Gold, Silver and Bronze for Communication Excellence

Smart and creative communication approaches which helped break down workplace stigma around mental health have earned Mairi Barton, of Pinch Yourself Communication, and client Ambulance Victoria recognition at the international, Asia Pacific and state levels.

This month (September 2018) Mairi was presented with a Silver Quill Award for the Asia Pacific region and a Bronze Quill Award for the state of Victoria for her work as part of a team at Ambulance Victoria delivering the organisation’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

This follows the Gold Quill Award, a prestigious international award for the same piece work by Mairi for Ambulance Victoria, announced in April by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

“Only exceptional work earns an IABC Gold Quill Award,” said Cindy Schmieg ABC, IABC Fellow and Chair of the awards committee.

“Each entry is rigorously reviewed by multiple experienced communicators from around the world who are trained in applying IABC’s Global Standard of the Communication Profession.”

“The award winners represent our profession of ethical practitioners contributing to organisational outcomes.”

One tactic highlighted by the IABC judges for its smart and creative thinking was the use of interviews with family members of paramedics – a husband, a wife and a mother – to help start the conversation given stigma prevented paramedics from speaking openly about mental health issues.

Gold Quill Award: Internal Communication Management

What the judges said about the internal communication campaign developed and implemented for Ambulance Victoria:

“It demonstrates good research, thoughtful planning, a clever approach to reach primary stakeholders, tight implementation of the plan and (not surprisingly) very good results. It’s great to see it all line up.”

“This campaign was well thought out and well executed from start to finish. They completed the appropriate research to clearly identify the need and then formulated their strategy with each stakeholder in mind.”

“The work is well-researched and presented. The strategy is aligned to the business need and the stakeholder analysis. There is a wide range of tactics to engage key stakeholders, including a clever work-around involving family stories. It demonstrates that a well-planned campaign, with clear business objectives – even one done on a shoestring – can deliver big results for an organisation. Great work!”

“Inclusion of family members’ stories demonstrates smart and creative thinking for capturing the attention of stakeholders and influencing them.”


Five ingredients to build influence

Human resources and wellbeing coach Angela Erle is the first to admit that when she started posting pictures of her cooking to Instagram, the shots weren’t very good.

In fact, she says they were terrible, particularly when compared to the pictures she produces now, thanks to a professional food styling course she put herself through.

“I would take photos of food on a plate and I knew it tasted good, but it didn’t look very good,” Ange said, laughing as she shared a ‘before’ picture.

Images courtesy of Eat Live Be Well

Ange studied a Certificate II in Commercial Cookery and ran her own catering business, Little Red Hen, for over two years, so she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to food.

She recently launched her cooking and wellbeing business, Eat Live Be Well in Melbourne and is a client of Pinch Yourself Communication. Ange generously shares her experiences getting started as part of our look at the rise of influencers and what it takes to become an influencer.

Continue reading “Five ingredients to build influence”

Cutting all jargon is essential to effective communication, or is it?

Part of the Effective Communication series from Pinch Yourself Communication

It’s a widely-accepted rule of communication that when you speak in jargon, you may exclude or isolate people, fail to be understood or come across in a way that’s disengaging.

But are there any occasions when a bit of jargon doesn’t hurt, or in fact, where it could actually help make communication more effective?

Continue reading “Cutting all jargon is essential to effective communication, or is it?”

Why Pinch Yourself?

That’s a question I’ve often been asked since Pinch Yourself Communication was launched, so here’s the story behind the name and some of the core beliefs it’s based on…

It was the lowest point in my career. In a moment when I found myself ejected from a redundant global executive role and suddenly unemployed, I decided to share my story and I needed to find the right name to call my personal blog. Continue reading “Why Pinch Yourself?”

How to rethink 3 concerns that hold back storytelling for business

Part of the Effective Communication series from Pinch Yourself Communication

Most human beings have a natural desire and ability to tell stories – right up until the moment they step in to a business environment, it seems.

When we meet with friends and family over coffee or a meal we automatically share stories about things that have happened to us since we last caught up. Yet in business, bland corporate speak can often prevail.

So why this blockage in the office and how can we overcome it to harness the power of storytelling for business?

Continue reading “How to rethink 3 concerns that hold back storytelling for business”