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Companies like Chipotle thrive because of “why” they exist, not “what” they make

 

During the last year, I’ve made a concerted effort to get back in shape, which has led to some sacrifices when it comes to meal choices.

Gone are the days of eating at Wendy’s, for instance.

Sometimes, however, you need to go the quick and easy route, leading to my new obsession with Chipotle. Invariably I need a speedy meal at least once a week, and Chipotle has been my go-to fast food place (although I believe the proper industry term for establishments like Chipotle is “fast casual.”)Food with Integrity

The restaurant chain’s success has flown in the face of conventional wisdom that says people want their food faster and cheaper to minimize the inconvenience of eating out for lunch and dinner.

I don’t know about you, but I’m usually in a line out the door when I visit Chipotle, and the cost is at least the same, if not more, than other fast food options available.

A primary appeal of the restaurant obviously rests in the fresh ingredients and overall quality of the product. But it goes much deeper than that, which is why so many have gravitated to Chipotle.

The chain has positioned itself as beyond reproach when it comes to a focus on fresh food, ethical production and honest positioning of its values to consumers (a major misstep in social media strategy from last year notwithstanding).

Chipotle’s cups and bowls tout their eco-friendly composition. A Willie Nelson cover of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” highlighted Chipotle’s emphasis on sustainable farming and concern for local farmers in what was the company’s first national ad.

People don’t wait 15 minutes for burritos from Chipotle instead of hitting up Taco Bell because Chipotle’s burritos taste so much better than Taco Bell’s. That’s a matter of personal taste, and personal taste is always hard to measure objectively.  It’s the emotional significance for consumers that drives repeat business to generate “brand loyalty.”

In his book, “Start with Why,” author Simon Sinek explains how most companies can always win minds by offering details of their product’s features and benefits, but winning people’s hearts is much more challenging.

To quote Sinek directly, “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.”

For some reason (perhaps a need to seem less ostentatious) Chipotle’s founder and CEO Steve Ells recently told Fast Company magazine that he downplays the significance of the company’s “Food with Integrity” mission, yet the article’s author, Robert Safian, appropriately points out this mission is exactly why the burrito chain stands out.Cultivate a Better World

“‘Food With Integrity’ animates every decision the company makes, from the slaughterhouse to the food line at your local outlet to the strategic planning at the Denver headquarters,” Safian writes. “When Ells, who's a chef himself, launched Chi­potle 21 years ago, he focused on fresh ingredients. That evolved over time into an awareness of all the different forms of exploitation inherent in traditional fast food – of animals, of the environment, and even of customers.”

At WordWrite, we operate along a similar line of thinking when advising our clients. The foundation of any organization is inextricably tied to its authentic Story, with a capital “S.” “Story” is who you really are to your customers and clients.

Your authenticity can’t be measured by how your customers tell you to be more authentic. Rather, authenticity stems from a strong belief in why you do what you do and what you’re selling. A “Story” must describe a company’s true identity and purpose. It starts from a place of truth. As Sinek would say, “It starts with WHY.”

To reinforce that point, on Chipotle’s own website, Ells discusses what makes his company unique, and not once does he mention the type of food the restaurant makes, how much it costs or even the type of ingredients it includes in its products.

“‘Food with Integrity’ is our commitment to always look closer, dig deeper, and work harder to ensure that our actions are making things better, not worse. It’s our promise to run our business in a way that doesn’t exploit animals, people or the environment. It is the philosophy that guides every decision we make at Chipotle.”

That is why people choose Chipotle, and not because of the number of avocados it uses to make its fresh guacamole each day. We connect with Chipotle on an emotional level because it shares many of our values. By the way, it also happens to make great food.

