I had the pleasure to speak this past month at the Public Relations Society of America’s Connect 15 Conference organized by the employee communications section of PRSA. The topic of discussion was Going Mobile: Integrating Mobile into your Internal Communications Strategy and I was joined by Tracy Pones, Corporate Communications Manager at Rust-Oleum Corporation and Sheila Schooner, Director of Corporate Communications at ASRC Energy Services in Alaska.

Tracy and Sheila are pioneers in the use of mobile when it comes to internal communications. Their companies were some of the first to deploy a mobile employee communications strategy during 2014. It was great to hear about their experiences and the lessons they have learned to date. The main point that they both stressed was that the mobile device, which pretty much everyone now has, is a critical tool for keeping their employees informed as well as engaged.

I, in turn, had the opportunity to share my thoughts on the use of mobile in the B2B context as well as what I see happening in the next few years. One of the points that I made was that never before have we had the ability to communicate directly with our targeted audiences by delivering content, information and messaging directly to the pocket of pretty much every individual. And this presents a great opportunity for us as communications professionals – however, the question is how to go about it.

I went on to say that I believe the paradigm is changing with respect to who needs to lead the charge in making technology decisions. It used to be up to IT. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Gartner predicted that by the end of 2017, marketers would spend more on technology than IT. And recent research has shown that this is coming true as almost 40% of technology spending today is being directed by non-IT business unit professionals.

So who are these non-IT business unit professionals? Well, they can and should include communications professionals – general corporate comms, investor relations and internal/employee communications. Who knows more about the needs of their investors than the IR professionals? Who knows more about the needs of their employees than internal comms and HR professionals? To the extent mobile technology provides a simple and cost effective way to do our work, now is the time for communications professionals to take technology decisions into their own hands and control their destiny.

Mobily yours,

Jeff Corbin
Founder and CEO, APPrise Mobile


The Social Investor

theIRapp conducted research in 2014 that found an increasingly mobile-friendly investor audience. It should therefore come as no surprise that a recent report from Greenwich Associates revealed that institutional investors are also relying on social media as a source of news and information for their day-to-day decision making.

Highlights from the report reveal that:

  • 48% of responding investors said that information discovered on social media spurred them to conduct additional research on an industry topic or issue;
  • 37% share information from social media with decision-makers at their companies;
  • 34% said information learned on social media impacted a decision to work with a particular client or company
  • 33% said information obtained on social media triggered a discussion with their investment consultant.

For those of you planning to attend NIRI in Chicago, we hope you will stop by our booth to discuss how you can use mobile and social to engage your investor audience (or just to say hello)—you can find us in Booth #201.

Need to Know

theEMPLOYEEapp: New Functionality

theEMPLOYEEapp released new functionality this week aimed at bridging the gap between communications and IT. The platform now supports Microsoft’s Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) for user management and authentication, and an API to integrate “legacy” and/or hard-to-reach systems. These updates were designed to streamline the technical and administrative dependencies on both communications and IT professionals, allowing each to focus on their core jobs of delivering compelling content and the best user experience, respectively.

For full details, view the press release: http://bit.ly/APIADFS

Water Cooler  

Highlights from Part I of the 2015 Mobile Trends in the Workplace Survey

When it came time to evaluate the state of mobile in the workplace, we took our own advice: we asked. In our second annual Mobile Trends in the Workplace Survey, we polled more than 200 U.S.-based employees to understand the correlation between employee engagement and accessibility to company information, as well as how employees and employers are using mobile. The results of Part I of the study were released last week—and while they may not be surprising, they should prompt employers and organizations to take note.

Some of the highlights:

  • The workforce is changing: 55% travel for work, and 40% don’t work in a traditional office environment;
  • Employees rely on mobile: 49% use mobile phones to stay connected to work;
  • Access to company information on-the-go is important: 51% are more productive when accessing work-related materials through a mobile device;
  • But businesses haven’t kept pace: 41% say they are unable to access company documents via a mobile device.

To view an infographic featuring the full results, check out our blog: http://bit.ly/PartIMobileTrends

Mobile Views

2015 Internet Trends Report
What You Need to Know about the Largest Generation in the Workforce

In 1995, Mary Meeker released her first annual Internet Trends Report. 20 years later, the tech community waits with baited breath for each year’s round-up and resulting predictions. This year’s report, as always, delivered a nearly 200 slide deck spanning everything from global internet and mobile penetration to mobile advertising/monetization and generational workforce trends. The report kicks off with a macro-view down memory lane—and the data is staggering. From 1% population penetration in 1995, mobile achieved 73% population penetration globally in 2014—and while both internet user growth and smartphone subscription growth are expected to slow a bit, the growth will still remain strong.

What will be a factor causing this continued growth? Millennials. Also known as Generation Y, millennials are set to become the largest generation in the workforce this year. Meeker’s report highlights some important statistics about this generation:

  • Millennials expressed an expectation of flexibility and technology at work
  • Nearly half use personal smartphones for work (compared with 18% of older generations)
  • 41% said they were likely to download apps for work in the next 12 months

Millenials have grown up with technology as an inherent part of their daily lives. To the extent this trend is expected to continue into their working lives , businesses should consider this as well.

APPrise Mobile Welcomes

Who: Kern Medical Center (“KMC”) has served as an integral part of the Kern County community. KMC’s 222-licensed bed acute care teaching hospital and outpatient clinics offer many services unavailable to the rest of the community.

What: theEMPLOYEEapp

Interesting Fact: KMC was founded in 1867.