Business communication has drastically evolved in the last decade. In this lesson, we'll look at alternative uses of communication that help improve quality, public relations and internal employee relationships through the use of blogs, podcasts and wikis.
Burpe Soda has been around for over 100 years. The soda company has a very fierce competitor named Sugar Rush who started selling soda five short years ago. Sugar Rush has stolen a large amount of Burpe Soda's customer base due to creative marketing and technology. Burpe Soda has sent a soda spy to work at Sugar Rush to find out the key to the company's success. The spy reported back that the key to their success was the use of blogs, podcasts and wikis. The spy had to figure out what these tools were and how Burpe Soda could also use them successfully.
The spy was sent back to work at Sugar Rush and told to report back in one month with a full report on all of the communication tools. Let the spying begin! The spy was going to see how Sugar Rush utilized a blog, or informal articles and information that are available on a company intranet so that all employees have access for communication and providing feedback.
The spy saw that Sugar Rush's blog was called 'Rush to the Top' and helped create a positive work environment and a family camaraderie situation. This kept employees motivated and connected, which led to excellent motivation and morale. The company posted work contests, fun corporate weekend parties and trips, and even featured snippets of the product and company owners. Burpe Soda quickly decided to also incorporate a blog as part of their business strategy per the spy's suggestion.
One night after work, the spy wandered down a long corridor at Sugar Rush's headquarters to find a double door with a warning sign. The sign said, 'No interruptions - recording in progress.' The spy's curiosity was piqued, and he waited for hours to see who or what came out of the doors. Soon the lights went out, and employees began to exit the double doors.
The spy heard them talking about what a great podcast they had tonight! The spy quickly ran back to his office and did some research. A podcast is a way for companies to communicate through spoken word versus written word to employees, consumers and partners. A podcast also can be used to provide instruction, entertainment or public relations.
Quickly the spy was able to steal the latest podcast and bring it back to Burpe Soda headquarters. The podcast was an interview with Mel Chow, a famous skateboarder, who discussed how Sugar Rush gives him energy to help him succeed in his sport. The podcast was funny, informative and made Burpe Soda very jealous.
Podcasts are easy to produce as all a company needs is a microphone (works with a USB) and audio editing computer software. The podcast can then be placed on the corporate website or uploaded to iTunes. The spy informed Burpe Soda that there is no central Internet location for consumers to search all podcasts. With some creative public relations, podcasts can help with marketing and communication plans. Burpe Soda quickly started a podcast development team to create a list of new ideas for their own podcasts.
The last piece of the puzzle for Burpe Soda was to educate them on the use of wikis for marketing communication. Their spy found out that Sugar Rush had successfully built an internal wiki two years ago. A wiki is a text-oriented website that is hosted on an intranet within a company. This website allows all employees to edit, upload and share content.
Most people are familiar with Wikipedia, which is an online encyclopedia. Businesses can create their own private Wiki and share it with their employees, customers or even vendors. The spy found out that wikis are great to:
- Set up an intranet easily within the company
- Allow companies to publish and share documents easily
- Create an easy way for employees to share meeting notes and update calendars
The spy cautioned that Burpe Soda might not want to use the wiki tool. One reason to not use a wiki would be if the files that need to be shared are complex and hard to upload. Burpe Soda also needs to hire someone to be in charge of the wiki to make sure what is uploaded is correct, professional and valuable. Lastly, the spy said that a wiki should not be used for employees to discuss, offer feedback or exchange views - that belongs on a company blog.
Burpe Soda felt that their spy greatly educated them on business communication tools that were new to the aging company. The spy was able to show the company how using blogs, podcasts and wikis could help them compete against Sugar Rush Soda.
A blog, or informal articles and information that are available on a company intranet, can help improve company morale and communication. Burpe Soda also implemented podcasting, which is a way for companies to communicate through spoken word versus written word to employees, consumers and partners.
The last piece of valuable spy information was in regards to wikis, or a text-oriented website that is hosted on an intranet within a company. Burpe Soda promoted their company spy and is hoping to catch up to Sugar Rush in sales this year.
After this lesson, you'll have the ability to:
- Explain how the use of blogs and podcasting can benefit business communication
- Identify the ways to use wikis within an organization