Category Archives: communications

“Reindeer Games” at Davos

I have expressed my opinions about the current president of my country on various social media platforms for nearly three years but I have never actually written about him. This is largely because as a communications professional I never wanted to contribute to satiating his hunger for his name and photo to be widely shared,

“There’s no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.”

~ Brendan Behan

In his address at The World Economic Forum at Davos Emmanuel Macron referenced ‘snow’, climate change and skeptics and that got me thinking about Rudolph and how he had torudolph prove his value to the clique of ‘regular, flying reindeer’. At some point, in most of our lives, we will face similar challenges of inclusion where we need to offer the best of ourselves to prove we are worthy. The concepts, and application, of justice and equality mean a great deal to me personally.  The WEF, widely and erroneously referred to as ‘Davos’, has the capacity to test the mettle of most confident and seasoned of intellectuals and thought leaders. Women are still in the minority, with improvements this year and an attempt to appropriate the #MeToo movement.

Based upon initial reports it would seem that, once again, the 45th president of the United States put his bravado before expertise. He attempted to thrust himself into rooms where he was unwelcome, and was physically removed according to some of his handlers in attendance. (I belong to some private social media groups where this has been ‘the topic of the day’.) After a year of his MAGA rhetoric the world has moved on, and away, from including the United States. Self-protection and mockery have replaced diplomatic deference. (Selected from many similar ones) these words from Nicholas Dungan, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, sum up the current climate as told to CNN “…Trump is going for show rather than substance.” Continuing Dungan said, “the rest of the planet is moving quite swiftly to fill the void of US leadership in the global system which the US itself created.

I grew up in New York state. Just enough younger to be aware of the shady real estate and other dealings of Trump. As the global elite jetted and helicoptered into Davos I recalled how passionately ‘The Donald’ has always aspired to be included in the upper realms of polite society. Some of the media headlines allude to Trump’s acceptance by the attendees at the WEF (based on the packed auditorium which also heard boos and hisses during his speech). I believe, as many do, that the real power in those rooms still find him insignificant to their plans for globalization and the eventual elimination of the nation state altogether. More so, political leaders have made it clear that a wide swath of current American policies are not welcome and they are advancing without the United States.

The ‘shade’ which the Guggenheim just threw at Trump speaks volumes about how little regard their storied institution has for him. I have no doubt that had the 18kt gold toilet goldhad not been used by 100,000 people mysophobic Trump would have delighted in putting his Forbes smacked butt on said throne. Perhaps they recognised that his insistence that the fake Renoir hanging in Trump’s property was real was sufficient rationale to deny his request (notwithstanding the lending restrictions of the Thannhauser Collection) as he does have a history of associating with criminal elements.

In a relatively short period of time Rudolph provided value to his peers and everyone around him, no greater good has been realised by ‘the election’ of Trump. Enough already. For the world it’s been a long two years. We are all doggedly tired of the lies, of the self-aggrandizement, of the abuse of power, of the systematic efforts to rape and pillage America and the rest of the world for his personal gain, of the scandals, of the divisiveness and the rising violence prompted by his hateful words. I don’t want to believe that 45 was enthusiastically invited to Davos where the accomplished in a great many spheres at least go through the motions of setting an agenda for the greater good. Rather I suspect that through a series of backroom phone calls and manipulations he was able to insert himself there to assuage the pervasive emptiness of his ego. Like a spoiled child constantly interrupting adult conversations it has become a moral imperative (even if it will impact shareholder value in the short-term) to reign in this incompetent and dangerous man. Just as (some) politicians have recognised that Trump is irrelevant, media bosses need to stop sending journalists to ‘cover him’. Please. Stop feeding the beast.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschi. To order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 







‘Know Thyself’ – Applied To Your Brand

Like any worthy communications geek I am a firm believer in the value which authenticity creates for a business and subsequently in establishing a brand’s reputation. The creative process is vast and nuanced. The ‘thing’ that drives a creative person forward is their passionate commitment to manifest their vision. Perseverance, certainly a measure of luck, but mostly (I believe) it is infusing authenticity into every detail which makes the rest of us take notice, purchase, and eventually become brand ambassadors. Creative people don’t (necessarily) set out to win accolades, while those are very nice and certainly add to financial success, innovators simply mean to honour their passion and provide those like-minded with their solution. “If you build it…”

I’ve recently encountered two Scandinavian businesses creating global buzz within their respective niches. So completely have Sweden’s ASKET and Norway’s Maaemo gotten it right I want to share them with you as a sort of litmus test for building your own brand efforts. The online identity for both companies is austere Scandinavian – clean, contemporary, timeless, and compelling.

