This Season of Giving, Consider Giving the Gift of You!

What’s the Power of your Personal Brand?

Who knows? And you’ll never know if you don’t start sharing the story of YOU.

Because, quite simply, that’s what Brand is. It’s the story. Of a Product. Of a Service. Of You.

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Tomorrow I’ve been invited to speak before a group of executives from a wide-range of multi-national companies. Each year they come together to share stories of what has worked  - and what hasn’t – to add value for everyone.

This idea of collaboration or “open source” of best practices, is the same thing you can accomplish when you get serious about cultivating your personal brand.  

Of course, “BRAND” is an over-used word that has come a long way from when it was simply a metal tool used to mark cattle.

Now it’s about leaving your own mark – telling others what you have learned during your own professional journey.

A businessman I met on the train today up to Dublin told me that he loves hearing how others have dealt with disappointment or failures.  Stories of overcoming adversity inspire him to keep going when times are tough on the job.

Are you telling your own stories?  That’s actively taking charge of your brand.

No matter where you are in your career, you likely have a story to tell.

You don’t have to be an expert. But maybe you already are.  Think about it.  The difference often between yourselves and someone who markets themselves as an expert – is probably only that they have self-proclaimed the title.  You can give yourself that too.

If not now, when?  And if not you, then who?

There are a myriad of ways to do this.   And make no mistake whether or not you’re taking ownership of these ways, people are still forming opinions about you.   You are already cultivating your brand. Just perhaps not purposefully.

I focus on three main ways.

They’re all linked and they all overlap. The important thing is to start thinking about it. And then turn those thoughts into action. Okay, so here are your ABC’s.

A – Appearance. Like it or not, this is your first impression.  Are your shoes polished? Hair groomed? Appropriately dressed for the event, dinner, meeting occasion? You’d be surprised how many people phone this one in.

B - Behaviour. – You don’t have to open your mouth. What you do, how you look, how you listen, how you move, all say it for you. Remember,

 You are never not communicating.”

C – Communications. – Although A and B also communicate to your audience, this is where you can really get results:  I subdivide this into another three:

1. Written – this is all CONTENT -  from emails, to weekly meetings,  to presentations.  What strategy do you apply before you create your message? The methodology I apply is AIM: Consider your  Audience, Intent and Message.

2. Spoken -  this is your delivery mode -  the WAY you speak. Your volume, your tone, your pacing, your inflections. All of these add up to a reflection of you. And not just in a big presentation, either.  How do you talk to your colleagues? Your direct reports? Your managers?

3. SOCIAL MEDIA - And finally: a great thing for some – and a dreaded thing for others. The Social Media piece. Yes, social media.

So – who’s on Twitter? Instagram?  Vine??

Okay..Here’s the basics. And if you’re reading this on Linked In, the answer is obvious, but anyway, let’s dig deeper:  Who’s on Linked in?

With a photo that looks friendly and not like you’re wanted for a crime?

With a profile that’s not just a rundown of your CV – but that tells a story of your experiences, accomplishments and value?

That’s in first person?

And for the real bonus – who regularly posts essays on Linked in?  This is a great way to share your stories to a broader audience.

You’ll be on your way to becoming a thought leader – but really, during this season of giving, if you can share a story of overcoming adversity or disappointment that impacts even one person in a positive way, that’s worth it, isn’t it?

Happy holidays and happy sharing and giving.

Gina

Copyright 2015 Gina London. All Rights Reserved. 


When We Were Wonderful.

No answers. No suggestions. No advice.

With the ongoing deadly attacks from ISIS, (the horror in Mali is unfolding as I type), today I offer only a few heart breaking observations and questions.

When did the men who are steering this barbarity become so filled with hate?  So cruel? As my seven-year-old daughter, Lulu, asked me, “Why do they like being mean?”

Over the weekend, she and I took the train to Dublin.  An early celebration for her birthday later this month.

We arrived at our hotel Friday evening and squeezed in a mommy-daughter swim before they closed the pool.  We were warm and dry in our fleece jammies when room service arrived – plus a special ice cream with a candle in it for the almost-birthday girl.  And then the news of the Paris attacks also arrived via the TV.

“Turn it off, Mammy,” Lulu said, using the sweet Irish version of my title. “I don’t want to spoil our dinner.”

