Organizations who want to maximize their marketing communications need to consider two major assets they already have in-house: younger people with knowledge of social media and mobile web and more seasoned employees who understand the organizational brand, the marketplace, and the clients.  Together they could communicate like gangbusters.  But for many reasons, they often don’t connect.

Consider changing that by offering a mentoring program in your work community.  And not just around the areas of primary market or mission.

So for example, while many law firms have a mentoring program related to practice areas, what they could really use is pairing younger and more experienced attorneys for the purposes of marketing the practice groups.  The older attorneys have loads of contacts and knowledge about client needs. They have been involved with local charities and chambers of commerce for years and have a personal brand in the community. They can make introductions and give the lay of the land to newer attorneys.

Younger members of the firm are on Facebook and Twitter. They know how to download apps for mobile web.  They have good ideas about how to make your website more useful. They may understand more about online communities and how to engage them. They may also be involved with charities, but in a different way through groups like

The most successful organizations–and also nonprofit boards–pair these groups together both formally and informally to get the best of both worlds.  Consider a retreat where pairs consider ways to reach new clients/donors.  Send them out together to social functions on behalf of the firm.  Offer them seats together at conferences and workshops and encourage the cross-pollinization. Have a younger staffer help a seasoned one with Twitter or Facebook posts on behalf of the organization.  Let the more experienced team member coach a younger one on how to engage a new client or donor.

In talking about diversity, we often forget how age-ist our corporate cultures can be. It’s time for a change!

This year I attended major milestone reunions for both college and high school.  Here’s what I learned:

1. Almost all the women look really good and have clearly been working hard at it. You go, girls.

2. Some of my classmates do really interesting things. Shout-outs to David Pogue, the tech guru for the New York Times who keeps the world informed and amused about the ever-changing landscape of new gadgets, Lydia Vagts, who conserves some of humanity’s most important paintings for future generations to enjoy, and Barney Schecter, whose new book on George Washington’s travels is just plain awesome.

3. Facebook has been an amazing tool for re-uniting and updating a dispersed set of classmates, and bringing together people who never would have hung out in the lunchroom or the dorm.

4. The most important thing we learned how to do in high school was write.

5. The most important thing we learned how to do in college was research.

6. I don’t know how we could have done items 4 and 5 if item 3 had existed when we were in school. I pity the kids who are now managing their Facebook profiles and Twitter feeds while trying to do real thinking.

7. Luckily, they can get caught up on the latest tools or gather a new artistic perspective or get a totally new insight into our first president thanks to the people in item 2.

8. And if they are women, they will look great when they’re my age.