”You’re never gonna feel like it”

I’m no huge fan of inspirational speeches. The cynic in me often find them either too general or just extremely naive. However, for whatever the reason: I tend to make some weird exception for Mel Robbins. In case you’ve missed it and are in a state of January procastination right now, watch Mel’s talk on ”How to stop screwing yourself over”! Even though I’ve already watched it, I like to get back to this session and remind myself of the fact that motivation only takes us so far.

At the end of the day – discipline is truly what matters. Being a highly sensitive person is often an advantage to me. Except when it comes to discipline on those difficult, unfocused days that I go through too. I’m constantly working on learning to close down my feelings when it comes to pure execution. Constantly working on that old Nike thing and just ’doing it.

Don’t get me wrong: I get a lot of things done. I am doer, without a doubt. It’s just that my own internal working process is probably so much harder than it would need to be sometimes, due to all of the introspection and analyzing my brain loves to dive into if not restricted!

Today has however been a splendid Saturday. I got up early to deliver on a deadline without any overanalyzing whatsoever and all of a sudden I found myself in that fantastic state of mind when both productivity and creativity flows! I love those days. I was done with my articles rather quickly, then enjoyed some time to summarize  thoughts from a meeting earlier this week and circle back to a contact as promised. I’ve also had time to tick of both a meeting and a webinar from my to do-list, thus I have to say it’s been a great working day.

I have yet to get back to my promised blog post about goals for 2019, but in case you wonder about this pretty random blog post: writing and updating more spontaneously this year will definitely be among my goals!

Initially when I started to blog again, I was very much influenced by my previous working position and sort of lost in my old way of ”corporate thinking”. I had some grand idea that this would indeed be an extremely professional blog – just pure communication topics and professional matters. I guess it’s easy for all of us to fall into that trap, however, having had some time to reflect and evaluate, I realised that I will indeed be making some changes here! I will still strive for writing posts on interesting matters within media, communications and writing. But in order to keep up my own spirit and drive to do that, I can’t be deadly serious/on professional call 24/7. It’s just not who I am or how I typically behave.

I don’t want to turn this blog into a collection of anonymous articles and updates without a soul. Thus, this year I’ll also allow myself creative times to just post spontaneously about a bit broader scope. Hope you’ll still like it here and whether it’s big or small ideas: do let me know if you’ve got any wishes or suggestions for future blog topics. Just drop me a note: malin@ambaurora.se and I’ll see what I can do!

 

/Malin

 

 

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Breakfast seminar: Digital trends 2019

Constantly learning new things is something I continuously strive to do. Luckily, here in Stockholm there’s always numerous events and breakfast seminars you can sign up for. This morning I visited a breakfast seminar at digital bureau Cloud Nine which focused on the the digital trends that will affect us in 2019.

Cloud Nine’s David Aler took us through a very interesting and fun seminar. Without further delays, let’s dive straight into some of the trends mentioned and the key takeaways to bare in mind this year!

 

Trends – key takeaways

Trend – Subscription on demand
This trend should of course not come as a surprise to anyone, but our behavior of paying monthly for the subscriptions we like to have (Netflix, Spotify et cetera) still remain strong. This is mainly driven by our need for convenience. There’s also an increasing number of personalized subscription services, here in Sweden services as Linas matkasse or Glossybox are typical examples of this trend.

Also: it looks like we’ve got some good news for the newspaper industry as well, as David mentioned that between 2017-2018, the number of digital newspapersubscriptions almost trippled.

 

Trend – IoT and GDPR

I know – I’m tired of hearing IoT and GDPR too! However, we’ll just have to get used to it, as there are still lots of practical (not to mention ethical!) questions popping up as the IoT trend continues to evolve. All the data sharing – Google and Mastercard anyone? – that takes place can of course be scary as we as users and individuals loose control of a lot of integrity aspects, but it should also be pointed out that IoT also brings us useful products.

Did you for example know that nowadays there’s such a thing as smart diapers as well? Let’s not get into more details about diapers in this blog than we need to (!) but in short: this diaper senses when the diaper is done with its mission and then gives an indication so that the parents know what they need to do…

Previously, we’ve spoken about IoT as in ”Internet of things”. In the future, a more realistic scenario is that we’ll use ”The intelligence of things” instead, as AI is integrated into the calculation as well.

 

How to handle….

