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Communication World Bulletin

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Study Shows How to Get Bottom-Line Results from Internal Communication

Over the years, numerous studies have boasted the connection between internal communication and bottom-line results. These studies, though valuable for establishing a connection, do not delve into the important question of how. How does communication impact the bottom line? Which communication practices add the greatest value? Can communicators do to make their internal communication programs contribute to organizational success?

Vogt, Peter. Communication World Bulletin (2004). Articles>Business Communication>Research


Style Guides? Dictionaries? Who Cares?

You should! Whether you're a corporate or a freelance communicator, a style guide and a dictionary are among your most important tools. And all the departments in your company or your client's company should be using the same ones, designated by their communication departments.

Canavor, Natalie and Claire Meirowitz. Communication World Bulletin (2006). Articles>Writing>Style Guides


Sustainability Reporting: Daring to Hold Yourself Accountable

As the corporate social responsibility movement continues to gain momentum worldwide, corporations need standards and measures to define responsible business practices. One such standard—sustainability—has emerged as the international benchmark for corporate citizenship. Sustainability is defined as the "triple bottom line"—the measure of an organization's economic, environmental and social performance.

Savitz, Andrew. Communication World Bulletin (2004). Articles>Business Communication>Public Relations


Taking the Guesswork Out of Social Media

New opportunities have arisen from the advent of Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. But professional communicators, in their effort to gain a better understanding of the medium, tend to make social media tools more complex than they really are. As a result, they miss out on the big breaks they need to achieve their goals. Below are tips to take the guesswork out of connecting social media with PR. Hopefully, these are steps you are already taking in your career. But if you are like me and need a friendly reminder, read on.

Parkhurst, Morgan Leu. Communication World Bulletin (2009). Articles>Business Communication>Social Networking


Taking the Lead in Crisis Planning

If your crisis communication mantra is "What, Me Worry?" you are not alone. In fact, a third of IABC members who took the IABC Research Foundation crisis communication survey last December said they had no formal crisis communication plan in place prior to last year's many natural disasters and organizational crises.

Guthridge, Liz. Communication World Bulletin (2006). Articles>Business Communication>Risk Communication>Crisis Communication


Talking to the Media—When It’s the Last Thing You Want To Do

During difficult times, reporters are about as welcome as a root canal. Of course, you don’t have to talk to them. Instead, you can employ what I call “Option Two—Freedom from the Press.” I coined the term when I observed a beet-red CEO of a large corporation (after a particularly difficult press conference) mumble, “In this country there is freedom of the press, and it’s too bad we don’t have freedom from the press.” If you choose to employ Option Two, however, you should be prepared to deal with the consequences.

Rockower, Gerald L. Communication World Bulletin (2004). Articles>Communication>Interviews


Talking Without Speaking: the Pleasures and Perils of Instant Messaging

Let’s face it, the honeymoon between you and your inbox is over. Finished. As spam and e-mail-borne viruses comprise a staggering 70 percent of all e-mail traffic worldwide, it is clear that we are all at our wit’s end. As our frustration with unsolicited e-mail has skyrocketed, our attention span for reading legitimate e-mails has plummeted. So what’s a conscientious e-communicator to do? As anyone in this business can tell you, silence is not an option. While there currently is no silver bullet to solve the growing e-mail problem, one technology that provides an alternative is instant messaging.

Hall, Chris. Communication World Bulletin (2004). Articles>Communication>Online>Instant Messaging


Taming a Chaotic Intranet

Admit it. Your intranet is a mess. What started out as a great idea for sharing information inside the company has turned into the corporate junk drawer—a jumbled collection of useful, not-so-useful, relevant, irrelevant, redundant, inconsistent and unmanaged stuff. While parts of it make you proud (perhaps the employee directory or news portal), taken as a whole, it just hasn’t lived up to all the grand ideas you had when you posted those first few pages.

Stevenson, Jerry. Communication World Bulletin (2004). Articles>Web Design>Intranets>Information Design


Taming Internal Communications Clutter

Navigating through internal communication "whitewater" is a growing challenge in today's business environment. Every day, we face a flood of messages and requests from multiple sources, making it increasingly difficult to manage the overload.

Weisz, Terry. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Articles>Business Communication>Workplace


The Tao of the Digital Photographer

In just a few short years, the digital camera has blown past its tipping point so completely that many younger shooters have never touched a piece of film. The instant gratification, the tiny camera size and the ability to share images with the world now defines the experience of photography. But if you want to make great digital photos, there are some things you need to know.

Philpott, Keith. Communication World Bulletin (2006). Design>Graphic Design>Photography


Targeted Investment: The Key to Employee Portal Improvement

In many organizations, when economic conditions improve, funding becomes available for investment in internal communication technologies. While the potential expansion of budgets is welcome news to communicators around the globe, capitalizing on it requires careful, thoughtful prioritization of still-precious resources. So what type of focused investments should communicators consider? Intranet and employee portal improvements should be high on the list.

Rudnick, Michael. Communication World Bulletin (2004). Articles>Web Design>Intranets


Teaching Line Managers to Be Good Communicators During Times of Change

When organizations are going through change, be it major or minor, the most trusted source of communication for employees is nearly always their line manager. Equipping line managers to communicate well is essential, but it also has inherent challenges.

Scarlett, Hilary. Communication World Bulletin (2007). Articles>Business Communication>Management>Workplace


Teaching Spokespeople to Manage Risk

There is a significant risk of being quoted out of context during media interviews. This risk can fall anywhere along a spectrum that ranges from mild to severe. Mild risk occurs when the information included in a media story appears to be less than accurate. If you’ve ever heard a spokesperson complain that reporters never get it right, you’ve probably witnessed this type of risk firsthand. Severe risk occurs when a portion of what the spokesperson says is twisted or turned, then included in a story to deliberately fan the flames of a smoldering fire. If this occurs, an organization may need to exercise damage control, and there may be significant risk to its reputation.

