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Communications

Too many emails

The #1 enemy

I do not have a minute to waste; life is too short.

I am up at 5:00 every morning and kicks things off with a fairly regimented routine.

Most of my morning are focused on planning my day. By 8:00, I am ready to tackle every issue that is to be resolved.

With a jam-packed day, there is one major nuisance that I just can’t be bothered with.

Other than Skype interview request from my beloved clients, I hate email.

With email, the whole world comes across at you; it is your agenda number one enemy and it is terrible, not to say a total waste of time.

Let it be also known that I took my work email out of my phone. All those emails would be going unread, waiting in my inbox, magically multiplying the way unread emails seem to do.

You want to retain my services!  

Other than wanting to retain my services, don’t bother me.

You have an urgent issue to resolve and need my services!

It’s all in my auto-reply, which goes to every single recipient who sends me an email:

“Thank you for reaching out. Being overwhelmed with unsolicited requests, I will not be answering your email. This does not mean that I am not available for business! If you need immediate attention or have to urgently deal with a commanding issue, it will be my pleasure to help and assist you. Do not hesitate to call me at the following number: 1-613-449-3278”

Every email does not demand an instant reply or a reply at all. Even if I do eventually get back, there’s no need to apologize if it takes a few hours or even a few days. I slashed the “Sorry for the delayed reply …” from my email vocabulary. I refuse to set the expectation that it’s abnormal to take a little time to reply.

I have opted out of one of the most important communication channels in today’s working world. It is not because everyone else emails that I should. Why should I?

I hate leaving people hanging as much as I hate being left hanging.

We live in a high-volume 24/7 email world. People are glued to their screens. Don’t expect me to act the same way.

Communicating to people that I am not going to play that game is important. This way, they don’t think that I might have fall off a cliff or just feel extremely slighted annoyed or pissed off.

Yes indeed, I am going off the grid for a bit and I will be checking email less frequently.

This doesn’t mean that I will not be immediately taking care of urgent matters or business issues; it just means that if you have some urgent issues to resolve you have to call me. You have my personal phone number.

Just don’t abuse it!

JMD

Michael Dennis is a former Corporate and Business Law Attorney, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense & Free Speech helping you achieve greatness.

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Fake news

“Fake News” is merely a symptom of greater social ills. Our real problems are trust and manipulation.

Trust is the longer-term problem but, if we don’t grapple with the immediate and urgent problem of manipulation, our public and economical institutions may not live to reinvent themselves to earn the public’s trust back.

Today, our media, our tools, and our politics are being leveraged to help breed polarization by countless actors who can leverage these systems for personal, economic, and ideological gain.

In short: The public is being used.

The primary methods of manipulating information used by the mass media in the interests of information-psychological confrontation objectives are:

  • Direct lies for the purpose of disinformation;
  • Concealing critically important information;
  • Burying valuable information in a mass of information dross;
  • Terminological substitution: use of concepts and terms whose meaning is unclear or has undergone qualitative change, which makes it harder to form a true picture of events;
  • Introducing taboos on specific forms of information or categories of new;
  • Providing negative information, which is more readily accepted by the audience than positive.

More tactics:

Trolls and bots: are used to create a sense of public opinion so it is picked up by media. Journalists are harassed and intimidated, also by trolls and bots.

They exploit volume: When information volume is low, recipients tend to favor experts, but when information volume is high, recipients tend to favor information from other users.

And they exploit speed: It takes less time to make up facts than it does to verify them. And the first impression sets the agenda.

At the highest level, they attack truth: Whether from media or from official sources, multiple untruths are designed to undermine trust in the existence of objective truth.

Trolls and manipulators learn from each other.

Conspiracy theorists, techno-libertarians, white nationalists, Men’s Rights advocates, trolls, anti-feminists, anti-immigration activists, and bored young people, they all leverage both the techniques of participatory culture and the affordances of social media to spread their various beliefs and target vulnerabilities in the news media ecosystem to increase the visibility of and audience for their messages.

What ties them together is some measure of believes in some anarchistic philosophies such as anti-establishment, anti-multiculturalism, anti-globalism, anti-feminism, anti-Semitic, anti-political correctness, and nationalist and racist ideologies. But what mostly links them is their techniques. As trolls, they aim for reaction for reaction’s sake. They hack social media, media, and ultimately attention and democracy.

By getting the media to cover certain stories media manipulators are able to influence the public agenda. By reporting the messages of all the media manipulators, media become manipulators themselves.

So, WTF do we do?

Some will tackle falsehoods by fact-checking. Some will want to enhance the public’s critical thinking through so-called news literacy. Some will compile lists and signals of vice and virtues in sources.

