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Communication World Bulletin

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Accountability and Return-On-Investment

Once viewed more as art than science, marketers are increasingly interested in measuring performance. Like it or not, there is a new wave of accountability in the world of marketing, and if you're not prepared, you could get swept under it. Companies are becoming increasingly concerned with ensuring that all activities are profitable. As a result, each dollar invested in marketing is being challenged to demonstrate bottom line performance. New forms of marketing, escalating ad costs and tools that purport to measure marketing effectiveness have all contributed to the pressure traditional media is facing to "prove its worth."

Watrall, Rick. Communication World Bulletin (2003). Articles>Business Communication>Marketing>Assessment


Adding an Informal Touch to Organizational Communication

Some say it's a revolution that will change radio broadcasting and people's listening habits forever. Others say it's a fad that's of limited appeal or use to anyone but geeks and enthusiasts. Whatever anyone says, something that has rocketed out of nowhere and gotten big companies and radio stations alike interested (and after only eight months) must be worth investigating. That "something" is called podcasting.

Hobson, Neville. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Articles>Business Communication>Rhetoric>Workplace


Angry Bloggers Attack: How Do You Respond?

When bloggers attack, we, as trained communication experts, must be ready to respond, and must recognize bloggers as a new wave of reporters. Many are key influencers who can rally a community against you. Working with bloggers and responding quickly builds rapport and relationship. And gets you the bigger story—maybe even a more balanced story.

Miller, Roy G. Communication World Bulletin (2006). Articles>Business Communication>Public Relations>Blogging


Applying Brand To An Intranet

Brand has become an integral part of the employee communicator's role as organizations recognize the importance of employee behaviors in building brand. When it comes time to integrate brand elements into the intranet or portal, good usability practices and testing can guide that integration, ensuring desired employee behaviors.

Wilson, Stacy and Susan Weinschenk. Communication World Bulletin (2003). Articles>Web Design>Intranets


Are You Communicating Dynamically?

It took only a few years for the Internet to fundamentally change the way we communicate. Marketers have learned to take advantage of this new medium by creating innovative ways to reach their audiences. But what about business communicators? Have we really taken advantage of everything the ’Net has to offer? With all the choices for news and information, how do we cut through the noise of the competition, keep our audiences engaged and influence them to move in the right direction? We need to think of the Internet as a dynamic communication tool that gives us the ability to target, focus and change our messages constantly in order to influence diverse sets of audiences.

Bechtel, Chris. Communication World Bulletin (2004). Articles>Communication>Marketing


Are You Guilty of Sloppy E-mails? It Can Cost You

Some of the nicest people we know send the most thoughtless e-mails. Many are telegraphic, with a smattering of disconnected words and abbreviations, leaving the reader to fill in the blanks. Most are dashed off without review and arrive in their native state: confusing, grammarless and brimful of spelling errors. That's not even to mention lack of logic and transitions.

Canavor, Natalie and Claire Meirowitz. Communication World Bulletin (2006). Articles>Business Communication>Correspondence>Email


Avoiding Wrong Turns in the Shrinking Global Village

With the global village growing smaller every year, more and more communication professionals are taking on assignments that span a wide range of countries and cultures. Cross-border responsibilities require that you constantly expand your horizons and learn about new places and people. At the same time, it can be more than a little daunting to get up to speed on each country’s business and social conventions—and when the two do and don’t mix.

Bird, Shelley. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Articles>Business Communication>International>Cultural Theory


Review: Balanced Scorecard Step-by-Step: Maximizing Performance and Maintaining Results

Paul Niven's book is invaluable for communicators whose companies are implementing a Balanced Scorecard, and it can also provide a great deal of useful information on setting measurable goals for a staff function like communication to ensure it aligns with a company's strategy. The book provides easy-to-understand summaries of how various business processes work for communicators who want to better understand their businesses.