One company offers a permanent (non-trendy, wearable) collection of things men want to wear (and women will likely ‘borrow’) in 15 different sizes, the other gently guides your perspective about sustainability, localisation and cultural heritage through gourmet (nearly private dining) experiences. What these three men, August Bard Bringéus, Jakob Nilsson Dworsky and Esben Holmboe Bang, have in common is their openness about their philosophies, they take us on their journey and they put their names ‘on it’.

ASKET tOf course there is an element of personal branding to this but less than might be found outside of the Nordics. Resonance drives our desire. We want their end products (or experience) for ourselves because authenticity and transparency (even so far as breaking down precise costs) are so integral to their brands.

I had multiple windows open on my laptop when the Maaemo movie began playing. Thus, my initial exposure to Maaemo’s story was through the thoughtfully selected ‘sound’. I knew (without looking) I was about to experience something reverent, primal and ancient, something which would awaken my intellect and senses and move the needle on my perception of Nordic gastronomy. Something the storied Michelin guide recognises in Maaemo having awarded Esben and his small team its third Michelin star.

“To me, the smell of Norway is fire, smoke, salt and drama. There is a useful pain and nerve in the history of the Norwegian people that affects the food in a good way.”                                                                                                                                  ~ Esben Holmboe Bang

asket pileEqually so the perfection offered by August Bard Bringéus. He wanted a white t-shirt.

What both August and Esben have in common is that they view themselves as ‘outsiders’ (either to the culture or the industry vertical) and their efforts are their personal interpretations which they offer for our consideration.

So much about ensuring we even have a planet to call home is about making conscious purchasing choices, buying less but of great, lasting quality – equally valued whether experiential or material, and aesthetically exciting. We don’t get to that purchasing decision without the creative efforts of others. Without their peeling away the layers of their journey we are stuck with simply buying a sweater or eating a meal. As the specter of mediocrity runs rampant perhaps in 2018 examples such as Maaemo and Asket can serve to remind us, might ignite our collective consciousness, to elevate our consumption. Regardless, the way they have aligned their brands with their respective ethos sets standards worth emulating.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschi. To order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 



What Influencers Don’t Do

#Mindsphere - Twitter Search 2017-11-06 20_26_25

Twitter analytics for the hashtag Seimens #MindSphere at #GartnerSYM Barcelona

Here’s a hard truth about your digital presence. Despite the fact that you, or your boss, want someone with 20m+ followers to manage your corporate social media accounts not only can your budget not afford such, but they are not interested. An influencer is only interested in expanding their personal brand and driving revenue from their influence. On the off chance you have an unlimited budget and are able to establish a relationship the content they develop will reflect that priority, putting them in the spotlight yours will be residual benefit by association.

I speak of this with experience in both participating in the inaugural, and observing the second, #ShareIstria campaigns. Getting all starry-eyed over an influencer will not help you accomplish your business objectives for brand awareness, driving revenue, reputation management, supporting employee recruitment and retention or launching your new offering. What does help your business succeed in leveraging the digital landscape is strategic content coupled with best practices for platforms relevant to your specific business. Whether it’s a tweet about an egg, or tech related, a communications professional should be able to generate the kind of results I share here (there’s no messing with third party analytics).

It used to be that everyone thought that they could ‘do’ corporate communications. In every tech start-up I ever worked in I invariably inherited a less than optimal corporate identity, messaging that failed to convey the actual business case for the product suite, and really unfortunate collateral materials. Now, because we all walk around with a Smartphone and we have multiple social media accounts everyone thinks they can do social media. Sorry, doing and succeeding are too different things.

Yesterday was the first day of Gartner SYM (Symposium) in Barcelona. For transparency sake I am not physically present, but I have been remote curating. The screen shot as the leading photo for this post is an example of what a marketing communications professional can (or should be able to) do for your business. The top ranking, just as tens of thousands of impressions, or double-digit engagement percentages do not just happen. These are made possible because the content development has years of strategic thought behind it.

#Mindsphere Open #IoT at #GartnerSYM 2017-11-07

16 hours, analytics for my curated tweet of Siemens #Mindshare 

What’s interesting, even for me, is that my tweet is re-written from various parties tweets including that of the original creator Siemens and yet my tweet ranked higher than any others. These results are not an anomaly. I manage this repeatedly, in Dubai, in London, on the ground or remotely (as evidenced by this Twitter moment screen from a follower’s feed).

