New Buzzword: Pogo Stick December 1, 2013

Be it known to the world that on this day, I, along with my colleagues in the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), begin a test. Because we are all fed up with silly buzzwords, we have decided to introduce our own meaningless phrase into the corporate buzzword conversation. The new buzzword is “Pogo Stick.”

Used in a sentence: “We need to Pogo Stick this idea. We need to bounce it around all of the departments and see what people think.”

If you are of the twisted mindset to join us, please follow these instructions:

1) Use Pogo Stick at your next meeting.

2) Use Pogo Stick at as many meetings as possible.

3) Include Pogo Stick in e-mail conversations.

4) Report back to us when you hear someone else using this foolish phrase.

Follow our conversation on Linked In.

To see all of the buzzwords used at once, watch The World’s Worst Speech on YouTube.

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Join Global Crisis Communications Expert Gerard Braud in Denver, CO

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You need a Crisis Communications Plan, but you don’t have time to write one on your own or you know you don’t have the expertise to do it correctly. You need a Crisis Communication Plan, but every price you’ve gotten from an agency is expensive and outside of your budget.

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You’ll leave the workshop not with theory, but with a finished document.

You could struggle on your own and after a year of work never create a Crisis Communications Plan that is this well thought out and perfect for every crisis.

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About Your Instructor

Known as the guy to call when “it” hits the fan, Gerard Braud (Jared Bro) is an expert in crisis communications and media issues. He is an international trainer, author and speaker, who has revolutionized crisis communications for organizations on five continents.

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What You Need to Bring

  • A laptop for each writer
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For full details and answers to all of your questions, call 985-624-9976 or email

The Fine Print: Each Crisis Communications Plan is the intellectual property of Diversified Media, LLC, dba Gerard Braud Communications. As such, your organization is technically purchasing a license to use the plan. Your organization is granted rights to use the plan, but it remains the copyright product of Gerard Braud Communications. As such, you are prohibited from ever sharing your plan with anyone who is not an employee of your organization.

The Worst Speech in the World

The Worst Speech in the World

By Gerard Braud

©2012 Diversified Media, LLC dba Gerard Braud Communications

Preamble: CEOs and executives use far too many buzzwords and clichés. Soon the bad language infects the entire company. So when the International Association of Business Communicators asked me to present a session called, “Don’t Say That! Say This!,” I went to LinkedIn and asked you to list the buzzwords and clichés you hate the most. The discussion has gone on for more than 4 months. I’ve collected comments from more than 270 people and combined them here to create what I call, “The Worst Speech in the World.”

Now put yourself in the zone. Imagine you are in the audience as your boss takes the stage and says the following:

As you are aware, I’m delighted that we’re here to announce some things you are unaware of.

We’re excited and pleased about this innovative, world class, value added opportunity to leverage customer-centric opportunities that, at the end of the day, create a value proposition and ROI second to none.

Not withstanding, I think you would all agree that we have to think outside the box if we want to drill down and chase after the low hanging fruit.

This is why our people are our greatest asset; our vital human capitol, especially those recently laid off during the downsizing, right sizing, outsourcing and strategic realignment phase, creating an opportunity for us to fulfill our leadership imperative do more with less as we execute against our objectives.

Now don’t get me wrong; we’re going to need to utilize long skis and transparency. Our valued shareholders expect us to offer them an open kimono.

Basically, this will be an iconic, strategic initiative that allows us to productionize and incentivize value added commodities.

Let me be clear… Clearly, we need to expand band width so we can deep dive and ramp up, and adjust to the moving targets associated with each strategic objective.

There are no dumb ideas; there are no dumb questions. It may be a dicey situation, but we need to think laterally and pick each other’s brains.

If you get a brain fart, run it up the flag pole and circle back to make sure it is implemented in a cost effective manner consistent with our mandate to implement our objectives.

In today’s climate, you can’t have a mega-brand or big box bricks and mortar location without tactical execution going forward.

Quick wins are quick wins, but long-term gains are long-term gains, irregardless of the potential for sustainability.

One doesn’t pursue a blue ocean strategy with only the goal to get a leg up on the competition. That would be like drinking our own Kool-Aid from a fire hose.

Our next breakout requires each of you to facilitate, coordinate and expedite each aspect of our projected paradigm shift.

We must be willing to lean forward and buy into the mission critical, turn-key aspects of our shovel ready agenda.

