How Discovery Communications turned comms flops into successes

Do employees snicker over that goofy video you made? Did the health week promotion fail? Don’t mope. Learn from your mistakes, as Discovery does.

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You know those rules they post by motel swimming pools?

Have you ever sounded like that when laying out your code of conduct for employees on your internal portal?

No? Then please accept our congratulations.

At Discovery Communications, however, communicators aren’t too proud to admit they’ve had some communications flops—particularly that video launching Yammer.

This may come as a surprise from the world’s No. 1 nonfiction media company, the people behind Animal Planet and “Through the Wormhole” with Morgan Freeman. Yet you can learn from their flops in the Ragan Training session “Failure is the best teacher: Lessons learned at Discovery Communications.”

Despite the self-criticism, Discovery’s Kristen Mainzer and Tim Redd leave an impression of success, of communicators who can learn from and build on the past.

Here are three lessons:

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