The global average rate of engagement is 1.6%. The generally accepted success benchmark for a tweet is 1000 impressions. If you have questions, I am happy to spend some time with you via Skype. Ping me.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschi. To order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

Disruption, Are You Rigid?

According to my dear friend Marilyn there are two kinds of people, those who prefer towers and the others which prefer caves, the former observers and the latter shelterers I would add that neither of these can hold off the ‘inconvenience’ of disruption.

The result of our cumulative experiences makes each of us shelter in uniquely different ways. Despite our protests we all have finely defined boxes, sometimes our boxes include massively built walls, which make us comfortable and ‘safe’. Entrenched in our comfort we grow ever less capable of being expansive. Our self-imposed exile of stability restricts our movement as surely as shackles might. Disruption is going to happen so I think it is prudent to recall Dr. Wayne Dyer’s words:

karma jpegBrainyQuotes image.

When we close ourselves off from disruption can be as small as the cap left off the toothpaste, or the toilet seat left up by a new lover, a guest in our home slicing a lemon differently or being a fresh air fanatic living in our homes with the windows thrown open (my hand is raised high here). Disruption after all is unsettling, upsetting, annoying and it is an enormous opportunity for growth.  The irony is, that if asked, those who are the most thoroughly entrenched truly believe that they are functioning in a state of expansive love, generosity and kindness – the truth is only on their terms.

Rigidity is not my friend, or yours. In the two years I spent as a digital nomad I have had ample opportunity to serve as ‘the disruptive force’, and I do mean “serve” in the truest sense of that word.

Lots is made of ‘being agile’ whether an organisation or an individual, embracing change, rather than fighting it, allows the best possible outcome to manifest. And yes, I really do believe that on our spiritual path in attaining at-one-ment with The Universe, or God, having our comfort zone pushed and pulled out of its normal shape is very good for us, necessary even. Disruption forces us to confront what we fear and let it lead us forward, or we can beat a hasty retreat from it returning to what makes us comfortable.

Recently I made a choice to help someone spend more quality time with their elderly parents prior to their departure on a rather long trip, but I needed to establish boundaries around my offer. Those parameters would allow me to be generous with my time and culinary talents but ensure that I didn’t bear an undue financial burden. We are always free to choose, but we are not free from the consequences of our choices. The response to my words came with consequences, disruption to the stability of my life and a hefty financial cost for the individual. Here is where personal responsibility kicks in, but it could be something ‘more’. I fully accept the karma of my choice but I have to wonder if The Universe was really using me as an instrument, or somehow protecting me (yet again). What if my words were meant to as an opportunity to help move this person dramatically away from the entrenched rigidity of their life? (my perception). Their subsequent choice denies their pets my love and companionship and their home security, and they will subsequently incur a cost of €50 a day for eight months while I am denied a measure of stability to write and conduct business. Quel domage.

Rigidity or resilience, how do you deal with disruption?

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 


Reputation Management and Appropriation, Lessons in Ethics from Edmond Dantès

My study of communications and public relations was taught by passionate adherents to Ivy Lee’s Declaration of Principles – that it is the ethical responsibility of a public relations practitioner to offer uncompromising truth to the public on behalf of one’s clients. Perhaps because of this, and despite working in high tech for 16 years, it should be un-surprising that I view the use of technology in the form of bots exponentially deployed during the United States 2016 presidential elections, let alone anywhere else, as abhorrent.

My various social media accounts address the complexities of my person; Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram serve as outlets for my professional existence while Pinterest and Facebook are more intimate expressions – at the intersection of these social platforms is my blog. While I have a blog I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself ‘a blogger’ (it is not a commercial venture). Yet my writing on this platform, having gone viral, has had impact – in part responsible for shifting public policy and the proposed exploitation of the pristine waters of the Adriatic in 2015/2016.  While building my own Instagram presence I admit to being thoroughly perplexed as to how (with the quality of photos and nominal content offered) fellow travel specific accounts could possibly have earned followers approaching 100,000 in less than a month. Thus, the clarity offered in reading Jess Gibson’s Dear PRs post referencing ‘bot-gate’ was genuinely appreciated, and it’s also why I take a particular delight at the failure of Instagress.

