Second Life offers a unique way to engage employees

Although the days when Second Life was a key tool for PR pros to test and promote products and brands have passed, the technology can still be a valuable instrument for internal communications, experts say.

Although the days when Second Life was a key tool for PR pros to test and promote products and brands have passed, the technology can still be a valuable instrument for internal communications, experts say.

Second Life provides a platform for delivering strategic communications messages within a company, says Rick Murray, president of Edelman Digital. The tool can be used for various purposes, including contests for internal business plan writing, seminars, or training sessions.

"It's a great place to demonstrate in a three-dimensional way what you are trying to get across," he says.

Second Life isn't always successful for reaching a consumer audience, because customers tend to visit many Web sites where they can interact with others using avatars, Murray adds. However, when the audience is restricted, such as a Second Life island for employees, the digital world can be a good medium to "get information out in an interesting and highly engaging way," he says.

Joe Kingsbury, peer media lead at Text 100, agrees that Second Life might be past its prime for reaching a consumer audience, but the product is still a great way to engage employees. More than 100 employees at Text 100 have Second Life avatars, which Kingsbury believes are helpful for bringing people across the globe together for meetings.

"It's... a... unique experience that I think has helped create a bond with other employees around the company," he adds.

Second Life also offers various communication methods, including instant messaging, voice chatting, and Skype capability, all of which can facilitate conversations among scattered employees.

"You can have good meetings... without question," Murray says.

Key points:
Second Life can be used to hold company meetings and training sessions

The virtual world allows employees in different locations to engage

Second Life offers various methods for employees to communicate

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