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Benchmarking Case Study-The Power Of Integration (Synopsis)

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Benchmarking HR Case Studies Ð'- Effective Communication

The Power of Integration: The New York Times Company (1)

To be successful in today's business environment, companies need to integrate their communications efforts. The New York Times Company was founded in 1851 by Henry Jarvis Raymond and George Jones, as a daily newspaper. The New York Times is one of the international media companies which its purpose is to "enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment." (2)

The executive team conformed by Janet Robinson, president and CEO, Len Forman, executive vice president and CFO, Catherine Mathis, vice president of corporate communication, see communication as a priority and all communication channels internally or externally must be linked through integration in order to get people to work together towards the final objective.

Prior to 1990 when the company began to integrate its communications and since the company went public in 1969 the company's communication was handled by the human resource department and no matter what channel to communicate to the executives and the employees was used, still miss its objective due to barriers to effective communication.

Janet Robinson research a few companies and is convinced about the importance of the company speaking in one voice at all levels and demands that communications must be fully integrated. Robinson said, "Many managers make a mistake by thinking that corporate communications is only an externally focused function. But when there is a clarity of message both internally and externally, and you integrate communications, you can realize unforeseen benefits Ð'... Integration can drive growth opportunities and create a work environment that people want to be in, one where they can chart their road ahead." Catherine Mathis took responsibility in formalizing the process, procedures and programs that allow the group proactively to communicate messages that supported the overall business, manage the multiple issues that arouse on a daily basis and speak with one voice to allow internal people to understand the company.

Catherine Mathis formed a Communications Council which includes executives representing all areas in the organization and meets once a month to discuss current communications issues and programs. The CEO and the Chairman of the company approved the approach and recognized that managers across The Times' wide range of business units needed to be informed about its forward moving strategy since the media industry was changing fast. The Executive Committee (a committee of top 10 executives that meets once a week) established four committees lead by company executives and board members with relevant expertise. These include: Process Reengineering, Pay for Performance, Organization Development and Goal Setting and Communications. At the committee meeting Janet Robinson noted that it allowed the company to become "attuned to putting the right people in the right seats, to optimize the organization."

The company adopted an internal newsletter called "We Want You to Know." A business-like newsletter, sent to all employees covering relevant company's information including what each business unit is doing. The New York Times Company has seen several benefits from integrating its communication function.

Janet Robinson (CEO) states that "Many managers make a mistake by thinking that corporate communications is only an externally focused function. But when there is clarity of message both internally and externally, and you integrate communications, you can realize unforeseen benefitsÐ'... Integration can drive growth opportunities and create a work environment that people want to be in, one where they can chart their road ahead."

Both Robinson and Mathis state that unity develops through integration could help a company improve its reputation and financial performance. Therefore, when communicating, it makes sense to communicate one clear and consistent message through all channels. Integrated communications provide executives and managers with a new framework to approach business issues.

Benchmarking HR Case Study Ð'- Effective Communication

The Power of Integration: FedEx Corporation (1)

Federal Express was founded in 1971 by Frederick W. Smith as a domestic shipping alternative, using air cargo planes for time sensitive cargo, the company that pioneered the spoke-hub distribution paradigm for air freight (3) grew in scope and size over the subsequent decades, primarily through acquisition, into global powerhouse provider of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With one of the world's most recognized brands, FedEx Corporation provides strategic direction and consolidated financial reporting for its seven operating companies that compete collectively under the FedEx name worldwide: FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight,

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