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Holiday Traditions, as Told by the WordWriters

 

When you recall your favorite holiday memories, what do they usually include? Many times, these great stories begin with seasonal family traditions that survive generations. As great storytellers, we at WordWrite wanted to share our favorite holiday traditions with you, and we encourage you to share yours with us, too. Who knows, we may have some of the same traditions, or they might just be completely off-the-wall whacky!

Jess:

I have a big family, and we all love Christmas, so our holiday celebrations are always a blast.IMG 1786 On Christmas Eve, my mom’s side of the family goes to my grandma’s house. Our dinner is different each year, but we never celebrate without the cookies and my grandma’s homemade bread, pizzelles and baklava. A lot of my mom’s family lives out of town, so the crowd varies each year. If we’re not all there in person, we call everyone who couldn’t make it in and put them on speaker. The whole family is talking so we usually can’t hear what anyone is actually saying, but it’s nice to hear their voice. Before bed, we leave cookies, milk and reindeer food out. I will never be too old for that.

On Christmas Day, my family begins the day by waking up at 7 a.m., thanks to me.  (Each year, my sister tries to wake up later, but I always win that fight.) We exchange gifts and enjoy more of my grandma’s bread. Then, my dad’s side of the family always comes to our house for dinner. We’re big game players so we spend hours playfully arguing over who won each game. 

Each year, the cookies may differ and the time of dinner may shift, but my favorite tradition always remains the same. I love being with my family, whether it’s in person or over the phone. Of course, I look forward to my grandma’s bread too!

Rachel:

Christmas Eve is quite possibly my favorite day of the year. When having a partially Italian background and a massive propensity towards seafood, how could I not salivate over the Feast of the Seven Fishes?

Many of you are likely familiar, but for those who aren’t, it involves cooking seven different fish or seafood plates for Christmas Eve dinner. Although the reasoning behind it differs from family to family, it’s meant to be a celebration leading up to Jesus’ birth at midnight, while still refraining from eating meat until the clock strikes.  (Leave it to Italians to find a way out of a fast.) There are many theories behind the significance of the number seven, which I will spare you from, but eating at least seven seafood dishes will bring you good luck in the New Year—or at least that’s what I’ve been told.

Here’s where my family’s experience gets a little different: we actually average about 13 different fish or seafood dishes each year; almost all of them are deep-fried. In fact, I think the only dish that isn’t fried is the spaghetti that has finely chopped anchovies in the sauce. Sometimes, we have a vegetable dish, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually put it on my plate. My aunt (and previously, my late grandmother) will spend the entire day in the kitchen next to the deep fryer, and you better believe the entire shindig is run on a tight schedule—wardrobe changes and all. On top of that, our family’s quantity of Christmas cookies rivals that of a cookie table at a Pittsburgh wedding. My grandma’s pizzelle recipe will forever go unmatched, but the cream cheese cookies are my personal favorite.

Christy:

My family traditions have certainly evolved over the years, as I’ve moved from coast to coast, parents got divorced and we’ve lost some of our loved ones. But one thing has remained the same – our competitive and humorous spirit.

One of my favorite traditions is having game night with the family. My family, as well as my better half’s family, love playing games like Catchphrase and Apples to Apples.  We lose track of time and could play these for hours on end, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything because in the end my favorite part of the holidays is time spent with my family and friends.

And when all else fails, we laugh together until our sides hurt. At least it makes for a good workout to burn all of the calories in holiday food.

John: 

I am like Rachel.  Christmas Eve is a time for me to showcase my cooking skills in preparing the Seven Fishes.  My family loves it and you’ve not lived until you have seen a four year old try to eat calamari.

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Jeremy:

For many years when my wife and I were first married, we had to travel six or seven hours to visit her family or my family during the holidays. Thankfully, we moved back to Pittsburgh in 2008, allowing us to be in the same city as one set of parents (mine).

Because we have younger children, it’s still a challenge to travel and stay somewhere else, so my wife’s parents always make the trip to see us.