So how do you handle these trends then? Especially as some of them might indeed be tricky to keep up with, given the rapid technological development. David shared some tips on this too:

Trend: Data

– Be transparent with how you’re handling your customer data. An interesting case here is H&M and how they’re currently adapting their stores locally by using big data
– Show the customer that the customer gains more on his/her data than your company does
– Cut down – don’t collect more data than you actually need
– Fix your forms now (GDPR is coming for ya….)

 

Trend: Voice search is increasing

Whether or not you have started to use voice search, you’ll have to be prepared as your stakeholders soon will be using it. Here’s some practical things to think about when you write for your web or app:

-Write your preambles as if they were ”featured snippets” (position zero)
-29 words or less are common answers to voice searches
-Bullet lists and structured content = exceptionally good
-Think about the difference between spoken and written language

Last but not least, some candy for all you fellow aesthetic nerds out there – Pantone 16-1546 TCX! Yup. This is the color of 2019 according to Pantone. Google it and let this beautiful coral red tone seduce your senses for a while before you head back to work 😉

 

/Malin

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Fuckups, insights, growth – 2018 in review

You might argue that the last thing the world needs is more blog posts about 2018. I won’t hold that against you. Still, I love to read and take part of other people’s dreams, ambitions, fuckups, lessons… So just when you thought you couldn’t stand one more, sorry, but here it comes –  yet another introspective blog post about 2018. Bon appetite!

First things first: why on earth would anyone share personal things about and around their business? Online? For the whole world, haters, prospects and current clients to see? Isn’t that a bit over the top, you know, acting like an attention whore? That’s of course one way of seeing it. My perspective is quite different.

I believe that by sharing experiences, whether they’ve been good or bad, you’re not only becoming more human in other people’s eyes, this is also an essential step on your own learning curve. It’s easy to celebrate good days. The flow days. Looking into the mirror and dealing with the consequences of your own daily habits is, well, quite different. Much harder, nastier. There’s no place to hide. There’s nothing to do – except looking at the evidence of what’s in front of you, what you created and learn from it.

Secondly, by sharing your experiences you’re also becoming more approachable to people. For me, this is an essential, not to say crucial, part of running a business. Nowadays, as services, products and prices may seem similar, what becomes your USP is YOU. Like it or not, you’ve got to work that to your advantage. All business relations need to start somewhere. And honestly: how many of yours started in a strictly business setting? No? Didn’t think so either. Twitter, Instagram, connecting over silly memes? Probably more like it!

Ok, so now that we’ve got that sorted out, let’s move on and see what went on during my 2018!

 

2018 – what happened?

In order to understand part of the events, a short recap is a must: during autumn 2017, I had a burnout. While still on sick leave in the beginning of 2018 I decided to quit my job. I had a good corporate position, but it was in what unfortunately had become an unhealthy work environment. Although there was a lot of anxiety, thoughts and “what if’s” involved prior to making the final decision, I just knew there was no going back for me. I was done with that part of my life.

And so I resigned during sick leave. I would definitely not recommend anyone to copy this concept of mine, as it certainly adds to your blood pressure and stress levels. However, sometimes you’ve just got to jump to move on. I chose to jump this year.

I’ve rehabilitated and worked hard on rebuilding both my mental and physical strength again after my burnout. Needless to say – this is not a process which you can put a beginning or and end to. It just is what it is. For me, an important part of my rehabilitation is not having to hide it. I’ve had my burnout. It was bad. It will forever be a part of me, but I’ve moved on. I am still actively moving on everyday by making small, sometimes tiny, steps and changes forward into a new direction.

2018 was also the year when I acted upon an old dream of mine and started my own business as a communications consultant.

Insights:

  • “This too shall pass” will sometimes be exactly what gets you through the day
  • I still suck at simply asking for help
  • Complete honesty is a scary, risky, yet also one of the most rewarding business tools

 

2018 – what about the goals then?

  • Attend a “start your own business” course, then register and start my own company
    check!
  • Create a new communications platform for myself as a business owner – check!
  • Rehabilitate myself back to “work mode” by Q4/2018 – check!
  • Extend my network and preferably also make sure it includes new and/or different sectors than just the “ordinary” communications/pr/finance crowd that’s already in it – check!
  • Writing – this was really a topic of its own (which I will get back to later on) but in short, my writing goals looked liked this:
    -start blogging again – check!
    -contribute as a writer for an external website as well – check!
    -regarding topics: stay my own lane, even if it would be very uncomfortable on certain days, also dare to share personal things in order to grow as a person – check!
    -focus on finding interesting and developing writing assignments for Ambaurora – check!
    -attend and complete a screen writing course for the pure fun of it – check!
  • Photography:
    -buy a “real” camera – check!
    -leave for a week’s photography travel – check!
    -receive my first revenues as a photographer through iStock and Printlercheck!

