We Are Communication Architects

Building brand awareness through content creation and community engagement.

April 29th, 2016

Influencer Marketing at WOMMA’s TALK Influencer Event

I had a chance to attend the TALK Influence event held by WOMMA at Google Chicago this morning. Here’s a Storify collection of the big takeaways from the speaker presentations and panels.

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About the Author
Chris Thilk works on the Client Services team, part of Voce Connect, developing and executing social media strategy. You can follow him at @christhilk on Twitter.

Filed in Voce People

April 28th, 2016

Industry Voices: How to Manage Stress


As marketing and communications professionals, we are challenged to tell stories in a time where trends are constantly replaced and buzzwords disappear before they mature. With the pace of innovation disrupting what we learned yesterday and what we thought we knew today, our day-to-days can sometimes be overwhelming. Just when we thought we finally understood virtualization or big data, concepts like the Internet of Things emerge to add a new layer of complexity.

While this is what makes our profession so exciting, it can also be difficult to keep pace with the industry. If you’re like me, finding value in my daily tasks – no matter how small or mundane – helps me to stay productive and tackle the never-ending list of action items and firedrills that fill my days.

As we wrap up Stress Awareness Month, we reached out to several industry professionals outside of Voce to learn how they manage to achieve work/life balance, stay focused, and remain productive despite all of the madness we come across on a day-to-day basis.

Embrace the chaos

angela nibbsAngela Nibbs, head of marketing, Inmoji; and founder, maven communications

There’s a certain amount of uncertainty and unpredictability that is just part of the job. Embrace that. Know your boundaries and stay focused on activities that will drive results so work hard AND smart.

There is no way to get around the long hours. But you can control how you approach them. Plan your time so you can to focus your attention on the most important things not just the urgent or top email in your inbox. Share priorities by leaning on your team for help where it makes sense. And, wherever you can, delegate tasks that divert focus or take away from driving results.

It’s PR, not ER

meghan fintland[1]Meghan Fintland, senior manager, corporate communications, NetApp

There is a popular saying in PR, “we are not saving lives, it’s PR not ER,” which I try to remember during stressful situations. In times like these, it helps to keep focused on the end goal of whatever is making you stressed and keep motivated by what success looks like.

I also try to have enough activity outside of work. It may sound contradictory, but the more commitments I have, the better I am both physically and mentally in handling stress. I currently serve on two non-profit boards and am actively involved in my son’s school. Not only does my volunteer work benefit my son, but it keeps me engaged, focused on helping others, and most importantly not solely focused on the stress of work.

30 minutes of solitude

rbhRichard Brewer-Hay, director, social media, Splunk

One of the things that keeps me sane is my 30-minute commute on the bus with my headphones. I either listen to a podcast or a playlist I’ve created on Spotify when I just want to zone out on the bus. As a social media professional, I’m always listening to someone either online or in person, so there are times when I need a little bit of time to myself. (What’s RBH listening to these days? Click here to find out.)

Filed in Voce Culture

April 25th, 2016

How Do Vocians Keep up with their News?

We’re in the business of communications, meaning it’s imperative for every single one of us to keep our fingers on the pulse of what’s happening. That means what’s happening in our industry, what’s changing in our client’s worlds, what key journalists are interested in, and what broader business trends are coming that we can get our clients in front of.

But just how to keep up with all of that can be a tough challenge – especially on top of everything else we have to do in a day.

That’s why we asked a group of folks across Voce for their tricks, tips, hacks and best practices for keeping up with their news. Unsurprisingly, we got such a range of responses and tricks that we had to turn it into two parts.