They’re both retired, which makes it convenient for them to extend their trip for up to a week, and a unique aspect of their visit

s centers around their accommodations. My parents and her parents get along quite well, and her parents stay in one of my parents’ extra bedrooms.

In addition to the cost savings her parents enjoy from that arrangement, this set up also allows our kids to pick one night and have a sleepover with all four grandparents. That’s a special time for the children and grandparents to share with each other at least once during the holidays.  My wife and I look the other way in terms of what the kids are allowed to eat and how late they can stay up each of those occasions, because we know how much it means to our parents . . . who never let us stay up that late when we were that age!

Hollie: 

Without family close by, our holidays usually involve some sort of travel. Now that we have kids, creating memories at home is becoming more of a focus for us—even if it means inviting a certain annoying little elf (Marley) into our home each season! We’re getting more creative with his antics too, which is kind of fun for the kids. (Today he wrapped himself up in a toilet paper roll and took a ride down the stairs, for example.)

As for some other traditions, I usually cook (yes, I do cook one day out of the year!)  a nice dinner at home on Christmas Eve before we head to the candlelight service at our church. Afterwards, we walk over to our neighbor’s house for goodies and cocktails—a fun time we all look forward to each year. Before bed, we give the kids a Christmas box to open with some PJ’s and small gifts. They love to put reindeer food in the snow outside (if we have any) and set out cookies and milk for Santa. When the kids are sound asleep, my husband and I enjoy some “quiet” time putting together toys and watching Christmas movies.  The noise level depends on the difficulty of the toy Mike is assembling…

Truthfully, it’s our time to marvel at the year that has passed and rejoice in the beautiful family we have created.

After all the presents are opened on Christmas morning, we load up the car to visit family four hours away—for more food, presents and quality time with those we love.

Paul:

Brenda and I both have deep family roots in Eastern Europe and though the languages (Bohemian, Polish, Slovak) are slightly different, the traditions are similar. There’s one Polish tradition from Brenda’s family that particular brings a smile to my face. Her dad likes a Polish delicacy called Czernina, or duck’s blood soup. For whatever reason, this is a New Year’s tradition in Brenda’s family, and other than her dad, a good family friend named Lenny Jab who has since passed away, and me, nobody really eats it. My father-in-law, particularly in the years before Brenda and I got married, was always quick to remind me that other than the holidays, the main purpose of Czernina is to be served to young men who want to marry into the family – after their request for marriage has been rejected! Luckily for me, Czernina was never served to me under those conditions and some 35 years later, this is one holiday tradition (and laugh) I enjoy sharing with my father-in-law.

We hope you all have a happy holiday season. Now that we've shared our traditions, we'd love to hear yours! 

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Weekly Wrap: Storytelling Edition

 

This month, we focused our attention on storytelling and its importance in our industry. No matter the size of the story, it has the potential to be outstanding. We’ve highlighted a few articles detailing how to channel your inner storyteller and why it’s so important.

Forbes

instagram storytelling

How to Tell Your Brand Story to The World

Telling a brand’s story is one of the most powerful and meaningful things a marketer can do.Neil Patel shares three ways to get started in creating and telling a compelling story. 

WordWrite Communications

A mighty mouse: Disney World business success firmly rooted in storytelling

Jeremy Church talks about the importance of storytelling and how Disney created something beautiful with the story that became the foundation to their business success. Walt Disney reminded us that Disney’s billion-dollar success story all started with a mouse. There is power within each story and we have the power to release that with our words and some pixie dust. 

Lifehacker

The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate our Brains

Storytelling has been one of the most effective communication methods for over 27,000 years. Evolution has wired our brains to tell stories and one story can put the listener’s entire brain to work. There are many ways to utilize this such as replacing suggestions with stories.

Storytelling is an essential part of our society. Our brains are wired to tell stories, and once we tap into this capability, the outcome can be huge. What ways does your company use storytelling to tap into your audience? 