In life there are teachable moments that require us to circle the wagons.

That doesn’t mean we need to go back to square one and start at ground zero. We can harness the potential of our momentum to catapult us forward.

Sure, if we say jump out the window we want you to jump out the window. But at the same time we want you to think for yourself.

Some of you will have questions about the synergistic aspects, but there will be time to talk offline and touch base as we dialogue about our mission with our core internal audiences. That is why we have employee engagement strategies that harness the powers of social media, which replace our previous trend to blog, which replaced our wikis, which replaced water cooler talk.

We know the general public wants to peel back the onion to find out if we’ve hit our sweet spot. We’ll provide air cover for you so you have time to massage it and see what comes out of the other side.

Cross-functional socialization is one approach, provided we can monetize our deliverables. Some of you may want to let it marinate as you chew on it or mull it over.  This shouldn’t be something you stew over. We may want to circle back and dialogue about whether this keeps you up at night. That would be my ask. And we need to complete this task before any of you holiday.

We think our new initiatives may optimize our execution, resulting in a game changer. We will want to engage all employees and blue sky this so everyone has visibility.

We need to land this one well for maximum impact as we onboard the customer-engagement engine, including face-time for everyone, especially those of you who are lowest on the food chain.

With that said, in the past we’ve spent too much time herding cats and trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, which does nothing to help us break the silos.

In the C-Suite, we don’t offer seats at the table or a place under the tent to those who are not ready to support our blueprint for change, by erecting strategic pillars that allow us to run the plays and roll down efforts to eradicate flight risks.

If we noodle over our touch points from 40,000 feet, it will incentivize us to get our arms around the scaling that will put us all on the same page so we are fully bright.

If we’re going to be on the same team we need to harness the power of our associates and level the playing field by walking the walk and talking the talk.

Our go-to must be more than a single belly button, tin cupping our units. Tension in the system is only achieved when we go beyond sucking the marrow out our robust assets.

Going forward we’re tasked to find space to hold calibration meetings to discuss right shoring opportunities that allow us to task and architect a solution as we champion the benefits of going the extra mile.

Normally, at this point, I would take questions, but for the first time ever, I don’t think that will be necessary. I think I can simply conclude, because each of you has clear marching orders.

Virginia Tech Shooting Today: Crisis Communications Case Unfolding – Social Media Impact

Virginia Tech has another school shooting today. Two have died. Please keep these people in your prayers today.

For those who are students of Crisis Communications – both university students and public relations professionals wishing to learn more about proper crisis communications in the age of social media – today is sadly one of those days when you can watch a crisis unfold in the Social Media and online world.

The 2007 Virginia Tech shooting was characterized by slow communications. The first official notice to students in 2007 went out 2 hours and 10 minutes after the first 2 victims were shot, which was also 10 minutes after 30 more people were killed. I’ve long contended that slow communications lead to 30 unnecessary deaths.

Today’s Virginia Tech shooting has had rapid notice by text alert and numerous updates to the Virginia Tech home page

Follow #VT on Twitter to study how this social media venue unfolds.

Like the VT Facebook page to watch the wide variety of comments.

You will see many YouTube videos. I’ve posted this video for you.

Follow some of the online links like this. This is an example of the types of social media some of you may sadly face some day; the types of social media you must prepare for.

Among the crisis communications trends you should follow is whether Facebook becomes a place where students complain because their text messages were slow in arriving and whether they were unable to access information on the Virginia Tech website. During a university or school crisis, it may take 20 to 30 minutes before all students receive their text message. Also, high traffic keeps people from getting updates on the official website.

As you follow Twitter messages about the Virginia Tech shooting, pay close attention to the problems caused by well intentioned people who re-Tweet old and incorrect communications and information. In other school shootings that I have studied since the advent of Twitter, it has been my experience that hours after an all clear has been communicated, people will re-Tweet old messages warning of the shooting as though it is still happening. This is one of the reasons I hate social media when a crisis is unfolding.

To discuss what you may need to prepare of a similar crisis at your school, university or corporation, please contact me via the Braud Communications website or the

Social Media Revolutions & How to Write a Social Media Policy

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The time is NOW. Social Media is changing nations. But are you watching from the sidelines or digging in and learning how this affects your communications where you work and with your audience. For all the benefits of Social Media, there is an ugly flip side most people won’t talk about, or fail to recognize, or turn a blind eye to. I’m ready to talk about it.

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