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Use this worksheet to breakdown the key components of creating an impactful story. A great resource for preparing for presentations, meetings, difficult conversations as well as traditional storytelling.

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How to grow your career on your own terms.

As I sat down to write this e-book, going through various articles I’ve written over the years, I realized I’ve spent a lot of time giving career advice. Many of the chapters were written after a deep discussion with a client or friend who was struggling with an aspect of their career.

Instead of breaking this into smaller e-books, I decided to compile the articles into 5 parts, looking at various aspects of professional development and career change.

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Learn to create engaging and impactful presentations

This e-book will help you identify some common mistakes speakers make, provide some insights and tips on how to create engaging presentations and connect with your audience, while giving you the confidence to share your story and be heard!

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How to Take Control When You Feel You’re Losing Control

Whether it’s communicating business impacts due to COVID-19, having a board member resign or dealing with a natural disaster, at some point many businesses and organizations will need to communicate in a crisis. Like any business strategy, the key to successful communications is in the planning.

This book takes you through some of the key areas of crisis communications.

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How to make a personal connection

This e-book explores the foundation of storytelling, what personal details we share through our stories, how to create impactful stories as well as getting clear on the elements of a story (and knowing if you really have a story to tell).

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How to go beyond likes to true engagement

Social media is essential marketing, public relations and communications tool for all businesses and organization. While there is no cookie cutter approach, there are some key strategies that will help your posts not only be read, but also connect with your followers.

In this e-book, you will learn how to create content that engages with your followers, based on their needs, not yours (don’t worry, this is a good thing).

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Practical advice on sharing your voice and expanding your network

In writing this e-book, I read through blog posts I’ve written over the years at howtocommunications.com. I found that many of my most popular posts were on personal development topics.

I have grouped these posts into three sections – Sharing Your Voice, Expanding Your Network and Surviving Work Travel.

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From writing a press release to getting the coverage.

Media relations is a key tool in sharing your message or story with a broad audience. It requires understanding the role of the media and your role. It’s about seeing journalists as individuals and looking at media outlets as unique entities with their own audiences and stakeholders.

This e-book takes you through the media relations journey – from understanding what media relations is, to getting the coverage that connects with your audience.

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Content planning tips and tools

Websites, social media channels, newsletters and emails are just some of the platforms that require a constant stream of content. Knowing what content to produce, who it is for, how to share it and the best way to maximize its reach can be overwhelming. In this e-book we look at why content planning is important, how to get the most out of the content you produce and how to evaluate the effectiveness of your content.

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How to conduct a communications audit

Although the term audit may sound formal or daunting, a communications audit is about taking a snapshot in time – assessing what’s working, what’s not working and identifying areas of improvement for an organization’s communications. This e-book walks you through the steps of conducting a communications audit.

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How to break through the noise and be heard by your customers and stakeholders

Business owners and organizational leaders are expected to be great communicators, yet often have no formal communications training. Communications is the foundation for many areas of business growth and development. This e-book provides tips, insights and ways to ensure your communications efforts are heard and connect with your customers and stakeholders instead of being additional noise.

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We now have countless technologies and ways to share information with our customers and target audiences. Yet the age-old tool of storytelling is still the best way to make a personal connection so people tune in to what you’re saying.

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Learn how to go from giving a boring presentation to connecting with your audience in an impactful way. This includes an overview of key messaging, preparation basics, use of body language as well as pitfalls to avoid. These skills can be applied to formal and informal presentations, media interviews as well as everyday interpersonal communications. Don’t fumble through your next presentation, reading from notes and staring out onto blank faces. Download this package to go from being a mind numbing to engaging presenter, connecting with your audience.

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The abrupt switch from in-person to virtual meetings requires new skills to ensure people are engaged and participating. Learn some tips on how to moderate meetings, stay focused, generate conversation and get the most of your time online.