Sinickas, Angela D. Communication World Bulletin (2003). Articles>Reviews>Communication>Assessment


Being Good for Goodness' Sake: Corporate Social Responsibility Imagery

It sees you when you’re sleeping. It knows if you’re awake. 'It' is the world, and it knows if your company has been naughty or nice. The digital revolution has put a photographic device, be it a camera or camera-phone, in the hands of virtually everybody everywhere—so you can be sure someone besides Santa is constantly watching your company’s behavior. For that and other good reasons, corporate photography is looking very green this season.

Salvo, Suzanne. Communication World Bulletin (2007). Design>Graphic Design>Visual Rhetoric


Beyond Return on Investment: Managing Communication Systems as Business Assets

As communicators, we are increasingly under the gun to demonstrate the return on investment for our work. But using ROI formulas that attempt to pin down hard financial gains may actually reduce our potential credibility and influence. There's a new language and strategy for communicators that can help us move from being messengers to managers of corporate assets.

Gayeski, Diane. Communication World Bulletin (2006). Careers>Management>Financial>ROI


Bird Flu: Communicating the Risk

Most people have already heard a little about bird flu. But people face a host of other problems, and except for public health officials and poultry farmers, few are gearing up for action about H5N1 [the virus that causes the flu]. Yet.

Sandman, Peter M. and Jody Lanard. Communication World Bulletin (2006). Articles>Risk Communication>Biomedical


Bloggers' Alert: Confidentiality and Disclosure in the Workplace

First it was e-mail messages, next it was PDA messaging, and now it is blogs. These networking tools are all widely used by employees. They also sometimes become a source of contentious litigation when employers become concerned over the risk of corporate liability and public disclosure of confidential information that these new technologies pose.

Siegel, Ariane. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Articles>Business Communication>Privacy>Blogging


Blogs: The Fast Track to Getting Global Awareness

“We need to get global awareness fast,” says your CEO. “Make it happen.” When faced with the need to rapidly increase your organization’s visibility around the world, there are some daunting and expensive challenges, particularly if your company does not have a local presence in the countries it is targeting. Hiring local public relations and marketing communication talent, translating collateral into local languages and identifying and getting into both formal and informal business networks are just a few of these challenges.

Albrycht, Elizabeth. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Articles>Business Communication>Marketing>Blogging


Blogs: Viral, Targeted, Fast, Informative--And Becoming Critical

The world of blogging, also known as the blogosphere, is wild, highly viral, uncensored and unedited. It is also the newest and most critical tool in a business communicator's toolbox. Why? Because with blogs, communicators can quickly, regularly and easily deliver a variety of information to a highly targeted audience. A good blog will create a more personal relationship with customers and influencers by showing that the company is listening and responding to what they have to say.

Cohen, Ephraim. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Articles>Business Communication>Online>Blogging


Branding and the Role of Public Relations: A Bottom-Dollar Proposition

It used to be that advertising was king. If you had a product or service you needed to sell, you went to an advertising agency and developed an advertising campaign to get your item to the public. Then marketing joined the fray, and advertising became an extension of other things you were doing to market yourself, like trade shows or mailings. Eventually branding assumed center stage. Now everything you did to promote, market or sell your product or service, your company or even yourself emanated from the branding mandate. As it should be! The critical importance of strategically focused, consistently delivered messaging cannot be overstated.

Gelfand, Julie Gross. Communication World Bulletin (2004). Articles>Business Communication>Public Relations


Build More Effective International Media Analysis Programmes with Market Research Disciplines

Ask communication professionals why measurement is important, and their answers are likely to involve accountability, measures of effectiveness, ROI and planning support. Ask market researchers what makes for good measurement, and they are likely to respond that it involves reproducible results, adherence to rigorous standards and objective impartiality. Within the communication process, however—especially within PR and media relations—there is a tendency to look more closely at the output of their programmes than at the methodology yielding the data charts and reports. While market research has a well-established body of theory to support its claims of delivering objective and authoritative data, media analysis as a commercial discipline is only just beginning to grasp the importance of these standards.

