Communications check, mate

Chess Team Billboard

Did you hear about the recent controversy spurred by a Webster University billboard (shown above) touting their successful chess team? Webster athletes who felt slighted by the tongue-in-cheek statement unleashed a flurry of tweets expressing their dismay. How did a playful ad calling attention to Webster’s academic prowess turn into an insult to the institution’s jocks? Obviously, that wasn’t the intention, but communications can be a tricky game—especially when you add humor to the mix. Sometimes no matter how well-planned your messages are, they can be misunderstood. So what’s a communicator to do? Conduct your research, know your audience and what you’re trying to say, and then make your move.

A Fond Farewell

Dean Miller book cover

GCF created a highly personalized, fabric-bound book with hand-stitched pages to honor Dean Edward D. Miller, M.D., upon his retirement after 40 years of leadership and service at Johns Hopkins. Dean Miller’s indelible legacy of both physical and cultural changes will impact the future of the institution, its students, and its patients for decades to come. The book’s first several spreads showcase photos and quotes about Dean Miller’s career. The remaining pages display personal messages from the dean’s close friends and colleagues, along with their signatures. Additional perfect-bound copies of the book were prepared for distribution.

Dean Miller book inside spread

Dean Miller book inside spread

Join us at the UCDA Design Summit

In March, Brenda Foster will be speaking at the UCDA Design Summit. Interaction between designers and clients can be frustrating, unproductive, strained, at times even antagonistic. Clearly, it doesn’t need to be this way. Clients and designers are both focused on creating success, but they approach the problem from two different corners. Brenda’s workshop, Dangerous liaisons: Improving designer/client relationships, will provide insights into the client/designer dynamic and ways to create a smoother path to a shared goal. Topics include gaining respect, getting the attention of the gatekeepers, building trust across the generation gap, appreciating differences, and working with difficult people. Brenda has more than 23 years’ experience on the front lines with both clients and designers and has learned how to successfully mediate between the two. Registration is now open.