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Jeremy Church is vice president of media and content strategies for WordWrite Communications. He can be reached at jeremy.church@wordwritepr.com and on Twitter @churchjeremy.Jeremy Church

WeeklyWrap: Collaboration Edition

 

In our weekly staff meeting at WordWrite, the topic of collaboration was introduced by Jeremy
Church, vice president of media and content strategies. He began to discuss the notion that as business professionals, our work with our customers is not a one-way street. In a sense, it’s agive-and-take relationship. Consumers ask a business to provide a service and that service is expected to be provided. But if there is no communication on the wants or needs from either end, what can be accomplished? Nothing. Without mutual reciprocity in the workplace, from the consumer, employee and business standpoint, there is minimal opportunity for growth. describe the image

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Helen Keller

If minds collaborate, a beautiful thing can happen. Ideas, innovation and the sharing of concepts can build a wave of momentum.

Huffington Post

The Unexpected Value of Business Collaboration

Having originated in the mid-19th century from the Latin word collaborare, collaboration is defined by Oxford Dictionary as “the action of working with someone to produce or create something.” In the workplace, collaboration spurs cultural innovation, original thinking and an actual ROI. It has allowed businesses to link employees, partners and customers together. Online tools and platforms have reinforced the benefits of collaboration by introducing some unplanned for value to businesses. See why it is a positive force for improving the outcomes of business activities.

PR News

Will PR and Marketing Get Married One Day?

Silos are restricting, conservative and forceful; they prevent open engagement and cross-communication efforts. In the present market, silos exist between the marketing and PR
collaboration resized 600 departments in the majority of businesses. With separate budgets, there’s a constant pull of competition. Marketing dives head first into its strategy, while PR sweeps to the opposite end of
the path. At PR News’ Social Media Summit, there was a consensus that marketing and PR need to partner more regularly, especially when it involves the rapid expansion of social media communications. These two distinct, yet seemingly interrelated, fields may need to get married one day out of necessity.

Virgin Entrepreneur

How Five of the World’s Best Business Brains Approach Collaboration

Collaboration should not be seen as a dirty word. Never be afraid of collaborating. Don’t forget customer collaboration. The world is getting smaller and collaboration is easier. Tackle a lack of diversity through increased collaboration. What do all of these sentences have in common? You guessed right; the concept of working together. Collaboration is currently experiencing a golden age, where brands big and small are looking to work closely with one another to reap mutual benefits. Read what top business leaders have to say about the positive impact sharing minds has within the workforce.

The supply chain is expanding, teams are global and the workforce is multicultural. As a result, there is no room for a narrow-minded, ‘every man for himself’ mentality. At its root, collaboration is a social activity. It emphasizes a power that brings positive change to organizations because two minds are greater than one.

We would love to hear your thoughts. How has collaboration impacted your business efforts?

Share with us in the comments below!

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Julia Pizzutti is an intern for WordWrite Communications. You can find her on Twitter @julzutti93

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8 simple steps to enhance your LinkedIn profile

 

If you’re reading this blog, then chances are you’re the type of person who already knows at least a little bit about LinkedIn.

However, our experience consulting with other businesses has taught us that many of a company’s employees don’t fully grasp the power of LinkedIn as a business development tool.Improve your LinkedIn

So why use it? LinkedIn is the No. 1 B2B social networking site in the world with 313 million members. But more impressive in terms of measuring ROI for your business, 77 percent of B2B companies have acquired a customer through LinkedIn

Those types of statistics convinced us that offering LinkedIn training for clients and their staff members might be a valuable exercise. As we’ve gone through the process of training companies both small and large, we’ve learned that sticking to the training script in the allotted time period isn’t always feasible, particularly because the knowledge gap between employees in terms of understanding the tool is so vast. Some want to go right into the Advanced Search tool for instance, while others are asking how you can connect with someone or upload their photo.

Therefore, it’s nearly impossible to cover the full spectrum of what you can do on LinkedIn in a single blog. You could write dozens of posts about the intricacies of the tool. But when it comes to covering the basics, we thought highlighting some best practices when it comes to enhancing your LinkedIn profile and building connections would provide a solid foundation for anyone who hasn’t dedicated enough time to maximizing his or her presence on LinkedIn.

 

Enhancing your LinkedIn profile

1. First, identify a list of keywords prospects would search for when looking for the services you offer (e.g. human resources, strategy, consultant, compensation, insurance, manufacturing, technology, financial advising, health care, retirement, defined benefit, etc.). Then, include those keywords throughout your entire profile.

