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Collaboration@Work: IC Kollectif Links Global Communicators with Key Resources and with Each Other

 

IMG957630Welcome to Collaboration@Work, a series of features dedicated to share collaboration best practices that inspire highly engaged, productive environments.

Lise Michaud is Founder of IC Kollectif, a collaborative effort with IABC/Montreal that brings together the most comprehensive internal communication (IC) resources and content under one roof.

Lise Michaud

Lise Michaud

Read on to learn how IC Kollectif helps communication professionals find and share highly relevant IC information to support organizational communication success.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How did IC Kollectif get started?
Lise Michaud: 
IC Kollectif’s venture started five months ago. We kicked it off on Twitter  and with IABC/Montreal’s February newsletter, an issue entirely dedicated to internal communication. Our initial partnership with IABC/Montreal provided us with high visibility and credibility from the start, and we are grateful for that.

We reached 1,000 followers on Twitter within 100 days and over 1,500 followers within 125 days. More significantly, we have grown organically and globally, bringing together in-house communication practitioners, IC thought leaders, consultants, professional associations and other participants from across five continents.

We held our first joint event with IABC/Montreal in April 2016, a two-hour workshop with Stephen Welch on how to become a strategic communication advisor. We reached a new milestone with the launch of our website on July 18.

PB: What inspired IC Kollectif to support internal communication professionals?
LM: 
IC Kollectif was born from a desire to simplify and accelerate the process of connecting communication professionals with knowledge, resources and our global community. It is intended for professionals in internal communication and other business communication disciplines.

As communication professionals, we are called on to be creative, innovative and keenly aware of the constant evolution of our practice. I have more than 25 years of experience in senior communication roles across the public and private sectors in Canada including internal, external and change communication, media relations and social media. Like any other communication professional, my job kept me very busy, and I had little time to search online for the latest study findings and best practices related to organizational communication.

There is a huge amount of information on corporate communication online, but these sources are not all equal in terms of quality and reliability. Yet there are many indispensable sources of information that can help us in addressing our day-to-day professional challenges. Knowing where to find them and having easy access is a great help.

Connecting IC Kollectif

PB: How does IC Kollectif’s efforts promote collaboration?
LM: IC Kollectif is a connector. It is the only global initiative dedicated to bring together, under one roof, numerous sources about IC and organizational communication. We are not an additional communication business competing with existing communication organizations, agencies or consultants. Quite the contrary.

Our role is to identify great resources, make them known and facilitate access to them for global communication practitioners. We constantly receive notifications and messages from Twitter and LinkedIn followers with relevant information and sources to share.

We’ve also received many endorsements from global communication professionals. US-based Paul Barton wrote that “we bring the brightest people and the best ideas together in a unique way that is inspiring and enlightening to the profession.” Mike Klein, in his Netherlands-based blog, Changing The Terms, called IC Kollectif “a potent example of an effort that accelerates connection between communication professionals and expands their access to resources and networks.”

IC Kollectif brings together not only resources and information, but it also promotes the people who produce this relevant content, and hence, creates connections among communication practitioners. Our Top IC thought leaders list created by IC Kollectif’s followers is a tangible example of this.

PB: How was the top IC Thought Leaders list created?
LM: 
In April, we asked our Twitter followers to tell us which IC thought leaders they read and listen to. Within a few days, we received more than 50 names of IC experts that we published in a blog post. The list was viewed and shared thousands of times on social media. We also created a public Twitter list to follow the IC thought leaders on Twitter. Since we keep receiving requests for additions to the list, we update it frequently.

PB: What are the key features and benefits of your new website?
LM: 
In this first phase, the website includes four main sections: SourcesIC Thought Leaders listCalendar of global communication conferences and events, and our new Blog.

Under Sources, we list organizations, agencies, publications, professionals associations, research and reports, blogs for communication professionals, a list of relevant Twitter Chats and hashtags to follow, a compilation of Communication LinkedIn groups, books, resources as well as glossaries.

Each element listed under the different sections has a link. With one click, you have a direct and immediate access to the information. We will update current sections on a regular basis and new sections will be added.

IC Kollectif focuses on a wide range of topics including change communication, digital communication, employee communication, social media, and much more. Although tactics remain an important aspect of the communication profession, we put a high focus on the value of managing communication strategically.

PB: How does your site tell the story of your business?
LM: The IC Kollectif website celebrates the people and the organizations around the world who offer relevant content in organizational communication. We do this by taking a valuable role in bringing these sources and resources under one roof and in pointing communication professionals in the direction of useful information and connections to empower them in addressing their day-to-day professional challenges.

PB: What’s next in the collaboration journey for IC Kollectif?
LM: Recently, we forged alliances with Australia’s Cropley Communication and US-based ALI Conferences. We are currently speaking with other organizations for possible partnerships.

