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HC+T Update

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  • Jim Rink
    From: Holtz Communication + Technology Subject: HC+T Update July 2001 In This Issue: 1. Not Enough
    Message 1 of 15 , Jul 31, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      From: Holtz Communication + Technology
      Subject: HC+T Update

      July 2001

      <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
      In This Issue:

      1. Not Enough Bandwidth To Stream Intranet Video?
      Here's An Alternative
      2. Adapting Viral Marketing To Public Relations
      3. Email: It's Still The Killer App
      4. Net Warriors Flex Their Muscles:
      Another Lesson On Online Organizing
      5. Increased Use Of Internet From The Office
      Argues For More Open Access
      6. HTML vs. ASCII For Email Newsletters:
      Wireless Explosion Settles The Issue
      7. HC+T Update
      8. Boilerplate And Subscription Information
      <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

      *************************************************
      1. NOT ENOUGH BANDWIDTH TO STREAM INTRANET VIDEO?
      HERE'S AN ALTERNATIVE
      *************************************************

      There's hardly an intranet communicator around who doesn't
      want to stream video to employees. When the IT department
      nixes the idea -- not enough bandwidth, they assert -- the
      communicators shake their heads and lament the fact that
      the intranet is still not taking full advantage of the
      web's increasingly multimedia capabilities.

      There is a middle ground between streaming video and no video
      at all, and General Mills has found it. On the venerable
      food products company's intranet, employees can tap into
      Champions TV, a site that broadcasts a steady flow of video
      to employees who want to watch.

      The difference between streaming and webcasting is technical.
      With streaming media, the user decides what to watch and when
      to watch it. Upon clicking the link, the video begins to
      stream. Ten employees viewing 10 different videos
      simultaneously take up a significant amount of the network's
      resources. A webcast, on the other hand, is the push of a
      single video to anybody who wants to watch it. (Webcasts can
      be live, such as a press conference or a Victoria's Secret
      fashion show, or a recording.) The single webcast feed is
      much easier on network resources.

      Anybody visiting the General Mills webcast page can find a
      virtual "TV Guide" -- a listing of the videos scheduled for
      webcasting. These routinely include the new-hire orientation
      video, along with various speeches, meetings, and other
      events of interest. A new employee can check to see that the
      new-hire orientation will be on at 3 p.m., and be sure he's
      at his computer when it starts to play.

      No, webcasting is not as sophisticated as streaming, and
      streaming has more potential uses. But your system may more
      easily accommodate a webcast, and General Mills has realized
      significant return on Champions TV, one of the more popular
      destinations on the intranet.

      ***********************************************
      2. ADAPTING VIRAL MARKETING TO PUBLIC RELATIONS
      ***********************************************

      The number of resources audiences have at their disposal from
      which they can obtain information and opinions has not only
      exploded thanks to the Internet. Indeed, the very nature of
      those resources has undergone a fundamental change.
      Centralized, authoritative sources such as Forbes or Fortune
      used to serve audiences seeking information about businesses.
      Today, it's decentralized, user-fed destinations like The
      Vault and finance discussion boards on Yahoo! that are
      fulfilling the public's information needs.

      For communicators, this presents a serious conundrum. The
      channels for message distribution -- magazines, newspapers,
      television, radio, etc. -- were easy to tap into. A well-
      placed press release here, a solid media contact there, and
      the message reached the masses. How, in this new world of
      decentralized and uncontrolled channels, do we get the
      message out?

      One of the channels, according to research conducted last
      year by the Council of Public Relations Firms, includes
      viral communication. Take viral marketing and apply it
      to the practice of public relations. A message is viral
      when the person who receives it is inspired to pass it along.
      Potentially, such messages can spread exponentially. However,
      organizations don't seem willing to give the viral approach
      a try. Research conducted recently by Jupiter concluded that
      most companies define customer loyalty too narrowly,
      overlooking important behavioral characteristics. Jupiter's
      Consumer Survey determined that word-of-mouth recommendations
      result in a choice of e-commerce sites among 45 percent of
      online shoppers, but that only 7 percent of companies
      are measuring how viral their messages are.

      While viral marketers struggle to get companies to track
      customers' viral behaviors, those of us who work in the non-
      marketing side of communication may be able to leapfrog the
      trend and track how those messages crafted to take advantage
      of the viral model are influencing audiences.

      Not that I've seen a lot of viral technique applied to the
      non-marketing world. But there are huge opportunities,
      particularly in the use of email newsletters and bulletins.
      Consider the investor relations department that offers an
      email bulletin to subscribers from the IR site on the company
      Website. All it takes is for one investor to forward an
      interesting update to a friend; that message has become
      viral. Now, add a line at the top of the update =encouraging=
      subscribers to pass the email along, and the viral approach
      has become strategic. The same concept works on Website
      articles that offer the ability to email the article to a
      friend.

      By the way, feel free to email this newsletter to anyone you
      like.

      ***********************************
      3. EMAIL: IT'S STILL THE KILLER APP
      ***********************************

      Speaking of email as the key to viral communication, one
      reason it may not be taking off is that most communicators
      are more focused on the sexier, cooler Web. While the Web,
      with all its bells and whistles, may indeed be a more
      compelling medium in which to work, it's not the online
      medium most used. That would be email.

      The Gallup Organization surveyed Internet users and found
      email continues to dominate online endeavors, with more
      than half the respondents noting that email is their most
      common online activity. According to the study, the typical
      email user spends seven to eight hours on the Net weekly,
      and sending and reading email for them is more common than
      searching for information, paying bills, or using Instant
      Messaging. The vast majority of those users note that email
      has made their lives easier.

      How can communicators make better use of email? Viral
      communication has already been discussed (in the article
      above). Other ideas:

      * Permission-driven (or "opt-in") newsletters aimed at our
      target audiences.
      * Opt-in "tips" services. Targeting people who do their
      own housework? Give them laundry tip-of-the-week.
      * Mailing lists that allow a targeted audience to engage in
      a many-directional conversation about a topic or issue.

      How are you using email as an audience-focused communication
      tool? Pass along your applications, and I'll list them here
      next month.

