>November 30, 1999
>Published by NetGain. Electronic communications
>consulting for professional business communicators.
>Training. Consulting. Speaking. Succeeding!
>* The Workplace Isn't A Melting Pot --
> It's A Salad Bowl!
>* A Final Exam With No Right Or Wrong Answers
>* Music On The Net: Mixed Media
>* Mark Your Calendars: March 9-10, 2000
>* This Month...
>* About This Newsletter
>* About NetGain
>THE WORKPLACE ISN'T A MELTING POT --
>IT'S A SALAD BOWL!
>by Carol Kinsey Goman
>Only 40 years ago, white adult males comprised 90
>percent of the America work force. Today, that
>figure has already changed dramatically, and by
>the year 2007, the Bureau of Labor Statistics
>estimates that women and members of ethnic minorities
>will make up 62 percent of all workers in full or
>part-time employment in America. Hispanics and African-
>Americans of both sexes will each comprise about 11
>percent, Asians of both sexes will account for roughly
>5 percent, and of the total estimated work force of
>151 million, white adult males will account for only
>38 percent, a decrease of well over half since 1960.
>Diversity is the new demographic reality in the
>American work force. More women, more ethnic
>minorities, more complex demands -- more urgent
>competition for jobs, too, as relaxed immigration
>policies see more foreign workers, both high-tech
>and unskilled, enter the country seeking livelihoods.
>All of which adds up to new challenges for
>communicators. The companies that succeed in
>the next Century will be the ones that become the
>most adept at attracting and retaining the best
>and the brightest from an employment "salad" that
>is also going to contain a steadily widening
>range of languages, customs, religious backgrounds,
>sexual orientations, domestic arrangements and life
>experiences. Each group will bring its own special
>needs and agendas into the workplace, and to ignore
>any of them, or to show favoritism to one group over
>another, is to invite the alienation of all.
>As the title of a pamphlet from Marriott Corporation
>asserts: Diversity Includes Everyone.
>Valuing differences -- having a deep appreciation
>for what makes people unique -- is not only an
>important issue for employee retention, it is
>critical to any business needing to serve a
>diverse customer base in a global marketplace.
>Organizations who make a commitment to diversity
>demonstrate that commitment by their efforts to
>attract diverse job candidates, offer diversity
>education, create minority networks, and
>celebrate diverse holidays. But the best companies
>don't stop there. They go beyond just tolerating
>differences and work to build a culture of respect,
>in which diversity is the fuel for creative energy
>Diversity, it's true, does bring a greater demand
>for heightened interpersonal sensitivity. But it
>also brings new ideas, fresh perspectives, new
>energy sources and new blood. Diversity has to
>be treated as a positive. Because it is a positive
>-- especially if you take concrete steps to
>appreciate and profit from the uniqueness around
>you. Get everyone involved and find what works.
>Sensitivity training is all well and good, but
>it's just the first step. Organizations need
>to focus on diversity as a positive, competitive
>advantage. Here are a few ideas on how that can
>o Link diversity with customer service. One
> obvious advantage of a diverse work force is
> its ability to understand and be more responsive
> to the needs of a diverse customer base.
>o Capitalize on diversity in problem-solving.
> People of all ages and from different backgrounds
> bring to the empowered workplace fresh ideas,
> opinions, perspectives and boundless creativity.
> It is the richness of the diverse perspectives,
> used in solving real business problems, that gives
> a company the innovative edge.
>o Make diversity an explicit value of the
> organization -- and hold people accountable for
> honoring that value. Then put values into action
> -- when the company offers diversity training,
> make sure that senior managers are the first to
> attend and to discuss their personal challenges.
>o Position diversity, not as a "feel good" issue,
> but a business issue -- the need to retain all talented
>o Sponsor organizational "associations" for various
> employee groups as an informal forum to express
> concerns, gain support, and share experiences.
>o Make diversity an issue in management's evaluation
> and compensation. A corporate example is Xerox's
> "balanced work force strategy," in which senior
> managers are evaluated in part on their success
> in hiring, keeping, developing, and promoting
> minorities and women.
>o Promote unity. Ultimately, the talents, abilities,
> and perspectives of a diverse employee population
> must be united toward common organizational
> objective which challenges and rewards all who
>Contact Carol at carol@...
