PINCH YOURSELF BLOG

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?”

Two Gold Quill Awards for 2019 leave us pinching ourselves!

Outstanding internal and external communication strategy and implementation by Mairi Barton, of Pinch Yourself Communication, for client Ambulance Victoria was this week recognised by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) with two Gold Quill Awards for 2019.

Gold Quill Awards are presented to the best of the best globally and we’re thrilled to receive this prestigious recognition for our contribution to the Ambulance Victoria (AV) team building stronger community engagement and internal communication to employees.

The two Gold Quills were awarded for:

  • The Better Together program.

This program is not only improving the way Ambulance Victoria engages with the community and fosters community participation in a local health emergency, but is also enhancing the way this government agency operates and continually improves its business to meet local and diverse community needs.

The judges offered congratulations on reaching and achieving the program goals and objectives.

“Community engagement models have likely experienced lots of changes over time. Yours could be the one that creates a blueprint for true two-way communication and engagement.”

“Great uptick in community feedback. Challenging budget and resources!”

  • The 30 Years of Women in Ambulance commemorative album.

This album told the stories of the female paramedic pioneers who entered an all-male workforce in 1987 and the women who have followed in their footsteps, both to demonstrate progress and to build further momentum for diversity and inclusion at Ambulance Victoria.

The work was described by the judges as masterful and inspirational.

“(The album) both commemorates a milestone and also was presented as a catalyst to conversation and advocacy of women’s roles throughout the system at AV. It is inspirational. By focusing on stories of pioneers and current AV staff, interwoven with statistics and also challenges in the environment, the message came through clearly.”

“Healthcare can be an emotionally appealing topic and you’ve done a masterful job of going beyond the story of delivering care to develop the key message around progress in diversity and inclusion.”

“It recognises the past in a series way…yet it is still light-hearted and human. It also sets the stage for the future with public commitments to continue the progress of women in leadership and technical roles.”

Pinch Yourself Communication would like to thank Ambulance Victoria for the opportunity to contribute to their important work and congratulate Executive Director Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Kate Bradstreet and her division on the total of three Gold Quill Awards for Ambulance Victoria in 2019.

Congratulations to all the 2019 winners, who represent the considerable value being delivered for organisations by the strategic communication profession globally.

Season’s Greetings

Thanks for being part of our year this year – we value being connected and part of the conversation with you.

We hope you enjoy the festive period, whatever your traditions may be, and that it’s a happy, safe and restful time for you, your family and staff.

We’re closing from 21 December to 1 January 2018, reopening on Wednesday 2 January.

Wishing you a happy and successful year in 2019. We look forward to discussing effective communication with you then.

Best wishes
Mairi

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.

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?”