      Read more about the study results at:
      http://www.gallup.com/poll/releases/pr010723.asp

      **************************************
      4. NET WARRIORS FLEX THEIR MUSCLES:
      ANOTHER LESSON IN ONLINE ORGANIZING
      **************************************

      When I'm asked why public relations practitioners don't
      really understand how to use the Internet as a communication
      tool, I usually answer like this: "We know how to use
      press releases and media placement because we read newspapers
      and magazines. We know how to use public service
      announcements because we watch TV. But we don't understand
      how to use the Internet because we don't regularly hang
      out online." By this I don't mean that PR professionals
      don't visit Websites. I mean that we don't participate
      actively in online communities.

      Once again, those who =do= live part of their lives in
      virtual communities have shown the rest of us how
      communicating in this medium can affect outcomes in
      incredibly short order.

      On July 17, a Russian programmer named Dmitry Sklyarov was
      arrested by the FBI while attending the DefCon conference
      is Las Vegas. Sklyarov works for a Russian software company
      called Elcomsoft, which distributed an application that
      allows users to convert documents from Adobe's secure eBook
      format into the Portable Document Format (PDF). Sklyarov was
      one of the employees who worked on the program, which was
      not designed to circumvent copyright. In fact, in Russia
      a document =must= be copyable at least once in order to
      comply with Russian law. The program works only with eBooks
      purchased legitimately, and is used (for example) by blind
      people who can't access the works they've bought in eBook
      format.

      But Adobe didn't like the program, and worked with the FBI
      to ensure Sklyarov was picked up as soon as he was in the US.
      As of this writing, the programmer continues to sit without
      bail in a Vegas jail.

      The online community of programmers and others responded by
      sitting down -- at their keyboards. A number of protest sites
      cropped up almost immediately, including Boycott Adobe (at
      http://www.boycottadobe.org) and Free Sklyarov (at
      http://www.freesklyarov.org). The sites were referenced in
      countless emails and discussion groups, prompting strong
      media coverage. In the meantime, the same people building
      Websites were also organizing real-world protests across
      the U.S., including one set for Adobe's California
      headquarters. One prominent programmer resigned -- very
      publicly -- from a group that met in the U.S., noting that,
      "With the arrest of Dimitry Sklyarov it has become apparent

      that it is not safe for non US software engineers to visit
      the United States." The Electronic Frontier Foundation got
      into the act, issuing communiques online and insisting on
      meetings with Adobe.

      The pressure is, after only a few weeks, having an impact.
      Adobe has recommended the Slyarov's release, and has stated
      that it is withdrawing its support for the criminal complaint
      filed against the programmer.

      Whether you support Sklyarov or Adobe in this matter, the
      instructive element is how quickly the Net was used to
      mobilize an activist group that did not exist before July 17.
      Look beyond the issue to the use of special-purpose Websites,
      discussion groups, email lists, and other tools brought to
      bear in virtually no time at all in support of a specific,
      measurable goal. We, the public relations profession, can
      do this, too. All we need to do is spend enough time online
      for it to become as natural as sending out a press release.

      *****************************************************
      5. INCREASED USE OF THE INTERNET FROM THE OFFICE
      ARGUES FOR MORE OPEN ACCESS
      *****************************************************

      Statistics released recently by Nielsen//NetRatings reveal
      a steady increase in employees' use of the Internet from
      work. In June 2001, employees accessed the Net from the
      office 43 times, a 10 percent increased from the same period
      in 2000. That increase means that workers about 22.5 hours
      online each month, during which they visit some 35 Websites.

      If that sounds like ammunition for the forces that would
      restrict and monitor employee Internet use, guess again.
      While the study noted an increase in traffic on virtually
      every category of Websites (including, yes, the dreaded
      XXX sites), corporate information sites have grown faster
      than any other category, showing a 49 percent increase from
      2000. In other words, most of the Web use by employees is
      work-related. ""Office workers are moving beyond e-mail and
      integrating more use of the Internet to complete their

      tasks," according to Sean Kaldor, vice president of
      analytical services at NetRatings. "From accessing internal
      corporate Web sites to planning business trips online,
      workers are conducting many different business-related
      functions on the Web as part of their daily work routine."

      Similar statistics are being logged in Europe, where the
      most common online activity from the office is booking
      business travel.

      ****************************************
      6. HTML VS. ASCII FOR EMAIL NEWSLETTERS:
      WIRELESS EXPLOSION SETTLES THE ISSUE
      ****************************************

      I recently got a Blackberry email pager. This is my second
      foray into wireless email; the first was a wireless modem
      that connected to my personal digital assistant (PDA). In
      both cases, email is displayed only in ASCII (also known as
      "plain text"). When I get an email coded in HTML, I have to
      wade through all the coding to get to the substance, which is
      hard to read because it, too, is loaded with intrusive tags.

      Based on the number of people I see in airports accessing
      their email from their handhelds, this mode of staying in
      touch is gaining in popularity faster than the latest
      computer virus can infect your system. I read recently in
      one of the publications addressing online communication that
      communicators should lean toward HTML email newsletters. I
      say, "Nonsense."

      Sure, HTML looks better, gives you more control over
      appearance, and makes it easier to embed links. But they're
      worthless on wireless devices ranging from PDAs to WAP-
      enabled cell phones. Some might argue that you can use
      technology to determine the user's email client and send the
      right version. But keep in mind how the Blackberry and
      wireless PDAs work: The email still goes to my regular
      account, but I have set up a forwarding rule so that a copy
      goes to my handheld. By the time I've discarded an unreadable
      newsletter from my handheld, I've already determined that I
      won't pay attention to it a second time when I retrieve it
      at my desk.

      Like so many issues online, this one is best resolved by
      leaning toward simplicity, and nothing is simpler than ASCII.

      **************
      7. HC+T Update
      **************

      >>>Shel will work with a major high-technology company to
      apply online and offline techniques to a culture and
      organization change effort.

      >>>Shel will speak about internal communication audits at a
      meeting of PRSA in Oakland on August 13.

