Posts Tagged ‘Matlock Advertising’

Meet Amber!

May 15, 2014

Matlock is pleased to announce our newest team member – Amber Harris! Amber will serve as one of Matlock’s Project Coordinators. Amber brings to the team solid experience in marketing and program management. We asked Amber a few questions about herself and this is what she had to say:
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1. Where are you from?

Cleveland, OH

2. Do you have any pets?
No

3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?
Hawaii. I love the water, nature, scenic views and the overall laid back attitude of the locals.

4. Do you have any hobbies? If yes, what are they?
Yes, I like to run, play basketball, watch movies and sitcoms, read and have game nights.

5. Who is your favorite superhero/heroine?
Wonder Woman

6. Do you have any favorite sports teams? If so, who?
No, I like to play sports but I have never enjoyed watching them.

7. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Cannibals don’t eat clowns because they taste funny.

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Congrats to Pamela Bishop!

May 7, 2014

Let’s give a round of applause to our very own Pamela Bishop, who was recently promoted to Senior Vice President, Client Services. Pamela leads the Account Services team in delivering world-class client service. She is an experienced marketing professional with a distinguished background in brand management, channel marketing, promotions and advertising and has worked on both the client and agency side with some of the largest brands in a variety of industries. Since her arrival 3 years ago, Pamela has proven to be an outstanding leader and an essential component to the Matlock entity, and worthy of her new position. Congratulations Pamela! 

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April Fools’ Day and Brand Awareness

April 1, 2014

It’s April Fools’ Day, one of the few days that we are allowed to be completely silly. We take delight (or maybe not) in the practical jokes and hoaxes that our colleagues, friends and family will play on us today. Large companies have long had a tradition of using April 1 to pull humorous hoaxes on the public. It’s a great way to show off their sense of humor and humanize the brand.

However, companies don’t waste hours preparing pranks just to make us laugh. We tend to gravitate towards people and things that make us feel good, which makes April Fools’ the perfect time to engage in a little feel good humor. A great April Fools’ prank is also a great way to drive brand awareness. If a prank is able to receive coverage in the media, a blog, or gain traction in social media, the company is able to increase individual product awareness and possibly conversions when the prank is tied to a real product. A great April Fools’ prank is also an opportunity to reactivate inactive consumers of your product and generates new consumers who may be curious about your company.

Finally, a successful prank usually embodies these three simple rules:

1. They fit the personality of the brand.

2. They mesh the company’s image and products in a good-natured way.

3. They are funny, tasteful and engage the customer.

Below we share some of our favorite April Fools’ Day pranks played by companies.

Twitter Announces Premium Service, Charges for Vowels

Last year Twitter announced that it would begin charging $5 per month for the use of vowels in a tweet. Only consonants would remain free in the basic service, Twttr, the letter y would remain free. In addition to a premium Twitter service, advertisers could extend the length of a tweet to 141 characters through a bid process.

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Source: https://blog.twitter.com/2013/annncng-twttr

Starbucks Reveals “Plenta” and “Micra” Drink Sizes

On April Fools’ Day 2010 Starbucks announced the introduction of two new beverage sizes, the Plenta (128 fl oz.) and Micra (2 fl oz.). The company posted images of people holding the drinks and suggested that the Plenta could be used as lampshades or yoga blocks. The Micra cup could serve as a milk dish for kittens or a paper clip holder. This was pretty neat, but we’d be willing to bet that more people would’ve been excited to have Pumpkin Spice year round.

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Source: http://www.starbucks.com/blog/starbucks-listens-to-customer-request-for-more-sizes

Google Launches Google Nose, the New Scentsation in Search

Last year Google announced Google Nose. Which lets you search based on scents. Featured scents included wet dog, lemon, horse manure, locker room and car exhaust.

Watch the hilarious video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-P6jEMtixY

Justin Bieber and the Regular Guys

This final hoax didn’t occur on April Fools’ but it was too good to not feature. In February of this year rumors that international pop star Justin Bieber was moving to Atlanta began to circulate in the media.  The Regular Guys, a radio morning show in Atlanta, organized a fake neighborhood group and held a fictitious protest against Justin’s move. According to the radio show, the fictitious protest was reported on 33 international media outlets and generated 45,000 plus news stories, including a feature on TMZ. This was a definite win for the Regular Guys not so much for the media.

