Peppercomm Introduces Laughing Matters Council to Help Businesses Harness the Power of Humor


CommPRO Editorial Staff

Peppercomm, a leading strategic communications and marketing agency, today announced the launch of its new strategic advisory council of trusted experts in humor. The Laughing Matters Council brings together distinguished industry leaders with an eye for workplace culture and breakthrough thinking to guide Peppercomm and its clients in using the principles of humor to drive long-term business success.  

The Stakes Have Never Been Higher  

More than 45% of adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression following the pandemic, according to the CDC. This fact has prompted organizations to shine a new spotlight on mental health and employee well-being, given their direct impact on business performance and growth. The launch of the Laughing Matters Council comes on the heels of World Mental Health Day, which is designated to raise awareness of mental health issues and mobilize efforts in support.   

With the imminent “return to work,” employees are expressing more stress and fear over adapting to the new normal. According to research conducted via Peppercomm’s proprietary Mindset.AI dashboard, 54% of U.S. employees feel negatively about returning to the office.   

Meet Laughter, the Change Agent  

The past 20 months have created new challenges, sources of anxiety and friction in the workplace. The result is that traditional ways of trying to engage and motivate employees simply no longer apply. This new normal requires a new playbook, with humor as the foundational element for unlocking new ways of connecting.   

“Laughter and humor in the workplace have never been more important,” said Peppercomm founder and CEO Steve Cody. “Our mission is to raise awareness of humor as an incredible change agent with the help of the Council. Through humor-based training, employees can shift their perspective to one that thinks on a different wavelength, embraces change, adapts quickly, and deepens relationships by emphasizing common ground and drives growth. Plus, we could all use a good laugh these days.”   

Science shows that laughter creates a chemical reaction in the brain that can elevate one’s mood, leading to increased productivity, reduced stress and anxiety, and so much more. The New York Times recently reported that managers with a sense of humor are more motivating and admired, their employees are more engaged and their teams are more likely to solve a creativity challenge. In fact, Stanford Business School now offers a course called “Humor: Serious Business,” which teaches  executive leaders and entrepreneurs how to leverage laughter for better relationships and business results. Organizations in which humor is part of the culture see increased shareholder returns of 19%.  

For the past decade, Peppercomm has been using the tenets of humor to engage its own workforce and has won many culture awards along the way, most recently being named one of Crain’s New York Business’ Top 100 Places to Work in 2021. Peppercomm has deployed its Comedy Experience offering with dozens of organizations to help sales teams, marketing communications departments, human resources, executives and managers use humor to motivate people and encourage innovative thinking.  

Working & Laughing Together 

Peppercomm, in partnership with its new Laughing Matters Council, now offers three primary humor-led service offerings: Stand Up and Connect, a how-to on the tenets of comedy to bring joy and imagination back into work; Stand Up and Lead, focused on managerial leadership and growth; and Stand up and Change, a three-pronged approach to connect and catalyze stakeholders across the change journey utilizing humor, experiential learning, and branding and communications expertise to playfully challenge and authentically inspire audiences to embrace change.  

Laughing Matters Council members include:   

  • THE ADVISOR: Clayton Fletcher  
  • THE NEUROHUMORIST: Karyn Buxman  
  • THE CULTURE GUY: David Horning  
  • THE PUBLICIST: Jennefer Witter  
  • THE IMPROVISOR: Liz Joynt Sandberg