#Build That Brand!: 15 Ways to Showcase Your Thought Leadership (Part 2)

Kimberly N. Alleyne


Brand Stamp

In Part 1 of this series, I wrote about utilizing Twitter, LinkedIn, Shocase and Facebook to define and augment your brand as a thought leader. I added that you can also put your pen to paper in a major way by securing a Huffington Post column (or some other platform that you align with and that has readers who will appreciate your expertise). In Part 2 of this series, I’ll focus on ways to take your brand to new levels with the mighty pen — or keyboard.

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#Build That Brand!: 15 Ways to Showcase Your Thought Leadership (Part 1)

Swirling Corlored Stage Spotlights

Kimberly N. Alleyne

We cannot escape it. We live, work and play in a hyper-crowded communications landscape. On any given day, we’re bombarded by information via email, online, social, print, mobile and broadcast mediums (let’s not forget digital-out-of-home and outdoor advertising). It’s an effect of the convergence of digital and traditional media. Anyone who wants to can grab a microphone and have her say.

For communications and PR pros, the room is really noisy. The digitization of everything has opened doors for practitioners to set themselves apart, and that’s great because open doors promote inclusion and level the field; but if no one can hear your brand above the noise, you run the risk of stifling audience engagement with muteness, and muffling opportunities to position yourself/your brand to shine the brightest in the crowd. Here’s how communications and PR pros can pomp their prowess and create a community of brand loyalists at once.
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INFOGRAPHIC: Men And Women Get Different Migraines

I thought I’d post this Medical Daily post story because of the exceptional infographic. It’s also a great example of explanatory journalism and health communications. Enjoy and let me know what you think about the infographic.


March 25, 2015
Samantha Olson
Displayed with permission from Medical Daily

Gender differences in how migraines work inside the brain are revealed. Photo courtesy of a Shutterstock

Migraines are silent lightning storms of pain, and men and women report distinct differences on what’s happening inside their skulls. By just looking at a person you may have no clue as to how much they’re suffering. In America today, there are over 37 million people suffering from migraines that cause anything from vomiting to blurry vision or an impaired sense of smell, and experts aren’t sure exactly why. Data collected by the most popular migraine app available today known as Migraine Buddy has found clear gender-related signs and symptoms.

Migraine Gender
Migraines are different depending on your gender. Photo courtesy of Migraine Buddy

What they do know is that, according to self-reported symptoms, men are 35 percent more likely to experience a migraine as a result of physical exertion. Meanwhile, women are 50 percent more likely to report weather as the cause of their migraine. For a man, the typical migraine lasts 6.5 hours, and if you think that’s bad, take a look at women who suffer over an hour longer. The typical female migraine sufferer usually has one more migraine than men do each month, and she’s more likely to take medication for it. Women also become more sensitive to smell than men and report experiencing more nausea. Men report feeling more depressed and more sensitive to light when they have migraines.

Regardless of gender, Migraine Buddy data scientists found users who sleep less than seven hours a night were more likely to experience a migraine attack. A regular lack of sleep may be causing 31 percent of the migraines users experience, which is why those who are prone to migraines should keep a migraine and sleep diary to figure out if they have a link.

Migraines fall are under the umbrella of headaches. The condition can either be episodic, which means they occur less than 15 days a month for three months, or it can be a chronic condition, which is a continued and persistent presence throughout a person’s life. Treatment is available in the form of daily preventive medications designed to reduce the severity or frequency, according to a study. Researchers believe hormones may have something to do with the neurological activity, which could explain why women are more likely to experience worse symptoms and higher frequencies of migraines than men.

Facebook Unveils Big Plans For Messenger, Videos

March 25, 2015
Thomas Halleck
Displayed with permission from International Business Times

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (pictured) unveiled the company’s plans to developers at its F8 Developer Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.Reuters

Facebook Inc. unveiled its plan for expanding its presence throughout the Internet on Tuesday, from video advertising to the Internet of Things. The company announced new options for sharing its content on websites, and has created a new video platform to compete with Google-owned YouTube at its F8 Developer Conference in San Francisco.

