Why communicators can’t waste time getting up to speed on chatbots

CNN's Messenger chatbotIt feels like 1992 all over again.

I first got online around 1985 via a local BBS. I was on CompuServe a year later, and the pre-graphical web in 1990. Through all this time I kept sounding the alarm: The online world is going to change the practice of public relations and organizational communication. Mostly my warnings were dismissed. By 1992, when the web was just starting to heat up, I would tell organizations they needed a website. “Why would we need one of those?” was the most common answer.

Today, I’m saying much the same thing about chatterbots (or chatbots or just plain bots), and the answers I get sound like this:

FIR Podcast #30: The Employee Experience

FIR Podcast #30: The Employee Experience

This is cross-posted from the FIR Podcast Network.

Today’s panel includes internal communications consultant and speaker Steve Crescenzo; ROI Communications CEO Barbara Fagan-Smith; and Frost Bank’s Vice President of Employee Communications, Culture, and People Development, Sheri Rosen.

Our topics included…

  • For the first time, Edelman has issued a report that dissects data from the Trust Barometer to find out how much employees trust their employers. The results weren’t pretty.
  • Facebook Live is now available to everybody using the Android or iOS Facebook app. Facebook Live essentially puts a broadcast studio in… Read More »

Chatbots are coming. Are you ready?

Webinar: Chatbots for Communicators

We’re living through 1992 all over again.

In 1992, the World Wide Web was taking off. While most websites were the creations of hobbyists and technologists, marketers were starting to pay attention. In public relations and organizational communications, though, there was little recognition that the web would even be a factor no less a sea change in the way communicators reach audiences.

According to an executive with Kik, one of the hot messaging apps, “Messengers are the new apps and bots are the new websites.”

Technologists have been developing and deploying chatbots for years. Suddenly, though, marketers are hot to bring them to… Read More »

The next big communication thing is plain text

The Chatbots Are Coming

The next big organizational communication frontier could be plain text, with an occasional emoji thrown in.

Chatbots—or just bots—are the technology behind these text missives that may—and should—become part of any company’s communication toolkit. I have grown increasingly convinced that bots will become vitally important.

Bots aren’t new. Twitterbots have been around for almost as long as Twitter has. Now, bot developers are employing Artifical Intelligence so the bots can learn as they’re used. (One example, Microsoft’s Tay, learned racism, mysogyny, and anti-Semitism from users who decided it would be fun to prank it, leading… Read More »

The culture gap that’s killing engagement in your company right now

The 3 Silos That Organizations Must Tear Down

One of the most oft-cited cliches in the corporate world has to do with “breaking down silos.” I have never been shy about sharing my belief that silos serve a purpose: Tear them down and all the grain spills out. They just need better ventilation.

There are silos, however, that do need to be torn down, silos that are causing untold harm to organizations and their cultures. They can drive employee engagement levels lower and erode the customer experience. There are three such silos that, because of their insular natures, have resulted in a dramatic, dysfunctional disconnect. They are:

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