Tag Archives: Frances Cole Jones

Update your bookmarks! NEW blog address…

Hi Everyone,

First of all, Happy New Year. I wish each and everyone of you much success in 2011. This year I will continue to provide you with advice, articles and tips on WOW-ing in your professional and personal lives. As the volume and type of content evolves and the blog’s traffic ever-growing, comes the time of an upgraded blog. So I’m excited to announce that my blog has moved to a new server! Please update your bookmarks and e-mail subscriptions and point them to:


I look forward to a fantastic year with you all.

Frances Cole Jones


Lift Your Public Persona

By MICHAEL MINK Posted 12/20/2010 04:53 PM ET

When the publicity spotlight finds your company, your skills can maximize a good situation or salvage a bad one. Here’s how:

Be prepared. Before facing the media and public, know exactly what you want to say by crafting your message in detail. This includes anticipating questions. Ask yourself: How do we want our customers or stakeholders to see us?

“It’s too easy for anyone in the C-suite or for a spokesperson to say the wrong thing publicly, and the damage can be significant,” Jeff Ansell, co-author of “When the Headline Is You,” told IBD.

“When John Walter was named CEO of AT&T (T) (in 1996), a reporter at the news conference asked who his service provider is. Walter didn’t know and within four hours of that exchange, AT&T’s market cap plummeted $4 billion. And that was supposed to be a good news story,” Ansell said.

How to avoid that? “Don’t say or write anything you wouldn’t want to see out there publicly,” said Frances Cole Jones, founder of Cole Media Management.

Practice messages. Do this out loud and get feedback. Rehearse answers and ways to move the conversation to the points you want to convey. “Recognize that the first words out of your mouth form the first draft of the story,” Ansell said.

Jones suggests practicing in front of a mirror, especially when doing telephone interviews. “This will remind you to smile and your voice will follow, making you much more interesting to listen to,” she said.

Another benefit: If someone asks you about something that makes you feel tense, “you’re going to see your face tense up, and that’s going to remind you to take a breath and then speak,” she said.

Be accessible. This is especially true when a crisis emerges.

“Not engaging media only leaves your critics with an open field, allowing them to hammer home their messages while you’re hiding behind the door,” Ansell said.

In good times, Jones says, no media opportunity or event is too small. Consider doing all you can.

Follow social media. Dedicate corporate resources to monitor the Web, Ansell said, and respond accordingly: “See what people are saying, and more often than not engage bloggers in conversation. Like Mark Twain said, ‘a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.'”

Jones said, “Tweet wisely or forever hold your peace. Consumers have the power to talk back, and companies need to realize that.”

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A Holiday Message from Frances Cole Jones

As 2010 ends I wanted to take a moment to thank you all so very much for your interest, feedback, and suggestions this past year– and tell you a bit about what’s in store for 2011.

I don’t know if you had a chance to see my Forbes.com piece on why mixing business and pleasure is a dangerous cocktail but this column is an ongoing assignment and I would love to hear what you’d like me to be writing about in the new year.

I’m looking forward to speaking on The Art of Sales at the Spark and Hustle conference in New York in March.

Topics for upcoming Wows of the Week include:

  • The importance of setting 3-day, 3-month and 3-year goals
  • Why “No” is just the opening gambit in a negotiation, and
  • How to use “quick wins” (not quick fixes) to boost morale for yourself and those around you

I’ll be adding a number of new items to the Wow Store—among other things, the search for the perfect women’s blue shirt appears to be drawing to a close– stay tuned.

I’ve been getting such great feedback from those of you who downloaded the Interview Wow app that I’m contemplating another. Details to come.

And “just so you know, FYI,” in the “upcoming future’ I will continue adding to my list of “core foundational” redundancies that drive me wild….Keep sending them along!

Most importantly, however, I would like to say how privileged I feel for the time and attention you have given this space this past year. I truly appreciate it.

With gratitude and joy,



Wow—It’s Time to Buy My Boss/Colleague/Client a Gift Video

Vodpod videos no longer available.

3 Rules for Wowing Your Holiday Office Party

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Mixing Business With Dating Doesn’t Work

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a business negotiation, and suddenly realized that a new element has been – sometimes delicately, sometimes not—added to the mix? And that that element is no less than– surprise– you?

Now I’m a big fan of business, and I’m a big fan of pleasure. I am not, however, enamored of the business and pleasure mix. For every one situation that works out, there are thousands and thousands of examples of situations gone awry.

And that’s when both parties are interested and free to become involved. Further complications ensue when you’re not interested, and/or when he’s not, in fact, single.

But let’s begin with the fairly straightforward scenario:

You’re single. He’s single. Everybody’s Interested–and No Company Policies are Being Violated.

Let’s tackle company policies first. Before entering into any kind of romantic relationship, you need to know that no ethics/corporate regulations are being violated.

In addition to checking in on the black-and-white version of the company policy, I also recommend doing a bit of asking around to see if there are any unspoken rules and regulations around inter-office/inter-client etc. relationships; not to mention any thoughts on “sleeping with the enemy,” should the person you’re interested in work in a competing arena.

If you get the green light, and the signals are overt–“Maybe we can have dinner tonight?” or “I’d like to see you outside of the office,” etc.–I think it’s important to be both kind and clear.

You might say, for example, “I would like that a lot. At the moment, however, we’re in the midst of a business negotiation/company project, and I don’t want either our deal/ project–not to mention our date–to be impacted by mixing business and pleasure. I’d love to take you up on your offer once we’re not professionally involved.”

If you’re working with someone who’s not as overt about their intentions you might say, “It seems like we’d have a lot to talk about outside the office, but I know you would agree that this deal/project is our first priority right now. Once this is complete, however, maybe we can get together for a drink?”

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My List of the Top 10 Essentials of Good Etiquette

1. Please and thank you make the world go ’round. Use them frequently with everyone you meet– they’re not just for special occasions.

2. After ringing the doorbell, step back a foot. It gives the person opening the door some breathing space.

3. Always announce yourself first when calling. “Hello, this is X. May I speak with Y?”

4. If you’re the person being asked, “Is this X?” The correct response is, “This is he/she.”

5. When the restaurant’s maitre’d comes to seat you, step back and let your host or hostess proceed to the table ahead of you.

6. Your napkin goes in your lap upon sitting down at the table. On your chair should you excuse yourself to go to the Ladies or Men’s room. On the table when the meal is complete and you are leaving.

7. Unless you are expecting an emergency call– from a doctor, your child’s teacher, etc– electronic devices have no place on the table during a meal.

8. Short of visible shards of glass, or the possibility of anaphylactic shock, don’t comment on the food unless your comment is favorable.

9. If you are a guest and there is something peculiar about your food, or you would like a refill on your drink, tell your host and let him speak with the waiter.

10. Again, there’s no need to look at your electronic device in between finishing the meal and leaving the restaurant. Give your dining companions your full attention until your goodbye’s are complete.