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Lisa Cottrell

‘It was taken out of context.’

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A complaint often made by those quoted negatively in the media.

I’ve illustrated the issue on my website.  Jeff Reines, the news editor of the West Briton paper and website, wrote a summary of his experience of working with me.  I’ve chosen to quote him on the homepage as a testimonial snippet:

“I’d look elsewhere.”

Controversial? Ill advised to highlight? Ironic?  I think it’s a light hearted  way to illustrate the importance of context.  In full, Jeff said:

“I’ve worked closely with Lisa in various capacities and she is honest, ethical, professional, responsive, hard-working and a great communicator. She’s serious and determined when she needs to be, but always good fun and one of the best people I know. If these are not qualities you would desire in someone working on your behalf, I’d look elsewhere.”

Context is everything.

I help companies who have suffered a ‘misunderstanding’  by righting the wrong and offering advice on avoiding such miscommunication in the future.  Do get in touch if this is you…and I promise not to misquote you.

‘…words give me a fright…’

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It’s National Poetry Day, I’m writing a radio ad for a client so I’m reading aloud variants of scripts and I remember a poem by Brian Patten called ‘Aphasia’.   This condition affects comprehension and initiation of speech.
– – –
Aphasia
Brian Patten
I’m seven, and I’m dead bright,
But words give me a fright.
Words are bullies.
Sneaky things. They gabble and lie.
Sometimes trying to understand
Them makes me cry. Words hurt.
Words are all over the place.
They get shoved in my face.
I don’t know why but
Words make me cry.

I wish words were things
You could hug,
or that smelt nice.
I wish they came in bottles
Like fizzy-drinks, or melted
Like ice-cream. But they don’t.
Words are mean. They bully me.
Lock me away
From what I want to say.

I can’t even ask for help,
And I’m only seven
(And a bit).
Words spread nasty gossip.
They must. Otherwise why
Would people think I’m thick?

Words,
They make me sick
Inside.

– – –
To find out more about the Association for All Speech Impaired Children visit afasic.org.uk

Cool Cats Get the Cream

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Heavy weight retailer John Lewis has wowed a customer with a superb response to an enquiry.
A child lost its soft toy comforter sold seven years prior by the high street retailer.  The parents asks whether a replacement is still stocked but it isn’t.  So John Lewis commissioned a one off replica sample.
This is perfect brand integrity.  In one move John Lewis becomes more appealing to its family target and in acting as a small independent might, the chain shows its not too big to care.  The family are now singing the company’s praises – probably for the rest of their lives and the tale may even become part of family legend.  More importantly, they are today sending the story public.
This powerful positive exposure shows the value of listening to your customers, matching action to brand values and daring to break the rules.
theguardian.com/money/2014/sep/18/john-lewis-customer-service-toy-replace