Meet Henrik. He lives in Sweden. – SCN Encourager

He writes about his experiments in “worthwhile living.”

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 9.17.07 PMHe also likes ice cream.

That’s a plus.

Henrik Edberg is  34 years-old and he has been writing about his passionate pursuit of productivity and balanced thinking for almost 8 years.

His sincere focus on the topics of “productivity” and “balanced thinking” no doubt reveals to you why I find him so fascinating.

He’s so… not me.

My personal journey toward average could definitely benefit from a big shot of his gumption.

I like ice cream, too.

At least we have that much in common.

Henrik wrote an interesting piece called “How to Stop Procrastinating: 7 Timeless Tips.”

Wearable ads. This is called progress, right? – SCN Encourager

The early adopters are already off and running.

Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 5.37.49 PMDon’t tell me you’re one of them.

I’m still sitting up in the bleachers watching and wondering what the future impact of the new “wearable ads” technology will be.

I’m plopped comfortably in the cheap seats because I’m hoping to delay another inevitable “if you can’t beat them, join them” cave in.

New technology doesn’t automatically guarantee that something better is on the way – so I’m hopeful “wearable ads” have a rough and rocky road ahead.

Besides, isn’t the intended marketplace for “wearable ads” already saturated by millions of people like us walking around in t-shirts?

More sure doesn’t seem like merrier to me.

Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 5.36.38 PMOkay.

I can’t deny that carrying around a tiny ad on a wristwatch is easier than hauling around a sandwich sign.

So whatcha think?

You take the lead.

I’ll follow.

Here are two articles that spell out two contrasting futures for “wearable ads.”

This one describes seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

This other one provides an excellent “how to” for jumping on the bandwagon now.

Futurist David Zach nails it when he says that it’s frequently not easy to determine if something is a “fad” or a ‘”trend.”



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Another gem emerges from my scraps of scribbles – SCN Encourager

Oops! I found one more habit shared by experts.

And I have to give Cindy the credit for this one.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 8.51.45 PMHours after I had emailed yesterday’s Encourager about three shared habits of thought leaders and experts, she asked me how long I was going to leave my bits of paper piled up on our dining room table.

While you and I  know that “extensive research” sometimes has to left alone to rest for awhile  – like a fine wine or a starting pitcher in baseball – I didn’t think it would be a good idea to point this out.

Frequently it’s difficult for a non-school communicator to understand our ways.

So, I just scooped up my tiny scraps and walked over to the trash can under our kitchen sink.

On my way, I spotted a question mark and the words “I don’t know” penned on one of the scraps.Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 9.14.28 PM

I can’t believe I had overlooked this note – because it represents another common behavior embraced by thought leaders and experts.

What experts do (or so I’ve been told) – SCN Encourager

Premier thought leaders and experts share several characteristics.

And to tell you what they are, I wish I was able to just look in the mirror and report back to you.

Vector expert theme illustrationBut since life is so unfair, I must use a magnifying glass and my copyrighted “outrospection” technique to obtain answers.

Thankfully, my fact-facting process is fairly simple.

It involves finding a magnifying glass in our family’s “junk drawer” and then squeezing in a podcast to listen to while I walk the dog and putz around the house (while dodging wedding plan discussions). 

If there’s not breaking news or a major disruptor – like the Tigers on TV – I’m good to go.

My tried and mostly true “outrospection” technique never fails to support my personal journey toward average.

I listened to a “sales and marketing” leadership podcast which presented several memorable points relevant to school leaders and communicators.

At least I thought it did according to the scribbles I had scratched out on tiny scraps of paper.

See? That magnifying glass is no stage prop. Scribbling stuff down right away and then deciphering it later is the only way for me to actually remember “memorable points.”

Golden number one on whiteThe first gold nugget I extracted about the habits of thought leaders and experts is that they are consistently “looking to keep learning.”

Improve your game with Miguel Cabrera’s mindset – SCN Encourager

Miguel Cabrera has more than superior strength, keen eyesight, and speedy-kwik reflexes.

He probably owns a Swiss bank and a small army somewhere.

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 4.26.52 PMBut “Miggy” also possesses two other qualities that we should adopt and make a part of our professional resource “arsenal” as Tigers’ commentator Jim Price would say. (and say, and say, and say…)

And while I wish the two qualities I’m referencing were  “youth” and “a winsome fun-loving smile,” I’m not.

For me, these attributes are long gone.

No, I’m talking about two significant characteristics of Cabrera’s mindset that offer potential benefit for each one of us.

Now perhaps you’re wondering how I can claim to even know about what goes on inside Miguel Cabrera’s head.

Admittedly, we aren’t Skype buddies or anything – nor did I camp out for weeks across the street from his home.

But I heard Tiger teammate Nick Castellanos, a 22 year-old rookie 3rd baseman, asked about Cabrera on an afternoon sports talk radio show.

