The Strategic Minute

From retail to healthcare, from education to energy, and from finance to community non-profit organizations, Crystal (Smith) DeStefano and Michael Meath provide expertise in public relations and communications strategies for business. Based in Syracuse, Strategic Communications, LLC is dedicated to the media needs of its client organizations -- monitoring, proactive communication and response -- allowing leaders to focus on how their long-term strategies tie into their day-to-day activities.

Whether an organization is planning for the changing future, responding to a crisis, or promoting their mission to key stakeholders -- The Strategic Minute provides practical solutions to all communication needs. Topics include: best practices for media relations, internal communications, reputation management, community relations, social media and more.

Everyone Needs a Boss

Oct 19, 2015

Everyone needs a boss. At least that is what my dad used to tell me. For most of us, the boss is the person we report to at our jobs – the manager, director, vice president, or CEO. Someone who provides guidance, direction, and yes – occasionally reminds us of some key priorities, whether we like it or not. But for the person that starts their own business, who serves that role? One of the great freedoms that is realized when you create or run your own company is that you don’t have to report...

It's 4:15 am and I am having trouble sleeping. Nearly every morning I am scheduled to fly I wake up early, full of anticipation, anxiety, and excitement. It's been that way ever since I began this flight journey a few years ago. I hope the feeling never goes away. As an older first-time pilot, I sometimes wonder if I'm alone with this ceaseless excitement; however the majority of my pilot and instructor friends tell me that it's nothing more than a sign of the addiction that comes from the...

Over the last several years, I have facilitated hundreds of groups for multiple reasons – CEOs, board members, consumers, members of the U.S. military, marketing and communications leaders, students, faculty members, and others. The groups have considered how to approach a strategic opportunity, key market decisions, or how to work their way through a difficult and sensitive situation. Sometimes the role of facilitator has been assigned to me - other times it was simply something that seemed...

. Depending on which source you consider, the average American adult is subjected to somewhere between 2,000 and 20,000 messages each day. In our digitally enhanced, 24/7 world of instant communication, these images find their way to us through email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, web browsing, online and traditional news consumption, television, and more. They come at us whether we want them or not. No matter how you slice it, we are overrun with information. So, if your organization is trying...

Recently, I had the chance to teach corporate communications to executive-level MBA students at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management. The class was included as an elective in the iMBA curriculum as part of a long-term effort by the Public Relations Society of America and SU’s Newhouse School of Public Communications to inject formal communications education into business schools. Syracuse University is one of about a dozen universities around the United States to embark on this...

Recently I had the chance to learn about some groundbreaking research being done by my good friend and colleague Dr. Terry Flynn, faculty member at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON. Terry has been working for the past several months with some other researchers on a project sponsored by the Institute for Public Relations that is focused on how cognitive behavior and neuroscience relates to effective communications and senior leaders. It's still early in this research, but one finding that...

Too often, organizations are so focused on delivering their messages to the local news, government officials, on social media, in newsletters, and even holding special events – but they step right over their employees in order to get to all of these other channels. Your employees notice this, and they’re likely bitter about it. That is setting yourself up for failure.
An informed workforce leads to a more successful organization, as well as improved control over your reputation....

There are a lot of good things that lots of organizations do or accomplish every day. Some of them are nice internal efforts or achievements, some involve new initiatives for the organization, and some stuff has a real impact on the community that the organization serves.
There is a time and place for all of this news to be shared – but not all of it will make the cut for your daily newspaper or the evening television newscast. Certainly be sure to share all of your accomplishments –...

In times of trouble, or times of transition, we expect the president or CEO to be the delivering the messages. Sure – if the news is big enough. But the CEO doesn’t always have to be or organization’s spokesperson. In fact, there are several scenarios in which that can hurt your organization. For example, your CEO plain and simple just isn’t great on camera. That’s ok… for now. He or she is there to run the business of your organization. A communications director will often serve as the...

For the most part, the more media attention your organization receives, the more your stakeholders will recognize you. But visibility isn’t enough. It’s the content of news stories and online posts that determine whether your audiences will have a favorable impression of you. So how do you know whether the content was good or bad? And what do you DO with that information? We conduct in-depth analyses of our clients’ media coverage, including the tone of the stories (positive, neutral or...

Crystal describes building relationships with people in the news media for your business or organization.

Crystal shares her thoughts on communication and lack thereof in business, and how it can help you to rise above a tough situations with your audience.

Crystal talks about the loyalty we have to businesses and where others can begin on that same path.

In this episode, Michael Meath shares some advice for an organization when negative comments appear on their social media platform.

In this episode, Michael Meath investigates the correlation between spending and achieving success as an organization invests in branding opportunities.