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Book Announcement: Answers For Ethical Marketers Published as a Guide to Good Business Communication
Who is the Ethical Marketer? Well, it’s you, whether you’re a marketing / PR professional, a business person, or anyone in the company who is communicating and sharing about the brand. That’s a wide range of professionals. There are opportunities and challenges when it comes to ethics and values permeating every level and position in an organization. Answers for Ethical Marketers breaks down the landscape. The book starts by probing the ‘essentials’ of what Ethical Marketers need to know.
Some of the chapters include:
- Applying ethics through media channels in PR, digital marketing, and social media programs.
- Delivering ethical communication through cause marketing.
- Taking ethics into media interviews.
- Learning the actions steps of leaders who are ethical role models.
- Identifying your ethical mentors.
Answers For Ethical Marketers Book Announcement
My public relations/communication students and I have been discussing soft skills, including emotional intelligence (EQ), for several years.
More recently, the topic has come up in the context of relationship-building, specifically the role that EQ can play in building trust to create authentic, meaningful connections between organizations and diverse audiences. In the spirit of experiential learning, I wanted to turn these conversations into hands-on development opportunities.
Around the same time, I was speaking with Deirdre about her FEEL approach to communication. After learning more about her research and how it relates to EQ, I piloted an optional assignment in an upper-level, strategic communication course.
There are three basic components to the assignment:
- Take the FEEL First test and obtain your score.
- Review the suggestions, identify one and put it into practice.
- Write a brief reflection paper regarding the experience.
Students had about two weeks to do the work. They weren’t required to share their scores but rather consider what they learned as a result of the experience.
A Student Perspective
One student who completed the assignment, David James, a current UMass Amherst senior and communication major, felt that it was a personal confidence booster, as well as a jumping off point to better understanding public relations. He mentioned the importance of empathy, particularly for those who serve as chief relationship agents, to be able to “FEEL others’ thoughts, opinions and emotions on both a macro and micro level.”
David, who is also taking business courses, shared that, “I might not have even appreciated that enough while learning it, but in hindsight now, it covers how we should always go about the PR process. Even in the most high-stress crisis comms situations, PR efforts would benefit from a step back, a deep breath and feeling out how each target public might perceive the organization’s message.”
Overall, this exercise provides an opportunity for continuous learning; one that’s designed to encourage taking a more human approach to communication to enhance interpersonal and organizational relationships.
Jennie Donohue is a Senior Lecturer & Director of PR Curriculum, UMASS Amherst.
I’ve been media training executives for years. The training and exercises were focused on verbal communication and sharing the company’s messaging correctly. These thought leaders were tested in several media situations to see if they could answer questions accurately and in a way that always bridged back to the “talking points.” At the same time, they practiced non-verbal communication; what their bodies were saying as they shared these critical messages. Do the same media training techniques work today in a heated and highly emotional media landscape?
A Different Approach to Media Training
Let’s look at a different approach, one that goes beyond what you expect in media training. What you expect is only part of the equation when dealing with a passionate public and a polarized landscape, from the journalists who share the “news” stories to the audiences who watch, sometimes in awe or other times, in utter shock.
There’s far too much going on in the news not to be human and to react. Daily, you witness what’s happening, from the coronavirus pandemic, the economic concerns and the reopening of business to the racial injustice, protests across the country, and the lack of civil discourse in politics in an election year. The news cycle is fast and furious, and emotions are running high. So what’s the other part of the equation? It’s to take an emotionally intelligent approach to your media conversations and to show up to your interviews and appearances with your EI hat on and your willingness to navigate increasingly tough topics.
Emotional Intelligence and Executive Interviews
Why is emotional intelligence valuable wherever an executive shows up? If you don’t have a good handle on your own emotions, you will not manage others’ feelings. The rule applies to any of your stakeholders and important constituents. The media needs your emotional intelligence too. Building a relationship with journalists and their communities means being a trusted and reliable resource. However, this also translates into showing up to interviews with more than just talking points. You have to be emotionally ready to navigate difficult topics today and how they affect your business (even when you think it’s a “softball” interview).
I could steer you to any number of YouTube videos of interviews with cable news hosts and their guests that have “gone bad” and the tweets and Facebook posts that go viral as a result. However, let’s not focus on the negative. Now, there’s an approach to listen, learn, understand, and to do better in your interviews.
You have to take a FEEL approach to your media interviews. If you’ve been following me, then you know that FEEL stands for face your Fears, engage with Empathy, live with Ethics, and unleash your Love. Your talking points and messaging are still relevant, and so is your body language. However, it’s also your job to tune in and learn how others are showing up and to uncover what they are feeling.
What’s their real agenda? The first step to finding out is to quiet your mind and to be fully present. You may be thinking, “If I’m prepared to answer questions, and I’m really good with my own body language then why does it matter?” When your mind is clear, and you’re open and understanding about what’s going on with your journalist, the media outlet, and the audience, you’re moving from one-time interview to more frequent opportunities and go-to-media expert.
Three Top Reasons to Take a Mindful Approach
If there is any doubt about bringing emotional intelligence to your interviews, here are three top reasons to incorporate a new mindful approach:
- When you quiet the chatter, you’re on your toes, fully present, and much more likely to share a thoughtful answer than the quick, pressured response you may regret later.
- When your mind is clear, you’re also able to open your frame of reference. Taking the chip off your shoulder and checking your ego at the door helps you step back when you hear something that would typically cause you to have a knee-jerk reaction. Having a clear mind allows you to stop the constant knee-jerking. Instead, you’ll ask a question, which allows a conversation to progress more comfortably.
