Gaining Employee Support through a New Type of Journalism

[2014 update: the following content still resonates, although the original links in this post were removed because they are no longer available.]

Here’s a fascinating concept to add to your internal marketing & communications toolbox: Workplace Journalism — “a conscious effort to make employee communications at least partly about employees and their concerns, not just the business and its issues.”

I learned about this from Barry Nelson, who believes business communicators can have a positive impact by adding more “empathetic, employee-advocacy journalism … into their otherwise business-results focused reportorial mix.”

He recommends that in addition to communicating corporate strategy, goals, progress & results, (which employees need to know), companies should also share stories of how employees cope with on-the-job issues & stresses (which employees want to know). According to Barry, we need to give “at least some prominence to our employees’ human concerns” such as “how and why to get along with the boss, make friends on the job, cope with stress, live the brand, be a good teammate, and other aspects of a satisfactory work life.”

The Pay-Off

This isn’t just ‘feel-good’ communications for the heck of it. Organizations that share these types of stories demonstrate their care and concern for employees, and this contributes to a strong sense of employee commitment and loyalty in turn.

To learn more, check out Barry’s guidance on getting started with Workplace Journalism.

 

3 Comments

  • Barry Nelson September 11, 2007 Reply

    Sybil, here’s a question for your readers: What success have you had in developing and running stories in your internal media on the sorts of workplace issues cited in my article? I’d love to hear about anyone’s experiences — positive or negative — in gathering and clearing these stories, and any employee feedback they’ve provoked. Thanks,
    Barry

  • Sybil September 4, 2007 Reply

    Michael, thanks for letting us know about this. (Attention blog readers: you can join MyRagan communicators’ network for free by signing up at http://www.myragan.com/ … then enter “workplace journalism” under Content Search.)

  • Michael Sebastian September 4, 2007 Reply

    Barry also started a forum discussion at MyRagan about this topic of workplace journalism, and although the conversation is a couple months old there were some good ideas sparked in the forum.

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