10 tips for travelling during Covid

Almost twenty years ago, the horrific events that transpired on September 11, 2001, changed travel forever. In the immediate aftermath, many of us thought that removing belts and shoes, tossing our beverages, and foregoing metal utensils on flights were part of temporary measures.

Now we don’t bat an eyelid at the stringent airport security screening, improved security on aircraft and thorough identification checks that modern-day travel involves. Who even remembers when travel was fun? When you could hang out at the gate until final boarding and say farewell to loved ones or be invited into the cockpit to greet the captain!

After travelling last summer and again this year, I’ve been wondering if Covid has also changed travel forever. Will we always wear masks on an aircraft where recirculated air carries greater risks of spreading a virus? Will we need to be tested before and after each international flight and be armed with vaccine passports? Will we always feel Tense? Exposed? Unsafe?

In June 2020 some of these questions were on my mind as we planned to leave England for Canada. We were in the height of the early Covid wave, living in strict lockdown in London. Flights leaving the country were few and far between. As non-Canadians, landing in Canada required government permission and we nervously awaited the required approvals. It’s hard to look back at that time without remembering the anxiety that permeated the air, enveloping everyone in a permanent cloud of collective panic.

A couple weeks before we were due to travel in July, our flight was cancelled because of Covid restrictions, and the airline wasn’t going to resume flights until September. I had already wrapped up my contract, we had terminated our lease, and most hotels weren’t accepting guests – the one nearby was being used to house the homeless. In other words, we had to leave England. I literally lost hair trying to get another flight booked close to our original date.

On July 20, travel day, we rolled up at Heathrow. Only travelling passengers could enter and the normally bustling airport was a ghost town. At that time airlines weren’t demanding negative Covid tests, just a barrage of questions about symptoms and whether you had travelled in the last 14 days.

All the shops were closed. A single fast-food outlet was open, and the line stretched to eternity especially with social distancing. Everyone wore masks and the few passengers in the departure lounge avoided each other studiously, sitting several seats apart. People avoided looking at each other, possibly in fear of telekinetic viral transmission. Back in 2020 it was anyone’s guess as to how the virus was being transmitted, and I was armed with my own anti-bacterial wipes to clean every surface we had to sit on or touch.

There were mandatory temperature checks before boarding. Business class was reduced to a bare-bones affair and there was minimal interaction with the flight attendants. Without the distraction of a drink and nibbles before take-off, I got busy sanitizing our seat and surroundings.

Masks were mandatory for the duration of the 8-hour flight and a plastic bag with PPE: mask, gloves, hand sanitizer and wipes replaced the typical goodie bag. Hand lotion would have been a welcome addition. Meanwhile, meal service was a single vegetarian option served on a tray with only bottled water as beverage. We were encouraged to eat efficiently and replace our masks as soon as possible.

Upon landing we went through all the screening questions at Pearson. We left the airport and went straight into quarantine for two weeks. Not one of us even put a big toe outside the door. And then, we settled into a year of ‘on and off’ strict lockdown in Ontario. Unfortunately, it was more ‘on’ than ‘off’ which thwarted any plans for holiday travel throughout the year.

It’s no wonder therefore, that I had all but forgotten last year’s experience of travelling during Covid. But as I made plans this June to jet off with the kids and spend a few weeks in the USA, I started realizing just how much travel has changed from the ‘before times’.

There are so many new regulations now that you can’t plan an international trip in two days and jump on a flight. So, if you’re thinking of a getaway sometime during the remaining months of 2021 here are a few tips from my experience of travelling in Covid this summer.

  • Assess your personal comfort level

It’s time to reckon with how you really feel about the safety of travel as new variants emerge. Also, find out how your hosts feel. Will they be ok entertaining indoors when you pop by for a visit? Or is it strictly patios and backyard shindigs? If you aren’t comfortable, reconsider. A tense holiday where you feel anxious isn’t worth the expenditure.

