Guest speaker Steve Crescenzo of Crescenzo Communications ( presented the latest trends in employee and corporate communications within a small, conversational-style gathering of IABC-LA members at downtown L.A.’s Checkers Hotel.
Steve earned his employee communications stripes for years as the assistant editor of “The Ragan Report,” reviewing countless company newsletters and not-so-effective communications efforts.  I enjoyed his story about Larry Ragan, founder (and Mark Ragan’s father), who was way ahead of his time in the 1960’s:  Regan wanted to treat employees like adults and incorporate their opinions and valuable feedback regarding employee and company communications, and ditch the cartoons and recipes.  Fast forward to today’s employee communications climate, Larry Ragan would have embraced wholeheartedly social media, blogs, FaceBook and YouTube as instrumental tools in employee communications.

Steve covered five biggest trends:
 1) Battlefield has shifted…social media must be incorporated into employee communications. Communication pros can suggest social media as a facilitation mechanism for providing specific company tools and information.
2) The role of the communicator as publisher is over.  We are now creating conversations.
3) Multi-media use such as YouTube is now a viable employee communications tool. 
4) With so much social media overload, communicators are starting to tell better stories with a two-way communications approach… such as employees showing employees what’s happening using a Flip camera. 
5) Print is the “new” technology.  Using print to cut through the white noise of social media is on the rise. Drama, passion and cool photos are making its way back into print…and getting employees’ attention.

We engaged discussion in the importance of mastering content and how good communications spans generations and has evolved to be more conversational.  Board Member Paula Cassin brought up the issue of management pushing company agendas disguised as interactive employee social media, while Steve emphasized “Communicate to the culture that you want to be!” (…not to the company culture that exists.)
Check out Steve’s 2-minute video series on his website…hilarious takes on employee communications’ cliches…do’s and don’ts.