Stoeckle, Thomas and Mike Daniels. Communication World Bulletin (2004). Articles>Business Communication>Marketing>Assessment


Building Successful Teams in the Midst of Transition

Some people seem to thrive on change. How do they do it? How do they manage change in a way that they not only survive, but also excel? They seem to make change work for them. Here are five essentials on how to take your team through times of transition. One of the most significant essentials for success during transition is teambuilding. Leaders who can challenge, motivate and empower their teams through change are successful.

McKee, Thomas W. Communication World Bulletin (2003). Careers>Management>Collaboration


Building Your Personal Brand Online

It probably wouldn’t surprise you to know that we are operating in a distrustful world, and that both companies and individual executives are subject to suspicion. In 2005, a worldwide Gallup poll found that 40 percent of people believe that company leaders are “largely dishonest,” and a 2006 Watson Wyatt study says that only 56 percent of company employees believe their top management acts with honesty and integrity. These are worrisome figures, given that senior executives worry a great deal about their companies’ reputations but may spend little time on their own.

Fierman, Stephanie. Communication World Bulletin (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Ethics>Online


Business Development Through Online Networking

Recently, business networking has been perceived negatively due to its widespread use in the network marketing industry and the proliferation of “lead generation clubs” that focus on impersonal lead referrals rather than on building relationships. The surge in popularity of social networking sites on the Internet, however, has sparked a renewed interest in meaningful discussion and research on the value and importance of “networking,” particularly to mainstream businesses.

Teten, David and Scott Allen. Communication World Bulletin (2004). Articles>Business Communication>Online


Buyer Beware: The Ever-Expanding Search for the Perfect Image

When you need to find an image for commercial use, how much consideration do you give to where it came from? Do you think about its provenance, its pedigree? Are the images you license sourced primarily from major distributors or from alternative suppliers, who may have access to more distinctive or original content?

Waterman, Jill. Communication World Bulletin (2006). Design>Graphic Design>Intellectual Property


A Call to Action

Employee engagement is certainly one of the hottest of the hot communication topics right now. It can be easily misunderstood as a new communication fad, given the attention it’s being given these days. But the truth is that engagement—winning the hearts and minds of employees—has always been the ultimate goal of effective employee communicators.

D'Aprix, Roger. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Careers>Management>Public Relations


Calling All Communication Professionals: Test Your Crisis Plan—Now

We are all well aware of the importance of a crisis communication plan. But many of us don't realize the necessity of conducting actual simulations to test and evaluate these plans. Whether you are on the corporate or agency side, there are countless forms of crisis that could interrupt business continuity for you and your client.

Moed, Ed. Communication World Bulletin (2006). Articles>Business Communication>Risk Communication


Can We Learn from Nonprofit Organizations' Disclosure Practices?

Every day, large and small nonprofit organizations around the world engage in diverse activities in the public interest. But in accomplishing this overarching goal of social responsibility, how well do nonprofits communicate their activities and strategies? What do nonprofits' business practices suggest about the issues of transparency and accountability? Can nonprofits serve as models for for-profit organizations in communicating their own social responsibility commitments and activities?

Hill, Frances R. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Articles>Business Communication>Policies and Procedures>Nonprofit


A Case for Kasky

Nike v. Kasky, now in the U.S. Supreme Court, could determine whether or not public statements made by corporate executives, when acting as company representatives, are subject to the same rules that regulate the advertising business. As Allan Jenkins indicated in his article last month in Communication World, the outcome of the case will have a profound affect on business communications. And it could be positive.

McCall, Ron. Communication World Bulletin (2003). Articles>Business Communication>Public Relations


Case in Point: Cisco’s Model For Change Management

A few months ago, a company-wide team at Cisco Systems Inc. was challenged to come up with the best model for change management. Several team members had experience in change management through various disciplines, such as process management, HR consulting, communication, Six Sigma and IT. In the first meeting, the team recognized many factors that would affect how they moved forward: hundreds (maybe thousands) of models already existed, thousands of consultants had their favorite models and were eager to help, and employees were familiar with models from other companies.

Horn, Karen. Communication World Bulletin (2004). Articles>Business Communication>Management>Case Studies



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