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The Communicate Influence Podcast

The Communicate Influence Podcast

Author: Sheelagh Caygill

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We explore the essential aspects of communications, marketing, and writing. Podcast interviews with thought-leaders look at important influences that shape a PR pro’s or marketer’s work and creativity for the better. Show host Sheelagh Caygill uses her experience as a journalist to ask guests probing questions, often revealing little-known tips and insights. Episodes always offer listeners solutions to common problems and actionable tips. Sometimes the topics we explore will have a less direct impact on our immediate goals, but they still matter. Episodes have delved into communicating with influence, enhancing leadership communications, and the connection between emotive content writing and poetry. Our guests, just like our listeners, are global. As much as possible, we go beyond international borders and engage in issues affecting PRs and marketers around the world. We feature trend updates, such as the growing force of artificial intelligence in communications and marketing, working on climate reality campaigns, and dedicated leadership support for reputation management and a powerful brand presence. Host Sheelagh Caygill welcomes episode suggestions! Listen in and join the conversation at
55 Episodes
Sponsored by - threads for podcast lovers! Many entrepreneurs write a book to grow their business and develop influence.When it comes to writing and publishing, a number of options exist for ghostwriting, author coaching, publishing, or self-publishing. But none offer the unique services delivered by Steimle, entrepreneur and author, founded Published Author to deliver the crucial missing components - thought leadership and influence. "Through my experience and talking to author-entrepreneurs, I know that a book is the best tool to help entrepreneurs educate their team on their philosophy and the culture they want to create," explains Josh. "With a book at the centre of a thought leadership system, entrepreneurs will attract attention, build authority, and grow their business."A book is something every entrepreneur needs because of the authority and credibility it brings."Josh is a speaker and coach. He used his book, Chief Marketing Officers At Work, and thought leadership to generate over $10M for his digital marketing agency, MWI. He's written three books and more than 300 articles in publications like Fortune, Time, Forbes, Fast Company, and Mashable.He says he's not just helping entrepreneurs write a book, "We're helping them to set up a thought leadership system. It might be that they also want to do public speaking, launch a course, or a membership group. Or they may want PR, or to launch their own podcast. Published Author works with entrepreneurs in different ways, depending on budget, time commitments, skill set, and interests. "With every Published Author client, the first question is: Do you want to do this yourself? Or do you want somebody to do it for you? Client's can write a book themselves, or they can hire a ghostwriter to write that book for them," says Josh. "A lot of the bestselling books out there are not written exactly by the author, but are the author's idea. The ghostwriter sits down with the author and interviews them, gathers the entrepreneur's knowledge and expertise, and turns it into a book. "Masterclass, Mastermind, or Done-For-YouFor entrepreneurs wanting to write their own book, Published Author offers a masterclass in which they get group coaching, information, the Published Author workbook, and any help and support they need.The next level is Published Author's mastermind group. "Mastermind is a smaller group of eight to 10 entrepreneurs," explains Josh. "We meet weekly, help each other out, answer each other's questions. They get one-on-one coaching,  and a lot more attention. They also get other services as part of that mastermind."The highest level is the Published Author full service, for entrepreneurs who want Published Author to managed every aspect of their book's creation. Obviously, the book contains the entrepreneur's ideas.  With the full service, Josh manages the whole process, including hiring the right ghostwriter, sourcing a publishing company, along with any other experts for the entrepreneur's needs. These could include book publicists, podcast producers, or PR and marketing pros. "At this level, we're providing many services to help them entrepreneurs get what they need to, getting them out there as a successful author with a successful book launch."Links:, JoshSteimle.comSupport the show (
