The age of profound disbelief is upon us

If we are asking people to suspend their natural affinity towards disbelief, we should expect that it won’t be easy. Half-hearted attempts aren’t going to work and mixed messaging from leaders, contradictory rules and guidelines are not going to fly with an audience tending towards disbelief.

COVID-19 communication in Alberta is not working

Over the last two decades, communication practices during a crisis have evolved and adapted to changing technologies. One thing that has not changed in the last 20 years, however, is the need for simple, succinct messaging. There is a large body of knowledge out there on how to explain risks to people. There is also a highly researched best practice approach and a knowledgeable cohort of professional communicators across the globe who can help with communications in a crisis. There is no excuse for this kind of mixed messaging

UPDATE: We ALMOST gave a conspiracy theorist a platform

It’s a cautionary tale for any volunteer-run, non-profit organization. The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a respected association of professional communicators that has been around since 1970. Which is why I was shocked to learn that an upcoming professional development conference in Banff on October 27th featured Vivian Krause as the opening day … Continue reading UPDATE: We ALMOST gave a conspiracy theorist a platform

How about we not give conspiracy theorists a platform?

In early September, I was going through my email inbox reading and deleting the crazy amount of newsletters I’ve subscribed to (note to self: stop subscribing to so many) when a familiar name popped out from my screen.   Vivian Krause, lobbyist, writer and researcher in Canada (and Alberta) is known for her association with … Continue reading How about we not give conspiracy theorists a platform?

The brilliance of Snapchat

This Snapchat is brilliant. It's the next big thing right here under our noses. You may have thought it was a passing Millennial-fancy but think again. The social app is gaining popularity with 25-34 year-olds. Marketers are calling the growth to 50 million users this year "startling." And they're wasting no time rolling out their revenue … Continue reading The brilliance of Snapchat

This changes everything: Social media during a crisis

Now, every crisis explodes onto our radar in a flurry of tweets, texts and visuals. By the time the evening news is broadcast, the public already knows what is going on via social media.

It’s an all-out, cross-channel, adrenaline-pumping free-for-all.

So, how do you deal with the fact that most of the information about the crisis is going to be reported by a random and potentially anonymous group of citizen journalists who have little or no training, context or accountability?

The elevation of lying

“All the lies — I can't even keep them straight in my head any more.” These are the words of Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston in the television drama, "Breaking Bad." White's character is a teacher turned meth dealer whose life becomes one big illusion after he is diagnosed with lung cancer. The show has received widespread … Continue reading The elevation of lying

Fools rushing in? Legislating social media without understanding it first

The Texas Tribune is reporting today that legislators in the state have  introduced a "bevy of bills" relating to social media. According to the article, the bills stem from "concern about privacy and safety." Most of the proposed bills sound like steps in the right direction, but legislators need to tread carefully here. Social media is … Continue reading Fools rushing in? Legislating social media without understanding it first