Engagement Marketing

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.


Engagement Marketing Training & Development

“The Laughing-Learning Link”

This post’s title is borrowed from The HUMOR Project’s latest e-newsletter which reinforces the value of humor in learning situations.  “HAHA” (sharing a cartoon or funny anecdote) can lead to “AHA” (insight or content clarity) which can then lead to “AH” (understanding).

The formula works, trust me.  In my workshops & presentations, I often use cartoons from The Cartoon Bank, a fabulous (almost endless) source of humorous material.  It’s a great way to lighten things up, keep a group’s attention, and reinforce learning in the process.

For internal marketing purposes, there are many situations where you can use humor:

  • staff meetings
  • employee recognition/appreciation events (as long as you don’t overwhelm or detract attention from those being recognized)
  • training
  • orientation, etc.

You can use cartoons, funny stories, toys or token gifts, interactive exercises/skits/games, food, etc — as long as they’re appropriate for the situation and group.  A great source of ideas can be found in Sheila Ferguson’s book “Energize Your Meetings with Laughter” (one of my favorite resources).

Besides making your internal marketing events effective, find ways to also make them fun.