Google, in its ranking, is now seeking and looking for the reliability, authority, and quality of sources while Facebook is killing the fake accounts used to mimic public conversation. This is fine, but rather than attacking the facts, sources, and accounts, we need to go after the real ill and evil: “Manipulation”.

We need to build public awareness. Instead of exploiting the fake news to promote their own financial interests, News media must recognize how and when they are the objects of manipulation. Not doing this, exploiting the fake news only to increase their sales and audience, they become accomplices of all these malevolent fake news propagandists. They become the trolls’ toys.

Instead of capitalizing on fake news, media should share intelligence. Major newsrooms should make sure to recognize manipulation before it affects news coverage and, regardless of profitability, communicate their findings with their counterparts wherever and whoever they are. Today, it is pitiful to see how some major brands staff war rooms are able to deal efficiently with fake news and disinformation attacks and not sharing the information with everybody else.

Instead of capitalizing on fake news, media should starve manipulators of their economic support by avoiding putting their money behind the bad guys through advertising, helping ad networks, agencies, and brands. Media, corporations and brands supporting and profiting fake news should be put in the spot, likewise for the publishers that distribute their bunkum and dross.

Manipulators should be starved of what they crave and feed upon: Attention.

I can hear journalists object that they have to cover what people are talking about. Bunkum! I say. Go FY! I say. The only reason why people are ending up talking about something is because a polluted wellspring of manipulation rose from a few ambitious bias, obsessive reporters and anchormen polluting the airwaves and pages of the newspapers. Isn’t it anything else to talk about other than biased, distorted news about Trump and fake news from wherever and whoever they originate from?

“Media, reporters and anchormen should cover the manipulators’ methods but never their messages!” This is what I say.

JMD

Owner of Bunkumless.com and King Global Earth and Environmental Sciences Corporation, JMD, a former attorney, is a Columnist for The Futurist Daily News and editor of the Social and Political Blog JMDlive.com  Follow JMD @ jmdlive

Press Release

Too many communicators still get it wrong

Here are some of the things that you should absolutely include as part of your press releases and some of the things you should avoid at all costs. 

The Do’s of your Killer Press Release

  • Make sure to send out only news worth bragging about
  • Always answer the 5 Ws: Who; What; When; Where and Why
  • Always include a quote from one of your top executive
  • Have a boilerplate, “About Company”, section
  • Include a media contact, your website, your social media networks, a dateline and a phone number. Also include photos, videos, info graphics and logos; they are shared 3.5 times more than text only. Include linked search engine optimization keywords; include one for every one hundred words
  • Write in the third person and use bullets to break up long blocks of texts. Always make sure to follow proper spelling, punctuation and grammar and have a second set of eyeballs to proofread your text
  • Follow the AP Stylebook or Chicago Manual of Style
  • Create a catchy headline, keeping it between 60 and 80 characters, not including the spaces
  • Finally, use a relevant tool to identify relevant journalists and consider sending your press release trough a newswire service

The Don’ts 

  • Never assume everyone will read every word of your press release
  • Never exaggerate or make false claims
  • Never send the same press release twice
  • Never use slang, industry jargon or acronyms
  • Never over stress a point, keep it short, never write more than 800 words and never use exclamations marks or hyperbole.
  • Except in a quote, never use the words “We”, “You” or “I”. Write in the third person and avoid burying quotes within long paragraphs
  • Avoid burying the point of your press release
  • Avoid blasting in any form of “cc” or “bcc” email
  • Avoid linking your press release to unreliable or unprofessional websites
  • Never leave out source credit
  • Never trash your competition and,
  • Never send your press release to journalists that do not cover your industry or domain of activity.

JMD

Michel  is an enthusiastic writer, columnist and social activist who most enjoys evolving in complex interactive situations.

jmdlive@live.ca

http://jmdonline.tumblr.com/

Dreaming

Don’t blind yourself!

In today’s globalism and more than ever interconnected domains of our daily lives, for whoever wants to prosper, having the most appropriate Public Affairs & Communication Strategy is now vital. Public, private, corporate or institutional entities are no exceptions.

Public policies and regulatory environment are more complex than ever and in a world where instantaneous communications can turn any minor issues into major problems, success in any field of activity, whatever the product, the service, the cause, the ideology or idea, is nothing else and everything about designing the most appropriate strategy to sell, move and promote.

Empowering yourself is no exception.

JMD

Michel  is an enthusiastic writer, columnist and social activist who most enjoys evolving in complex interactive situations.

jmdlive@live.ca

http://jmdonline.tumblr.com/

Kellie-Pickler-Power-of-Words-Quote_620

“Never underestimate the power of your words”

Kellie Pickler

“This situation is just impossible” “I will never figure this out?” “There is no way I could ever succeed” There is no way this could ever work” “This situation is hopeless”… etc.