Pure photography assignments is currently not something I’m offering within the scope of Ambaurora’s service. However, as I’m a keen photographer, I think of photography as a way of slowly creating sort of a “passive income” revenue stream for myself. During my spare time, I’m often out capturing shots and as the raw material needed is already there for me to work with, the next step to start selling images is not that far away.

 

Fuckups and lessons learned

  • Challenging my comfort zone is still a necessary evil. Note to self 2019 though: think about when and where I choose to do this. Not everyone will get it and yes, I’ll most likely be perceived as a weirdo a lot of times during next year as well. Be prepared to deal with those emotions.
  • Numbers aren’t my favourite thing. Leave it to my CFO. No “challenging” myself regarding this area. Just stay away and let the professionals handle it.
  • Trying to do everything at once: resign, mess with Försäkringskassan, start your business while in the middle of exhaustion, going through therapy. Yey! We’re gonna party like it’s ya’ birthday….! 2019 will be all about doing ONE THING AT A TIME.
  • Therapy – feels like a huge cost but when you start perceiving the effects from it it will still be the best investment you ever made

I will stop here for today. However, if you’re into goal-setting and planning your year ahead in a structured way as well – stay tuned, as my next post will be about setting goals for 2019!

 

/Malin

 

 

 

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6 copy newsletters that will sharpen your creative flow

Everyone does it. (No, not THAT, you pervert). I’m of course talking about “steal with pride” and and avoiding to invent the wheel every time you get caught in writer’s block.  

Whether you’re already an awesome communications professional or just a fellow language nerd trying to spark your creative juices and writing flow, here’s 6 newsletters on copywriting that you should add to your subscription list!

Photo: color image of binoculars and a beach view illustrating the blog postPro tip from yours truly before we get started: if you’re using Gmail – mark up all of your copy newsletters with a suitable label. Mine are simply marked up immediately with “Copy & writing” and let me tell you – do this and you’ll never need to search for that “good tip I read last week in some newsletter” again.

(And in case you wonder: no, this update has got nothing to do with Google, apart from the fact that I just LOVE Gmail’s organizing features with all of my Virgo heart, thus can’t promote it enough! That’s all).

Ok. Enough with the chatting now.

Ready for some proper newsletter tips? Here we go!

 

Gill Andrews

Action-oriented, direct, competent and sarcastic – what’s not to love about Gill Andrews? Ironically, I can no longer remember exactly when and where I came across this German powerhouse, but her newsletters certainly does the trick for me and I dare say you’ll also want to get up and get your professional shit together once you start receiving them. Subscribe for valuable tips and tricks on reviewing and improving your website as well as on writing better web copy!

 

Copyblogger

Ah well, a blog called Copyblogger on writing better copy, what a no brainer! Right? Maybe. However, ain’t nothing wrong with an occasional no brainer every now and then as long as it does what it should. And that’s exactly what these Copyblogger newsletter updates does for you, as they provide smart and snappy tips on writing copy, grammar and various language related topics + also some deeper insights every now and then.

Yes, you’ve probably heard of lots of the tips plenty of times before but some things can’t just be repeated enough. Subscribe and you’ll see it for yourself.

 

Exclusive tip for Swedish writers: Språkkonsulterna

Unfortunately, this newsletter is only available in Swedish but for those of you who live and work in Sweden – it’s a must read! What’s so unique about this newsletter then? Well, perhaps it’s just the pure beauty and simplicity of daring to pick one subject and stick with it. No trying to squeeze in 50 sub topics on marketing, growth hacking or cheap PR tricks here, just pure semantics and grammar porn! Whether you’re fully focused on mastering the beautiful Swedish language to perfection or just want to step up your game: ”Språkbrevet” is the newsletter for you.