  • Check those travel documents

If your passport is expiring any time soon maybe it’s time to plan a staycation. I waited six months for an appointment to renew my daughter’s US passport in Canada. So, we travelled to the States to apply there but had to wait several weeks for the new one to arrive. Long wait times may be similar in other countries too so check passport expiry dates and renew early.  

  • Research regulations in your destination and for your return!

What are the airline regulations? What’s required for you to land? Do you need proof of vaccines and negative test results? Do you have to download an app and complete registration before checking in for your flight? Will you have to quarantine upon arrival? And for how long? Do you have to pre-book a quarantine location? Pay close attention to the details on this one. If you are in the US – The EU has just announced new regulations for US travellers.

On the flip side – what are the requirements for you to return home? To return to Canada and avoid quarantine we had to show proof that we were fully vaccinated and had negative Covid PCR tests. Plus, we were tested again upon arrival at the airport.

  • Buy airline tickets early

Believe it or not, flights aren’t cheaper right now even though airlines are desperate to recover business. Plan your trip and secure tickets months ahead, if possible. Many airlines are still waiving change fees, so you won’t be out of pocket if plans shift. Otherwise, invest in travel insurance.

  • Book your car rental way in advance

I found out the hard way that there is currently a shortage of rental cars in the US along with exorbitant rates for even the most basic models. Shop around for deals and book early.

  • Plan your activities and make reservations

With reduced capacity because of Covid, reserving tickets with specific entry times is essential for most attractions. To visit Disney, we had to buy our tickets and then reserve the date based on which park was available.  

  • Arrange your Covid Testing

Know what test is required by your destination country. Antigen tests are cheaper but some countries, like Canada, only accept the pricier PCR test. It’s more expensive too if you need test results in under 24 hours.

Booking your test in advance saves you time in lines at busy airports. I did the regular PCR test at Fort Lauderdale airport for $100 per person and got the results within two days. But you also need to time your test carefully – our return flight was delayed due to mechanical failure and the airline scrambled to find a replacement aircraft to get us out of Charlotte and into Toronto before everyone’s Covid tests expired!

  • Carry extra masks

You will go through those things like water and lose a few too. Plus, a fresh mask after a few hours in the airport or on an aircraft is always welcome. With the new variant on the loose you may wish to upgrade to medical grade masks – just a suggestion; I used the non-medical type.

  • Eat

Eat before you leave home for your flight and carry your own snacks. Fewer airport food outlets may be open, and lines are longer with social distancing and new sanitizing measures.

  • Maintain your sense of humour, relax and be grateful!

Overall, travelling during Covid-times is more expensive, less comfortable, and more inconvenient. Despite it all, nothing beats seeing somewhere new and visiting with friends and family. For many of us, being able to travel again is another step towards restoring a sense of normalcy. Planning carefully, taking precautions, and treating fellow passengers with kindness will help you make the most of every moment and enjoy your return to the skies.

And as for when these changes will end? It’s hard to predict.

Until then, safe travels!  

Natalie Marshall Rose – Be open to putting yourself out there

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see

This second series of the Change Diaries podcast explores the ups and downs of changing locations. In this episode I speak with Natalie Marshall Rose, certified Global Mobility Expert, now based in the United States.

Natalie’s years of experience working with corporations in creating their own global programs comes to the fore in this conversation as she guides you on what to look for in a global relocation package from your employer, how to hit the ground running and what to do when it’s time to leave. Being a trailing spouse gives Natalie infinite wisdom and myriad interesting stories of ‘life on the move’. Whether you are moving or not, you’ll learn something new. So, tune in and share with anyone you know who is contemplating a change of location. Next week, I’ll dive back into my own personal family journey. Subscribe so you don’t miss an episode!

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Guest Bio

Natalie is a Jamaican born, US national who has been a trailing spouse in Canada. Not only has she worked in the Immigration space for approximately 15 years, but she has also lived it. Moving 13 times in the last 19 years, she truly understands what it means to be mobile!

