Engaging Employees via Mobile Communications


by Jonathan Erwin

Have you ever heard an employee or co-worker say, “I wish our company would stop communicating with me?” Not likely, right? Instead, employees praise companies that keep them in the loop, and gripe and moan when they feel like they were the last to know an important piece of information. How can communicators make sure we consistently communicate with employees, particularly those who are not in a central location?

Quite simply, by communicating with employees about what they want to know—when and where they are most likely to receive that information. Mobile communication has the potential to break the cycle of misinformed and disengaged employees.

As consumers, we are living in a time of unprecedented electronic exposure. Marketers, spammers, social platforms, banner ads, retailers, family, partners and employers all have access to our inboxes, devices, social media profiles and desktops.

But guess what? Most consumers are also employees. If organizations are willing to invest so heavily in mobile and online marketing to attract and engage customers, and if they truly believe marketing will influence sales, they should be investing equally in internal marketing, or employee engagement.

A recent Harvard Business Review article, “The Silent Killer of Big Companies,” detailed the devastating losses that large corporations are suffering due to a lack of clear and concise internal and employee communication. Successful companies are engaging employees by adopting communication methods that bring them closer to employees, promote dialogue and raise employees’ understanding of the company’s strategic initiatives.

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Not Marketing for Mobile Yet? Time to Get Moving


by Rich Barber

The magic of mobile marketing lies in the fact that people are seldom separated from their mobile phones. Like Gollum and the One Ring in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, people are loath to be away from their precious technology, which keeps them connected to the world and provides them with timely information.

In the old days, advertisers could only reach people in their homes, their cars and their offices by television, radio, direct mail, billboards, etc. Now, they can reach them anywhere—when they’re shopping, going out to eat, sitting in a dentist’s office or at a ball game. The major advantage mobile advertisers have is that they are reaching people who often already have their wallets out, ready to buy something. The only thing then is to convince them to spend the money at your restaurant, barber shop, paint store or flower shop—and the closer they are to you, the better.

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Mobilizing Your Marketing: Integrating mobile into your mix


by Kent Lewis

Since 2006, I’ve predicted that the “Year of Mobile” was upon us. Rather than lose faith and look to another trend to promote, I do believe this next year is truly going to be the “Year of Mobile.” For those of you who want to get a jump on mobile marketing, I’ve outlined a few key areas on which to focus your efforts.

Mobilizing your website
As with any effective online marketing effort, your website should be the primary focus. Corporate marketers have a few options when it comes to mobilizing a website. The easiest and most cost-effective approach is to develop a mobile-friendly website, designed in CSS, which considers small screens in the design. The site should render nearly as well on a phone screen as on a monitor, if designed correctly. The drawback is that mobile browsers are not as robust and do not typically support Flash or Javascript elements, but HTML 5 provides a viable alternative for interactivity.

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December Luncheon: Charity Brainstorm Bash!


The holiday season is officially upon us! It’s also a time when everyone starts thinking of ways to give back.

This year, IABC St. Louis is turning its December luncheon event on its head – and you’re invited to help!  And the best part is, it’s for two great causes.

Join us for this unique opportunity to give back with your professional expertise and creativity. Representatives from two worthy organizations – Headway Clubhouse and Diversity Awareness Partnership – will join us to share a particular communications challenge their organization faces.

Then, you will divide into brainstorming teams, discuss the issue, and come up with solutions. You will then compile your ideas into a pre-formatted template. At the end of the session, you’ll deliver a simple, actionable communications plan to each organization on the spot!

It’s fun, creative and a unique way for you to help nonprofits in our area during the holidays. Plus, it’s the perfect way to connect with other communicators while enjoying lunch at Ces and Judy’s. 

All profits from the event will be donated to Headway Clubhouse and Diversity Awareness Partnership.

We hope you’ll join us to help us help these worthy causes!

When: Thursday, December 13, 11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Where: Ces and Judy’s, 10405 Clayton Road, St. Louis, MO 63131

Meeting fees:
$30 – members
$40 – nonmembers
$20 – students

Click here to register!

Learn more about the two nonprofits you’ll be helping!



In the aftermath of Sandy, communication starts with sensitivity


According to crisis experts, communication with constituents during the initial stages of a crisis is critical — and will be remembered. It can be tricky for organizations to balance a sense of urgency or basic pragmatism with sensitivity.

