The headlines in employee publications are rarely as arresting as the headlines in The Wall Street Journal. That's because The Wall Street Journal wants its readers to read, to understand, to react. Whereas employee publication editors usually want employees to scan, to vaguely appreciate, and then to go back to sleep.
Not the communicators at Roseburg Forest Products, not now.
The October issue of the Vital Signs employee newspaper carries the front-page headline,
In response to economic crisis, Allyn discusses short-term pressures in light of long-term plans
and the subhead
Things go from bad to worse
and the lead
In a housing market with housing starts the worst we've seen since the Great Depression, Roseburg's executive team is looking at the best way to weather the nation's economic crisis. "This trough is much deeper and longer than we had anticipated," said [CEO] Allyn Ford. "Our priorities are to first, make it through this trough, and then to be well positioned to lead the industry when the market picks up again."
Credit for that Reveille—and the article that clearly explains the company's game plan—goes to Vital Signs executive editor Kris Backes, and writer/editor Eileen Burmeister (a Writing Boots regular).
If all employee communicators met reality as squarely and expressed it as starkly as Backes and Burmeister do—and they don't save their candor for crises either—no one would ever question the value of the employee communication profession.