 

We can’t wait to see which pranks will be played on us this year. What are your favorite pranks?

 

Matlock and the Atlanta Snowpocalypse

February 10, 2014

It doesn’t snow often in Atlanta, so when snow began to fall on Tuesday, January 28, the Matlock staff were quite excited to see the white flakes, that are usually only enjoyed by our friends in the northern states. Our celebration for snow would be short lived as what we thought would be a celebration of a mere 2 inches of snow, turned into a harrowing feat of survival. Below are first-hand accounts of how a few Matlockers survived the Atlanta “Snowpocalypse.”

Ashley Ihesiaba, Account Coordinator: I was the most excited person in the office about the snow. I even commented on how I couldn’t wait to see it when I’d woken up that morning. When I left the Matlock offices I immediately knew that this snow fall was a bit different. The snow was coming down unusually hard for what is normal in Georgia. I commute to work by train and found myself unable to safely walk the short distance to my train station as the sidewalks and roads were completely iced over. Cars were sliding and stalled on the side of the road and my train station was closed. I was directed to walk a few blocks to another station that unfortunately was also closed. This happened two more times. The tracks were unsafe for the trains to continue running. During the time it took me to trek back and forth to different train stations, the entire rail system had closed. I feared that I would be trapped in Atlanta overnight.

                Eventually, the trains began to run again, however the worst was yet to come. My normally 10 minute drive from the train station to my home took over 3 hours. I feared running out of gas as I watched my meter go from a half tank to two notches away from E. At the 2 hour mark of virtually no movement in traffic, I considered parking my car and walking home. Luckily a few good Samaritans were able to move all of the stalled cars out of the way and I made it home. I was frustrated, but when I turned on the news and saw the severity of other people’s situation, I counted myself lucky.

Jasmine, Account Coordinator: I was coming into the office from a meeting as the first snow fell. I was returning to the office when the snow began to fall more heavily.  Due to the flurry, MARTA had already begun to run on a delayed schedule, which made my commute from my meeting to the office a little over an hour.  To make things worse, once I arrived at the train station near the office I received the company wide email stating that we would be closing early.  Feeling frustrated I went back to the station, but by the time I arrived, the station was closed. I, along with hundreds of other commuters, had to walk to another station nearby. There were a lot of people angry and confused as no one seemed to know what was going on. I boarded the first Northbound train operating, but to my dismay it was the wrong one. An hour after I’d disembarked from that train I was able to board the correct train and make it to my station. Tired and frustrated, I made it to my car and remained in traffic for 2 hours! Did I mention my normal commute is only three minutes?  The grocery stores in my area were closed so I had to do my grocery shopping at a pharmacy. After getting the necessary supplies I was able to remain in the safety of my home until the storm was over.

Veronica, Accounts Receivable/Accounts Payable Coordinator: My mother called me the night before the storm encouraging me to pack an emergency bag. I underestimated the weather, but because I have a 19 month old son I packed the emergency bag just in case. Normally I have snacks and 2 bottles of water in my car for emergencies. It was just my luck that I’d purchased a case of water and had been too lazy to take it out of the car. As I was leaving home the day of the storm, I remembered to go back and get his portable DVD player. As the storm hit, the DVD player helped a lot because cars were sliding and I was getting a little freaked out about how I was going to concentrate with the baby in the car. He was also starting to get a little antsy as our normally one hour drive to my mom’s took us four hours, which wasn’t bad compared to other people. I didn’t hear a peep out of him once I started the DVD player and the emergency snacks and case of water helped.

Jennifer, Social Media and Research Assistant: It took me 3 hours to get home and it normally only takes me fifteen minutes. I knew the expressway would be like a parking lot so I decided to take a back road. The back road was congested as well, cars were just inching along. So I took another side street and got stuck behind a school bus full of children; the bus was having a horrible time driving up an icy hill. The school bus was fishtailing and I was terrified that not only would the bus turn over, but that it would hit me in the process. I was thankful when the bus finally made it up the hill safely with the children, and I pulled into my driveway in one piece.