 

Kate Toon

Sydney based Kate Toon is an experienced SEO copywriter/SEO consultant. I came across Kate for a while ago and since then, I’ve come to highly appreciate her witty and informative newsletter updates. Thus, highly recommended reading! While you’re still in the mood, please also take a couple of minutes to read this excellent post on that never ending discussion on how long and how often you should update your blog…

 

Mike Long – Mike’s Weekly Writing Tips

Let’s talk about Mike, baby! Seriously though, you need to add Mike’s newsletter to your subscription list. Do it now. I love these weekly updates – always insightful, sharp, yet eloquently put together with heart and soul. Yup, we could all need some more of Mike Long’s writing in our lives.

 

Mattias Åkerberg – Please Copy Me

I once worked with a colleague who had some (according to me) weird ideas about how to handle relations and the competition out there. Sure, I offer my writing services as well (as you probably know by now if you’ve read my blog for some time!), however, I’ve always liked to apply a “dare to be compared” perspective on my working life.

By that I mean that I think that instead of going for backstabbing or trying to just promote oneself, good things happen when you’re also able to see the greatness in your fellow industry colleagues! Gothenburg based copywriter Mattias Åkerberg is definitely one of those great industry colleagues that inspires me.  We’ve never met, but I have a deep admiration for his writing and how he’s built his own platform. Good news as well: shortly, he’ll also start his own newsletter (in English) on UX writing. Don’t miss out on any updates – visit him and sign up!

 

/Malin

 

 

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Lär dig att köpa smartare kommunikation

Är du i skriande behov av kompetensförstärkning eller avlastning när det gäller företagets kommunikation? Tycker du att det är besvärligt att få ner formella krav, önskningar och behov i en begriplig brief för att kunna upphandla en extern konsult? Här får du tips från insidan och konkret hjälp att komma igång!

Foto: färgbild med textruta "Hur du köper smartare kommunikation".

Under mina år i näringslivet har jag fått en bred erfarenhet av såväl att köpa den här typen av konsulttjänster som av att vara en del av den sålda konsulttjänsten. Idag vill jag därför bjuda på en del smarta knep som gör dig till en bättre och mer rutinerad beställare.

Tipsen här nedan skapar inte bara förutsättningar för ett bättre samarbete med din kommunikationspartner. På köpet får du också en kompetensutveckling för egen del.

 

Din checklista för smartare kommunikationsköp

 

  • Skriv en så detaljerad uppdragsbeskrivning som möjligt!
    Fundera igenom hur rollen eller uppdraget som du försöker tillsätta egentligen ser ut. Är det verkligen ett heltidsuppdrag eller rör det sig kanske snarare om sporadiskt behov av avlastning? Går det att specificera ungefär hur många timmar per vecka eller månad? Om behovet är stort – fundera även igenom om det här är ett uppdrag för en specifik konsult eller om det kanske är klokare att ta in flera stycken med olika specialistkompetenser.

 

  • Är det verkligen du som ska beställa?
    Är du behörig att beställa kommunikationstjänster? Det vill säga – har du tillräcklig kunskap om området för att veta vad du ska fråga efter? Är du den bäst lämpade hos er att sköta kontakten med konsult eller PR-byrå eller finns det någon annan som borde hålla i dialogen? Ovanstående frågor kan vara känsliga att ta upp, men bör funderas på internt innan ni kontaktar extern partner. Saknas kommunikationskompetens helt i ditt företag? Var då tydlig med det i dialogen och be motparten att vara medveten om det i offereringen.Ett typexempel på var det kan gå fel är till exempel försäljningschefen som plötsligt utan tidigare erfarenhet ska köpa och utvärdera PR- och kommunikationstjänster.

 

  • Våga prata pengar!
    Betalningsvillkor och faktureringsmodell är mycket viktiga områden i upphandlingen. Är ni ovana köpare, be konsulten att inkludera olika varianter på betalningsalternativ som kan bli aktuella. Att en konsult ibland föreslår vissa uppdrag på löpande räkning handlar inte (nödvändigtvis;-) om att mjölka din budget. Står du i begrepp att inleda ett långsiktigt samarbete kan det tvärtom vara ett oerhört bra sätt att jämna ut fluktuationer i kassaflödet genom att använda löpande räkning och kanske en á conto-modell. Att komplettera ett löpande-upplägg med takpris ger ofta en ökad trygghet som kund.
     
    Vanliga betalningsmodeller när du köper kommunikation kan till exempel vara fastpris för tydligt definierade tjänster, vare sig de är av mindre karaktär, som att skriva ett pressmeddelande, eller lite större som att reglera en månatlig kommunikationssupport upp till en viss summa.