Facebook Messenger will be a key component of the social network’s plans. Facebook announced that it was expanding the popular chat service into a marketplace for online transactions, as well as a platform for third-party apps.

“Over the last couple years, we’ve been building Messenger into a service that can help you express yourself in many more ways beyond simple text messages,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg told attendees.

Facebook announced last week that it would allow Messenger’s more than 600 million users to transfer money to friends for free. The popular chat app will now offer gifs, videos and even messages sung to the tune of pop hits with third-party apps available in Facebook’s new Messenger Platform. The company also announced it would integrate Messenger with online retailers to allow users to make purchases and receive shipping notifications and sales receipts.

Mark Zuckerberg Opens Facebook Messenger To Third-Party Apps, Allowing Users To Send Gifs, Videos

Facebook will enhance its embedded videos, as well as the comments users leave on other websites using new plug-ins. It will also compete more directly against YouTube with an embedded video player it will use to sell ads.

Facebook Cranks Up YouTube Rivalry With New Embedded Video Player

Facebook’s developer platform Parse announced new tools for building apps that connect with the Internet of Things, including connected wearables and “smart home” appliances.

Facebook Wants To ‘Friend’ Your Toaster, Other Connected Devices Around The Home

Zuckerberg also announced that Facebook’s News Feed and virtual-reality headset, the Oculus Rift, will support “spherical” videos filmed with multiple cameras to offer a 360-degree view. Facebook has announcements regarding the Oculus Rift scheduled for day two of its developers conference.


International Women’s Day — Branding Women’s Equality Tomorrow

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights” — Gloria Steinem


IWD2015 Make It Happen
Today is a great day — it’s International Women’s Day (#IWD2015). Celebrated on March 8, since 1909, IWD spans the world for the sole purpose of lifting up the women’s journey toward equality, progress in the journey, and what’s  left to tackle.

This year’s theme, #MakeItHappen, focuses on the areas where women still need to make gains:  in obtaining senior leadership roles, more recognition in the arts, growth of women-owned businesses, greater financial independence, a greater presence of women in STEM, and a broader awareness of women’s equality.

I am quite proud to be part of a global call for women’s equality, a push for fairness, for what is inherently right. There are hundreds of #IWD2015 events taking place across America today from fundraisers, to seminars, to banquets to film screenings; people are uniting around, because of and for women. Imagine the countless community conservations that are emerging because of International Women’s Day. That’s something to get excited about.

IWD Events

The #IWD2015 branding has been top-notch, netting several significant media placements such as this great TIME article and even a nifty Google doodle. In fact, the celebration started long before today, March 8. The branding has effectively resulted in the painting a mosaic of where we were, where we are and where we want to go, and a huge stir of general awareness about a still very relevant movement. The blanket of issues that quilt the women’s rights narrative should not be discerned as only relevant to only women. As Hillary Clinton said, “…women’s rights are human rights.” This is a conversation that everyone should have a voice in.

#IWD2015 Google Doodle

#IWD2015 Google Doodle

What do we do now that we are aware? How can we act to ensure the conversation continues?

Here are 10 ways to @MakeItHappen today, tomorrow and everyday:

1. Shop women-owned businesses
2. Advocate for a woman on your team to get a senior leadership role
3. Mentor an emerging woman leader to help prepare her for a senior leadership role
4. Volunteer for organizations whose missions directly impact the betterment of women
5. Support a woman artist in the creative economy (buy a painting, hire a woman designer, host a listening party, hold a gallery event or a trunk show)
6. Donate to charities that support women
7. Be a doer for women’s rights, not a talker only
8. Stay engaged: read about women’s rights, talk about women’s rights, find a way to add your voice to the conversation and ACT!
9. Stop, look and listen: Be aware of what’s happening in your space, your circle, your community regarding women’s rights. A global contribution should start on your own street.
10. Look for ways to support women, and other underserved groups, in your everyday life.