Bergman, Eric. Communication World Bulletin (2009). Articles>Education>Public Relations>Risk Communication


Teambuilding Insights from the Newsroom

To the uninitiated, a newsroom on deadline may seem more like a scene of chaos than a smoothly functioning team. Having spent the early part of my career in newsrooms and the rest in corporate settings, I can say that the closest I have ever come to the high-performing teams executives struggle to create has been in the world of daily news.

Dunsavage, Jeff. Communication World Bulletin (2006). Articles>Collaboration>Journalism>Workflow


Technology Corner: Simple, Fun Tech Tools for Communicators

It seems almost daily, as we search the Net; we come across clever new tools, useful resources and information. As a part of the open information and collaboration network, known as the Internet, here are a few fun, simple technology tools/utilities, that you might want incorporate into your communication efforts.

Heineman, John. Communication World Bulletin (2003). Articles>Communication>Technology


Telling It Straight

What quality do employees most want from business leaders? A clear vision of the way ahead, perhaps? A charismatic leadership style? Political or business acumen? Of course, we demand all those qualities in leaders. But a recent piece of research points to a different quality as being the top priority for many employees.

Wilson, Liz. Communication World Bulletin (2007). Careers>Management


Ten Keys to Increasing Your Web Site's International Impact

People and organizations generally understand the concept of the Internet's global reach. However, few see their Web presence as international, and even fewer have sites appropriate for audiences beyond their borders. As global competition grows and new markets emerge, building an effective international Web presence is becoming ever more critical.

Tindal, Richard. Communication World Bulletin (2003). Articles>Web Design>Marketing>International


Ten Sure-Fire Ways to Fail as a Change Agent

In an effort to be less than constructive, here are ten sure-fire ways to alienate and de-motivate your team on your change journey. Hit-or-miss approaches don't go far enough; this is your chance to use the best methods of corporate torture and humiliation developed by dictators, steamrollers and other "tough guy" change agents.

Paulson, Terry L. Communication World Bulletin (2003). Articles>Management>Collaboration


Ten Tips for Managing a Successful Web Redesign

Processes evolve. Over time and several redesigns, a few points screamed to be kept in mind: communicate with the client, be scalable, plan to plan, test your assumptions, analyze your current site, and so on. We ran these mini-philosophies by industry leaders and newbies alike. The result? Our collection of things to think about evolved into—drum roll, please—10 EXPERT TIPS TO A SUCCESSFUL REDESIGN. Redesign is happening. Address the need. And stay on track while you do it.

Goto, Kelly and Emily Cotler. Communication World Bulletin (2004). Design>Web Design>Redesign>Project Management


They'll Thank You for Sharing: Make Those Reports, Memos and White Papers Clear and Readable

Words, words, words. It seems as if we're being asked to write something every minute for every need and occasion. Your boss wants a report; your colleagues need a memo explaining a procedure; your clients send e-mails that need to be considered and answered; your company's products or services should be described in a descriptive white paper, and on and on. How can you deal with all that? Are there any general writing rules that apply to business writing of all sorts?

Canavor, Natalie and Claire Meirowitz. Communication World Bulletin (2007). Articles>Business Communication>Rhetoric>Technical Writing


This Is NOT Your Father's Online Newsroom

When companies first put their corporate and marketing information on the web in the mid to late '90s, it was mostly static content that was painful for journalists to use (horrible navigation, tough to download text and little or no images available). It's lucky for the corporate world that it took time for journalists to warm up to the web. Since we all know how gifted the PR community is in math, science and computers, it was no surprise that the company’s online publicity destiny was left in the hands of its IT staff—which was about as familiar with PR as PR is with the latest software patches that somehow magically appear on our desktops. You need a more effective news and information web site, but what will it include and how will you show the ROI to secure the necessary investment?

Clarke, David. Communication World Bulletin (2004). Articles>Business Communication>Public Relations>Online


Timeless Tips for Telling Stories

Staff meetings. Project presentations. Company events. Industry conferences. Community gatherings. Training sessions. The list of places to tell stories is as endless as your imagination. Do you need to be a great storyteller to effectively use stories? Absolutely not. However, you can heighten success by preparing how you will communicate your stories and taking into account some tips when you're actually sharing them.

Silverman, Lori L. Communication World Bulletin (2006). Articles>Writing


Tips for Getting to Know Your Audience

Effective communication requires understanding the target population and how it operates. That need to understand runs the gamut: sometimes it's simply information gathering, other times it's copy testing, or it may mean monitoring the effectiveness of a campaign. But before you start any campaign, you need to know your audience.

Reagan, Joey. Communication World Bulletin (2003). Articles>Business Communication>Audience Analysis>Rhetoric


Tips for Starting a Solo Career

Many years ago I was taken to lunch by two legislative analysts for a large law firm who figured that if I could do similar work on my own then maybe they could, too. As we talked, it became clear that what they were really looking for was a job-sharing venture that would give them more time to spend with their young children. When I asked them what they would do if two different clients needed something at the same time, they looked a bit stunned.

Steigman, Daria. Communication World Bulletin (2006). Careers>Freelance


Top Seven Tips to Writing an Effective Blog

If ever there were a perfect tool for the corporate communication expert, blogging is it. Think of a blog as the 3D version of your capabilities, one in which you provide context and meaning to your work experience and expertise. So let's talk about how to blog well.

Weil, Debbie. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Articles>Web Design>Writing>Blogging



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