It’s Not Manipulation, It’s Strategic Communication: Keisha Brewer (Transcript)

Full transcript of Strategic Communications professional Keisha Brewer’s talk: It’s Not Manipulation, It’s Strategic Communication at TEDxGeorgetown.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here:


Keisha Brewer – CEO of the PR Alliance LLC

Good morning; good morning. I’m excited to be your first speaker of today.

By a show of hands, how many of you have heard of the phrase: it’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.

Do you remember the person who told that to you? Tell them they lied. Repeat after me:

What you say is just as important as how you say it.

Your turn.

What you say is just as important as how you say it. And that is called Strategic Communications.

And strategic communications is probably the very thing you’ve been needing this entire time to help you get what you need out of life.

See, most people stop going after the bigger things that they want in life simply, because well they’re just not getting it.

But what they don’t realize is that they’re causing some sort of resistance in the way that they’re communicating, that’s helping them not get what they want out of life.

How many of you have been in the situation where no matter how much you talk and talk and tell someone your viewpoint they’re just not getting it, right?

No matter how much you change your approach and your delivery, they’re just not understanding your viewpoint, whether that’s to a family member, whether that’s to your spouse, whether that’s to your boss, they’re just not getting it. I think we’ve all experienced that type of frustration.

Today I’m going to give you the tools to strategically communicate through all of those issues and combat that resistance. And I’m going to do that first by taking you through two parallel situations, very real situations to me; one personal and one professional, starting with professional.

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So I started my career in communications a few years ago, starting with news writing and reporting; then going on to advertising specialist, then landing a job as a communications specialist.

In my communications specialist role, I was able to do things such as email marketing, mission-driven partnerships, writing speeches for the CEO, things of that nature.

On the first day of my communication specialist role, my boss said, ‘I know this is a lot, it’s your first day you’re supposed to be doing paperwork things of that nature, but do you mind if you reach out to Google and see if they can land a partnership with our next event next month?’

And I’m like you’re right, that’s a very big ask for the first day. I am supposed to be doing paperwork, we’re at HR.

So either way it’s my job, right, it’s the first day, you want to make a big impression, I shoot my shot; that’s millennial talk for just get it done.

And so I look up Google’s mission, I figure out what they’re interested in, the type of partnerships that they’re interested in, then I think about my company’s mission, what type of partnerships are we interested in, what is our mission, what are we trying to convey?

I wrap that up into an email, I send it to their communications department, I express the need, send it on its way.

Transition into my personal life. I get home and I’m scrolling on Instagram like us millennials do, and I get a DM from my friend Jessica, and she’s like, oh my gosh, Keisha, the guy I like just DMed me.

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