Internal Communications

9 Reasons to Communicate with Employees in 160 Characters or Less (Literally)

Man using mobile phoneEvery time you send an SMS (text message) or happy face emoji you can thank Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert (German and French, respectively) for developing this communication tool in the early 1980s.

Since the 1980s, SMS text messaging has exploded and is the most widely used communication medium among users to establish, build and maintain relationships. This medium provides an effective way to communicate a short amount of information (160 characters or less) to an individual or group of individuals instantaneously.

Quick Fact: Hillebrand decided upon the 160 character after counting the number of characters in various lines, blurbs and questions one might text and said the limit was “perfectly sufficient”. His 160 character limit would influence Twitter nearly 20 years later with its famous 140 character limit, enough to fit in a short message and the user’s address.

We use this communication medium to talk to friends and family, but why not use it to communicate with employees? Email has predominately been the choice for internal communicators because, well, it’s what everyone knows. More importantly, some refuse to believe you can sufficiently communicate anything in 160 characters.…

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BuzzLine: Name That Wine Club

Snooth_corks-in-a-glass.jpgRetailers have been using e-commerce to expand their footprint, and now Whole Foods is partnering with to launch the Wine Club by Whole Foods Market.

Hopefully their sommeliers will spend more time selecting the wine than they did coming up with the name.

Help them out by coming up with your own name for Whole Foods’ new wine club.

BONUS: this week, we won’t hold you to the six-word rule.

Here’s what we’ve got so far:

  • Whole Lotta Love, Whole Lotta Zin
  • All For Wine, All For Zen
  • The Sporting Cork by Whole Foods

We’re sure you can come up with something better, so let’s see it! Starbucks on us for the best response.


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Wine, Food & Nutrition

3 Forthcoming Food Trends You Need to Know About

From raw to paleo to simple clean eating, consumers everywhere are becoming increasingly interested in their health and nutrition. Even chefs stand witness to consumers requesting lighter and healthier menu options.

The magnitude of this food movement couldn’t be more evident than on the annual U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) Blueberry Boot Camp held at The Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone Campus in Helena, Calif. USHBC invited 16 innovative chefs from top restaurants, hotels, colleges and corporations to experiment with blueberries firsthand in the state-of-the-art CIA kitchen.

So, what did they come up with? A true smorgasbord! Oyster mignonette with blueberry vinegar, blueberry falafel and flank steak with blueberry chimichurri just to name a few.

In addition to their time in the kitchen, the three-day event was an opportunity for chefs to study the health benefits of blueberries. After many discussions and countless taste tests, one thing is clear: healthy must be tasty. It is true, consumers are certainly interested in eating healthier, but raw seaweed just won’t do it. Today, leading chefs are aware that their challenge lies in finding the point at which delicious and nutritious coexist.

After attending the 2013 Blueberry Boot Camp, one chef in particular…

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Crisis Management

Ebola and Enterovirus: 3 Tips for Thought Leadership During a Health Pandemic


The past few months have been a hypochondriac’s nightmare, with the spread of Ebola and the recent emergence of Enterovirus D68, a respiratory virus that is resulting in hospital admissions for many children.  I wouldn’t call myself a hypochondriac, but you can be sure that I know all the symptoms associated with each of these and my kids washed their hands no less than 10 times at a birthday party last weekend (to be clear, my concern was obviously Enterovirus and not Ebola, but if I noticed someone vomiting, with a raised rash, who was also bleeding from their eyes…we were not staying at that party!).

Health crises such as these strike fear into the hearts of Americans, and naturally, capture more than their fair share of media coverage.  It’s a time for health care organizations to step up, provide useful information, and position themselves as thought leaders.  However, if you wait until the health crisis strikes to make a plan, you’re likely to miss out.

The good news is that the approach to becoming a resource during a health pandemic also supports an organization’s evolution to brand journalism, a strategy that centers on creating relevant content that…

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The Booze Bin

How To Enjoy Craft Cider – Infographic

In our last blog post about craft cider, we shed light on the basics (Craft Cider 101). This fall, I challenge you to look over the rim of your tasting glass and experiment with artisan hard cider in cocktails and at dinner parties. For inspiration, visit one of fall’s many cider events, like Cider Week Virginia and New York.

As versatile as wine and beer, craft cider can hold its own on tasting menus and in cocktail glasses – shaken or stirred. Even better: Cider bars across the country are finally becoming a staple of America’s drink culture.

Here’s how and where to enjoy craft cider this season! Cheers.


Download the full infographic here.  

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