This is the first of a two-part series highlighting a selection of these approaches:

Keira Anderson, Vice President

Each morning, I start my day with a quick scan of top stories from the Fortune, WSJ, New York Times and Re/code newsletters. All of the most important headlines are curated right there for you — and more and more, these publications are sharing articles from across publications. It’s an easy way to capture the important news for my clients on the way to work. I also religiously read Sam Whitmore’s Media Survey emails since they always have the best inside scoop on the top journalists. When it comes to client coverage tracking, it’s all about #GoogleRefresh to make sure we’re staying on top of the news cycles.

news blog post whitmore

Sean Lenehan, Senior Client Executive

I subscribe the to the New York Times, keep their website as my home page and enable their push notifications on my phone. That’s supplemented by following a cadre of tech, business and political reporters on Twitter. And though I don’t go there for news, I’ll occasionally learn of stories through Reddit or Facebook.

news blog post nyt

Ed McClendon, Supervisor

Bye bye newspapers, hello Twitter Moments. Last October, my FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) tendencies rejoiced when the social platform announced their new (life changing) feature. All it takes is a click and a few swipes on my mobile device and voilà, I’m up to speed on all of the latest topics that are dominating online conversations. Looking to consume news with a laugh? Yes? Then I highly recommend the “Links I would gchat you if we were friends” daily newsletter, that is produced by The Washington Post’s digital culture critic, Caitlin Dewey.

news blog post twitter moments

Lisa Neitzel, Senior Vice President

I read theSkimm daily newsletter every morning before I even get out bed to see a quick overview of the news I need to know. Then, as I go through the day, I check in at a number of news sites online to track real-time breaking news. Finally, to take a step back and look at bigger trends and features, I read Time Magazine each weekend.

news blog post skimm

About the Author
Andy is responsible for developing and implementing social media and digital publishing programs for Voce clients.

Filed in Media, Voce People

April 22nd, 2016

Voce Nation Podcast Ep. 6: Prince, Reddit, Podcasts and More

This week on the Voce Nation Podcast I’m joined by Chris Thilk and Erik Sebellin-Ross as we talk about everything from how we found out about Prince passing away to what our favorite podcasts are.

Here’s what we discussed this week:

  • Erik shares some best practices for brands to engage on Reddit in the wake of this story on Social Media Today.
  • What are our favorite podcasts? Randy likes StartUp and the deep dives it does on a kind of app or network. Erik recommends  Hardcore History and the details it offers on historical events. And Chris gives a shout-out to You Must Remember This, a long-form exploration of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
  • Randy shares some insights on Sprout Social’s new Facebook Reactions analysis offering and talks about how it can help content publishing efforts.
  • Lots of good stuff on Voce Nation, including this look at how various Vocians are involved in charities and other organizations as they give back to their communities.

Catch up with Voce on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Soundcloud. And follow me and Thilk on Twitter for more. Finally, find out about the PNConnect Weekly Reading newsletter and sign-up to get it via email directly.

voce nation podcast

About the Author
Randy Ksar is VP of Digital at Voce Communications. You can follow him at @djksar on Twitter.

Filed in Voce Nation Podcast

April 20th, 2016

Voce Voices: Make Like A Sponge

As folks graduate college and move into the “adult” work world, they may think that the learning process is over. But those people are wrong, so very wrong. Which is great, because life without learning is boring, right?

Alex Alias, Client Executive, shares job advice and gives us a look at a week in her roles on the SanDisk and NetApp teams in this edition of Voce Voices.

This week's #vocevoices features our own Alex Alias, as she shares some advice for those just starting out. #wednesdaywisdom

A photo posted by Voce Communications (@vocenation) on

Filed in Voce People, Voce Voices

April 20th, 2016

Voce Volunteers: How Our Staff Gives Back

Today is Volunteer Recognition Day and we are so excited to recognize our colleagues that give back in their communities! We’ve asked our volunteering Vocian’s to share how/when they’ve given back, and we applaud each and every one of them. With Voce offices spread across the country, we are so proud to see efforts being done coast-to-coast!

Mary Gaulke, Content Strategist

Here in my hometown of Sarasota, Florida, I work with an organization called SURE (Sarasota United for Responsibility and Equity). SURE is an alliance of churches and temples that researches local community challenges — like youth arrest and homelessness — and tries to figure out effective ways to address them politically — like introducing civil citations for youth offenders (so that they don’t have arrests on their permanent records) and setting up a special court designed to treat mentally ill homeless people fairly rather than just sending them to jail. Then we invite local leaders and politicians to a huge annual assembly and use our strength in numbers to encourage and pressure them to commit to act on our recommendations. During my years with SURE, I’ve taken part in the fascinating process of researching homelessness in our community and interviewing local experts on the matter. I’ve also had the privilege of speaking at the last two annual assemblies and was selected to serve on SURE’s Board of Directors. It’s been an incredible opportunity to explore using the power of my own voice, to learn about a side of Sarasota I never would have seen otherwise, and to help create lasting positive change.