A certified Global Mobility Specialist, Natalie’s experience spans from conducting case work early in her career to managing teams across the USA and Asia. 

Her focus is on helping corporations with their global programs. In collaboration with US Attorneys, she steers clients in maintaining compliance while moving their employees around the globe.

Natalie’s passion is to help and share. Her personal story provides a backdrop in immigration and sets the stage in her professional life where she is truly able to understand her clients’ needs. Her vast personal and corporate experience enables her to provide empathetic and realistic expert advice as corporations navigate the tides of global mobility.

Natalie attended the University of the West Indies and has received numerous certificates from Depaul, SMU and Cornell Universities.

Natalie’s Recommended Reading:

The First 90 Days by Michael D. Watkins

Grit by Angela Duckworth

Contact Natalie Marshall Rose:

LinkedIn: Natalie Marshall Rose

Instagram: @natsrose13

Clubhouse: @natsrose

Thanks for being with me and joining this second season of the Change Diaries podcast with the theme, ‘Changing your location – the ups and downs. Please comment below, follow my blog, and share with others.  Never miss an episode! Subscribe to get new episodes as they become available.

Catch up on Apple or Spotify if you missed any of the first season ‘Changing your life – Do you need a life coach?

Thank you for being here. I post new content each week.

 The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

Mary Mackinnon – Every time you move you are a different person

The Change Diaries podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change, or be the change we want to see.

This second series of the Change Diaries podcast explores the ups and downs of changing locations. In this episode I speak with Mary MacKinnon, a consultant in international adaptation and mobility, who is herself a veteran of moving.

Mary leads us through the ins and outs of managing a relocation – from figuring out if it’s the right timing for you, handling the logistics, embracing the inevitable culture shock, and then preparing to head back home for re-entry. It’s a conversation loaded with wisdom, experience and empathy from an expert who has made 14 international moves spanning every stage of her adult life. Tune in, absorb and share with anyone you know who is contemplating a move.  

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Guest Bio

Mary MacKinnon has worked as a consultant in international adaptation and mobility, both at home in Canada and abroad, since 1986. As such, she has worked in both the public and private sectors developing programs and delivering workshops for expatriates at many stages of international life.

She was, among other things, co-founder of the International Mobility Program at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna in 1996 and later a consultant to Ericsson in Cairo and the Department of Foreign Affairs (now called Global Affairs Canada).

Mary is the author of a book entitled The Global Staircase: a handbook for people relocating internationally.

A veteran of 35 years attached to foreign affairs as the wife of a career diplomat, Mary has moved at almost every stage of adult life – young adult, married and childless, with babies, with school-aged children, with teenagers and finally as an empty-nester. 

Her homes abroad included, England, France, Switzerland and Austria in Europe, Tunisia, Iran and Cairo in the Middle East, and South Korea in Asia.

Having made 14 international moves, seven of them back home to Canada, she feels strongly about re-entry preparation and building a sense of community.

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Thanks for being with me and joining this second season of the Change Diaries podcast with the theme, ‘Changing your location – the ups and downs. Please comment below, follow my blog, and share with others.  Never miss an episode! Subscribe to get new episodes as they become available.

Thank you for being here. I post new content each week.

 The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

Changing your location – It wasn’t as hard as I expected

The Change Diaries podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see.

In this second series of the Change Diaries podcast, we explore the ups and downs of changing locations. It’s said that moving ranks as one of life’s biggest stressors, right up there with death and divorce. I’ll speak with the experts to lead us through the ins and outs of managing a relocation and I’ll get personal, diving into how my own family has experienced these different moves.

This short conversation with my twelve-year-old son Aris really brought home how he’s learning differently in each country and what he’s most grateful for now. Leaving Florida at age eight to head to London, U.K., was a big move for him and he started taking the public bus from Hammersmith on his own each day to head to school in Mortlake. Last year we moved to Toronto, Canada.