2. Write an effective headline. For search engine optimization (SEO) purposes, this is where to describe exactly what you do and include additional relevant keywords. Don’t just restate your job title. For example, instead of “senior manager at XYZ solutions,” try something like “health care consultant,” “strategic communications and marketing planner,” “government relations and policy advisor.”

3. Include a professional photo to let people know you take LinkedIn seriously and are active on the network. This is a big one and easy to do. Many people won’t bother to connect with you if you don’t have a photo, because they assume you never use LinkedIn.

4. Write a detailed summary of who you are. Reiterate what you do, why a client should work with you and clearly differentiate yourself. Again, include keywords throughout.

5. Fill in your job responsibilities at each position you have listed.  Yes, this can be time consuming, but most info can be pulled from your resume or CV.

6. Connect, connect, connect. Make it a habit to connect with people who you really know or have actually met by using the search tool or “people you know” area on the right side of the tool. The more connections you have, the easier it will be for you to direct message others and reach out for referrals to business prospects. Remember, connections should represent your “real-world” contacts. When asking to connect to someone you don’t know, be sure to include a note in your request that explains why you’d like to connect with that person. Refrain from using LinkedIn’s generic invite text.

7. Add skills you have in the “skills” section so your connections can go to your profile and endorse you. Endorsements are less time consuming to give and receive than “recommendations” and are a great way to add keywords. Important note: Make sure you give and receive endorsements for skills you and your connections really have.

8. Finally, don’t skip the more time consuming process of getting “recommendations” that help build your reputation. You’ve included great content describing yourself. Recommendations allow a third-party to validate what you’ve said. Look at your connections and determine who would be willing to give you a recommendation. Then ask for one. Give recommendations to get them back. Connections will often reciprocate the favor.

Bottom line: These are some easy first steps to help you get found on search engines and enhance the SEO of your LinkedIn profile.  To keep these tips handy, click below to download “8 Steps to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile.” 

 

Click to Download 8 Steps to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile

 

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Jeremy Church is vice president of media and content strategies for WordWrite Communications. He can be reached at jeremy.church@wordwritepr.com and on Twitter @churchjeremy.Jeremy Church

Weekly Wrap: Leadership Edition

 

Leaders are a reflection of both the companies for which they work and the businesses with which they collaborate. They represent the ideals, work ethic and authenticity consistent with the organization’s mission. Therefore, it is vitally important for leaders to share their passion with colleagues and employees. Passion is infectious. When leaders talk about their motivations and inspirations, it fosters a spirit of goal-oriented actions from other employees and business partners. 

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

John Maxwell

This week’s Wrap centers on how leaders are chosen and the mindset they must maintain, as well as the fundamental principles that ensure their success.

Huffington Post

17 Things Every Successful Leader Says Every Day 

Leaders embrace collaboration and team achievement. They do not become adversaries or 
overpower their team with negative emotions. Successful leaders get that way because
they have a positive attitude that they use to build strong and enduring relationships. In order
to go from good to great, there are a multitude of sayings that successful leaders say every day. Some of my favorites from the list include: “Thank you,” “I’m proud of you” and “What can I do to help?” Essentially, a leader is the rock and the foundation of the organization. They bring unity to the team and foster collaboration and empowerment.

Forbes

How Leaders Pick Leaders: 3 Executives Reveal How Promotions are Decided

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why was so-and-so promoted over me?” It can be frustrating. While you may be working relentlessly long hours, building a tremendous portfolio and answering all of your company’s demands, sometimes the result is not as expected. You don’t get that pay raise with the senior title or you aren’t asked to lead the new client project. Have no fear; take what you have learned and follow the suggestions gained from the 6th Annual Asian MBA Leadership conference. The point remains firm: the ones who successfully ascend into leadership all possess strong relationships, recognition and an edge.

