Posts tagged communications
Carol Bartz, CEO of Yahoo! was fired yesterday. The first widespread notice was an e-mail she sent to employees, which according to the New York Times read:
I am very sad to tell you that I’ve just been fired over the phone by Yahoo’s Chairman of the Board. It has been my pleasure to work with all of you and I wish you only the best going forward.
For starters, no one wants to be fired over the phone. Maybe it was the only feasible way, depending on where the parties were at the time, but it’s hardly ideal.
As The Consumerist points out, Bartz was hired to turn Yahoo! and its share price around, and that hasn’t happened. So the firing wasn’t necessarily shocking. Then, Yahoo! sent out its own message, in a press release that included the following paragraph:
Roy Bostock, Chairman of the Yahoo! Board, said, “The Board sees enormous growth opportunities on which Yahoo! can capitalize, and our primary objective is to leverage the Company’s leadership and current business assets and platforms to execute against these opportunities. We have talented teams and tremendous resources behind them and intend to return the Company to a path of robust growth and industry-leading innovation. We are committed to exploring and evaluating possibilities and opportunities that will put Yahoo! on a trajectory for growth and innovation and deliver value to shareholders.”
Does Roy Bostock really talk like that? I’m not sure anyone does–not when they’re actually trying to say something, that is. This reads more like someone trying to avoid saying anything. I think David Meerman Scott gets it right when he says, “Yahoo! missed an opportunity to communicate like humans and deliver some real information.”
A press release shouldn’t be in code. Tell people what they need to know in a way they can easily understand. We’re all busy. Show that you respect that. What have you got to lose?
Conventional wisdom seems to suggest that social media is a responsibility for your communications team to tackle–but I’m still seeing organizations try to shoehorn it in with IT.
Beyond that, there’s the issue of centralization vs. distribution–should social media be handled by a single core group, or should people from all over the organization (and in the case of Zappos, pretty much everyone) play a role?
How does your organization answer these questions? Where does social media live?
In another life, I wrote an econ textbook. In my head, the working title was “Fun With Economics.” Ludicrous? Maybe, but it helped me focus on creating content that was as engaging as possible.
Sometimes it’s easier to have fun. Orange, a UK communications company (although with that name, I was expecting them to be based in the Netherlands) has found a way to play around with Twitter. The approach is goofy and just a little bit snarky, but not mean-spirited. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this brought them more attention–and in a good way.
So are you going to give the #thissummer hashtag a try? Or have you got your own ideas for social media fun and games?