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Jessica Carnprobst is an intern at WordWrite Communications. You can find her on Twitter @jess_carnprobst. Jessica Carnprobst

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A mighty mouse: Disney World business success firmly rooted in storytelling

 

This blog was originally published on December 19, 2012 and has been updated. 

Two years ago, my wife and I took our kids to Disney World for the first time. I hadn’t been there since elementary school 25 years ago and obviously a lot has changed.

stories at DisneyAs a child, I was most concerned with the rides, characters and aesthetic environment of the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, which have since been joined by Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom to form four main theme parks outside Orlando.

The look and feel of the parks are even better and more sophisticated today, but I was far more interested in the logistics. How on Earth do they keep this place humming, day after day, year after year? What is the secret to Disney World’s tremendous success and economic impact?

Consider the following statistics:

That the turnstiles keep turning at such remarkable rates is a testament to the power of storytelling.  In a statement echoed often here at WordWrite, Disney Executive Vice President, Global Marketing, Sales and Travel Operations Leslie Ferraro said defining an organization’s story informs and influences how it positions its brand.

“First, you must understand your consumer and build your marketing plan on those insights,” Ferraro said. “And, in our cluttered media age, story is more important than ever. What is your story? Find it. Tell it in a compelling fashion while being true to your brand, focusing on the elements of most interest to your consumers.”Disney stories

We’ve written often about our conviction that story trumps brand in both the business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) worlds. Ferraro – whose company is a clear model for B2C global success – agrees. She is emphatic in her belief of the power of story. Much like we at WordWrite like to define Story with a capital S – why your organization exists, why someone would want to work for you, partner with you, buy your products or services, or invest in you – Disney’s “Story” is the foundation behind the company’s ability to endure, adapt and thrive.

“At its heart, the Walt Disney Company is built on storytelling, and our parks are where guests come to immerse themselves in these stories,” she said.

At WordWrite, we use StoryCrafting to help our clients share their story with the audiences who most need to see, hear or experience them. Disney calls it “Imagineering,” a process led by Joe Rohde, senior vice president and creative executive. He discussed the importance of story at the keynote speech of the 2011 PRSA International Conference.

“Story is human nature at the very essence,” he said. “There are rules of order that say how we structure stories and how we conceptualize time. Both of these are so key to how our brains perceive the world, that in general, what is happening to us at any moment in our life is that we are telling ourselves a story – we’re translating everything that happens into story as it happens in front of us.”

Skeptics might argue that it’s easy for company leaders such as Ferraro and Rohde to be consistent in their public statements. But this is more than just lip service.  

The Disney Institute allows professionals across the private, public and social sectors to have an opportunity to learn best practices, methodologies and business lessons that have sustained the global success of Disney. Those visiting the institute aren’t just from theme parks or entertainment fields.  Visitors can earn continuing education credits from organizations such as the American College of Healthcare Executives and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

We often tell clients that the audiences they are trying to reach want to know how you can help them solve their business problems. Our experience tells us the well-crafted business story is the best answer to this question.

I believe Walt Disney would agree.

To keep things in perspective as the opening of Disneyland neared, he reminded people of the company’s humble beginnings. 
“I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse,” he said.

Yet Disney’s eight decades of prolific business success are an example of how staying faithful to this small original concept – rooted in the power of story – can turn wishing upon a star into billions and billions of dollars worth of dreams come true. 

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Jeremy ChurchJeremy 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.

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Weekly Wrap: Instagram Edition

 

Instagram is known for sharing “selfies” and pictures of food, but is it gaining ground when it comes to news? Lately, Instagram’s legitimacy has increased, making it one of the most used social media sites.

TechCrunch

Instagram Hits 300 Million Monthly Users To Surpass Twitter, Keeps It Real With Verified Badges

It only took Instagram nine months to go from 200 to 300 million users. More people are now using InstagramInstagram than using Twitter. To keep their numbers above Twitter’s, Instagram is looking to create verified users soon. They are also looking into the possibility of helping users delete accounts they never interact with.

