Monthly Archives: July 2011

Sequel Thinking

Talking 'bout my generation

July 26, 2011

“We are,” said a friend who, like me, is in his 40s, “the last generation that doesn’t really understand the potential of digital.”

Okay, maybe that was a generalisation but look at the evidence; our children are totally cool with computers and live their lives through tablets, laptops and mobile devices.

Compare them to our parents. Yes, some of them are texting and getting into Facebook but essentially the digital revolution has passed them by.

This generation gap was highlighted in a recent piece of research which suggested that for the first time in history, four generations are sharing the workplace – from traditionalists (born before 1945) and baby boomers to Generation X and the Millenials (those born between 1981 and 1999).

For communicators, this poses a challenge. How do we get these different audiences on side? What technology do we use? How can we keep everyone happy?

The answer, of course, is a classic multi-channel approach. In internal comms, we are faced with a barrage of information and it is our role to understand it, translate it and then communicate using the right method for the right audience.

The good news is that – budgets aside (and that’s a subject for a different blog) – we do have those channels available.

At Sequel, we have communicated to all four generations in recent months, using a variety of communication to get messages across.

Whether it’s the traditional printed magazine, a PC-based PDF or a mobile friendly site, we’re using a variety of tools to keep everyone happy.

Whether they are into Glenn Miller, The Beatles, Take That or Plan B…

So, which group do you fall into?

Traditionalists – Born before 1945

The Traditionalists, also called the Veterans, Matures, the Silent Generation and the Greatest Generation, believe in building a lifetime career with a single employer and expect an employer to take care of them.

The generation tends to be technically challenged and prefers one-on-one communication, telephone or written memos. When it comes to work feedback, ongoing praise is not necessary.

Baby Boomers – Born between 1946 – 1964

Having a stellar career and professional accomplishments are important to the Baby Boomers. Known for its workaholics, the generation thrives on competition, personal fulfillment, quality and involvement.

They communicate best one-on-one; therefore, they tend to hold meetings. With this one-on-one mentality they have a negative feeling toward flexible schedules or working from home.

Generation X – Born between 1965 -1980

Many Gen Xers grew up in a two income family, watching their Baby Boomer parents attempt to have it all. As a result, this generation works hard but tends to seek work/life balance.

Generation Xers prefer immediate feedback and are more likely to communicate via email rather than in-person meetings.

Millennials – Born between 1981 – 1999

The Millennials, also known as Generation Y, the Internet Generation and the Echo Boomers, are the youngest in the workforce. Like Generation X, the Millennials crave balance and lack loyalty to a workplace. They tend to be entrepreneurial and goal oriented, but work is a means to an end.

Since computers and Internet have been around their entire lives, Millennials are extremely comfortable with technology and prefer to use it to communicate.

Nick Andrews

Google+ and the potential for Internal Communications

July 25, 2011

Have you been invited yet?

Google Plus logoUnlike previous attempts by Google to integrate into the social market and crush Facebook, its latest challenge has real potential to disturb the landscape. Google’s aim is to make sharing on the web like sharing in real life and Google+ is making great strides to achieve this.

Its first plus is exclusivity – rather than opening a free-for-all platform, Google has made this invite-only and called it a “project”. This means the message spreads virally and people make up their own minds. Within its first two weeks, membership passed 10 million and now reports are suggesting they are closer to 18 million members.

The platform itself has done what any sensible social platform should do: it has pulled the best bits out of another, re-branded them, and filled in the original platform’s gaps.

A stand out feature of Google+ is the concept of circles: you put your life’s social circles into, well, circles, meaning that people can share and distribute things with targeted groups rather than everyone they know. No more panicking about sharing information with colleagues that is meant for friends. What’s more, people can be placed in more than one circle.

Although Google is yet to release business pages, companies are still looking to be part of the Google+ experience – and we are one of them.

So as we learn more about the platform and understand its potential we thought we would share our first impressions of how it can be used for internal communications.

Google+ could be good for internal communications for 3 reasons:

  • Circles – Group your connections in one place and pick and choose who you share information with: clients, colleagues, friends, targets and so on.
  • Hangouts – A great place for a network call and a chance to interact differently with your colleagues.
  • Business pages – Although yet to be introduced Google will soon role out their business pages which will ultimately help businesses establish another presence on the web where they can share ideas, thoughts and news as well as potentially improve on the companies SEO.

So much potential, and this is only the start. We thought we would join the Google revolution sooner rather than later – if you fancy hanging out, give us a shout.


There’s an app for that, right?

July 18, 2011

It’s easy to get consumed by it. So-and-so has Twitter. Such-and-such uses Ning and Yammer. There’s that great new digital page-turner put out by Whatsit. Then Whosit goes and gets an app!

For half a decade, the digital revolution has ruled our industry. We were all convinced it was the way of the future, that we all had to jump on the bandwagon or be left in the wake like an innocent News of the World journo…
…but were we conned?

Not at all; we just need to stop thinking in silos. Multi-channel is today’s cry – and the only way to reach the majority your staff and your customers instead of just a small portion.

At last month’s Cannes Lion celebration of advertising and creativity, Ogilvy & Mather made a point of reminding the industry that tradition still has its place. Said chief executive Miles Young: “We’ve suffered from five years of vendor-led digital propaganda. Digital is seen as a separate channel, a discipline in its own right, and it isn’t. Clients are beginning to understand that. Digital pure-play is silo-thinking. It is doomed to dissolve into the system.”

The world of advertising had its head turned by dot com, just as our world did. Today it’s clear that it’s not one or the other; digital exists alongside print, which exists alongside social media, which exists alongside town hall meetings, which exists alongside… you get the picture.

So get the message, and get it from numerous channels. You don’t have to choose. You can have it all.
Lauren McMenemy

internal communicationsMobile

Harnessing the power of mobile for internal comms

July 13, 2011
Aspic session in progress

Be bold, be challenging and build relationships with IT and Legal – that was the advice for delegates at this week’s aspic seminar on how to harness the opportunities that mobile offers internal comms.

The breakfast session outlined the jargon involved, how mobile can enhance existing channels, the challenges of security, and why mobile is growing to be the number one way to get onto the web. Speaker Charles Fenoughty, Digital Media Director at Sequel Group which manages the aspic learning and networking group, said mobile’s potential was huge for internal comms, offering audiences choice, collaboration, accessibility, speed and reach – with intelligent content key as we continue to ‘blur’ the lines around employees’ free time.

An open forum heard delegates sharing their thoughts and experiences around using iPhones and BlackBerrys for internal communication, segmenting audience information and the challenges of commercially sensitive information being ‘out there’.

What do delegates say? Click here to view one person’s view: