The Journalist Within

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I am so grateful to my professors at the Medill School of Journalism. They instilled in me the spirit and mindset of a journalist that continues to shape what I do in public relations. Experienced writers and editors, these instructors taught that journalism was a competitive field that would demand excellence every day. They were strict about preparing students to … Read More

Ambassador Status — Part 2

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When you communicate clearly, meaningfully and engagingly about your organization and your job within it, you gain what I call ambassador status. Nonprofits and small business need all their staff members to achieve this ambassador status. How can they reach this goal? Draft common language Craft one common message that will be carried by many voices to diverse audiences. Examine … Read More

Ambassador Status — Part 1

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What does your organization do?  And what is your role there? Can you answer each of those questions confidently in a sentence or two that most people can understand? If you can, you are communicating with ambassador status. Each person within a business or nonprofit is potentially its ambassador. With good communication skills, each one can convey why others should … Read More

Just Showing Up Won’t Do on Twitter

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Woody Allen famously said, “80 percent of life is showing up.” But on Twitter, just showing up isn’t enough. Using Twitter successfully requires finding the right contacts and building relationships with them, according to Heather Ratcliff, a social media and content strategist. Heather blogs at and partners with me on social media projects. She and I recently had this discussion about … Read More

Opening Eyes to Charitable Giving

molliefkatz@gmail.comFundraising1 Comment

What makes people want to donate to your charity or cause? Donors have an overwhelming number of choices. But charities that give people their first window on a social need take a valuable step in cultivating new donors. This came to mind when I read a letter just published in the newsletter of a Washington, DC, nonprofit, So Others Might … Read More

Twelve Months of PR

molliefkatz@gmail.comStrategic communications planning, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

January makes us think seriously about what we’ll do in the next 12 months. Developing an annual communications calendar clarifies your plan of action and sets you up for productivity. Crafting a communications calendar is simpler than creating a strategic communications plan. With a calendar, you have a finite amount of time, a set of tactics to implement and events on your … Read More

Puzzling out a Strategy

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A 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle draws me in like a magnet. How are these 1,000 little pieces going to make one whole picture? The challenge of crafting a strategic communications plan is a bit like solving a jigsaw puzzle. But shaping a communications strategy is an open-ended kind of puzzle.  At the beginning, you are given neither the pieces nor the picture … Read More

The Pre-vacation Pressure Cooker

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It’s mid December. Gold, silver and chocolate are everywhere. Seasonal music fills your ears. You can count down the days until you get off for Christmas, New Year’s, both, or maybe even everything in between. But somehow the stress usually gets worse right before a break. Welcome to the pre-vacation pressure cooker. At this point, your energy is getting a … Read More

So, Listen…

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Every day at work you are expected to give and receive information. Your education and experience have probably prepared you well to read, write and speak. Yet have you learned to be a good listener? Many professionals in business, nonprofits and government haven’t. They may miss out on the benefits that come with open-minded listening — better collaboration, problem solving, … Read More

Reverberations of Public Speaking

molliefkatz@gmail.comPublic speaking1 Comment

Public speaking can be a form of self-improvement — sometimes dramatic self-improvement. Speaking in front of others while in prison, for instance, a convicted arsonist, Richard Pierce, broke the silence he had imposed on himself years earlier in a New Hampshire prison. He’ll be ready to speak to the parole board that is to consider his case in 2016, and he … Read More