      >>>Shel will present a telephone-based session on writing for
      the Web to communicators from General Electric on August 28.

      >>>Shel presents workshops and consults with pharmaceutical
      companies in Denmark in September, with a stop in Slovenia
      to speak at the Slovenian Government PR office and to the
      Slovenian IABC chapter.

      >>>Shel wraps up writing the second edition of his book,
      "Public Relations on the Net," in August. The second edition
      is due out from AMACOM in spring 2002.

      *******************************************
      8. BOILERPLATE AND SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION
      *******************************************

      You received this newsletter either because you asked
      for it or somebody who likes you forwarded it to you.
      Please feel free to forward it to someone =you= like!

      HC+T Update is published monthly by Holtz Communication
      + Technology. You can subscribe by visiting the HC+T
      site on the World Wide Web at http://www.holtz.com and
      selecting the FREE E-MAIL NEWSLETTER page. Or, send
      e-mail to subscribe-HoltzUpdate@....

      Holtz Communication + Technology helps organizations
      apply online technology to strategic communication
      efforts.

      Regards,

      Jim Rink
      AAA Michigan
      ----------------------------------------------------
      1 Auto Club Drive, Dearborn, Mich. 48072
      voice 313.336.1513 fax 313.336.0986
      ----------------------------------------------------

      http://www.aaamich.com
    • Jim Rink
      Subject: HC+T Update October 2001 In This Issue: 1. Guidelines For Intranet Executive Chats 2. Portals
      Message 2 of 15 , Oct 17, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        Subject: HC+T Update

        October 2001

        <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
        In This Issue:

        1. Guidelines For Intranet Executive Chats
        2. Portals Must Provide For Multiple Access Options
        3. Do You Have A Mission Statement For Your Web Site?
        4. Global Bandwidth Is On The Rise
        5. What Would You Like From An Online Workshop?
        6. Shel's Fall Workshop Schedule
        7. HC+T Update
        8. Boilerplate And Subscription Information
        <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

        ******************************************
        1. GUIDELINES FOR INTRANET EXECUTIVE CHATS
        ******************************************

        I recently completed a client assignment, benchmarking 10
        companies whose senior executives (president, CEO or some
        other top-level exec) conduct regular real-time online
        chats with employees. While I cannot share the results of
        the research, I can offer the critical success factors
        that emerged from the interviews.

        Not many companies have introduced executive chats. In
        fact, not many companies have installed chat capabilities
        on their intranets at all. Based on early experiences with
        America Online chat rooms, a lot of people have come to
        perceive chat as a waste of time, a place for mindless
        people to engage in idle chatter. However, companies
        employing chat have had an entirely different experience,
        one in which employees get to know the executives better,
        the executives are able to engage in direct employee
        communication without having to travel to employee sites,
        and tough questions elicit candid answers.

        Here's what the companies that succeed with executive
        chats have in common:

        ** Adequate notification -- Employees are notified well in
        advance of the chat of the details –- when it will be
        conducted, who will be participating, how to access the
        chat room, how to submit questions in advance, and how to
        read the transcript if you’re unable to participate live.

        ** Themes -- Most successful chats are not open-ended, but
        rather have specific topics on which employees can focus.
        These may be general themes, such as the state of the
        business, to timely issues such as layoffs, new product
        launches, or acquisitions.

        **Moderator -- The moderator most often introduces the
        topic and the speaker, then selects the questions the
        speaker will answer. The moderator makes sure that the
        questions forwarded are pertinent to the topic, represent
        a cross-section of the participants (e.g., representatives
        from different geographical locations), and cover a broad
        range of related issues.

        **Advance submission of questions -- By soliciting
        questions in advance, the session can begin with answers
        instead of a pause while awaiting the first questions to
        be submitted. It also allows employees to submit questions
        even if they cannot participate in real time.

        **Candor -- Executives must be ready to answer tough
        questions candidly.

        **Transcripts -- Transcripts of the completed chat should
        be posted to the intranet as soon as feasible after the
        conclusion of the live chat.

        ***************************************************
        2. PORTALS MUST PROVIDE FOR MULTIPLE ACCESS OPTIONS
        ***************************************************

        If portals are going to survive, they won't do it on the
        Web alone.

        That's the conclusion of a study from the British online
        research firm Ovum. "By 2006, all portals will have at
        least an element of multi-access," according to the
        September 2001 report. By 2006, multi-access portals
        will generate about $70 billion in revenue, compared to
        $7.4 billion today, Ovum suggests.

        Multi-access is defined as a portal that can be accessed
        by at least two channels or devices, including a computer,
        a PDA, a cell phone, or a television, among others.
        "Consumer expectations are changing," the report asserts.
        "Growing Internet usage, increasing mobile penetration
        and the concept of 24-hour access to services means
        access to information at any time and anywhere is coming
        to the forefront of consumer thinking in many consumer
        mass markets."

        Multi-access portals accommodates those changing
        expectations. No longer forced to find a hard-wired
        computer, consumers will get what they want when they want
        it. The report makes other interesting points about
        consumer portals. For example, the current shake-out will
        leave only a few major portal players with little
        opportunity for new entrants. Niche portals may well
        succeed, but they need to have established brands. And
        branding must be consistent across all versions of the
        portal, from the Web-accessible version to the one the
        voice-activated portal accessed over the phone.

        But the key implication for me is the focus on multiple
        channels. We remain focused on the Web -- Web design,
        Web multimedia, Web search engine optimization -- when
        our audiences are on the verge of breaking out beyond
        the confines of this PC-based channel. Behind all those
        Web sites are data, and data need not be confined to
        PC delivery systems. The growth of alternative access
        tools has been explosive, and by all reports Microsoft's
        introduction of its next-generation PDA will accelerate
        that growth even more.

        It doesn't matter if your content is available only to
        external audiences or if you're involved with your
        organization's intranet. The compelling fact to face is
        this: If your content remains accessible only over a
        PC-based network, you will not be meeting your audience's
        needs. Now is the right time to begin exploring how to
        make your online material available through other
        channels.