Let’s all #MakeItHappen!



Want Engagement? Measurement Is A Must — Here Are 4 Ways to Do It

Measurement by William A. Clark. Flickr Creative Commons.

Measurement by William A. Clark. Flickr Creative Commons.

Kimberly N. Alleyne


The communications landscape is domineered and saturated by social and digital media, which makes realizing organic, sustained target audience engagement hard. There are approximately 1.4 million nonprofit organizations in the United States. Many of them struggle with finding strategies to realize audience engagement. Engagement among nonprofit target audiences is particularly is hard to spark  and measure because of limited human and financial resources. Compounding these challenges is that nonprofit communicators often find themselves competing for their audiences’ attention in a  environment where they are bombarded by messages from multiple communication channels.

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Remembering Dori Maynard: Journalist, Bellwether

Kimberly N. Alleyne

Dori J. MaynardDuring my time as a copy editor at the Poughkeepsie Journal newspaper, I was selected to attend the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education’s editing intensive. It was an eight-week program, I think, that to-date ranks as one of the most challenging yet simultaneously-rewarding professional experiences I’ve enjoyed. It’s where I met Dori J. Maynard.

I’ll break AP Style here and call her “Dori” on second reference instead of Maynard because to do otherwise would just seem odd, and cold.

I remember being impressed to near silence when we met; I felt so inadequate and unaccomplished in her presence. She did nothing to make me feel that way. It was the greatness of her, her work, her vision that caught my tongue. I knew she was an accomplished and highly-regarded reporter prior to taking the helm as president of MIJE and all I could manage to whisper, in my thoughts, was, “Wow…me, too. One day.”

Dori followed in the footsteps of her father, Robert C. Maynard, who co-founded the Institute for Journalism Education in 1977 (it was renamed the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education following Maynard’s 1993 death); but she certainly carved out her own byways—all in the name of diversity: diversity in newsrooms and diversity in coverage. “The Institute is the nation’s oldest organization focusing on ensuring newspapers, magazines and other news outlets accurately portray overlooked communities,” according to the MIJE website.

Robert C. and Dori J. Maynard. Maynard Institute.

Robert C. and Dori J. Maynard. Maynard Institute.

Her brilliance inspired me to go for more, to go beyond filing or editing a story, to add my voice to the conversation, to use journalism as a vehicle to spark solutions and change. I went on to write and edit for America’s Wire, a MIJE project, and to use journalism to lift up disparities among underserved populations. Some of my inspiration to focus on social justice journalism was triggered by my time at MIJE— and Dori’s work.

In 2013, after George Zimmerman was acquitted of shooting to death Trayvon Martin, she wrote a column for the Oakland Tribune:

It’s time for us to look at what our distorted coverage of communities of color is doing to the country. It’s time for us to look at whether we’re meeting our ethical obligation to give our audience factual and credible information necessary to make rational decisions in its private life and about public policies.

Dori died on Tuesday, Feb. 24, but her voice will continue to permeate conversations on race, social justice and fairness. The scores of journalists she mentored, those she befriended and other colleagues, will, I hope, carry the lyrics of her ballad for what is fair, right and equitable in their work.

Bob Butler, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, said, “It’s hard to fathom how the institute is going to go on, but it’s got to go on.”

Dori’s work, her father’s work, is not done, and the Institute will go on. It must.

We can carry the Maynard legacy forward and ensure the Institute does go on by 1) making a commitment to hire from communities of color when we are in a position to do so; 2) pursuing diversity in coverage — whether you’re an editor or a reporter, ask yourself, “Does this story/angle accurately and adequately represent the community my outlet serves? Do I have enough voices; 3) honestly assessing our biases and blindspots; and 4) Giving to the MIJE so that more doors are opened for more journalists of color more often. It’s not that hard.

Policy Link Dori Maynard