Periodically, the Gargiulo + Partners team publishes short essays about timely issues and time-tested best practices in business communications.

These pieces are archived under the categories listed in the menu. We hope they serve as a source of compelling and provocative ideas, and we welcome your thoughts and feedback.

The convergence of words and deeds

Building credibility and trust with clients, regulators and the public requires clear communications that complement companies’ actions and results. In these essays, Gargiulo + Partners reconsiders the adage “Deeds not Words,” and maintains that words can be as powerful as deeds, especially in the digital age. As words move their audience to act, they epitomize deeds, so that “Deeds + Words” becomes a maxim for the modern age.

Making a Lasting Impression: Live the Brand Building identity through small, pervasive actions Say As You Do: Credible Communications Connecting with audiences by matching your message to your actions

Content is still king

Does substance, content, voice, matter in the digital realm? In the age of social media, when virtual image seems to define relevance, the medium often seems to overtake the message. But does it really? Can medium ever eclipse message?

In these essays, Gargiulo + Partners argues that as ever, the medium – be it as archaic as cave drawings, as old-world as PowerPoint slides or as current as Twitter, should enhance not become the message. Even the most current, cool, awesome technology is only a tool and can never replace the awesome power of strong, fresh, clear thinking – or cover up for the absence of such. Indeed, we argue that in an age of e-media, message and voice are more critical than ever.

Content and Medium
Meaningful messages in the age of Twitter
Blunt Instrument or Power Tool?
PowerPoint can support clear thinking but can't replace it
The Virtual Voice
The importance of message in an age of e-media

Using narrative elements to enhance clarity and resonance

“Story.” “Storyline.” “Narrative.” Over the past decade, these concepts have moved from the narrow spheres of policy making and finance into the general lexicon. In fact, the word “narrative” has become a near-ubiquitous cliché.

In this collection of essays, spanning nearly a decade, Gargiulo + Partners evaluates the financial industry’s changing views of story – from negative connotations of fabrication and fiction to the current fascination with “narrative” as a means of controlling power. We consider the discipline required to construct an effective story and provide precepts for effectively using narrative elements to present complex information in a clear and compelling way.

Articulate Accounts
The narrative framework in financial communications
Evidence of Elegance
Powerful concepts in simple packages
Beyond Numbers and Bullet Points: Tell Your Story
Using narrative to communicate complex information

Making financial documents understandable

As regulators enact measures to enhance stability, restore confidence, and protect investors and consumers, Gargiulo + Partners issues a call for clarity. We urge lawmakers and firms to give as much attention to the clearness of information presented as they do to the types and amount of information disclosed.

In this series we propose basic principles for improving the clarity of financial communications.

Fear of Freshness
How to respond to market demand for crisper communications
Simplicity for Sophisticates
Making disclosure more readable will be vital in the post-reform era
Lost in Transparency
Disclosure is not enough - financial reform must also mandate clarity
Seeing Clearly
Transparency is no substitute for clarity

Advertising the product and the brand

With the lifting of the ban on advertising of hedge fund and other privately issued securities in September 2013, alternative asset managers have an array of marketing approaches now open to them. In a sector that traditionally has made a virtue of limited disclosure, is this deregulation a blessing or a curse? If the former, what is the best way to seize this opportunity? Is advertising appropriate for this sector?

Read on for some informed views and guidance on these questions.

Hedge Fund Ads on the Super Bowl Blimp
Lessons learned from advertising deregulation

Recasting the proxy for optimal impact

Amid rising shareholder activism, the role of the proxy statement is changing. Beyond satisfying disclosure requirements, the proxy offers corporate directors and officers the opportunity to clarify strategy and policies, explain how shareholder concerns are being met and provide the transparency that investors now demand. In this series, Gargiulo + Partners proposes basic principles that recast the proxy statement to encompass not only compliance, but communications that can enhance the image of the corporation in the eyes of the investment community.

Proxy Disclosure
Does transparency pay off?
Proxy Statements Revisited
The proxy as a tool for investor engagement