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Emphasize your employees

I just read Ellis Booker's editorial ("2006: The year of the employee," Jan. 16, page 12) and enjoyed (1) the fact that someone out there unapologetically loves gadgets [wish he was my next-door neighbor] and (2) that in today's business climate, the crux of the matter is cutting-edge talent and (3) keeping it within the organization.

I'm presently writing an article on offshoring for a trade publication, and it gives me the shivers to see America just tossing it all out like candy on a parade route-can't we make ourselves efficient and shore up our economy? One day there will be no year of the employee because all our employees will be elsewhere.

This was a great column.

Barbara Axelson

Axelson Communications

Palatine, Ill.

[email protected]

New ways of addressing b-to-b communication

I can see that BtoB has gotten off to a running start, and the "internal branding" concept that you mentioned in your "Year of the Employee" piece points toward a development that I have seen in projects on which I have been working-the continuation of the blurring of all sorts of traditional b-to-b boundaries (e.g., employee/customer/ vendor/competitor).

From what I'm seeing, it is triggering the emergence of a bunch of new ways of addressing the communications challenges in today's increasingly complicated b-to-b environment. In particular, I'm looking forward to seeing how the use of things like blogs, podcasts and other word-of-mouth tools evolve over the coming year-which I suspect is going to be a big chunk of what you will be covering in the new "Tools & Metrics" section.

Bob Yovovich,

Market Strategy Group

Chicago, Ill.

[email protected]

The medium still needs a message

Is technology rapidly transforming communications as some zealots believe? Not really. Communication has gone from hieroglyphics, smoke and mirror signals, tom-toms and carrier pigeons to print, Morse code, broadcast, computers. The one thing that hasn't changed since the beginning of time: You have to get a message over. We are still reading hieroglyphics. In some parts of the world, drums and carrier pigeons are still being used.

Yes, the method of communications has changed. However, whatever method one uses, there still has to be a message. There is an old saying, "There is nothing new under the sun." Which brings up another subject in the letters to the editor in the same edition. Pay for performance or results in PR and advertising has been around for decades. It's been written up in the trade publications and the WSJ.


The agency I headed did it with a few clients going back to the '50s. It seems, periodically, someone keeps reinventing the wheel. It doesn't matter what form of communications one uses, it's useless unless it contains a message directed to the many niche markets.

Edgar Spizel

(former head of ad/PR agencies in San Francisco and Cleveland)

La Jolla, Calif.

[email protected]

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