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This package breaks down the elements of a crisis – pre (planning), during (managing the crisis) and post (lessons learned), walking you through the role of communications at each step. Learning how to prepare, take control and ensure lessons learned are implemented will help your organization plan for the next event. Don’t let a crisis be the first time you think about your response, resulting in confusion and mixed messages. Download this package to help your organization develop a crisis communications plan and think through responses to potential crisis scenarios.

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Social media is one of the most cost effective and targeted ways to reach your audience. It’s also the most confusing and overwhelming tool for many businesses. This video demystifies the various platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn). You will learn how to select the best platform, the importance of content planning, how to not suck at Facebook live, and other tips and tools to rock social media.

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Gone are the days of putting up a website and walking away. For your website to get traffic and connect with your customers it needs to be updated regularly as well as referenced on social media and other websites. This helps increase your SEO (search engine optimization which means it’s not lost on Google searches), and shares your content with people who don’t visit your site. You’ll learn tips on maximizing content, distribution channels (Medium, LinkedIn articles, social media) and how to keep your website fresh.

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Learn how to write a press release the media will actually read, with insights from a former newspaper editor. Learn what grabs the reporter’s attention and what common errors encourage the reporter to hit delete. This package will walk you step-by-step through each element of writing a press release, outlining common mistakes and tips on improving readability. Don’t waste your time writing a press release that reads like a sales sheet. Instead, download this package to learn how to tell a story that interests reporters and resonates with your target audience.

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Giving a media interview involves planning, key messaging, body language awareness, as well as an understanding of the various media and their needs. There is a lot to think about before you pick up the phone and return a reporter’s call or stand in front of a camera. Listen to a former reporter share tips and techniques to ensure your story is told. This package helps take the fear out and uncertainty out of media interviews so you can have the confidence and skills to conduct an impactful media interview.

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This package helps you understand the various ways to pitch your story, from a simple phone call to a more complex news conference. Learn about the media’s needs and how you can tailor your pitch to ensure it hits it mark. To avoid wasting your time sending emails that never get read or wondering why the media never returns your phone, learn how to pinpoint your pitch to meet the needs and interests of your targeted media outlet.

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A press conference is one of the most complex elements of communications, including event management, media relations and issues management components. This package takes you through the planning, execution and follow up involved in organizing a press conference. It also includes all the templates you need for creating your media kit. Learn how to go from putting on an event that only staff attend to filling the room and getting meaningful media coverage.

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A communications audit is used to take the pulse of an organization’s formal and informal communications processes, while measuring their effectiveness and identifying gaps. This package not only walks you through the planning and execution phases, but also includes sample interview, survey, CEO and focus group questions to get you started. To avoid spinning your wheels and getting frustrated by ineffective communications, download the How to Conduct a Communications Audit bundle to figure out what is working, what’s not working and where you can make meaningful improvements to communications processes in your organization.

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The key to successful issues management is taking control early on and ensuring a coordinated approach – both internally and with key external stakeholders. Learn essential tools and techniques to minimize the impact and duration of a negative issue. To avoid having your issue dragged through the media or becoming water cooler chatter, this tool will help you identify red flags early on, common pitfalls that complicate an issue and learn how to get control by developing an issues management team.

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Many people listen for the next opportunity to talk rather than truly listening to what the other person is actually saying. This can cause conflict and confusion, as the other person does not feel truly heard. This package breaks down the various elements of active listening, to help you be more engaged in your next conversation. It will help minimize frustration, for both you and the speaker, and allow you to have less conflict and more memorable conversations (which ultimately makes you look better).

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Need some help preparing for a tough meeting or presentation? Or do you want some tips on how to handle difficult media interviews? This package highlights common pitfalls and how to be in control when answering tough questions. To avoid getting pinned in the corner and on the defensive, learn how to stay clear on your messaging, and take control in tough situations.

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At the scene of any big fire or car accident are reporters – both professional and civilian (people with iPhones watching everything you do). This video provides practical media relations training for all fire fighters, whether you are a spokesperson or not (just because you aren’t giving an interview doesn’t mean you aren’t being recorded). Learn not only how to prepare for formal interviews, but how to avoid getting into hot water on a call (respecting privacy laws, limiting black humour and back of truck conversations).