All such words that you pronounce are most definitely conveying nothing else than desperation, victimization; and you are asking me why your sky is so dark?

Let it be known that it is a well-established fact that your subconscious interprets what it hears very literally. For better or worse, the words you think and speak create your reality. It is through language that you bring your reality into being.

The words you speak are, are their core, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Whatever direction your words lead, your mind and body will follow. You want to feel more love, joy, time, peace, friendship, influence, accomplishment, or control? Stop thinking and speaking in ways that limit what you can accomplish, who you can become and your day-to-day experience of life; Speak and think only that which you truly desire to become your daily reality. Continually making declarations about yourself or your circumstances that echo hopelessness, fear, anxiety and pessimism will only shape your reality in a negative way. The way you talk definitely and absolutely impacts the perception that others may have of you, how they will treat and value you.

You want to be perceived as a “powerful trustworthy individual” that can steer change and deliver results? Start talking the talk and stop sabotaging you life and jeopardizing your future by your own words: Power up your language, rewire your brain and reshape your negative patterns of thought and behaviour. The only thing standing between you and the preferred future you always dreamed of is the way you think, the way you talk about yourself.

You want a better tomorrow?

Start focusing on the words you speak and be vigilant: avoid speaking in terms that convey negativism and lack of confidence; speak in terms that convey confidence and commitment. Always speak in a positive way about yourself, about everything and rephrase all problems or difficulties into learning and growth opportunities. If you slip, no problem! Recommit and start again; each second of your life provides a second chance:

There is always a second chance to better yourself but never a second chance to make a first good impression.

JMD

jmdlive@live.ca

Michel Ouellette JMD [jmdlive.com] is a Public Affairs & Communications Strategist, a miracle worker for entrepreneurs, executives and social innovators.

Content Marketing

Expand your credibility: Syndicate your content!

Media generally does not generally pick up content and content never goes viral on its own.

You are already involved in content marketing; here is what to do next.

Your first critical step is to build your media network. Seek out all what you can about the people who write about the topics you are interested in. Get to know these people. Share their content. Bring them story ideas even when you have nothing to gain personally from them. Most journalists and bloggers use Twitter to find their stories. You absolutely have to be connecting with them on Twitter. Journalists and bloggers can help spread the word especially when your story is relevant and interesting to their audience.

A picture is worth a thousand words; optimize your visual assets. For every article, find a picture, an illustration that delivers the message that you want to convey, an illustration that speaks to the reader, that drives the nail down. Use descriptive filenames for your illustrations, optimize your alt tags, and use image site maps to ensure your visual assets are findable.

Over and above everything else, think strategically, think systemically; think of your content as being a part of a greater project: Getting the Maximum, the Greatest Exposure Possible and never let a story die. Always come up with at least three follow-up articles referring back to the original story and syndicate your content. If you’re putting time and effort into developing your own stories, syndicate your blog content.

It definitely helps expand your reach and credibility with media when you are appearing in mainstream media outlets. Target International Press, media outlets that translate articles from one language to another, like AP, AFP, Thompson Reuters, Dow Jones, and IDG. If you’re appearing in these massive publications, you will have no trouble attracting smaller, international local news outlets. Finally, Do not neglect Traditional Media. Coverage by the traditional medias always turns out to be a great driver for more press pickups. Today, all television and radio stations also have digital outlets and are still incredibly effective for authority building.

Make sure you know everywhere the content will end up so you can promote it through your own social and email marketing channels.

JMD

jmdlive@live.ca

Michel Ouellette JMD [jmdlive.com] is a Public Affairs & Communications Strategist, a miracle worker for entrepreneurs, executives and social innovators.

trust_script

Trust is everything

Being trusted and knowing whom to trust is the killer skill of life. No other attribute and ability so clearly delineates the difference between success and failure.

Today, trust is playing an increasingly pivotal role in all possible endeavors of humanity, either the business, personal or professional world. You want to make it! Do not do the right thing, the proper thing, and the ethical thing to be done only when someone is watching. Whatever you do, whatever you say, always do or say what is right to be done or said. Be proper and ethical in everything you say or do and above everything else, always make sure to never fudge the truth.

Always do the right things and do them right

When interacting with people, focus all of your attention on the other person; don’t peck away on a digital device. Turn off your phone and tell that person that you are meeting with: “I don’t want to be interrupted while we are talking.” Doing so distinguishes you from this ever-increasing mass of people who, without any kind of respect for their interlocutors, listen with one ear and either talk, or do anything else when they should be listening.