        *****************************************************
        3. DO YOU HAVE A MISSION STATEMENT FOR YOUR WEB SITE?
        *****************************************************

        How do the employees in your company know what the
        organization is all about and how they should focus their
        efforts and energy? In most companies, a mission statement
        serves this purpose. A good mission statement explains
        why the organization is in business, whom it serves. "To
        provide a return on shareholder investment" is a lousy
        mission statement because it could be =anybody's= mission
        statement. A solid mission statement articulates =how=
        the organization generates that return. "We improve
        people's lives worldwide by innovating, producing and
        selling medicines that treat conditions and diseases of
        the eyes." Now =that's= a mission statement. Anybody in
        the organization should be able to figure out if their
        efforts support the mission.

        A colleague called the other day asking for examples of
        Web site mission statements. I have to admit, I wasn't
        familiar with any company that has established one.

        And that led me to wonder: Why not? Lack of focus is my
        biggest complaint about most Web sites. Who is it for?
        What do you want that audience to do as a result of having
        visited your Web site? How will you know if they've done
        it? Most Web sites suffer from this lack of focus because
        the decision to build a site was made independent of any
        specific business need. "We gotta have a Web site,"
        somebody in the company says. "Our competitors have one."

        One way to avoid this trap would be to establish a Web
        site mission statement. Just as a corporate mission
        statement describes what the company does, the Web site
        mission statement should articulate what the Web site
        should do. The mission statement for my Web site, for
        instance, could be: "Enhance Holtz Communication +
        Technology's reputation by enticing visitors to subscribe
        to the monthly HC+T Update."

        Do you have a mission statement for your Web site? If not,
        how hard would it be to develop one that fits with the
        content your site provides? If you can't match a mission
        statement to your current site, it's a pretty good sign
        that your site needs work!

        I will present any mission statements readers send me in
        the next Update. Send your mission statements to
        mailto:shel@....

        **********************************
        4. GLOBAL BANDWIDTH IS ON THE RISE
        **********************************

        U.S. Internet users increasingly have access to content
        via high-bandwidth accounts, but the rest of the world
        lags so global Web sites should move cautiously before
        adding content that requires big pipes. Right?

        Not according to research from TeleGeography, Inc.,
        which says international Internet bandwidth increased
        174 percent from 2000 to 2001. That's a slowdown from
        the previous year's increase of 382 percent.

        The growth is uneven, according to TeleGeography's report,
        so communicators should know where growth is strong before
        introducing high-bandwidth content to global markets. For
        instance, Latin America has experienced astounding growth,
        up almost 480 percent thanks to new submarine cable
        systems, capacity from which was purchased in bulk, at
        low prices, by Latin American Internet backbone providers.

        Growth in Africa was 89.6 percent, 129.3 percent in
        Africa, 190.8 percent in Europe, and 144.3 percent in the
        U.S. and Canada. Growth is measured in megabytes per
        second -- for example, Latin America has 2,785 mbps in
        2000 to 16,132 (or about 16 gigabytes per second) in
        2001.

        In any event, don't succumb to those who suggest that
        the Internet is primitive outside of North America and
        that high-end applications won't cut it anywhere else.
        Do your homework. Your international markets could well
        be ready for your streaming media and other high-
        bandwidth applications.

        ***********************************************
        5. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE FROM AN ONLINE WORKSHOP?
        ***********************************************

        If you've ever participated in an online educational
        offering, you've probably left it with mixed feelings.
        Sure, you learned something, and perhaps you interacted
        well with others taking the course. But it may have been
        frustrating reading long tracts on the screen. You may
        have had difficulty using the discussion software that
        served as the workshop's foundation. You may have checked
        in only to find that the workshop had moved on without
        you.

        Holtz Communication + Technology will begin offering
        online workshops within the next month or so. My thinking
        to date is to focus the workshop on a specific topic and
        to run it for two weeks. I would post a "lecture" on a
        password-protected Website (accessible only to registered
        participants) every other day. The lecture would include
        links to related sites and downloadable handouts. But
        the real value would accrue by engaging in questions-and-
        answers with me and participating in discussion with
        others enrolled in the workshop. The entire workshop
        would be archived upon completion and available long-term
        to registered participants.

        But I won't launch the workshops without first getting
        feedback from you! What has worked for you in the past?
        What hasn't? What would you like to see in terms of the
        workshop's functionality? How about topics you'd like to
        see offered?

        Finally, does a price of US$165 seem reasonable for
        something like this? Please email me with your feedback,
        which will be invaluable. I'm at mailto:shel@....

        ********************************
        6. SHEL'S FALL WORKSHOP SCHEDULE
        ********************************

        "Managing Online Communication" is the first comprehensive
        full-day workshop to address the strategy behind effective
        online communication. In this workshop, you'll walk away
        with the tools you'll need to craft an effective strategy
        for achieving measurable objectives with an online
        communication effort. The workshop will be held in these
        locations:

        Nov. 01, 2001 Chicago, Illinois
        Nov. 15, 2001 Washington, D.C.
        Nov. 28, 2001 Stamford, Connecticut
        Jan. 17, 2002 Minneapolis, Minnesota

        "Writing for the Wired World" has been presented since
        1997, and continues to draw large crowds. Shel has updated
        the workshop for a fourth time based on new material and
        audience feedback. The workshop will be held on these

        dates:

        Oct. 23, 2001 Sydney, Australia
        Nov. 26, 2001 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
        Jan. 08, 2002 Phoenix, Arizona

        A fourth "Writing for the Wired World" will probably be
        scheduled sometime in the first quarter in Hong Kong.

        Watch this Update for a confirmed date.

        **************
        7. HC+T Update
        **************

        >>>In November, Shel will conduct his "Writing for the
        Wired World" workshop for a public television station
        on the East Coast.

        >>>Shel presents a daylong workshop later this month
        at the Slovenian Public Relations Society's annual
        conference.

        >>>Shel will teach online communication classes in
        November at UC Berkeley and San Jose State University.

        >>>Shel is beginning work on a new edition of his out-of-
        print book, "The Intranet Advantage." Originally
        published by (now defunct) Ziff-Davis Press in 1996, the
        book went out of print last year. The new version will
        be published as a manual by the International Association
        of Business Communicators (IABC) in mid-2002.

