Key messages make sense

Job interviewWhat are key messages — and why do they make sense? When dozens of ads assault us every day and hundreds of texts and email alerts, social media blurbs and other forms of communications vie for our attention, key messages can simplify business.

What is a key message? It can be any important concept expressed in 12 words or fewer. TV and radio announcers, politicians and public relations people use them all the time. Before going on air, or going about your daily business, pare down your thoughts on any subjects you want to express. Reduce important statements to just 10 or 12 critical words.

Example: Our project goal is to cut spending enough to make a $10,000 profit. 

Even complicated subjects can be communicated concisely if you plan head. Think out what’s most important; then, jot down short statements that contain the main ideas.

Key messages carry more clout in meetings, interviews, presentations, group work, etc.  Rather than taking five minutes or more to convince others, use key messages to get across your most important ideas succinctly.
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Published by Susan K. Maciak, PR-Communications Specialist, CAMEO Career & Corporate Consulting LLC | cameo100.com | For permission to reprint: ask@cameo100.com

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Phone Calls: Still Critical for Communication

Black Rotary Telephone on White Surface
You don’t see many dial-up phones on office desks anymore. That doesn’t mean phones are outdated. In fact, they’re more important than 
ever.

Everyone answers the phone

At one time only receptionists were trained to answer phones calls professionally. Now, almost everyone on the payroll picks up business calls all day long. For business leaders, that suggests that everyone on your staff should know how to make the most of the phones, or use them to the advantage of your organization.

A few tips may save the day                                                                   . . . and the customer:

  • Answer phones promptly and pleasantly. Prospective customers will move on to another business if their calls aren’t answered by the fourth ring. They’ll go elsewhere if a grouch answers.
  • Start with your company name, then your name, rather than hip greetings like “Hey, it’s me,” reserved for friends and non- business hours.
  • Always ask: “What can I do for you?”
  • Listen carefully to each response.
  • Take notes if necessary.

If a customer’s question requires a return call, vow to get back with the caller as soon as possible – and do it! There’s nothing more irritating to potential customers than waiting forever for an answer.

Susan K. MaciakPublished by Susan K. Maciak, CAMEO Career & Corporate Consulting LLC | cameo100.com | For permission to reprint, ask@cameo100.com

When less is more

More fun, more friends, Overworkedmore money . . . more things . . . more seems better, but sometimes less can be more.

More words, for example, don’t always make your message more important, cause your communication to be clearer,    or sell your product or service.

You don’t have to write an three-page essay or a whole book to bring in customers.

The public is bombarded with hundreds, maybe thousands, of advertising messages each day. Radio, TV, the internet, and old-fashioned magazines and newspapers are filled with words from morning ’til night. Then, there’s junk mail, church bulletin ads, place mats on tables in restaurants and signs of all kinds — everywhere.

Who can read it all? Who wants to? No one. To work their magic, ads and promotional pieces should have fewer words and more white spaces, less content and more eye-catching images. Use words sparingly — just to cover the basics. You’ve said enough if your readers can find answers to these questions:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • Why?
  • and How?

Add ‘what’s in it me?’ (the buyer) or how your product or service will benefit potential clients or customers. Cut it short. When there’s just enough information to catch attention and provide the most important details . . . less is more.

Lets-talk-business is provided by CAMEO Consulting LLC – PR/Communications.  For permission to reprint: ask@cameo100.com    Visit us at: cameo100.com

Find focus: Reach goals

adult-blur-bokeh-712786 - pexelsDo you find yourself scattered all over the place when it comes to reaching your goals? Are you running in a dozen different directions at once?
Ambitious people often over-plan, over-schedule and take on way too many projects to accomplish what they’d really like to achieve.
If you’re one of those ‘do it all’ people who never seems to have done enough, it’s time to set limits for yourself. You’ll be amazed at the results.
At the beginning of each week, set no more than five (5) goals for your business or yourself. Write them down or key them in on your computer to keep your focus on those five. Then, devote one whole day to tackling each item on your list.
If you set just four goals, or three, each week, that could be even better. You’ll have more than a day to focus on each of the three or four.
WOW! By the end of each week, you’ll marvel at how far you’ve come from making your dreams come true!
Susan K. Maciak
Susan K. Maciak | CAMEO Communications, Career & Corporate Consulting LLC                          cameo100.com |ask@cameo100.com|WordPress.lets-talk-business.blog

Help new hires succeed

With record unemployment rates, business owners and managers are probably finding it hard to hire people with experience — if they can find new staff at all!Job interview

To keep your company running smoothly when experienced staff is rare, help new hires succeed on the job by getting them off to the right start.

