Anonymous Career Advice

Google Manifesto It’s Ok To

This week’s anonymous career advice centre’s around Google’s Manifesto which has been shared far and wide praising their approach to working from home or working remotely. It’s important businesses consider the influence Google have and the internal PR machine behind this before creating their own manifesto.

Dear Focus, Google’s manifesto has been all over LinkedIn and my team have asked me why we don’t have one? What’s the best way forward? 

Google are in a place where they can share internal best practices and it will always be shared and leak externally. 

This is often something that just happens, something to consider is how much of this is true and how much of their internal manifesto actually happens and is accepted. 

Internal PR Vs External PR 

A large part of this is an internal play for better external PR. 

Google has had a huge amount of negative press especially around their handling of returning to the office and reducing salaries for those who want to continue to work from home. 

Google’s answer to burnout was last no meetings day’s and as stated most likely worked against them internally. 

This is very rarely shared to the same level as manifestoes and internal memo’s. This of course is by design and large corporate entities have machines that can amplify this. 

Big Tech: Andy Jassy’s (Amazon’s new CEO) first internal memo was an absolute masterpiece of internal comms and happened to leak, this was unlikely the Amazon PR machine spinning up on his first day as the leader of the Amazon army.

Apple also came under fire from poor internal communications and forced ‘return to the office’ orders to face internal backlash that become external backlash via press channels and social media. 

Cloud Tech: On the other hand, Dropbox virtual first plan and Slack’s digital first identity were both external PR to lead the message internally, like Bob Igor’s (Disney Chairperson) recommendation of leading by press release.   

Dating: Bumble was doing the right thing by giving an extra week off to all of their staff but came under question with performance and extra strain it could apply to the team. 

The Manifesto 

The manifesto itself is great and offers a lot of sense and direction for their employees and managers. 

It is written to be digested and shared and commonly inside of Google discussed openly especially in their groups and internal messenger service. 

Your Version Of A Manifesto 

For you and your company, you need to understand how relevant a manifesto is to your business and how well you could write a similar version of this, tweak it to your workplace or create something that will stand up internally and stand out externally. 

Questions To Ask & Answer: 
  • Do you have a writer who can write expertly but plainly to apply internally and externally? 
  • Do you have the right internal company culture to discuss the manifesto if they disagree or would this create a bigger cultural and potential HR problem? 
  • Could you handle social media backlash from staff or customers? 

I would recommend drafting a manifesto as a leadership team, do not overthink the first draft, leverage what Google created and make more personal to your company and instances that are famous (not infamous) within your business and bring together internal influencers, catalysts and your secret weapons to review and offer their feedback. 

You should not let this take up hours of time and resources, however, speak to your business, your situations and your experiences. 

Good luck with your manifesto and I trust it brings to life the business world you are operating in.  


Danny Denhard

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