The FEEL First model is the balance between different groups. It fills a potentially harmful void that prevents stronger connections and genuine relationships to grow. Without the FEEL First approach, leaders won’t experience the support, advocacy and bind loyalty they strive to achieve.
*The BusinessSolvers 2018 Workplace Empathy Study

Building a Culture of Marketing Ethics

The subject of ethics is vast. Businesses use ethics to make sure they’re behaving in a way that always protects their employees, the environment and, of course, their customers. There’s no standard definition of marketing ethics for any one organization.

But remember, it’s really not about how you define your marketing ethics. It comes down to what you do and your marketing actions based on your ethics. Because marketing communication is at the heart of your business, ethics should always be front and center. There’s a tremendous amount of communication from your marketing department and your employees across the organization.

Marketing ethics has everything to do with how you share knowledge, information, materials and news through different channels. But, it’s also important to realize that marketing ethics will guide your responses to your engagement and interactions with customers. That’s why everyone in your company needs to understand and practice marketing ethics.

Learn how to build a definition of marketing ethics that penetrates your organization (beginning with your communications team), create opportunities to educate all of your employees on the pillars of ethics that mean the most to your company and to build marketing ethics champions that go far beyond your marketing department.

Building Executive Presence At Every Touchpoint

Demonstrating executive presence makes leaders stand out as inspirational visionaries that people believe in, follow and support in their organizations and communities. However, building an executive presence is not simply for your offline activities, you also need to navigate technology and social media to match your offline commanding presence to your online executive persona.

If you’re a professional, regardless of your age, you need to focus on both your offline and social media persona to build trustworthy, credible and authentic relationships, share your vision and paint a clear picture for others to understand, inspire your people in different settings with your expertise, listen carefully to people and be “present” at all times and support the effort of others by giving your people the credit, when credit is due.

Some professionals find it easier to be leaders offline. Other professionals feel their executive presence is more pronounced through new technologies. However, the executive that marries the offline and online world of thought leadership is the executive who gets ahead, influences others and drives important business results. Now, you can learn the steps to creating your executive presence at every single touch point.

The Modern Day Communicator

For the Modern Day Communicator, the darkest point can be the most enlightening. It was Joseph Campbell, the American Mythologist, writer, and lecturer who said, “You enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path.” If you’re in communications today, you may often feel this way; you’re at a point where there is no path. However, as dark or as light as your path may appear, Campbell’s quote is inspiring. Facing challenges means new adventure and from adventure comes tremendous opportunity. It’s your choice and your chance to create those fresh footsteps in the sand, in the newly fallen snow, or to create a clear path through the forest.

Like anything you do in your careers or life, you have to see your “darkest” points as an opportunity to find inspiring light and an even better path or direction. Carving out the Modern Day Communicator means creating new roles, responsibilities and directions; becoming the Global Collaborator, Tech Specialist, Relationship Agent, Data Analytics Engineer and Creative Content Operator.  The future of communication is not one discussion that leads to a single action, but many discussions and an interconnectedness of roles as a hybrid communication professional reaching new professional heights. And, as much as you may want to gain knowledge quickly and sprint ahead, it’s important to step back and reflect; connecting the dots that lead to more meaningful communication and shared experiences as you move along your new path.

Social Media and the Eight New PR Practices

Social media has reignited the PR profession. PR professionals are reinventing their practices, as they shift from being communication facilitators and handlers to PR champions and influencers.  As a result of the changing media landscape and consumers deciding how they want to gather, organize and share news and information, organizations need PR pros to take a different approach. The changes are not only exciting, but also challenging at the same time. How do PR professionals tackle these new challenges for the organization and grow in their profession? How do they continue to raise the bar and the reputation of the PR industry, as they move forward using new media?

PR pros are learning new skills and competencies, as they take the best of PR past and move forward. Taking on new practices means creating a more efficient internal organizational sharing process; building stronger connections by analyzing external relationships; using technology more strategically during the communication planning process; measuring social media to be a master of the metrics, preparing for the unexpected levels of crisis and learning a best practice approach to guide all company communications.

By embracing the new Eight PR practices, communicators implement better planning internally that creates deeper and more meaningful interactions externally with today’s highly engaged public.

Relationship Building in the Digital Age

This is a revolutionary period for businesses that want to create meaningful connections and truly engage with their customers and other stakeholders. With more media outlets moving their business models online and with the growth of social media (blogs, social networks, microblogging communities, podcasts and video sharing sites, etc.) the options of where to go with your business story can be truly overwhelming. Welcome to a new age PR and communication, where you need a different roadmap to relationship building and a more customized approach to sharing stories and experiences. The challenge facing PR professionals and companies alike is how to combine the best of both the old and new worlds of communication, with today’s social media landscape, reaching a new set of influencers and citizen journalists.

By building relationships that focus on two-way conversations with new influencers, trendsetters, media, and customers directly, professionals are able to bring the “public” back into public relations, with an entirely new level of results. It’s the socialization of media and the humanization of communication that transform the way communication professionals need to think, plan and prioritize. Building relationships in the digital age means developing the relationships that matter, and reaching a new generation of influencers, leveraging different social media platforms and channels, becoming immersed as a digital sociologist in the communities that are shaping the future, and learning how new, intelligent, and socially rooted PR will transform an organization into a proactive communication powerhouse, with its highly involved and dynamic public.

Building Your Employee Champions

Creating employee advocates and building an army of champions starts with good communication on the inside of your organization. Your employee champions need brand education, social media training and communication guidance. Today, public relations and marketing professionals are working on internal company programs to promote “Living the Brand” in order to help protect and support the brand. Companies must develop internal programs first to reward good “on brand” behaviors, from the physical work environment to social media communities. Building your employee champion base means learning to identify passionate ambassadors and then growing your champion base as a grass roots effort. When you start on the inside, your champions will grow and support you in all of their communities, including social media.  When you inform, educate and support your own people, it shows in your external communication with the public.

PR & Big Data: Using Smart Data to Communicate Effectively

With powerful monitoring and social media intelligence tools, pulling and analyzing large sets of data, i.e. “big data,” is seen as the future of communication. However, using the information to create actionable insights has been a challenge for communication professionals. Using big data to enhance the results of your communication programs means learning how to leverage data as competitive intelligence during the public relations and social media planning process, delivering better results through actionable insights during a crisis and quickly neutralizing a damaging situation, creatively driving campaigns through social channels, tweaking the program in real-time for greater engagement, and being innovative with data to entice the media to share your business stories.

The discussion about big data will continue for many years to come. Data is the future of communication.  Whether we call it big data or smart data, it is here to stay. When communications professionals understand the value of data and roll up their sleeves to experience PR and big data firsthand, then they too will be using smart data for better public communication.

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