Communication, crisis and chances

December is the month of introspection, a least in the Netherlands. My Dutch Communicatie magazine of this month is no different. “This is a crisis issue”, writes editor Rocco Mooy. The illustration of the economic crisis they use shows boxes “recession: people spend money they don’t have … on things they don’t need”.

Editorial budgets and communication staff are cut all over the place, and more than any other functions. How do you handle communication of companies that sack tens or hundreds of employees? But the information economy and revolution also provides PR professionals with enormous chances. They need to focus on content, quality, transparency, and relation management, writes Noelle Aarts, Professor Strategic Communication at the University of Amsterdam. Huib Koeleman identifies the following keywords for the new communication: transparent, simple, quick, fast, participative, direct, always in touch, not hierarchical, always and work/private. For the communication professional it means: from gatekeeper to gatewatcher.

12 characteristics of online work

Koeleman quotes Gary Hamel’s characteristics of online work in his “The Facebook Generation vs. the Fortune 500” in his Management 2.0 blog in the Wall Street Journal:

  1. All ideas compete on an equal footing.
  2. Contribution counts for more than credentials.
  3. Hierarchies are natural, not prescribed.
  4. Leaders serve rather than preside.
  5. Tasks are chosen, not assigned.
  6. Groups are self-defining and – organizing.
  7. Resources get attracted, not allocated.
  8. Power comes from sharing information, not hoarding it.
  9. Opinions compound and decisions are peer-reviewed.
  10. Users can veto most policy decisions.
  11. Intrinsic rewards matter most.
  12. Hackers are heroes.

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