Ultimately each place has offered him something special and he’s forged new friendships. What has his journey been like? What’s been easy and what’s been more challenging? Listen in to find out and leave a comment after the show. Remember to subscribe!

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Thanks for being with me and joining this second season of the Change Diaries podcast under the theme, ‘Changing your location – the ups and downs. Please comment below, follow my blog and share with others. Never miss an episode! Subscribe to get new episodes as they become available.

Did you miss any of the first season ‘Changing your life – Do you need a life coach?

Catch up on Apple Podcasts

You can also listen and subscribe on Spotify

Thank you for being here. I post new content each week. Follow my blog.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

A Teenager’s Take on Moving Countries – Turn your head towards the new things to discover

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see.

Moving Your Life is the focus of this new series of the Change Diaries podcast as we explore Changing your location – the ups and downs. Experts say that moving ranks as one of life’s biggest stressors, right up there with death and divorce. In this series I’ll speak with some experts to lead us through the ins and outs of managing a move and I’ll get personal, diving into how a family (my family) has experienced moving, including international relocation.

Kicking off the season is my teenage daughter Lauren. She was born in Florida, spent the first two years of her life in Jamaica before we made the permanent move to the US. Then we headed to London, UK, where she started high school. Now we are in Toronto, Canada. What’s that journey been like? What has she learnt along the way? And what’s her best advice for teens going through a move? Whether you are moving or not, if you have a teen in your life this is a must listen! Tune in and leave a comment after the show. By the way, have you subscribed yet?

Listen to the Episode

Thanks for being with me and joining this second season of the Change Diaries podcast. Please comment below, follow my blog and share with others.  Never miss an episode! Subscribe to get new episodes as they become available.

Catch up on Apple or Spotify if you missed any of the first season, ‘Changing your life – Do you need a life coach?

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

You can also listen on Spotify.

Thank you for being here. I post new content each week.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

Change Can Lead to a Beautiful Discovery

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see.

In this first season How to Change your life – do you need a Life Coach? I chatted with professional coaches based in the USA, Canada, the UK and Jamaica who shared their infinite wisdom on embracing change, harnessing your energy and finding deeper happiness.

There were so many rich takeaways from each of them that it’s hard to do any kind of summary that covers everything. In this short episode, I share a few things that resonated with me in these conversations and put it in perspective from my own life experience. Listen in and then get ready for next season! By the way, have you subscribed yet?

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Get the Booklist

Each Coach recommended a book or two and I’ve provided the full list of books below. Happy reading! Please remember to drop a comment. What did you think of this season? Share some of your big learnings or shifts in perspective.

If you missed any of the episodes, the links are below. Catch up before the next season starts!

Dr. Michael Mendribil

The Art of Impossible by Stephen Kotler

The Power of Awareness by Neville Goddard

Listen to the episode: Dr. Michael Mendribil – I am never who I think I am

Abbi Buszard

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

Listen to the episode: Abbi Buszard – Making space for people to think for themselves

Lorraine Copes

Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

Listen to the episode: Lorraine Copes – You can program your mind

April Miranda

The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Listen to the episode: April Miranda – With energy and intention you can heal

Jenny Ward

On Being Human by Jennifer Pastiloff

Listen to the episode: Jenny Ward – Know your worth

Lisa Soares Lewis

Energy Leadership by Bruce D. Schneider

No regrets, Just Lessons by Odetta Rockhead-Kerr

Listen to the episode: Lisa Soares Lewis – Be aware of your energy and manage it

Marguerite Orane

Books written by Marguerite Orane:

Free and Laughing: Spiritual Insights in Every Day Moments

Forget It! What’s the Point? Letting Go and Claiming Joy

Listen to the episode: Marguerite Orane – Lead, work and live with joy

I truly believe that change can lead to beautiful discovery. In doing the work of uncovering ourselves, we find that we are so much stronger than we think we are. Thanks for being with me and sharing in this first season of The Change Diaries Podcast. I really hope you’ve learned something new.

