Free Webinar on June 17: Re-invent your internal communications for the 21st century

Webinar: 21st-Century Employee Communications (Noon EDT on June 17)

“I have some senior managers questioning the need to retain dedicated internal communications specialists. Why not just get others in the Marketing team to chip in to support, they suggest.”

That was the message I got from a corporate communications manager in mid-May. It wasn’t the first time I have heard this sentiment. Or the second. Not even the third. The fact is, the workplace conditions that gave rise to the internal communications function have changed so dramatically that, unless we change too, the very notion of a discrete employee communications function could be rendered obsolete.

In this free webinar, I will outline the… Read More »

The employee-supervisor relationship is not the be-all and end-all of engagement

Let's stop obsessing about the employee-supervisor relationship

Conventional wisdom has led companies to spend countless billions of dollars in an effort to turn supervisors into communicators.

The conventional wisdom is that the relationship between employees and their supervisors is the key to engagement. Bolstering the argument that the relationship is vital is research from Gallup—the organization that, for all practical purposes, invented the concept of employee engagement—that found about half of people who quit a job do so “to get away from their manager.”

To be sure, the employee-manager relationship is a key to engagement, but it’s not the only one. It may, however, be the hardest… Read More »

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 »

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