Curtis Holland is a voice over artist who narrates books, podcast ads, announcements and more. He’s been working for just over a year in voice over. And when Curtis isn’t not narrating, he is a full-time drama teacher at an international baccalaureate school in Asia.This episode is a great listen for anyone who gives presentations, does a lot of public speaking, or wants to get into voice narration work.In this episode of the Communicate Influence podcast, Curtis gives listeners tips on how to improve your presentation voice, how to warm up, and how to take care of your voice and vocal cords. Curtis got into voice over work at the start of the pandemic, and has been progressing ever since. He has his own studio at home, and is busy narrating books, ads and many other things. In this interview with Sheelagh, Curtis explores:What's involved in setting up your own studio at homeThe best kind of mic to useWarming up your voice with vocal exercisesTaking care of your voice, mouth, and vocal cordsFollowing the right diet to take care of your mouthExercising for improved lung capacity, which helps with reading aloudTaking care of your overall well-being for a better voice.Curtis regularly posts helpful videos on Instagram, and you can find him online at!Podthreads is happy to sponsor the Communicate Influence Podcast. Podthreads is a new clothing brand for podcast listeners and creators. Show your appreciation for podcasts and their creators by wearing one of Podthreads' exclusive designs! Find Podthreads at podthreads.comSupport the show (
This episode is sponsored by Podthreads - a new online clothing store for podcast fans!When regular host Sheelagh Caygill was in England last year, Karen Unland and Mack Male - both seasoned podcasters - kindly produced an episode for Communicate Influence listeners. Karen and Mack are the the co-founders of Taproot Publishing, an Edmonton-based media company whose mission is to help communities understand themselves better. Karen was a newspaper journalist; Mack was a software developer and blogger; they combined their talents and experience in 2016 to try to solve the problem of shrinking local media.In this episode, you’ll hear them outline the challenges facing local journalism, why a strong local media ecosystem is important, and what they’re trying to do about it. Here are some resources to add context to their conversation:What Killed The Newspaper? Google Or Facebook? Or…?Mind the Gaps: Quantifying the Decline of News Coverage in CanadaHere’s how some for-profit local news outlets are building subscriptionsThe media consumer’s dilemmaBusiness idea earns Taproot a LION Award nominationMack launched a podcast hosting service in 2006!Karen started the Alberta Podcast Network in 2017Taproot’s current podcasts: Speaking Municipally and Taproot Edmonton Presents: Igniting InnovationHow to support your local media startup and the ecosystem that nurtures it:Share your stuff: Put the indies on your news release list and keep them in mind for story pitches.Spread the word: Share what they publish and recommend them to others.Join or subscribe: If the outlet sells memberships or subscriptions, invest a little.Buy their services: If the outlet sells ads, sponsorships or other services, invest a little more.Wherever you are in the world, if you are interested in Spotlight or Taproot Publishing’s other B2B information services, contact If you are in Edmonton, see what Taproot Edmonton has to offer. You may be particularly interested in the Media Roundup.Support the show (
In last week's episode, Kim Scaravelli discussed managing Twitter in 30 minutes a day. This week, Kim, founder of Trust Communications, looks at how to select the right social media platform for your business. That's right, you don't have to have a presence on every platform, only the ones that will perform for your organization.Kim says the first thing that you should do is consider social media as another part of your marketing, which is part of your business plan, which is part of your strategy for growth. So before you jump into all of these different platforms, ensure you really should have a solid strategy in place. And your strategy should include things like really knowing who your ideal audience is, because that's going to tell you where those folks are on social media. An example would be if you are a B2B brand, and you are selling specifically to people who are managers, HR people, or C-suite executives, then LinkedIn is a really important place for you to have a presence.If on the other hand, you are selling, say, beauty products, primarily to millennials, and you're selling them directly online. Why are you on LinkedIn? Instead, you need to be on Instagram.In this episode, Kim discusses: Thinking strategically about your social media planUnderstanding your audienceAssessing the skillset in your organization to see if you need outside resources to help manage social mediaDetermining what kind of content you'll produceBuilding authority in your nicheAssessing your results.Kim discusses a lot more in this episode, and provides examples of use on social media platforms, and why social media should be fun!Find Kim at TrustCommuncations.caSupport the show (
In this week's episode, we have an incredibly valuable conversation with Kim Scaravelli, about how to manage your Twitter account in just 30 minutes a day.Kim, a communications pro and owner of trust communications in Halifax, Canada, is an expert when it comes to social media. She shares tremendous value in this episode. In fact, it's almost like a free Twitter management class!If you're new to social media, or feeling overwhelmed, and spending too much time on Twitter, you'll definitely get a lot out of this episode.Key points from Kim:If your ideal audience isn't on Twitter, you don't need to be thereTwitter has a voracious appetite. So there's really no point in taking your brand onto Twitter, if you are going to tweet once or twice a weekUnderstand your brand voice before tweetingUse a content calendar, such as BufferTweet at least eight times a dayOffer your followers value, don't keep tweeting ads for