Becky Edwards, Account Supervisor

In December 2015, a group of Voce employees volunteered at Glide Memorial – a local SF church that has been providing the community with various services since the 1960s. The group helped pack brownbag dinners and later handed them out to the community. Each year, over 787,000 meals are served to the local community. It was an extremely rewarding afternoon for everyone and we’ll be back next holiday season!


Beca Mueller, Account Manager

I’ve been an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America since 2012 when my son first joined Cub Scouts in Florida. I’ve enjoyed lending my PR/Comms experience to helping the parent committee better communicate within the Pack and externally with the community via website and social media updates. I’ve also had the honor to help plan and execute countless events at the District level. I’ve been up to my elbows in mud on countless campouts, built Pinewood Derby cars, taught boys how to cook over an open fire and enjoyed every minute of it. Now that my son has crossed over to Boy Scouts, I’ll lend my time and skills to a new group of young men and continue to the mission and values set forth by this amazing organization.


randyRandy Ksar, Vice President

I’ve been volunteering for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society since 2001 doing over 30 endurance events (marathons, half-marathons, century bike rides, mountain bike rides) and fundraising over $200,000. The funds have made a huge difference in giving grants to researchers finding a cure and patient services such as financial aid, peer support groups and educational seminars. Cancer sucks and we need to make today the day we read in the news that there is a cure to cancer.  On June 7, I’ll be co-organizing the inaugural Silicon Valley Kickball Classic where the top tech companies compete against each other in support of a great cause. Ping me at rksar@voceomm.com for more information. Also, check out this short video to learn more about my efforts.

Melissa Gaffney, Associate Client Executive

Every year I volunteer for a 3-day conference for the Girl Scouts of Northern California. I help to create and run workshops where girls learn to communicate effectively, lead meetings, and confidently make decisions. I get excited to come to the conference every year and see young women from diverse and sometimes underprivileged backgrounds become more confident in themselves and talk about furthering their education. It has been a rewarding experience to see these women grow!

mollyMolly Wade, Account Supervisor

In March, six Voce ladies volunteered for an evening at the Princess Project, an organization that promotes self-confidence and individual beauty by providing free prom dresses and accessories to high school girls who could otherwise not afford them. We all signed up as “personal” shoppers, as each group of girls arrived, we were paired with one or two to help them comb the racks for a few dresses to try on. The best part was seeing how excited they were when they made their final choice!

Derek Perez, Senior Vice President

To me, during my early years, volunteering was just a waste of time, they were mostly Community Involvement programs that involved “working” on the weekends and or the evenings, for community service hours. Most of us performed such activities unwillingly, wondering about the countless number of things we could be doing with friends or family. Over time, I’ve come to realize that the simplest thing of helping others led to many other joys, including being a part of my community, a sense of achievement, new interest and hobbies and most of all meeting new people and contributing to a positive environment.  Over the last 15 years, I’ve volunteered in a number of ways from coaching little league sports teams to serving on the board of those entities; working at elementary schools and middle schools to helping with reading and writing; serving meals at Thanksgiving and providing toys and clothes to those less fortunate during the Holidays; and of course raising funds through running and biking to help foundations. In the end, volunteering isn’t only about the benefit you provide, but its also about giving your own life more meaning.

Heather Brinckerhoff, Senior Client Executive

Since 2011 I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation as a Wish Granter. It’s been amazing to be able to give back to these kids that are fighting life-threatening illnesses. I really enjoy being a Wish Granter as I’m able to work closely with Wish families and Wish kids to discover their wish and help plan an experience that they’ll never forget. I love seeing the smiles on their faces as they enjoy their chosen wish, knowing that even if it’s for a day, they get to escape from the hardships they are going through at such a young age.


