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Push Notifications: The Home Screen Advantage

The Wall Street Journal reported that start-up app company, Yo, recently received $1.5 million in venture funding valuing the company between $5 and $10 million – an amount simply for allowing people to push the message “YO” to the mobile device of their friends.

At first glance I thought, “Oh, no – is this the Internet Bubble Part II?” Maybe to the extent Yo is warranting a multi-million dollar valuation and probably doesn’t have any revenue.  However, in thinking more about it, I realized that given what Yo represents in the context of 21st Century technology, the answer was no.

As the Wall Street Journal said, the importance of Yo is the push notification – the alert that takes advantage of the native operating systems of iPhones, iPads and Android mobile devices and suddenly appears on the home screen of these devices even when they are locked or in sleep mode.  Push notifications represent the ability to cut through the clutter of the hundreds of emails that we receive and that we have become accustomed to spending hours deleting on a daily basis.

As a consultant to the communications industry for more than 15 years, the push notification as a communications tool is game changing.  Up until now, we have had to rely on strategies like media relations to get others to make our point for us with the hope that our targets will read or view what is written; to attend conferences to present our story to a finite audience;  to create websites that we pray our audience(s) will proactively seek out; or to pay significant sums for advertising to ensure that our messages aren’t distorted.  Push notifications represent a new communications method via mobile technology and offers a new way to connect with our targeted audiences in a direct and personal way.  All we now need to figure out is how to get our audiences to download apps we or our clients create and then opt-in to receive the push notifications.

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Webinar: Engaging the Mobile Employee Beyond Email

Keeping employees engaged is one of the biggest challenges internal communicators face today. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace study , only a fraction of employees are engaged at their job.  However, mobile technology unlocks new opportunities for communications professionals as more employees are using mobile devices regardless of the type of work they do.  Knowledge workers are no longer anchored to a desk with a PC and just about all service workers are completely mobile and often they are using their own device (BYOD).  The majority of part-time employees don’t have corporate email addresses. These factors combined underscore that internal communicators can no longer rely on email as a primary communications method.

To learn about ways to increase engagement, join us for a free webinar  on August 14 at 2pm ET. The Business Development Institute has organized this exciting event that will include Jeff Corbin, Founder and CEO of theEMPLOYEEapp, Tracy Imm, Director of Internal Communications at Erickson Living and Kristen Ritter, VP of Internal Communications at 21st Century Fox. We will discuss how leading organizations are moving beyond email and embracing technologies including mobile apps to communicate with their workforce and keep employees engaged.

We encourage you to participate in this event. Registration for the event is now open. Please register here. We hope you’ll join us!

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5 Things to Consider When Creating Employee Engagement Programs

Through our discussions with current and potential clients about theEMPLOYEEapp, we have an opportunity to hear from hundreds of corporate communications professionals about the challenges they face in their work. As you might suspect, the topic of employee engagement often comes up in these conversations.

By now, we’ve all seen the alarming Gallup survey stats which state that more than 60 percent of Americans are not engaged at work, costing employers billions of dollars. A recent CIO.com article gives some great insight and tips on how to develop programs to increase engagement.

Here are some of the tips that we found most interesting:

  1. “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” – Before developing a plan, determine your benchmarks for success.
  2. Be real and set goals – You can’t increase engagement if you can’t admit that you have room for improvement. When you set your goals, make sure they aren’t afraid to get to the bottom of some tough questions.
  3. Solicit feedback often and pivot – Ask your employees how you are doing, how a program is going and take their feedback seriously. Make a change based on their responses.
  4. Empower your employees – Give your employees skin in the game. Let them know that they are part of the plan and that their opinions count.
  5. Think outside of the box – Companies should implement some innovative programs to increase engagement, including the use of mobile technology and games.

For more information on how mobile technology can support internal communications, check out the recent feature from CIO Review on theEMPLOYEEapp.

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