your product or serviceAt least four times a day, retweet something by someone else, and don't just retweet, comment on it so your followers understand why your retweeting the contentTimeless tweets often give more value.Kim also covers other points about doing impactful shoutouts, and be sure to interact with those who have interacted with you. Says Kim: "At the end of the day, it's social media, it's not torture media. If this is the most stressful part of your day, you spend, you know, two hours a day doing social media and six hours a day complaining about it, stop!"Once you actually get that hang of it, and you're actually talking to people, you're having conversations with people, then it's fun," she explains. "It's just like a coffee date. Or it's just like saying 'Hi' to somebody in the bank lineup. Relaxing is one of the keys to success on any kind of social media."You can find Kim on Twitter at, and at Trust Communications.This episode is sponsored by the Published Author Podcast. If you're an entrepreneur who wants to publish a nonfiction book to grow your business, then this is the podcast you've been waiting for. The Published Author Podcast will help you become an author and show you how to build a thought leadership system around your book. With this, you can grow your business land speaking gigs, grow your tribe, and lots more. Go to Published Author for more details!Support the show (
Despite the pandemic, the podcasting industry had a good year in 2021, with lots of new content, and a record in advertising spend.Podcasting and radio industry expert James Cridland is today's guest on this episode of The Communicate Influence Podcast. He takes a look at some of the emerging trends already visible in the first few weeks of this new year, and looks at what may lie ahead. He foresees a robust year, with more exciting and diverse content on the horizon.  Key areas of focus in this episode:The impact of Amazon's purchase of Wondery Amazon will make more acquisitions in 2021Spotify's growth, and competitor attempts to keep paceWhy privacy will be a growing issue in the coming yearPodcast advertising revenue's continued growthGrowth of other revenue streams, such as pod merchThe types of shows people will probably want to listen to in coming monthsQR codes have had a resurgence in that they are a simple way of letting people subscribe to a podcast showWhy podcasts that are no longer updated aren't a concern. Known as 'podfade', this can be due to the fact that it's a limited series.Be sure to check out James' newsletter/podcast Podnews, and his new podcast show , hosted by James and Sam Sethi.Support the show (
The Future is Spoken isn't just the name of a new podcast, it's a phrase that illuminates the fact that voice will dominate marketing and PR in coming months and years.Voice technology is now ubiquitous. We speak to our voice assistants at home, to our smartphones, and to our vehicles. Some people talk to lighting and temperature control systems in their homes. Voice technology is the next big thing, and organizations that are early adopters are using the technology to create new opportunities for customer service.Shyamala Prayaga is a globally recognized voice technology pro and founder of the Digital Assistant Academy. The Academy was launched this month and is offering its first course, Voice Interaction Design. The course will qualify people to work with businesses and organizations as a voice designer. They will help create an organization's unique voice, with a human touch.In the Communicate Influence's latest podcast episode, Shyamala explores the rise of voice, what it means for the marketing and PR industries, and what makes the Digital Assistant Academy unique. She also discusses her new podcast - The Future is Spoken!Listen here, and be sure to share this episode with interested colleagues and friends! (SC include link)Support the show (
It's hard to believe that not every leader is a good communicator.Our guest Nick Meir explains that this is because we think of communication as mostly spoken. But in Nick's view, communication is essentially the "movement of information" and so body language and micro-expressions are part of that movement of information.With this definition, it's easy to see how a leader's body language can impact a workplace culture and even subjugate people.Leaders have to be aware of their blind spots and micro-expressions. Employees will notice everything about a leader, because they are always looking for information. And if there is an absence of information or a vacuum, employees will fill in the gaps."Leadership is about great communication, that movement of information, and that always has to be positive," explains Nick. "That doesn't mean it always has to be good news, but it should be a positive exchange, regardless of the message."Nick explains that this is partly due to the way the brain is wired. Humans are wired to detect subtle clues, especially from first impressions.The second important takeaway from this episode is that leaders must be aware of their audience. Everyone who has achieved success in the world has understood their audience, what makes them tick, and how to engage them. That's what successful businesses and leaders do as well. They then talk about what their audience cares about.Nick believes leaders should always ask themselves "Why should they care?" before they speak, and