The Smart Talk Series -- dive into communication strategies, tips, and principles using a 360-degree approach with your host Melissa Vela-Williamson. Melissa is an accredited public relations expert, entrepreneur, and national columnist.
This series will focus on a theme over the span of six weekly episodes. Listen as Melissa dives into a topic on her own, interviews industry experts, and gives listeners a broad perspective to learn from. Communication is the foundation of professional or personal success. So anyone ready to hear real talk about how to better communicate on topics that matter is welcome!
How to Have Real, Difficult Conversations
Season finale! In the final episode of Season 1, Melissa shares the value of real talk conversations and offers tips on how to facilitate those often awkward, or difficult discussions. She also shares lessons learned from this season’s guests as they explored how to communicate during turbulent times.
Internal Communications with Amanda Todd
Internal communications is about people. If done well, it can drive your organization to achieve top results, even during a pandemic. In this week's episode, Melissa talks to Amanda Todd, the Executive Communications Officer at Cisco, about the importance of internal communications.
Redefining Emergency Management with Michael Morlan
Communication comes after actions. In a crisis, communicators are often preoccupied by the messaging of actions taken, but how often do we think about the actions themselves? This week, Melissa is joined by Michael Morlan, President of Two Rivers Emergency Management, to discuss how to close the gap between communications and actions in a crisis.
Mr. Morlan is an emergency management contractor/consultant, mentor, emergency management strategist, and President of Two Rivers Emergency Management. Over the past decade, Mr. Morlan has been a part of some of the largest Presidential Declarations including hurricanes, flooding, and extreme weather incidents, as well as other local disasters and emergencies throughout the United States. During these incidents, Mr. Morlan, filled many positions within the ICS structure including, Incident Commander, Operations Section Chief, and Planning Section Chief. He brings a unique knowledge of the public and private sector through healthcare, city, county, and federal organizations. Fulfilling multiple positions throughout his experience, Mr. Morlan has extensive experience within the emergency management field focusing on prevention, preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. Taking the phases of emergency management, Mr. Morlan, instills communication, coordination, and cooperation into his strategies for success. Through his business approach, Mr. Morlan promotes customized service, whole community focus, and embracing new technologies to ensure his company is redefining emergency management.
Powering through the Pandemic with Meals on Wheels San Antonio
When COVID-19 hit San Antonio, Meals on Wheels San Antonio (MOWSA) jumped into crisis response mode. Since last March, Melissa and her team at MVW Communications worked closely with this week's guests -- Chief Development Officer Forrest Myane and Communications and Marketing Director Ariana Barbour. Listen to learn how they activated a crisis communications campaign that positioned MOWSA as an essential lifeline for home bound, high-risk seniors.
Forrest Myane has over 12 years of experience in nonprofit development. Since 2017, she has led fundraising and marketing initiatives for Meals on Wheels San Antonio. Today, she leads all external relations as Chief Development Officer and has helped increase the donor base and amount of funds received by the organization. Forrest has over 12 years of experience in nonprofit development. She has served as director of development for several area agencies including the Witte Museum, Autism Community Network and Christian Assistance Ministry. Forrest holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin.
Ariana Barbour is the Communications and Marketing Director for Meals on Wheels San Antonio. She is responsible for planning, managing, and executing the overall communications plans of Meals on Wheels. Ariana holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida and a Master of Arts in Advertising from The University of Texas at Austin. She has over 15 years of communications and marketing experience including agency, volunteer, and nonprofit work. In addition to caring for our city’s seniors through what she does every day, Ariana also volunteers as a board member for Girls Inc. of San Antonio to advocate for future opportunities for all of our community’s future female leaders, including her own daughter.
Managing Crisis Communications with Chris Talley
This week, Melissa talks to seasoned PR professional Chris Talley about managing crisis communications during a pandemic.
For more than 30 years, Chris Talley led communication programs and delivered results from the front row, culminating in his role as a FORTUNE 100 chief communications officer. Through the years he's led teams at USAA, Lockheed Martin, dozens of others while at one of the world’s most prestigious public relations agencies, FleishmanHillard. Today, he leads Talley Communication Strategies, volunteers in the community and devotes time to speaking at colleges across the country, supporting students seeking careers in communications.
How to Communicate in Turbulent Times
After a year as turbulent as 2020, there is one word Melissa has in mind: Restoration. In the inaugural Smart Talk Series episode, Melissa reflects on the lessons learned in 2020 and how communicating during tough times challenges professionals.
Topics covered: - Silver linings from 2020 - How to communicate with your audience - Adaptable crisis management - Evaluating your processes to create meaningful change - Next steps for restoration throughout 2021 Actions to take: - Establish a one-word theme for 2021 - Don't forget to remember the "why" when you lay out the "how" - Embrace our new hybrid world - Plan with pencils - Diversify your approach
Resources mentioned: - My Intent Project: https://myintent.org/ - Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html - Meals on Wheels San Antonio: https://www.mowsatx.org/
Valuable information for any pro!
Smart Talk Series host Melissa Vela-Williamson is a great communicator. Her passion for these topics make it so easy to learn.
The information shared is valuable for any professional or business owner who wants to level up!
Great Practical Advice from a Pro
Melissa offers advice that is helpful to anyone needing tips on how to improve their marketing and PR.