The truth has always found a way to be revealed, in our connected world discovery of appropriation, fraud or illicit behavior comes down to days, minutes or even seconds with a few keystrokes and keen intelligence. Throughout history there have been individuals whose jealousy, ruthlessness, greed and sloth have risked fortunes and reputations for (perceived) gain or retribution – Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo anyone? Just as Edmond Dantès took full advantage of his time falsely imprisoned to learn every skill imaginable in developing a faultless reputation and re-branding himself, every effort in thought leadership and in garnering a dedicated follower base, and fostering epic levels of engagement takes considerable patience, skill and acuity.

Beyond the Instagram bloggers’ ‘bot-gate’ other more widely known unveilings of deceit relate to appropriation of the resistance movement by Pepsi and State Street of New York City’s iconic bronze sculpture created by Arturo Di Modica.

The Tate Modern offers this essay on appropriation,

[…] to create a new situation, and therefore a new meaning or set of meanings, for a familiar image. Appropriation art raises questions of originality, authenticity and authorship…

All great art is subversive, a commentary manifest with physicality. Co-opting the passion found in resistance to injustice in its many forms, feminism, racism, environmental stewardship, and its related arts for commercial gain by the advertising industry has a vast history in the United States.


I don’t like what Fearless Girl ‘is’ specifically because she is contrived by Mad Men to gender-wash their clients’ bottom line. The $2.5 trillion (under management) State Street Global Advisors opted for a publicity stunt on International Women’s Day of instead of doing the long overdue ‘hard work’ of creating a work environment of equality and gender partity or proactively investing in education for girls on a global basis. For the unaware allow me to point out that advertising (in which both Pepsi and State Street engaged) is only related to public relations as it is a part of the greater communication functions in general. It seems to me if you are retained to represent the interests of a seven or eight figure client your responsibilities should include candid risk assessment to any proposal you present. Ultimately this all comes down to proactive reputation management versus putting your client in the rather costly position of damage control through crisis management.

With so much to lose why take a chance in the first place?

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 


(Just) 10 reasons your brand can no longer “opt-out” of social media


Image sourced from by VistaPrint

  1. The long lead times of traditional corporate communications and marketing no longer work in our always-on dynamic world. Real-time conversation now fuels new and existing B2C and B2B customers.
  2. An active, brand-relevant online presence enables customers to trust you.
  3. “Marketing today is not about what a company says about itself. It’s about what its customers say about the company” – and customers are now saying this on social media.
  4. Customer service is now social. Happy customers become brand evangelists who drive revenues. Want an example? See KLM.
  5. Your audience works, lives, and plays on their smartphones, fish where the fish are! One-fifth of leisure travellers worldwide use social platforms in their travel planning, and the hospitality vertical realises an average of an 11% conversion rate. The Economist made a studied investment last year in social media, and enjoyed a 31% increase in its subscription rate year-over-year.
  6. Social media as an SEO ranking signal is increasing in importance. 93% of online experiences begin through a search engine and SEO-based inbound leads (generated from online management) have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate.
  7. Use social media to educate about new properties, rebranding efforts, and renovations and in doing so, hotels are selling out months before re-opening.
  8. Content marketing and executive branding objectives offered through social media establish thought leadership in months rather than the years required by traditional public relations efforts.
  9. Brand storytelling is now a necessity, not a luxury. Social media presence boosts brand recognition, marketing, and recruiting, while creating a richer customer experience. Treating employees as valued stakeholders aids in retention, cuts down on hiring and training costs and also creates a huge pool of brand ambassadors.
  10. If 90 year-old Queen Elizabeth II recognises the value of proactively managing her online reputation why haven’t you? Every CEO needs to get serious about the management of their professional reputation and that of their company to ensure that s/he controls the content. Managing your reputation online is a critical part of any integrated global marketing strategy and social media provides you with a fast, effective way to do this.



Visit @Commarglo to learn more about leveraging social media for your brand.

I have a lot in common with Goethe

“Nothing is worth more than this day.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

20150123_122044I truly believe there are only two kinds of people – those whose reality check precludes seeing what those whose ‘romanticism’ of the world makes things ‘more’. They are not exactly in conflict but a glaring dose of frustration with one another is easy enough. I fall into the latter category of people. I am a person to whom life’s most basic and wonderful magic happens frequently, unexpectedly and with which I also feel like I am functioning in a state of heightened grace. I am not unrealistic (I don’t think) but it frankly doesn’t occur to me to dwell on the less attractive aspects of our life here on Earth except to try and change things for the better where possible.  This is not about change. This is about small pleasures that people (everywhere, regardless of culture or country) miss.

