It Seems To Us: Communicators grapple over how to observe Sept. 11

Will you plant a garden, close the office—or act like it's any other day?

Sept. 11 is just around the corner and we're hearing a lot of buzz from communicators who wonder how they should be handling the commemoration of last year's tragedy. Directly affected or not, organizations are wrestling with what's appropriate. Some will hold memorials, others will plant trees. There will be articles and companywide e-mails and intranet postings. A few companies will close shop for the day. And still others plan to run business as usual. "There are no easy calls here," Fred Price told The Wall Street Journal recently. Price is chief operating officer of investment bank Sandler O'Neill & Partners L.P., which lost 70 employees, consultants and visitors in the attacks. "The sentiments range from —why don't you just close the firm,' which is just not practical, to just treating it like a normal business day, which is not practical either." Within “Benchmarking File”, readers share their ideas and plans for commemorating the day. And, we asked a crisis expert for his 2 cents. We'd also like to hear your thoughts; let us know how you think the day should be handled. Where would you hate to work? Thanks to communicator Michael Zimet for alerting us to the great poll being conducted by Workforce. "Although it's geared toward an HR audience, it seems to me it probably reflects the same biases and challenges we communicommandos would face," he says. Here's the poll: Where's the toughest place to work in HR right now?

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