if they can answer that question, they will be successful. As well, be who you are, be yourself, and be pragmatic, be honest and be open.Leaders who are autocratic tend to create a culture of fear. So becoming self-aware is a process that leaders have to want to be. If leaders put on a persona when they arrive in the office, or behave differently in different situations, then employees will detect this.Blame culture is one of the worst manifestations of a dysfunctional workplace culture. "When you see hundreds of people being copied in on an email, you know that there is a real problem of fear and blame in that work environment."Being a leader is a very lonely job, Nick adds. There are only a few people who a leader will trust, and that's just part of the job. So in that sense there is a distance between the leader and their team.Communication is all about sitting back and relaxing, and delivering information in your way, in your words, and in your style. Good leaders also have to be great listeners, because again, listening is communication as it is moving information from one place to another. Bill Clinton is a memorable example of great listening, because people always remember how attentive he was when he listened.If comms people try to map a leadership style onto a leader, it often doesn't work. Leaders have to establish their own voice.About Nick Meir:Nick moved from being a journalist at the BBC into communications. He held various roles before launching his own agency, A House Called Alice, based in London, UK. Nick delivers executive coaching, training, and corporate journalism for several high-profile global clients.You can find Nick on LinkedIn.This episode is sponsored by the Digital Assistant Academy - Setting the Standard in Voice Technology LearningSupport the show (
Every year across the world, hundreds of journalists move from the newsroom or the classroom into the world of PR, communications, or marketing.The good ones possess great storytelling skills, and know how to get information out of people. However, communications and marketing are very different worlds form journalism, and journalists must develop a whole new set of traits to succeed in these industries. For example, patience, diplomacy, likability, and teamwork are highly valued in comms and marketing.If you're a journalist thinking about making the move, Nick Meir has a lot of guidance and pointers for you in this episode. He also discusses current issues in communications, working with the c-suite, and employee engagement.Nick moved from being a journalist at the BBC into communications. He held various roles before launching his own agency, A House Called Alice, based in London, UK. Nick delivers executive coaching, training, and corporate journalism for several high-profile global clients.You can find Nick on LinkedIn.Support the show (
Influencer marketing is fast replacing many marketing tactics. It's such a flexible option that can be used on many levels. Small and large agencies can employ it, as can businesses and individuals. In fact, the chances are that you've already used influencer marketing and don't realize it. For example, having a contact share your content with their Twitter following of thousands, or receiving a LinkedIn recommendation from someone with a greater profile than yours, are both forms of influencer marketing; in effect, you're using someone's influence to lift your profile.Neal Schaffer explores the depth and breadth of influencer marketing in his new book, The Age of Influence. Neal is a social media marketer, corporate trainer, educator, keynote speaker, and author of three other books.The Communicate Influence Podcast show connected with Neal last week to discuss his impressive new book. This is a meaty episode, running for 52 minutes. But not a word is wasted! Neal discusses so much of value in this episode, including:The role of social media in influencer marketingThe power of word of mouthEmployees as influencersEmail marketingInfluencer marketing and SEOWhy influencer marketing worksConnect with Neal at or on LinkedIn. Support the show (
Podcasting is significantly changing journalism, which has been affected a great deal by lack of investment and a declining audience in recent years. In this episode we speak with Toronto podcast producer and journalist Kathleen Goldhar on the impact podcasting continues to have on journalism"I don't think you can do anything without a podcast anymore," Kathleen observes. "Every news organization has one, CBC has one . . . whether it's an original podcast where they do a lot of an amazing work or all the shows are sent out on a podcasting format. "So podcasting is as much a part of journalism has print, as digital storytelling, and as TV news is like, there's just no separating it now."She adds that a lot of people don't read a lot online, and so this makes podcasting an essential part of journalism.Kathleen says that there is no one thing that makes a journalistic podcast stand out. But the intimacy that a podcast allows for between host and listener is a key aspect of a good podcast. "What podcasting and what audio does is it just goes straight into your brain because it's so intimate. So it's a chance to hear the people, it's a chance to hear them interact with the journalists a lot of times, which is really nice." Kathleen says that it's essential to pay attention to your audience and think