Filed in Voce Culture, Voce People

April 18th, 2016

Voce Nation Podcast Ep. 5: Lithium’s Joe Cothrel

This week on the Voce Nation Podcast we were joined by special guest Joe Cothrel, Chief Community Officer at Lithium Technologies. Listen and watch as Chris Thilk and I talk to Joe about his role at Lithium, what kind of news he follows and the resources that make it easier for him to do his job.

voce nation podcast

About the Author
Randy Ksar is VP of Digital at Voce Communications. You can follow him at @djksar on Twitter.

Filed in Voce Nation Podcast

April 15th, 2016

Voce Client Coverage: 4/15/16

Every week the Voce team works tirelessly to secure important coverage for clients. Below is just an example of the results of this week’s work and you can see more on Flipboard.

linkedin logoLinkedIn

CNN, The new normal: 4 job changes by the time you’re 32

LinkedIn Economist, Guy Berger, on proprietary data showing changes in aerate job tenure by generation, gender, and industry.

WhiteHat Security

CSO Online, Political statements largely behind DDoS attacks

WhiteHat Security’s Vice President of the Threat Research Center Ryan O’Leary explains latest trends in DDoS attacks.

sandisk logoSanDisk

eWeek, SanDisk: Updated All-Flash System Produces 2 Million IOPS

SanDisk announces that it has upgraded its all-flash storage platform, InfiniFlash, to InfiniFlash System IF150 delivering 12Gbps SAS connectivity- twice as fast as it was previously.

Micro Focus

Help Net Security, The security impact of IoT evolution

Geoff Webb explores future IoT security challenges.

Want to find out more about Voce and what it can do for you? Visit our Services page, then meet the Staff that makes all this magic happen. Finally, contact us today to learn more about Voce’s capabilities and operations.

Filed in Uncategorized

April 12th, 2016

Why Technology Is Still About People

1871 voceLast week, I sat down at 1871, Chicago’s technology hub for developers, coders and entrepreneurs with some others from Voce Chicago prepared for a high-level conversation about tech PR. As Andy Cunningham, former PR consultant to Steve Jobs and tech PR veteran, stepped up to the microphone, I mentally ran through all of my tech acronyms so I wouldn’t fall behind in the presentation.

Andy tracked noteworthy technology inventions, highlighted struggles of the Dot-Com bubble burst in 2000, shared fascinating stories about launching the first Macintosh computer, commented on recent technology headlines and reviewed the importance of brand positioning. His presentation, though, focused less on actual technology and more on the lessons she’s taken from working in the technology industry. These takeaways fell into 10 life lessons, and the tenth was the most memorable.

Human ingenuity will prevail.

At Voce, technology is front and center of what we do. We spend our days talking about data centers, cloud computing, cybersecurity, DevOps, hardware, mobile, social media platforms, software and website development. With so much information available, so many devices to utilize and so many ways to communicate with one another, it’s hard to imagine a world when these ideas were still in the brainstorming phase.

Whether it’s a new sensor that will help connect the Internet of Things in the enterprise, or a new application that helps consumers track health data, the technology industry is always working on the next big thing. But it’s necessary to remember that technology is the product of human creativity.

Surprisingly, Cunningham did not elaborate on this final life lesson on human ingenuity. It seeped into the crowd as a call to action to realize it’s not necessarily about the end product. It’s not about being the next big thing right then. It is about recognizing the power of human creativity to create real change in the world.

About the Author
Vanessa works as an Associate Client Executive in the Chicago office. You can follow her at @vanessaggeorge on Twitter.

Filed in Technology

April 11th, 2016

Voce Nation Podcast Ep. 4: Medium, Facebook Live and More

Join Chris Thilk and myself for this Blab-hosted conversation of the latest news in the social media and content marketing world.

Here’s what we discussed this week:

Catch up with Voce on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Soundcloud. And follow me and Thilk on Twitter for more. Finally, find out about the PNConnect Weekly Reading newsletter here or sign-up to get it via email directly.

voce nation podcast

About the Author
Randy Ksar is VP of Digital at Voce Communications. You can follow him at @djksar on Twitter.

Filed in Voce Nation Podcast

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