Wired

Instagram Is Getting So Good at News, It Should Scare Twitter

People are turning to Instagram to stay up to date on the San Francisco rain, as well as other news, instead of Twitter. Instagram allows users to search and filter through hashtags and the “explore” tab. This makes it easier for them to actually see the news. Twitter still has the upper hand on news, but Instagram is working its way to the top with new plans for the future.

International Business Times 

Instagram Could Delete Up To 10 Million Accounts As It Cracks Down on Spam

Now that Instagram has more users than Twitter, they are starting to crack down on spam accounts. They’re taking their rise to the top seriously, ensuring that users are getting the most out of their experience. However, the companies that sell users followers and likes by providing fake accounts may have something to worry about.

As Instagram becomes a bigger force, you and your company may want to reconsider your strategy on this platform. Instagram is looking to keep inclining, as they create plans for the future. What do you think about the increase in users on Instagram and how do you feel this will affect social media use? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Jessica Carnprobst is an intern at WordWrite Communications. You can find her on Twitter @jess_carnprobst. Jessica Carnprobst

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Weekly Wrap: Holiday Shopping Edition

 

With the Christmas season officially in full swing, consumers across the nation are in search of magical holiday presents. While it’s easy to get swept up into the spirit of giving, it’s interesting to think about what goes into organizing this monumental shopping season. From the way a product is designed to the storytelling power of a brand, the holidays bring a certain appeal to the buying experience.

This week’s Wrap takes a fun look into how holiday shoppers are getting smarter, why Disney’s Frozen is a merchandising powerhouse, and a few of the sneaky ways companies get you to buy more.

ABC News 

How Holiday Shoppers are Getting Smarter

While marketers are busy in their offices devising plans to get you to spend more, shoppers are at home getting smarter. With new levels of patience and an increased sense of purpose, shoppers know what to ask for. According to the chairman of America’s Research Group, C. Britt Beemer explains that 75 percent of those who went shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday wanted only deeply discounted specials — and wouldn’t settle for anything less. These shoppers utilize online shopping tools to find the best deals to reduce impulse purchases. Check out this article to see how your awareness as a shopper is driving sales within the marketplace. 

The Independent

Disney’s Frozen: The Power of Princess Merchandising

In the 21st century, consumers are less loyal to companies and are always in search of what’s
new. As a result, brands rise and fall as quickly as trends come and go. For Disney, Frozen hasdescribe the image hit a note-worthy tune that has kept the movie in the starlight for more than a year. As explained by Josh Silverman, the executive vice president for Disney’s global licensing, “We create products that extend the storytelling – the emotional connection that the consumer has when they’re seeing the film carries on in the three-dimensional world.” Whether or not you’re a princess fan, explore this fascinating read to see how Disney’s Frozen has captured the attention of consumers just in time for Christmas.

Time Inc.

10 Ways Companies Trick You into Buying More 

When you enter a store, it isn’t by chance that your mouth begins to water as you walk by the delicious looking chocolate cake; and it isn’t by chance that you run into a 2 for 1 deal near the checkout aisle. The aromas you smell, the sounds you encounter, and the encouraging touch of the salesman are all part of a strategic plan. From nostalgic memories, to the small sized packaging and the illusion of free treats, as a shopper, you are a small piece of a grand puzzle. Use this article as a friendly reminder of how the consumer experience is not simply designed; it’s engineered. 

You’re smart, you’re informed, and you know where to find the deals. The next time you shop online, you’ll be scouting for more savings by visiting multiple sites. When you purchase the $80 Disney Princess Elsa doll for your daughter’s Christmas present, you’ll understand the power of storytelling. And when you walk into the retail store, you will find more constraint when you run into the so-called “sales.” As always, thanks for wrapping up your week with us. What holiday advice do you have for consumers shopping this holiday season? 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 Finding My ‘Why’ Has Changed My View On Public Relations

 

Have you ever been asked why you chose your career path? I have — most recently by a college student interviewing me for his public relations class assignment. It’s a bit of a loaded question and one that I often jokingly answer with, “I’m awful at math.” I quickly follow that up with the story of my childhood dream to become the next Joan Lunden (for those who may not know, Joan was a GMA anchor for many years). I just adored her — she was vibrant and willing to really get into her stories — even if it meant rappelling off a glacier in Alaska. She always seemed to have a great time. About two years into my college degree program — journalism with a focus in radio/television — it dawned on me that I would likely have greater success in public relations than I would making it big in television. Apparently they don’t hire you to anchor GMA right out of college … go figure. Simon Sinek TED Talk Leader

While not the most compelling story, it’s mine, so I might as well own it.