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How many emails do you send in a day? Now how of these emails do people actually read? Let’s be honest, we’re all drowning in emails. Learn how to optimize the subject line, provide a call to action and highlight key information. So you aren’t wasting your time and energy on countless follow-ups or pulling your hair out in frustration because people aren’t acting on the requests you (thought) you made, these tips will help make sure your emails are actually read.

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Sample questions that have been tested and used for focus group interviews.

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Not sure what to ask your CEO/CAO or senior management team? Here are some questions to get you started.

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Interviews are an important tool in conducting a communications audit. It’s a chance to dig a little deeper and get insights from key stakeholders and/or staff. Here are some foundational questions for any audit.

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Surveys are the easiest and most efficient way of gathering information from as many people as possible. But knowing what questions to ask, can be overwhelming. Pick and choose from these survey questions.

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Watch the training video and use this guide as your reference sheet. It contains the key information in the video, helping remind you of your next steps. Think of this as your cheat sheet to help you along the way.

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Watch the training video and use this guide as your reference sheet. It contains the key information in the video, helping remind you of your next steps. Think of this as your cheat sheet to help you along the way.

$27.00 – Add To Cart Excluding 5% tax

Watch the training video and use this guide as your reference sheet. It contains the key information in the video, helping remind you of your next steps. Think of this as your cheat sheet to help you along the way.

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Some tips to help you remember lessons learned in the How to Turn Reactive into Proactive training video. Print them off, pin them up on your wall and refer back to them when you need to take a deep breath and refocus.

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Watch the training video and use this guide as your reference sheet. It contains the key information in the video, helping remind you of your next steps. Think of this as your cheat sheet to help you along the way.

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Watch the training video and use this guide as your reference sheet. It contains the key information in the video, helping remind you of your next steps. Think of this as your cheat sheet to help you along the way.

$27.00 – Add To Cart Excluding 5% tax

Watch the training video and use this guide as your reference sheet. It contains the key information in the video, helping remind you of your next steps. Think of this as your cheat sheet to help you along the way.

$27.00 – Add To Cart Excluding 5% tax

Watch the training video and use this guide as your reference sheet. It contains the key information in the video, helping remind you of your next steps. Think of this as your cheat sheet to help you along the way.

$27.00 – Add To Cart Excluding 5% tax

Watch the training video and use this guide as your reference sheet. It contains the key information in the video, helping remind you of your next steps. Think of this as your cheat sheet to help you along the way.

$27.00 – Add To Cart Excluding 5% tax

For larger events, having media accredited in advance helps you know which media are attending so you can ensure proper media ID is in place. It also allows your team to understand and prepare for the media’s various needs prior to the event, when you are better able to troubleshoot. Having a media accreditation application saves everyone time and frustration during the event, and helps you minimize the need to respond to requests on the fly.

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Do lots of people have story ideas or want communications materials, but few are clear on the message they want to deliver? Are you finding yourself spending way too much time trying to figure this out? A story submission form saves everyone’s time (especially yours) by walking people through the basic elements before they talk to you. In some cases, the act of filling out the form may make people realize they don’t actually have a story to tell. Use this form as a starting point for news releases, website copy, brochures, and other communications material. Instead of pulling out your hair trying to figure out what the heck is the point of the story, the story submission form will ensure people fill out the key information so you have what you need to get started on the project.

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Don’t let your spokesperson get sideswiped. Too often when the media calls, the spokesperson is just given the name and number of the reporter and told to call them back. This form has specific questions for staff to ask reporters to ensure your spokespeople are better prepared before returning the reporter’s call. Taking the extra two minutes to fill out this form can mean the difference between a negative interview and an impactful interview. It will also build your relationship with the media, as your spokespeople will have the information the media wants. To avoid wasting everyone’s time by not fully understanding the interview request, the media call form will help your spokespeople feel more confident and better prepared for the interview.