We have a special interest in Communication and Public Relations research.  We already have a section called Research and Reports on our website. Eventually, we’d like to expand this section by adding academic communication research to help bridge communication and PR research with global communication professionals.

Over the next weeks, we will introduce guests posts on our new blog by inviting communication professionals and experts to participate. Our aim over the next 6-18 months is to become a must-visit resource for communication professionals eager to stay on the cutting edge of practice and who value a strategic approach to communication management and leadership.

Special thanks to Lise for creating this unique collaboration effort to support global communicators in their quest to lead collaborative company cultures for their organizations!

 

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Gather Around the Bonfyre to Ignite Employee Engagement

FireworksPhoto by Elena Hruleva, barnimages.com

When you make a great discovery, you’re excited about sharing it with others.

While supporting and attending the ALI Strategic Internal Branding Conference last month, I discovered the Bonfyre app.

This “new approach to driving engagement and aligning cultures” was a fun, interactive, real-time way for us to capture and share the latest news, photos and videos from our internal branding learning adventure.

But Bonfyre does much more than that. Bonfyre brings it all together for global organizations:

  • Company Meetings & Events
  • Internal Communications
  • Team Building
  • Company Culture
  • Employee Recognition
  • HR Business Intelligence

I had the pleasure of meeting Chris Dornfeld, President and Co-Founder, Bonfyre and Jake Bernstein, Manager, Business Development, Bonfyre, during the ALI conference. They told me that the Bonfyre website was recently redesigned, so here’s the scoop on that from Mark Sharp, Director of Marketing & Communications:

Bonfyre_HomeComputer

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: What inspired the website redesign?
Mark Sharp:
As our business has rapidly evolved over the past three years from strictly an event app company to an event-to-enterprise social communications platform, we understood that our website needed to reflect this key strategic transformation in our business….and frankly, one that continues to emerge in the marketplace today and in the foreseeable future.

PB: How is the new site different from the previous site?
MS:
The previous web site design catered almost exclusively to prospective customers looking for an event app to use at their upcoming event(s). Yes, events remain a key and foundational component of our business…and always will.

However, the most apparent differentiation between the previous site and new site is the graphic user interface design and refined logo treatment. More importantly, the new site features six key strategic areas of business focus (i.e., Company Meetings & Events, Internal Communications, Team Building, Company Culture, Employee Recognition and HR Business Intelligence) for which Bonfyre can deliver impressive results in the creation and enrichment of employee engagement.

Bonfyre App_How It Works Hub

How Bonfyre Works

PB: What are the key features and benefits of the new site?
MS:
Through subtle use of animation, the “How it Works” section details Bonfyre features and functionalities specific to business use. So, whether you are interested in partnering with Bonfyre as the official event app for your Company Meetings & Events, delivering Internal Communications across a multitude of remote office locations or launching a campaign to change company culture, prospective customers are able to clearly see how Bonfyre can be leveraged to quickly deliver solutions for a host of business hurdles.

PB: What user feedback have you received about the new site?
MS:
The response from current clients, strategic partners and board members has been very complimentary! People grasp very quickly the new strategic vision Bonfyre is pursuing and how our products and services help to fulfill on the promises made.

Although web analytics and performance data for our website are confidential, it is safe to say that we are seeing improved results for visits, unique visits, page views, time spent on site, bounce rates, etc.

PB: How does your site tell the story of your business and the Bonfyre app?
MS:
Partnering with Bonfyre for Company Meetings & Events creates “the spark” that companies need to cultivate palpable, ongoing employee engagement and an enviable culture of personal empowerment…where leadership and employees share and exchange ideas, solutions, best practices, encouragement and team victories!

This is achieved by harnessing the power of Bonfyre for Internal Communication, Team Building, Company Culture and Employee Recognition initiatives. And the best part? Bonfyre is able to deliver real-time HR business intelligence and insights into what is working and what is not when it comes to driving the needle on employee engagement.

PB: How does Bonfyre support employee engagement?
MS:
Bonfyre not only supports employee engagement, but creates employee engagement! As a senior business executive searching for something that will motivate employees across the company to take ownership, build camaraderie, transform culture, build bridges and forge innovation, Bonfyre delivers the desired results!

Beautifully simple in design and intuition, Bonfyre is being downloaded and embraced by 70+% of event guests in 2016. And as past trends indicate, these guests continue to seize the energy and solidarity that Bonfyre creates long after the event has concluded and carry the burning flame of engagement back to their companies…transforming communication, team building, culture and recognition.

Bonfyre Data Analytics

Bonfyre Data Analytics

Thanks to Chris Dornfeld, Jake Bernstein, and Mark Sharp for their time and support in sharing Bonfyre with us. 🙂

If you haven’t tried Bonfyre yet, I encourage you to check it out at www.bonfyreapp.com


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Brilliance@Work: Internal Communication Expert Chuck Gose

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar collaboration professionals and their best practices at work.