PR Week

The Way PR Engages has Changed and Trust is Key           

Times have changed in the 21st century. As PR Week notes, “This world demands trust above all and, alongside that, the right people in positions of power who understand the pressures.” Younger generations can no longer be intimidated or forced to respond to the same demands as before. In the current market, individual relationships count. Behavior is on public display, so customer interaction is imperative. Read more to see why it is time to develop a new style of corporate leader and build something more resilient.MBA Leadership resized 600

A remarkable amount of effort, time and money has been devoted to the study of leadership. Despite all of the research, opinions will always vary in regards to what leadership is and what traits prompt the most success. While there is an array of perspectives, the best leaders are optimistic, hold high levels of integrity, communicate openly and inspire action. They hold a passion that is magnetic and draws people in.

We would love to hear your thoughts. How has a leader in your life impacted your performance within the workplace?

Share with us in the comments below!

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Julia Pizzutti is an intern for WordWrite Communications. You can find her on Twitter @julzutti93

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How to figure out what to do with your life:

 

I cannot believe the time has come. I am a senior in college! Graduation is quickly approaching and in a short seven months my academic career will be behind me. With my diploma in hand, I will be eager to begin a new chapter in my life.

Clearly, it is time to face reality. Along with millions of other millenials, I am in the beginning stages of figuring out what to do with the rest of my life. Here is what I have learned up to this point, thanks to some helpful advice and experience:

Life is a process of elimination

Do I know what I want to do when I graduate yet? Honestly, no. I don’t know where I want to live, what type of company I want to work for or what position would be best suited for my personality and talents. And that answer terrifies me.

But I can say with full confidence that life is a process of elimination. Think back to the time when you were in the first grade. What did you want to be? A fireman, a scientist or maybe even a superhero? For me, I wanted to be a teacher. I loved math and enjoyed telling other
people what to do. Now fast-forward a few years to high school. What did you want to be? YourCareerPathAhead
answer probably changed. Perhaps you wanted to become a doctor, musician or a professional athlete. Personally, I wanted to be a vet. I loved animals and could spot a purebred from a mile away. And now fast forward to your first year of college. At this point, were you finally confident in what you wanted to be in life? Again, probably not! My major and career goals have changed quite a few times and I am sure you share a similar story.

The point is, as you go throughout life, you gain experiences. And with experience comes preferences. You slowly learn that you have a great memory, fantastic people skills or maybe even an artistic flair. You also learn what you don’t like. You don’t like speaking to a large group of people or you get squeamish around blood.

Ultimately, you are able to check things off your list that you are sure you do not want to do. And this is the key. Figuring out what you don’t like is a necessary part of the journey to finding what you do like.

Think it, dream it, be it

Growing up, my family and teachers always told me that I could do anything and be anything that I wanted. I always found this hard to believe, but now as a senior, I have much greater confidence. Uncertainty is apart of life and that is what makes everything so fantastic. Yes, I am terrified that I am a 21-year-old senior in college who does not have my entire future planned out yet. And I am sure I am not alone in the fear or hesitancy. But no matter your unique,
individual life stage, I am sure of one thing. If you combine your passion, dedication and perseverance into one, you will be an unstoppable force.

While it is okay to be unsure of what you would like to do in your career, remember to dream big.  It is all about gaining experiences that will continue to move you forward in your journey
of self-discovery. Do not limit your search! If you want to move to China, apply for that visa. If you want to work at a Big-4, write the strongest essays you can muster and challenge those interviewing skills.

Now is the time in your life where possibilities are limitless.  Do not say no to an opportunity just because it was not what you were envisioning; keep your eyes open.

Go with it. Update that checklist, dream big, trust the process and have fun while you are doing it. We would love to hear your thoughts. Do you have any advice for new graduates or those making a big life change?

Share with us in the comments below!

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Julia Pizzutti is an intern for WordWrite Communications. You can find her on Twitter @julzutti93

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Weekly Wrap: Success is Optimal

 

Success is the name of the game. In today’s evolving, demand driven market, customers are no longer vying for the attention of businesses. It’s the other way around. As a result, in the quest to achieve brand awareness with the ideal customer-base, businesses must go to great lengths to attain a competitive advantage. With this transformation, there are certain measures to be aware of to help your firm survive the impeding economic and social changes.

