Layoffs Learned

Standard operating procedure for enterprises facing bad news mandates that management informs internal audiences and key constituents before the news enters the public domain. This is especially true when such news directly impacts employees, whose sense of well-being and connection with the organization should always take precedence.

Conversely, the same holds true when trying to re-make a damaged brand or inculcate employees with a new company-wide vision. In fact, organizational communications, for lack of a better term, may be the fastest and most potent area of growth for the PR profession. (Also, just think of all the new social networking applications that could be put to good use in this area.)

Management at Hachette-Filipacchi USA, home to such glam glossies as Elle, Elle Decor and Metropolitan Home, not to mention Road & Track, Car & Driver, Woman’s Day, Premiere and others, apparently missed class that day. The much-respected Jack Kliger, former Conde Nast EVP who heads Hachette U.S., informed his department heads, but they neglected to tell the rank-and-file their heads may roll under Hachette’s hatchet.

Layoffs always make news, and the most plugged-in publishing reporter around, Keith Kelly, picked up on the story today — much to the surprise and chagrin of the magazine company’s workforce. So much for Good Friday.

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