Tips on Brands, Frames, Conversations and Narratives

Training in communications theory and practice.
Straight Goods News held another excellent "Persuading to Win" workshop on Feb. 22-23 in Toronto. More than 100 people attended including many top union leaders.

Most of the session was off-the-record. This report is based entirely on the presentations made by the speakers on subjects like:
- the primacy of research and strategy
- branding, framing, narratives and changing the conversation
- video content is the most powerful element of a website
- Steve Jobs, Chief Brand Officer

J. Goss + Associates provided communications services for the event.

1. Dan Aronchick : Even lawyers are doing it

- branding rules
- strategy stays, tactics change
- signature sounds
- survey monkey for low-cost research
- 35-second elevator pitch
- memory glue
- branding lawyers by Kirk Makin: Tired of rolling with punchlines, lawyers plan image overhaul, 7 Feb 2013, The Globe and Mail
- video testimonials
- YouTube is the world's second biggest search engine
- CLC's YouTube contest

Dan Aronchick, President of Out-Think Inc
Dan taught Marketing at the Schulich School of Business at York University for 15 years, where he developed the first Canadian course on Creative Idea Generation. A “packaged goods” marketer" for 20 years, Aronchick is the former director of marketing at Unilever and started his career at Procter & Gamble. His past clients include Royal Bank, Kraft, Harlequin and Molson, ECW Press and the Humber School of Creative and Performing Arts.

2. Allan Bonner : The audience, the needs of journalists 

- media relations rules
- opening scene of Hamlet - Night invoked 19 times
- personal lists of journalists
- know the journalists
- understand the working conditions of the media
- there is little evidence that social media is selling anything, yet ...

Dr Allan Bonner, Allan Bonner Communications Management Inc.
Allan Bonner has coached approximately 30,000 people to deal with some of the most controversial and public issues of our time. He has worked with heads of government, G7 and UN delegations, the WTO, NATO as well as CEO’s and diplomats around the world. He has recently worked in Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Bangkok, Beijing, Singapore, Canberra, Budapest, Geneva, many American states and all Canadian provinces.

3. Robin Sears : Tell stories

- the decline of the progressive narrative
- the traditional bell curve -- they hate you on one side and love you on the other -- led to a focus on the middle ground - those we can persuade
- the new bell curve based on early adopters of social media on one side and no social media at other requires communicators to focus on the early adopters because of their ability to persuade many others
- principles of story-telling
- Sears organized the 1983 meeting of the Socialist International when Palestinian leader Issam Sartawi was assassinated moments before the opening gavel. He told a story about it.
- Obama campaign 2012: The Victory Lab, journalist Sasha Issenberg 
- in 2012 1.5 million more young Americans voted than in 2008
- converting Facebook likes into higher levels of engagement - donors, activists
- labour does not push back on negative PR the way others do

Robin Sears, Principal, Earnscliffe Strategy Group
Robin Sears has served clients on three continents as a management, executive search and public affairs consultant. As a strategic advisor to governments, corporations and the NGO sector in Europe, Asia, Canada and the United States he has led teams on large public advocacy, technology, and market development projects.

4. Terry O'Reilly : Change the Conversation

-  brand (reputation)
- "changing the conversation" - 1950s Marlboro, Leo Burnett - 1970s  Rolling Stone, Perception Reality ads, I love New York 1980s and post 9-11

Concluding points:
1. Accept that you are a brand
2. Do research
3. Look for the greatest area of opportunity (leverage)
4. Change the conversation
5. Appoint a brand manager

Terry O'Reilly, Host, CBC Radio Under the Influence
Terry O'Reilly's best-selling book — The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture — and CBC radio shows introduced him to millions. But in the ad world he already was famous after a career as an award-winning copywriter for Campbell-Ewald, Doyle Dane Bernbach and Chiat/Day, and co-founder of the creative audio production company Pirate Radio & Television (it has a staff of 50, with recording studios in Toronto and New York City).

5. Margo C. Watt : Psychology and communications

- an understanding of basic clinical psychology is fundamental to communications
- fears and anxieties
- where people want to be
- avoid the extremes
- anger does not sell
- people are influenced by the people around them -- word-of-mouth
- anti-union animus
- acute bs meters of the youth

Margo C Watt, Department of Psychology, St. Francis Xavier University
Author: Overcoming the Fear of Fear
Dr Watt is a clinical psychologist whose research interests include disorders, control and personality issues, domestic violence, and women offenders. She teaches Introductory Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, and Forensic Psychology and works with Correctional Service Canada. Her book centres on helping people master anxiety and fears. She has served as co-editor of the newsletter of the Clinical Section of the Canadian Psychological Association.

6. Marc Zwelling, Vector Research and Development Inc.

- trend lines are clear
- members carry the brand
- we are going to keep that flaming member out of the press
- much of Zwelling's presentation was off-the-record

Marc Zwelling, Vector Research
Marc Zwelling is president and founder of Vector Research and The Vector Poll™, an ongoing public opinion research project involving a collaboration of national and provincial unions. Vector Research and Development Inc is a full-service market and opinion research company and has worked in the private and public sectors for over 20 years.

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