In all seriousness, as I enter my 18th year of working in the public relations field (where I get to work with the news media almost daily), it is only in the past few months that I’ve come to understand just why I do what I do. Contrary to my younger self, it isn’t because I’m a “people person.” While I would consider myself outgoing on most days, and I would hope I’ve developed pretty good communications skills over the years, those alone don’t make me a great public relations practitioner. In fact, I would go so far as to suggest that “people skills” are the smallest part of the equation. Yes, I’m able to develop relationships — it is public RELATIONS after all, but I can’t rely on that ability to succeed.

So, what is my “why?” I believe it’s my desire to find the most compelling nuggets of information in order to craft a story I think reporters or the public will find interesting, that will make them think, or even better — cause them to act. If you give me a survey report or a manuscript, I can’t wait to dig in to learn more. I want to find that ONE thing that everyone else has overlooked. I make it my mission to find that diamond in the rough or that unique angle to a common story. This “why” is what gets me out of bed in the morning — even on dreadful Monday mornings.

As we often say at WordWrite, we look for what moves hearts and minds. This, to me, is the essence of public relations — telling stories that resonate and that make a difference. If our jobs were all about talking to people, anyone could do it, right? It’s that yearning to dig deep, think differently and search beyond the parameters that make us valuable. Oh yes, and our ability to tell a great story through words and other tools.

In high school I realized early on that I liked being the one to share a story. I wanted to be the first to know it and the first to tell it. Sounds a little gossipy, I suppose, but perhaps the difference is that it was in the pursuit of truth rather than sensational for sensational sake. I truly loved telling people what they needed to know, when they needed it. So, I volunteered to deliver the morning announcements. It was a job I took seriously. And, my friends did too — as they learned very quickly that I could get them out of class by adding them to the list of people who needed to come to the office. Ah, that feels good to finally tell the truth. I would hope after more than 20 years the wonderful ladies in the office would forgive me for abusing this “power” I had.

You see, in public relations, it’s far more than interacting with publics. It’s having a true desire to learn, to seek out more and to figure out the best way to share what you’ve learned. It’s a natural curiosity to go that extra mile to make a project or story better — to find the shiny diamond amongst the pile of rocks. This is what makes us unique as storytellers.

So, when you hear someone say they do what they do because they are a “people person” ask them what they really mean. Chances are, it’s not true. They just haven’t figured out their “why” yet.

If you’re interested in learning how to find your own “why,” check out Simon Sinek’s book, “Start With Why.” It’s a favorite of ours at WordWrite!

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Hollie Geitner

Hollie Geitner is vice president, client services for WordWrite Communications. You can find her on Twitter @JustHollieG.


 



Weekly Wrap: Perspective Edition

 

The news is filled with stories about those who have either been injured or killed in a travesty. Every day, when the television flicks on, there is another theft, another accident, you name it. The pure amount of negativity can become physically and mentally overwhelming. Where is the good? Where is the happiness?

In the holiday spirit, this week’s Wrap reminds to put our lives in perspective. Finding the good in even the saddest situations can bring a heartwarming smile to any face. 

Let’s take a look.

PR News

Mike Nichols’ Career Offers Lessons for All Communicators

This past Wednesday, Mike Nichols passed away at the age of 83. Having worked with many of
the finest and most recognized actors in Hollywood, Nichols has directed and
produced countless award-winning productions. From his keen comic timing to his superb artistic success, Nichols had a gift for communicating. His death taught individuals worldwide to swing for the fences, take a chance one in a while, be versatile, always keep working and make your work accessible. Explore this interesting read to remind yourself of the lessons that even death can teach.

