How GE gets information into staffers’ smartphones

Faced with an immense task and workforce, the global giant thinks big and goes small when it comes to communicating.

Search the words General Electric Co. on Google or Yahoo, and you sense the scope of the media-tracking challenge faced by the communications staff of a multinational corporation.

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The task can be overwhelming. But GE staff can access daily reports of company and industry coverage through their smartphones. A computer-based program also monitors coverage of the company and sorts it as positive or negative. Founded by Thomas Edison in 1878, Connecticut-based GE employs 300,000 people in more than 100 countries. But if he were around today, Edison might be less interested in scope of the company than in the ways it is communicating on those wacky, little mobile devices.

The company has created more than 45 applications, both for the market and for internal and external communications. A global giant with total revenue in 2010 of $150.2 billion, GE’s businesses reach from aviation to power transformers. It uses mobile technology to do everything from promoting employee fitness to explaining its health care business through a game.

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