Never miss an episode! Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to get new episodes as they become available.

You can also listen on Spotify.

Thank you for being here. Follow my blog and share with others! I post new content each week.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

Are you getting what you deserve?

Get more by asking for it  

I still remember the day I got the call from the internal recruiter delivering the news. The job was mine! I was pleased as punch. It was a role I wanted at a company I was eager to work for as they had a strong reputation and I had already met the team. But when the recruiter told me the offer over the phone, I was bitterly disappointed. Why was it so low?  The story gets worse – I accepted it.

It was one of my worst salary negotiations. I literally felt cheated. And not by the company but by myself. I later learned they were surprised that I had come on board at that pay. Ugh.

All I can say is that you live, and you learn. I’m glad I made that mistake early enough in my career to recover.

Recently, on The Change Diaries podcast, I chatted with Jenny Ward, a career and transition coach who specializes in supporting women. She wasted no time in highlighting some of the struggles that women face – from not knowing their worth, to not negotiating for better compensation or failing to talk about their accomplishments.

Honestly, I believe this is the result of socialization, and long-standing systems of oppression. Both of which have done a number on us, and I am including myself here. I’ve already shared the mess I made of my early salary negotiations. Later, I also realized I simply didn’t know how to brag about my accomplishments. In fact, I would downplay them.

I recall handling a big change communications project several years ago. Now, if you’ve done this, you know there are several moving parts and a lot to get right with your company’s most senior leaders. Weeks of adrenalin culminated in carefully crafted messaging, along with team calls, and then an all-hands session. My GM was happy and when everyone had left, he gathered up his papers to leave, but not before turning to tell me:

“Arlene, you did a great job. Everything went really well. Thank you.”

Before the last words left his lips, I cut him off.

“No, no it was nothing.”

He literally blew a mini gasket and flung his hands up in frustration.

“Why can’t you just accept a compliment?”

Was that my reputation? Someone who wouldn’t accept a compliment.

It was an aha-moment for me. I felt a little bit sick because he was right. I was always judging myself so harshly that if someone complimented me, I was sure they were wrong. I couldn’t accept the praise because sooner or later they would find me out for the imposter that I was.

I discovered it was a skill I had to develop – learning to accept praise. From then on, I found myself practicing some variation of these words: “I worked hard on that. Thank you for noticing. I appreciate the recognition.”

In Jenny’s experience, I am not unique in this struggle. To support women who tend to shy away from bragging, she recommends having a ‘things I got done list’ every day to remind yourself of your accomplishments. It is critical to know your worth and practice talking about awesome you are.

Coincidentally, I recently came across an article entitled “Savvy Self-promotion”. If this is your challenge, after you listen to Jenny’s episode on The Change Diaries, you might also wish to give it a read. Take it seriously because this is a change worth making in your professional life.

On the matter of getting paid more, Jenny noted that women find it difficult to negotiate a pay increase while men go in with the attitude of ‘give it to me’. Women, she finds, are schooled to be humble while men are comfortable outright asking for it.

An interesting thing happened the week that I taped that show with Jenny. We were having dinner one evening and I made the kids an offer. If they helped me with some work, I’d pay them $50 bucks each. My son, who is twelve, did not miss a beat. He immediately said, “Pay me $70.” I noticed that his sister who is three years older didn’t ask for more.

Credit: Aris Amitirigala, created using Pixar

I waited a day or two before bringing it up with her. Are there any reasons why you think you should earn more than your brother? She pointed out her age, experience, speed, and ability to focus. All great answers yet it hadn’t occurred to her to demand greater compensation.

It was a live example of someone being better qualified yet hesitant to request more. At the end of our conversation, I asked her to repeat this to herself daily for the following week:

I deserve more.

