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Why workers should be afraid of words starting with RE-

It’s been a rough week and a rough month for media – in Australia and in the US with news of financial woes and job cuts and hard decisions to deal with the lack of profitability of media organisations.

Dramatic cuts and closures are of course hitting other businesses too, but stories about cuts to media get lots of media attention. The big media news in Australia this week was about Channel Ten going into administration.

As a former Ten journalist turned business communications consultant, I ‘study’ and follow this news with great interest. It’s interesting how the media will often use strong, dramatic words while businesses use carefully crafted words with little drama.

I think in the Ten case – the media coverage has been relatively restrained – from what I’ve seen anyway.

In general, business spokespeople usually try to conceal harsh realities in the camouflage of ‘corporate speak’.

I encourage journalists covering such stories (and workers at businesses being affected) to pay special attention to any ‘RE-” words and to press deeper to find out what they really mean.

By ‘Re-‘ words, I mean words with te prefix ‘re-‘ (to do something again)

For example, n the US, Time Inc says it is ‘re-engineering its cost structure’.

In another example, The New York Times is ‘re-skilling’ its workforce.

Maybe, I am over-cynical but these RE words alarm me.

Does ‘re-skilling’ mean helping existing workers develop new skills OR getting rid of the old workers and bringing in fresh skills with fresh, new people?

In Australia, Channel Ten is in administration and it will be interesting to see what changes will have to be made to handle its profitability problems.

I encourage journalists covering the story (and audiences following the story) to pay particular attention to any words starting with RE.


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This entry was posted on June 16, 2017 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , .
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