What Do Penguins and Communicators Have in Common. Mission: Communicate! newsletter, December 2007


Mission: Communicate!






·  Valek & Co. Client List Continues to Grow

·  Great Communicators: Famous Penguins

·  Mario Lemieux

·  Sidney Crosby

·  Erin Blaber

Dear Guest,

What do penguins and communicators have in common? The short answer is we're both trying to get noticed when we all look the same, at least to those who don't already know us.

How do thousands of penguins standing in their tuxedos on an iceberg tell each other apart? Well nature lovers, each penguin develops special calls or vocalizations. These calls play an important function in courtship and mate selection, showing again the importance of a really great pick-up line. Other vocalizations enable penguins to establish their identity, defend territory or warn against predators.

In addition, penguins perform physical behaviors called displays (think body language). They are able to convey the right attitude toward other penguins contemplating moving in on nesting territory or a potential mate.

As communicators, we need to draw attention to characteristics that separate our organizations or clients from the rest. Instead of using vocalizations or physical behaviors as penguins do, we must develop the right messages and communicate them using the best media mix. Still, we're not all that different than our friends from the deep freeze; if we don't make a distinct impression, we're all dressed up with no place to go.

Best wishes for the Holiday season and New Year! May you have many places to go and many opportunities to see family and friends. Later in this lighthearted winter issue, see the Great Communicators article about a few individuals who have distinguished themselves as penguins.

Peace to you and yours,

Ray signature
Ray Valek


Valek & Co. Client List Continues to Grow

Valek logo Now in our fifth year, Valek & Co. continues to add clients. To date, we have completed assignments or have continuing work with the American Osteopathic Association, Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) -- Chicago Chapter, Berwyn Public Health District, Body in Balance, Chicago Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroresearch (CINN), College of American Pathologists, Dade Behring, Defibtech, Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), Horace Mann Educators Corporation, Hudson, Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Illinois Public Health Association, Illinois School Psychologists Association, The Joint Commission, Joint Commission Resources, LifeSavers Inc., MDI Access, the Midwest Business Group on Health, Neurologic and Orthopedic Institute of Chicago, Promet Energy, Purple Monkey Studios, St. James Hospital and Health Centers, State of Illinois Cervical Cancer Elimination Task Force, State of Illinois Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP), Stonegate Strategic Advisors, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Vista Health, and Weiss Memorial Hospital.

For Valek & Co. project highlights, go to . . .


Great Communicators: Famous Penguins

Hockey stars Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins were hailed as the second and third coming respectively of Wayne Gretzky. All three players are known for their otherworldly ability to communicate with teammates on the ice. They have a sixth sense for knowing where teammates are located at any given moment, despite playing a game where players are constantly in motion.

To learn more about the world's greatest sport, go to . . .


Mario Lemieux

Lemieux played 17 years for the Penguins and now is the team's principal owner and chairman of the board. Despite being plagued by various injuries and ailments (including Hodgkin's lymphoma and atrial fibrillation) and healthy enough to play in only about 65 percent of the team's games scheduled during his career, he was the National Hockey League's seventh highest scorer when he retired in 2005. He led the Penguins to two Stanley Cups.

Lemieux created the Mario Lemieux Foundation in 1993, the same year he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. The Foundation funds promising medical research projects. The Foundation also supports the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the Leukemia Society, the Lupus Foundation and the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

To learn about the Mario Lemieux Foundation, go to . . .


Sidney Crosby

In 2006-2007, Penguin Sidney Crosby led the NHL in scoring at the age of 19 during his second year in the league. He was the youngest player and only teenager to win a scoring title in any major North American professional sports league. Crosby also was named the NHL's Most Valuable Player. This year, Crosby is among the leaders in scoring so far. Crosby is the best player since Mario Lemieux, says Gretzky, who is the NHL's all-time leading scorer and best hockey player ever, experts agree.

To see the Sidney Crosby top 10 highlight reel, including a behind-the-net dunk shot (you thought you couldn't do that in hockey), go to , , ,


Erin Blaber

Middle schooler Erin Blaber is not a hockey player but scores a hat trick with the Weekly Penguin, a magazine the young journalist publishes with her friends. The Weekly Penguin includes news, advice, ads, poetry, quizzes, art and fiction. It's an impressive publication that Erin can be quite proud of!


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