All Posts By

Marijean

Congratulations! You Have a Transgender Employee

By | Communications | No Comments

Do you know anyone who is transgender or gender nonconforming? I do. And they are some of the bravest, most resilient individuals I have ever met.

Our culture is more supportive and affirming of people who are transgender than ever before. That’s why it’s possible, and even likely that you will work with someone who is gender nonconforming or transgender. More people who are transgender feel comfortable living as their true selves.  Here are three things to know:

  1. As with ALL employees, it’s important to use the right name and pronouns. If you are unsure, ASK what pronouns to use. Say, “My preferred pronouns are (and state yours, which could be he/him, she/hers, or they/them/theirs). What are your preferred pronouns?”
  2. It’s so important to use the correct name. If your employee has transitioned while in your employment, support them by making the name change on your website, order new business cards, name plate or other printed materials to support them in their transition.
  3. Let all employees know that you do not tolerate discrimination of any kind, including gender discrimination. Take a look at the guide produced by the Human Rights Campaign for Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace. How are your HR policies written? Are dress codes gender-neutral? What about restrooms? Take a look, and make changes where needed.

There is an opportunity here, to expand your diversity training to include information on gender identity and expression.

We’re here to help — email me at marijean@jaggerscommunications.com if you want to discuss or learn more.

Quick and Dirty Interview Prep

By | Media | No Comments

Say you’ve decided to a) run for office b) accept a high-profile job c) step into the spokesperson role for your organization.

Alert the media! But maybe you’ve never talked to a reporter before. Yikes, right? Here’s a quick checklist to help you prepare:

  1. Write out the most important items you want to cover in the interview.
  2. Identify the core theme of your message — are you serving kids? Immigrants? Tech gurus? What people do you serve? Make sure all your messages are about them.
  3. Practice — enlist a friend to pretend to interview. No friends? email me: marijean@jaggerscommunications.com
  4. Is this a TV interview? Prepare what you will wear. On camera, make eye contact with the reporter. Slow down, and engage with that person as if there is no camera.
  5. Anticipate difficult questions, and take extra time to prepare for them.

Break a leg! You’re going to be just fine.

 

Without Structure, Strategy Goes Nowhere

By | Communications, Corporate Strategy | No Comments

Lucky me! Two organizations I work with are beginning strategic planning at the start of this new year. It gets a little confusing, bouncing back and forth, but what I learn in sessions from one, I’m able to apply to the other, so I figure that’s a win.

What has worried me in past strategy sessions is the possibility that the plan will sit on a shelf and not get put into action. I bet you’ve seen that in your work place or volunteer efforts. To combat that, we like to recommend a specific structure for follow up, either quarterly or every six months.

When it comes to strategic communications, the follow up and structure for implementation need to be waaaay tighter. Our clients benefit from a weekly structure, where those responsible for outreach and engagement truly have a DAILY checklist of tasks related to the strategic goals. Maybe that sounds like a lot, but when small steps are taken, great leaps can be made toward big goals.

We’re gearing up for an upcoming workshop for small businesses and nonprofits to help smaller teams or individual team members responsible for communications get a good structure set up so the rest of the year will run smoothly, and make real progress toward goals. More soon!

Want Better Networking? Skip the Networking Groups

By | Communications | One Comment

I visibly cringe when someone invites me to something called a networking group. I’ve been to these gatherings, where there’s one representative of each kind of industry, where you’re expected to share your “elevator speech” and share leads. It’s formulaic, and it might very well work for those who rely on cold calls to build business when all other efforts fail, but it’s really not my style.

What I find much more valuable, is attending events that interest me, and that attract like-minded people. The people I have met at nonprofit events, or through volunteering in my community, or at educational opportunities like lectures, films, and panel discussions are far more interesting and likely to result in real work relationships than those brought together in a manufactured networking environment.

I know it’s hard for those just starting out to dive into unknown groups and start introducing themselves. But if you’re there for a mission, or to listen and learn, with the opportunity to share ideas afterward, it’s a much more authentic relationship-building experience that results.

If you’re looking for a networking alternative, feel free to ask me what I’m attending next.