Volume 7 Winter  2001/2002

In this Issue:  Reorganizations Outsourcing Best Practices Management Tactics

Management Advisory
"Lead with the Scope of Vision", "Manage With the Focus of Fact", "Operate at the Speed of Thought", "Walk with the Elephants" and "Deliver WOW."

Lloyd D. Ward, Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Olympic Committee, former Chairman and CEO Maytag

Revealing his five secrets of unassailable leadership at the CMMA Fall conference, New Orleans, September 30, 2001

Consolidations/Shakeouts and Expansions

We recently learned that Dennis Wigent's function at KPMG, to consolidate firmwide business communications, has been eliminated. Apparently the overseas KPMG partners had no interest in developing a formal communications program. Prior to KPMG Dennis headed K-Mart's business television operation and, prior to that, he was with Michigan Bell. Dennis is a very talented and capable media manager. A great opportunity for any company looking for someone who can live up to Lloyd Ward's leadership criteria.

Pfizer Inc. is in the final phases of testing an interactive distance learning network for home-based sales representatives. This network will use VSAT dishes and interactive distance learning software to provide ongoing training and marketing support for several thousand sales representatives, ultimately including overseas locations as well. Pfizer had tested a network using Hughes and One-Touch for several months beginning earlier this year. They operate from a new, very large broadcast studio along with two distance learning studios located in their training center in Rye Brook, NY.

The Media Services organization at Mutual of Omaha has benefited from a recent reorganization study. Using their in-house reengineering team, the Mutual of Omaha media team, headed by Charlie Cogar, participated in benchmarking with a number of peer companies, underwent a financial analysis, customer services and a best practices review. The result was a closer alignment of Media Services with the rest of the corporate communications department and a new direct report line between the manager and the Sr. Vice President. We provided some consulting advice and participated in a daylong meeting with the reengineering team.

We are sorry to report that Impact Communications, which had changed its name to ClickUpdate as they moved their business from media production to asset management, has closed. At this point we are unable to get any information about what happened. We had reported on their moves into the very promising asset management outsourcing business in the Dynamic Media report.

Best Practices

We thought just about every best practice imaginable wound up in our Dynamic Media in Transition report. As a confirmation of what we reported, Rick Raglow, Manager of Media Services at Sprint Corp. ran through a litany of them as his critical success factors at a recent meeting. However, new best practices do keep turning up, and we'll add them to the list as we discover them.

Snapshots in Outsourcing

Pharmacia Corp. from an insource to outsource model and is now moving back the other way. When Pharmacia and Upjohn merged, the corporate headquarters was moved to New Jersey and the media production facility located in Kalamazoo was sold to the management team who continue to do some work for the parent company. Now, however, after three years of outsourcing all corporate video production work, Pharmacia has concluded that the cost, particularly for less exotic "talking head" type video productions, has become excessive. As a result they are activating a small studio that already existed in the corporate headquarters building they purchased in Peapack, NJ. Projected cost savings, including minimum staff, will be significant.

While Carabiner has disintegrated, other companies continue to develop outsource management business models. Curtis, Inc., continues to pursue other business opportunities in the Columbus, OH area, while Creative Communications Concepts, part of the Gogolak Communications Group, is expanding its base in the Milwaukee area beyond their beginnings at GE Medical Systems.

Management Tactics

During our recent interactive distance learning research study for Pfizer, we found that satellite is still the most efficient way to deliver high bandwidth, video based distance learning. While terrestrial or even wireless technology is coming on strong, there is, as yet, no truly single source solution. The telecomm meltdown affecting companies like MacLeod and Akamai further lessens the likelihood of a truly national broad band solution for geographically distributed offices.

What was even more interesting to us, however, is that there are at least a dozen companies now able to provide business television broadcast services and that this is a growth market. More powerful satellite transponders, smaller dishes, better compression algorithms and video to the desktop software packages have created a new impetus for BTV.

Copyright 2001, Media Strategies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Jim O'Malley, Producer/Project Manager

Copyright 2001
Media Strategies, Inc.
All Rights Reserved