Forbes

How to Succeed in Business by Really Trying

According to Milton Friedman’s book, Capitalism and Freedom, the great argument for the
market “is its tolerance of diversity; its ability to utilize a range of special knowledge and capacity.” In the 21st century, there has been a tremendous shift in the power between thedescribe the image buyer and seller. There is a distinct difference; the once former consumer has now become the customer. In prior years, businesses could survive without even trying. Today, the power of choice has enabled customers to exploit, reduce and discriminate against prospective companies. Read what Forbes has to say about how the world has entered the age of customer capitalism.

WordWrite Communications

Read the Audience Wrong and Proceed at Your Own Peril

Food, service and ambiance: welcome to the restaurant industry. The “family-dining” concept has evolved over the past several decades. Once embraced for its long, sit down meals, the food and beverage sector has transitioned into one of speed and convenience. John Durante, WordWrite’s marketing services director, shares his take on why the conventional family dining story is plunging into the darkness.

PR Daily

JetBlue and Comcast Show the Downside of Quashing Customer Complaints

Last week, a JetBlue flight prohibited a passenger from boarding a plane after she tweeted about an incident that occurred between the pilot and other passengers. While the woman claims she was only a bystander, the JetBlue staff remained firm in their refusal to allow her ondescribe the image the flight. In this instance, fighting fire with fire worked against the company. A prime example of a brand vs. customer conundrum, it is important to respond to customer complaints to show you care but be careful in your approach. With customers in control, a company’s reputation is at the hand of its clientele. 

 From the customer-centric approach, the world has become focused on the wants and needs of individuals in the marketplace. It is no longer a matter of what the business wants; it is what the customer wants. The sooner your business recognizes this fact, the quicker it will rise to success. How has this increase in customer buying power impacted your business operations?

Share with us in the comments below!

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Julia Pizzutti is an intern for WordWrite Communications. You can find her on Twitter@julzutti93

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Tags: 

Read the Audience Wrong and Proceed at Your Own Peril

 

WordWrite has opined frequently about the three inviolable rules of great storytelling:  Authenticity, a telling of that story by those fluent with it and a constant (and accurate) reading of the audience. This is a fundamental premise on which most of my WordWrite work is built. It is always in my mental space and directs many of the professional tasks I attend to on a daily basis. It is also a common way that I evaluate macro marketing and business performance when needed to assess a prospect, client or even industry sector.

That’s why this approach has lead me to a point of fascinating awe in observing the absolute headlong cratering of certain sectors in the restaurant industry and the desperate marcom approaches some are pursuing as a way to stop the bleeding. I’ve been paying special attention to the “family-dining” concept. You know that category with all its Red Lobsters, Olive Gardens, Chili’s, Fridays and the like. A staple in drawing restaurant traffic, the family dining concept is essentially the same as it has been for decades. Sit-down, full table service eating at modest prices in spaces that might best be called dining “rooms.” The food is generally passable, the beer is cold, kids color and there are few menu names to create self-conscious speech stumbles.

But the entire concept in all its mediocre food, ambience and vibe demanded something that isfoodie resized 600 and has been fundamentally changing: that people must come sit at a conventional table facing one another, be waited on and, essentially, be forced to talk. As heretical as this might sound family diners are not so much interested in that anymore (especially the under 40 set). The reasons for this shift are abundant and relatively easy to track: a shift in food tastes, traffic still stalled at below pre-recession levels, wage stagnation within the target market segment and perhaps most remarkable of all, the influence of personal communication devices in reshaping our style of social and family interaction—even in restaurants.

But all of these factors have been well-documented. So how it is then this business sector has cratered? Who was asleep at the switch as this was happening? Well in a phrase, the family dining sector has largely violated the third rule of Story—it has not effectively read the audience. So now as “family” diners shift to fresher food, different eating vibes and the clubbier atmosphere of say Chipotle or Panera, conventional competitors are scratching their heads and pursuing advertising approaches that announce, not hide, their desperation. Consider the following:  “All you can eat” appetizers for one price (Fridays); one-time fee passes allowing you to endlessly eat certain menu items for multiple months (Olive Garden); deep fried green beans (Fridays again)! My God will they ever put down the shovel and stop digging the hole?