their information needs. "Most people are listening to podcasts while they are doing something else. If you make me stop and ask who's that character? or What did he do again, or Who's this person, then you've lost me. And if that happens too many times, I'm going to turn off the podcast. "So, as complicated as podcast stories can be, and nuanced and smart, they also have to be quite straightforward and simple. We're not reading, so we can't go back. We're not having the extra advantage of a visual reminder like you do in television," Kathleen explains. "I'm not going to make notes while I'm listening to a podcast. So I need the story itself to unfold in a very practical and a very simple way."She adds that this doesn't mean that a podcast has to be dumbed-down. Instead, podcasters have to really think about the listener and how prepared they are to be joining you on the story. "This is a big part of the quality for me, that's when I know that it's produced well . . . when I never have that problem (of losing the thread of the story), and the podcaster is always helping me if I do need to go back in my mind to a character that was introduced a few episodes ago," she adds. Kathleen recommends that if you want to be a podcaster or podcast producer, the best thing you can do is listen to as many podcasts as possible. "You should listen to a lot. I think there's a lot of people who don't listen to podcasts and then say they want to make a podcast," she notes. "And then when you're listening, spend some time thinking to yourself, why did that work for me? Why didn't it work for me? What are the pleat places that I can find inspiration? What do I want to stay away from? Is that kind of thing?" You can find Kathleen on LinkedIn and Twitter. Support the show (
This episode sees host Sheelagh Caygill talk to branding pro Jack Fussell. He's worked with hundreds of businesses on brand strategy, and knows what makes a brand great.Branding is so much bigger than a logo, website, or business card. Jack says at the end of the day, the most simple version of understanding what a brand is, is what your customers feel about you."When they, when you say the name of your company, or you say the name of your brand, or you say the name of, you know, if your individual, you say your own name, what do people think?"Are they like, 'Oh my gosh. Yes. That's amazing!'."The work of brand building, the work of branding in and of itself is really just building up all of that."Visual identity is a part of that. I mean, you, there, you know, if your, if your logo looks outdated or, you know, it looks, you know, you're some cool like motorcycle company, but if you're logo looks like a tech logo from the 1990s then it changes the way people perceive you.," says Jack. Branding is very much a feeling thing. We develop our feelings about a brand based on our experiences with an organization. It's not a rational thing.  Jack says that a brand strategy session is different with every organization. He says the first thing is to understand the customers, whey they are thinking, their views, and preferences. "When that customer is sitting there looking for something online or they're searching through an app or whatever, what are they thinking? What are they feeling? What do they experience amazing?"The secret of a brand is understanding what makes the company unique and understanding what the biggest needs and values of the customers are.For companies with reputation issues, a new logo, new website, new letterhead is not going to fix this problem.Jack says empathy is actually the heart of branding. Brands that do really well - it is all about empathy. It's all about putting yourself in the place of the other person. It's understanding how they feel.  Empathy is actually like wearing someone else's emotions.  "If they're excited, we become excited. Like we really do! We really do put ourselves in the place of that customer."And, you know, one of our favorite brands is Disney. We love to go to the parks. It's just, I get to be a kid again. "You can tell that they've built their entire brand around empathy, that they understand when someone, you know, Well, just every part of it from the moment you call in to the way that they, um, you know, they just explain everything so carefully."Jack Fussell is a brand strategist with Campfire Social. Find him on Linkedin. Listen to his podcast, Onward Creatives. Support the show (
Many podcast transcripts are uploaded to podcast websites with the belief that they benefit search engine optimization. But is this true? Carl Robinson, founder of Rumble.Studio and host of the Voice Tech podcast, has used and then removed transcripts, and saw no difference in traffic figures. I had a similar experience.The issue could come down to the quality of transcriptions generated by platforms such as Otter and Descript. They need improvement - a human has to remove errors while adding speaker names, subheads, and pull-out quotes.Paying someone to do the work adds a cost for independent podcasters, who often podcast without a budget.However, there is a reason to add transcripts or closed captions to episodes - for the hard of hearing. A recent class action lawsuit against Gimlet Media has brought this issue back into focus.In the complaint, filed last week in New York, plaintiff Kahlimah Jones argues that Gimlet violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide closed captioning on various podcasts.In this episode we explore the use of transcripts, and whether every podcaster should include them with their episodes. Carl Robinson's Voice Tech Podcast is here: And you can find him on LinkedIn and Twitter. Support the show (