 

  • Hur sker rapportering och avstämning?
    Definiera hur rapporteringen ska se ut. Hur definierar du och din konsult att samarbetet varit gynnsamt? När har ni lyckats? Beroende på verksamhet kanske det i vissa fall blir relevant att titta på resultatmål medan det i andra fall kanske är klokare att fundera på effektmål som exempelvis

    • att uppnå ökat antal följare i sociala medier
    • att hemsidan efter uppfräschad text ska generera flera leads
    • att ha fått en viss mängd publicitet i lokal, regional, rikstäckande eller branschinriktad mediaGardera, avdramatisera och professionalisera genom att också klargöra hur ni ger varandra feedback som samarbetspartners längre fram i arbetsprocessen. Då slipper ni att skruva på er när något skaver och föreslå ett utvärderingsmöte.

 

  • Använd sekretessavtal!
    Råder minsta osäkerhet om vilken typ av information som konsulten kommer att få ta del av så skriver ni givetvis ett sekretressavtal, ofta kallat NDA som är den engelska förkortningen. Ett sekretessavtal höjer nivån på samarbetet och visar att ditt företag sätter ett stort värde på sin information.

 

  • Glöm inte IT-riskerna!
    Dagens snabba IT-utveckling påverkar i högsta grad. Cyberangreppen ökar, framförallt mot mobila enheter där mycket av arbetet sker idag. Var inte naiva! Det kan hända er också. Tydliggör därför i avtalet – INNAN samarbetet inleds – på vilket sätt dokument ska sparas, delas och vilka säkerhetsrutiner som gäller.

 

Fler tips om smart upphandling hittar du också till exempel hos Sveriges Annonsörer, PWC och Sveriges Kommunikatörer. Gäller det en offentlig upphandling har även PRECIS (Föreningen Public Relations Konsultföretag i Sverige) tagit fram en utmärkt guide för hur du går tillväga.

/Malin

 

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I redaktionens papperskorg kan ingen höra dig skrika

“If you can’t explain it simple, you don’t understand it well enough”. Uttjatade ord, men ack så aktuella. Att nå ut genom kommunikation har aldrig varit enklare – att tränga igenom bruset för att faktiskt engagera din önskade läsare är något helt annat.

Foto: en färgbild på sopkorg fylld av refuserade alster. Plågsamt ofta noterar jag pressutskick med hög risk för att reta gallfeber på mottagaren. Dessutom på grund av misstag som enkelt hade kunnat undvikas med bara lite research, grundläggande kunskaper om journalistik, samt gärna även en dos av det berömda sunda förnuftet.

Här hittar du en lista över de fem vanligaste tabbarna du bör låta bli. Spar gärna ner den tills nästa gång deadline-stressen flåsar dig i nacken!

1) Inget nyhetsvärde
Företaget eller organisationen som du företräder har i grund och botten ingen egentlig nyhet som ni vill nå ut med. Att ni t.ex. lanserar en ny webbsida eller att er webbsida nu finns tillgänglig även på språket X eller Y utgör inte material för ett pressmeddelande. Lär er att tänka som en journalist – var, när, hur, varför och vem.

Var hårda mot er själva så ökar ni relevansen av er kommunikation när ni faktiskt har en riktig nyhet att nå ut med.

2) Ni behärskar inte formatet för ett pressmeddelande
Ett pressmeddelande är ingen annons, inget blogginlägg eller en debattartikel. Pressmeddelandet bör alltid vara formulerat i ett sådant format att en journalist utan onödiga korrigeringar ska kunna klippa ut er rubrik och ingress och göra en begriplig notis enbart på basis av den. Rubrik och ingress tillsammans måste framföra ert huvudbudskap samt givetvis besvara läsarens “what’s in it for me?”.

Den här punkten är kanske en av de allra viktigaste, och även en av dem som det slarvas allra mest med! Låt oss därför stanna kvar här lite och kika på några kontrollpunkter som du kan ta för vana att gå igenom innan du skickar ut dina pressmeddelanden:

  • Rubriken – är den tydlig och slagkraftig och sammanfattar nyheten på ett sätt som även en person utan förkunskaper om er verksamhet kan förstå? Är det faktiskt en rubrik och inte bara en överskrift av texten? Ett viktigt obs: företräder du ett mindre känt varumärke och är osäker på tonaliteten – ta hellre det säkra före det osäkra när du formulerar dina rubriker. Kreativa ordlekar som kanske fungerar ypperligt för välkända varumärken som Nike eller Apple kan landa katastrofalt när de kommer från en okänd källa och riskerar att tolkas helt ur sitt tänkta sammanhang. Undvik. Sakligt och kortfattat är aldrig fel.  
      