>A FINAL EXAM WITH NO RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWERS
>by Pete Shinbach, APR
>Over the years, all of us in NetGain have learned
>that people in the various communications professions
>who come to our workshops frequently want lists of
>things to take back to the office. They want lists
>of things involving the Internet and new media that
>will make them more productive communicators. In
>other words, they want "to do" lists.
>The following list isn't one of those. It's a
>slightly edited version of a final exam given
>to college students in a "Future of Computing"
>course. Credit for this goes to the instructor,
>Marc Stiegler, and to the Netsurfer Digest, an
>eclectic e-newsletter available from
>www.netsurf.com. To those of you to whom
>I've sent quirky or mind-challenging things
>from time-to-time and who've wondered where
>I got them...I probably got them from Netsurfer
>So, back to the test. There are no right or wrong
>answers. The purpose of these questions is to
>give you something to think about as you develop
>your company or client company's Internet programs.
>Now, everyone take out two #2 pencils, open your
>blue books and begin.
>1. Searching for a media relations database tool
> on the Web, you find a review in which the
> reviewer raves about a particular product.
> You buy the product and discover it just doesn't
> work. You desire to prevent this person's ravings
> from harming anyone else--and you desire to
> prevent the product from disappointing anyone else.
> What should you do?
>2. A product is advertised on the Web. It sounds good,
> but the offerer has no Web reputation. As a public
> relations or marketing communications counselor,
> what would you advise the offerer to do?
>3. You start receiving thousands of emails from
> organizations you don't know, all hawking their
> wares. You want it to stop, just stop! However,
> your company is considering an email promotional
> campaign. What would you advise your company to do?
> How should it proceed?
>4. You hear a joke that someone, somewhere, would probably
> find offensive. You wish to tell your precocious
> 17-year-old daughter, who is a student at Yale.
> The Common Decency Act Version 2 has just passed;
> it is a $100,000 offense to send such material
> electronically to a minor. You want to send it anyway:
> it is a very funny joke.
>5. Someone claiming to be you starts roaming the Internet
> making wild claims. You want to make sure people know
> it isn't really you. How would you do that?
>6. You have brought out a remarkable new product. There
> is a competing product making claims you know are
> false. You want to make sure anyone going to their
> site finds out your product is better. How would you do
>7. You are Michael Bloomberg, CEO of Bloomberg News, one
> of the most prestigious stock information services in
> the world. An article circulates on the Web, based on
> a mock-up of the Bloomberg News information page,
> claiming that PairGain Corp. will be acquired by
> ECI Telecom. PairGain's stock rises 32% in eight
> hours. Investigators later find that a PairGain
> employee about to cash in his options created
> the false report. You want to ensure that your
> company or its reputation is never used like this
> again. How do you do that?
>Reach Pete at pete@....
>MUSIC ON THE NET: MIXED MEDIA
>by Shel Holtz, ABC
>I'm a rocker.
>That's right. I crank electric-guitar-intensive
>music through high-powered earphones until my ears
>bleed. I go to concerts that violate noise
>ordinances and complain that the sound system
>is too weak. I even use headphone amplifiers,
>nifty devices that increase volume way beyond
>a headphone's natural limits. (I didn't even know
>headphone amplifiers existed until I found them
>on the Net.)
>One of my current favorite bands is called Phish.
>If you haven't heard their music, maybe you've
>had the Ben and Jerry's ice cream flavor, Phish
>Food. (Ben and Jerry's is based in Vermont, which
>is also where the band Phish is from, thus the
>natural affinity.) Phish is primarily an
>improvisational group. Their concerts are not
>just rehashes of their album tracks, but rather
>extended jams, new takes on old material, and
>a variety of other surprises. Since these
>musical events are what Phish fans like best,
>it makes sense that Phish would release concert
>material as often as they do studio CDs.
>In fact, the band just released a new concert
>recording. Phish plays every Halloween, and
>the 1990 Halloween concert is now available. But
>you won't find it at your local Wherehouse,
>Goody's, or Virgin Megastore. You can't even
>buy it from CDNow. If you want it, you have to
>The show is available from emusic.com, one of
>several Web sites offering MP3 music tracks. This
>particular offering will run you $19.95. You can
>download the entire concert in two 70-meg files, or
>song-by-song. If Phish played songs that night
>you don't like, you can buy only the songs you
>want. Songs are either 99 cents or $1.49,
>depending on their length. One song is even
>offered free as an inducement.
>Don't think for a minute the music industry
>isn't quaking in its collective boots. I
>downloaded the concert, converted the files
>from MP3 to the WAV format, then copied
>the whole thing onto a couple writable CDs.