Meanwhile nary a nod has come from most of these same brands about creating a more informal dining vibe, a change in how patrons encounter and move within the space of units or even how diners are invited to integrate the use of their “devices” into their eating and drinking time.  If the new competitors in the sector knew this was important how did the established players miss it? 

They just broke rule number three—while attending to the endless business pressures of price, cost, value, suppliers, wages and the like—they ignored their lifeblood—their diners and what they were trying to tell them all along. Now there is hell to pay, the conventional family dining story is dormant, the competitive product weak and few innovations have appeared to-date suggesting this plunge can stop.

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John Durante is marketing services director for WordWrite Communications.    

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The Importance of Self-Branding in Business: My Take on Cyndee Woolley’s “Brand You” Concept

 

A great quality of WordWrite Communications as an employer is the agency’s nurturing of professional development for its employees. While it’s not always easy to balance professional development with the turbulence of agency life and client deliverables, I recently was able to squeeze an hour of time out of my day to attend a PRSA webinar that really resonated with me.

Personal BrandingThe webinar, presented by public relations pro and Building Brand [You] author Cyndee Woolley, focused on the matter of self-branding and how to stop selling yourself short in your career. As a young professional, I was attracted to the topic, primarily because I believe not enough of the millennial workforce markets itself for success.  My hope is that summarizing some of my key takeaways from the webinar will spread to other young professionals in the WordWrite network, as well as my own.

Here’s the very first point that hooked me: If you’re spending time complaining about other people’s self-promotion, you’re not spending enough time focusing on your own brand. Speak up if you feel I’m wrong, but this is a commonality that seems to be even more prevalent in females. Becoming flustered and annoyed by someone else’s initiative (as over-extended as it may be) will in no way benefit you. Take that energy and channel it into your own success. What was irksome about this other person’s brand? What did you envy? How can you feel comfortable with self-promotion and make your brand authentic to your own personality?

Woolley uses Lean In’s Ban Bossy campaign as an example here.  Don’t be afraid to establish your brand, show relevancy and close the deal by speaking up. There may be a “bossy” stigma, but we’re working towards fixing that. As Beyoncé puts it in Ban Bossy’s promotional video, “I’m not bossy. I’m the boss.”

Now that you have the right focus, there are some key factors to consider when expressing your brand.

Appearance – We think this is a given. We know how to dress appropriately for our career, but this is about more than fashion. Do you come in to your morning meeting clutching your Starbucks cup for dear life? (Guilty.) Do you come in looking tired, disheveled and burnt out? Reconsider the vibe you’re giving off to your co-workers and the people you interact with on a daily basis.

This idea piggybacks with friendliness and approachability. Some days just aren’t good days, but do you really want to be known as the resident office grump? Furthermore, when going to a networking event, plan to actually interact with other people. Too often, cliques are formed at these events with a few people you know, and whether you realize it or not, you appear to be unapproachable.

Imagine your own vision of your brand. Woolley describes this as your “Youtopia.” Stop chasing other people’s priorities and develop a clear vision of your ideal life. She notes your vision should be both personal AND professional. This is key here, because as much as you may try, you cannot separate your personal and professional life when self-branding. It isn’t authentic if it doesn’t show your true personality. I witness this mistake being made often with young professionals creating two Twitter accounts – one for personal use and one for professional tweeting. By doing this, you’re excluding others from seeing the real you. There’s nothing wrong with incorporating humor into your brand, and this ties back to the approachability factor. (We’re all adults, and there’s nothing wrong with showing you have a life outside of work; just make sure you’re keeping it clean.)

Why is authenticity important? It establishes credibility. As ethical PR professionals, we don’t spin or manipulate a company’s brand to be something it’s not, so you should be following this same standard when it comes to your own brand. Another way to establish professional credibility is to list specific accomplishments on your LinkedIn profile. In person and on social media, show people why they should be supporting you.

