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The Virus that Contaminates Your Communications

March 17, 2020

News reporters are spewing out COVID-19 crisis stories around the clock. There is another virus worthy of your full attention as you help lead your organization through this time of testing. It is a communication virus that our team at Benchmark Communications calls a Thought Virus. This virus contaminates your daily messaging and communications. It impacts your ability to positively influence others and can harm your credibility as a leader. If undetected, a Thought Virus comes with a long Read More

Voice Tips

3 VOICE TIPS the Best Speakers Know: Coronavirus Interview Lessons

February 27, 2020

The best speakers know how to use voice patterns to earn credibility. Most likely you have heard someone say, “It is not what you said. It is how you said it.” Every day your voice patterns greatly impact if people accept or reject your ideas. This is why when we coach people to be better speakers and spokespersons we often address voice patterns first. Unfortunately, men and women are not judged with the same criteria when it comes to voice patterns. But there are some voice Read More

Conflict Resolution Skills in the Age of Rage

February 18, 2020

Flexibility and conflict resolution skills are essential career tools! The odds are you will be challenged by someone or something every day of your life. Workplace conflicts are taking a costly toll on businesses. This could be why HR leaders and job recruiters consistently rank flexibility skills and conflict resolution skills in the top ten of the most desirable soft skills. Conflicts are also increasing among airline travelers where air rage is a real problem. Case Study: Air Read More

10 Signs Your CRISIS RESPONSE is Like a Box of Chocolates

February 16, 2020

If Forrest Gump were a reputation management consultant he would say that crisis response is like a box of chocolates! You never know what you might get - when your crisis plans sit unused and untested. How do you know if your crisis response will be like a box of chocolates? According to PR studies, 62% of US companies do have crisis management plans. However, fewer actually keep their crisis plans updated and tested. All teams and department leads must know and test their crisis Read More

Media Attacks: Crisis Lessons from CBS News’ Kobe Bryant Interview

February 10, 2020

What should you do when the media attacks or a reporter misquotes you? What should you do when they take your comments out of context? Corporate spokespersons deal with these dilemmas all the time. So, it is ironic that CBS News anchor Gayle King is now asking this very question of her own network. CBS has been in crisis mode for days trying to deal with this major fight with its most popular news personality. King is mad. She says CBS News clearly messed her over. Welcome to the world of Read More

5 Team Presentation Tips: Lessons from Senator Kamala Harris’ Public Scolding

February 3, 2020

Have you ever been distracted by someone giggling or picking their nose during a team presentation? It happens. Team presentations can be dynamic – or they can backfire. This week we saw a great example of things backfiring when a group of US Senators held a team press conference about the impeachment trial of President Trump. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was speaking when he became distracted by giggling and chatter going on behind him. Senator Kamala Harris was joking around Read More

Handle 3 Major Presentation Distractions Like a Pro!

January 29, 2020

Presentations do not always go as planned – even if you are part of the famous Jonas brothers. The brothers were touted as one of the hottest acts at this year’s Grammys and they did go viral! But not for their flashy performance or nomination as best pop duo / group. Instead, it was a piece of spinach lodged in Nick Jonas’ teeth that lit up social media. Jonas laughed it off and made fun of himself on Twitter. Presentation distractions happen every day and seasoned Read More

Sticky Messages: How to Influence Decisions

January 14, 2020

How many times this year will you try to get someone to understand your ideas? How many times will you succeed in making your ideas stick so that others accept and act on your advice? Creating and delivering Sticky Messages is the key to selling your ideas and influencing others. The truth is that if people do not quickly use the ideas and information you share, they will lose it and forget it! Therefore, you need to know some solid Sticky Messaging strategies and the principles of “The Read More

The #1 Career-Boosting Habit for 2020: Gratitude

January 7, 2020

There is a new habit you can choose in the new year to transform your career; showing more gratitude has the power to increase your happiness and those around you! It is so simple, yet studies show it is one of the most powerful daily habits you can build into your life. Whether you choose to tell someone “thank you” or you write them an email or note, neuroscience says gratitude rewires your brain and gets amazing results! It changes how people perceive you and it changes how you see Read More

Who Wins the Worst Crisis Interview of 2019?

December 31, 2019

CSI: Crisis Scene Investigation - By Gail Borden THE CASE 2019 will be remembered as a booming year for train wreck media interviews and crises. However, the one that earns the crown as “king of the worst 2019 crisis interviews” is a real prince. Really! Prince Andrew is now out of a job, thanks to one ill-advised media interview that could go down as the worst public relations decision of all time.  Prince Andrew being grilled by BBC journalist Emily Maitlis. Photo: Read More

Trust On Teams: How To Tell If You Can Trust Someone

November 18, 2019

HOW GOOD ARE YOU AT READING TRUST? Trust is the foundation of building strong teams at work, so how good are you at judging who is trustworthy? Do you sometimes pick up cues and ignore them – only to realize later the cues told you someone was not worthy of your trust? If you were to compete with a dog on “reading” who is trustworthy, who would win? Odds are the dog would get the gold medal. Dogs are intuitive and read your emotions extremely well because their life depends on Read More

Social Media: Boogeyman or Trust Builder?

November 18, 2019

USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO BUILD TRUST Can you build stakeholder trust with a good social media strategy? Trust is now considered to be the currency of the new economy. Simply put, people are attracted to organizations they trust. With 2020 approaching, many businesses are refreshing their strategies to boost stakeholder trust. You cannot buy trust on Amazon or at the bank. But, can you buy trust with a good social media strategy? No, but you can certainly earn it on social media if you Read More

Employee Ambassadors: Key to Earning Public Trust

November 4, 2019

BUILDING TRUST WITH EMPLOYEE AMBASSADORS Stakeholder engagement is crucial at a time when the public's trust of business leaders is shrinking faster than an ice cube in hot coffee. This is bad news for companies since corporate profits are tied to public trust. A recent Pew Research Center study says the American public trusts business leaders even less than they trust news reporters or government agencies. Company leaders rank number two (right behind politicians) as the least trusted Read More

Overcoming Team Negativity: 3 World Series Leadership Lessons

October 27, 2019

Negativity can crush a team faster than anything. Have you ever been guilty of being negative at work? It happens and you have to be careful because negativity can be habit-forming and contagious! You can learn three valuable leadership lessons from the Houston Astros and their struggle to rebound after losing the first two games of the World Series. How you respond when the going gets tough says a lot about your leadership skills and your team’s full potential. Here are three things you Read More

3 Tips for Taming the “Meeting Monsters”

October 21, 2019

Today there will be up to 41 million meetings across the USA and many people count them as a waste of time. Creating an effective meeting is possible, but it requires taming the “meeting monsters” that make people dread meetings! It is so simple that most leaders miss it! A Gallup study shows that highly engaged employees thrive with regular meetings - but only if the meetings are worthwhile. According to a Harvard University survey, 71% of people say the vast majority of meetings are Read More

Crisis Ready? Know The Media’s Top Crisis Questions

May 12, 2019

When your organization is hit with a crisis you can expect news reporters to corner your spokesperson with tough crisis questions! Daily you see more organizations being slammed in news headlines and on social media about crisis issues and events. Thankfully, many companies quickly address issues, so they never make the news. But recent evidence shows more incidents are morphing into full-blown corporate crises, with a whopping 80% increase in the number of headlines with the word Read More