Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Yammer? The New Internal Office Style Twitter

Posted by Amanda Walsh

As many of you know, Katie and I are big fans of Twitter and writing blog posts about the best practices of using this online social media tool.  One of Katie’s recent blog posts presents some other opinions out there about Twitter’s effectiveness in public relations, but I still think it is an interesting social media tool that should be explored.

I recently found an article on about a new internal Twitter-style tool called Yammer. It is similar to Twitter but solely limited to internal use within your organization. Messages are private and also can be targeted to specific work teams. If you're not familiar with Twitter there are many previous posts here on The PR Lawyer to reference.    

Like Twitter, Yammer is free. However, for a small fee offices can upgrade and use other tools such as password protection and customization.  Some key differences that set Yammer apart include, no limit on message length, the ability to add attachments and the ability to send messages to large groups. Yammer´s CEO, David Sacks, says the main goal of the tool is to make Yammer easy to use at work.

Much like Twitter, users can ´yammer´ about brainstorming sessions, valuable Web links, or happy hour sessions. However, Yammer is used in place of e-mail and allows for a bigger group discussion environment. E-mail can now be saved for communication that needs a more specific, business-related matters.

Yammer´s benefits for public relations professionals include:

  • Freeing up e-mail inboxes for only urgent messages
  • Less fear of information going to competing companies because messages are exclusively internal
  • Creates a sense of community within the company (i.e. satellite offices across the country can be connected)
  • The group function allows account managers to keep tabs on what is going on with specific accounts

 This could be an interesting tool to check out for your internal company needs.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this information on Yammer. I'm currently on Twitter, but hadn't heard about this new internal tool. It's good to see companies leveraging some of these new technologies to streamline their operational processes. As a lawyer, I can only wonder how long it will take (non-tech) law firms to get into the act.

Keep up the good work!
Jessica Faye Carter

Anonymous said...

I have been thinking about both tools lately. They both have a place in business. Maybe they will merge and create one very powerful tool? Convergence is a key factor in social media advancement.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to combine Yammer, Twitter and Jaiku into The Social Tool of all times. Based on short-time experimenting in all three I now prefer Jaiku because it - like Yammer - allows threaded views and channels (Yammer's "groups") which makes it convenient to follow certain topics instead of drowning in the unorganized noise that bothers me very much in Twitter. My experience is that for a beginner Yammer is the easiest (= least setting up to do) and Twitter is the most chaotic. Jaiku somewhere in between.