Internal communicators need to tell the customer’s story

Internal communicators need to tell the customer story

In 1991, while I was leading the communications team at a Southern California-based pharma, I introduced a new feature to the Currents section of the monthly employee magazine. Customer was a brief interview with a customer. In each interview, we asked what the customer liked about doing business with the company, what they liked about working with our competitors, and what we could do better.

Customer ColumnsThe column was part of a larger company-wide customer-focused initiative. This was long before anybody considered the notion of “customer experience.” The initiative’s mantra was, “If you don’t work directly with the customer, help somebody who… Read More »

If listening is half of communicating, it should be half of what employee communicators do

Listening to employees should be an internal communications responsibility

An employee at an A&W root beer stand near the airport in Washington, D.C. noticed something interesting. Some customers were dropping the meals and snacks they bought into their carry-ons. The behavior increased over time. The employee told his boss about it and his boss listened, adding a new service: delivering boxed lunches to planes on the tarmac. That led American Airlines to start ordering the prepackaged lunches for 22 flights daily. Since then, the service has expanded to more than 100 airports, bringing revenue to the franchise root beer stand it might never have seen had it not been for an observant employee and a boss… Read More »

Shrink-Wrap #6: Resist being told you’re over-surveying employees

A lot of companies are doing away with the annual employee evaluation in favor of ongoing feedback. Yet communicators run into trouble when they want to get feedback on communication because of the fear of over-surveying the employee population. In this episode of Shrink-Wrap—inspired by a post in my feed from the Harvard Business Review—I share three examples of quick-and-dirty survey methods that will go down easy with employees.The links in this episode:

Dodd-Frank rule will make you rethink how you communicate CEO pay to employees

Are you ready to communicate your company's ceo-to-worker pay ratio?

Compensation is a dicey communication issue.

It’s an important one. A 2014 survey found that up to 66% of employees were thinking about quitting their jobs over dissatisfaction with pay. In the same survey, more than 25% of respondents said they hadn’t been offered a pay increase during the previous 12 months.

Employees frequently learn about their colleagues’ salaries through a variety of channels, from the rumor mill to Yet few companies clearly communicate how compensation is determined and the philosophy that underlies it. Even less frequently do organizations address executive compensation with the rank-and-file.… Read More »

Introducing Shrink-Wrap: What communicators can learn from Pokemon Go

I have been toying for a while with the idea of a short weekly video that goes into a little more detail on one of the hotter items I plan to include in my Friday Wrap, which I use to curate items of interest to communicators that have been published in the last week. With Pokemon Go in the news, I figured this was the week to launch this endeavor. Your feedback is most appreciated!

Snapchat can be a powerful employee advocacy tool

How and why to use Snapchat for employee advocacy

Snapchat, the messaging app that has won over youth audiences but confounded adults, is going mainstream. Among U.S. adult smartphone users over 35, 14% are now using the app, according to a Wall Street Journal article; the numbers jump to nearly 38% for those 25-34. The numbers will continue to climb.

The grown-up adoption of Snapchat signals that it could scale as big as Facebook, especially since teens aren’t abandoning it just because their parents are using it. The one-to-one messaging at the heart of Snapchat is still private and messages still vanish. But Snapchat has been taking steps to appeal to a bigger audience, most… Read More »

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