Great ideas – whether from research, expertise or an organizational key message – often never see the light of day. There are various reasons for this such as time, resources and the inability to communicate a compelling message. The result is costly for the below audiences:
Researchers and Academics – a great research paper that has important ramifications for different individuals is only read by a handful of academics.
Thought Leaders – an important idea that can move an organization forward stays bottled up in someone’s mind.
Institutions – a university, research organization or group isn’t able to achieve key objectives.
Learning and Development Departments – there is a lack of knowledge internally about how learning activities are tied to business objectives.
I started Experiential Communications, a consultancy based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to address these challenges. Experiential Communications’ purpose is to ensure that important ideas are heard in a world of misinformation, distracted audiences and alternative facts. I do this by deploying smart communications strategies to disseminate organizational key messages, important research findings and insights based on expertise. This is primarily accomplished through strategic storytelling, engaging education and robust reviews.
1. STRATEGIC STORYTELLING
This involves crafting compelling content (white papers, articles, case studies, blog posts, video scripts, social media content, podcasts, etc.) that will resonate with specific niche audiences. I approach this through the following:
- Co-creation – I bring fresh perspectives and a unique style and combine this with the client’s viewpoint and knowledge of their organization. We ultimately create a final product that is far better than what we could have accomplished alone.
- So what? – As I review the content I create, I will frequently ask this question from the perspective of the targeted audience. If the content doesn’t adequately pass the “so what” test, then let’s eliminate this.
- Simplicity – Less is more and let’s say goodbye to jargon. Keep in mind this advice from Richard Branson in his article Why You Should Do Away with Jargon: “Some people love speaking in jargon, using fancy words and turning everything into acronyms. Personally, I find this simply slows things down, confuses people and causes them to lose interest. It’s far better to use a simple term and commonplace words that everyone will understand, rather than showing off and annoying your audience.”
- Paint a picture – Often ideas are communicated in the abstract and theoretical. To overcome this, it is important to integrate stories, examples and / or metaphors.
2. ENGAGING EDUCATION
Features of my communications workshops for researchers, academics and thought leaders are:
- Experiential learning – “Experiential” is incorporated into my company’s name for good reason. You can’t learn to drive by just studying the handbook. You have to practice and get on the road. Ditto for strategic communications. After teaching the key concepts and highlighting best practices, attendees directly apply the learning through a series of different practical and hands-on exercises.
- Global perspectives – Our training materials incorporate the insights of journalists, communications professionals and individual experts with a track record of generating positive visibility.
- Customized – All my materials are adapted based on the organization’s particular context.
- Follow-up – I provide resources and activities to ensure that a learning experience is not a one-off event.
3. ROBUST REVIEWS
I partner with clients to identify the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities around their communications. Generally, this process involves a report based on:
- Stakeholder feedback
- Investigation of communications operations
- Review of competitors
- Highlighting industry best practice
Key findings from the report are packaged into a presentation that is shared with the client. As a follow-up, these insights are a base to create communications strategies aligned to the client’s big-picture objectives.
Clients of these services include College Advising Corps; Duke Corporate Education; Duke University’s Global Value Chains Center; Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight; Geneva Centre for Security Policy; George Mason University’s School of Business, IEDC Bled School of Management; IMD; London Business School; Montreux School of Business; Nestle; North American Society for the Sociology of Sport; North Carolina State University’s Emerging Issues Initiative; RTI International; Seattle University; University of Tor Vergata in Rome; and VIF International Education. I also bring my experiences leading public relations and communications initiatives for two of the top business schools in the world: IMD in Switzerland and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
I never aspire to grow a huge agency and be the CEO of a firm with hundreds of employees. Rather, I believe that I can provide the most value at the most affordable price to clients by teaming together with other trusted consultants and freelancers (if necessary). Here is more information about our affiliates.
In January 2017, I wrote two books:
- The Higher Ed Marketing Communications Assessment
- Maximize Your Impact: How Academics Can Communicate Knowledge Through Traditional and Digital Media
I enjoy creating content, particularly via podcasting. I interview learning leaders from different organizations on the Learning and Development Stories podcast. I also produce a podcast focused on higher education communications.
My writing has appeared in Inside Higher Education, the LSE Impact Blog and PR Daily and I have been fortunate to speak at various industry conferences.
My perspective on life and work is global. I lived and worked in Europe (Switzerland and Germany) for 10 years. I am always keen to collaborate with individuals and brands with global aspirations.
I am a practicing Christian. My Christian faith guides my life, and I try to represent Christ – a great communicator himself – with my words and actions. I am married and have two young sons who keep me on my toes. Both my wife and boys teach me different communications lessons every day! I am a huge basketball fan and enjoy traveling and following global affairs.
Kevin Anselmo is the Founder and Principal of Experiential Communications, a consultancy that aims for important ideas to be heard in a world of misinformation, distracted audiences and alternative facts. He does this by deploying smart communications strategies to disseminate organizational key messages, important research findings and insights based on expertise. This is primarily accomplished through strategic storytelling, engaging education and robust reviews.
Current and past clients include College Advising Corps; Duke Corporate Education; Duke University’s Global Value Chains Center; Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight; Geneva Centre for Security Policy; George Mason University’s School of Business, IEDC Bled School of Management; IMD; London Business School; Montreux School of Business; Nestle; North American Society for the Sociology of Sport; North Carolina State University’s Emerging Issues Initiative; RTI International; Seattle University; University of Tor Vergata in Rome; and VIF International Education..
He is the author of Maximize Your Impact: How Academics Can Communicate Knowledge Through Traditional and Digital Media and host of the Learning & Development Stories podcast.
Previously, Kevin was Director of Public Relations for Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and prior to that managed the media relations for IMD in Switzerland. Currently based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Kevin lived and worked in Switzerland for eight years and in Germany for two years. He has led public relations initiatives in various countries around the world.