By Doug Krentzlin
Helena Kaufman, writer and communications trainer, provides a customized communication service that meets today’s need for speed and clarity.
She helps diverse clients who need to get their message out to various stakeholders – media, customers and even effective internal communications. Helena operates as a one-person service with team members called in as needed on projects. Her firm, Helena Kaufman & Associates, provides original writing, editing and teaching of the same to small groups and individuals. It offers experience with many mindsets, vocabularies and cultural variations, which can include age, linguistic, religious or geographic diversity. “We work with what clients have and where they are now and help them move to where they want and need to be,” says Helena, “I’m now most interested in editing, writing, inspiring confidence and coaching others to communicate well, in person, on the page or online.”
The events that led to the creation of Helena Kaufman & Associates are a story in itself. “I graduated with a degree in Political Science (Dean’s Honour Roll) from the University of Winnipeg, in Canada. I began a retail floral business, sold my interest after a year and took a job from 1978-82 as Sales Coordinator at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, then Canada’s flagship meeting, trade show and convention facility,” Helena explains, “My meeting and events planning expertise led to my one-woman firm as PR strategist, marketing maven, sole founder and producer of two trade shows. Twenty-five years later, I was still publicist for my very first client and writing award-winning marketing materials for others. All along, I continued my education on media technology, promotional materials distribution, literacy tutor training, and various writing courses from business to performing arts. With training to teach adult education, I ultimately transformed a quarter-century career in creating communications strategies into teaching entrepreneurs how to access such success for themselves.”
“At all times I have been a writer first, inspired to help others shine and succeed in their efforts to inform, persuade, sell or to influence their audience to act for a good and worthy cause,” she adds. “There is skill and honor in all types of good writing, even though at times I didn’t fit in with other ‘real writers’ of fiction and poetry. Now they have names for us. We are technical writers. Copy writers. I called myself a business writer from the beginning. It differentiated me and by instinct I knew it roused curiosity and further inquiry. It is also where I got my first and very real start. Writing from age 12 or so on until today where I use my versatility in and love of the English language to help others express themselves in business and in life. I’ve come full circle.”
Helena credits her parents and life circumstance as being major influences for her line of work. “Necessity has often been the mother of both my creative invention and my attention to action,” she says, “In terms of my skills and inclinations, they appeared very early. As the youngest in a family of European immigrants to Canada, I was thrust into the role of translator and interpreter of cultural nuance as well as language in administrative, business and government details and documents for my parents and in the family business. They modeled a strong work ethic and I saw first hand the cross-cultural challenges of people from another country, or even region, and the value of language and adaptation to communication. This influences and informs everything I do or the messages I frame for clients.”
As for plans for the future, “I have launched 2 new websites, www.helenakaufman.com and www.hospitalityambassador.com,” Helena details, “Until now they have functioned as my testing ground. I’ve tried out various messages, learned about programming and design to understood the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of content and layout. This has helped me help my clients and now I’ll have the real designers take over for it to showcase my services. Both sites will actively feature regular posts, packages of services dealing with writing or in person communication. It will synthesize a cross cultural emphasis, communication must-haves and new media as this is both the global and local reality.”
“They say ‘there is nothing new under the sun’,” Helena says in conclusion, “I believe the creative process is the limitless human energy and imagination that takes existing colors, concepts and language and communicates them as new ideas and perspectives by reordering and reinterpreting elements others might not even have been aware of. It is the portal to discovery by doing. As a writer, I know it to be very physical experiences that begins in the mind yet calls on all my senses and insists I affect them in others.”