An annual report that matters - October 2011

"Ronald McDonald House Charities: Annual Report"
Professional writer: Chris Sheedy

One of the great joys of running a successful business, large or small, is having the ability to choose clients. Here is a client The Hard Word chose and has proudly worked alongside for several years.

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), boiled down to its most basic ingredient, provides near-hospital accommodation for families of seriously ill children. In reality, of course, it does so much more. It provides essential support for families when they need it most. The charity's staff are a shoulder to cry on and a friendly face to consult with. The charity's guests are suffering what is unquestionably the single most emotionally painful experience that life can ever throw at anybody - a threat to their child's wellbeing. If their child pulls through then RMHC provides a Learning Program to help them catch up with schooling, and RMHC even offers Family Retreats to give the mums, dads and kids valuable time together to finally relax.

It was a great honour to be asked, as freelance professional writers, to pen this annual report which contains many stories of families that have come through a terrible experience. We should all have a chosen charity with whom we share our spare time and our talents. For The Hard Word, that organisation is Ronald McDonald House Charities.

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Get internal communications right - September 2011

Knowledge @ Australian School of Business

"Internal Communications: Choosing the Right Way to Share Inside Info"
Freelance writer: Chris Sheedy
Editor: Deborah Tarrant
2300 words

Indicators of good internal communication are also the markers of organisational health. Think staff turnover, morale, sick leave, organisational reputation, performance in the market. But companies tend to spend big on outward-facing marketing and PR, while connecting with staff via desultory emails or boring intranets. Finding the right way to strike up in-house conversations can tap collective mind power and reduce the dreaded email overload, claim experts. A strategic plan is required, though. Experts warn about the risks of mixing messages so everything on the inside seems rosy, while outside all looks bleak.

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