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January 2011 — New Business Communication textbook published


October 2010 Case study on crisis communication presented


October 2010 The Role of Communication Deliverables in Project Work

August 2010 — Workshop on writing National Science Foundation Grants


July 2010 — Applying Best Practices in Writing to Audit Documents

November 2009 — BizCom in 140 Characters: Twitter & Business Communication

May 2009 —Technical Communication Program completed

August 2008 — PowerPoint for Consultants conducted for Exervio

October 2007 — Excellence in Writing for Publication Award

February 2007 — PowerPoint for Consultants conducted for Thomson Corporation

January 2007— Graphics and Visual Communication for Managers published, co-authored by Communication Partners

December 2006 — PowerPoint for Consultants at HSBC - North America

August 2006 — Communication Partners completes 200-page software user guide

June 2006 —High Impact Communication" program for engineers at Medtronic

Novermber 2005 — Seminar "Communicating for Results" presented in Bahrain for audience of Middle East entrepreneurs

August 2005 — Seminar at Northwestern University: "Planning and Delivering Effective Scientific Presentations"

February 2005 — Partnership with the Vanderbilt-Northwestern-Texas-Harvard/MIT Engineering Research Center to help faculty improve instruction in graphical communication

February 2005 — Course on Policies and Procedures at Institute for Professional Development

January 2005 — Two associates join Communication Partners

December 2004 —500-page software user guide for ZS Associates

October 2004 — Presenting Data Visually seminar at Institute for Professional Development

September 2004 — Communication Partners interviewed in Government Executive magazine

 

March 2004 — Communication Partners cited in Presentations magazine

May 2003 —"Designing Information" presentation delivered to European conference

January
2011

New Business Communicaton Textbook Authored by Barbara Shwom Published.


Barbara Shwom and co-author Lisa Gueldenzoph Snyder have written a new business communication textbook entitled Business Communication: Polishing Your Professional Presence.

Here are some advanced reviews:

T he ACE communication model is effective and memorable. I like the acronym. It has positive symbolic significance. The three stages (Analyzing, Composing, Evaluating) make sense. The authors’ coverage of purpose and desired outcome [in Chapter 3] is excellent. The section on getting the writing process started is excellent.”
-Jan Costello, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY

“I love when the authors show an effective and ineffective example side by side. This provides opportunities for students to analyze and internalize.” 
-
Lisa Murray, UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE, KNOXVILLE

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October
2010

Communication Partners presents case study on crisis communication at the 2010 Association of Business Communication convention

Karl Keller presented a case study entitled The McAfee Snafu: How Poor Crisis Communication Undermines a Company’s Reputation at the 2010 annual convention of the Association for Business Communication.

On April 21st, 2010, the McAfee Corporation, a provider of virus protection software for home and business personal computers, sent to Windows PC users around the world an ostensibly routine update file to its software. Normally, users and administrators install these standard updates and machines continue to operate.

But this time was different – and disastrous. This time the update deleted a key system file, so when users rebooted as instructed after update installation, they discovered they could not get the system to start, and machines continued to crash and reboot endlessly.  After installing this update, untold numbers of business people around the world could not use their computers for as many as three days, creating a nightmare of business downtime and lost productivity.

This catastrophic event demanded that McAfee apply the best principles of crisis communication to address customer outrag. But McAfee’s responses violated these principles. The presentation analyzed:

  • how poorly McAfee responded to the crisis;
  • how disjointed and decentralized McAfee’s communication approach was;
  • how customers were more outraged at how McAfee responded than the problem itself; and
  • how McAfee’s lack of a crisis communication strategy made the disaster even worse.

This McAfee “snafu” will serve for years to come as a case study of what NOT to do when communicating to customers in a crisis.

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October
2010
Communication Partners presents results of research on "The Role of Communicaton Deliverables in Project Work"

Barbara Shwom, along with Priscilla Rogers and Lisa Pawlik, presented the results of their groundbreaking research on communication deliverables -- oral and written documents -- in project work. Little research has been done to explore the wider performative role of written and oral deliverables in project work. Are these deliverables simply the “write up” of work that has been completed? Or does the process of producing these deliverables contribute to the success of the project and team in integral ways?