She wasn’t being insensitive. She’s too young. Too in the moment of her own happiness.  Obviously, turning it off doesn’t make it go away.  Those precious innocent lives that were cut down have been gone a week now.  And they’re never coming back.  And neither are those from Beirut, from the Russian plane crash, from Syria, from the many other bombings, the beheadings. The grisly list goes on and on…

The next morning, when I came out from the shower, Lulu had drawn me a picture in pencil on the hotel stationery.  Along with the clouds and the lead grey rainbow were the following words of promise:

I love you Mammy, and I’ll try my best to be wonderful.”

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Her endearing note and the dreadful attacks have nothing in common, really. And yet it made me pause.  When do young children whose hearts are naturally filled with joy and play and dreams - children who want to be wonderful – turn into angry, resentful, and terrible adults?

It may be younger than you think.  Some psychologists point to nine as the pivotal year for the onset of typical adolescent rebellion. Other studies show children may experience so-called “conduct disorders” exhibiting a severe lack of empathy or caring for others much younger.

And, according to reports, ISIS is capitalizing on this.  The Guardian, this week, excerpted from the ISIS manifesto or playbook stating,

Capture the rebelliousness of youth, their energy and idealism, and their readiness for self-sacrifice, while fools preach ‘moderation’ (wasatiyyah), security and avoidance of risk.”

National Public Radio, just yesterday, ran a story from Afghanistan which told of a school run by the Islamic State. There they were, teaching students words like Jihad, Kalashnikov and Infidel.  Doing show and tell with a machine gun. Watching videos of the atrocities they’ve committed. Indoctrinating children (only the little boys, actually) as young as three. Three?!?

I am saddened by the horrors ISIS is inflicting through its wanton attacks.

I am also saddened by the horror they are teaching and spreading. ISIS: Stealing children’s wonder. Their desire to be wonderful.   And replacing it with fervent hate for people they have never met.

Somebody cue Louis Armstrong please!

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Copyright 2015 Gina London. All Rights Reserved. 

 

 

 

 


How to be funny in a presentation when you're not a comedian!

I will be giving the closing keynote at a tech conference in London next week.

And I only know one joke.  Which goes like this:

"So these Wild West cowboys are sitting huddled around their campfire out on the prairie late one night when off in the distance they hear the distinct 'Bum-bum-BUM-bum, bum-bum-BUM-bum' of tribal drums.

'Oh no!,' says one of the cowboys to the group, 'I don't like the sound of them drums.'

'Sorry!' yells a voice way off in the distance, 'It's not our regular drummer!' "

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Okay.  That's it.  Maybe because I have this image of Animal, or it reminds me of some sort of thing the guys from Spinal Tap might say, or because of my own frustrated air-guitar rocker tendencies, but I love it.

And I'm smart enough to know that practically no one else does.  Which is why I have never tried to shoe-horn it in during a keynote, presentation or speech.

However, the notion of humor is one that always comes up when I consult with executives on their presentations and communications styles.  "How do I be funny?" they ask.

As humans, we're social animals. We like to share a laugh.

That's especially true during a speech or presentation.   We may have to sit there because it's part of our job or the conference we're attending, but we're hoping that the presenter will exhibit some sort of human connection.

If it were only about the information, then why not simply write it and hit the 'send' button?

There are as many different types of humor as there are of personality types. Here are a few of my tips:

1. Know yourself.  If you don't tell jokes well during your personal life, don't try to deliver a joke during a presentation (and you know this from the kind of eye rolls or deafening silence you normally get). What makes your friends laugh? Are you the dry observer?  Ironic?  Silly? Go with that.  A bit. Remember, a little goes a long way in the presenting context.

2. A personal story is usually better than a joke.  Think of something that relates back to your point. Maybe something from your childhood. Telling an anecdote that comes from the heart and really happened to you is likely going to resonate better than some contrived joke.

3. React in the moment.  Ad-lib on the meeting so far, the curtains, the weather, the food.  As long as you're not being too critical or mean-spirited, a quick humorous aside can bring a nice "real" moment to the room.

4. Self-deprecation.  People like successful people who can still poke fun at themselves. But not false modesty. That's bending backward too hard.

Any time you speak before an audience - be it a smallish regular meeting or a more formal event - the information you're about to present should take a back seat to the human connection you should endeavor to make.

And, if you're going to be presenting at a drummers convention, do I have the perfect joke for you!  Or maybe not.

Don't try too hard.  You're a human. You're a natural.

