Originally known simply as “Peak XV,” Mount Everest, at 29,035 feet, offers views from the highest point on earth. In this blog, our leadership team brings you up-to-date and relevant perspectives on industry happenings, what’s in the media and executive insights. Read on, and enjoy the view from the top.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Regional Flight Plan

Springtime begins in Tallahassee and the blue cloudless skies this weekend provided an awesome opportunity to view the North Florida region from 3000 ft. Never one to turn down the chance to fly, I climbed into the Piper Warrior with my trusted friend, a seasoned flight instructor and spent Sunday afternoon airborne over our growing region.

Flying over downtown allowed me to get a birds-eye perspective on transportation corridors, residential development, business and industry sectors, educational facilities and neigboring communities. At this altitude you can also envision what we need to shape our region tomorrow - a good flight plan for our future, an efficient ground crew, trained navigators to guide us, and knowledge of taking off and landing safely at our desired destination.

The Tallahassee/Big Bend Region remains a land of natural beauty, from the ground and in the air. How our public officials and citizens plan, check and use the proper equipment and the direction we fly in will make our flight for future growth one that will as memorable and breathtaking as the one I experienced this afternoon. We are cleared for take off!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Communication + Teamwork = Great Taste

If you ever have the opportunity to dine at one of Ted Turner's restaurants, Ted's Montana Grill, be sure to request the best seat in the house - at the bar on the end in front of the grill and food prep area. My wife and I have found that not only do you get seated much quicker, you get to meet some of most friendly and talented staff in the restaurant business.

Dining while seated at the bar in Ted's Tallahassee location also afforded us the occassion to witness how constant communication and teamwork combined to turn out a great product, in this case great food. Working furiously in a small cramped area with the heat cranking from the grill, steamer, ovens and fryer, this talented team continuously multi-tasked through a variety of orders, each of which was handled in an quick orderly process. To those seated at tables, they just realized it did not take long to get good food served fresh and fast.

What we saw and enjoyed with our meal was an organized team that communicated in normal tones with all of their co-workers and that team members jumped in and helped one another without being asked and without gripping or complaining. We got to be eyewitnesses to working examples of good communication and true teamwork.

A quality product produced in short order through the right recipe of communication and teamwork...add the special touch of fresh strawberry shortcake and you've created satisfied customers.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Marketing - The time is now!

Like clockwork, when talks of economic resession surface, then discussions begin on shrinking marketing efforts. It is time to dispell the urban legend about marketing budgets and economic elasticity.

If you knew many of your competitors were going to spend less time and effort getting their message out, would you consider it to be a good time to retreat with them? If you were running a marathon and the crowded pack of runners lessen the effort to pace themselves, your best move is to kick it up a notch and move forward - potentially positioning yourself out front.

In running the marathon, every move must be strategic so that no effort is wasted and you position yourself for the best finish. Marketing is no different. Smart efforts, best methods and a strong support team that has weathered the course will produce winning results. If you want to perform like a champion, look at what the marketing champions do during economic downturns.

You won't find the word recession in a glossary of marketing terms. You won't hear many champions talking about a successful strategy for retreat. Marketing - now is the time.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Listening to the Party Line

Presidential politics in Florida is always making news - sometimes for months after Presidential elections and most recently before we even get to Primary Election Day with delegates being cast aside. Living in Tallahassee we are used to politics ruling the day, hey we are now having movies about the Presidential elections shot here...not even Arnold can claim that.

Within the last five days I have had the opportunity to have lunch meetings with senior campaign team members for Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney. I have to say it was not surprising to hear the party line and perspective spoken from both sides. What I did find most interesting to hear was the manner in which these representatives from both parties shared their opinions about the elimination of their opponents from various factors; which would ultimately lead to their candidate receiving the party nomination. Candidly I was not swayed by hearing the party line or opponent elimination opinions from either camp.

As for this Florida voter I have my personal presidential candidate of choice, but my undecided vote is on Amendment 1 - the Florida Property Tax Amendment. Lots of money has been spent by those for and against Amendment 1 and I sense many Florida voters also remain undecided. Party lines don't seem matter when comes to property tax. Will the very slight lowering of property tax drastically affect the provision of civic services, I really don't know. One thing I do know for sure, I will vote...who knows in Florida it might get me a role in a movie.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Process is the Prize

Today I have the pleasure of speaking to the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists, imagine the opportunity to talk to a room full of some of the most key influentials in the state. The FAPL Annual Conference in Destin is using a theme of "The Process is the Prize - Preserve It!"