I am convinced that those three words are part of the reason why some people land amazing compensation packages every single time. Yes, they are well-qualified, and certainly they have a great track record but, above all else, they know their worth and they believe they deserve more. This is what makes them ask for it and get it too.

To make this happen for you, I suggest honing your negotiation skills. If you aren’t accustomed to doing this, it takes practice. Perhaps even some rehearsal. Gather your accomplishments, do your research, and then role play with a friend.

Lastly, I highly recommend that you listen to Jenny and all the wonderful coaches featured during my first season of The Change Diaries. They offer great advice for both men and women.

Thank you for stopping by! Please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Listen to my new podcast now available on Apple: The Change Diaries Podcast or you can also listen on Spotify.

And don’t forget to follow and share my blog. I post new content each week.

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.   

Bridgerton Serves up 10 Lessons in Internal Communications

I rarely watch TV, so it was somewhat of a surprise to find myself binge-watching Bridgerton, the Netflix megahit from Shonda Rhimes. Frankly, it made a Covid New Year 2021 bearable. What’s there not to love when you have dazzling costumes, an entertaining storyline, and incredible eye-candy in the form of a smoldering, swaggerific Duke?

Speaking of the Duke of Hastings, I’m sure you’ve heard the news that Regé-Jean Page will not appear in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2. Don’t despair though, there will still be plenty of the drama that made this series a hit. Here is Everything You Need To Know About ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2.

But setting aside the thirst-trap, Bridgerton was a veritable masterclass in Communication, Inclusion and Change. Although each episode made me reflect on these three areas of my expertise, I’m itching to share my observations related to internal communications, particularly what we can learn from Lady Whistledown, the town’s anonymous gossip columnist. Don’t worry about spoilers below…there are hardly any. Really, though, who hasn’t watched Bridgerton yet?

Be Bold

As a masterful content creator, Lady Whistledown reminds us that, ‘she who holds the pen has the power’. Through tapping into high society’s insatiable desire to be in the know, she gains tremendous influence and a faithful readership. She seems quite unperturbed that her efforts also earn her the unwelcome envy of the Queen and a warrant for her arrest. Although it is generally unwise for communicators to draw ire from their most senior stakeholders, it does speak to the need to be bold with your ideas, content, and your approach. Being disruptive occasionally has its merits.

Content is King

Lady Whistledown provides breaking news, connects the dots, and asks provocative questions. The content is entertaining, and she weaves in suspense to leave her readers wanting for more. Your publication must have great content in an engaging style – the stories, the news and features should fill a need for employees to ensure that they keep coming back for more.

Improve your craft – pick up a copy of Everybody Writes by Ann Handley. It definitely lives up to its tagline, ‘your go-to guide to creating ridiculously good content’.

Write for your Reader

In creating her scandal sheet, Lady Whistledown doesn’t pander to the Queen or any of the powerful aristocrats, which is especially surprising when her identity is revealed.

There is a lesson in this: write for your reader – not the approver. Are you sharing what employees need to know versus what management wants to say? Your job isn’t about spinning stories or making leaders look good. Authenticity, transparency, and openness are all essential. Share information with the people who need it to do their jobs and in a way that they can understand it.

Be Relevant

In Regency-era London, aristocratic society thrived on gossip, and Lady Whistledown cleverly fills that gap. Each week she tells her readers:

  • What was happening in the Ton and When
  • Who was involved
  • Why these events were occurring
  • How people were being perceived as a result
  • Where they needed to be – obviously at the latest ball!

Do you have your 5Ws and H covered? What are the most important topics that you need to cover? As we saw last year when the pandemic hit, information needs shifted and there was much more focus on news related to Covid-19, workplace policies, benefits, and health and wellbeing. Ensure that you are keeping pace as needs evolve.