Copyright 2015 Gina London. All Rights Reserved. 


You CAN Go Back.

After a year of living in Ireland, we have returned to our beloved former home of Arezzo, Italy.

Bentornati ad Arezzo!
Bentornati ad Arezzo!

Don't get me wrong, we are LOVING life in Ireland.  The people and adventures there are more than terrific.  But we longed to walk the cobbled streets of Arezzo's medieval "Centro Storico" again.

In the historic center of Arezzo
A piazzetta in the historic center of Arezzo.

How would it feel to be back for just a two-week vacation? The town and its wonderful residents would have spent a full year working, playing, dining and simply going on. Without us.

Lulu and Vincent and La Chiesa di San Domenico.
Lulu and Vincent and La Chiesa di San Domenico.

So, with fingers crossed, we called out to our former neighbors, schoolmates and pals. Would they make a little time for us? ---- Guess what!?

We went to this marvelous
We went to this marvelous "Cena di Colcitrone" dinner with our old friends in Arezzo! Evviva!
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Lulu together again with her girl friends from her former primary school in Arezzo, Aliotti.
Eating
Eating "pici con cinghiale' at one of our favorite restaurants - where they remembered us and gave us our "usual" table!
It tasted as good as I had remembered. Che buona!
It tasted as good as I had remembered. Che buona!

Lulu has gone to camp with a former buddy. She has played with her old girlfriends. We have had our nails done at our former salon. We have visited with Lulu's Italian "nonno" Mario. We attended a great big feast in our old "quartiere."  In short, we are happily being reunited with our favorite people and places!

Yes, life does go on.  Some shops have closed while a couple new ones have opened their doors.  Kids have grown taller. One dear friend, sadly, has passed away.  Yes, the seasons continue to change and the rain does fall - even on our Tuscan retreat.

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But no matter if you change towns, jobs or in our case, countries, you can and should stay in contact with your former friends and colleagues as best you can.

Lulu and Arezzo's Duomo bell tower in the background.
Lulu and Arezzo's Duomo bell tower in the background.
Reunited with my dear friend Carla Veneri.
Reunited with my dear friend Carla Veneri.

Social media is terrific for doing just that.

In fact, last summer, I went to Ghana through the US State Department to train the country's 60 spokespeople.  My co-trainer was Jeff Eller, a wonderful inspiration to me when I was fresh from college and worked under him at the Democratic Party in Washington, DC - some, er, twenty years ago.  We were friends on Facebook. And there we were together again last August in Accra!

Jeff and I together again in Accra last August.
Jeff and I together again in Accra last August.

So, keep in touch.  You never know what fun you'll have in the future.

Looking forward to our next adventure...
Looking forward to our next adventure...

As the saying goes: Make new friends, but keep the old.

Baci, Gina

Copyright 2015 Gina London. All Rights Reserved. 


The Opportunity to See Puffins!

What will you do when opportunity presents itself?   Whether in business or not, it’s all the same, isn’t it?  After all, you don’t  have a professional life and a personal life; you have a life.

Yesterday, I took a boat two hours off the southern coast of Ireland to an uninhabited island known as Skellig Michael.

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Skellig Michael as we approached from John O'Shea's fine boat.

It’s uninhabited by people – but very much inhabited by 10 thousand puffins.  Yes, the alluring little sea bird with the striped orange beak and matching webbed feet with harlequin-marked eyes nest in burrows all over the craggy rock mountain which juts some 750 feet high out of the Atlantic.   The steep island is a UNESCO World Heritage site and also a place I have wanted to visit since I first learned about puffins as a little girl growing up in Indiana, which as you all know is surrounded by corn fields not the ocean.

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A Puffin ready for his close-up!

Since we moved to Ireland last September, I have been talking about my puffin dream to everyone I met.  A few told me they had visited the island. Many more had not. But, like me, said they dream of going. One day.

Then suddenly, a friend whose family owns a summer home on Lamb’s Head, texted me with the opportunity to stay at the house.  The timing was now.

Was I willing?  Would I pack up, grab my seven-year-old daughter and pop into the car? Drive the two hours along tiny coastal roads I have never traveled on to a place I have never been? Book a boat trip by ringing  a captain I have never met  just one day prior? Inquire about space? Ride two more hours on said boat? Trek up to a remote spot in the middle of the sea?

We did it! We made it to Puffin Island, aka Skellig Michael, Ireland.