        *******************************************
        8. BOILERPLATE AND SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION
        *******************************************

        You received this newsletter either because you asked
        for it or somebody who likes you forwarded it to you.
        Please feel free to forward it to someone =you= like!

        HC+T Update is published monthly by Holtz Communication
        + Technology. You can subscribe by visiting the HC+T
        site on the World Wide Web at http://www.holtz.com and
        selecting the FREE E-MAIL NEWSLETTER page. Or, send
        e-mail to subscribe-HoltzUpdate@....

        Holtz Communication + Technology helps organizations
        apply online technology to strategic communication
        efforts.

        (C) 2001, Holtz Communication + Technology.
        All rights reserved.

        For help with this newsletter, send e-mail to
        Help-HoltzUpdate@....
        To submit an item for this newsletter, send e-mail to
        Submit-HoltzUpdate@...
        To comment on this newsletter, send e-mail to
        Comment-HoltzUpdate@...
        To unsubscribe from this newsletter, send e-mail to
        Signoff-HoltzUpdate@....

        Regards,

        Jim Rink
        AAA Michigan
        ----------------------------------------------------
        1 Auto Club Drive, Dearborn, Mich. 48072
        voice 313.336.1513 fax 313.336.0986
        ----------------------------------------------------

        http://www.aaamich.com
      • Jim Rink
        From: Holtz Communication + Technology Subject: HC+T Update November 12, 2001 In This Issue: 1. Online Workshop
        Message 3 of 15 , Nov 12, 2001
        • 0 Attachment
          From: Holtz Communication + Technology
          Subject: HC+T Update
          November 12, 2001

          <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
          In This Issue:

          1. Online Workshop Begins December 3!
          2. ABA Holds Conference In Cyberspace
          3. Email Service Connects You To Your
          Elected Representatives
          4. Net Sparks Group Interaction
          5. Intranet Instant Messaging On The Rise
          6. Thanks For Online Workshop Input
          7. Shel's Fall Workshop Schedule
          8. HC+T Update
          9. Boilerplate And Subscription Information
          <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

          **************************************
          1. ONLINE WORKSHOP BEGINS DECEMBER 31!
          **************************************

          The first of Shel Holtz's new "Webinars" will begin on
          December 3. "Effective Online Publications" will run for
          two weeks, with new lectures posted every other business
          day. Lectures include insight, ideas, tips, and links to
          examples on the Web. Key to the workshops will be the
          discussions, in which participants can discuss online
          publication issues with Shel and with each other. Workshops
          also feature downloadable handouts.

          The workshop fee is only $175 (US). That's less than you
          would pay for a comparable one-day on-site workshop
          anywhere -- plus there's no travel expenses, and you can
          participate when you have the time.

          Register for "Effective Online Publications" at
          http://www.holtz.com/webinars/register.htm. More
          information about the workshops is available at
          http://www.holtz.com/webinars.

          *************************************
          2. ABA HOLDS CONFERENCE IN CYBERSPACE
          *************************************

          Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, the American
          Banking Association cancelled its annual convention, slated
          for early October in Palm Desert, California, the first
          time the ABA has cancelled its conference since World War
          II. The conference was rescheduled, though -- online.

          The ABA conference was held over the Web, allowing the
          banking organization to invite anybody to register free.

          The ABA convention draws CEOs from across the country, and
          this year presentations by U.S. President George W. Bush
          and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan were expected
          to increase the appeal of the virtual conference. Video and
          audio were planned in addition to paper presentations.

          "For the first time ever, ABA's Annual Convention is
          available free to anybody with a computer, Internet access,
          and a desire to hear about the state of the financial
          services industry," said ABA Executive Vice President David
          Ogilvie. "In light of recent events, we think it's
          important to provide members of the banking community with
          an opportunity to hear statements from our nation's
          president and key financial leaders."

          Since the conference takes place entirely online, there are
          no set times to participate. You can log in now to view,
          listen to or read keynote speeches and download breakout
          presentations. There's even an exhibit hall for paying
          exhibitors.

          There have been other online conferences, but those I have
          seen have all been computer-focused; this conference for
          bankers is the first general-population conference of which
          I'm aware that was held entirely online. If the ABA can do
          it, so can you. What kinds of gatherings does your
          organization have planned that could be moved online? A
          host of reasons could justify the move: cost savings,
          reluctance of participants to fly, or the opportunity
          for broader participation, to name a few.

          *************************************
          3. EMAIL SERVICE CONNECTS YOU TO YOUR
          ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES
          *************************************

          Another intriguing use of the Net comes from
          YourCongress.com (motto: "It's your Congress; learn to
          laugh"). Subscribers to an email service can follow all of
          their elected representatives' activities. According to the
          site:

          "Every time your Congressman/woman and Senators say
          anything on the floor of Congress, or slips a written
          statement into the Congressional Record, we'll send
          you an email that gives you access to their complete,
          unedited statement. No more relying on the rumor mill
          to find out what's going on, no more searching the
          newspaper for tidbits of information, and no trips to
          the library."

          YourCongress, a sort of self-appointed Congressional watch
          dog, has made excellent use of data to empower citizens.
          All the information resides in a database. Every vote and
          written record is sorted into your congressman's record,
          an email is generated advising you of what your
          congressman is up to.

          Which brings us back to my belief that communicators miss
          much of the power of the Net by relying on flashy Web
          pages and top-down email. As a profession, we're a pretty
          right-brain bunch, and all that database stuff -- well,
          that's real left-brain. But we don't need to know how to
          program databases, or understand their inner-workings, just
          as we don't have to know how to burn a plate for a printed
          page in order to get it printed. What we =do= have to
          know is what a database is and what it can do for you in
          the context of your communication goals.

          What information can be sorted into a database and made
          available to members of your audience? On an intranet,
          consider sales information that can be sorted in
          different ways by different employees. On your external
          Web site, you're limited only by your imagination.

          Now, to find out how my congressman voted on that last
          bill...

