Building an Edu-Brand

Earlier this year, Eduflack was honored to be named the winner of the SPOKEie in non-profit education, recognizing the top spokespeople in key industry sectors. As part of the award, I was fortunate to do an video segment with the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, the winner in the non-profit youth category.

In our show, we talk about the importance of branding, particularly in the non-profit arena. You can watch the full segment here.

For those that prefer the written word, the full transcript can be found here.

Happy watching!

 

“News” Overload Has Left Us Numb

We’ve gone from humble-bragging about our kids and sharing photos of our food to using every waking moment of every day sharing every tweet, every slam, every late night comic diatribe, every propaganda piece, and every doctored photo that seems to support our belief system. And we do so by feeding it into our own echo chambers, sharing with those who already share our beliefs in hopes of strengthening the tribe. No discourse happens. No dialogues are pursued. No debates are engaged. Instead, we are in search of the almighty likes, loves, and supportive comments.

Eduflack’s latest on LinkedIn Pulse, looking at a recent Pew study and how it has affected our political discourse and our social media usage

I Rise in Defense of Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Those who have served as spokepersons know of what I speak. We know the challenges of strategic communications being seen as an add-on, not a non-negotiable. We know the importance of finding the voice of the person or organization we are representing. We know how to understand the wide range of audiences we must engage with and how to tailor or message and its delivery to meet the needs of those stakeholders. We know how to be strategist, arms and legs, advocate, defender, and champion.

From dear ol’ Eduflack’s latest for LinkedIn Pulse, where I defend the White House Press Secretary and the spokesperson profession

Popping Bubbles

We don’t need to condemn the Cosby juror for living in a bubble, nor do we have to wonder in mock-amazement how such a person can be so uninformed by the world. We also don’t need to condemn those who found Wolf both funny and necessary, embracing the personal attacks on Sanders and the abortion humor as much-watch commentary. If anything, we need to find ways to bring the two bubbles together, even if we can’t pop them.

From dear ol’ Eduflack’s latest for LinkedIn Pulse, as I continue my push to find common ground in our rhetoric, particularly in light of both the Cosby decision and the White House Correspondents Dinner

Me Talk Education Good

Earlier this month, I shared with readers of dear ol’ Eduflack that was I was awarded a SPOKEie award in recognition of my efforts as a spokesman for not-for-profit education. Today, I’m happy to announce that next week I’ll be joining other SPOKEie winners from other fields to discuss effective communications, flacking, and branding on a live broadcast hosted by DS Simon Media.

You can register to join us on Thursday, May 3 at 2 pm ET here.

Happy viewing!

Monolos Don’t Guarantee Political (or Education) Success

Ravitch and the disciples of Ravitch are quick to condemn Teach For America (TFA). TFA is portrayed as a band of dilettantes, individuals of privilege who are seeking to inject themselves in to the schools for a few years without proper preparation or without having paid their dues. To them, the TFA badge is thrown around as a brand of unpreparedness.

Can’t the same be said of Nixon?

From dear ol’ Eduflack’s latest piece for The Education Post, Cynthia Nixon’s Run for Governor is Looking a Lot More Like ‘Hypocrisy in the City’

The SPOKEie Word

I’m honored, humbled (and quite excited) that this week dear ol’ Eduflack was named a winner of the inaugural SPOKEie awards. Recognizing the best spokespeople in the field, DS Simon Media and its crew of expert judges recognized me as the top non-profit education spokesman in the land.

With so many terrific personalities in the education field, it is a true honor, particularly when I think of so many who are far better than I am. But I am proud of the work I’ve been able to do with the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and proud of the continued evolution of the Eduflack platform for a discussion of all things education.

I hope you’ll wish all of this year’s winners a hearty congratulation. Despite how it appears on TV or in the movies, what we do is neither easy nor glamorous. Being a flack is fairly thankless, as you bear responsibility for the challenges and provide the limelight for others when it is time to shine. But it is necessary work and, when done correctly, incredibly valuable.

Congratulations to all my co-winners. And thanks to all of you, and those like you, for helping make communications a noble profession.

When It Comes to Online Info, We Only Have Ourselves to Blame

Even forgetting all of that, we can’t overlook that Cambridge Analytica was simply mining data (and microtargeting voters) based on the information that we willingly, easily, and freely handed over. While we may not have answered the quiz or clicked on the link to specifically provide voter targeting data to a political campaign, we shouldn’t be surprised when our information is used for that purpose. No, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn there is gambling in Casablanca.

Consider that I can learn a lot from a person based on the websites they link to from their Twitter accounts. Thanks to procedural cop shows, we all should know how easy it is to track criminals through their online search histories. Instagram can be just as reliable as a dark house in telling me if someone is home. And LinkedIn can help my employer know if I am looking to move to a new job.

School House Rock taught us that information is power. We shouldn’t be surprised when people use it to strengthen their positioning. Short of going off the grid entirely (or voting straight Libertarian), there will always be those who gather our information and use it for their own benefit.

From Eduflack’s latest on LinkedIn Pulse, Don’t Blame Facebook Data, It’s Your Fault!

Truth Should Not Be Subjective

In an era of “alternative facts” and opinion masquerading as media, the truth can be a hard thing to find. Over at LinkedIn Pulse, dear ol’ Eduflack writes on how New England Patriots QB Tom Brady’s claims that “everyone has different truths” and the recent analysis that President Donald Trump has made more than 2,000 false or misleading claims since assuming office is incredibly dangerous, particularly for the communications profession.

As I write:

No, truth is no longer evident; truth lies in the eye of the beholder. And that should be unacceptable, particularly for communications professionals. For those of us who deal in information, it becomes essential that we prize truth as our most coveted commodity. We should defend our positions and our organizations with all of the zealousness that our positions allow. But we must do so recognizing we can never, ever lie. There may be elasticity in advocacy or in flacking, but there is none in the base truths on which communications and public engagement is based.

Give it a read. I swear it is all true!