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Liz Wainger
Liz Wainger is on a mission to help companies and nonprofits communicate their value, vision and purpose in ways that are compelling to the clients, donors and partners that they need to reach.

Entries by Liz Wainger

What A Botched Cobb Salad Teaches About Internal Communications

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2016 | 12:41 AM

Last year I went to a conference at a hotel I won't mention. With just 20 minutes for lunch, I opted for the hotel restaurant, ordered a Cobb salad -- no meat, extra cheese -- and explained I was pressed for time. A few minutes later, I saw a salad...

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5 Change Management Lessons from Mac and Cheese

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2016 | 4:45 PM

Mention macaroni and cheese and images of crispy crust, gooey noodles, and lots of feel-good coziness come to mind. Thanks to some very smart folks at Kraft Foods, it will also speak to an effective change management communications strategy that CEOs and their marketing and human resources staffs should examine...

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Prevent PR Disaster: 6 Steps for Crisis Planning

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2016 | 12:02 PM

On a dark and stormy night, while dining in a high-end chain restaurant, the fire alarm went off. What happened next revealed an enterprise that either lacked a crisis plan or was totally absent crisis training--or both. The waiters stood around, chuckled, and said it was a false alarm. They...

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6 Secrets to a Good Social Media Rant

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2016 | 5:52 PM

There is an epidemic of outrage going around. Politicians on both the right and left rale against rivals in their own party, as well as the opposition. People on each side of every issue, from guns to police protocols to health care to education, rant and rave. Social media feeds...

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4 Ways to Tell Clients Why You Are Valuable

(0) Comments | Posted January 2, 2016 | 1:28 PM

No matter what our endeavor, whether we are making mobile phones or enhancing the mobility of someone with a disability, we all seek to create value for those we serve. And yet, so many worthy ventures and causes don't get traction because the people behind them struggle to say what...

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Your First Resolution for 2016: A Communications Plan

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2015 | 11:07 AM

It's that time of year again. No, we're not talking about eggnog and holiday cheer, although "'tis the season." Rather, it's communications planning time! Don't have one? Maybe this is the year to create one. And if you do have one, it's time to examine how well you did against...

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Is Your Brand Suffering From Deferred Maintenance?

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2015 | 4:27 PM

A civil engineer recently remarked that nobody wants to pay for the upkeep of roads, public transit systems, or other infrastructure. After all, he quipped, "people get credit for building the new school, not maintaining what we already have."

His comment got me thinking that the same mindset often...

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Weed Out Unwanted Email

(0) Comments | Posted September 1, 2015 | 9:26 PM

My email box looks like a garden overgrown with weeds. Despite vigilant efforts to throw the cyber-equivalent of Round-Up on those unwanted subscriptions to newsletters about construction equipment, healthcare quality assurance, and chain store retail news I never signed up for, the wily infiltrators keep on coming. But those aren't...

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Don't Be Someone Else's Raw Meat

(1) Comments | Posted August 11, 2015 | 7:20 PM

Many clients have told me that, at every board or management committee meeting, they feel as though they are facing a pack of lions waiting to pounce on every word. When observing these leaders in action, the reason becomes clear. Sometimes the leader is in over his or her head,...

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The Secret to Better Writing: Word Conservation

(6) Comments | Posted July 16, 2015 | 6:36 PM

The California drought brings into sharp focus the value and fragility of a vital natural resource. After four years of little rain, the state is so parched and the situation so dire that the governor imposed severe restrictions on water usage, and those who appear to defy those limits find...

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Communicate Value: Fight List Maker Syndrome

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2015 | 11:40 AM

One of the secrets of successful people is that they make lists of things they want to accomplish. Then they march along their to-do list to accomplishment nirvana. While that may work for productivity, it's a terrible technique for communicating. Yet too often, people suffer from what I call the...

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The Secret of Great Communications: Dispel the Fog

(1) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 2:50 PM

If asked, most executives will say that clear, compelling communication is essential to the success of their enterprise. The reality is that this is an area where so many organizations fall short. It's not because they don't try and not because they don't have the right words or the right...

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Stop Asking Me for My Opinion

(1) Comments | Posted March 20, 2015 | 8:01 PM

Sitting in a restaurant for lunch recently, the server and the restaurant manager each asked me for feedback. But in both instances, the way they asked the question suggested that they really didn't want my opinion at all. The server asked me, "Is everything tasting good?" and the manager asked,...

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Communications: Resolving the Trust Deficit

(6) Comments | Posted February 24, 2015 | 5:00 PM

Brian Williams may have disappeared from our television screens. The issue that led to his becoming the news instead of merely reporting it, has not -- and that is, trust. For a journalist who is supposed to seek and tell the truth, embellishing the truth is careless malpractice.


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Why Your Team Won't Use Your Organizational Messaging

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 10:46 AM

One of the biggest challenges for organizations is speaking with a consistent and compelling voice. Silos abound, and even those enterprises that have a positioning platform find it difficult for it to take hold in their organization.

The reason is simple: most executives look at messaging as being about...

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Avoid Stupid PR Blunders in 2015

(0) Comments | Posted December 26, 2014 | 4:09 PM

The year 2014 saw its share of PR blunders. From the fashion world, we had the bloody-looking Kent State sweat shirt from Urban Outfitters and the Zara tee with the gold star that looked like a concentration camp uniform. From Malaysian Airways, the airline that had one airplane disappear and...

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Word Mongering: How Not to Get Anything Written

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2014 | 4:41 PM

Several years ago, while working with a client -- who shall remain nameless to protect the not-so-innocent -- I found myself stuck in word-mongering hell. We were drafting an op-ed piece for a major metropolitan daily about a timely subject. Rather than focusing on big issues like content, the client...

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Brand Integrity: Where's the Beef

(0) Comments | Posted October 15, 2014 | 11:39 AM

From The Washington Post to the Patriot Ledger of Quincy, Mass., newspapers and digital outlets have peppered the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic this week with articles about Giant Food's decision to change its meat labels, then change them back. It's a cautionary tale about both the need for transparency and preserving...

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Why Every Nonprofit Needs a Manifesto

(1) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 4:26 PM

Nonprofits, especially those in the social sector, do wonderful, life-changing work. Yet, living at the heart of the ultimate in "change management," they often struggle for funding, volunteers, and other resources. Frequently it's because they are unable to effectively communicate their vision, purpose, and value to their communities.


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Put More BITE Into Your Communications

(0) Comments | Posted May 16, 2014 | 9:56 AM

Getting your message across has never been harder than in today's hectic, overstimulated world. We are all drowning in communication from advertisers, our bosses and colleagues, and even our friends and families, all vying for our attention and our ear. So whose messages get through? The ones that speak to...

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