The questioner wanted to know what it must be like to be in the locker room, in the dugout, and on the field with a future “Hall of Famer” like Cabrera.

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 5.06.01 PMCastellanos responded in a manner that reminded me of a smooth and savvy (yet woefully underpaid) school communicator.

He said that rubbing elbows with Cabrera day-to-day was a major career uplifter.

First of all, Cabrera has an “enthusiastic joy for the game” that is both consistent and contagious.

His approach to the game is inspirational and he genuinely desires everyone around him to do well.

Castellanos said he’ll always be a better teammate and player himself because of his time with Cabrera.

Castellanos then said that “Miggy has a uniquely blank mind.”

Following the NSPRA 2014 Seminar via hashtag – SCN Encourager

Check one more accomplishment off my bucket list.

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 6.26.56 PMI had never followed a national event’s hashtag on Twitter before.

NSPRA’s school PR pros did it right and made my three day “click fest” with #nspraseminar14 more than worthwhile.

It was actually a lot of fun.

And it was great to see the raves our own Jean MacLeod (Oakland Schools,MI) received for her social media presentation.

Of course, I’ve got to keep all of this a secret from Cindy.

She might expect me to turn off the TV more often and just follow the Tigers on Twitter.

I’m pretty sure that watching less sports on TV is high up on her bucket list, so mum’s the word back home.

Anyway, the variety of topics covered along with the insights offered by the presenters motivated me to begin making plans for next summer’s NSPRA 2015 Seminar.

It’ll be in Nashville and that seems more do-able for me (aka can afford the bus fare).

You’ll impress and amaze if you do this – SCN Encourager

These four tips really work!

I’m grateful that a seasoned PR pro (a member of our very own tribe) sent this my way.

contentNo doubt about it.

You should always review and double-check your work before you release one of your projects for public view.

I’m sure you’d agree that offering the excuse of a tiny budget or a tight deadline to justify skipping the final quality control process is the desperate tactic of a lazy amateur.

Besides, those excuses never work for me no matter how many times I’ve tried them.

So, given the exploding popularity of video, this straight-forward article containing a few suggestions for making your future video production “bulletproof” comes at a good time.

Give it a look.

I called our colleague on my cell phone to thank him personally for emailing me this link.

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 3.29.43 PM“I enjoyed the article,” I said “I’m going to feature it in an upcoming Encourager. That first tip about closing your eyes to experience your video was brand new to me.”

“Close your eyes to experience a video?” he asked. “What in the world are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about the article you sent me,” I responded somewhat sheepishly. “You must know the one I mean. It starts out by saying you can improve your video projects by closing your eyes… Now do you remember it?

“Oh yeah, ” he said. “Now I do. I forgot it was actually about video production. I thought I sent you tips on how school communicators could get more enjoyment out of reading your Encourager. Closing my eyes always works wonders for me.”


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A silver screen A-HA from an ape and Iron Man – SCN Encourager

New learning can zip in at you from any angle.

And it can come in any shape.

While it would be awesome to be at the NSPRA 2014 Seminar now taking place in Baltimore, I’m making do back here in Michigan using a blend of Netflix, the “Hollywood Reporter,” and Forbes.

So, here’s my report from from the peanut gallery.

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 3.54.36 PMIt begins by touting the financial success of the Iron Man franchise (aka movie sequels on autopilot).

Iron Man has a surprisingly impressive box office history.

Although I didn’t go to any of these movies myself, I can’t believe I missed the numbers.

Maybe we school folks just aren’t all that experienced in working with rising revenues.

See for yourself.

  • Iron Man 1 earned $585M
  • Iron Man 2 earned $623M
  • Iron Man 3 earned $1200M

How can can it be that Iron Man 3 had twice the ticket sales of Iron Man 1?

I’m sure this mystery is keeping someone, somewhere awake all alone at night.

Was the acting all that much better?

Monday. The 12 parts of your day. – SCN Encourager

Do you start your day with grand expectations?


The communicator's crossroad

The communicator’s crossroad

Do your best plans and intentions frequently get derailed by interruptions and unanticipated events?

Do you walk around carrying the hope that the local media will take note of at least one of the positive stories taking place in your district?

And if the media actually does notice… that it will report it out accurately?

Well, you’re not alone.

And you’ve got more than me for empathy.

So, how’s that for good news?!?

People from all over who are involved in PR share similar experiences.

Way to step on the dog! – SCN Encourager

Huh? What does “step on the dog” mean? 

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 4.11.59 PM

Oh, you wouldn’t believe some of the the replies I get back from the Encourager!

Some of them even cause me to scrunch up my forehead and do a bit of speedy-kwik research.

For example, take this reply to my Encourager about marketing mess-ups.

“Hey, Tom! Way to step on the dog.”