Wendy Edwards is no stranger to radio, with a long career in broadcasting alongside others, co-hosting, co-producing, and performing as on-air talent. Wendy’s going solo, with a radio show that she’s dreamed of hosting for many years. Wendy is the host of Conversations with Wendy, an emotionally intelligent, engaging entertainer and connector of people, Wendy brings to the air a talk show that encourages people to live their best lives. The weekly, hour-long show features real people sharing their stories of overcoming adversity, celebrating unique cultures, living well in our community, and applauding individuality. With your support, Conversations with Wendy will continue helping people be heard, making community connections, and highlighting the stories that matter.

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I’m not often at the cutting edge of what’s in style. But last weekend, I saw a pretty trendy young gal wearing some acid-washed, high-waisted shorts and I recoiled. I was told by my friends that this is definitely “in” but once again, I’ll be letting a trend pass me by. I did that one, back in 1985. I don’t need to do it again.

Other than fashion, some trends go out of style and just never really come back in. One is the spirit of collaboration. Around the same time acid wash was popular, and for a good ten years afterward, it was common in PR, marketing, and advertising practices to guard your Rolodex. Nobody collaborated. Everything was competitive. Now, though, the field is so broad, that there are real specialists everywhere. It’s MUCH more common to build a team of specialists, even if that means firms coming together to serve a single client.

My firm doesn’t specialize in advertising, design, web development, or media buying. But we collaborate often and successfully with partners who are really GOOD at those disciplines. For the client’s money, they get better service and expertise.

It’s interesting to me how some old guard firms are still hanging on to the acid-wash philosophy of competition instead of growing one another’s business through referrals, coming together to serve larger, more interesting accounts, and providing the best skilled expertise to meet the clients’ needs.

So 1985, and really never coming back in style.

From the Jaggers Communications World Headquarters Inbox:

 

What advice do you have as far as accepting/not accepting LinkedIn invites from people that one has little or no connection with? I’ve got about 15 sitting in my mailbox that I’m just ignoring. How close a connection should there be? I know some folks out there will just accept an invite from anybody, as there are folks who send invites out to all their connections’ connections. Is there an advantage or disadvantage either way?

Answer:

Definitely ignore them if you don’t know them. Here’s the test to perform: think if I ask you about the person you’re considering accepting – I see that you’re connected to them and want to know what you think of them as a plumber/CPA/math tutor/web designer and you look at your connection and have to tell me you don’t know them outside of being connected on LinkedIn. You don’t want to have to do that. My advice is to know the people to whom you’re connected enough to say that you think they are good at their job/are pleasant to work with/be in a group with/seemed to do well in school … other than that, just hit ignore.

I’ve spent the last two weeks working my way through most of the executives in a single client. We’ve been, in small groups, or one-on-one, making sure that each executive has a LinkedIn profile that is complete, and represents the company in the way the company wants to be represented. I enjoy these sessions because it gives me the opportunity to get to know individuals within a client team. I’d never know what I’ve learned about the people inside the company if I didn’t have the chance to meet with them like this. It helps us get into the real story of the company and the people who create it.

When it gets down to the backgrounds of people who have worked in their industry for, sometimes, more than 30 years, it’s fascinating what you learn. One executive confessed she wished she’d become a nurse, instead. Another told me of his passion for singing in his church choir. I’ve learned about the nonprofit organizations these people support in their spare time, and the reasons why they chose their career path that led them to this point. Every single one has an interesting story.

In these sessions, colleagues end up getting to know one another better. The employees begin to share more about themselves, what they do, what they know, and what they like about their work. They become more accessible. The community notices this, particularly when those team members start sharing that information online, through the company blog, on LinkedIn, on Facebook or wherever they choose to engage.

It’s really interesting to watch it happen. As soon as the team takes those first steps they start to see the benefit — they’re delighted by the new information they have, the reconnecting of past relationships and the forming of new ones. I’m glad I have a small role in that transformation.