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April 6, 2010
Retreats Are for Moving Ahead

One area to which PR specialists can turn to broaden their skills is organizational communication -- helping colleagues relate well internally. Corporate retreats, for example, are events that can profit from PR input and counsel. 

Done well, a retreat has the feel of a walk in the park that led to big things. They should be informal and open, but planned for participation and the generation of energizing ideas. 

Inc. magazine has a helpful tutorial on company retreats. 

While typically informal, retreats should be planned to encourage collaboration, participation, team building, and recording of insights. These kinds of things don' just happen. They have to be encouraged -- facilitated in an inky, overused term.

A retreat requires a framework as much as any other meeting that people are paid to attend. It should be more relaxed, but just as businesslike as regular staff meetings. The Inc. piece contains some insights to help you along on planning one.  

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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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