Too many employers hire inexperienced workers and expect them to know exactly what to do.

Instead of leaving ‘business as usual’ up to chance, you can increase the odds of everyone’s success by taking a few practical steps when someone new joins your crew:

  1. Let all new employees know your expectations from the start.
  2. Put job responsibilities in writing to avoid miscommunication.
  3. Provide instructions and/or training on how to do the work.
  4. Encourage new employees to ask as questions about their job.
  5. Note and compliment new hires on their strengths and abilities.
  6. Help them overcome weaknesses with adequate training.

Far too often, employers expect new hires to step into a job and pick up the slack of an experienced person. No matter how well educated or impressive they may be, new staff members won’t know exactly how you want things done.

No one can read your mind. If you’d like your business to continue running well, you need to spend adequate time helping each employee learn how to handle their work. Your investment in time will pay off in customer satisfaction!

By Susan K. Maciak |CAMEO Career & Corporate Consulting |cameo100.com | For permission to reprint — or for consulting services on staff training or pr/communications: ask@cameo100.com

How well do you cope? Here’s help

If you or someone you know ever suffered a setback, you’ll relate to a new book, co-authored by Susan K. Maciak and Will Ellermets.

ON THE REBOUND, inspired by a true story, provides hints on coping with loss.  Readers follow a young man’s painful, but sometimes amusing, break-up with a girlfriend. His agonizing ordeal helps him find his purpose in life.

ON THE REBOUND encourages people to hold onto hope, no matter how hopeless things may seem. It’s especially poignant for young adults making their way in the world today.

“This book puts losses in perspective, provides answers, and proves to readers that they, too, can rebound from life’s set-backs,” says Maciak. 

 “Our book can be funny,” adds Ellermets, “but it’s also a great tool to help people handle life’s disappointments in positive ways.”

ON THE REBOUND is a joint project of CAMEO Career & Corporate Consulting LLC and Battle of the Gains LLC. Both businesses strive to make differences in people’s lives.

Books and eBooks are available now at Amazon.com, the Apple store and other online booksellers worldwide. Copies will soon be sold at various West Michigan locations and venues in other parts of the country.

Let’s Talk Business! Blog by Susan K. Maciak, CAMEO Career & Corporate Consulting LLC  | cameo100.com | ask@cameo100.com

Strategic Partnerships: Two minds beat one

pexels-photo-872955.jpegStrategic partnerships          let small firms accomplish more

How can you bring more brain power to a small business?

“Forge strategic partnerships,” says Susan K. Maciak.

Sole proprietor of two Michigan-based firms, Maciak looks for ways to do more with less for both of her enterprises, CAMEO Career & Corporate Consulting LLC and CAMEO Communications. To stretch her time, talent and customer base, she’s formed several strategic business partnerships with other companies in her area.

“We work together seamlessly as separate entities,” Maciak explains.

“We each maintain our own business, but work together on projects that require each others’ skills.”

Maciak maintains strategic relationships with web site developers, video makers and business consultants, for example, who need extra help in her areas of expertise:

  •  PR-Communications / Content writing / Blogging / Social media campaigns
  •  Presentations / PowerPoint programs / Promotional packages / PR advice
  • Career and corporate training materials / handbooks / handouts / Ads

In turn, Maciak’s strategic partners provide technical skills when her companies need web- or video-based expertise, such as launching blogs for clients, making video clips or putting promotional messages online.

Susan K. Maciak | CAMEO Communications, Career & Corporate Consulting LLC                                          cameo100.com |ask@cameo100.com|WordPress.lets-talk-business.blog
 

 

 

Wanted: World Problem Solvers

Big companies around the world agree on one thing: They like to hire problem solvers. Governments acpexels-photo-414916.jpegross the globe could also use a few more leaders able to find solutions to problems.

So school officials wonder: How do we turn today’s students into problem solvers? Employers ask: How can we help our people turn lemons into lemonade?