To study these questions, Barbara and her colleagues researched how teams perceived the impact of deliverables in a sample of projects in which they participated as faculty or consultants. Triangulated data included: (1) information on teams/companies (2) communication observation logs, (3) questionnaires that capture team members’ perceptions, (4) follow-up interviews with team members, and (5) the written deliverables themselves.

The presentation was delivered at the 2010 annual convention of the Association for Business Communication.

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August
2010
Commmunication Partners principal Karl Keller delivers workshop at Northwestern University on writing National Science Foundation grants

Karl Keller delivered a 5-session workshop to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows at Northwestern University on how to write effective grant proposals for the National Science Foundation.

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July
2010

Communication Partners delivers communication workshop "Applying Best Practices in Writing to Audit Documents" for the audit group at GE Healthcare in Waukesha, WI

Karl Keller conducted a workshop for the audit professionals at GE Healthcare on best practices in writing audit documents; the session used actual before/after examples based on their audit documents. Communication Partners also redesigned the standard PowerPoint presentation used to present audit finding to senior executives.

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November
2009

"BizCom in 140 Characters: Twitter & Business Communication" delivered at annual convention of the Association for Business Communicaton

Karl Keller delivered a presentation on how business are using Twitter in communicating with customers and stakeholders. Companies included in the various case studies included Zappos, Whole Foods, Honda, Ford, and Verizon.

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August
2008

Communication Partners completes 5-workshop series on Technical Communication for Sargent & Lundy LLC

Communication Partners delivered a PowerPoint for Consultants workshop for the Atlanta office of Exervio, an young and entrepreneurial strategy consulting firm.

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August
2008

"PowerPoint for Consultants " program delivered at Exervio

Communication Partners delivered a PowerPoint for Consultants workshop for the Atlanta office of Exervio, an young and entrepreneurial strategy consulting firm.

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October
2007

"Graphics and Visual Communication for Managers" wins annual award from The Association of Professional Communication Consultants

Barbara Shwom and Karl Keller are the 2007 recipients of the "Excellence in Writing for Publication Award" from The Association of Professional Communication Consultant s (APCC) for Graphics and Visual Communication for Managers. The award committee said: "Well-designed and filled with useful examples, Graphics and Visual Communication for Managers is a valuable tool for both clients and communication consultants."

See the APPC  web site for more details.

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February
2007

Communication Partners conducts "PowerPoint for Consultants " program at Thomson Corporation

Communication Partners delivered the PowerPoint for Consultants workshop for the Global Strategy group at Thomson Corporation. Thomson Corporation is a leading global provider of integrated information-based solutions to professionals in the fields of law, tax, accounting, financial services, scientific research and healthcare.

 

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January
2007

The book "Graphics and Visual Communication for Managers" published, co-authored by Communication Partners

Barbara Shwom and Karl Keller are co-authors of Graphics and Visual Communication for Managers, the 4th book is the 8-book Managerial Communication Series.  The book presents the fundamentals of good graphics and visual communication.  Robert P. Sedlack, of the University of Notre Dame, is also co-author and designed the book.

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December
2006

Communication Partners conducts "PowerPoint for Consultants " program at HSBC - North America

Communication Partners delivered a PowerPoint for Consultants workshop for the Strategy and Consumer Finance groups at HSBC - North America, part of the HSBC Holdlngs plc, one of the largest banking and financial services organizations in the world.

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August
2006

Communication Partners completes User Guide and On-Line Help for critical software product

Communication Partners has just completed a 200-page user guide, along with an on-line help file, for a critical software product of ZS Associates. The software package, Prism(tm) Refinements, is a web-based package that allows sales managers to refine sales goals.  The package is used by a number of major pharmaceutical companies.

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June
2006

Communication Partners completes "High Impact Communication" program for engineers at the Medtronic Microelectronics Center

Communication Partners has completed a program called High Impact Communication for engineers at the Medtronic Microelectronics Center, located in Tempe, Ariz.  The program focused on using PowerPoint to communicate complex scientific/engineering information, employing best practices in data graphics, and conducting effective peer review. Medtronic, Inc. is a leader in the design of medical technology devices.

