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Keys to Risk Communication: Anticipate, Prepare and Practice

Branding and risk management
Branding and risk management
Branding and risk management

By Mary Branham, CSG Managing Editor
Three is the magic number for people under stress.
That’s according to risk communication expert Vincent Covello.

“People under stress process information not in terms of seven but in terms of three,” he told attendees at the first-ever Economic Summit of the States, sponsored by The Council of State Governments May 20–23. “When a person is upset, worried, anxious, that shift in the brain takes place in three messages.”

Covello, director of the Center for Risk Communication, said there actually are three magic numbers—27/9/3.  That translates into 27 words, nine seconds, three messages. He advised state leaders to prepare their messages with the 27/9/3 principle.

“If you don’t keep it short and simple, someone else will make it short and simple for you,” he said.

Continue reading Keys to Risk Communication: Anticipate, Prepare and Practice

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Three Expert Secrets to Winning Your Personal Branding Search

By: Erik Deckers

Winning search for your name is a great personal branding achievement, especially if you have an uncommon name. Having a unique name like Erik Deckers is a no-brainer. Toss up a blog, a Twitter account, and your LinkedIn page, and you’re all set. Just make sure to keep your social media footprint clean, and you’ll clean up whenever someone Google’s your name.

But what if you have a name that isn’t unique, but also isn’t common (i.e. not John or Chris Smith; sorry guys. It’s never going to happen for you). Or what if you have a unique name, but you want it to be associated with a specific niche or keyword, like writing or woodworking or marble collecting?

Here are three expert-level techniques you can use to associate your name with that special keyword?

1) Create Twitter lists with your name and keyword.

Google loves Twitter lists, and you can give yourself some search engine juice by creating a list based on your name and a specific keyword.

I have lists for writers, social media people, and Indiana. However, since my Twitter handle, @edeckers, is not my real name, I need to include my name on the title of the Twitter list. So

While you’re at it, go to and claim your account there. I’ve had some good luck getting my Twylah page show up on Google once in a while.

2) Use your name in title tags of backlinks.

When you create backlinks to your website or blog, you want to hyperlink only those words you want to be known for. You should never link an entire sentence or the words “click here.” But if you can’t escape that, you can still tell the search engines that link is actually about something else, like your name.

You do this with a title tag within the hyperlink code, like this:” title=”Erik Deckers is a professional blogger”>ghost blogging

This link may be to the phrase “ghost blogging,” but it tells Google that the link is actually about my name and the fact that I’m a professional blogger.

Note: You do need to know a little html code to pull this one off, but only a little. Basically, if you can remember <a href=”URL” title=”TITLE”>, you’ll be all set.

3) Create videos about your keyword phrases

YouTube is still a rich source of Google juice that can be squeezed and squeezed. If you create solid videos with good content, and don’t become a spammer, you can get some great video SEO about your chosen topic.

Just choose your keyword phrase, and start creating video content about it. (I know I’m making it sound easier than it is, but don’t take that to mean you can just put up half-assed content. Read up on how to do it, and put some effort and energy into your videos, otherwise people will know you as the person who creates crappy videos.)

Create 2 – three-minute video lessons about your chosen topic. If you’re a writer, record a Camtasia video about a specific writing technique. If you are a computer trouble shooter, create a video about how to fix a particular problem.

Embed these videos on your blog, and paste in a written transcript both on the video site and in the blog post. Make sure you use your keyword phrase in the title of the video and blog post, as well as a few times within the transcript.

These are some of the secrets that the social media experts are using to get their own personal brands found more easily online. By using any or all of these, you can help your own brand be found, especially by prospective clients or employers.

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“You Never Know” or “Linguistic Threesomes”

mean people suckIn what some consider to be the golden era of American advertising, (late 1940’s through late 1960’s), many advertising agencies effectively employed a three-word tagline/slogan model for products and services being advertised. This method became quite popular in both radio and print formats. It is certainly very much in use today.So what makes the idea of saying something in three words so effective? Well, to illustrate this, perhaps we could take a look at some of the everyday examples, when all of us, regardless of our educational and socio-economic backgrounds, find it absolutely, positively necessary to express our ideas simply in three words:-          leave me alone
–          what’s your problem? (technically it’s four words, but I’ll explain later)
–          are you mad? (at times alternated with “are you stupid?”)
–          well, well, well…
–          check it out Continue reading “You Never Know” or “Linguistic Threesomes”
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All Things Branding – BrandQue

Art and Copy or How to win an election in three words!

Obama logoAs the 2012 election year is approaching, it is important to remember and acknowledge some of the key successful branding components of the Obama’08 campaign.
For the first time in the history of American politics we saw a candidate use a logo, or a brand mark, to be more precise. Designed by Sol Sender’s creative team, the new “O” symbol effectively employed four visual elements:
  1. an all-encompassing circle, (solidity, stability, strength)
  2. a stylized American landscape, (traditional motif in election campaigns)
  3. a rising sun, (symbolizing hope, new beginning, idea of a new day)
  4. a pale blue sky, (uplifting color gradient, reinforcing the idea of a new day)