The National Association of Government Communicators is running it's comms school in Louisville, KY May 10 - 12 and as official media partners for the event, we've had the great opportunity to hear from the speakers who will be delivering a selection of amazing sessions.
What is your session for NAGC called?
Reduce Data Overload and Drive Action
Without giving too much away about your session, what do you hope to cover that is of benefit to attendees of the NAGC comms school?
Dump the data tables in your presentations! Create concise, memorable, and exciting data presentations that motivate action.
Tell us a little about what you do and how you got there
I learned SEO and analytics 25 years ago while creating real-estate websites. Since then I've worked for brands and agencies, eventually starting my own agency, which created over $1 billion client revenue. Now, I teach digital marketing at brands, universities, and to the next generation of digital marketers.
What do you love about your job?
Every day is different. You learn new things everyday, and are challenged to put them into practice.
What’s the hardest thing about your job?
There are not enough hours in the day to do everything I enjoy doing in my work.
What are some of the more memorable events you’ve had to deal with in your role and what lessons did you learn?
My best clients were the ones that I learned from. I enjoyed working with old-school direct marketers, as they taught me great lessons that I integrated into my digital practice. Also, in SEO, you do a lot of keyword research. From this, I could tell you everything about how people search for cookware and other niche topics. One of the most valuable lessons was that my "best" clients were not the biggest spenders. They were the ones with whom I had the best relationship. but they also sent more referrals, were most responsive, and acted quickly, and they saw the biggest returns from their marketing.
What is it about communications, media or crisis comms that interests you so much?
The psychology of communications is what interests me the most. How is the appeal structured to create or meet a need? I am fascinated how words and images are used to motivate action or change behavior.
Can you give some advice to those who want to start a career in Government communications?
Learn a bit of psychology, a heavy dose of rhetoric, and sprinkle in some public/consumer research. Digital channels are not the skill, writing and persuasion are the skills that never go out of style.
What are your favorite tools you use to do your job more effectively?
I love my Microsoft Surface laptop. It makes teaching and presenting incredibly easy. Otherwise, I live in Articulate, Canva, LinkedIn, and PowerPoint.
Are there any books, podcasts or any other resources you would recommend for the comms pro?
Of course, my podcast, Endless Coffee Cup would be on the list. But find podcasts that challenge you. Listen to alternative views. Don't get trapped in an echo chamber of your own ideology. I always recommend anything written by these authors: Neil Postman, Marsall Macluhan, and Sherry Turkle.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about, recommend or promote?
I recommend the OMCP certification for Digital Marketing professionals. It certifies the competencies that a digital communications or marketing professional need, as established by an independent industry board. It is a great way to gain new skills, test your existing skills, and demonstrate your expertise of digital tools that are essential in reaching people.