          *******************************
          4. NET SPARKS GROUP INTERACTION
          *******************************

          I have been urging communicators to get more involved in
          discussion groups -- participate in those that are already
          online and create your own in support of your
          organization's goals. Now comes evidence that online
          communities truly are the heart of the Internet and
          worthy of communicators' attention.

          According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project,
          84 percent of U.S. Internet users have participated in an
          online community. Twenty-six percent of online Americans
          use the Net for closer ties to existing communities,
          planning such activities as church meetings, neighborhood
          gatherings, local sporting events, charity activities,
          and petition drives.

          As for the tired old claim that the Internet isolates
          people from real life, the study found that 50 percent
          of participants in online communicates say they have met
          people they would never have been able to meet otherwise.

          "For vast numbers of Americans, use of the Internet
          simultaneously expands their social worlds and connects
          them more deeply to the place where they live," according
          to Lee Rainie, director of the project, quoted in an
          article about the study at Cyberatlas. "Online groups
          are comfortable places for people to congregate and get
          to know organizations and people they might never have
          encountered."

          Millions of online Americans already belonged to groups
          before they began using the Net, but go online to get
          more involved. Similarly, many people use the Net to find
          traditional groups. Civic involvement is also on the
          increase, particularly among young adults, thanks to the
          ability to connect online.

          "The network of networks has become a collection of
          communities," according to John Horrigan, principal author
          of the study and a senior researcher at the Pew Internet
          Project. "Many actively engage in cyber groups through
          email and bulletin boards that are lively forums for
          sharing ideas, hashing out issues, and making friends."

          If the members of an online group match your communication
          effort's garget audience, shouldn't you be represented in
          the discussion? The potential payback for your involvement
          probably far exceeds that of building a cool Web site. For
          more information, visit the Pew Internet Project site:
          http://www.pewinternet.org/reports/toc.asp?Report=47.


          *****************************************
          5. INTRANET INSTANT MESSAGING ON THE RISE
          *****************************************

          I keep hearing about employees using instant messaging (IM)
          over their intranets. At the same time, I'm =not= hearing much
          about companies installing instant messaging software on their
          networks (despite the fact that several companies
          produce software that enables secure internal instant
          messaging). This means that employees are taking matters
          into their own hands. If the company won't provide them
          with the system that is most effective for fast, efficient
          communication, they'll get it for themselves.

          Unfortunately, what they're doing for themselves is
          installing commercial clients, such as the America Online
          or MSN instant message software. And while this is just
          as efficient (and far less costly) than using a proprietary
          package that keeps internal communication behind the
          firewall, it does mean that internal (and sometimes highly
          sensitive) information is bouncing around unsecured Internet
          networks.

          Why are employees embracing IM? It's the "instant" in instant
          messaging that makes the technology so appealing. You need an
          answer to a question. Check your buddy list to see if any of
          the employees who might have the answer are online; if so, you
          fire off an instant message and get an immediate reply. It's
          more efficient than either the phone or email. In some
          companies where IM has flourished, the volume of email has
          been noticeably decreased.

          These advantages make IM an internal communication technology
          to take seriously. Still, it's worth considering policies if
          your employees are using open Internet-wide IM. It may make
          even more sense to explore acquiring an internal IM system. If
          that's your approach, consider that it limits the messaging to
          employees, removing customers and other outsiders from the
          loop (and instant communication between customers and employees
          could turn out to be one of the great internal uses of IM).

          ***********************************
          6. THANKS FOR ONLINE WORKSHOP INPUT
          ***********************************

          Thanks to those readers who replied to me query last month
          about my proposed online workshop. As you can see, your
          replies helped me come up with the pilot workshop that will
          begin on December 3.

          There was general agreement about the value of an online
          workshop, but widely disparate opinions about pricing. Some
          thought my proposed pricing of $165 was too high. More felt
          it was too =low=, given that on-site workshops cost
          considerably more, as do some Web-based university classes.
          I went with $175 (the $10 bump covers the fee I'll have to pay
          to the credit card processing company). But I will conduct
          some extensive research with participants at the conclusion of
          the two-week workshop and make adjustments to everything from
          content to presentation to pricing based on the feedback.

          Again, I am very appreciative of those of you who took the
          time to offer your insights.

          ********************************
          7. SHEL'S FALL WORKSHOP SCHEDULE
          ********************************

          "Managing Online Communication" is the first comprehensive
          full-day workshop to address the strategy behind effective
          online communication. In this workshop, you'll walk away
          with the tools you'll need to craft an effective strategy
          for achieving measurable objectives with an online
          communication effort. The workshop will be held in these
          locations:

          Nov. 15, 2001 Washington, D.C.
          Nov. 28, 2001 Stamford, Connecticut
          Jan. 17, 2002 Minneapolis, Minnesota

          "Writing for the Wired World" has been presented since
          1997, and continues to draw large crowds. Shel has updated
          the workshop for a fourth time based on new material and
          audience feedback. The workshop will be held on these dates:

          Nov. 26, 2001 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
          Jan. 08, 2002 Phoenix, Arizona

          A fourth "Writing for the Wired World" will probably be
          scheduled sometime in the first quarter in Hong Kong. Watch
          this Update for a confirmed date.

          **************
          8. HC+T Update
          **************

          >>>In November, Shel will conduct his "Writing for the
          Wired World" workshop for a public television station
          on the East Coast and meet with a health-care company and
          an insurance company to consult on intranet issues.

          >>>Shel also presents "Writing for the Wired World" at
          a major computer consulting firm in Pennsylvania in
          December.

          >>>Shel will present two sessions at Ragan Communications'
          intranet conference on December 12.

          *******************************************
          9. BOILERPLATE AND SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION
          *******************************************

          You received this newsletter either because you asked
          for it or somebody who likes you forwarded it to you.
          Please feel free to forward it to someone =you= like!

          HC+T Update is published monthly by Holtz Communication
          + Technology. You can subscribe by visiting the HC+T
          site on the World Wide Web at http://www.holtz.com and
          selecting the FREE E-MAIL NEWSLETTER page. Or, send
          e-mail to subscribe-HoltzUpdate@....