Donald, Executive Vice President: My story was no different than everyone else’s story. I decided to beat the traffic on the highway, by taking a back road. Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea as me. Not only was the road congested, but it was also very icy. I lost traction with the road a few times, but compared to other people’s experiences, I considered myself lucky.

Reggie, Associate Creative Director: My drive home took 2.5 hours, which based on other commute times, I was a lucky one. I happened to pass a certain billboard that under the circumstances made me laugh and then feel all the more nervous at the same time. The billboard (pictured below) was one that we’d created for Atlanta Medical Center last year. Thankfully, my premonitions didn’t come true and I made it home without incident. 

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Kirstin, SVP & General Manager: It took me nine hours and twenty minutes to get home (my typical commute is 18 minutes). I parked my car and walked the final ¾ mile. I also had a friend who was unable to get to her house but was able to make it to mine & stayed until Thursday afternoon once the roads were more drivable. I saw lots of crazy stuff, including:  wrecks, people spinning out of control, people driving on the wrong side of the street, but the most crazy thing I saw were people trying to push cars up a hill.

Simon, Senior Account Executive: I ventured out into the cold to save a stranded friend/retrieve a locked-in dog, I found utter chaos outside. Abandoned cars where everywhere, I took pictures with my phone.  

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Candice, Agency Coordinator: I was one of the very lucky one’s as I had little difficulty during the snow storm. I commute by train to work; and when I arrived at the station, my train line was the only one still operating. I was able to make it home in 30 minutes!

Cheree, Creative Services Manager: Like other Matlockers I had an extended commute, but one aspect of my journey that may be slightly unique. My way home included “good Samaritans & driving lessons” that would be my ultimate ticket to making it safely home.

After the Agency’s early dismissal, I decided it may be best not to take the highway. Instead, I chose to take the back roads home, thinking it’d be safer. Well, when I finally escaped downtown after three hours of slow starts and stops, I made it to Perry Rd. Any other day, the slight incline this road takes would seem infinitesimal. However, on this day, the road resembled the North face of Mt. Everest. At the base of the road, I began to spin out. I couldn’t gain traction and I ended up perpendicular to the flow of traffic; my car was now blocking both lanes of traffic in both directions. I sat there freaking out because there were cars all around me slipping and sliding on the slick pavement. I just knew someone was going to skid into me. I looked out my window and saw a man pushing a BMW and yelling at the driver to do something. I couldn’t quite make it out. I watched as the BMW successfully gained purchase and shot up the hill. I was so jealous. Then there was a tap on my window. It was the same guy who had just assisted the other driver. I lowered my window and he explained that he just wanted to help. I asked if he worked for the city. He said, “No. I’m just trying to get home.”He then instructed me to “cut the wheel hard and get into the tracks in between the ice left by other cars, don’t ease up on the gas, just keep gunning it.” I did as he instructed and after a few tries, I was up the hill. YES!!!

Once over the hill the road is straight and flat until… the decline. I’m almost home free. I start to make the final turn to get on the road that leads me home, and there’s a decline before the light. On any other day, this would be no big deal. On this day, however, I felt like I was cresting a Six Flags roller coaster, afraid to look. I skid and slipped and eventually just stopped and put on my hazards. I was not going to risk rolling into on-coming traffic or slamming into someone’s mailbox. There were two men sitting on their porch, sipping beers, and watching the madness unfold. It really was comical. Hey, I’m not ashamed. I was born and raised in the South so why should I know what to do in a snow storm? But I digress. One of the men came to my window and told me, “Honey, you can’t slam on your brakes. You’ll lock them up and keep sliding.” Completely distraught and at the end of my rope, I looked up with slightly teary eyes and asked, “What do I do?” He instructed me to pump my brakes instead of keeping them locked and once I made it to the foot of the hill he told me to release the brake completely and coast into my right-hand turn. It was flawless.