It may quite ironic that I am sharing a presentation on New Media, a process that is so dynamic - there is anything but preservation going in social media. It was mind boggling to research and I learned the depth of information online is quick to overload.

The process of lobbying is worth preserving, although it too is being strongly affected by the influence of new media in advocacy. The rules are changing...daily.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

IM n TLH 4 u

One of my younger sisters (both of us "middle-aged") recently observed me texting on my Blackberry, "you text?" she asked. I surprised her immediately sending the SMS "4 sure" to her cell. My sister thought you only text if you are under the age of 30. This old dog is always looking to learn new technology tricks; then I realized that texting is not new at all.

If Samuel Morse, inventor of Morse Code, was alive today he might think we were all late adopters. Morse was sending short immediate wireless messages to target audiences in the 1840's.

Morse code, leet, orthography, SMS or IM - the quickest delivery of your message in accessible media to target audiences produces optimal results. During the recent fires in Southern California, text messaging was used to broadcast warnings to residents; thereby averting loss of lives. This use of texting gives new meaning to your message spreading like wildfire – maybe it’s time to txt msg. gtg ttyl

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Cirque Du Jour

With all due respect to Cirque Du Soleil, the magnificent stage show that take fantasy dreams and turns them into reality, I have now become accustomed to the Cirque Du Jour. This is the daily circus of what might be staged events of strangeness "Don't Tase me Bro" or strangeness just being played out in real life, like the R-rated soundtrack of OJ retrieving his sports memorabilia, and all of which are almost immediately posted on YouTube.

If Britney's life isn't bizarre enough, literally out of nowhere ESPN Sports announcer Mike Patrick asks viewers watching the Alabama - Georgia football game in tense overtime on national TV, "What is Britney doing with her life." If you really want to know about Britney just watch the Cirque Du Jour productions of the "Leave Britney Alone" guy or the multiple counterparts such the "Leave OJ Alone" guy. I noticed a video link on CNN (Cirque News Network) that the Leave Britney Alone guy now thinks he is star material - well maybe a falling star.

When every bizarre incident is now instantaneously immortalized on YouTube, and then is promptly satirized it leads to me to exclaim "Don't Tube me Bro." I am beginning to realize that a day without OJ (and Britney) is like a day without...the Cirque Du Jour.

In the PR businesses, we need to realize that the old adage of “any press is good press” may not be true anymore. What’s painfully obvious with Britney, OJ, and the internet characters they spawn, is that all of them lack ANY sense of self-awareness, assuming that everyone’s laughing with them when we’re all actually laughing at them. How is your audience connecting with your message? Are you just excited to have people talking ABOUT you, or are you actually aware enough to engage your audience in the conversation about your brand and help shape their perceptions?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Are you ready for the climb (and challenges) of your life?

Have you ever faced a challenge and thought that the best bet might be to give up--but the cliché about how “Winners never quit and quitters never win?” won’t stop ringing in your head? Well, my new favorite book finally gives permission to be a quitter; to say “I give up,” cut your losses and know when to fold. Now, before you go celebrate your new found freedom, I recommend that you read The Dip by Seth Godin, a book that is on the New York Times Bestseller List with more than 100,000 copies in print in just one month.

The Dip is a must-read for everyone in business. We have all faced challenges when quitting makes more sense, but our genetic programming keeps us pushing forward–only to find that we would have been better off to cut our losses and walk away. As Godin explains, pushing forward through a challenging situation means understanding the difference between “the dip” and a dead end. It is about knowing when to stick it out, and asking (and analyzing) the tough questions at the right time to get to the top.

“Getting to the top” reminds me of leaders who have learned the art of perserverance, such as Oprah Winfrey. In her recent “What I know for sure” column in the September issue of O, the Oprah Magazine, she writes about a more literal climb to the top of a 3,000 foot mountain in Hawaii.

Oprah observes that mountains always look easier to climb when you are at the base. I couldn’t help but think of our tagline at Moore Consulting Group: “What’s Your Mountain?” More than just a tagline, this question helps guide our approach to client servicing. It is an approach grounded in analyzing the challenges clients are facing, implementing the right communications solutions, and asking the right questions along the way to help them conquer the mountains they face.