ALS AssociationWoolley encapsulates many other ideas, but the last I will leave you with is relevancy. How are you relevant to your industry? Be aware of what’s in it for your client and what’s in it for you. Knowing why your customers value you is vital, and it’s not always about the tangibles. She points to the ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge here. Why was dumping a bucket of ice water on your head relevant to society and the association’s goals? Even if you didn’t have $100 to contribute to the charity, getting the message out on social media still raised awareness about ALS.  Recognizing that abstracts like this are also relevant to your value is something that will create success for your personal brand, your employer and your clients.

Let’s talk more about this; provide your feedback in the comments below!

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Rachel Borowski is an account executive for WordWrite Communications. She can be reached at rachel.borowski@wordwritepr.com and found on Twitter @RachelBro_ski.Rachel Borowski

Weekly Wrap: Ethics in Business Edition

 

Imagine this: you are at work and you notice that your fellow coworker has been clocking in an extra half hour every day for months. It honestly doesn’t bother you, because you consider your coworker to be a friend. One day, your boss calls you unexpectedly to his office. He explains that there has been some discrepancy in the finances and questions whether you have any knowledge behind the issue. You sit there, stumped.

This is the type of question nearly every business ethics professor will ask his students on the first day of class.  Think about it. What would you do? For me, I answered, “tell the boss theEthicsScale032610b truth,” although the majority of my class did not share the same mindset. Responses from, “If my boss knew I had known, I’d be fired,” to “It’s my friend; his business, not mine,” to “If it’s a big corporation, they make enough money. No big deal.” Even with the most basic of an example, the moral of the story revolves around the link between honesty and deception. 

Perspectives commonly vary in regards to ethics, but how does this variance impact the business world? 

PR WEEK

Avoiding Cross-Examination

Let’s begin with the basics. Sometimes it is easier to tell a fib than it is to tell the truth. When you don’t like what someone is wearing and they ask you your opinion, it is usually okay to smile and nod along. What they don’t know won’t hurt them, right? Wrong. In the business world, deception and conniving plots may get your business from point A to point B, at first. But when you hear the words, “I have to say, I’m very disappointed,” you know the misconception behind your scheme has been revealed. Read this simple life-extracting example of how a young professional made a mistake that taught him a lesson he would never forget.

THE GUARDIAN

Business and Society: Defining the ‘Social Licence’

Aside from the basic life lesson, on the global scale, inequality is increasing at a tremendous rate. This is no longer a matter about lying on a time sheet or about the color of dress a friend is wearing. Corporate accountability is increasing in urgency. Abuse is commonplace in companies where labor is outsourced. Hate speech and gender discrimination transpires amongst the workforce on a daily basis. Large oil spills or other human-caused environmental disasters are frowned upon. The question, “Whose fault is it?” is a continuous chain of he-said-she-said blame. With driving awareness, business leaders, politicians and civil society are working towards developing global goals to meet the world’s most pressing development problems. Read more to understand how social licenses remain the core center of this ethical debate.

BUSINESS JOURNALS

Business Ethics: 3 Questions Every Business Leader Must Ask

If you recall ‘the most valuable commodity is information’ phrase from the 1987 Gordon Gekko film Wall Street, business professionals soak up data and information. From inventory turns, fixed asset turnover to discounted cash flows, business has become a numbers game. More often than not, the concept of ethics is absent from the minds of money-hungry corporate executives. Therefore, the best way to help oversee the implementation and effectiveness of aCorporate Social Responsibility V2 company’s ethics and compliance program is to find answers to three pivotal questions: What is the strength of our ethical culture? How effective are the systems we are counting on to manage risks? And, what objective metrics do we rely on to monitor our compliance and ethics system performance? Read more to gain insight on seeking answers to these do-good questions.

It is hard; in the business world, there are a million decisions to consider. From making financially incenting choices, to promoting a new product, creating brand awareness and achieving maximum client retention, drawing the fine line between what is right and what is wrong is a challenge. In the day-to-day life of an employee, sometimes fibbing on achievements is the easiest route, but it is definitely not the best. When considered on the global scale, the concept of ethics is surreal. Companies have been allowed to dehumanize and disgrace business practices with little corporate accountability.