Learn to value true relationships

True relationships are everything! Learn to differentiate between people you can count on, people you can trust and people who only pretend to be reliable and trustworthy. Not everyone is worthy of your trust and not everyone is worthy of being one of your friends. Be trustworthy and reliable, deal only with the reliable and trustworthy and over and above everything else, avoid people who only pretend to be reliable and trustworthy.

You do not have to help or to be friend with everyone

If necessary, put your friend or wannabe friend to the test. There is a time in life where you have to decide who, without any expectation of getting something in return, is worthy to be your friend. There is a time in life, where you have to decide who you are willing to share with and confide in without having to fear, people that you can trust. Those are the only relationships that should matter to you. If you have no such relationships, it is about time to re-evaluate your life. There is no greater warning sign of danger ahead than to be utterly self-sufficient and self-absorbed.

Alone, you are not getting anywhere.

JMD

jmdlive@live.ca

Michel Ouellette JMD [jmdlive.com] is a Public Affairs & Communications Strategist, a miracle worker for entrepreneurs, executives and social innovators.

DV-00147797-001

Business in the cafe

Why pay for an over expensively designed and expensively rented offices spaces when you can spend most of your time meeting with clients at Starbucks, Second Cup or any other similar meeting place which offers free Wi-Fi, a place to park your laptop, and a never-ending supply of caffeine?

The low level of noise and casual movement of people in a Coffee Shop or a similar atmosphere is actually a driver for increased productivity and creativity. People need to feel inspired and motivated. Working from cafes places gives you both every day.

They can also provide you with the most interesting scenery

JMD

jmdlive@live.ca

Michel Ouellette JMD is a talented keynote and motivational speaker, public affairs & communications Strategist.

Goodbye-facebook

It’s official.  I am no longer a fan of Facebook.

While nobody offended me, while I did not have a bad experience, I am not thrilled about the useless informal idea of social media sharing.

Facebook have been sucking time from my life too long and not making me any money and, unlike money, time is a zero sum game. While some of the time spend on Facebook may have edifying, as a real person, I rather much prefer to meet with my real friends Face to Face and most of my Facebook friends are not actually friends.  This makes me wonder of the reason why I initially got on Facebook: “How many virtual friends can I assemble?” 

As for the photo sharing process, there are other much more better options.  And, after all, everything considered, why would I care about sharing and seeing my pictures on Facebook for the FBI, the Mossad, The CIA, The RCMP or other mobster organization or governmental agencies around the world? Do I hate myself, the members of my family or my friends that much? Thinking about it, Facebook often brings out the worst in people.  The willingness of so many to demonstrate their arrogance and total ignorance of the facts of life still boggles me!  I learn more about everything and everyone on Twitter.  

Twitter is in fact to Facebook what a biography is to a novel. There is nothing wrong with reading fiction, but I confess that I feel a little guilty and ashamed when I spend time reading something that do not make any sense, that is total fabrication, that did not or will never actually happen. Twitter is now one of my number one sources for hard news, opinions and facts as well as a relational connecting point. This is even better than LinkedIn to learn about people and or their expertise. Twitter is more of a resource and less of a popularity contest and self-congratulating tool than both, Facebook and LinkedIn

Furthermore, the presence of ads on Facebook is getting ridiculous.  Am I the only one who notices that?

Yes, like I like to say, “less is often more” and my only mission in life is to simplify life, my life and the life of everyone else who, like me, would like to profit from life, not just have a taste of what life can be. What I want, for myself and everyone is a lower cost of living, both financial and energy wise and a higher quality of life. What I want is to limit the number of these insignificant and meaningless things that compete for my attention so that I can enjoy those I really care the most about.  Yes indeed, less is often more and Facebook is simply not for me.

Goodbye, Facebook, Hello Twitter!

JMD

multitasking

Here’s the catch:

Multitasking messes with the brain in several ways.

At the most basic level, the mental balancing acts that it requires energize regions of the brain that specialize in visual processing and physical coordination and simultaneously appear to shortchange some of the higher areas related to memory and learning. We concentrate on the act of concentration at the expense of whatever it is that we are supposed to be concentrating on.

Another negative effect of multitasking is that such a practice boosts your level of stress-related hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline and wears down your immune and physiological systems through biochemical friction. In the short run, confusion, fatigue, and chaos merely hamper our ability to focus and analyze, but in the long term, such a repeated practice of multitasking will result in atrophy of the brain and cause premature aging.

On a more mundane note, multitasking is the reason why you get less done in a day than you would like or like to think you do. You go from one task to the other, without completing one; you go from answering emails to phone calls, to tinkering with your computers and nothing is getting done. You are merely procrastinating and complaining that the days are too short or not getting paid enough for all what you have to do.

What was I saying about multitasking creating chaos!

JMD