Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

Five tips for communicating technical subject matter

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Elyse Nabata, Assistant Account Specialist

Working in IT, Government of Alberta’s ministry of Environment and Parks and dating an engineer have faced me with the task of deciphering and communicating complex technical information. Whether you are looking to improve your next presentation or find yourself needing to communicate technical subject matter to a non-technical audience – here are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure your message is understood.

  1. Know the facts/product/technology inside out – if you are the subject matter expert, you’ll likely have this down pat, but if you’re not, it’s important to try and become one. If it’s a technical solution that you can test or pilot first hand – do it. Seek out the subject matter expert and have them walk you through what they know and don’t forget to ask plenty of questions! Read information online and do your own personal research.
  2. Know your audience – this may seem like a no-brainer, but the way you communicate a topic can change significantly depending on who the audience is. It can also affect your choice in who is delivering the message. For example, at an engineering conference, you would likely want to choose the technical subject matter expert and not the CEO to speak about a new technology. It’s a good idea to tailor your language and examples to best fit the audience you’re working with.
  3. PLAIN LANGUAGE – I’ve used all caps to emphasize the importance of this point. It’s something I’ve found that technical subject matter experts often struggle with. To be fair, at times there aren’t plain language alternatives for specific processes, technologies, etc., but try as much as you possibly can. Mark Twain once said, “Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.” Preach, Mark – preach.
  4. Examples and visual aids – the use of real life examples and visual aids (photos, diagrams, charts etc.) can help drive your point across and reinforce your message. Once, my partner tried to explain how a steam turbine worked to me. It wasn’t until he showed me a diagram that I began to understand. There are many types of visual aids – don’t immediately jump to a PowerPoint presentation. There are many new and creative visuals you can use. I love this TED Talk by David McCandless about data visualizations – if you have 20 minutes to spare; it’s worth a watch.
  5. Keep it clear, concise and to the point – this is a tip that we all can keep in mind to improve our writing. Strive to cut out unnecessary words and use the most direct way to phrase sentences. If in doubt, pass a piece of writing by someone who’s not familiar with the subject matter to see if it makes sense to them.

 

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll improve your communication skills and avoid people looking at you like this:

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-Elyse Nabata is an Assistant Account Specialist at Brookline with a passion for writing and organized project planning.

Your Brand’s Audience is Purple

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

doug

 

Caption:

2012 Presidential Election, Purple America. http://www.princeton.edu/~rvdb/JAVA/election2012/

 

As an American citizen who has lived in Canada for just over three years at the time of this posting, the last couple of weeks of election-related frenzy has been pretty consuming. Rightly so, I don’t think anyone would debate how divisive the last 18 months was in the US.

Don’t stop reading! This is not an op-ed, but merely a reminder that while you, your colleagues, maybe even the values of your entire company may swing to one political persuasion over another, laying a claim to one side is a sure-fire way to alienate at least a portion of those who support your brand.

Without putting specific companies in the corner with a dunce hat firmly affixed to their heads, there were many reminders in the days following the US election that when a brand takes a political side, it has a PR crisis on its hands. Try this exercise: take politics out of the equation and pretend we’re talking about Coke and Pepsi. If you knew around half your customers were Coke diehards and the other half were Pepsi devotees – would you tweet your full support for Coke, even putting down Pepsi as inferior? Of course you wouldn’t!

Yes, I realize politics have an actual affect over peoples’ lives and they should not be reduced to pop metaphors. Individuals should always be free to express their views, opinions and have the right to endorse and vote for whomever they’d like, it is the very basis of democracy.

It isn’t just customers that brands stand to lose, either. Companies are made of individuals of all persuasions, opinions and values, endorsing one way or another alienates not just a portion of your customers, but a portion of your employees. The PR lesson here is simple: never lose sight of the fact that your brand represents a group of individuals that rally behind your company, through working for the company or buying your products and services. The communications you put out in the world affect them, too.

Remember, the world is not only blue or red, no matter what the Electoral College map tells you. My favourite day-after-election map is the purple map, which shows in gradient how America voted. Without a doubt, after every election, it is a blend of blue and red. It is purple, and your brand should be, too.

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– Doug Self is a Senior Account Executive at Brookline with a background rooted in the technology industry. His expertise lies in media relations, content creation, and communication and marketing strategy. 

 

Brookline Public Relations Celebrates Continued Growth with New Office Space, Team Promotions and Client Wins

Friday, October 7th, 2016

CALGARY (October 7, 2016) – Brookline Public Relations (Brookline), an award-winning boutique public relations agency, continues to achieve unprecedented growth with new clients, expanded presence across Canada and several employee promotions.

Now celebrating 12 years in the industry, Brookline has experienced significant growth in the past 24 months – a substantial achievement given the current Alberta economy. Brookline attributes its growth to creative campaigns and strong client relationships that the agency has cultivated over the years. Recent client partnerships include West Creek Developments and Brewster Travel Canada, amongst many others. In addition, Brookline is working with Fountain Tire again on some press release announcements for specific projects.

In tandem with a year of exciting client wins, several Brookline team members also made strides towards achieving professional growth and industry recognition. Erica Morgan, Account Specialist, was recently named one of PR in Canada’s Top 30 Under 30. A number of promotions also recently took place with Lisa Libin promoted to Vice President, Sophie Pilon to Account Supervisor, Doug Self to Senior Account Executive and Tammy Mandelbaum to Assistant Account Specialist.

“I am so proud of our team’s accomplishments,” says Shauna MacDonald, Brookline Public Relations Principal and Founder. “At Brookline, we continue to challenge the status quo. Our growth and success in this uncertain economy is a result of the innovation and strategic work our clients have come to know us for.”

As Brookline continues to flourish, the team has also transitioned into a larger head office that is more conducive to a collaborative work environment. The new space will allow Brookline to further develop both its client base and service offerings in a setting that fosters openness and creativity.

“The new office was designed with an open concept and is truly reflective of the prominent trend towards collaborative and multi-functional work spaces. Our team thrives on sharing ideas and concepts together and the new space was constructed to facilitate that process. With several board rooms and breakout open work spaces, the new office provides the optimal environment for our team of dedicated PR practitioners to continue to excel,” MacDonald continues.

Brookline’s professional growth and expanding team continue to establish its position as one of Canada’s leading boutique PR agencies.

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About Brookline Public Relations, Inc.

Brookline Public Relations, Inc. is a strategic public relations and marketing communications firm dedicated to helping organizations build awareness, profile and credibility worldwide. Our core purpose is to support our clients’ goals with fresh and creative communications strategies by implementing a solid and professional approach while enthusiastically challenging the status quo. We want our clients to be recognized as industry leaders. Our services include: Media Relations, Corporate Communications, Crisis Communications and Issues Management, Integrated Marketing, Event Management and Social Media. For more information, please visit www.brooklinepr.com.

 

For media inquiries, please contact:

Shauna MacDonald

Brookline Public Relations, Inc.

403-538-5645

smacdonald@brooklinepr.com