Corporate Communications app for iPhone, iPad and Android – theCOMMSapp


A conversation with Jeff Corbin, APPrise Mobile’s founder and CEO


The APPrise Mobile platform provides business line leaders with a comprehensive mobile app solution to communicate with employees, investors, partners and other audiences.

APPrise Mobile was launched in 2012 in response to growing mobile adoption.  “With the proliferation of mobile technology, we foresaw a paradigm shift, and believed that companies would need a solution to communicate with investors via their mobile devices,” said Jeff Corbin, APPrise Mobile’s founder and CEO.  “A native mobile app allows them to proactively push investor content directly to their target audiences; something responsive design or optimized websites didn’t allow for,” he explained.

The company recently rebranded itself as APPrise Mobile (it had previously been called theCOMMSapp™) to reflect their broader platform-as-a-service (PaaS) operating model for communications professionals.  Today, the APPrise family of native app communications solutions includes theIRapp® (for public companies), theEMPLOYEEapp™ (for secure employee communications), theCOMMSapp™ (for external communications) and theCONFERENCEapp™ (for hosting events and conferences).

“Due to the nature of our platform, we aren’t limited to a specific vertical to seek growth opportunities,” said Corbin.  “We are focused on the communications industry at large – internal communications, corporate communications, and investor relations.”

APPrise is committed to enhancing its platform with new functionality every quarter based on customer feedback.   The company also has a self-service model which is planned to launch in early January, enabling companies of all sizes to create their own employee app at a fraction of the time and cost of developing one independently.

“The opportunity that mobile technology has presented to the communications industry is unprecedented.  Companies can now directly push information to their target audience.  The question is how to do this.  We believe the answer is the native app, and APPrise Mobile has created a cost-effective and easy-to-implement solution,” said Corbin.

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5 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement Among Baby Boomers

While there is a huge focus on millennials and their impact on how we work, Baby Boomers were the original demographic that changed the job and consumer landscape, and today, still make up a large part of the U.S. workforce. Additionally, given the recent financial crisis, boomers are working well past traditional retirement years. However, according to the Gallup Organization’s State of the American Workplace Report, boomers are also the most disengaged segment of the workforce – and this costs corporate America almost $500 million a year.

So, what can be done to increase engagement of baby boomers in their work? Here are a few ideas from Talent Management.

1. Celebrate Performance – While millennials aren’t as motivated by salary as they are by other factors like a company’s mission, values and work-life balance, rewarding Baby Boomers, whether through title changes, raises, etc. is a core way to keep them engaged with their work.

2. Provide Mentorship Opportunities – With the wealth of experience Boomers have collected over their careers, knowledge sharing is an opportunity to reconnect with their workplace and pass along advice to those who are just starting out or less advanced in their career. It will remind them what they love about their career and enable them to support a colleague’s growth.

3. Cut through the Clutter – Typically Boomers have robust lives outside of work, many with families and other obligations. With that said, it’s important for employers to communicate with their boomer workforce in an efficient manner. Mobile technology presents an opportunity to directly push information to a device – i.e., a phone or tablet – that most boomers have on them all the time.

4. Smaller Teams – Allowing employees to work in smaller teams can make them feel more productive and accountable for their work. In turn, they feel more engaged with their company.

5. Challenging Assignments – Baby boomers thrive on challenges as they have intense work ethics and are extremely goal-oriented. Keep Boomers engaged in the workplace by offering them challenging projects that call upon their vast wealth of experience and knowledge.

Baby boomers have changed the way we work. They are tremendous contributors to our businesses and ensuring that you have the right programs in place to connect, motivate and engage them is critical. Just because they are seasoned, does not mean that they aren’t tech-savvy and providing programs and technologies that take into account their busy lives, decades of experience and that recognize their accomplishments will go a long way in keeping them motivated.

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Beyond the Firewall: Connecting with Employees Anytime, Anywhere

Are you thinking about implementing a mobile or social strategy to connect with your organization’s employees “anytime, anywhere?” If not, consider it a big missed opportunity.

Your employees — just like your customers — are active on their mobile devices, engaging in valuable conversations via social media, with or without your participation.

Today, with so many organizations challenged to capture their employees’ attention, mobile technology and social media present a unique and powerful opportunity for communicators, particularly with the growing millennial workforce. We can look to several brands that are leading the way in engaging employees real-time using social media, and leveraging mobile apps and text message platforms to connect with front-line workers. Companies such as Starbucks, UPS, HSBC Bank, and MGM Grand Hotels have lively platforms to connect with their employees and are active in promoting employee interests, success stories and even discounts using authentic, bite-sized content.

At North Shore-LIJ — one of the country’s leading healthcare organizations and New York’s largest private employer with more than 50,000 employees — we are testing the waters on social media and plan to launch a mobile app in 2015. With a frontline workforce caring for patients around the clock, we simply can’t afford to continue relying on traditional communications to connect with our employees. Statistically, more than 80 percent of our incoming workforce is comprised of millennials (i.e., those born between 1980 and 2000) and the majority bring their smart phones to work. On average, North Shore-LIJ hires 100 employees a week – nearly 5,000 a year – which equates to 10% of our total workforce. What this means is that in roughly 10 years, the organization will be dominated by millennials and Gen-Xers and by then, mobile and cloud usage will become the business norm.

While our SharePoint-based Intranet tucked behind a firewall serves a purpose, it is not yet accessible via mobile and it can’t compete with the conversational appeal of social media (I say this even though we recently invested in a SharePoint upgrade and are debuting a redesigned Intranet in the first quarter of 2015). However, what this reflects is the need for a diversified communications platform customized to the target audiences you serve. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach and that’s why we are trying new tools and leveraging technology with which our employees are already accustomed in their personal lives.

After surviving Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, and more recently, handling Ebola preparedness communications, my team has gleaned some valuable lessons about how to reach our employees. Case in point: After Hurricane Sandy our organization set up an emergency resource hotline and website to help hundreds of employees displaced by the storm. We sent dozens of emails and posted video messages from our CEO offering help. But with technology gaps and intermittent Internet accessibility, what we learned was that we were essentially talking to ourselves. We were not using social media to reach our staff, and that’s when we realized there’s a legitimate business need to connect with our workforce real-time.

Without a mobile-accessible Intranet or an easy access email platform in place, it only makes sense that we have turned to social media to start and join employee conversations. Not surprisingly, we have seen some early successes. Recently our team took to Twitter to alert employees about the new Ebola preparedness guidelines and training being offered. By giving our employees genuine and useful content– and by having leaders engage on the new channels, we’re embracing the much-needed culture change to communicate with our workforce. And this is just the beginning. With the power of a mobile app, I believe we’ll be able to drive even more connectivity among our 50,000 employees who crave instant access to content on their smart phones.

The firewall that communicators have been stuck behind is about to burn down. Better get your hose out.


Ally Bunin is AVP of internal communications for North Shore-LIJ Health System, and the 2016 chair-elect of the PRSA Employee Communications Section. In her role, she leads internal communications for the organization and also oversees the Careers social media platform. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow on Twitter: @AllisonBunin and @PRSAEmpComms

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