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November
2005

Seminar "Communicating for Results" presented in Bahrain for audience of Middle East entrepreneurs

Karl Keller, principal of Communication Partners, traveled to Manama, Bahrain,  to conduct a seminar entitiled Communicating for Results as part of the MIDDLE EAST ENTREPRENEUR TRAINING IN THE U.S. (MEET U.S.)  ALUMNI session.

MEET U.S. -- which funded by the U.S. Department of State Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)and managed by The Beyster Institute (link) -- is an innovative program that identifies, develops, and sustains a new core of business leaders from 17 countries and territories in the Middle East and North Africa region.  Participants in the seminar came from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Kuwait, and Iraq, among other nations.

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August
2005

Communication Partners delivers seminar entitled Planning and Delivering Effective Scientific Presentations

Barbara Shwom and Penny Hirsch, principals, will be delivering a three-day seminar entitled Planning and Delivering Effective Scientific Presentations on August 1, 2, & 8 2005.

This seminar, presented at Northwestern University, will cover:

  • creating a effective introduction to engage the audience in your story
  • structuring a presentation to make it logical and coherent
  • designing and presenting complicated, data-rich PowerPoint slides

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February
2005

Communication Partners working with the Vanderbilt-Northwestern-Texas-Harvard/MIT Engineering Research Center to help faculty improve instruction in graphical communication

Barbara Shwom and Penny Hirsch, principals, have been working with researchers at the National Science Foundation-funded VaNTH (Vanderbilt-Northwestern-Texas-Harvard/MIT) Engineering Research Center to help biomedical engineering faculty improve instruction in graphical communication. Barbara and Penny reported the results of some of their work in a talk for learning scientists and biomedical engineers at Northwestern University, entitled “Integrating Graphical Communication into a Science Course.” They are assessing students’ ability to recognize and implement best practices in graphical communication.


Find more information on  VaNTH, click here

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February
2005

Course on Policies and Procedures at Society for Technical Communication

Karl Keller, principal, delivered a two-day course entitled Structuring Documentation: Processes, Procedures, and Policies on April 16 & 25 2005. This course is sponsored by the Institute of Professional Development of the Chicago chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. The course was also offered for credit at Northern Illinois University and will be delivered on the Naperville campus of Northern Illinois University.


Find more information on this course, click here

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January
2005

Two associates join Communication Partners

Judith Schwartz, a published author and corporate communications expert, and William Pullin, a talented and creative instructional designer, have joined Communication Partners.


Find more information, click here

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December 2004

Communication Partners completes User Guide and On-Line Help for flagship software product

Communication Partners has just completed a 700-page user guide, along with an on-line help file, for the flagship software product of ZS Associates.  The software package, MAPS® 6, allows ZS Associates and its clients to graphically model, view, analyze, modify and optimize territory alignments, and to help create territories that increase sales, profits and productivity.

For more information on MAPS® 6, click here

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October
2004

 

"Presenting Data Visually" seminar delivered at Society for Technical Communication

Karl Keller, principal, delivered a one-day seminar entitled Presenting Data Visually on October 30, 2004. This course was sponsored by the Institute of Professional Development of the Chicago chapter of the Society for Techncial Communication. The course covered best practices in creating graphs, tables, and diagrams to communicate technical data clearly and powerfully.


For a course description, click here

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September
2004

Communication Partners interviewed for article on PowerPoint in Government Executive magazine

Karl Keller, principal, was interviewed by Government Executive magazine on the use of PowerPoint in the US Government.  The article "Missing the Point" explored the controversy surrounding PowerPoint, particulary the condemnation of the program from Edwart Tufte.  Communication Partners provided a contrasting counterpoint. 

For an on-line version of the article, click here.

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March
2004

Communication Partners cited in article on PowerPoint in Presentations magazine

Communication Partners provided expert commentary in an article entitled, "Does PowerPoint make you stupid?" published by Presentations magazine in its March 2004 issue.

For an online copy of the article, click here.

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May
2003

Designing Information: Communicating Complex Knowledge in Tables and Graphs

Barbara Shwom, principal, delivered this presentation at the European Conference of the Association of Business Communication (ABC) in Lugano, Switzerland.  (For infomation on ABC,  see http://www. businesscommunication.org). This presentation provides a brief overview of some of the difficult problems of information display -- along with both a theoretical and practical framework to solve them.


Download by clicking here

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