2020 Story Ideas; Masthead Moves
We’re now one-quarter into the new year. (We’re that much closer to spring. And summer.)
For starters, thank you to everyone who reached out with a story idea and an interest in contributing to Strategies & Tactics in 2020. To date, our June issue on crisis management and the July edition on health and wellness have attracted the most queries.
As I was writing this column, I heard from a PRSA member who wants to submit a byline for July. I told him how many other people have offered to write as well. “Given how wellness is becoming such an important topic in the workplace, I’m not surprised,” he said.
This is one reason we launched a monthly column titled “Workplace Wellness” in January. Jaya Koilpillai Bohlmann, M.A., APR, an educator and consultant, is addressing aspects of well-being, including culture and mental health.
Wellness-related topics are also a focus of our internal communications articles this month. M.J. Clark, M.A., APR, Fellow PRSA, discusses the art of managing conflict at work. She writes that disagreements in the office aren’t necessarily a bad thing. “Well-handled conflict typically leads to increased trust between the people involved, because it helps them learn how to recognize and benefit from their differences,” Clark says.
On the subject of potential workplace clashes, Ken Scudder delves into calling that meeting you don’t really want to have. Find his tips for managing these challenging conversations here.
Interestingly enough, we received several pitches on how to hold successful meetings. (There were enough ideas for an entire edition on the theme. Maybe you’ll find the Meetings Issue on the 2021 editorial calendar!)
Most of the queries focused on fixing the negative, the “death by PowerPoint” get-togethers that we’ve all experienced too often. This made me think about how blissful my introduction to the meeting world was in a professional setting.
While working for The Lantern at The Ohio State University, we’d hold daily editorial gatherings to decide what would make the next day’s paper. They succeeded because everyone had a role and voice in the conversation. The top editors went around the room and asked other staffers what they were working on, and what might be front-page worthy. These were fun, productive sessions. We also ate lunch. Perhaps that’s the key.
Ken Jacobs, who wrote our monthly “Taking the Lead” column for five-plus years through December 2019, will be sharing Q&As with PR executives on a quarterly basis in 2020. You can find his interview with Gail Heimann, president and CEO of Weber Shandwick, at this link.
In addition, Rob Biesenbach, a familiar name in these pages, is contributing an ongoing feature titled “Connect & Compel,” which offers tips on executive presence and presentations. His insights on preparing for and managing events with multiple speakers are here.
Finally, Dean Essner, our editorial assistant since February 2017, has moved on to a new opportunity. This was his first job after graduating from the University of Maryland. We’ve enjoyed working with him on the paper, blog and Issues & Trends newsletter, and seeing him grow as a journalist. We wish Dean all the best!