Finally on my street I remained stuck there in stop and go traffic for another 2 ½ hours. Upon reaching my complex, it hit me that the entrance after crossing the gate includes a steep decline followed by a rapid incline that sports a speed bump right at its apex. Combining all of the lessons I had learned on my journey (drive in existing tracks, pump your brakes… don’t brake and coast… don’t accelerate) I was able to navigate the tortuous hill and make it safely home.

My journey began at 1:45pm. I pulled into my parking space outside my residence at 6:33pm. No bodily injury and a scratch on my bumper. I was one of the lucky ones. See my pictures of the day’s events below.

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Meet Jennifer!

January 27, 2014

Matlock is happy to announce our newest team member- Jennifer McCurdy! Jennifer will serve as Matlock’s Social Media & Research Assistant. Jennifer brings to the team a solid background in writing, social media and public relations. We asked Jennifer a few questions about herself and this is what she had to say:

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Where are you from?

Atlanta, Georgia

Do you have any pets?

No, I prefer plants!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

Madrid, Spain. I participated on a study abroad trip and loved that it was so clean and pristine. I would love to live there and be immersed in the Spanish culture and language.

Do you have any hobbies? If yes, what are they?

I like to sing and act. For the past 6 years, I’ve participated in my church’s Christmas play as the Virgin Mary.

Who is your favorite superhero/heroine?

Wonder woman because she is a woman with strength and power. I like Superman because despite his weak moments, he still gets back up and flies… soars high. He’s a metaphor for reality, for us. Although we may have weaknesses or low and disappointing moments, we can still get up, dust ourselves off, and fly high.

Do you have any favorite sports teams? If so, who?

Whoever’s winning.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Back in 2010, I was in the Music Man singing ensemble at the Blackwell Playhouse.

The Future of Social Media

January 16, 2014

We in the advertising and marketing industry often focus our social media efforts on present day consumers, those who have money to spend now or in the very near future. While this is a very logical approach, it is important that we think of social media consumption in the future. How far in the future is up for debate, but with the recent news that 38% of children under the age of 2 have used a tablet or mobile phone for media consumption, it’s important to at least have the conversation of how to approach future consumers.

Sure they don’t have major buying power now, but the way children view social media will very much shape the way we as advertisers do business. Take for instance Facebook, once thought to be the social media hot spot for teens and young adults; it has now been infiltrated by Mom and Grandma. After months of speculation, Facebook’s CFO David Ebersman admitted that the site has seen a decrease in daily usage among young teens. The decrease is likely the result of the infiltration from those of the “more mature sect”.

With a new social media platform seemingly popping up overnight, we decided to conducted a very informal “research study” to see how a child views social media. Below are the responses from our 10 year old male respondent.

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As you can see, children have an equally important relationship with social media. It’s important to not automatically dismiss them as potential users for fear that they may be too young.

Our respondent also listed some his favorite mobile Apps. They included Text Plus, Mine Craft, ESPN College Football, Netflix, Draw Free, Dumb Ways to Die, Clash of Clans, ROBLOX, and Magic Piano.

What do you predict will be the future of social media?

Meet Veronica

January 6, 2014

Matlock is happy to announce our newest team member- Veronica Parker! Veronica will serve as Matlock’s Accounts Receivable/Accounts Payable Coordinator. Veronica brings to the team several years of accounting experience.

We asked Veronica a few questions about herself and this is what she had to say:

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Where are you from?

Macon, GA (80 miles south of Atlanta)

Do you have any pets?

Not yet. (Referring to #7)

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

I’ve been told by the description I give of the type weather I would love year round, it would be San Diego (although I’ve never visited).

I would love to live where I would have to ride a ferry from home to the ‘mainland’ to shop, eat, and work.  Our home would be a historical one rehabbed to a Bungalow style with a yard big enough for my son (and friends) to play soccer, and the weather there does not exceed 70 nor fall below 50. (Apparently, I watch too much of the Hallmark channel)

Do you have any hobbies? If yes, what are they?

