Laura Cococcia's posts

Mar 23rd 2012

AOL Celebrates Women's Leadership

For the second year in a row, AOL was named one of NAFE's Top 50 Companies for Executive Women, demonstrating our commitment to cultivating top female talent. By recently partnering with The Levo League, a multimedia website dedicated to guiding female Generation Y talent, AOL is reinforcing this commitment by promoting job opportunities on the site.

For current employees, we lead a number of initiatives dedicated to developing and cultivating leadership among the women at AOL, including:

  • The AOL Women's Network, which is dedicated to fostering the professional development, personal growth and advancement of women at AOL, sponsored a program of learning opportunities for all AOL employees through our award-winning peer-to-peer learning program, UnUniversity. Led by panels of female employees, this month's UnUniversities were programmed in celebration of Women's History Month and discussed a wide variety of topics including the role of women in technology and the challenges surrounding the rise of female executives.
  • The AOL Women's Network leadership committee nominated women from across AOL to attend the Annual Women's Leadership Conference in D.C. last week. This event gave AOL employees a chance to network, attend breakout sessions and hear inspiring words from female business leaders and innovators.
  • To cap off the month long celebration, AOL will partner with the Northern Virginia Family Service in a community service project for women in need on March 30th. Employees will gather together in an effort to bring awareness to women in need, and create Mother's Day Pampering Kits at the AOL campus.

By investing in our talent and providing a culture of support, AOL continues to hire and empower smart people who love what they do. To join AOL's team of talent and passionate innovators, please visit our Careers page or look for our listings on Levo League. We look forward to discovering great new talent, while continuing to support and develop top professionals within AOL.

Dec 12th 2011

John Reid-Dodick Joins AOL as Chief People Officer

AOL is comprised of more than 5,000 employees dedicated to informing, entertaining and connecting our customers across the world. We love what we do.

Today we are investing in the future of our staff. I am delighted to welcome a new AOLer, John Reid-Dodick, as our company's Chief People Officer, to help lead the professional development of our firm's employees. John is ideally suited to AOL because he brings experience at nurturing a global, integrated, highly creative culture at the nexus of media and technology. He previously served as Global Head of Human Resources for Thomson Reuters Markets, which is comprised of 28,000 employees across 96 countries and includes the Reuters news organization and the firm's media, technology and financial services businesses.

At AOL, John and our HR team will lead our company's very important commitment to recruiting, developing and empowering our employees so they can thrive at work. We all look forward to working with John to support our global, integrated, creative and collaborative culture.

A lawyer by training, John joined Reuters in 1995, serving as General Counsel for Reuters America from 1997 to 2000. An expert in leadership, talent, and organizational culture and change, John has led a number of initiatives that have received industry awards of excellence and have been featured as best practice in notable publications. He graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was Managing Editor of the Harvard Law Review, and holds a Master's degree in Politics from New York University.

To learn more about John and his new position click here.

Nov 4th 2011

Arianna Huffington Shares Her New Media Navigation Tips with General Mills

Arianna Huffington stopped by the General Mills offices to share her insights on the popularity of new media. During her presentation, Huffington discussed the importance of having an understanding of and appreciation for the motivations and desires of communicating in today's environment, and a deep awareness of your purpose.

Maerenn Jepsen, corporate public relations manager for General Mills, highlighted key takeaways from the presentation on General Mills' corporate blog, A Taste of General Mills:

"So what does it take to keep brands relevant in this evolving age of new media?

According to Huffington, it takes a keen understanding of and appreciation for the motivations and desires of communicating in today's environment, and a deep awareness of your purpose.

Among the many great insights during her remarks, here are the top five lessons that resonated the most with me:

1. Disconnect to reconnect.Huffington explained that as we embrace more and more technology, we run the risk of becoming too connected to new media and not connected enough to our own wisdom. She suggested finding time to disconnect with technology and getting enough sleep as critically important ways to keep your mind open and alert for great ideas. "When you are more connected to your own wisdom, you are more likely to see the things that need to be done in real time, verses in the rear view mirror," she said.

2. Self-expression = Today's entertainment. People today have unprecedented ways to express themselves online and many view digital self-expression as a form of entertainment. It's human nature to crave a reaction on what you are doing, feeling or thinking, she said, so it's natural that people are drawn to sites, tools and campaigns that allow them to receive an immediate reaction to their thoughts. Smart marketers will engage this desire for self-expression by inviting and encouraging conversations about topics that consumers are passionate about.

3. Blend the best of the old with the new. Huffington explained that Huffington Post is a "platform of tens of thousands of bloggers, but it's not a free-for-all. We wanted to bring together the best of the old with the best of the new. We wanted quality." For her, that meant having quality editors and journalists on staff, setting guidelines for content, and monitoring comments, but also encouraging rich conversations from passionate perspectives. She acknowledged General Mills' efforts to continue to tap into the strength of our iconic brands while developing new relationships through technology and said, "It's that combination [of blending old and new] that for me is the future."

4. Stay in the arena. While some marketers become concerned and remain silent after reading critical online conversations about their brands or opinions, Huffington emphasized the importance of staying in the arena and engaging your customers in a two-way conversation. "You cannot hide behind a glossy ad," she said. "It is no longer about presenting a certain appearance and moving on, because word of mouth is everywhere." She added that consumers don't just take news in, "we share it, we pass it on, we add to it, and that's one of the things we love. We love inviting people to participate."

5. Humor, humanity and purpose attract people. According to Huffington, people are drawn to content that hits on the trifecta of humor, humanity and purpose. They want to hear a funny, personal story. They want to share their thoughts on something about which they are passionate. They want to hear about the purpose behind a brand or a person, not see a graph of data. Huffington said that "inviting people to blog about whatever is their interest and their passion is the modern way of communicating."

To read more about Arianna's visit to General Mills, visit A Taste of General Mills.

(Photo courtesy of General Mills.)

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