Deseret News National 
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8 Lessons Robin Williams Taught Us

While Mike Nichols passed away from a natural heart attack, Robin Williams death back in August has officially been ruled a suicide. Williams’ death broke the hearts of fans everywhere, but that didn’t stop them from honoring his inspirational presence. He taught us to get involved with the beauty and art of the world, to celebrate each day and to focus on what makes you happy. See what other lessons Williams taught the world while he was alive. Use it as a reminder to focus on the present and to stop assuming the worst.

Huffington Post

Happiness Can be Learned

Death can spark unimaginable pain. While it can spur feelings of despair and relentless anguish, the good news is that happiness can be learned. This Huffington Post is about understanding
the definition of happiness, what it is, how you can prepare for it and why it is a blessing. The most fundamental takeaway is that dedicating yourself to overcoming the negative is paramount to learning how to be happy. Check out the rest of this article to see how you can discover the good on a regular basis.

At the end of the day, putting all of your energy into negativity is draining. When life gets too difficult to handle, it’s necessary to take a step back from the situation and reevaluate your perspective. This holiday season is all about finding good. As always, thanks for wrapping up your week with us. When was the last time you chose happiness instead of drawing on the bad? 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: Entrepreneurship Edition

 

According to the Harvard Business Review, entrepreneurship “is the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled.” Pursuit implies relentless focus. Opportunity refers to an offering that is novel. Beyond resources controlled implies resource constraints. In other words, entrepreneurship is the process of starting a business from scratch. It’s an exciting, complex time where the truly determined individuals power through. Starting a business requires focus, sacrifice and a relentless passion. 

In this week’s Wrap we take a unique approach to looking at why millennials are more entrepreneurial than prior generations, the addictive nature of entrepreneurship and advice for making it on your own.

Let’s dive in.

Business News Daily

Millennials are More Entrepreneurial than Gen Xers, Baby Boomers

According to a study by the Independent Bankers of America, 46 percent of millenials are interested in starting and running a small business. Only 34 percent of Gen Xers and 17 percent of baby boomers said the same. As the most entrepreneurial generation by far, over half of Eco Innovation resized 600 those surveyed said they would prefer to meet the president of a local bank who could help fund their dreams, as opposed to meeting the president of the United States. Explore this interesting read to learn what differentiating perspectives millenials hold in comparison to those from prior generations.

Forbes

Is Entrepreneurship Addictive?

A recent report from Syracuse University professors surveyed that reasonably successful entrepreneurs display habits characteristic to that of addicts. Those involved within the survey examined that the entrepreneurs had obsessive thoughts and experienced moments of extreme euphoria. Surprisingly, when asked why they were so committed to their business endeavors, the entrepreneurs explained that it simply makes them feel better. See why these individuals are addicted to the feelings and experiences that empower them as they work.

Entrepreneur

Don’t Try Be What You’re Not

Entrepreneurs are successful because they work to become the best visions of themselves; they are not focused on becoming anybody else. This article is an important reminder about human nature. If you try to become somebody else, it won’t work, it will come across badly, and you will risk losing whatever it is that makes you special. No matter what stage you are within your entrepreneurial endeavor, remain true to yourself. Explore your entrepreneurial genius and embrace your own magic.

Sometimes an entrepreneurial adventure promotes success but sometimes it ends in failure. At the end of the day, it’s about perseverance. In the 21st century, millenials are committed to the bottom line. While being an entrepreneur appears to have addictive characteristics, it’s important to stay true to yourself. As always, thanks for wrapping up your week with us. What fundamental lessons have entrepreneurs taught you in your own life? 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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A Changing Scorecard: To Recapture B2B Success

 

For November’s editorial focus on all matters “strategy”, t­­he author here is reprising one of his blogs from 2009. Now, as then, the need is great to strategically build more robust dimensions of business value.

