This week’s blog post comes from Chuck Gose, ICology founder, StaffConnect VP and internal communications enthusiast

At this year’s IABC World Conference, internal communications and technology superfreak Shel Holtz shared his new model for employee communication. It’s something he’s been working on, tweaking and perfecting, for the past few years.

A key point that Shel points out in his blog post is the reason why it’s an employee communication model, and not internal communication:

I use the term “employee communication” instead of “internal communication.” Peter Vogt, who ran employee communications at Microsoft, eBay, and BBVA, convinced me of this, pointing out that “employee” keeps us focused on whom we’re communicating with. “Internal” is a place, employees are people.

Shel points to the rise of the intranet and the decline in print publications with dragging down employee communication. And he believes it’s due to a bit of a time management misunderstanding.

Seeing the cost and time savings, communicators axed their print publications and began publishing to the intranet. The nature of the content didn’t change, however. The same 1,500-word articles that graced the pages of newsletters and magazines were now shoveled onto the screen. Lost in the transition was the fact that people don’t read online the same way they read print.

Those who are fans of intranets might not agree with Shel’s take on intranets, but I agree wholeheartedly with Shel on reading behavior, even reflecting on my own habits. How I read a newspaper (and yes I still do) or any print publication is completely different than how I read content on a screen. There’s value in skimming through articles as you flip pages versus simply reading and clicking on headlines. Print exposes us to more content that we may not choose to read but end up diving into merely because it’s laid out in front of us. And I think there’s a misconception about digital being “cheaper” than print. What is this costing us?

But back to the model. Shel will begin dissecting more of the new model on his blog so make sure you’re following along.


Sign up for the latest insights