Promote thinking skills

A few years ago, we called it critical thinking. Today, we’re more likely to recognize the phrase complex problem solving. They’re pretty much the same. Problem solving is the ability to look at situations, think critically about them to make the best possible decisions in an increasingly complex world. This type of thinking requires:

  • Reading, seeing, or hearing all sides of an issue.
  • Ability to analyze information beyond its literal meanings.
  • Aptitude to ask probing questions and assess the ideas of others.
  • Capacity to seek out diverse points of view and multiple perspectives.
  • Use of evidence and reasoning to support ideas and opinions.
  • Competence in solving complex problems with apt solutions.

Teach problem solving

Teachers who encourage classroom discussion are on the right track. To become problem solvers, students need lessons that go beyond read and regurgitate. Rather than requiring 11th-graders just to read a chapter on the Civil War and list Who?, What?, When? and Where? on a work sheet, educators must urge them to probe further. Ask students and staff alike: Why? and How? 

Why was there a Civil War in the U.S.?

Why couldn’t North and South get along?

Why did each side feel the way they did?

How did North and South differ in their views?

How could states have resolved their differences peacefully?

How can we avoid this type of national disaster in the future?

Questions like these, along with facts and figures, help develop skill in finding solutions for complex problems. Relying on Why and How, rather than habit or instinct, or doing things as they’ve always been done, leads to deeper answers – both in the classroom and on the job.

It’s good to know the facts (Who, What, When and Where), but more important are the reasons (Why) and alternatives (How). Answers to those questions can change organizations, change lives and change the world.

For more communication, career or corporate insights: ask@cameo100.com

Susan K. Maciak | CAMEO Communications, Career & Corporate Consulting LLC | cameo100.com | lets-talk-business.com

Watch out for job scams

EVERY NEW YEAR brings new hopes and dreams. On Jan. 1, you will probably set your sights higher. If it’s a new job you want, watch out for scams.

PIC.14.performance reviewWork schemes are as rampant as New Year’s resolutions — even when the unemployment rate is low.

 

Here are a few rules to follow before jumping on the band wagon, or falling for what sounds like a good opportunity:

Rule 1: Never, ever pay for the privilege of working. No legitimate job requires upfront fees.

Rule 2: Run from anyone who asks you to buy something to get started in their business. You shouldn’t have to buy your own samples. Credible companies provide sales kits for their people at no cost to them.

Rule 3. Never deal with anyone who promises you a job. No one can guarantee that someone else will get a job. Real jobs always require you to meet standards through applications, resumes, interviews, etc.

Rule 4. Avoid schemes that offer training, certificates or degrees that guarantee jobs. Even if you have the right qualifications for a position, you still have to work hard at getting hired.

Rule 5. Don’t fall for promises that you can make big bucks working at home – especially if you have to invest money to get started. You might make a phone sale occasionally or work remotely from a job you already have, but most work at home schemes are time-consuming scams with little or no payback.

Rule 6. Don’t deal with any offer that requires you to act fast. Getting a job is usually a carefully thought out, lengthy process.

If you find yourself falling for any such schemes, the best you can do is make a report to save others from job cons.

Report your experience to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by phone: 1-877-382-4357 or report online at ftc.gov/complaints. Any information you provide helps builds cases against swindlers.

 

Susan K. Maciak | CAMEO Communications, Career & Corporate Consulting LLC | cameo100.com | lets-talk-business.blog | ask@cameo100.com

Key business words: creative, innovative

“Every business is show business,” says Bill Capodagli, author of “Innovate the Pixar Way.” He makes a case for promoting creativity and critical thinking in the workplace. Without both — 21st Century businesses are likely to fail.

Today’s customers crave creative solutions to problems and expect innovative, new products and services on a regular basis. Companies that can’t keep pace are doomed to distinction.

In his book, Capodagli, international corporate consultant, tells business leaders how to promote creativity and innovation within their companies. He stresses that a successful organization is one where everyone is encouraged to innovate — not just R & D Departments.

“Collective creativity within a corporate culture never happens by accident,” Capodagli said. “It begins with creative leadership that is trustworthy . . . trusts others to accomplish big dreams.”

See http://www.cameo100.com to find out more about creativity-building programs provided by CAMEO or email us: ask@cameo100.com


Article by Susan K. Maciak, author / lead consultant, CAMEO Communications, Career & Corporate Consulting LLC.

 

 

 

 

 

lets-talk-business.blog by Susan K. Maciak

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