Yes.  I’m from a family of plumbers and contractors, so other than shopping, I think I am a very creative individual (one of my friends says that I’m always “creating something out of nothing”).  So in my spare time, when the traffic light is red, I scan magazines/internet and store items that catches my eye to DIY projects in Pinterest. The only projects I have yet to attempt are building a house and cooking.  I think the house would be easier.  I love the TV show Rehab Addict. 

Who is your favorite superhero/heroine?

My heroine is my paternal grandmother.  She did not have internet to Google “how to balance work and family”, but she did, effortlessly.  She worked full-time, volunteered with her church, maintained 5 kids/5 personalities, and cooked for them and my grandfather three meals a day EVERYDAY.

Do you have any favorite sports teams? If so, who?

Yes, shopping! Chloe has BEAUTIFUL handbags.  Seriously, no, I am CLUELESS when it comes to sports, but not for long (possibly).  (I defer to #7 again)

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I am proud (and crazy to admit) that I became a first time mom at the age of 42.  I have an energetic, 18 month old baby boy, Evan, who weighed 8lbs at delivery, a week prior to his due date.  Needless to say, he catches the eye of everyone who meets him (due to his size who describes him as a future athlete); he looks about two and a half, three years old.

Thanksgivukkah

November 25, 2013

This year, many American Jews will be celebrating two holidays at once. For the first time ever, the first full day of Hanukkah (which begins this year on the evening of November 27th) falls on Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgivukkah, as it has affectionately become known, will not occur again – ever! (Well, technically it could occur again in the year 79811, but we’ll just look the other way this once!)

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First and foremost, Thanksgiving is set as the fourth Thursday in November, which should never change. Hanukkah is observed for 8 nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. Since the Jewish calendar repeats on a 19 year cycle, and Thanksgiving repeats on a 7 year cycle, one would expect the holidays to coincide roughly every 133 years, but that’s not the case.

The last time it would have happened is 1861; however, Thanksgiving was only formally established by President Lincoln in 1863. So, Thanksgivukkah has never happened before, and it won’t happen again because the Jewish calendar is very slowly getting out of sync with the solar calendar, at a rate of 4 days per 1000 years.

Regarding the marketing industry, many American Jews are “gobbling up” the phenomena. A number of people are gearing up for Thanksgivukkah festivals, Thanksgivukkah treats and meals, and Thanksgivukkah family gatherings. In some places, this is becoming a marketing frenzy with turkey-shaped menorahs called Menurkeys, Thanksgivukkah t-shirts, posters, coffee mugs and more.

Thanksgivukkah memes and pictures have gone viral on Facebook and Twitter as well.

For example:

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 h/t The Mitzvah Bowl

Social Media platforms and users across the cybersphere have adopted this super holiday. There is a Thanksgivukkah Facebook page with over 9,000 likes and a Thanksgivukkah Twitter account with over 1,000 followers (and counting).  A large number of Pinterest users are pinning Thanksgivukkah recipes, which combine traditional Thanksgiving and Hanukkah meals into one, like Latke-encrusted turkey cutlets, pumpkin challah, and pecan pie rugelach.

So from all of us at Matlock to each and every one of you, we wish you all a Happy Thanksgivukkah!

The Effects of “Hunkvertising”

November 14, 2013

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In the past few months there have been a number of ads featuring men wearing next to nothing.  Adweek is calling this new phenomenon “Hunkvertising.” Anderson Davis, who stars in the new Kraft Zesty Italian salad dressing ads, is wearing less clothing with each newly released commercial or print ad. Renuzit is using partially dressed men to sell their air freshener and even Liquid-Plumr has gotten in on the act. The more obvious observation is that none of these products are inherently sexy, so it is odd that nearly nude men would be used to sell them. The second observation is that in addition to the men’s missing clothes, the backlash that typically follows over sexualized ads is also missing.

Where are the boycotts, the morning and evening news coverage, and the issued statement of apology from the company after said backlash? Organizations like One Million Moms and Parents Television Council have raised concern, but their concerns appear to be falling on deaf ears. Compare this response – or lack thereof, to similar ads from Go Daddy and Carl’s Jr. in which women were in equally compromising positions. These ads made national news, they were re-edited to be less sexual, and in some cases they were pulled from airwaves. Why are we so lax when it comes to the sexualization of men in advertising?

