Since 2003, Anne Curley’s consulting practice, Curley Communication, has specialized in brand clarification. She helps businesses and not-for-profits whose image is outdated, incomplete or just undifferentiated. To address this very common problem, she developed a cost-effective process for figuring out what an organization’s name realistically can stand for and what it ideally should stand for to attract the relationships – customers, donors, employees or members – that fit best. She has used this process to help reposition and strengthen the brand identities of scores of organizations including health care systems, manufacturers, social service agencies, financial service providers and others.
“Getting crystal-clear on the critical few differentiators you’re going to focus on is a powerful competitive advantage. It attracts talent, fosters great cultures, fuels growth and just generally breeds success. I enjoy this work so much it doesn’t even feel like work, because I’ve seen how transformational it can be for an organization.”
Ann follows this advice: “When someone asks you to take on an assignment you’re not sure you can handle, just say yes. It feels scary to get in over your head but, assuming you’ve got a smart one on your shoulders, stretch assignments are the best way to grow your capabilities and advance your career. I admire the ability to balance self-confidence and humility.”
Regarding PD membership, Ann loves the relaxed camaraderie of Third Thursdays. She noted that Patrice Nault has done a fantastic job of perpetuating this PD advantage. Leisure time activities for Curley include scuba diving in warm places, kayaking on rivers in Northern Wisconsin and playing sheepshead, “that outstanding card game known almost nowhere in the U.S. except in Wisconsin.”
When asked what media sources Ann likes to rely on, she replied “Having spent the first 11 years of my career as a newspaper journalist, I’m a huge believer in the importance of supporting quality journalism. I read the digital New York Times and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel every day. I also love The Week, a very well curated collection of brief and diverse perspectives on the past week’s news ranging from international conflicts to popular culture. It’s the most efficient way I know to stay reasonably current on what’s happening across a wide range of subject areas.”