Your Business: Communicating Internally Via Non-Traditional Mediums

As the technology landscape continues to widen its purview at warp speed, so does the number of internal communications outlets available to managers and senior executives. Gone are the days when employee relations were relegated to e-mails and those elusive face-to-face meeting that could never be scheduled to fit everyone's needs; now communications are flexible, interactive, up-to-date and able to compete with the 24/7 news cycle. Consider the following two options when considering internal communications vehicles: Blogs: According to a recent BusinessWeek feature, internal blogs are an increasingly viable means of communicating with employees and soliciting feedback. Content can be generated by managers and employees alike, and blogs don't incur costs typical of internal newsletters (or the lunch buffets that must be purchased to attract employees to meetings). Just be sure to structure the blog to facilitate the best interaction, but where content control rests with the CEO or other senior manager. According to Philippe Borremans, PR Manager for IBM in Belgium and Luxembourg, the technology company hosts more than 3,000 internal blogs throughout its worldwide network. Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini is also a known internal blogger. Video-on-Demand: Take a cue from Cisco CEO John Chambers, who tapes ten to 15 videos a quarter in a small in-house studio, according to a recent Fortune interview. This medium allows employees to tune in when they have a moment to focus, instead of requesting their attention for a one-time-only meeting or Web cast. It also engages viewers; to do so even more, offer an avenue for employees to respond with questions or feedback to further promote two-way conversations. Using these channels in addition to e-mails, meetings and Web casts can help senior executives round out their internal communications strategies and foster strong employee relations within their businesses. Please note: In honor of Labor Day, PR News will not publish on September 4; publication will resume on September 11. Enjoy the holiday.

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