But I have other work to do. But, my daughter would miss a day of summer camp that has already been paid for. But. But. There is likely always going to be a but!  But what if you just do it?

Which is what I did, of course, or I wouldn’t be writing this.

Yesterday was a lifetime experience for my daughter and me.   It was a glorious, sunny day  and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves simply watching the birds.

Puffins are treasures, Lulu proclaimed.

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There was an elderly man on our boat who told us that although he has lived in Ireland all his life, he had never taken the opportunity to see the puffins. Finally he was doing it. Almost too late.

Maybe yesterday wasn’t the perfect time, but it was the time.   Maybe seeing little waddling puffins is not part of your dreams.   But what is?

Lulu, using her stuffed Puffin named
Lulu, using her stuffed Puffin named "Muffin" as a decoy, tries to entice a real puffin. It didn't work!

When the door opens , will you hesitate, or will you rush through?

(Carpe diem, baby! And a huge, heart-felt thank you to Noelle Barry for the use of her home and to John O'Shea, for an A+ boat trip!)

Copyright 2015 Gina London. All Rights Reserved. 


Remembering Arezzo

My Italian loving and blogging friend "Panini Girl" dedicated her post today to me as she spotlighted a Tuscan town we both adore: Arezzo. I share her blog and wonderful photos with you while I thank her for the dedication and thank Arezzo for welcoming us so warmly while Scotty, Lulu and I lived there. Grazie e baci!


Nigeria’s Election: Why It Matters

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Tomorrow, Nigerians head to the polls.    I recently spoke on Nigerian Radio Continental with popular host “Citizen Jones”   about the importance of this election – not only for selecting the nation’s president -  but for why it matters to the rest of the world.

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Radio Continental's Citizen Jones

As a veteran CNN journalist and current business consultant who has spent months working with hundreds of students and professionals in Nigeria, much is at stake.

Incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan is squaring off again against former military leader  Mohammadu  Buhari.  It’s the fourth time Buhari has tried for the highest office since he took charge after a coup back in the 80s and it’s the second time he’ll face Jonathan.   Latest polls show the race is a tight one. But this contest is more than betting on the long-running horse race of Buhari’s persistence.

From my perch, the top issues facing Nigeria are:

  1. Maintaining and improving the country’s economy
  2. Curbing widespread corruption
  3. Eradicating Boko Haram

Economy.  Nigeria is proudly Africa’s number one economy – taking the title away from South Africa for nearly a year now.   Its vast oil riches support its base and analysts say it is bolstered by strong agriculture, information and communications technology.

But the chasm between the haves and the have-nots is evident the moment you arrive.  Tin-topped shanty neighborhoods mushroom under the shade of sprawling gold-encrusted McMansions.  Customized Range Rovers share the road with dilapidated, exhaust- spewing  yellow “danfo” vans dangerously filled with poor commuters.

Corruption.  Everybody knows it goes on.  And everybody has a story.  Like last September when I was  touring the country on a training circuit and kept  reading headlines about the private plane that left the capital city of Abuja for South Africa.  When it landed, officials discovered it was carrying 10 MILLION dollars in cash.  There was plenty of speculation about who had chartered the plane and what the money was planned for but I never heard any real answers.

One step toward righting this ongoing wrong would be for peace and fairness to be found at all Nigeria’s polls tomorrow.  In 2007, antics during the elections prompted the US State Department to describe them as “Flawed.” There was substantial improvement in 2011’s election, but observers still claimed there was widespread fraud and voter rigging.

A smooth and peaceful election this weekend could  set a standard and example for other developing democracies across the globe.  Both candidates publically signed an agreement this week promising to respect the election’s outcome and urging their supporters to refrain from violence.

Boko Haram.  This month’s announced alliance between Boko Haram and ISIS dramatically illustrates that  rooting out terrorism is the world’s problem, not simply the country in which the terrorists are residing and fighting.

Whoever wins Nigeria’s election must seek out and forge strong alliances with partner countries to put an end to the madness – for everyone.

As I discussed with the other panelists on Radio Continental,  journalists have a responsibility to accurately – and independently -  cover and report tomorrow’s elections.  Together, Nigerian journalists and its government can work together to build a better nation – and a better world.

I’ll be back on Radio Continental on Monday and I hope we’ll be talking how it was an unprecedented peaceful weekend of hope and fulfilled promises by both political parties.

