Market, Sell, Educate & Inspire. An Editorial and Design Email Newsletter from Canright Communications.

Get Inspired

Words create worlds.
 –Abraham Joshua Heschel

What We’re Reading, Watching, and Listening To:

AYA recommends:
Breaking Away
Directed by Peter Yates

Gang Leader for a Day
Written by Sudhir Venkatesh

CHRISTINA recommends:
My Brilliant Career
Directed by Gillian Armstrong

Good Times, Bad Times
By Harold Evans

COLLIN recommends:
Socialnomics

Twitterville
By Shel Israel

KAREN recommends:
Ste Martaen

Black Hearts Hair House

LUKASZ recommends:
The Last Truck
Directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert

MICHAEL recommends:
Little People in the City
By Slinkachu

Proximity Magazine
Co-published by Ed & Rachael Marszewski


DECEMBER 2009
(773) 248-8935

Holiday ecard

Have Canright create a custom ecard you can send to your entire contact list. (And save time and postage!) $575-750. Call Christina at (773) 248-8935.

A Cover Letter that Reflects You

If you are in transition, Canright is offering the first 25 people who qualify a free half-hour cover letter consultation. For those who don’t qualify, we are offering the same consult for $50. The offer is good through the end of the year. Call Karen at (773) 248-8935 to schedule.

Our Most Popular Offer

We love startups. If you are a startup or know of a startup that needs communications or website support, let us know. Packages range from $2,200–3,500, depending on the combination of services. Some restrictions apply.

What’s Inside

In Our Own Words: Review of 2009+
Looking back at our newsletter articles from late 2008 through the present, it seems the past year-and-a-half was both the best and the worst of times. However, despite some tough times, several encouraging themes have emerged. READ MORE>

The Clicks Have It
In this world, you now vote with your mouse. Here are our most clicked-on articles, milestones, and recommendations from 2009. READ MORE>

Milestones
In our experience, the best ecards start with a vision. For our client, Executive Coaching Connections (ECC), it was a classy yet cost-effective card that would express their gratitude to their clients. READ MORE>

Canright worked with the Rothman Law Group to rebrand the firm’s logo and sales and marketing materials following a company name change and office move. READ MORE>

Canright worked with Audrey Rubin of Rubin Solutions and Rubin Resolutions to design information sheets on Rubin’s breadth of services. READ MORE>

In Our Own Words: Review of 2009+

By CHRISTINA CANRIGHT

I keep a cartoon from The New Yorker near my desk, which seems to sum up this past year and perhaps the year to come. In the cartoon, Charles Dickens is sitting with his editor, and the editor asks: “I wish you would make up your mind, Mr. Dickens. Was it the best of times or was it the worst of times? It could have scarcely been both.”

Looking back at our newsletter articles from late 2008 through the present, it is both. It’s the best and the worst of times. In the past year-and-a-half, the economy was the worst it has been since the ’30s. Trust in various institutions was undermined. Banks failed. Foreclosures hit new heights. Unemployment reached an alarming high. Entire industries shifted or declined.

Yet, of the many difficulties and seemingly endless bad news, encouraging themes have emerged. Our articles this year focused on three resounding themes: new ways of doing business in a challenging economy; leadership; and networking/social media.

It’s the organizations that get creative and experiment on how to provide greater service that make it. Just as nature experiments following a forest fire, said Dr. Bob Wright of the Wright Leadership Institute, companies also need to try on new ideas, new technologies, new ways to do business in a challenging economy.

It may be more difficult to find the business, but there are industries that do well during recessions—and some businesses use the economy as a time to reinvent themselves. Here is an excerpt from one of our late 2008 newsletter articles:

“‘Innovative’ is the key word. A number of speakers and winners at the Chicago Innovation Awards...made the point that it’s especially critical for companies and individuals to focus on innovation. ‘Try as many things as possible, in as short a time as possible, using as minimal resources as possible,’ said keynote speaker Barry Moltz.” To quote Albert Einstein: “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”

Leadership was also an important theme this past year. Companies are recognizing that, to thrive, they must empower their people. Our favorite example is transformational leader Brad Anderson, vice chairman and former Best Buy CEO, who received the 2009 Transformational Leadership Award, sponsored by the Wright Foundation for Transformational Leadership.

