The Roads We Travel

A few days in a life journey.

Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

PR in Politics

It’s election season and that means my hiatus from the news is officially over.

So, I started my venture back to “newsie-land” by watching the Republican debate the other night on Fox News. Well, I started listening in my car on the ride home, then watched the rest from my computer at home — we’ve decided to opt out of cable TV, but that’s for another post.

I’m not going to rehash the comedy of that night, but I just wanted to share some observations.

Donald Trump, the front-runner. I probably don’t need to say more than that and you know where I’m going, but my observation from a PR standpoint is very different than from my personal views. Personally, I think, what an a$$hole. See, this is why decent, honest, hard-working women in business can’t get ahead because the system is stacked in favor of the slimy-back-office, golf-course-wheeling-and-dealing, buying-political-favors, misogynistic businessmen like him.

Professionally though, we can all learn something from The Donald. He’s found his voice, I’m sure all of his money helped, but in finding his voice, he’s found his tribe. The people who follow him are willing to support his business ventures, his entertainment brands, and vote his crazy ass into the White House. His special brand of crazy resonates with so many people because it’s authentic and consistent.

When I’m working with clients, I try to capture their authenticity and build that consistently into their communications and marketing campaigns. Your authentic voice and message won’t resonate with everyone, but those who get it will become a part of your tribe — the folks who will follow you to the ends of the earth because they believe in what you’re saying and doing.

There is a caution here though… Not everyone can go full-tilt crazy because you just want to “keep it real.” Understand that you might not have the Benjamins, the right connections, the dominant racial identity, or the gender influence to back you up. Donald Trump can afford to lose a few friends, customers and sponsors on his journey to the Oval, but not all of us can, so yes be authentic, but also be sensible.

Another observation that I wanted to share has to do with Ben Carson. I remember going to see a play about his life at a dinner theater in my old town, Columbia, Maryland. I was fascinated by his story and very inspired. He’s an impressive man, obviously a brilliant surgeon and very charming as well.

That said, is anyone else scratching their head about why he’s running for the highest elected office in the land. I mean I’m all for aiming high, but shouldn’t he serve first in his community, county council or even in the state senate? If you are really serious about running the executive branch of government for the United States of America, then shouldn’t you at least hold an elected position on your HOA? I mean something.

The only professional experience he highlighted in his closing speech was his surgical experience, and again, while it was impressive — and humorously put together — I was baffled. His press team needs to come up with something better and more compelling.

Look, I love telling my children and others that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up. I don’t want to put limitations on what they might achieve, but there are very real obstacles that you can and should prepare for (see my itemized list above as an example).

Well, I’m excited. News is back in my life, I’m writing for me again and other than that, I’m looking forward to the next sideshow in September.

Written by Shara

August 10, 2015 at 11:59 am

The First Lesson for Growing Your Business and Living Your Dream

Life Lessons2015 started off a little rough. I’m still working through some of the issues. However, in so doing, I realized that I learned a lot in 2014 and in the years preceding. Some of which can be applied to the situations of 2015.

So, here’s the start of my cataloging some of these business and life lessons.

Disclaimer: I cannot promise that all of my lessons will be effective or acceptable for every business and lifestyle. Some, if not most, may be written with much snark — it just depends on my mood. Some will probably be ridiculous and wrong even for me, but all will hold value as I look back over the year.

Business Lesson #1
Trust, but verify.

In order for a business to grow, you have to trust others you hire to do their jobs at even a basic level of competency. However, as a business owner/leader, having processes and systems in place to verify that the work is being done at the quality and level of competency that you expect is crucial.

Unfortunately, people lie, cut corners and embellish qualifications for any number of reasons. So having a good screening process for hiring is important (all of my HR friends are nodding vigorously in agreement), but then once you bring a new person on board you’re trusting her/him with your brand. Systems and processes should be mandatory for everyone. This makes it much easier to trust, but verify.

Written by Shara

January 9, 2015 at 3:39 pm

Posted in Business