With any mountain that is in your way, it’s important to know when to keep climbing and when to realize that the challenge you are trying to conquer may not be the right one. Decisions like these can be difficult, but in the end, it comes down to getting the most out of your time and energy.

No matter what mountains are in front of you, take it from two of the business world’s finest: be sure that there is pleasure in the climb, don’t be afraid to ask difficult questions along they way, and—most importantly—enjoy the view at the top.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The New Tune of Digital Harmony

Usually around this time of year the sound heard all over Florida is either that of storm winds blowing or stadiums filled with football fans. Thankfully our "climate challenged" season has been mostly fair weather thus far and in every part of the state football season is well underway.

If you listen closely what you can hear is a new sound in the sunshine state, no not the legislature convening another session, but rather the sweet sounds of progress in the form of innovation and digital harmony. For me the sound became crystal clear at a recent summit, "Imagining an Innovative Economy" organized and facilitated by the Florida Chamber Foundation and held in Orlando, but that sound really got started with the launch of the Digital Harmony project in Tallahassee a few weeks earlier.

Digital Harmony is an innovation initiative in Tallahassee where every sixth grader at Nims Middle School has received a Dell laptop loaded with school related software for the student's use during the entire year, at school and in their homes. The project was lead by Tallahassee City Commissioner, Andrew Gillum, who enlisted the help of the Tallahassee Technology Alliance and Comcast to make this a reality for the Nims sixth graders. Comcast donated and installed cable modems in each student's home and is providing Internet access at no charge, while leaders from the Tallahassee Technology Alliance helped load and install software on all the laptops. What makes this special is that Nims Middle School, located in Tallahassee' s southern sector, received an F rating last year, but under the new principal, Kay Collins, the schools has vowed to become an A rated school by year-end. The transformation of this school and this section of the community has to begin with innovative and positive life changing projects like Digital Harmony.

While attending the Florida Chamber Foundation's Summit on an Innovative Economy, several of the speakers echoed the need for projects like Digital Harmony. The meeting was a gathering of the who's who of innovation with leaders from IT, life sciences, state government, business and higher education. Florida's former Lt. Governor, Toni Jennings, set the tone and the challenge for Florida to work as a successful enterprise when it comes to collaborative innovation. Jennings said that fostering economic development of jobs is important, but we must make the early investment in human capital - our students and prepare them for jobs.

The advent of corporate digital harmony was evident at the meeting with the CEOs of Torrey Pines Institute, Scripps Florida, Burnham Institute and SRI all sharing the same stage and calling for the need of a strong workforce with skilled and educated talent from the state. What was interesting to note was that several speakers said Florida's brain drain and talent drop off begins in our state's middle schools.

To hear the united voices of our state's top leadership in innovation, education and business imploring the audience to invest in the best education and engagement of our students, not at their college graduation, but rather in middle school, made me begin to hear the tune of Digital Harmony with much more clarity. What really sounds good and would be innovative would be for all sectors of Florida's economy to each play their part, becoming a fine tuned instrument for Florida's future symphony of Digital Harmony - in the classrooms and as a world-class economic enterprise. A united effort for an innovative economy in Florida maybe tuning up right now, but it sounds like a masterpiece in the making.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Karen’s Crisis Tips

Greetings! I hope you've had a chance to read my recent column on crisis communications in the Tallahassee Democrat. Here are some of my tips for effective crisis communications management:

  • Start work on a potential crisis before it becomes public. Plan out key messages, identify a spokesperson, and implement steps to resolve the situation. Refer to your pre-approved crisis plan.
  • Speak in plain English. Make sure people understand your message; avoid industry-specific jargon that can confuse the general population.
  • Convey your sympathy. While addressing key issues, be sure to let the audience know you understand the feelings of the parties involved.
  • Keep everyone informed. The media, the general public, stakeholders, neighbors., etc. Update every target audience regularly with what you know, what you don’t know, and what you’re doing.

What to say…

  • When asked a high-emotion question, respond with Compassion, Conviction and Optimism.
  • When asked a “what if” question, repeat the question, state the actual situation, and state what you know factually.
  • The triple positive: When breaking adverse news or stating a negative, balance the bad news with at least three more positive, constructive or solution-oriented messages.
Go to the MCG Newsroom to read the full August column, as well as check out information on previous columns on networking, social media and more.