For more than a generation the brass ring of American business culture has been to do it “cheaper, better and faster” than the competitor. This pursuit has played out in dozens of ways both big and small. Six Sigma, strands of globalization, Friedman’s “flat world” and even the debate about American immigration policy are tightly linked to this mother of all business ambitions. Marketing and business communication has done its part to establish this sentiment as a “common good” ideal. Alas, we may now be learning that like all things once thought wonderful, the lifespan of “better, cheaper, faster” (BCF) is waning. describe the image

To be sure BCF has a rightful place in many parts of the American business economy. But it can’t singularly define what is successful or desirable for an entire economy—especially in the B2B sector. The monolithic thinking behind BCF production is fertile breeding ground for disengaging creativity, creating “comoditisized” products and services and eroding legitimate points of competitive distinction. Providing anything that might be deemed “value-added” (presumably the heartbeat of B2B operations) is increasingly difficult, clients become underwhelmed and vendors grouse about the loss of margin. Some type of dumb-downed or narrowly applicable end product or service is indeed produced more cheaply and rapidly than what preceded it, but questions mount about how “better,” or valuable, or even relevant it is!

It’s in the extreme vested interest of B2Bs to get off this merry-go-round and establish a new approach that signals the provision of client value. We advocate a shift from BCF to what we term “smarter, comprehensive and authentic” (SCA). These ideals self-define what makes (or at least can make) the B2B enterprise highly valued again by the client. To be SCA implies study, analysis and custom building client solutions in relevant day-to-day business contexts. It also implies a sincerity of purpose in arriving at these conclusions. It is real. And, it is really needed if B2Bs wish to again be widely viewed as helpful business partners.

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John Durante is marketing services director for WordWrite Communications.    

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Weekly Wrap: Innovation Edition

 

There is a lot of talk in today’s technology-connected world about the concept of innovation; but what exactly is it? Does innovation refer to the new, exciting and applicable? Or perhaps it refers to something that is smarter and more accelerated?

Innovation doesn’t have to completely revolutionize the way human beings do business or be a world-changing invention. Innovation can also be simple in nature. It encompasses a new idea or potential solution to an existing problem faced by companies on a daily basis. Innovation creates value for a business and its customers, employees and stakeholders. In this week’s Wrap we take a look at innovation principles from Google, the new patterns of innovation and why great innovators are relentless rule breakers.

Think With Google

The Eight Pillars of Innovation

Google, the tech giant of the 21st century is an American multinational corporation specializing in Internet-related products and services. As the holy grail of creativity and productivity, Google embraces the unknown. No problem is too big or too small. With extraordinary management practices, the company’s success is sparked from its continuous commitment to finding solutions. Take a look at this Think With Google article to see Google’s eight describe the imageinnovation principles. Perhaps one of these driving attributes will flicker some imagination within your business efforts.

Harvard Business Review

The New Patterns of Innovation

Managers who are skilled at executing clearly defined strategies are often ill equipped for out of the box thinking. Does this surprise you? Harvard Business Review explores the business patterns that drive innovation. Explore the helpful ways to structure a conversation about developing innovative initiatives with a data-centric focus. As you read, keep this fact in mind: the faster technology advances, the more opportunities pop up.

Business 2 Communication

Great Innovators are Relentless Rule Breakers

Originally written in 1975 by Freddie Mercury, the famous Bohemian Rhapsody song is masterful and innovative. When first proposed that the song be released as a single, Queen’s producers quickly rejected the idea. Since radio stations typically only played songs that were no longer than three and a half minutes, the mere thought of playing a nearly six minute long one was unfathomable. Unwilling to settle, Queen bypassed their record producers and went straight to DJ Kenny Everett. This article is a must read to remember why creative geniuses don’t listen to the demands of critics, bosses or customers. Learn how a legendary British single that broke all of the rules was able to skyrocket to fame.

Making predictions about the future can be difficult, but it is safe to assume that innovation will continue to remain a forefront to business success. Learn as much as you can about the world around you, recognize where opportunities are present and take a dive into the pool of innovation. As always, thanks for wrapping up your week with us. What innovative techniques have brought success to 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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