          Regards,

          Jim Rink
          AAA Michigan
          ----------------------------------------------------
          1 Auto Club Drive, Dearborn, Mich. 48072
          voice 313.336.1513 fax 313.336.0986
          ----------------------------------------------------

          http://www.aaamich.com
        • Jim Rink
          From: Holtz Communication + Technology Subject: HC+T Update January 2002 In This Issue: 1. Webinars: Intranets
          Message 4 of 15 , Jan 15, 2002
          • 0 Attachment
            From: Holtz Communication + Technology
            Subject: HC+T Update
            January 2002

            <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
            In This Issue:

            1. Webinars: Intranets and Crisis Communication
            2. Court Decisions Shouldn't Chill Online
            Employee Discussions
            3. Fox Invites Viewers To Slam New Show
            4. Northern Light Ends Free Service
            5. Advertisers Target Online Employees
            6. Intranet Tip: Offer Printable News
            7. HC+T Update
            8. Boilerplate And Subscription Information
            <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

            ************************************************
            1. WEBINARS; INTRANETS AND CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS
            ************************************************

            Two Holtz Communication Webinars will be starting up before the
            end of the month:

            * When All Hell Breaks Loose -- Internet marketing expert Craig
            Settles, author of several books on the subject, will host a
            Webinar on using the Net as a crisis communication tool.

            * Employee Communications on Intranets -- Shel Holtz will host
            this Webinar dealing with the use of intranets to achieve
            traditional employee communication goals.

            Webinars are two-week-long, interactive, asynchronous
            professional development sessions designed to allow you to get
            as much information as you would from a full-day workshop, but
            on your own time and without traveling. Information on both
            Webinars is at http://webinar.holtz.com


            **************************************************************
            2. COURT DECISIONS SHOULDN'T CHILL ONLINE EMPLOYEE DISCUSSIONS
            **************************************************************

            Charles Pizzo sends along an item from USA Today that lists
            some court cases in which companies have successfully gone
            after employees who use online tools to bad-mouth current or
            former employers.

            All three examples listed in the article focus on individuals
            who go overboard -- WAY overboard -- in their attacks. There's
            the case of two former employees of Varian Medical Systems
            (Palo Alto, California) who posted some 14,000 messages on
            100 message boards accusing managers of everything from
            homophobia to discrimination against pregnant women. While one
            of the employees sniffed about the erosion of his free speech
            rights, you have to consider the company's right to defend
            itself against defamation and harassment. A jury awarded the
            company $775,000.

            Then there's the case of a fired Intel employee who sent email
            messages to 35,000 current Intel employees airing his
            grievances. Intel viewed the messages as spam, and insists its
            action against him had nothing to do with his ability to voice
            his opinion. Because the email crossed the company's firewall,
            one might even view it as a form of trespassing.

            Finally, a couple firms were engaged in legal action to unmask
            posters of anonymous messages the organizations claim were
            defamatory and misappropriation of confidential company
            information.

            At first reading, this trend may cause online civil
            libertarians to panic. But the average employee engaged in an
            online discussion -- happy or not -- is not likely to post
            tens of thousands of such messages, or to flood the company
            mailboxes with their missives. The average discussion is a
            single give-and-take between the employee and other employees
            (and other non-employee participants in the public discussion
            groups). Given a reasonable discourse, employees are still
            going to be allowed to say what they think in public forums,
            and the courts are unlikely to stop them. These few court
            cases aimed at stopping the worst offenders shouldn't cause
            companies to feel that they can now keep employees from
            engaging in public online conversations.


            ***************************************
            3. FOX INVITES VIEWERS TO SLAM NEW SHOW
            ***************************************

            In virtually every talk I give, and in almost every consulting
            engagement, I tout the value of the Internet's many-to-many
            nature. You should have discussion groups on your intranet, I
            insist. Your Web site would be a great place to let customers
            talk to one another. Of course, the usual response is something
            like, "But management doesn't want to hear people say bad
            things about them or the company."

            Management at Fox Television must have a thick skin. On Sunday,
            Fox gave audiences a sneak peek at a new game show called
            "The Chamber." (ABC has a virtually identical series starting soon
            called "The Chair.") I stumbled on the show while channel
            surfing, and found it to be one of the worst things I'd ever
            seen. My wife was even more offended than I was -- offended
            enough to call up the Fox site and see if there was a place to
            complain.

            What she found was a Fox-hosted discussion group dedicated to
            the show. Almost all of the messages posted slammed "The
            Chamber" for the travesty it is. Some sample excerpts:

            "Never, and I mean never, have I seen such a stupid show as
            The Chamber. The premiere was the first and only time I intend
            to watch this tripe."

            "This is the worst show EVER. How could someone watch other
            people being hurt and tourchered (sic) while answering stupid
            questions? CANCEL IT!"

            "Stupid stupid stupid. And to think I had respect for Dick
            Clark. I can't wait to hear of the older brother covering the
            baby sister in ice because he saw it on TV. (Then he burns
            her.) Human suffering for the TV bucks. Indeed a new LOW in TV.
            How can the host sleep at night? As a sociologist this is so
            sad to teach enjoyment of human suffering. Stupid stupid
            stupid."

            "Maybe they should call this show, "The GAS Chamber" and maybe
            we can have Jewish contestants. Boy! How low has tv gotten?!
            What's next?! Throwing Christians to the lions for prize
            money."

            The next time management nixes your call for discussion groups
            because they're afraid of what people might say, send them to
            the Fox discussion group. The point is NOT that it could
            always be worse (even though it can). The point is that the
            stuff your management doesn't want to hear is actually the
            best feedback they can get. To see it yourself, go to
            http://www.fox.com/chamber and select the link called TALK.


            ***********************************
            4. NORTHERN LIGHT ENDS FREE SERVICE
            ***********************************

            Most people had never heard of it, but Northern Light was
            always one of the best search engines on the Web. Not the most
            comprehensive in terms of number of sites indexed, but it
            handled the results better than just about anyone, Google
            included.

