Monday, January 05, 2009

The First Presidential Blogger?

Imagine! The first blogger President. And a blog is right in line with the bold and transparent environment which Obama has tried to create.

He could discuss every new or controversial policy in a blog – and people throughout the world could comment. While he could tackle topics from Iran and Iraq to health and defense, he also could talk about his favorite movies, how he spends time with his daughters, and the foods that he can’t resist. With one keystroke, he could conduct his own “March of Dimes” for the people in Darfur and with the next, challenge a trade in baseball or softball. Press conferences could be conducted on the internet with instant survey reactions to what is being said.

This Presidential internet strategy would model democratic behavior – and serve as an example for the world. It literally is worldwide citizen engagement. As FDR gained support of Americans via the radio fireside chats, Obama has the opportunity to build global support for his vision of a unified world. Idealistic? Maybe. But possible with this new chosen channel.

While the government has challenged Obama’s use of the Blackberry for fear a misstatement or sharp response could be published rapidly around the world, nothing offers better control than a blog. It is final once it is posted. All responses can be calculated.

The only negative I can see is that it indeed will accelerate the shift away from newspapers, TV and radio even more than before.

But the overriding advantage — if Obama is open to it and can find the time — is that citizens of the world will get to know our president in a way that has never happened before. And perhaps that level of communications can bring a level of understanding that has never existed in the world.

Technorati Tags: President, Obama, controversial policy, blog, internet strategy, Americans, Makovsky, Blackberry, March of Dimes, business, communications, public relations

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Boosting Employee Morale in a Down Economy

I remember after 9/11 how significantly employee morale fell; it was understandable. Nevertheless, while I always found a great escape in my work during such periods, that obviously isn’t true for everybody.

Thus, it was not surprising — in the current economic environment — to learn that there is once again a breakdown in employee morale. A recent survey found that more than a third of employees attributed the decline in morale to a lack of open, honest communications on the part of their bosses about what was really going on in the company. Other reasons for poor morale were failure to recognize employee achievements (19%) and micromanagement (17%). Such breakdowns – with all the work to be done – are not good for any firm or for the economy at large.

Enter the Makovsky “We Achieve” program – designed to “make” bosses talk to their employees (and all of us talk to each other) and recognize those who role-model best practices. It is based around business-size cards, each with a Makovsky firm value: educate, communicate, innovate, initiate, collaborate and motivate. Anyone demonstrating one of those values through his or her behavior is given a card, noting on the back the specific action. The person with the most cards wins a cash prize bi-monthly.

Thus, it was interesting to note that 48 percent of executives cited communications as the solution to strong employee morale, and both recognition and monetary rewards were runners-up in the battle to beat bad morale.

Technorati Tags: employee morale, poor morale, best practices, micromanagement, innovate, 9/11, Makovsky, business, communications, public relations

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