At the end of the day, developing an ethics system is even more challenging. Combining all of the necessary components to running a successful business in addition to setting standards that promote ethical operations may seem nearly impossible. But there is a way to bring accountability to your company. Take a step back and reflect on who you are and what you know. How can you help implement and bring awareness to ethical standards within your workplace?

Share with us in the comments below!

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Julia Pizzutti is an intern for WordWrite Communications. You can find her on Twitter @julzutti93

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Weekly Wrap: Being Human is Hard Edition

 

Do you go to work every day with a can-do mentality? Life in the 21st century is difficult. Technology is forcing us to stay plugged in all day, every day. More often than not, the human body is rarely getting the rest it needs. Being pulled in a million directions from family to friends, classes, work, meetings and events is overwhelming. Forget trying to fit in a few minutes of casual relaxation and fun. When it feels like your life is spiraling out of control, your performance at work can suffer greatly. It is a domino effect. When your work performance suffers, your reputation suffers, your salary suffers and your social life seamlessly drains away.

Sometimes combating it feels hopeless, but there are ways to avoid burnout. If you begin to recognize what underlying problems are causing your emotional and physical distress, then youstart taking control 666x500 resized 600 can begin to take the preventative steps necessary to work towards a more productive you.

Harvard Business Review

Just Thinking You Slept Poorly Can Hurt Your Performance

Let’s begin with the topic of sleep. I certainly don’t feel like I get enough sleep, and chances are, you feel the same. Consequently, when human beings do not get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, their reasoning skills are impaired, their reaction time slows and they remember less. But is this matter of “not getting enough shut eye” all in our heads? According to Harvard Business Review, just thinking you slept poorly can hurt your job performance. Case studies from Colorado College show that participants led to believe that they had high-quality sleep significantly outscored control groups and adult norms on verbal fluency tests. Read more to see how the placebo effect worked and how you can convince yourself that you are well-rested.

Forbes

How to Take Control of Your Reputation at Work

Blame the person who took too long in line to order the cappuccino, blame the person in the car in front of you who didn’t go through the yellow light and blame your coworker for not submitting the proposal on time. When things go wrong, it is usually easier to blame anyone else but yourself. Reflect deeply and turn this mindset around. When in the office you are in control of your own actions and individual ideals. Nothing is anyone else’s “fault.” To help ensure that you are making the most of your day, always go to work prepared, be consistent, keep your promises, buy into yourself and stop complaining. If you follow these helpful suggestions, then you can begin to push past your own mental barriers and take claim of your professional life.

The Simple Dollar 
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Work-Life Balance: 14 Techniques for Improving it

After a long day in the office, it feels amazing to slip on your favorite pair of pajamas, cuddle up on the couch and let the day you just had slip deep into the back of your mind. Sometimes
though, when the stressors of life are at an all-time high, it can become ever-so-challenging to find those few minutes of necessary solitude and social satisfaction. Take a deep breath and relax. Just remember that while work may be your priority, your ultimate priority is you. Yes, you. Take the time you need to plan your day, set goals and establish a routine that promotes self-reflection and relaxation amid the craziness. Here are 14 key techniques for improving your work-life balance. Some favorites include taking breaks, writing a to-do list before you leave, keeping careful documentation of your tasks and having focused sessions at work.

The primary takeaway here is that you are in control of your mindset. Yes, not getting the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night can inhibit your overall productivity for the day. Sometimes though, the power of perseverance is all you need to overcome those seemingly impossible challenges. And when your reputation at work is suffering, stop blaming those around you. Everything will not always be in your control but you have the say-so over your own words and actions. Keep yourself as the priority and adjust your goals around your professional growth. Take a minute and consider what type of mindset you had when you walked into work this past week and how you left feeling each day. How did your mentality impact your productivity and well being in the office?

 

Share with us in the comments below!

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Julia Pizzutti is an intern for WordWrite Communications. You can find her on Twitter @julzutti93.

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