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September 23, 2011
Listening With 'The Smokers' For Corporate Stories
Shel Hotz recalls how a Silicon Valley CEO he was interviewing described how information circulated in his company: "If you really want to know, step outside and hang out with the smokers." "I haven't had a cigarette in 20 years," Shel reflects, "but I remember well the outdoor smoking circle." Its members changed daily and they weren't giving reports on their departmental activities. "They told stories," Shel notes, stories worth capturing.

"Today, if I were looking for content for the intranet or the Web, I’d be asking myself every time one of those smokers told a story, 'Is this a video? Is this a blog post? Is there an infographic in there?'”

How else do employees gather for story telling?

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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