Here is an excerpt from our April issue: “In his acceptance talk, Mr. Anderson emphasized that he isn't and has not been the agent of transformation at Best Buy. Rather, he sets a vision and has created an environment in which employees have the freedom to pursue ideas at their local stores.” People feel empowered by the trust and freedom offered by their leaders. It opens the door and invites creativity.

This is important because “American business faces a crisis in trust,” said Joe Plumeri, CEO of the Willis Group Holdings, speaking at The Executives’ Club of Chicago in October. One consequence of today’s economic climate is that people and companies are afraid to take the risks required for growth and to restore trust.

Yet businesses must be willing to embrace change and new visions, and it’s a shared responsibility for everyone in a company. “Time to stop whining and start designing (the future),” said Dr. Don Beck, a world-renowned expert on organizational and societal transformation, who spoke at the November 20-21 Transformational Leadership Symposium: Staying Ahead of the Curve.

As Brad Anderson said in his address to the symposium, “We’re sitting on something very precious. We’re sitting in a place in time in which we may have an opportunity to do better than we’ve ever done before in our lives and discover a completely new way.”

And, finally, we talked a lot about networking and social media.

Here’s what we wrote in July: “During the course of the spring networking events, one constant in conversations, promotions, and email messages was this: social media. As the conversations suggested, it proved to be an important part of the event promotion mix but not the be-all and end-all it may seem. For promoting an event, the best approach is an integrated approach in which a personal touch predominates.” In other words, it was that final phone call that brought in the extra attendees. People want to connect, whether it’s via a networking event, a seminar, a phone call, Twitter, LinkedIn, IM—the choices keep expanding, because it all comes down to connections and relationships.

From our May issue: “The most critical element of creating and maintaining contact with a network is to use as wide a variety of means as possible—and as often as practical—from emails to blogs to newsletters to social media to phone calls to face-to-face meetings.”

Business happens through effective networks. In our October issue, we wrote that “effective networks are active, living networks.” Networking and social media are part of an entire mix of tools for finding new clients and helping to set up in-person meetings and conversations. All in all, it still is face-to-face meetings—off-line connections, if you will—that remain the goal of most network contacts. It’s important to learn how to be a hub, or focal point, in a network and understand how to maintain your networks—because ultimately, it comes down to relationships. As we wrote in October, “Humans are social, and, in business, it's always about relationships.”

To read the full text of any of our newsletters, visit our newsletter home.

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The Clicks Have It

By CHRISTINA CANRIGHT

In this world, you now vote with your mouse. Here are our most clicked-on articles, milestones, and recommendations from 2009:

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Milestones

Ecards for Executive Coaching Connections and Canright Communications

In our experience, the best ecards start with a vision. For our client, Executive Coaching Connections (ECC), a development firm that specializes in customized executive and leadership coaching, it was a classy yet cost-effective card that would express their gratitude to their clients. ECC supplied Canright with a fitting quotation and then let Canright handle the festive design. See the ecard here.

We also designed our own holiday ecard that began with Christina’s vision of creating something both wondrous and inspiring. Christina worked with our designers, Aya and Michael, to choose a thought-provoking quote and a stunning design. We sent our card out to clients, friends, and family last week and received the response we’d hoped for. One client even said, “Best card that I’ve seen this season!” View our ecard here.

Rothman Law Group Sales and Marketing Materials

Canright worked with the Rothman Law Group to rebrand the firm’s logo and sales and marketing materials following a company name change and office move. Canright designed business cards, stationery, notecards, and an email signature for the Chicago-based law firm. Devoted to its mission— to “listen to our clients’ needs and develop practical solutions”—Rothman specializes in estate, business, and charitable planning as well as estate and trust administration and asset protection.

Rubin Solutions / Rubin Resolutions Information Sheets

Canright worked with Audrey Rubin of Rubin Solutions and Rubin Resolutions to design information sheets on Rubin’s breadth of services. We used her existing branding to create straightforward yet informative sheets that detail each of her service areas and can be distributed to prospective clients. Rubin Solutions, Ltd. provides Chief Operating Officer outsourced and consulting services, and concentrates in profit-enhancement solutions for businesses. Rubin’s sister company, Rubin Resolutions, focuses on alternative dispute resolution.

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