Thinking of My Dad on Father’s Day

This is the time of year when I remember my Dad and how very much he contributed to my life in such special and wonderful ways. My dad was a very creative and talented artist who made a living from graphic art, and had his art studio upstairs in our home.  As a child I would love to go up to his studio and beg to use his colorful pastels, the fine tip black ink pens or his amazing set of oil paints. Sometimes, I got the chance to use them and try my handiwork.  Often, there were oil paintings in the works on easels in various stages of completion, or magazine layouts on the drawing boards.

As an art director for the early Woman’s Home Companion and Ladies Home Journal magazines, he was a man of many creative talents. When he wasn’t working, he was always busily involved as Dads tend to be in some type of art project of one kind or another. Sometimes, he would want me to sit for him so that he could paint or draw me. Unfortunately, I never appreciated that as a child, nor did I like sitting still long enough as a subject to allow him that luxury because I always wanted to be on the go.  Looking back, I will always have those fond memories of my dad and the time I spent with him cultivating my love of art. Fatherhood for him was sharing his special love of the arts, in its many forms. Whether it was one of his famous oil paintings, his pen and ink drawings, or creating sculptures with clay, he was involved with an art project. I like to believe that’s how I got my creative talent and inspiration. I loved being with him in his art studio. It was a magical place where your creative imagination could run wild and he always encouraged and supported that fully.

I remember when he took me as a child into the City to the Metropolitan Museum of Art when the Mona Lisa painting was on a traveling exhibit.  It was only on exhibit at the MET for a few weeks before it was flown back to France.  The crowd was so massive that he had to put me on his shoulders to see it and I remembered the importance of seeing that special work of art and the mysterious smile on Mona Lisa’s face.  Most of all, I remember that wonderful time spent of just my father and I on this outing at the museum in New York.

While some of us may not have our fathers with us any longer, we can always cherish those special memories and know they will be with us in our hearts and souls to live on forever.  For those lucky enough to have their fathers still alive, love and cherish every moment you can of the special gifts they may share with you and the time you spend together. Love and miss you, dad.

Robin Carley
Founder of Carley Communications Group

Never put off ’till tomorrow, what you can do today

I saw an ad the other day for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. In previous years I’ve always contributed, and supported on the sidelines.  It is an event I strongly believe in and have always wanted to participate, but had never made it happen.  This year is different. It has been 30 years since my mother died of breast cancer, and this year I am going to walk!  I’ve always wanted to do it, but there has always been a good reason why I was unable to do so, whether it was work obligations, family matters, travel or whatever. This year not only will it be a priority on my calendar but my daughter will be joining me in the walk as well, to make the experience that much sweeter.

As the event gets closer I will have more to report. But for now, be on the lookout for a lady in pink and her daughter supporting a cause they passionately believe in and giving back.  One person at a time, one step at a time, we will be walking to make a difference, spread awareness and find a cure for this horrible disease.

As author Norman Vincent Peale once said, “The really happy people are those who have broken the chains of procrastination, those who find satisfaction in doing the job at hand. They’re full of eagerness, zest, productivity. You can be, too.”

Founder of Carley Communications Group

Technology and Authenticity

There’s no question that technology has affected writing for the mass media in both positive and negative ways. The speed of message transmission is one of the most obvious results.  Instantaneous global communications and the ability to pinpoint audience reach and measurement of messages are all great technology advancements appreciated by communication professionals around the world.

On the flip side, it’s been said that technology has also taken away authenticity from writing. That, I find to be a very serious problem. Cutting and pasting has become the norm for many and original content development and idea generation has gone by the wayside in favor of quicker, faster and better.  Pirating material from other company’s content occurs on a daily basis at a rapid rate and technology makes it easy.  This is an issue we need to look at when we consider content journalism in the 21st Century.

We have copywrite laws that are put in place for the protection of our original work.  But with an overload of information received digitally, through print and direct mail the difficulty of monitoring and enforcement of original content is an ongoing challenge. An expert in this area, Lorelle VanFossen, who provides a resource of useful information has written extensively on the topic of what you can do if you find someone has stolen your work. You can read her blog on this subject at Lorelle on WordPress because it is important to know there are steps you can and should take to protect your work.

According to a recent Marketing Sherpa article, blog copyright theft is on the rise, and describes this ugly trend emerging.   I guess that brings us back to the basics of integrity, professional ethics and trust—qualities which never go out of style.

 I read on the cover of Bloomberg Business Week recently the screaming headline, “Hey China, Stop Stealing our Stuff.”  That’s sad. Being your authentic self is crucial to success in writing and in business.  If you violate this basic business tenant then you choose to suffer the consequence and become an imposter and a copycat in the worst degree.

At Carley Communications Group we recognize the value of being your authentic self for our company and especially when representing our clients.  If you’re working with us you won’t have to worry about this issue or be concerned that your credibility was damaged. We adhere to the  highest code of professional conduct set forth by PRSA and the journalism standards  set forth for our profession to ensure you will get and receive original content that you can use and trust.

While it has been said that content is king, it’s the kind of authentic content we provide and deliver that is the winner.

Founder of Carley Communications Group 

Talent Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

One of the CEOs whom I’ve had the opportunity to work with during my career and whose wisdom and leadership I highly respect, once said a very simple yet profound statement to me, which has stuck with me ever since. I have even repeated it to myself on several occasions.

He was commenting to me about one of his most senior employees who had some very obvious idiosyncrasies, but never the less was a true high-performance employee, contributing greatly to the business and the bottom line.

That CEO said of this employee whose behavior was a puzzle to many, “You know Robin, talent comes in all shapes and sizes.”

How brilliant, simple, elegant and so very true.

I have been fortunate during my career to have worked with many talented individuals of many different shapes and sizes, ages, colors and creeds. But the one thing they all have  had in common is their talent.

I’ve just added an intern to my team and am so impressed with his energy, passion and enthusiasm. It is contagious. Pure unbridled talent. I love it.

Great leaders surround themselves with the best talent and it doesn’t matter what form it takes.

Founder of Carley Communications Group 

International Women’s Day

Congratulations to all the women who have come before us to pave the way for women in business today. When I graduated college and was first starting out in business, I believed that there would be equality in the workforce that I would be able to experience. How naive we were at that age; but that is a good thing. Now, I wish for that same equality in business for my daughters and those women who are about to graduate and embark on their careers.

I am no Gloria Steinem, but I do know that there is much work left to do. Let’s hope that the Ginni Rometty’s of the world (first Woman to be an IBM CEO) make progress for their sisters and their daughters and those that follow. How sad it is that there are still so few women in the boardroom, only 17 percent? Why you ask?

I remember when I started out working in lower Manhattan there was a restaurant, The NY Athletic Club, that would not allow women to eat lunch in certain rooms even if they were attending a business luncheon. Unbelievable? No, it was true. I do hope that restaurant has changed its policy.

With 55 percent of women in the workforce today, women need to be honored and respected for their contributions and not held back because of their sex. We can only move forward from here and appreciate how far we’ve come.

Founder of Carley Communications Group

Here’s to New Beginnings

February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day! A fitting day to launch my new website and business, Carley Communications Group. I’m looking forward to your feedback on the site and hope to have the opportunity to work with many of you in the future. Feel free to email me and let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Last year was difficult for many with record unemployment and layoffs, downsizings and foreclosures, but I’m optimistic that 2012 will be the year that we turn the corner. All signs are pointing to a continued recovery with new job creation, and I’m on board with that. Business is picking up and spirits are soaring so let’s keep the momentum going. It can only get better. As Ellen DeGeneres says, “Be kind to one another.” Have a happy.

Founder of Carley Communications Group