In light of the pending new crop of interns and freshly graduated new hires, here is a guide to company communications and media-related best practices they should read.
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In light of the pending new crop of interns and freshly graduated new hires, below is a guide to company communications and media-related best practices they should read. Go ahead – clip this. At the top, write “OMG, this columnist is ridiculous but has some good points. LOL” and leave it in the breakroom or tape it to a restroom stall door where they’ll see it. Recommended readings - Your new office is full of people who read and people who don’t. The higher-ups in the company who make important decisions are readers. They are constantly fishing for new ideas, business insights and leadership-focused nuggets of wisdom. When a boss mentions a tidbit from a book she is reading, get the book and read it. Absorb what’s relevant. There’s no need to drop references to show that you’ve read it. Just tuck the info away in your brain and draw from it as needed. You want to be a well-read, thinking leader in the making, not an attention-seeking transactional reader in the baking. Personal media – If you haven’t already, budget at least $15 a month of your own money to pay for content that will be a part of your own daily/weekly personal media menu. Go shopping for media subscriptions that will cost roughly $5 apiece per month. We’re talking New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, the Economist, the CBJ, local papers, etc. You should care about what’s going on the world, the nation and your community – it all relates to your industry and your company. Your daily feeding from this media menu will make you a better-informed human and thus, a better employee. Industry media – Our company is in the orbit of industry-specific publications and B2B media smatterings. Browse these in the break room and take an occasional survey of the ones you like so you can get a free subscription in your own mailbox/inbox. Some of these are slanted for ad buyers and some are just terrible. Some feature occasional relevant articles. Learn how to discern value within the industry media. Team internal media – Many of your colleagues will ignore the company newsletter and various emails aimed at communicating en masse. Commit to reading the newsletter. Look for volunteer opportunities, feedback groups to join and little nuggets that celebrate your colleagues’ wins and milestones. Participate in HR attempts to cultivate team vibes. Team players appreciate team internal media. Team external media – Follow your company’s social media accounts. Read your CEO’s blog. Listen to company podcasts and any podcast that features your company’s key people as guests. Get to know the fit and feel of how your company represents itself to the world. This stuff will give you ideas, but you need to chill. Write down your ideas for improving and creating new offerings in this realm. Let those ideas cure and mature a bit before slinging them around. At some point, the right time, place and way to share them will come. Email – Don’t be the person who writes unnecessarily long emails or hits ‘reply all’ to anything. Don’t BCC. Be the person who embraces complete sentences, proper spelling and grammar. “It’s just email. I don’t have time to spell things correctly” is a crutch for people who aren’t as smart as they wish they were. Comm channels – Slack, Yammer, etc. were created for your kind, but take it easy with these channels. Only share work-related stuff and limit yourself to three funny gif reactions per day. Social media – Use the grandma rule: Everything you post in social media should be acceptable to your grandma. Go scrub your accounts. Really. Whether you believe this or not, your personal online behavior ultimately has an impact on your company. DMs – Turn off your social media direct message notifications. Check your DMs at home. Phone notes – When taking notes on your phone’s notepad during a meeting, don’t forget the value of saying “I’m taking notes here on my phone” to whoever needs to hear it. No one else at your company takes notes on their phones. They use laptops and actual paper. If you take notes on your phone, they will think you’re a slacker millennial who can’t stop texting during work. TikTok – Most older people don’t know that receiving a downloaded TikTok video from you means that you appreciate them and want to share something fun or even company-related with them. Be patient. Just as old people eventually got on Facebook, they’ll eventually get on TikTok. Joe Coffey has 20 years of experience as a journalist, educator and marketer in the Corridor.