Fernando Angulo is Fernando is Head of Communications with SEMRush. In this episode, Fernando gives an in-depth discussion about how to market an e-commerce website. He takes listeners through all the essentials, including SEO, advertising, Google Tools, paid-for options, and social media. This is the second and final part of our series on e-commerce platforms and marketing. You can find episode one with Kevin McCall here.How to market your e-commerce storeKey takeaways from this episode include:Research your niche and what's happening in your industry before beginning any marketing. Use available analytical tools to help with this taskTrack all referral traffic, including traffic from social media and or affiliatesUse tools to identify competitor trafficReally good content is essential. Hire a writer if you don't a stellar writer in-house. Web content is your online salesperson!Use your blog to create targeted content marketing, although this can take time to boost SEOIf your website is new and you need leads set a budget for online advertising.Show notes:You can find Fernando on LinkedIn. Here's his recommended reading for this episode:Large study about Featured Snippets Study free Ebook to part one with Kevin McCall on selecting e-commerce platforms.This episode is sponsored by, a new podcast creation and promotion agency launching soon! Go to for more details!Support the show (
COVID-19 impacted thousands of businesses globally, and a lot of smaller businesses had never made the jump to an online presence.Suddenly, they were without sales, and had to scramble to get online. Some businesses are still dealing with the transition to ecommerce, especially smaller businesses and bricks and mortar stores. In this episode, Kevin McCall, founder and technology lead with, discusses the best solutions and what to look at when integrating ecommerce.Key consdierations include:Integration with an existing inventory management systemAge of existing website technologyWhich ecommerce platform to selectPros and cons of ecommerce platforms, including ongoing costsPositioning of product and services in the new ecommerce storeMarketplace or destination storeStrategy to respond to competitionSearch engine optimizationKevin also talks about how to present your goods online, along with returns, exchanges, and the overall customer journey. Does your selected solution work with your ecommerce stratecy?Finally, when your ecommerce store is up and running, how will you advertise it? Kevin gives a brief overview of this. He also looks at how to select a developer for your ecommerce project.This episode is sponsored by, a new podcast creation and promotion agency launching soon! Go to for more details!Support the show (
Voice technology is set to have a significant impact on the podcasting work flow in the coming months. This episode is actually created with voice technology in the form of a new mobile and web app call Rumble Studio. Developed by Carl Robinson, Rumble Studio lets any organization create and publish audio content for a number of uses, including interviews, content marketing, and audio content projects. Episode transcriptThis is Sheelagh with Communicate Influence. This episode has a flavour of the future to it. It points to what podcasting could be in coming months. This is because it's created with a new mobile app called Rumble Studio.Rumble studio is a web and mobile application that lets anyone or any organization record and publish audio for content marketing. It's easy and makes dropping episodes super fast.For this episode, I did a quick interview with Carl Robinson, who is actually CEO of Rumble Studio. To do this asynchronous interview, I pre-recorded my questions into the web app, and Carl, who's based in Paris, recorded his answers in the app the next day.In fact, this is Carl's first ever interview with Rumble Studio.For the next stages, Rumble Studio let me upload our intro music and record this intro within the app. To use Rumble Studio, you don't need equipment or special skills.There's no scheduling involved. You simply record your questions and let an interviewee know when it's ready for their answers. You do this by inserting their email address and Rumble Studio sends the interviewee an invite. Potential uses of voice techThe potential uses for Rumble Studio are really exciting. It's going to open up audio creation to many more people. And it's going to be great for hard-to-reach guests or people in different time zones who simply can't connect.Rumble studio isn't just confined to question and answer interviews only. A creator can use Rumbel for solo podcasts or simply to create some audioIn my view, rumble studio won't replace real, live human interviewers, or podcast editors. Butut it will definitely enhance a podcasters or content creator's work. I'm think journalists will find this tool incredibly useful, too.I've had fun using Rumble Studio and it was great to connect with Carl on this.The only thing I think needs a bit of improvement is the interface and the instructions. I can see how some guests may find it challenging or daunting at first glance. Carl assures me that this is something his team is working on.In a few weeks I'll have a full human, interview with the CEO himself - Carl Robinson of Rumble Studio.You can connect with Carl on LinkedIn. - episode sponsorThis episode is sponsored by, a new podcast creation and promotion agency launching soon! Go to for more details!Support the show (