“A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust: First Part

This afternoon I was in the town of Gospić, Croatia. I will be honest, painfully so, realistically so – 20150123_123402it is a down on the heels small urban area with not much in terms of attractiveness to draw one to it (I can write this being from the Rust Belt). You will have to pass through it to reach Nikola Tesla’s birthplace in nearby Smiljan or to the breathtaking mountains of Velebit with its 1/2 million acres of pristine UNESCO protected wilderness and home of Linden Tree Retreat and Ranch (from where I write this post, the wood fire gently crackling, tea mug beside me holding steaming ginger root tea).  It is not Zadar, or Split, Trogir or Šibenik in terms of ancient decaying prettiness offered by sun-bleached stone from Brac (or is it Hvar?) and crystalline blue, aquamarine and emerald waters of the Adriatic.  Nevertheless I found beauty – just as I often do – because through the lens in which I view the world it is infinitely more pleasant to live in fullness of being, in a state of joy in discovery, of delight over the mundane (to others).

My friends know that I am a freak about open air farmers’ markets (okay and those actually housed with arcades). Today was market day in Gospić; ordinary people selling or buying carrots, beets and sausages, lettuce and eggs, Brussel sprouts and oh, thick naturally coloured wool, hand-knit socks.  I had a short list in mind but not written down – in such an environment shopping is about what looks good, whose smile meets yours, what in taking a long view inspires you to cook as a result of what is offered for sale. Sometimes purchases result from a semi-conscious decision to stretch completely and utterly outside of your comfort zone – that happened to me today. A lovely man wearing perfectly coordinating shades of Loden and olive 20150123_110641green had a roll of made-at-home luncheon meat, the renderings from pig fat, homemade bread and pressed at home apple juice (not cider). I said Dobar dan and he reciprocated and smiled.  He took his knife and sliced off a piece of his bacon fat and offered it to me to try; in Croatia this is the way most people eat this – it is considered a delicacy. Now it would be incredibly rude of me not to accept this despite it being beyond comprehension to consume in the States where I am from.  I do not have a Poker Face – and he burst out laughing, which of course made me laugh at myself and I said “I think it is an acquired taste” which made him laugh harder. He spoke no English but he seemed to understand every word I said. At this point the luncheon roll, which seemed to be some variation on Head Cheese, was being sliced and offered to me. My stomach is having a conversation with my head along the lines of “oh, dear!” but my head is telling my stomach to shut up and just go with the flow despite the lingering taste of bacon fat on my tongue. I confess I enjoy Haggis (am actually lamenting the fact that I am not anywhere near Scottish soil to celebrate Burns Night this year) but it’s only 20150123_110807because I prefer to pretend that I don’t actually know what haggis is made of because on my first tasting I didn’t know and I enjoyed it enormously; when in doubt fall back on such an experience. The truth is that this is likely a one-off; it wasn’t so much about how tasty (or not) it was, or whether the sum of the parts was more appealing than the individual contributions of the various parts of the pig that went into it, for me it was the experience of sharing what this man had made, and his clear desire to be in this moment with me. So for 20 kuna ($2.92 USD / 2.60 Euro) I bought a piece about ½” thick and he gave me the end of the loaf of bread he was offering for sampling, and something my erstwhile, globe-trotting, Scottish chalet mate Calum thought disgusting when he tasted it, a handful of what remains when pig fat is rendered. I will have this for lunch tomorrow. I will enjoy it “for the experience of it” and I will be happy with the memory shared with this lovely man.

I also bought some sausages that my chalet mate Calum had requested I pick up – a kilo 20150123_110159requiring a couple of extra links added to the scale, mirth and another couple of photos.  But by far the purchase that will stay with me the longest, serving to remind me of this most pleasant hour and a half of my life, is a new pair of ridiculously soft, thick, hand-knit, wool socks. I forgot to take 20150123_161600a picture of the woman that sold them to me (she also knit them) so I went back – to both of our delight, and hugs and Croatian kisses goodbye.

Who is richer? The realist or the romantic? Goethe wrote a lot of truly wonderful things – but I end with these words:

“If you’ve never eaten while crying you don’t know what life tastes like.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If you enjoy my blog please consider sending me the value of a cup of tea in your currency via PayPal to and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you!