Case studies

communication best practices in practice

“Alison has an unwavering eye for the market and knows how to get all your assets lined up and on target.

She also has enormous energy and is very persuasive.”

Stephen Schettini, The Naked Monk

The Challenge

My client Stephen Schettini trained for eight years as a Buddhist monk before setting out to promote mindfulness as a practical tool for everyday life.

He is the author of The Novice, a memoir of his monk years, as well as It Begins with Silence, a secular guide to the Buddha’s teachings. Stephen has taught Quiet Mind Workshops in the Montreal area since 2003 and hosts a post-Buddhist blog entitled The Naked Monk.

Stephen wanted to promote his business and build a stronger online presence using social media, but did not know where to start.

When he came to me, he was maintaining four business ‘entities,’ each having an individual  logo, branded print collateral and website.  With so many public ‘faces,’ he was actually creating more work for himself, diluting his brand and not attracting the level of business he desired.

These existing challenges would only multiply with his entry into social media.

The Process

The first step was to pull back and assess the situation.

Based on our initial phone call, I did some preliminary research while Stephen and his partner Caroline Courey completed and returned a short questionnaire.

These actions prepared us for our initial face-to-face discovery session.

Based on this session, we agreed Stephen would clearly benefit by 1) centralizing his offer under one umbrella, all represented by one logo, one website, and  2) concentrating his social media presence on the main channels that attracted his target market.

The objective was to create a strong, unified brand. As it turned out, social media was not the head, but really the tail of the original mandate.

A high-level assessment of immediate needs, pain points and resources contributed to the foundation from which we would build an overall brand strategy for ‘The Naked Monk.’

This took commitment from my client to revisit prior assumptions, to look at his business from a different perspective and to be willing to adapt to a totally new way of interacting with colleagues and customers online.


The transition from ‘discovery’ to action extended over a period of six months at a pace that fit the client’s schedule.

Stephen was already an accomplished writer and published author, but appreciated my input on voice, tone and imagery.

We discussed how every element of his re-branding and marketing must relate to and connect with the the personas he and Caroline created.

As we progressed from high-level strategy to the tactical work of maintaining a blog, building a mailing list and developing an ever-expanding online presence, the work became more intuitive and fun.

Even better, Stephen attracted more business and discovered opportunities to promote his business, his products and his brand through new tools like Google and Facebook Ads, webinars and podcasts.

Deliverables included:

  • Redefined brand, voice and sales strategy
  • New web site and social media profiles
  • Extensive integrated editorial strategy (content optimization, publishing calendar)
  • Building an online network to also leverage offline opportunities (target markets and influencers)
  • Setting up a monitoring and tracking system.