Communicate Good

Communicate Good has moved to www.communicategood.com. All of the content that was (and still is) on this site has been migrated over to the new site, which is both the blog and official website of my new communications consultancy.

Last month, I wrote about my friend Peter Christie, who was about to undertake a 100-mile run, raising money to benefit Boston’s Epiphany School. Well I’m happy to report that Peter achieved his goal — completing the run in under 30 hours and raising $4,500 as a bonus. Unbelievable!

If you want to know what it’s like to run 100 miles in the mountains, here is an abridged version of Peter’s account, written in Peter’s classic understated style. (Nice photo Pete … love the Billy Idol face)

The race started with almost ideal conditions: mid 40s temperatures under a clear starry sky.  The first check point was 13.5 miles in and it took me about 2 hours 25 minutes. 

I kept an easy pace thru the 40 mile mark and felt comfortable as the sun came out.  This check point was critical as the trail went from 9,000 to 12,600 feet in just 3 miles. Read the rest of this entry »

These days, reading a hard copy of the New York Times is a rare thing for me. In general, I get my news over the Internet. So when I have an early flight — like yesterday morning — the traditionalist in me jumps at the opportunity to pick up a fresh issue of the Times and read it section by section … old school!

During those cherished moments, when all electronic devices must be turned off, and just prior to our reaching an acceptable altitude for turning them back on, I revel in the simplicity of scanning the news, page by page, section by section. Despite the convenience and ease of surfing online for news, I still find that I am able to absorb a broader swath of information in a quicker period of time with wonderful, smudgy newsprint in hand.

As we approached cruising altitude, I stumbled upon a story on page A12, the front of the National section. The title was catchy enough: “Good Will to All, With a Side of Soft-Serve.” What followed was one of the more engaging human interest news stories that I’ve read in a while. A heart-warming fish-out-water story about one man, Hamid Chaudhry, who has turned his Dairy Queen in rural Kenhorst, PA into the philanthropic epicenter of his community.

In and of itself, it’s a great read. But for anyone who has ever wished they could get a human interest story in a major newspaper like the Times, I would also recommend that you observe the composite elements of the story: Read the rest of this entry »

Busy week and, alas, I was not able to compose a new post for the blog (my goal is one original post every week). That said, I could not allow my “weekly” Good Friday Reads post to fall to the wayside in week #2. So here are some of the reads that made me smile this week.

 

1) Entrepreneurs: It’s Not What You Do, It’s Why You Do It, by Chris Cameron / A short post (written over a year ago) that talks about motivational speaker Simon Sinek’s view on the importance of the WHY over the WHAT. This philosophy meshes very closely with my own. In fact, I spend a fair amount of time blabbing about the importance of the WHY.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And what you do serves as the proof of what you believe.”

 

2) Broadcasting Money, by Lucy Bernholz / Great read about a very cool social experiment involving a Starbucks gift card and its implications for philanthropy. OH … and you’ll be able to get free coffee at Starbucks now if you read this (seriously).

Here are the instructions for using Jonathan Stark’s card. Note, you can get a coffee and give a coffee. Basically, he’s got one loadable card that anyone can use for payment or add funds to for others to use.”

 

3) We Declare a Moratorium on Butt-Backwards Planning, by Holly Minch / This well-respected nonprofit communications consultant shares a mortifying professional gaffe that she made while interning for the Sierra Club, and the lessons learned from the experience.

The research for this report turned me into a real dud, full of gloomy facts. Livestock generated 2.7 trillion pounds of poop annually…..”

In an effort to provide my ever-growing army of followers (okay … perhaps a slight exaggeration) with more content, I will attempt to post a weekly Friday round-up of some good reads from the past seven days. In general, they will be related to the theme of the blog — communicating well, doing good in the world, and the intersection of the two — but from time to time, I will also include other fun reads that simply resonate with me (and I hope with you). Feedback is always welcome. Thanks!

 

1) Taking a Risk Is Not Immoral, by Dan Pallotta / A great read about the double standard society has with risk-taking.

“If an organization cannot take risks with donor funds in pursuit of brilliant ideas for increasing the size and scale of the organization and its revenues, then it cannot grow at any meaningful level.”

2) Living Very, Very Narrowly, by Robert Krulwich / Check out what could be the narrowest human living space EVER.

“…a trip from bed to toilet will require crawling down the mattress, over a chair, down a ladder and then sideways through the dining and kitchen area. Opening a refrigerator will require stepping into a different room, but hey, some people might find this charming.

3) MOVE, Rick Mereki / Not a read … a watch. This is one of the cooler videos I’ve seen in a while. Reminds me of the video with that guy who dances a crazy jig in exotic locales around the world.

“3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage… all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ….into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films…..”

Last Friday, I received an email from my friend Peter Christie. It was one of those pseudo-formulaic charitable appeals that have become ever so common these days. Like an altruistic version of Mad Libs, they all begin the same way: Dear Friends and Family, On (date), I will be (running, biking, hiking, swimming, walking) in the (name of event) to support (cause).

Like so many other email appeals, Peter’s followed the form to a tee. It was splendidly unremarkable. So matter-of-fact in tone, that after just a few words of the note I filed it away in my Things-to-Read-Later folder. “Dear Friends and Family, On Saturday, August 20th, I will be running the…” Had I read the subject line, I would not have been so dismissive.

In retrospect, I should have known this was not going to be the typical fundraising appeal. Peter is an athlete and he is also understated as hell. That’s a lethal combination. For much of 2009 and 2010, Peter and I rode together in the same cycling group. Peter was consistently one of the strongest in the bunch, yet his training was sporadic and undisciplined. With three kids and a demanding job, Peter would still find time for his family and volunteering in the community.

So how was this “weekend warrior” on the bike always able to hang with the seasoned racers? When I finally got around to reading his email, I had my answer. Read the rest of this entry »

What would happen if 30 marketing professionals — each accomplished individuals in their own right — had a total of one hour (two minutes each) to communicate their best practices? Sounds like a neat concept, right?

That is the very question that inspired me to register for yesterday’s Future of Marketing webinar, a whirlwind event during which 30 of today’s top marketers gave their tips to Sarah DeLash, the fictitious client who wants to transform her company from an outdated, industrial-era corp. to a modern, relevant, socially conscious brand.

At 12:59 am ET, I sat in front of my computer with bated breath, awaiting the orgy of thought leadership that was about to ensue. This was going to be like TED on speed. Like 2-minute dating with some of the most interesting minds in the business: Guy Kawasaki, Chris Brogan, Brian Solis, Greg Cangialosi and 26 others. What strategic and tactical nuggets would I learn? Would there be any “aha” moments?

And the answer (drum roll please) was no. Well, not exactly. Okay … it was actually quite insightful, but not in the way the organizers were intending. Or maybe it was exactly what they intended. Oh hell, it was great! Let me just tell you about it. Read the rest of this entry »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.