- When you’re fully present and open to hearing different perspectives, you’re also actively listening, which is a vital part of emotional intelligence. Of course, you’ll have more concise and helpful answers when you’re tuned in and listening. You’ll also be able to mirror back information that helps people feel validated about what they’re sharing, even if you’re not in 100% agreement with their views.
If you’re interested in trying a different approach to media, then there’s a FEEL Roadmap with exercises to help you to FEEL First, a new way to prep for your interviews. Completing the activities on the roadmap will prepare you to not only deliver your talking points but also to show up with more than just your messaging. Now, you’ll be EI ready for any interview.
You can download the FEEL Roadmap here.
As more news and information is shared about the Coronavirus pandemic, the public is bombarded with messages and the volume of noise increases. Yes, these are uncertain times and communication can either help or it can be confusing. You have to choose wisely how you communicate and interact with the people and the communities around you.
At the same time, the way you’ve operated and shared information in the past, whether it was a month ago or even last week, will be different than how you’ll approach your communications today. In the spirit of helping, giving and FEELing for others, I’ve decided to do something a little different myself.
I’m launching what I call a “555” Series to offer complimentary FEEL consulting to 5 businesses, uplift 5 giving professionals by sharing their resources and provide 5 tips for communicating during times that require leadership focused on Emotional Intelligence (EI). I’ve mentioned in my video that the first 5 businesses or professionals who contact me via email (email@example.com), will receive a complimentary consulting session to assess how much they FEEL First in their communication with important constituents.
You can check out my video for the full 555 on helping businesses, amplifying the voices of colleagues with giving resources and to learn some simple tips to communicate wearing your EI hat.
We are in uncertain times. Your customers, employees, partners, the media and other important constituents are looking to you for helpful information. Unfortunately, a lot of the communication shared in uncertain times ends up confusing and frustrating these groups even more.
As we witness the stock market lows, travel bans, event cancellations and more businesses asking employees to work from home, here are three tips to help guide your communication.
Tip #1: Stick with what you know — be direct and don’t share hunches and guestimates.
Tip #2: Show up with your Emotional Intelligence (EI) so you can respond thoughtfully and not react to challenging communication.
Tip #3: Appreciate the feedback you receive — it’s a gift — even the negative feedback helps you to learn and grow.
Here’s my video discussing these tips in more detail and how they can help you.
It’s time to FEEL First in your communication. I’ve been working on my passion project, the FEEL Model, gathering research about the type of communication that builds relationships and creates stronger bonds. In uncertain times, FEEL (facing Fears, engaging with Empathy, Using Ethics and unleashing Love) can make a difference. As the Coronavirus spreads and new cases are reported in the U.S. and globally, effective, meaningful and valuable communication requires a FEEL First approach.
Check out the tips and please share yours too. Together, we can lead with compassion and understanding, and offer helpful and accurate information to the people who matter the most to us professionally and personally in our lives.
Are you confused about the public relations job search? Would you like to learn more about finding and landing an entry-level position in the PR industry?
In this #PRStudChat session, guest Jennie Donohue (@jenniedonohue), senior lecturer and director of the PR curriculum at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will be joined by @UMassJournalism students to offer tips and insights to kick start your PR career and prepare for your future now.
Jennie, her students (#DonohuePRCases) and the #PRStudChat community will cover several topics during this chat sponsored by @SpinSucks. Join us Tuesday, March 24, at 12 p.m. ET for a dynamic, hour-long discussion about:
Q1. What does the current PR job market look like?
Q2. What are some tips for searching, both online and off, for entry-level PR positions?
Q3. How can I make my application stand out from the crowd? For example, what skills and experiences are PR pros looking for in an entry-level candidate?
Q4. What materials should I include in my portfolio?
Q5. There’s a lot of talk about the importance of networking. How do I get started when I haven’t worked in PR nor have any professional contacts?
Q6. How can I prepare for the interview?
Q7. What are the next steps after the interview?
Q8. I’ve landed my first PR job. Now what? What can I expect to do my first year?
Q9. What happens if I graduate and don’t get a job right away? What should I do?
Q10. Any final suggestions for finding and landing a PR job?
As always, be sure to follow the #PRStudChat hashtag. You can tweet @PRStudChat, @SpinSucks, @LKPetrolino, @ValerieSimon or @DBreakenridge in advance with any additional questions related to “The Future is Now: Landing Your First Job Like A PRo” on March 24th at noon ET.
About Our Sponsor, Spin Sucks
It began with a simple question asked by Angela Hernandez, then President of PRSSA at Central Michigan University (CMU). “Is PR Right for me?” A follow up blog post by PR 2.0 expert Deirdre Breakenridge inspired a series of direct messages on Twitter between Breakenridge and fellow PR industry pro, Valerie Simon. This was an important question and one that should be explored beyond one student or one blog post. Why not build a community to help students across the country, and even the globe, learn from the experience and perspective of industry professionals … A community where everyone can learn and grow together. Read more
About Our Sponsor, Spin Sucks
Spin Sucks was started in September 2006 by Gini Dietrich, an agency founder, author, blogger, CEO, and creator of the PESO Model and PESO Model Certificate. Our mission? To change the perception of the communications industry. What began as a simple blog, soon became a movement. Spin Sucks is the number one PR blog in the world and the go-to resource for forward-thinking PR professionals who want to learn how to use the PESO model to implement the strategies and tactics that drive measurable business goals. It’s also a community where people have fun discussions, brainstorm, ask for help, and make new friends.