The Essence of the Red Cross – In Three Words

January 18, 2010

Soon after I began working at the American Red Cross, I realized how deceptively complex the organization actually is. In the context of that complexity, I struggled to succinctly describe the important work we do.

In a previous post, I outlined the creative process we undertook to develop key messages that would be 1) conversational, 2) memorable and 3) differentiating. At the American Red Cross of Greater Kansas City, we came up with key messages that focused on our role during times of disaster. We finalized on these three words:

W e   a r e   t h e r e.

That’s it—three deceptively simple words. They sit at the apex of our communications pyramid. In one sentence, the American Red Cross can say that during a disaster, “We are there.”

To add dimension and depth to that phrase, we added three bullet points that expanded the “we are there” theme. They are:

  1. We prepare. Before you need us, we are there, anticipating the unexpected. We set the standard for life-saving CPR, first aid and water training skills. We prepare the community with disaster education and preparedness programs. We support blood banks to ensure a safe and adequate supply for all of us.
  2. We respond. During emergencies, we are there, providing immediate relief and reassurance. Ever day, we serve people affected by disasters, at home and around the world. We can immediately activate a trained team of committed volunteers who are always ready to help. During tragedies, we give people ways to come together and assist those in need.
  3. We restore. After disasters, we are there, rebuilding lives and communities. We find answers, information and contacts so people can re-establish their lives. Our global network and extensive partnerships empower us to provide tangible solutions. All disaster assistance is provided free of charge, thanks to donations of time and money from the generous American people. Read the rest of this entry »

Things I Love about My Wife

December 29, 2009

Today is my 35th wedding anniversary. Carol and I were married on a cold winter night in her hometown of Cincinnati.

We met in college and then continued dating when separated by hundreds of miles. Geography couldn’t keep us apart. I remember telling a man next to me on an airplane, “I’m flying home to Colorado from Tennessee where I attend college. My fiancée is from Ohio but she’s a university student in California and currently working as an intern in Florida.”

Now, 35 years later, we live in Kansas City and I’ve taken time to reflect on some of the reasons I love my wife more and more with each passing day.

  1. We are so much alike. We share the same priorities—family, faith, friends, finances, etc., etc.
  2. We are so different. I’m a marketing guy and she’s an accountant. Need I say more? The fact that I’m from Mars and she’s from Venus makes life much more interesting.
  3. We share so many memories. We’ve experienced so much together that I can hardly remember my life B.C. (Before Carol). We’ve lived our lives together “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer.” Read the rest of this entry »

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