JPMorgan Chase bank showed a kinder side to its customers by letting them know about its decision to waive fees. A note went out to Chase customers before the storm and a follow-up note was posted to the Chase website . The latest note starts out in this way:


November Event: Mercy’s Crisis Communications Response to the Joplin Tornado


On May 22, 2011, disaster struck Joplin, Missouri, when a catastrophic Category 5 tornado ripped through the small town. The destruction was swift, but so was the response.

From the very onset of the disaster, Mercy Hospital’s team coordinated an intense network of communications both internally and externally. From national media coverage to communication with on-the-street personnel, the Mercy team deftly executed their crisis plan.

  • Get the inside story on how they executed it.
  • What did they do first?
  • How did they coordinate so much with such chaos around them?

Plus, you’ll hear about the philanthropic activities and communication that have occurred since that fateful day, including a major gift announcement and the filming of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Hear firsthand how Mercy navigated this crisis and pick up tips that you can use to hone your own crisis communications plan…efore the day you really need it.

When: Thursday, November 15, 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Where: The Center of Clayton, 50 Gay Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105

Meeting fees: $30 – members, $40 – nonmembers, $20 – students

Register Now: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?llr=klve7pkab&oeidk=a07e6krgy6nc740d3f8&oseq=

About Our Presenters:

Barb Meyer, Vice President of Marketing and Communications

As the Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Barb is responsible for all media relations for Mercy Health System. She will cover in depth the crisis communications response in Joplin immediately following the tornado and in the year after.

Nancy G. Schnoebelen, Director of Advancement Communications

As Director of Advancement Communications, Nancy manages Mercy’s philanthropic communications. She’ll be discussing the efforts following the tornado to raise philanthropic support for the rebuilding in Joplin.

Gamification: Engaging employees one game at a time


by Jeremy Henderson

There is a new word buzzing around the halls of Silicon Valley: gamification. Simply put, gamification is the infusion of gaming elements into business to create a fun, entertaining engagement experience for employees or customers. The broad interpretation of the term lends itself to infusion into any brand or web property that effectively converts users into players. Over the past several years, the incorporation of gaming elements into non-gaming websites has become one of the most important movements in technology.


Putting the Fun into the Fundamentals of Effective Communication


by Kathryn Yates and Adam Wootton, Ph.D.

The screen at the airport flashes up the inevitable delayed announcement as the storm clouds continue to roll in through the evening. However, in the waiting area, the response is muted. Sharply dressed businesspeople sit glued to their iPads, a child wins another level of Angry Birds and the flight attendant silently gloats over the killer word she just played in Words With Friends.

The U.S. has over 100 million mobile phone games; half are played every day. It is easy to forget that the iPhone (which revolutionized mobile gaming) has been around for only five years. In this time, the way we communicate has been revolutionized with the adoption of mobile and social technologies. But, it is games that have really captured the hearts (and wallets) of users.

While the past five years have been a tough time for many businesses, not so for gaming. At the same time as the corporate world has been forced to tighten its belt, employees have begun to use new and exciting techniques for communication and entertainment. However, there are easy and efficient ways organizations can bring games and gamification to corporate communication, which can massively increase the attention we, as communicators, get from employees.


October is Membership Month!


If you’ve been considering IABC membership, there’s never been a better time to join!

New or lapsed members who join in October save $40 and get entered into a drawing for a chance to win 2 free tickets to the 2013 Bronze Quill Awards. You can register on-line at iabcstl.org/join or email Kim Pett with any questions at kpett@midtownprinting.net.


Come to our Members-Only Orientation to IABC St. Louis!


Whether you just joined us or have been a member for a few months, we want to thank you for your decision to join IABC St. Louis.

To make sure you get the most out of your membership, we would like to give you a guided tour of all the resources and benefits membership provides. This small group meeting composed of members new to IABC in 2012 will allow for lots of questions, answers to your individual needs, and introductions to other new and experienced members. Join us in a state-of-the-art training lab at the BJC Learning Institute and learn how to reap all the rewards of membership. Morning refreshments provided!

RSVP to info@iabcstl.org.

Friday, November 16, 2012
8 – 9:30 a.m.

BJC Learning Institute
8300 Eager Road
2nd Floor, Suite 200
Saint Louis, MO. 63144

Telephone: 314-362-0983