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Amanda Burgess
Toronto-based communications professional
Recent Activity
The digital economy is driven by content – both push and pull. So it’s not surprising that sponsored supplements, reviews and blog posts are on the rise, and the traditional church-and-state lines between advertising and editorial are ever blurring. What is surprising: only the staunchest of journalistic purists are crying foul from within the crumbling walls of their print media ivory towers. What’s even more surprising: I, having now spent more of my career as a communicator than a journo, count myself among them. Before shocked gasps begin to reverberate through cyberspace at that declaration, allow me to clarify. It’s... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2010 at Re:think
I recently read a fascinating Harvard Business Review article that ranked The Best Performing CEOs in the World based on the shareholder value they deliver. The authors analyzed data collected from more than 2,000 public company CEOs to determine which factors increased the likelihood that an executive would rank high. These included being a company insider, taking the helm in troubled times and having an MBA. Not surprisingly, Apple CEO Steve Jobs topped the list. While Jobs doesn’t hold an MBA, he did deliver an impressive 3,188% industry-adjusted return (34% compounded annually) after he rejoined Apple as CEO in 1997,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2010 at Re:think
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The current recessionary environment has caused the war-for-talent pendulum to swing decidedly in favour of employers. Not surprisingly, it has also spurred a significant uptick in business tomes, blog postings and articles on the topic of personal branding. As communicators and marketers, we’re conditioned to recite our organization’s elevator pitch or boiler plate with practiced ease. We can articulate that one differentiating quality our company has that no one else can credibly lay claim to. Yet even the most seasoned communicators falter when it comes to articulating their personal brand promise. Standard interview questions like “What can you tell me... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2010 at Re:think
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I recently received a holiday e-card from British internal communications consultancy Home that brought home the power of branded communications on a shoestring budget. For years now, organizations have faced the same holiday conundrum: Do we stick with the personalized-yet-costly printed holiday card or design an e-card and donate the cost savings to charity? Should we send a green message by printing on recycled paper or completely reduce our carbon footprint with an e-card? I myself have long been a proponent of the hand-written card. When I was an entertainment publicist, I would take a week to pen personal greetings... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2009 at Re:think
Up until quite recently, I was a harbinger of death to the employee magazine in print format. An early adopter of social media, I am an advocate of online employee communities and interactive e-zines aimed at generating two-way conversations, fostering storytelling cultures and connecting global workforces. But I am also an advocate of customizing communications strategies and vehicles to meet the unique culture and needs of each workplace. I joined my current employer as Manager of Corporate and Internal Communications a year ago, fresh from a consulting career where I advised tech-savvy global organizations on how to engage employees to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2009 at Re:think
There are some important communications lessons to be gleaned from recent scandals involving public figures. Any communications professional who’s witnessed the beleaguered Jon Gosselin in a media interview has experienced a few cringe-worthy moments. He’s brash and unscripted. His tone and delivery make him appear adversarial and emotionless. His expression says he’s tired of the media circus, but his actions prove he’s not ready to remove himself from the ring. At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Tiger Woods, the media darling – an articulate, intelligent man forced to publicly respond to accusations that threaten both his image... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2009 at Re:think
As I immersed myself in the Monday edition of Metro to avoid making inadvertent eye contact on my morning commute, I paused at a comic strip that made a sharp-witted observation on the anti-social nature of social media. The scene itself is fairly innocuous - one that takes place on sidewalks, at bus stops and on subway platforms all over Toronto. Two octogenarians are watching a pair of teens, who, predictably, are absorbed by their iPods and oblivious to the women's presence. "They're missing a golden opportunity to annoy us with their music," comments one of the ladies. Now, the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2009 at Re:think
Innovation has become a groan-worthy word in organizations everywhere. That’s because many people still affix an upper case I to the word. Upper case Innovation is the realm of scientific and technological breakthroughs. It’s where the Apples and Googles of the world live. But there’s something to be said for lower case innovation as well. It’s not about breakthroughs, but pushing boundaries. It’s not about being first to market, but doing things smarter. It’s about finding novel approaches and new twists on traditional models and ideas. It’s about applying The Yellow Duck Principle to every project, every process and every... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2009 at Re:think
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Nov 27, 2009