A diversified agency with the ability to pivotLinda Andross and Ken Evans, partners at APEX Public Relations and Ruckus Digital in Toronto, discuss the impact of the global pandemic on PR and marketing agencies.APEX is a fairly diversified agency, and Ken and Linda observe that agencies that are diversified and can pivot quickly have done reasonably well, while specialist boutique agencies, such as event mangement consultancies, have struggled. Preparing to leave the office when the pandemic arrivedLinda and Ken discuss the last week or so at the office as they kept up to speed with fast-moving developments. They prepared to send staff home to remote work, while communicating with, and supporting, clients, and staying in touch with other partners, such as IT, suppliers, and building management. During this time, Apex PR was preparing to launch a media trainign program. This was shifted to online training, to which clients responded well. They were also introducing a new client acquisition model - so there was a lot going on in the weeks before the pandemic hit.The future of PR and marketing agenciesLinda and Ken also discuss:The work they did with clients following the brutal murder of George Floyd Their advice to public relations and marketing agencies hit badly by the pandemic.How to move conventional services online.The use of media sensibilities to develop an ability to anticipate challenges from different perspectives.Their views on whether remote working is here to stay.How to best support staff during this kind of situation.Why public relations is better positioned to whether the current global crisis compared to advertising agencies, and lots more.You can find Linda Andross and Ken Evans at APEX Public Relations.This episode is brought to you by - a new podcast creation and marketing agency base in Toronto. Visit for more details.Like what you read and hear? Consider supporting our podcast development at Thanks to our latest supporters, Cleidi Hearn from Ireland, Aaron Sherle from Arizona, U.S. Support the show (
We all face procrastination at some point in our lives. That conscious and perhaps deliberate process employed to bring about failure - according to psychologists.Procrastination is employed for various reasons - we don't like the task at hand, there's something better on offer, or we're not sure how to proceed. Some people say they procrastinate because they're tired - although other's aren't convinced that's a case of procrastination. More just a case that someone needs a break or even a good night's sleep. In this episode, we change formats and have a discussion rather than an interview. Host Sheelagh Caygill and screenwriter Daanish Ahamed discuss why they procrastinate and methods they've used to successfully end this behaviour.Daanish details a special method he has developed to break cycles of procrastination. Briefly, it is using a friend to offer a reward if the task is completed on deadline. The reward is unrelated to the task and therefore diverts attention from all the distractions and excuses the procrastinator creates, and makes it easier to focus on what needs to be done. If the procrastinator fails to meet their deadline, they must provide a reward to their motivating friend. Daanish is offering to put this method into practive with five listeners. Find out what Daanish's offer is and how to take advantage of it in this episode!You can find Daanish Ahamed at LinkedIn and on Twitter.If you enjoy our podcast and would like to help us grow and reach more people, consider a tiny bit of support via Buymeacoffee.comSupport the show (
Rapidly changing public and employee expectations mean CEOs must start using social media to ensure they express the right sentiment at the right moment. The West has gone from a situation whre most executives were afraid of using social media for fear they might make some kind of mistake. "In recent times, especially since Trump and particularly since COVID-19, we've reached the point where fear of being absent from social media -especially if something goes wrong with their company - that fear of being absent is greater than the fear of being there and making a mistake, which was part of their initial reluctance," explains <strong>Bob Pickard</strong>, author of a chapter in a new book about CEOs and social media.The book, The Social CEO: How Social Media Can Make You a Stronger Leader, has been written by Damian Corbet. Bob's chapter is How PR Disasters are Driving CEOs to Embrace Social Media. "The embrace has been fully informed by the current tides of opinion in the marketplace," adds Bob. When something goes wrong with a company or a complex organization, like a government or a non-profit organization, all eyes go online looking for the leader, and that's why the leader has to be on social media. They have to orchestrate, communicate, and relate to people right from the start of any incident. "To most executives, this is a relatively new area of endeavor. Many executives, particularly the more experienced ones, were brought up in a world of control, a world of