How Ray Bradbury came to write an article for me

My Mattel business cardIt was the summer of 1986.

I was halfway through my four-year tenure at Mattel, Inc. Bad times were on the horizon. Soon, the company’s finances would suffer and leadership would implement cost-cutting measures, including a crippling experience with McKinsey & Company’s dreaded Activity Value Analysis. But for now, budgets were still untouched and the Employee Communications Department cranked out a monthly newspaper for all employees and a quarterly magazine for employees, shareholders, partners, and other important audiences.

The magazine, which I established soon after starting at Mattel in 1996,  was called Windows. The name… Read More »

Friday Wrap #146: Up Periscope, FTC looks at IoT, Comcast gets social serious, lots of Facebook news

Friday Wrap 146
Flickr photo courtesy of Duncan Holmes
The Friday Wrap is a review of news, posts, reports, and other items appearing in the last week that will help you stay on top of the forces shaping communication in this fast-paced, ever-changing environment. These are stories that may have been lost in the flood of headline news stories. This week, in the wake of Facebook’s F8 conference, there’s so much Facebook news that I’ve set it off in a separate section. I collect all of the items from which I choose the Wrap stories in my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow.

News

Twitter launches Meerkat competitor to glowing reviews—Thanks to… Read More »

What Yik Yak—a problem in universities—could mean to the workplace

Yik YakMost of the buzz around the mobile app Yik Yak is focused on universities, where its founders intended it would be used. Make no mistake. As surely as Facebook expanded beyond its university roots to become the top social network employees use in their day-to-day workflows, Yik Yak will make its way into the workplace.

The inevitability of employees adopting the anonymous messaging app has a lot of businesses concerned, considering the university experience. Several universities have taken the futile step of banning or blocking Yik Yak, but since it doesn’t rely on a WiFi connection—standard 3G and 4G cellular connections work just… Read More »

How to make employee recognition a buzzworthy experience: A case study from Mattel

On Thursday, I’ll deliver a brand-spanking-new presentation at an internal communications conference in Las Vegas on a concept I’ve been exploring for the last year or so. I’m calling it the Work Experience. The idea is simple: Approaching job satisfaction, morale, employee engagement, and other employment programs in the piecemeal fashion that characterizes most workplaces is inadequate in today’s world of work. Employees have access to the same resources everyone else does, including external reporting about the company and social networks where the organization is being discussed. (In fact, workers’ use of social software is… Read More »

FIR Interview: Red E App CEO Jonathan Erwin on employee communication trends and challenges

FIR InterviewsA special report on trends and challenges facing internal communicators drew on the observations of nine internal communications experts, including Peter Shankman, gini Dietrich, Susan Cellura, Steve Kaus, and FIR co-host Shel Holtz. In this FIR interview, The report—available for free from Red E App—a mobile tool that connects employees and organizations across a variety of dimensions—addresses eight distinct problems and six solutions.

In this FIR interview, Shel talks with Red E App co-founder and CEO Jonathan Erwin about the report—Internal Communications 2015—and some of its key findings.

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Internal communications thought leaders on the value of the employee communications function

Internal Communications Thought Leaders

I recently posted a vigorous rationale for maintaining a discrete internal communications function as a response to a growing chorus of voices who have deemed employee communications antiquated and irrelevant. As I prepared that post, I also reached out to some of the smartest people I know in the internal communications space for their own thoughts. Here’s what they had to say.

Brad Whitworth

Brad Whitworth, ABC, IABC FellowBrad currently works as a senior communication and marketing manager at Cisco Systems, but he has a long history in employee communications. When we met, he was a senior member of Hewlett Packard’s legendary internal communications team. He… Read More »

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