The failure of employee communications

I try to avoid duplicating material in my blog that appears in my newsletter, but this one is just too important. Too alarming. Too consequential.

I have spent more than 25 years working, one way or another, in employee communications. In that time, i have come to believe all the usual arguments about the value we deliver to our companies and clients. Chief among these, we create “line of sight”—that is, we help employees understand how their individual work efforts contribute to the company’s high-level business plans and strategies. Through this effort, we contribute to the company’s competitiveness.

At least, that’s the… Read More »

Blogs vs. message boards

I’ve been an advocate of message boards—particularly on intranets—for years. Now that blogs are on the radar screens of more and more communicators, I hear the observation: “So blogs are just like message boards, right?”

Well, yes and no. Lee Lefever, author of the Common Craft blog, does an excellent job of articulating the differences.

WSJ kudos to JOTW

Neville Hobson writes about Ned Lundquist’s Job of the Week. I was one of the very first subscribers to a list that has grown to the thousands. Job of the Week lists communication job notices posted by the participants. Ned just aggregates the contributions and sends it out. Be sure to read Neville’s post, which includes links to a Wall Street Journal article that lauds Ned’s efforts.

Blogging is dead and idiocy killed it

PR bloggers everywhere are writing about a post in Streamline titled PR is dead and blogging killed it. In the post, Rich Tanglao outlines a presentation he made to a communications agency that delves into the nature and growth of the blogging phenomenon. The headline is a laugher. They said television would kill radio, too. (And as long as we’re challenging this concept, let’s ponder why will blogs kill PR but not journalism?)

As Tom Murphy points out, though, the outline of the presentation doesn’t really support the notion that blogging will kill PR. Murphy further notes that blogs are a tool: “That’s it folks. A tool.”

Blogs are… Read More »

“This Land” belongs to all of us

If you haven’t seen the parody of “This Land is Your Land,” which blasts President Bush and John Kerry with equal vigor, I have to wonder what desert island you’ve been stranded on. I’ve had at least 50 e-mails directing me to this hilarious bit of animation from JibJab Media Inc.

Ludlow Music, Inc., publsiher of the classic Woody Guthrie tune, didn’t think it was funny. They thought it infringed on their copyright and filed suit. JibJab went to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, seeking help in proving that its work fell under the “fair use” clause. The EFF’s investigation revealed that the song has actually been in the public domain… Read More »

First the goal, then the tactic

There’s a lot of road in Texas. A lot of long, straight, mind-numbing road with nothing to look at but barren, flat Texas landscape. People get tired driving those long ribbons of highway. When they get tired, accidents happen. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) knows that fewer accidents would occur if people just took advantage of all those rest stops they’ve built over the years. Most people, though, just whiz on by.

TxDOT grappled with the problem. How do you get people to stop and rest when they just want to get where they’re going? The answer: Free Internet WiFi hot spots at every rest stop. And if you’re not… Read More »

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