Publication profile: ‘Global’ doesn’t exist

An honest look at an honest attempt to launch a universally acceptable organizational newsletter.

‘Our company is truly global, so our communications have to be the same.’ That’s the easily-said-but-never-quite-done mantra of corporate communicators in the 1990s. To demonstrate the difficulty of using one communication vehicle to please audiences–and communication colleagues–from various cultures, we take a look at the chronology of one such attempt: CNA REview, a new publication for clients and business partners of the global reinsurance enterprise, CNA Re.

The initial goal of the publication, launched in June, was ‘to create a single newsletter for all of CNA Re, emanating from Chicago headquarters,’ reports American co-editor Hugh Iglarsh. When that proved impossible because of differences in usage and spelling between American and European English–never mind Singapore–‘we ended up with two editions with more-or-less identical designs but different spelling and usage and somewhat divergent content,’ says Iglarsh.

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