  • Ingressen – i ingressen sammanfattar du kärninnehållet från pressmeddelandet på ett kort och kärnfullt sätt. Du bör hålla ingressen till max två-tre rader. Har ni mycket och viktig information som är svår att sålla i – gör upprepade korrekturrundor. Börja med att slakta onödiga adjektivfraser och subjektiva bedömningar.

 

  • Längd och genreformalia – ett pressmeddelande bör aldrig överstiga en A4. En enkel och funktionell mall du kan utgå ifrån kan se ut ungefär så här:
    →rubrik
    →ingress
    →ett inledande, slagkraftigt citat från sakkunnig talesperson
    → kortfattat faktastycke som belägger talespersonens citat på lämpligt sätt och med fördel sätter er nyhet i ett större perspektiv
    → avslutande citat från talesperson
    → kortfattad, praktisk information som t.ex. informerar mer i detalj om när läsarna kan förvänta sig att produkt X kommer att vara tillgänglig, hur ni i bolaget förväntar er att tidsplanen för projekt Y kommer att fortlöpa o.s.v.
    → kontaktuppgifter till pressavdelning och talespersoner
    → om företaget (“boilerplate” som det kallas på branschspråk): kort om er samt länkar till pressrum och webbsida.

 

3) Språk- och grammatikfel
Slarva inte med korrekturläsningen. Vet ni med er att ni kommer att sitta i processer sent på natten så se över och hitta en rutin för “four eye principle”, så att den som ytterst sitter och ska skicka ut pressmeddelandet har tillgång till ett par extra ögon. (Ni kommer att tacka er själva när ni upptäcker den där extra nollan som slunkit med).

 

4) Intervall för utskick
Allt är inte ett pressmeddelande. Spar pressmeddelanden till de händelser som verkligen är en nyhet. Exempel på nyheter:

  • Förvärv
  • Nedskärningar
  • Större produktlanseringar med ekonomisk effekt på verksamheten
  • Rekrytering till nyckelpositioner som vd, styrelsemedlemmar eller personal på ledande befattning.

 

5) För många kockar involverade
Vem äger egentligen skrivprocessen i er organisation? Bortsett från viktig faktagranskning bör ägandeskapet över pressutskicken alltid ligga hos er kommunikationsavdelning. Släpp kontrollbehovet och lita på att dina medarbetare kommer att involvera berörda personer internt när det behövs.

Behöver du hjälp med att se över och skärpa till era pressmeddelanden är du varmt välkommen att höra av dig.

Lycka till med era framtida nyheter!

 

/Malin

 

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Print is dead. Long live print!

Print is dead. Media is dead. Journalism is dead. Nobody reads printed editions anymore. Right? Or is it really that bad? Perhaps not! This morning I visited a breakfast seminar which certainly awoke some hope for a brighter future for print products.

Photo: black and white product images of the magazine "Försvarets forum"

Despite the strong photograph on the cover of the magazine, it’s the typography that first caught my eyes. It’s delicious – functional with great readability, yet so attractive, soft and inviting. Simply irresistible. Oh, by the way. In case I haven’t mentioned it before, perhaps now would be a good time to add that both typography and graphic design are old and nerdy interests of mine. Thus the strong need to dive into these kind of details.

Having cleared that out, let’s get back to where we were. Swedish content agency Make your mark and their client Försvarsmakten have been nominated in The International Content Marketing Awards (CMA) for their staff magazine “Försvarets forum”. This is the third consecutive year in that the magazine has been nominated in the CMA.  

Photo: color image, close-up of the magazine "Försvarets forum"

On a breakfast seminar this morning, Editor-in-chief Fredrik Helmertz and Art Director Markus Hillborg talked about the working process behind the magazine. It’s been a long time since I last felt so eager and inspired as I did after this seminar! Few things are as interesting and amazing (if you ask me) as when you manage to combine great journalism with well thought through communication initiatives, graphic design and photography. And talking about photography: Fredrik Helmertz also touched upon the subject of newspaper photographers during this morning session. Needless to say, working conditions for professional photographers have been been rough during the past few years, with lower budgets for photo materials and so on. However, turns out that at least “Försvarets forum” is one of few magazines out there that still has its own photographers contracted.