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Writing a new hire announcement can be painful. How do you even get started in writing about someone you don’t even know? This template makes it easy. Just fill in the personal information about your new hire (with her/his input) and send it out. Stop wasting time staring at a blank screen and use the new hire announcement template to help you introduce new staff in mere minutes.

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Does your organization have a protocol on who is allowed to speak to the media and the process staff needs to follow when the media call? Now does anyone truly understand this protocol? This template saves you the time of writing yet another memo. It lets employees know the internal process for managing media inquiries in clear language. Simply fill in the blanks and email it to your staff. Instead of banging your head in frustration, the media protocol memo will help staff (and you) be clear on the process for talking to the media.

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Never heard this term before? You aren’t alone. This is the standard organizational information that appears on the bottom of news releases, promotion materials and is the footer on your website. Sound exciting? It’s a small, but important element, to your communications materials. Don’t miss an opportunity to share key information about your organization (especially on joint projects). This template will help you develop a short, powerful boilerplate you can use on all your communications materials.

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This is my absolute favorite template as it is a HUGE timesaver. It is the #1 tool you need to use for communications projects – big or small. If you’re managing multiple projects, with different timelines and team members (who isn’t?) this will help you get clear on the communications components (each project having its own communications plan), who is doing what and when. It’s an awesome way to map out your communications strategy and help non-communicators understand the communications process while keeping everyone accountable. To avoid misunderstandings or missed deadlines, this tool will help you get clear on roles and responsibilities and associated timelines.

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Watch the training video and use this guide as your reference sheet. It contains the key information in the video, helping remind you of your next steps. Think of this as your cheat sheet to help you along the way.

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This template goes beyond the basic birthday party information about where and when your event is being held. Sadly, serving cake isn’t enough to attract the media. Your invitation is the first step in trying to convince the media to attend your event and get them interested in your story. The best part – you can use this template for non-media invitees, just delete the word media in the title media invitation. Presto – a two-for-one invitation. Don’t undersell your event by sending a boring media invitation, rather use this template to help sell your story and entice the media into attending.

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Instead of trying to remember after the fact which media attended your event, use this sheet to sign in media as they arrive. This will make sure you can report (brag) about which media attended. You will also have the reporters’ contact information so you can send them an electronic media kit, photos or just thank them for attending. So print off this sheet and take it with you to your next event. To avoid trying to remember everyone you talked to or losing business cards, use the media sign in sheet to record attendees’ information so you don’t miss out on any of that valuable media coverage.

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Giving reporters a program listing the speakers’ names and titles is a big timesaver. Seriously. It saves you the time of have to spell out everyone’s name to reporters (so you can have more important conversations with them). It also lets reporters know what is coming next (and how long it will take) to encourage them to stick around. This should be included in all media kits for press conferences. To make sure your board chair’s name isn’t spelled wrong (which would not go over well), use the program to ensure the media have the key information about your speakers when writing their stories.

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Your detail-focused colleagues will love this, and it will keep your press releases to one page. A facts sheet is the place to dump all the simple facts, stats and information about your program or project. It frees up the other communications materials to focus on the story. The facts sheet can be used on websites, print materials, attached to press releases or included in media kits. To avoid lengthy and boring press releases or web pages, use the facts sheet to keep all the detail information in one place.

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Watch the training video and use this guide as your reference sheet. It contains the key information in the video, helping remind you of your next steps. Think of this as your cheat sheet to help you along the way.

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This is a great cheat sheet to print off and post on your wall. Some key reminders on media relations dos and don’ts

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Media relations doesn’t need to be complicated. Here are some simple tips to make sure you have a professional and positive relationship with the media – in good times and stressful times.

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A press release is the most used, yet least understood, way of sharing information with the media. This template includes step-by-step tips to help you write a press release that actually tells a story and engages the media. A well-written press release (as they are rare) will increase your chances of having the media share your story, saving you the time and expense of buying ads. Instead of boring the media and having them delete your press release, this template will help you write a press release that actually tells a story.

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Go from boring to impactful.

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