Who owns social media in the workplace? Did we forget it’s about community & collaboration?


The Dress Story

As I shopped for a dress for our daughter’s wedding I experienced the “shop till you drop” phenomenon and actually had no luck.  I didn’t want a “mother of the bride” dress; that’s just not my style.  I needed something with movement, yes, that’s what I was looking for, something with movement!  After exhausting myself and anyone else who was willing to trek around with me, I had an idea worth exploring.

I am not a pack rat but do hold things I feel have value.  In the back of my closet I had a dress I wore to my sister-in-law’s wedding 36 years ago.  I saved it because it was beautiful–beautiful material, beautiful style, and it had movement!  My daughter even agreed this could be the dress!  Her comments gave me hope but it needed some work to update it a little.

We took it to a reputable designer and she felt it didn’t need much!  This option saved us money, and I got to wear a unique dress that couldn’t be found in any boutique anywhere in the entire world, at least not in 2009!

So I guess you could say I recycled the dress.  

The Challenge

And now here is the challenge to you. If you have been a successful company or organization for a while, I bet you have some things you could recycle in 2009 with a little updating using technology and ingenuity!

Maybe something in your business just needs a little dusting to be brought back to life.  Is there an employee recognition program that was successful 10 years ago and could possibly breathe new life into your business environment?  Employee engagement is the new terminology, but the concept has been around forever. 

How about a newsletter or hotline on “opportunities for improvement” that may have been part of the quality movement back in the ‘90’s.  Can you recreate it using Twitter or texting where employees send ideas as soon as they see them? 

And how about an awareness campaign to promote your message, but rather than posters you create video messages using YouTube; it could even be a contest.  Imagine the buzz around the most creative entries. 

Anything is possible.  Just think back to something that worked really well for you before and maybe, just maybe with a little tweaking it could work even better now!

Consider recycling; it has many benefits including helping you be a good corporate citizen, and providing potential cost savings to you and your organization.  Why not look through that closet! You might be surprised what you find.

Let us know if you have an old idea that you decide to recycle.

Need to discuss movement of ideas in your business? The W Group ensures its clients’ messages are visible, heard, and understood.  Awareness is step one, but you really are only successful when there is a behavior change….movement from acknowledgement to action.

Eileen Weisman is a communication strategist, a recycling expert, a dog lover, and a mother of the bride.  Contact The W Group to discuss recycling opportunities within your company or organization.

Is Spinning Sinning?

May 6, 2009

We hear the word “spin” all the time in politics and the media. What reaction does it have on you? And what does it really mean?  Since you are reading this blog, the more important question is “are there spin doctors in the business world and if so, how does that affect the transparency issue?”


George Stephanopoulos, ABC Washington Bureau Chief, and former political advisor to Bill Clinton, once defined spin as “a hope dressed up as an observation.”  Its formal definition from the book, The ABCs of Strategic Communication, by M. Larry Litwin, APR, Fellow PRSA, is “a slang term used when public relations practitioners attempt to manipulate the news or events in the media through skillful strategic messages and other public relations techniques.”


If you are the person in your company that is responsible for messaging, whether it is internal or external, the integrity of the company is on the line every time you make a statement.  Being transparent implies openness, and honesty. Trust and truthfulness are two of the best marketing tools available and they are free! Use them to solidify existing relationships, to attract new donors or business partners, and to build loyalty with employees.


Your organization’s brand, your CEO, the board, and every co-worker depend on you to report truthfully. Manipulating news and events manipulates everyone and that is not a good business practice.  You may be challenged to create a “truth,” to color an event or situation in a way that is not 100% honest in its content.  And you could try to rationalize why you have chosen the words you have in an attempt to justify the public statement. In reality it may buy you time, but it will eventually buy you trouble.  There are no shortcuts to the truth. The public will find out and your trust factor will diminish quickly.[1]


So yes, I do believe that spinning is sinning when used to manipulate the public.  And if we feel as business professional that we are honest and ethical, then we need to be sure to take a stand on integrity, review our statements prior to their release, and ensure we are protecting our organization’s reputation in a most positive way.  As my mother always said, “If you lose your reputation, it is very hard to get it back.”








 Eileen Weisman is a communication strategist practicing internal marketing communications.  Her company, The W Group creates communication strategies that ensure employees, associates, and donors take notice and take action!

[1] 2009 Edelman Trust Barometer

I am introducing my blog, our new web site, and myself which serve as your personal invitation to engage in a strong business partnership with The W Group.  The W Group has been around a long time and has built its reputation on creating strong relationships with its clients.  If we haven’t met formally I look forward to our first visit!


Each week I will post a new “Tip of the Week” on our web site and the blog will provide common sense details around the topic.  Sometimes we might create a white paper, mention a case study or recent report that supports the issue and provides you with specific data and a more compelling message on the subject.


This week’s tip is the most basic of internal marketing communications: 


Preparing an annual communications strategy to support your business plan ensures greater success of your goals.


My guess is you spend a lot of time preparing your yearly business strategy.  You may have an entire team working on it and everyone is proud and excited when it is finally presented to senior management. Congratulations, but….


All the priorities along with all the initiatives can only travel as far as the words on the page without a communication plan aligned to match each priority.


Your associates, employees or donors need to understand how they are part of the business plan, why it is important for them to support the plan, and how everyone benefits from the plan.  If you don’t connect the dots from the boardroom to the lunchroom, you diminish your opportunities for success.  You may need to think like an interpreter translating each initiative into the language of your audience; this is essential to your communication strategy.


Remember to speak the language of your associates, employees and donors.  Corporate jargon and business terminology is fine for your document, but put everything else into words that turn your business into a thriving bee hive where the buzz is about engagement, and the results of your efforts become obvious through your bottom line.


How do you do that?  With a well written and executed strategic communication plan.  Visit