Feature your People

The gossip rag is all about the debutantes and the aspiring suitors and that’s what makes it sell. A winning ingredient for any internal publication is to highlight the people in your business – interesting feature stories or profile pieces. People love stories where they can see themselves. So, hero a team that delivered a breakthrough, share photos, or video clips of your people telling their own success stories. Featuring real people in your organization doing the right things in the right way can be a powerful way to influence change.

Choose your Language and Style

Lady Whistledown shows us a couple things – the value of writing in a way that mirrors how people speak, and the beauty of nurturing your own style and personality as a writer. Her words float off the page and into the reader’s ear as if it were a conversation.

Are you aligning to the brand voice of your company? What tone will you use? Formal or casual? Chatty or serious? Are you planning to use fun, feature stories or just the plain facts? Check whether your language is laden with leaders’ cliched phrases or ‘management speak’.

Pick your Channels

In 1813 London, the convenient tabloid format was popular. Lady Whistledown prints her gossip rag overnight and peddles it in the morning through newspaper boys making brisk sales.  

Well, it’s 2021 and there are a plethora of channels even for non-desk employees. Digital delivery through intranets, internal social media and company apps are growing in popularity. Take the time to research which channels work best for your audience. This is about them – go where they are!

Be Consistent

Week after week the entire Ton knows when to expect the next tabloid full of the juiciest tidbits. In fact, it is this level of reliability that enables the Queen to plot Lady Whistledown’s arrest – while she on her way to the printers.

Do you have a set day and time for publishing so that your audience can count on getting their news when they expect it? Is the format consistent so that they can navigate it easily? Also, even if you have different writers the tone should not vary wildly.

Measure and Evaluate

Roaring sales is one way that Lady Whistledown evaluates her success real time. But that’s not the only thing that matters. Thanks to her undercover status, our favourite scandalmonger readily discerns how her content is resonating. The Ton is all abuzz after each edition is released and it decidedly influences many an outcome in the feverish matchmaking season!

Likewise, internal communicators must evaluate whether their content is engaging readers and if it is influencing behavior.

What can you do? Run A/B tests for your publication. Analyze open rates, click rates, and drop off rates to see which content resonates most. Test reader knowledge by asking specific questions in an annual communication channel survey. Use shorter surveys at the end of a publication to find out what they valued the most. Analyze engagement, comments and follow-through actions. Use good metrics to help you make informed decisions about your publication.

Have a Purpose

Ultimately your publication exists to achieve an outcome. It shouldn’t simply be a nice to have or exist because you’ve always had it. It takes time and effort to produce so make it worth the investment.

Lady Whistledown not only satisfies her readers thirst for gossip, but she also uses the publication to advance her own interests and sometimes selfish motives – breaking up Colin’s relationship as a prime example.

Know what you are trying to achieve with each content piece and each edition of your publication. Set SMART objectives and use it as a valuable tool to help embed your strategy, inspire your people, and cause positive transformation that translates into business growth.  

Sure, it can come in many different formats, styles and be delivered via various channels. But whatever you decide, focus on what you want to achieve and let that guide your approach.  

Tell me, did you watch Bridgerton? What other lessons in communications would you add to this list? Please share your comments below.

Thank you for stopping by! Visit again soon, subscribe and share. I post new content each week.

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.    

Marguerite Orane – Lead, work and live with joy!

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see.

Introduction:

In this episode I talk with Marguerite Orane, Executive Coach, Speaker and Author. Marguerite’s life intention is to change the way you and your people work, so that you do so with joy and achieve amazing success.

Marguerite is an expert at helping leaders bring forth confidence, clarity and calm as they chart their way forward. In our conversation she uncovers your biggest blockers and reframes feedback. We also dive into what makes for a powerful morning routine and what you absolutely must do each day. Listen in and discover how you can change the way you lead.   