>Now I listen in my car just as if I'd bought
>the concert at a local record store.
>Phish isn't the only band using the Web to
>turn the traditional music business on its ear.
>The Beastie Boys (a band I don't listen to)
>is, like most bands that have been around more
>than two or three years, offering an anthology
>CD. The difference is, you go to their Web site,
>select 40 songs from 150 available tracks,
>and a CD will show up at your doorstep. It'll
>be =your= Beastie Boys anthology, made up of
>=your= favorite songs.
>Probably the key difference between these bands
>and the online efforts of most organizational
>communicators is that Phish and the Beastie Boys
>are out to make a buck. For them, the Web offers
>some new twists that might bring in new money.
>So the next time a boss or client demands that
>you use the Web to get rid of print or save some
>money, give some thought to how these musicians
>have actually innovated new ways to do old
>business, and suggest to that boss or client
>that there are better uses for the medium.
>Write to Shel at shel@....
>JOIN NETGAIN FOR THE NEXT WAVE:
>OVERVIEW OF THE INTERNAL COMMUNICATION TRACK
>NetGain is collaborating with the International
>Association of Business Communicators to present a
>two-day conference on March 9 and 10 on the
>strategic uses of online communication.
>This Washington, D.C.-based conference won't be
>just another "how to use the Web" affair. Instead,
>we've assembled a group of speakers to address
>real issues and present next-generation solutions
>to communication challenges. Each of the NetGain
>consultants will be speaking, as well as presenting
>half-day pre-conference workshops.
>Leading up to the conference, we'll review the sessions
>planned for each of the five tracks. This month, we'll
>cover Track I, Internal Communications.
>The track opens up with a panel discussion on
>"Developing and Encouraging Online Communities."
>Speakers will include Jerry Stevenson from EDS,
>and Melissie Rumizen of Buckman Industries. Next
>up is "Replacing Intranet Home Pages with Corporate
>Portals;" the speaker is Leena Klint-Looney from
>EDS's Jerry Stevenson will talk about "Alternatives
>to HTML: Database-Driven Content." NetGain
>consultant Shel Holtz, ABC, will focus on
>"Using Online Surveys to Meet Business Goals."
>Then, Sears's Sharon McIntosh will speak on
>"Creating and Nourishing the Executive Intranet
>The post-conference sessions, taught by Shel
>Holtz, is titled: "Integrating the Intranet Into
>Your Communication Strategy."
>Next month, we'll cover the Knowledge Management
>track. Other tracks include Marketing, Public
>and Investor Relations, and Recruitment and
>Watch for details on the conference, including
>an exclusive conference Web site, coming soon.
>THIS MONTH, NETGAIN CONSULTANTS...
>* Showed a group of investor relations professionals
> how to make their companies' Web sites more
> responsive to and useful for investors, analysts
> and employees
>* Delivered the keynote address at a national Business
> Information Conference on how to thrive on change.
>* Gave a keynote address at a national Employee
> Benefits conference on how to build employee loyalty
> and commitment.
>* Designed and hosted a year-end employee meeting for
> the Information Resource department of a New York
>* Taught a two-day course on writing for the Web at
> UC Berkeley.
>* Spoke in the keynote slot at the national leaders
> workshop of the Alzheimer's Association.
>* Conducted a workshop on Web content to a group
> of communicators in Brussels, Belgium.
>ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER
>Was this issue of the NetGain Update useful? Did it give
>you a new idea or two you can use to improve the way you
>use electronic information tools? Maybe even a new service
>you can offer your clients or employer to help them
>succeed. If it did, we've succeeded. If it didn't, just
>wait until the next issue.
>NetGain UPDATE is a monthly newsletter published by
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>NetGain is a unique consortium. It is the only consulting
>organization made up of public relations and business
>communications consultants dedicated to helping other
>PR and business communications organizations capitalize
>on the advances being made in electronic communications
>technology. Using desktop computing, organizational
>networks or the Internet, NetGain helps professional
>communications organizations -- agencies, corporations,
>associations and non-profits -- develop and execute
>strategic electronic information programs. We help
>To find out more about NetGain, send an email message to
Senior Contributing Editor
AAA Michigan, 1 Auto Club Drive, Dearborn MI 48126
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PRBytes Web page: http://www.jimrink.com/cmc.html
"Not all that is gold does glitter..."