According to ad experts and social critics who were asked to weigh in on the subject in an article for Adweek, objectifying men is okay because it is seen as a joke.     When it comes to the objectification of women it is no laughing matter. Studies have shown that when women are objectified it can lead to body shaming, eating disorders, poor mood, and poor performance in school and work. Are we to believe that sexualized ads can have such adverse effects on women, but leave men completely unfazed? According to research from Cele Otnes, a University of Illinois marketing expert, the answer is no.

One of the most argued points against the objectification of women in ads is the profound effect it can have on a women’s body image. Yet Otnes’ research revealed that men who compare themselves to male stereotypes in advertising experience feelings of inadequacy and vulnerability. Furthermore, research conducted in 2012 revealed that more than 4 in 5 men (80.7%) talk in ways that promote anxiety about their body image by referring to perceived flaws and imperfections compared with 75% of women. Some going so far as to say they would sacrifice a year of their life in exchange for a perfect body.

Unfortunately, in the case of this new round of “Hunkvertising,” what’s bad for the male psyche is good for the bottom line. The click through rates for Renuzit have reportedly increased by 25% and the company’s Facebook likes have also increased significantly since the new “Hunkvertising” ads premiered. Likewise, the latest commercial for Kraft Zesty Italian salad dressing, in which model Anderson Davis has his shirt burned off, has been viewed nearly 2.5 million times on YouTube.

While we may be getting a laugh out of the recent invasion of shirtless men, it is dangerous for advertisers to glorify only one type of the male body as ideal. As much as we have called for responsibility in messages that target women, we must also pay attention to how messages affect men.

To read Adweeks’s take on “Hunkvertising,” click here: http://bit.ly/GElIUC

 

The Importance of Being an Effective Communicator in Advertising

October 22, 2013

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Fast Company recently posted an article with great tips for having a productive conversation. As we become more attached to our smart phones and other electronics, we begin to lose grip on how to have an actual face to face conversation. Whether it is through a text message or an email, we have grown accustomed to the convenience of instant, non-personal conversation. While these tools do make our life easier, in an industry such as advertising or public relations it is important to remember the basics, such as answering a phone call, being able to hold a verbal conversation and even being a great listener.

This article sparked an interesting discussion here at Matlock about the importance of being an effective communicator in the Advertising and PR community. We wanted to share some of our day to day tasks and how our communication skills affect these tasks.

Written Communication: While shorthand such as LOL may be an acceptable form of written communication among your friends, it is important to remember proper grammar and sentence structure for work at an agency. We must carefully choose the appropriate words and their placement to deliver a clear and concise message to our recipients. Good written communication skills are most important in public relations. A PR professional is often responsible for media relations, press releases and brand messages, all of which involve written communication. With proper written communication there is less room for misinterpretation. A single press release or brand message written by a PR professional will be seen by company employees, the press and the general public. It is important that the message is consistent, clear and free of grammatical errors as it is a direct reflection of the PR professional and the brand they represent.

Presentations: During your time at an agency you will give numerous presentations. Presentations are important because they provide information that others will use to make important decisions. It is important that you speak clearly, refrain from fillers such as “um” and “like”, and make eye contact. It is also important to be a great listener during this time as your input could be needed.

Telephone Conversations: Even with all the technological advances we have made with email and text messages, knowing proper telephone etiquette is still an important tool. When you need immediate responses from a client or staff member you will need to utilize your telephone. Remember to answer all incoming calls with a friendly tone. Announce your name to the caller and also ask for their name. Listen to the caller’s needs and take notes if necessary. Remember to speak to the caller in the same manner in which you would like to be spoken to and always keep it professional.

Non-Verbal Communication: This type of communication is important in all of the above tasks. Your voice tone and volume, facial expressions, and body movements such as hand gestures broadcast what words alone may conceal. You could be delivering the wrong message with body movements such as crossed arms or eye rolls.

What other communication skills are important in your everyday life?

Read the Fast Company article mentioned in this post here: http://bit.ly/16ZgTg6