Copyright 2015 Gina London. All Rights Reserved. 

 


Are your eyes still filled with wonder? A letter from Mrs. Kennedy that begs the question of us all.

The children are beside me wide awake, their wide eyes still filled with wonder….

So wrote Jacqueline Kennedy in a 1967 thank you letter after visiting Bunratty Castle in Shannon, Ireland with her young children (John was only six and Caroline was then just nine years old).  She addressed it to her host, a Lady Gort, who, along with her husband Vicount Lord Gort, had recently bought and restored the medieval castle where the kings of Ireland once entertained.

Bunratty Castle, Shannon, Ireland
Bunratty Castle, Shannon, Ireland

Mrs. Kennedy, as she simply signed her card, wrote that she was writing on the plane – just hours after they had completed their visit of the massive stone fortress.   Her hand-writing leaned leftward and was smooth and flowing, with soft loops on her “y’s.”

The letter is on display inside today’s ground-floor castle lobby – along with other interesting Bunratty news clippings and photos that Lady Gort obviously lovingly saved in a personal scrapbook.

I myself quickly wandered through Bunratty this week – squeezing in a tour during a single night in Shannon - home to the airport I flew from to Chicago to present at a conference yesterday and today.

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I marveled at the view from atop the castle’s tower that cast out wide upon the grey, windy and drizzle-filled fields far below me.

Bunratty Castle Dining Hall
Bunratty Castle Dining Hall

I took in the smells coming from the cordoned-off kitchen as I looked into Bunratty’s large dining hall - charmingly decorated for Christmas – where visitors can now reserve a seat on one of the heavy wooden benches that fill the room and enjoy a “medieval feast.”  I wondered if this is the same room that the Kennedys dined in back in 1967 on ‘pigs cheeks and smoked salmon’ according to a newspaper article included in Lady Gort’s scrapbook.

But most of all, I thought about the kindness and courtesy shown by Mrs. Kennedy in her letter.  She wasted no time making the effort to hand-write a thank you letter.  She took note of the wonder sparkling in her children’s eyes.  No doubt the excitement of the visit was shared by her.  Children’s happiness can be delightfully contagious.

During this busy end of year business season, when many companies may be piling on the work-load and stress to wrap up Q4, how important is it, too, to remember to tap into our child-like senses and wrap up the season - and presents - with a spirit of gladness and yes, of wonder.

We can keep that spirit alive inside of us. It may just take a little effort to dig deep down and reawaken it.

A "wonder-ful" stained glass window detail from  Bunratty Castle
A "wonder-ful" stained glass window detail from Bunratty Castle

P.S.  and yes, my sincerest apologies that I did not take a photo of Mrs. Kennedy's letter in the scrapbook. I promise that when I go back to Shannon, I certainly will - and post it here!

Happy wonder to all, Gina

Copyright 2014 Gina London. All Rights Reserved. 


Are you going to miss your train?

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How do you know when it’s time to throw in the towel?  Do you stay with a project or endeavor too long? Or not long enough?

This week I was in Dublin – where a lot of the rest of the world was also gathered for the highly-touted Web Summit.  I had just finished giving a communications presentation and was in a taxi to Heuston train station.   What should’ve taken only a few minutes’ drive, was nearing an hour.  We sat unmoving.  Snarled and stuck in the jam-packed Temple Bar district.  I remarked aloud to my driver, “Well, I better look up the next train since we’re clearly going to miss the six o’clock.”

“Never say Never!” he quickly replied.  Gerald Murphy was his name and already from our conversation in the cab, he had demonstrated his indomitable Irish spirit.

I looked at my watch.  We had just ten minutes.  Even in regular traffic, we’d be unlikely to make it in my opinion.  I began to tap in Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) on my phone.  The next train didn’t leave until half-past nine. I wouldn’t get down to my home in Cork until almost midnight.  Ah well.  Some things you can’t control.  I’d call my husband later and let him know.  I wasn’t angry, mind you.  Simply resigned.  To my mind, missing my train was a done deal.

But not to Ger (as he had brightly told me to call him), “I’ll turn right here and zip past the lot of ‘em!”

As he zigged and zagged, I continued tapping and thought of an article about reining in one’s optimism recently featured in the New York Times.  The writer stated that “positive thinking often hinders us.”

Her point was that we shouldn’t be blindly optimistic, but rather strive for a more realistic, balanced approach.   I agree.