Listen to The Change Diaries with Marguerite Orane

Guest Bio

Marguerite Orane coaches leaders in realizing the value that joy and happiness at work bring to people and profits. With over 30 years in strategy consulting and general management, her commitment is to help leaders and their teams joyfully bring strategy to life to achieve their desired results. Marguerite is valued for her insights on leadership, strategy, entrepreneurship and personal growth delivered in her own energetic, joy-filled way as a coach, facilitator, speaking and her blogs. Her experience as an entrepreneur, a Harvard MBA and her curiosity about the mysteries and delights of the world are the foundation of this work.

Marguerite is an expert in Strategy articulation and Culture alignment, and the Balanced Scorecard. She has added value to organizations in the private, public, nongovernmental and educational sectors in the Caribbean and North America, including Cable and Wireless, TUI Marine, National Commercial Bank, City of Hamilton, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the Government of the Netherlands.

Marguerite has served on the Boards of Directors of Red Stripe Jamaica Limited (formerly owned by Diageo), Jamaica Money Market Brokers, Workers Bank, Corporate Merchant Bank, Jamaica Mutual Life Assurance Society, Jamaica Manufacturer’s Association, Jamaica Exporter’s Association, and most recently, Grace Foods Canada.

Marguerite is a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader who knows that laughter releases creativity because she laughs … a lot! She has studied Improvisational Theatre at Second City Toronto and uses it to build teams that have each other’s backs!

Marguerite is the author of two books: “Free and Laughing: Spiritual Insights in Every Day Moments” and “Forget It! What’s the Point? Letting Go and Claiming Joy” and is an avid blogger on joyful leadership.

Find Marguerite at:

Website:  www.margueriteorane.com

LinkedIn: Marguerite Orane

Email: Marguerite@margueriteorane.com

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Thank you for being here. I’d love to hear your comments on this episode. What will you change? Follow my blog and share with others! I post new content each week.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

Lisa Soares Lewis – Be aware of your energy and manage it

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see.

In this episode I talk with Lisa Soares Lewis, Certified Professional Coach, Master Practitioner in the Energy Leadership Index Assessment, and designated Senior HR Professional. Lisa believes that all roads lead to leadership and that leaders are the first who need to change.

Lisa’s deep experience in coaching leaders comes to the fore as she discusses the triad of skills that underpin success in an unprecedented era of change. Listen to find out what they are and then get out of your own way and move forward.

Listen to the Change Diaries with Lisa Soares Lewis

Guest Bio

Lisa Soares Lewis is the Founder & CEO of Great People Solutions (G.P.S.) Ltd.

Based in Kingston, Jamaica, Lisa is a Certified Professional Coach, a Master Practitioner in the Energy Leadership Index Assessment, and a designated Senior HR Professional by the HR Certification Institute Society. Lisa has held several Executive and HR leadership positions at large companies including Diageo Red Stripe and Scotiabank and has led Executive workshops in C-suite roles.

She works seamlessly in the public, private and NGO sectors and is highly respected in the business community in Jamaica where she currently sits on several boards including JAMPRO (Jamaica’s investment & promotions agency), WISYNCO (Fast moving consumer goods), Sagicor Investments, UWI Mona School of Business & Management, the Pension Industry Association of Jamaica and the Jamaica Stock Exchange e-Campus. Lisa is also a member of the International Women’s Forum and previous Director of SERHA (Public Regional Health Authority) and Sagicor Bank.

In February 2020, Lisa was awarded in the “101 Most Fabulous GLOBAL Coaching Leaders” Category – World at the HRD Congress in Mumbai, India.

Lisa has an MBA with Distinction in Finance and Marketing from UWI and a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering.

Her company, Great People Solutions (GPS), offers the full suite of HR Consulting, Advisory and Leadership Coaching Services.

Find Lisa at:

Website: greatpeoplesolutions.com

LinkedIn: Lisa Soares Lewis

Never miss an episode. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to get new episodes as they become available.

You can also listen on Spotify.

Follow my blog and share with others! I post new content each week.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.