All posts by Tanner

Personal Branding: How To Create A Powerful, Memorable YOU

Personal branding has seen a lot of attention lately. For good reason. It’s a great way to set yourself apart and communicate your value. It’s self-marketing.

While it’s extremely important, the articles I see zinging through social media and showing up in newsletters are super tactical. It’s the how without focusing on the what or the why
Continue reading Personal Branding: How To Create A Powerful, Memorable YOU

Review of John Carlton’s Simple Writing System

It was a hard choice for me to shell out the money for an online writing workshop. In the end, the sales page convinced me. So now I’d like to pass on a detailed review to anyone else struggling with the decision to enroll in the Simple Writing System. Continue reading Review of John Carlton’s Simple Writing System

Shipping lessons in communication

One of my early bosses and mentors who came to lead Communications at Hostess Brands at a hectic time once said in a frenzy, “We’re the communications department. We have a job to do. We can’t wait around and get everyone’s buy-in. This is our job.”

It struck me as odd that this former director of Communications at Pepsi would have such a gung-ho, we-don’t-have-time-to-make-sure-the-executives-are-happy attitude. But she was right; the communications departments for a company with 22,000 numbered exactly two: her, who was commuting to Texas from Connecticut, and me, a fresh college grad. Continue reading Shipping lessons in communication

Organization: How Much Is Too Much?

Organization is a great way to improve your productivity—up to a point. Once you cross the line, you’re spending too much time on your system and navigating through a maze of folders. In terms of communicating your message, disorganization is confusing, random and sloppy; too much organization is long, overly detailed and boring.

How do you find the right balance? Continue reading Organization: How Much Is Too Much?

What’s going on (and what’s coming)

It’s been a while since the last post, but I’ve been doing a lot behind the scenes. Many articles are in draft form, and some are a compilation of notes that I haven’t solidified into an article.

A lot of the notes are helpful even without a cohesive post tying everything together. A new notes page (to be posted soon) will be where those are stored. They’ll also be continuously updated.

Waiting to get an article “perfect” seems to be delaying everything more than I’d like. It’s a simple problem to overcome, but it’s also a convenient excuse.

I’ll start regularly publishing again. The posts will be shorter and less polished, but I’ll get them out there. The posts, like the notes pages, will probably also undergo updates and evolve instead of going out into the world once and staying there. I like that model way better.

Photo credit: seier + seier

Am I behind on corporate jargon? “Sunset” is rising

Someone help me out. Has “sunset” been thrown around for a while, or is it a new weed in the patch?

It looks to me like it’s a new euphemism for “to kill.”

Yes, sunset is now a verb.

Some examples:

  • “We will soon sunset the XYZ Widgetizer.”
  • “That department has been sunset.”

Sunset: New Jargon or Old?Until about two weeks ago, I’d never heard the S word used like that before. Then it came out in a corporate communication, and its use EXPLODED. Any doubts to its true identity of jargonhood were “sunset.”

Like any good new corporate buzzword, the growth isn’t slow and steady. It’s immediate. People have to jump on as quickly as possible to prove they know the current lingo.

Since that first broadcast email two weeks ago, I’ve heard people using it in casual conversation. “Sunset” has appeared in subsequent emails. It’s even in my dreams! Agghh!

Welp, I guess that’s my learning for the day.

What? Don’t tell me you thought you learned lessons. No, all the big boys are using learning as a verb and noun these days.

“Lessons” is old school, and it’s been sunset.