Context is King (and Queen) of the Workplace

We have a lot to do at work. We attend meetings (and often those meetings run too long…), answer e-mail and deliver finished projects to co-workers. Often, it can feel like we are asked to do the impossible at work.

Is there ONE word that can make work easier? I think so.

That word is CONTEXT. (Interested in the definition of context? Merriam-Webster offers several definitions of context, including  “the situation in which something happens : the group of conditions that exist where and when something happens”.

I believe that by offering context or explanation we make work easier or simpler. Content is indeed the king and queen of the workplace.

Great Reads in Favor of Context

What does context mean to me in the workplace? When chatting with co-workers or clients, explain yourself! Tell people what you are working on and, if applicable, why you might need extra time to complete a project. Figure out who your audience is. What are their concerns? What are their hobbies?

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Can Communicators Learn from A Pop Star?

Admittedly, I am a Taylor Swift fan. (The song Shake It Off is one of my favorite things.) But, I don’t know everything about her. What I do know is that she can teach us about communication.

Stay with me.

I am most interested in how Taylor Swift maintains popularity and success. Because, as a communicator, I want my audience to pay attention to my cause, program, product or business process. I want my cause, program, product or business process to be popular and to succeed.

In the May issue of Vogue, Swift speaks about how to dispel rumors  — in addition to other topics. Swift is quoted like this …

“There are a lot of ways to dispel rumors… if they say you have fake friendships, all you have to do is continue to be there for each other.”

I would like to un-pack this statement a bit more. Now, communicators dispel rumors all the time. If we are successful, our audience actively avoids the rumors saying that we are less than our competition. The audience chooses our cause, program, product or business process.

In the example above, Swift dispels rumors using the following tactics…

  1. She researches – or notices what is being said or written about her.
  2. She decides what image she wants to project.
  3. She acts accordingly.

Kudos to Vogue for unearthing a communications tactic that is very powerful. Let me add this — it makes communication and business sense to research the competition and get a sense of how we are perceived. It is in our power to speak to our audience and gain their attention.

The Marketing Hat (soon to be a Saturday sun visor)

I am not sure where I got that title from. Something to do with “wearing many hats” and the fact it is, for the most part, summer. Anyway, after reading the recent bacon article from the American Chemical Society (ACS) I am filled with marketing ideas and questions…

How do I continue to use my marketing/pr education to promote organizations and causes  waiting for consumers, similar to how ACS created traction for the organization as additional media carried the bacon story.

Most businesses can find element(s) that make them unique and “top of mind” to the consumer. And I think promoting causes, local places or B2B is fun.

So, I have been thinking about post topics for local businesses…

You never know when a bacon article will inspire a marketing hat.