My authority as editor of the corporate pages of my company’s intranet site was challenged not once, but TWICE in the last two days…which is pretty much unprecendented in my time on the job there.
The company’s intranet is basically an online, constantly updated newsletter with international corporate pages and regional subsidiary pages. I am responsible for the content of the corporate pages, which are accessible across the company. The regional subsidiaries control their own content and can use their pages any way they like, but unlike the corporate pages, regional pages are only accessible to employees in that specific region.
If a regional office has news that they want to share with the rest of the company, there is a special area for that on the corporate pages and I’m pretty flexible about the kinds of stories that get posted there. Earlier this week a member of corporate management gave me the official memo about an employee in one of the regions who had gotten a pretty big promotion…to Vice President of Something-or-Other…which I promptly (and appropriately) offered to post on the page for regional subsidiary news. This is where the drama started.
The management person felt that this guy’s promotion should be on the international corporate page because he will have a small role in field operations for the entire company. The only problem was that the announcement, as written, didn’t mention that particular bit of information until the very end, and therefore read like a basic promotion announcement for a regional employee. Both the journalist and the editor in me knew that whoever had written the story had “buried the lead”, so I offered to rewrite it to make it appropriate for the corporate page. It was then I was told that I couldn’t do that for “political” reasons. WTF?!
In the end, I had to put the story where the management person wanted it, but not without getting her to acknowledge that it did not meet the usual standard for a corporate page story. I’m also planning to cc her every time I get a request from one of the other regional offices to put one of their employee promotion announcements on the corporate page (which I know will come, and when I say NO I’ll be accused of favoring the region where the new VP of Something-or-Other works).
I had a second editorial decision over-ruled just today. Our new corporate website, which I and a team of four other people have been slaving over for the last six months, was scheduled to be launched around noon. We had been testing it for the better part of a week on an internal server and it was looking good. But after being transferred overnight to the server (in Stockholm) that is going to host it, we got hit by a bug that blocked many of the pictures.
MicrosoftNET has acknowledged that the problem is on their end and is now scrambling to provide us with a “hotfix”. Of course I had posted an article on the corporate intranet trumpeting the debut of our long-awaited to website the day before…and now I had to pull it down and post another one about the delay. I thought the original headline: “DAMN you, Bill Gates!” captured the main point of the story perfectly, but I got out-voted. Typical.