"A camel is a horse designed by a committee," so the saying goes.

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It's an oft-discussed question in many IT departments and beyond: should employees have unrestricted access to the internet (including all the social networking they can get their hands on) while at work? A recent SocialCast report suggests that there might just be a productivity bump to be had from such access.

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Originally Published PR Week, June 25, 2010

We’ve all been through SWOT exercises and, if you’re like me, you’ve often wondered if the process – sometimes painstaking and laborious – really yields actionable insight.
Lately I’ve had the opportunity to create and lead what I would call “Quantified SWOTS” and, perhaps not surprisingly, the quantification makes the end product more precise and actionable.

You may want to consider it. Let me explain.

Perhaps you’re considering the future of your own organization and want to do a self-assessment. Typical solution: SWOT.

But try this variation.

Work with your team and develop a master list of attributes that you believe your function has responsibility for within your company. The list, of course, includes things like leadership communications support, CSR, media outreach, employee engagement, etc. Break this down and be as specific as you like.

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Jon Iwata, SVP of Marketing and Communications at IBM, on how IBM is integrating marketing and communications.

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Originally Published PR Week

Most chief communications officers right now are coming under intense pressure to streamline their budgets.  CEOs and CFOs seem to be preparing for a further downturn in 2009.

One area that often gets attention is outside agency spending.  Having held senior positions with Burson-Marsteller, Ketchum and GCI Group, and as a former client-side CCO, I know something about this subject.

Let me offer some tips.  If you’re a CCO, before you focus on the agency, focus on your own practices. Some things to think about:

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