Take the Leap!

Yesterday, as everyone is aware, was leap day. To me leap, day is a gift. It’s a day to do something new. After all, it does happen only once every four years so why not make the most of it!

So to make the most of my extra day, I attended Take the Leap!, a communications forum held in Ottawa that I helped organize with a small, but amazing, group of fellow communicators. It was an awesome day filled with learning, networking and presentations from creative and inspiring professionals. I want to share with you my top ten takeaways from the day:

1. Our day started off with our Keynote speaker, Franklin Holtforster sharing his favorite quote by Will Rogers: “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” This is true of anything, but especially for professional communicators. We can not afford to rest on our laurels. Things change too quickly.

2. Twitter, and any social media for that matter, is part of any good campaign, but it is not the campaign alone. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the ‘cool factor’ of social media, that we discount the importance of using all avenues to get our message out.

3. Regardless of the medium you choose to communicate your message – content matters! Always has, always will. If you do not have any value to add, refrain.

4. When using social media to communicate, check your facts before sharing! Just because we can share something with the world instantaneously, doesn’t absolve us from taking a moment to ensure our message is accurate or else we’ll spend more time backtracking and cleaning up a mess.

5. People may forget, but the Internet never does.

6. To know what your brand is, you also need to know what it is not. Take the time to develop your brand and define your audience. This will save you time and money in the end!

7. Once you have defined your brand, you need to be consistent in how your message is delivered – regardless of the medium.

8. Developing a 30 second elevator pitch is essential. AND harder than you think!

9. When pitching to reporters… see what they are tweeting about first.

10. Despite social media playing a bigger part in our interactions, face-to-face relationships still matter. Face-to-face meetings will never be replaced by chats, tweets or Facebook messages. Social media is an great way to connect and maintain touch points, but in the end it shouldn’t replace human contact.

So friends, these are my top ten takeaways from Take the Leap! I hope you find them helpful.

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