This is probably one of the many success factors behind the magazine as it allows the creative process to take place in a more integrated, long-term and holistic way, instead of “just” buying photos and putting together something hasty.

Photo: black and white close-up from the inside of the magazine "Försvarets forum"

As a lover of both good journalism and printed media, initiatives like this makes me genuinly happy! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for “Försvarets forum” in this year’s edition of CMA.

Nerdy greetings & happy Friday!

/Malin

 

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Flow, thankfulness and juggling multiple roles

Ain’t it funny when you experience those ”mornings from hell”, get into a bad mood and sort of expect it to set the tone for the rest of your day as well? I definitely had one of THOSE mornings today.

There wasn’t really anything specific that happened. Just that it turned out to become a morning when nothing went according to plan. Just getting out of the house without interfering with myself almost seemed like a project – you get what I mean…

Photo: color image of bright, organge autum leaves on a path in the forestHowever, thankfully the day did not turn into a catastrophe. On the contrary. Instead (ironically!) I experienced one of the best work flows I’ve had in a very long time. I managed to just quietly shut down my thoughts, focus and get going. All of today’s to do’s got done. Even the boring ones, without putting to much emphasis on how I felt about doing them or overanalyzing the exact outcome of them. Hallelujah moment indeed!

Whether I would like it or not, my burnout last year is somehow always present in my mind. Not in such a way that it directly interfers with my work; it rather pops up during certain working processes when I notice that I’ve indeed changed so much as a person and how it’s affecting my ways of working today – compared to then.

Thus, there are really no proper words to express the thankfulness I experience during days like today when things just run smoothly and I experience a little bit of the good parts of my ”old” self. (I do not miss my unhealthy, no-boundries-workaholic-self at all).

Juggling multiple roles certainly comes with the job when you start your own business. However, a lot of times we tend to whine about the nasty and challenging parts of these roles and completely forget about the fun roles we juggle in life as well: consultant, writer, girlfriend, sister, friend, manager and so on.

Even though it’s a lot of hard work to do: I’m so incredible thankful for the freedom that comes with being my own. Being able to truly focus on the roles that excites me the most: marketing and communications, meeting and reaching out to new people, discussing business opportunities and unexpected collaborations. No boxes. No boundries. I love it!

What are you thankful for this Tuesday?

/Malin

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Buying articles for your corporate blog instead of writing them yourself

Photo: black and white "genre" shot of computer and office toolsIs it really that time of the month again? You know: delivering on your organisation’s key metrics, building that thought leadership you’re always talking about – posting those blog posts you just never seem to have enough time for.

In case writing and publishing those much needed articles mostly causes internal headaches, it might be a good idea to simply outsource your content creation to a professional writer.

There are several good reasons to buy articles instead of trying to do everything by yourself:

  • No need for trying to invent the wheel every month
    By hiring a professional writer to manage your continuous blog posts, you’ll also automatically get that important external perspective on the topics you’d like to highlight and promote in your corporate feed and channels.
  • Focus on what you’re good at
    Let’s face it: even though we’re living in a constant flow of reading and receiving information and messages, it does not mean that each and everyone of us should be managing corporate information. Focus on what you’re good at and let a communications professional provide you with their expertise within writing and communication.
  • Guaranteed maintenance by continuous updates
    By finding yourself a professional, trustworthy and passionate writer, you’ll be guaranteed those weekly or monthly updates for your blog without having to worry about the quality.

Think your communications department should be able to handle this task? That’s understandable. However, here’s the thing: maybe they’d love to but just won’t be able to. Not because you haven’t hired highly skilled professionals, but due to how several organisational aspects, changes, issues or challenges a lot of times tend to involve your communication professionals and completely consume most of their time.

All of a sudden: there’s just never enough time, peace and quiet for your team to research and produce high quality content.

  • Don’t frighten your customers and stakeholders with poor writing
    Excellent communication is an essential part of any business. So you’ve got the world’s best products and services? Great! Make sure your poor writing skills aren’t scaring your customers or potential investors away then.

Good writing equals good business opportunities.

Next time – skip the headache and invest part of that communications budget on getting the texts and assistance you need.

 

Want help? Feel free to get in touch at malin@ambaurora.se

 

/Malin

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