Myths, Conversation & Smokin’ in the Cardinal’s Room‏

Spring training’s in full swing in the desert while my new friends in Alaska and old friends in the Midwest and East are still shoveling the white stuff. March simply isn’t fair. My work-travel schedule is robust these days; as such, I’ve owed you a mailer for a few weeks. Thanks to the people who’ve missed it and bugged me about it… you are the wind beneath my wings.


Why People Believe Myths and Just Plain Wrong Information

The essence and challenge of risk communication lies in the disconnect between facts and perceptions. Facts and science evolve, of course — that’s been the subject of lots of past (and future) articles. But the truth is that people believe all kinds of stuff that just isn’t true:

Losing Conversation

We’re losing the art of conversation… it’s becoming as hard to find as a phone booth. Via email and social media, we send and receive exponentially more information than ever before but we’re forgetting how to simply talk with one another. Conflicts are resolved and relationships & trust are built through conversation. We can’t lose it:

Collaboration is for People Who Can’t Win

So said a recent workshop client. He had a point. Winning and getting everything that we want is what most of us would prefer. The challenge is — in spite of what your lawyer may tell you — winning it all is rarely realistic. But collaboration is risky business:

And while we’re on the subject of collaboration and negotiation, we’ve often heard that meals are effective settings for successful engagements. Now there’s some evidence that supports the idea:

The Bad News Business

Don’t be surprised if you hear that Carnival Cruise Lines is serving horse meat at the midnight buffet. Public problems for companies and government agencies are amplified by traditional and social media coverage which often turns bad news into really, really bad news.

Media doesn’t make the problem…it just makes it worse. As we all know, wailing and complaining about this kind of coverage is a just a waste of time. I don’t agree entirely with all of the following, but it’s a pretty good place to start:

And we need to clarify what ‘staying on message’ means. Clear, consistent messages are critically important, but there’s always the danger of coming off as an over-coached robot. There’s a better way:

Smokin’ in the Sistine Chapel

Pope Francis the First has been selected as the new leader of the world’s 1.4 billion Catholics. I heard some goofball complaining about the antiquated way the church announces a successful papal vote. But are you curious about the white smoke/black smoke thing?

IAP2’s Open Certificate and Emotion, Outrage & Public Participation Courses for 2013

Public opposition, anger, protest and conflict are facts of life and they’ve changed the rules of engagement. You’ll know how to manage them after taking the two-day IAP2 Emotion, Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation (EOP2) class. Crafted with Peter Sandman, the world’s foremost authority on risk communication, this workshop is hands-on, practical and has never been more relevant.

The IAP2 Public Participation Certificate is the class for anyone who manages or works in public involvement. You’ll learn what works, what doesn’t, why and what to do about it. I hope that you can join us for one of these courses.

IAP2 Public Emotion and Outrage class:

  • September 5/6 in Chicago
  • October 10/11 in Calgary

IAP2 Certificate class:

  • July 22 – 26 in Milwaukee
  • October 28 – November 1 in Chicago

We also customize the EOP2 class and bring it to you in-house as a workshop to find a “path forward” on your specific problem. Call me for details.

For existing U.S. class registrations click on:

For existing Canada class registrations click on:

Please pass this on to someone that you think might benefit from one of these workshops or would like to start getting this newsletter (we never SPAM anybody and subscribing/unsubscribing is easy).



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