Category Archives: Business Briefings

Want a job you’ll love? Know yourself!

If you’re one of those people who dreads going to work, you might have the wrong job. There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as doing work you love. Overworked

“Know yourself!” – Socrates

If you have passion for your position, your job gives you satisfaction and you look forward to Monday mornings, you’re in the right place.  You’re also more likely to succeed.

Promotions and raises come easier to people with passion for their work. The most rewarding careers often align with a person’s special traits. To find the right line of work for you, first follow Socrates’ sage advice from centuries ago: “Know Yourself.”

Do work you love . . . and you’ll love the work you do!

If you want to learn more about yourself and what kind of work would make you happy, use the template below to list a few of your best traits. Then, keep an eye out for job descriptions that include some of your strengths in each of the following areas:

Interests What are your main areas of interest? (Example: fashion, sports, gardening)
1._________________________   3._________________________
2._________________________   4._________________________
Talents What unique gifts or talents do you have? (Examples: musical or artistic talent)
1._________________________ 3._________________________
2._________________________ 4._________________________
Skills What special skills have you developed? (Examples: graphic design, guitar, coding, welding, etc.)
1._________________________ 3._________________________
2._________________________ 4._________________________
Abilities Which abilities seem to “come naturally” to you? (Leadership, athletics, decorating, party planning, gardening).
1._________________________ 3._________________________
2._________________________ 4._________________________
Subjects List your best (or favorite) school subjects: (Examples: English, history, math, certain electives, such as cooking or languages)
1._________________________ 3._________________________
2._________________________ 4._________________________
Susan K. Maciak | CAMEO Career & Corporate Consulting LLC | PR – Communication Services || |

Once is never enough!

advertising-bank-brochure-623046 (1)

You put a full-page ad in a magazine . . . . . . and not a single person responds!

“What do I have to do to build business?” you wonder. “How much do I have to spend?”

One ad, no matter how big or bold it may be, won’t bring in a cadre of clients. One ad will probably not even capture a single customer.

Potential customers, research shows, need to see or hear marketing messages at least seven – 12 times before responding.                          

Before buying their first ad, business owners should develop an annual marketing plan, along with an affordable budget. Add at least one promotional activity monthly.

To be successful, businesses don’t have to go broke on a dozen or more expensive, glossy, full-page ads. Marketing in a variety of less-expensive ways can be just as effective . . . if your message is seen or heard multiple times.

Consider ideas like these:

Social Media Pages . . . Set up Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages for your business, then post short blurbs about your products or services once a week or so.

News Releases . . . Write and send news releases several times each year to local media outlets, describing anything “new” or different at your business.

Blog Articles . . . Post informative articles about your products and services on your website regularly.

Be visible . . . Send staff out to volunteer at schools, hospitals, community events.

Network . . . Provide every staff member with a business card and encourage them to hand out their cards wherever they go.

Let’s Talk Business! | by Susan K. Maciak | Lead Consultant
CAMEO Career & Corporate Consulting LLC
For permission to reprint:

Writing Numbers

How do you express numbers in writing?

  • Spell out small numbers. When used in sentences, text, documents or other content, spell out numbers smaller than ten. Use digits for number 10 and over.
  • Consultants Working
  • Other opinions. Experts don’t always agree on the rules. Some say that any one-word number should be spelled out; and two-word numbers should be expressed in digits. For example, write out five, twelve or twenty, but not 24 or 37.
  • Don’t start a sentence with a numeral. Like Lincoln, make it “Four Score and seven years ago,” not “4 score and 7 years ago.” That means you might have to rewrite some sentences: Instead of “400 copies were sold,” rewrite to read: “Fans bought 400 copies.”
  • ‘Three,’ ‘3’ or ‘III’? When do you use each of these symbols? Use digits (2, 3, 4, etc.) or Roman numerals (II, III, IV, etc.) when numbers stand alone, as in numbered items like rules, outlines, charts, figures, tables, ads, signs, and other places where the number is not part of a sentence, paragraph or other form of text.
  • Percentage or %? In formal writing, spell out the word percentage, rather than using the symbol %. Example: “12 percent” (or “twelve percent) not “12%”).
  • If a number is rounded or estimated, spell it out. For rounded numbers over a million, write the numeral followed by the word: “About 400 million people speak Spanish natively,” instead of “About 400,000,000 people speak Spanish natively.”
  • Exact numbers. If you use an exact number (6,211 or 528), write it out in digits. “He collected 974 sports cards.” For estimates: He collected close to a thousand cards. For numbers in the millions, use digits as in $3,635,000 or $3.635 million.
  • Two numbers next to each other. It can be confusing if you write “7 13-year-olds.” Spell out the number with fewest letters. as a numeral, like “seven 13-year-olds.”
  • Ordinal numbers. When you use first, second, third, etc., avoid writing: “He was my 1st true love,” or “My birthday is July 5th.” Instead write: “He was my first true love,” and “My birthday is July 5.
  • Consistency. Pick a style and stick with it. Be consistent within the same sentence and throughout a whole document. If a teacher has 23 beginning students, she should also have 18 advanced students. Don’t switch to eighteen advanced students.

CRITICAL: Consistency in rules followed by everyone in the whole organization is key to corporate image. Some organizations rely on style books, such as The Associated Press Style Book or the University of Chicago Style Book, to make sure that all their company’s written pieces follow the same style or rules.

 Let’s Talk Business! | by Susan K. Maciak | PR-Communications 
Promotional Writing | Blogging |Social Media Posts |Web Content  
                                            CAMEO Career & Corporate Consulting LLC                                                                                                                                                            |     |     616.443.5464


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.

Published by Susan K. Maciak, PR-Communications Specialist, CAMEO Career & Corporate Consulting LLC | | For permission to reprint:

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:    Visit us at:

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                 ||

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 | | For permission to reprint — or for consulting services on staff training or pr/communications:

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                                 ||



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:

Susan K. Maciak | CAMEO Communications, Career & Corporate Consulting LLC | |

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 Any information you provide helps builds cases against swindlers.


Susan K. Maciak | CAMEO Communications, Career & Corporate Consulting LLC | | |