Patrick Williams, is a former RR editor, author of several books on employee communication and a consultant and workshop leader. We asked him why the idea of "integrating employee communications' has become the touchstone for discussions on the current—and future—state of the profession. Reach Williams at PRWmsComm@aol.com.
RR: Why all the talk about integrating employee communications? PW: Every two or three years, a touchstone for the state of the profession emerges, as the profession evolves. Thirty years ago, when The Ragan Report was launched, it was "industrial journalism.' Then, "customer-focused quality,' then corporate culture, next research-based strategic planning, "communicating change,' and after that managerial face-to-face communications. In the last decade, it's been electronic communications, of course: e-mail, the intranet, instant messaging, Web-flowed meetings and so forth. Today, "integration' describes the current and future state of the profession.