hierarchy, a world of defference," explains Bob."It's not like we could wave a magic wand and change the way that they've been thinking for their entire career about how it is that they should communicate with people," he adds. Some (CEOs) expect that they're going to be sitting on top of the commanding heights of information, broadcasting their views to an appreciative audience of people who will just passively consume whatever they say. "All of a sudden, rewiring your mind to deal with peer-to-peer horizontal communication where people expect to be listened to and demand have their voices heard, that's not for everybody," says Bob. "That's not the career experience of many executives. It's something they've got to wrap their heads around and deal with."We've done some research here in Canada . . . the public now expects the chief executive to communicate about the activities of the company which they lead, especially if something goes wrong, such as a crisis. It's not really optional anymore. This is going to become mandatory for executives to signal their leadership online through social media."Donald Trump's use of social media in 2016 was a digital disruption that broke through earlier resistance. A lot of executives looked at how Trump was elected President of the United States, basically, by running and emoting his campaign through a Twitter feed."They didn't want in most cases to be like Trump. In fact, I think the majority would be horrified to be like that," notes Bob. "They did watch the case study of his undeniable and unexpected success, feel the power of social media for the very first time in terms of driving real incomes."A lot of CEOs regarded social media as a waste of time, assuming it was frivolous, where they would tweet about what they had for breakfast that morning. But the power of social through the Trump case study really galvanized people to go out there and give it a try. Go to Communicate Influence to read the full article with this podcast.Fine Bob Pickard on LinkedIn and Twitter.Support the show (
There are two ways to find new clients - building an audience and prospecting. And to do the first, you need to know who your clients are and where you can find them. That's what marketing consultant Paul Davis always tells his clients. Of course, most clients have plenty of choice when it comes to suppliers. So if a customer is going to select you, you need to differentiate yourself and highlight what makes you different and better than your competitor. Find your clients firstYou have to figure out where people are, and initiate a conversation with them. Being able to listen is a huge part of prospecting and in the digital space.Paul does note that prospecting in the digital space can take time and can seem overwhelming. "You feel overwhelmed when you see someone's posts that says, 'Hey, I've got this', and they've got 85 comments. Everyone's saying, oh, pick me pick me. If you see that, you're probably in the wrong group."The key thing is being able to build relationships with an interested audience and strike up conversations with people, so that you can listen to what they want or need. When engagement happens, it's possible to to build trust. And if you're building trust, and that's huge, he adds. With a website, you can increase people's trust in your business, your social media, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. Organic marketingPaul is drawn toward towards the type of marketing that feels organic and in the moment, as well as the fundamentals. He encourages his clients to invest in strong websites that speak naturally and authentically to clients. "When clients get on a website that reads like they speak, they're going to actually engage with that more. And so finding that voice is a key thing and your planning has to look at that," he says. With my clients, the key thing I need from them is that they continue to engage with their customers and hear them and and give me the feedback that you can't get from digital information."What I want from my clients is real-time feedback from customers. For example, not long ago one client told me they had a client come into their office who said it was closed on their map app. "So I had to look on and figure out which I was able to do very quickly. And that provided value in me seeing the process of clients are now using maps that are pulling their data from MapQuest," Paul expalins. "And that's the kind of stuff I want from them. "As far as the marketing goes, I want my clients to really engage their their customers, because it's their business and if they have happy customers than I have happy customers," he adds.The importance of content marketingPaul is occasionally asked why he focuses on written content when so much now is video? He explains that the ability to find a business is still based off the text on a website or on the front of your store if you have a brick and mortar location. "People drive by and if they can't see dentist, they aren't going to know there's a dentist there. The same thing goes for online. Continuing reading the rest of this article at You can find Paul at Paul Davis Solutions and here on LinkedIn.Like what you read and hear? Consider supporting our podcast development at Thanks to our latest supporters, Cleidi Hearn from Ireland, Aaron Sherle from Arizona, U.S. Support the show (
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