            Now, Northern Light is going the same way many other formerly
            free services have gone -- they're going to charge.

            An email from CEO David Seuss reads, "As of January 16, 2002,
            NorthernLight.com is discontinuing free public access to our
            Web search in order to focus on delivering authoritative and
            timely news and archive content that you can rely on. We are
            refining our business to focus more exclusively on the needs
            of business researchers and enterprise customers."

            I spoke with a sales rep about enterprise accounts, which are
            obtained by large companies spending tens of thousands of
            dollars. Fortunately, he rep indicated that a consumer
            subscription service will be available allowing unlimited
            searches and 50 downloads per month for, probably, $10 per
            month or less.

            What makes NorthernLight different? First of all, there's the
            special collection of content that isn't available on any old
            Web page. These include magazine and journal articles and
            other proprietary content which normally would require an
            account with the likes of Lexis-Nexis.

            Then there's the filtering feature that puts search results
            into "custom search folders." As a test, I ran a search on
            "intranets." The search turned up nearly 1.5 million items.
            In addition to displaying basic intranet-related content the
            same way any search engine would, NorthernLight also divided
            the items into folders called "Special Collection documents"
            (those proprietary items you have to pay for), "Extranets,"
            "Intranets," "Corporate communications," "Servers,"
            "Groupware," and more. Clicking on "Corporate communications"
            gave me nearly 2,500 documents, and subdivided them into even
            more narrowly defined custom search folders. Here I found
            articles on marketing intranets to employees, using intranets
            for as a tool to spark organizational innovation, and how to
            measure the effectiveness of intranets (which, as part of the
            Special Collection, costs $2.95 to download -- the article is
            from the magazine "Public Relations Strategist").

            If you've never used NorthernLight, you only have Tuesday to
            give it a try and make a decision about whether it's worth
            about $10 a month to have access to this resource. After
            that, you'll need your subscriber login to even conduct a
            search. In the meantime, it's time to mourn the loss of one
            more outstanding free online service.


            **************************************
            5. ADVERTISERS TARGET ONLINE EMPLOYEES
            **************************************

            I have dedicated space in Update in the past to address the
            issue (or non-issue) of employees who use the Web at work.
            Despite some companies' best efforts to keep employees from
            going online, the demographics are so significant that
            advertisers are starting to recognize that reaching prime
            demographics during the daytime means advertising online, not
            on television. Why? Because it's likely workers will see those
            ads.

            What this means to communicators depends on how you look at it.
            >From one point of view, it could be validation for opening
            access to employees. From another, it could be time to start
            communicating with employees about the fact that they've been
            targeted and to educate them about the lure of online
            advertising and how to deflect it.

            A survey of 1,000 people conducted in November 2001 found that
            the Net was the most-used medium during the typical workday.
            This should be obvious; no matter what companies do to
            discourage Web surfing on the job, it's still going to be
            easier to do than watch television. (Ninety-one percent of
            at-work Internet users also go online at home, suggesting that
            at work they're mostly using work-related resources while they
            do most of their recreational surfing at home.) Among people
            who do not use the Net at work, the Net is second to television
            as the dominant medium.

            At-work users surveyed noted that the Net has made them more
            productive workers and has helped them balance their personal
            and professional lives.

            A spokesman for the Online Publishers Association, which
            sponsored the study, suggests that the results prove the Net
            is an "extremely positive force in these user's lives. Its
            value extends from productivity enhancement to information
            retrieval on high-quality media sites, making these sites a
            particularly compelling way for advertisers to reach their
            audiences."

            People who use the Web at work are smack in the middle of the
            most desirable demographics for advertisers -- between 18 and
            34 years old, highly educated, with substantial spending power.


            *************************************
            6. INTRANET TIP: OFFER PRINTABLE NEWS
            *************************************

            Most intranets provide employees with news of all sorts. On the
            home page you can find the most important news. Dig a little
            deeper and you can find all kinds of other news -- industry
            news, divisional or departmental updates, news briefs, and
            more. The problem is that it's all scattered in various places
            across the intranet.

            Consider this kind of structure, then think about the employee
            who stops in the office for a few minutes before hitting the
            road to meet with customers. Odds are, even if he gets the top
            items from the home page, he'll still miss some important
            information because he didn't click through the other
            various news pages.

            I recently saw a nifty solution to this situation. Consider a
            very simple, plain-text consolidation of all of the day's news
            items. (If you only post news weekly, then consolidate all of
            the week's items). On every news page, include a link that says
            something like, "Print all of today's news."

            The company where I saw this done made a point of noting that
            the link specifically had mobile employees in mind, sort of a
            "News To Go" approach. Now the intranet has delivered the news
            in a format that's useful to an employee away from the
            intranet. We're not talking about a lot of work here; just a
            simple cut-and-paste job onto one long scrolling Web page
            designed to look right when printed on an office printer.


            **************
            7. HC+T Update
            **************

            >>>Shel Holtz will deliver a keynote address at a one-day
            technology-focused conference in Vancouver later this month.
            The conference is sponsored by the Canadian Public Relations
            Society.

            >>>While in Vancouver, Shel will spend a day with communicators
            from telecommunications company Telus, talking about how to
            leverage the Net for internal and external communications.

            >>>Shel will conduct his "Writing for the Wired World" workshop
            in the weeks ahead for Sun Microsystems and Raytheon.


            *******************************************
            8. BOILERPLATE AND SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION
            *******************************************

            You received this newsletter either because you asked
            for it or somebody who likes you forwarded it to you.
            Please feel free to forward it to someone =you= like!

            HC+T Update is published monthly by Holtz Communication
            + Technology. You can subscribe by visiting the HC+T
            site on the World Wide Web at http://www.holtz.com and
            selecting the FREE E-MAIL NEWSLETTER page. Or, send
            e-mail to hctupdate-subscribetopica.email-publisher.com.

            Regards,

            Jim Rink
            AAA Michigan
            ----------------------------------------------------
            1 Auto Club Drive, Dearborn, Mich. 48072
            voice 313.336.1513 fax 313.336.0986
            ----------------------------------------------------

            http://www.aaamich.com
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