Then suddenly, as if an Irish fog had swiftly lifted, the train station was clearly in front of us.  Ger zoomed over to a side parking lane right next to track eight where my train was still waiting.   “You’re going to make that train, Love!”  he chirped.  He was already up and out of the car, opening the boot for my small suitcase.

I glanced down.  Two minutes to spare.   Ger may be right!

That NYT article also stated that “positive thinking fools our minds into perceiving that we’ve already attained our goal, slackening our readiness to pursue it.” For that,  I don’t agree.

Ger didn’t slack off. Instead, he pushed on.  Positive thinking didn’t trick him into believing he had something he didn’t  have.  Instead, in the face of difficulty, it may have been the very thing that kept him determined to keep going – to keep striving.  To NOT give up.

Simply THINKING positively and NOT DOING anything, is of course, not enough.   You’ve got to keep going. Keep driving to your goal.  Yes, the trick is not to only imagine smooth, open roads.  Picture the traffic jams, too.  And then strategize how you will  manoeuvre through different routes.

train

I grabbed my suitcase from Ger and handed him the fare- plus a healthy tip.  Then, right before I started running, I made sure to express my sincere gratitude and wish him all the very best.

And after the kindly Irish train attendant had leaned out and signaled to me that he saw me and that I could stop my sprint, I did make that train.  With seconds to spare.

Thanks, Ger, for reminding me to never say never.


Ebola – How well are we communicating about this?!

media treatment

This Sunday, I arrived home after spending three weeks leading communications training seminars in Nigeria.

Yes, that means I was in West Africa – where the media continues to headline as the epicenter of the “Deadly Ebola Outbreak.”

And yesterday, I received an email from a parent of one of my daughter’s school friends who happens to be a doctor here in Ireland.

I would suggest you call your General Practitioner and inform him you have been in Nigeria. Ask him if they have any procedure in place to deal with you in the case you have any symptoms during the next 3 weeks.

Should I?

I was in hotel conference rooms and professional office buildings conducting training sessions with business executives and other leaders.  I didn’t step near a hospital nor attend any funerals. Certainly I witnessed no one exhibiting any of Ebola’s well-publicized feverish symptoms or violent vomiting or bleeding.

But I did fly on commercial airlines.    Before my flight, airport staff stopped every passenger and took their temperature with a small plastic laser gun.  I was 36.6 Centigrade.  I was let through.   On the British Airways plane to London from Lagos, the flight attendants announced prior to takeoff they would go through the cabin and “spray something for disease.”   Their aerosol cans spritzed out some sweet-slightly-chemically-smelling stuff.  What was it exactly?   The attendants didn’t say and they most definitely did not mention Ebola by name.

When we landed in London, the customs officer didn’t ask me anything about my visit in Nigeria.  Perhaps because he knew that  last week the Centers for Disease Control  and Prevention echoed what Nigerian officials were saying the entire three weeks I was in-country: that the disease is contained and there are no new cases.  (World Health Organization numbers say Nigeria had only 20 cases and 8 deaths, dramatically fewer than what is still going on in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.)

But then today’s New York Times today describes Thomas E. Duncan, the Liberian who flew to Dallas last month and who  notoriously has become the first Ebola case diagnosed in the US, as flying “while he was contagious.” 

Did someone fly near me who was contagious? I swear I didn’t knowingly get anyone’s drool or whatever-other-kind-of-fluids you can imagine on me during my flight or my visit.

As a former CNN journalist who now teaches about the power of words, why did the NYT say Duncan was contagious on the flight?

Especially when, just a few paragraphs later in the same article, it goes on to say he developed symptoms five days after his flight and then quotes officials as emphasizing

 there is no risk of transmission from people who have been exposed to the virus but are not yet showing symptoms.

So which is it? Was he contagious on the flight when he apparently had the virus in his body, but wasn’t showing symptoms? Or did he become contagious only after the disease progressed enough that his body began to manifest the tell-tale symptoms of fever, diarrhea and vomiting?

I don’t ask this to be glib.  The media has a responsibility to report this as accurately as possible.  To help spread the correct information.  So others don’t unknowingly spread something far worse.

Like me, I guess.  That nice lady and her son sitting next to me on my flight – who were headed to Texas (yes, Texas) - seemed healthy enough. But were they possibly contagious?

I don’t know.   I really don’t know.

Copyright 2014 Gina London. All Rights Reserved.