Chuck Gose

Chuck Gose

Chuck Gose is the founder and host of ICology, an Internal Communications-themed podcast. He’s also corporate communication practice leader for BroadSign.

Chuck is an active voice on LinkedIn, writing posts about internal communication, employee engagement and social media. He’s an advocate for technology and its aggressive, but smart, use in internal communication.

Chuck is also a self-proclaimed Skyline chili connoisseur and Duran Duran fan with 15 years of international experience in marketing, corporate communication and sales. Chuck has held internal communications roles with companies like Rolls-Royce and GM.

Join Chuck at the Advanced Learning Institute’s Strategic Internal Branding Conference, April 19-21 in Scottsdale, Arizona as he presents “Enhance Your Employee Experience through New Technologies that Align with Your Organization & Communication Campaign Goals.”

In the meantime, read on to learn more about Chuck and his insights on technology’s role in internal communications.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: What are you most interested in and speak most enthusiastically about?
Chuck Gose: I have been fascinated by internal communications for the better part of 15 years. And I’ve seen the amount of thought and attention given to it continue to increase. That being said, there’s a lot of the “same old same old” being spread around. I challenge myself to come up with new angles and topics that get communicators and business leaders to think about internal comms in new ways.

PB: What are some of your past and current projects that you are most proud of?
CG: In late summer 2015, I launched ICology, a podcast that’s focused on interesting people doing interesting things in the world of internal communications. There didn’t seem to be an IC “voice” in the podcast world, so I filled that gap. And since then, it’s been nothing but fun. I’ve interviewed practitioners and consultants. We’ve talked about channels and technology, including some challenges and failures. And we’ve talked about what communicators need to do to become better business people.

PB: How can organizations use technology to tell their stories effectively?
CG: Technology can be both a barrier and an ally for storytelling. By barrier I mean that there are specific access points required. An employee needs a smart phone if a story is on a mobile app. If the story is a video, they need access to a computer to watch it. Those are rudimentary examples, but technology isn’t without hiccups.

But when used appropriately, technology can make storytelling even more amazing. And this is where communicators can and should be more creative with storytelling. Each technology has its own strengths and weaknesses. Make sure your stories play to the technology’s strength.

PB: As conference chairperson, what would you say makes this event unique?
CG: Compared to other events I attend, I love the intimacy of the ALI events. You’re in the same room with the same people for multiple days. And since you’re not bouncing around from track to track, you spend time with and get to know the people you’ve been sitting around and trading stories with.

PB: What is most important for people to understand from your conference presentation?
CG: Technology is available for everyone, BUT that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. Each technology can make a big impression in the employee experience, but only if it’s supported and cared for. I like to see communicators play in technology first. Because it’s out of this playtime that we’ll discover fun and practical uses for new technology.

PB: What is your contact information for questions, comments, ideas?
CG: I try to be everywhere and accessible. The best channels to reach me are LinkedIn and Twitter at @chuckgose.

Register for the Strategic Internal Branding Conference. Together we’ll learn about using authentic internal branding communications to create brand champions, build culture and engage employees to live and deliver on the brand promise.

Since I’m a conference supporter, just mention Starry Blue Brilliance when you register to receive a $200 discount. 🙂

Please share this information with your networks. The Twitter hashtag is #ALI_IntBranding.


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Join Me for the 2014 Intranet and Digital Workplace Summit

IntranetDigital_Logo_Final_642x360-copy1

Join me July 29-31 in Chicago, Illinois for the 2014 Intranet & Digital Workplace Summit sponsored by the Advanced Learning Institute. As a guest blogger, I will share highlights before, during and after the Summit.

I’m excited about the prospect of attending this event with you and your colleagues. Together we can learn more about reinventing our intranets and creating digital workplaces that drive productivity, innovation and measurable business results, including:

  • Fueling strategic thinking on a global intranet: leveraging our digital environments to drive efficiencies and a one-company culture
  • Bringing digital employee engagement and collaboration to mobile and field-based employees
  • Developing a digital governance network
  • Understanding and demonstrating the business impact of the digital workplace on our organizations
  • Aligning our digital workplaces with our business strategies
  • Understanding the new role of SharePoint and Office 365 in our digital workplaces
  • Driving culture change through enterprise social network adoption and engagement
  • Integrating social, mobile and video tools to evolve our traditional intranets

Please share this information with those who might be interested in attending this event. I will post event highlights daily during this timeframe on Starry Blue Brilliance. Be sure to check it out!

In the meantime, watch for my pre-event posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Starry Blue Brilliance, and please share with your networks. Let’s keep the conversations going!

Thank you very much for your continued support. I’m very excited about this opportunity!