Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Body Language

       In the Ted Talk Video by Amy Cuddy “Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are,” she emphasizes how certain body positions can ultimately portray an individual and his or her characteristics. Also, it can determine how an individual’s life unfolds. Certain gestures of a handshake or lack of a handshake can determine an individual’s outwardly perception by people. Particular body positions or gestures can cause a decision on who is hired or promoted or who someone decides to ask out on a date. Furthermore, the video explains how a thirty second soundless video of a patient and physician interaction can greatly determine whether or not that physician is sued for malpractice. And, it does not even necessarily determine the physician’s competence. Also, just a one second of judgment of a political candidates’ face can predict seventy percent of the Senate and Gubernatorial race outcomes. These various examples of nonverbal expression show the importance of presenting oneself correctly and appropriately in certain circumstances and conditions. It is imperative that one conduct themselves accordingly to gain or achieve a desired outcome or emotion from an event, individual, or group.

       In addition to these examples of nonverbal expression, there are nonverbal expressions of power and dominance as well. By expanding, making oneself big, or stretching out, this can express a sense of power and dominance. Humans are not the only ones that exhibit this behavior. Members of the animal kingdom use this action to portray the feeling of power and dominance as well. A common example used by humans would be the opening of arms when crossing a finish line. In a study conducted of members with sight and some who are blind, both individuals showed the opening of the arms and chest to exhibit pride, dominance, and power. When feeling powerless, the opposite occurs. Individuals close themselves up and express a feeling or sense of power loss. Also, the holding of the neck exemplifies a sense of powerlessness. When humans interact, they tend to mirror the opposite effect. If one shows power, the other shows a sense of powerlessness.

       Moreover, graduate school MBA candidates have to keep this aspect in mind. Amy Cuddy emphasizes the importance and usage of nonverbal expressions. During these MBA classes, participation counts as half of the grade. Therefore, it is imperative that a classmate participate productively and effectively. Amy talks about how oftentimes women portray a sense of powerlessness amongst the group. They feel overpowered by the men, therefore, they close themselves off. This action needs to be avoided at all costs. In the business world and in the field of strategic communication, it is very important to take notice and use correct body language. This could serve as an overall deciding factor in the success or achievement one is looking to accomplish. 

       Furthermore, it is noted that our nonverbal language governs how people think and feel about us. This is very true in many circumstances. Even though someone might not be trying to express a certain attitude, emotion, or feeling, improper use of body language can ultimately cause the wrong idea, emotion, or thoughts about someone. Also, it is discussed that our minds change our bodies. This is very true, however, professionals should learn to avoid this behavior. In times of crisis, leaders should learn how to avoid showing signs of uncertainty, weakness, or hopelessness. This will lead to a chain reaction of emotions throughout the organization.

       Through the use of the above examples of nonverbal communication and their importance, one needs to adhere to a phrase used in the Ted Talk video by Amy Cuddy. "Do not fake it 'til you make, fake it until you become it." Through the use of effective nonverbal communication, an individual can gain particular advances. Correct nonverbal communication is a very important tool for strategic communication professionals to get ahead in their overall objective and professions. Knowing how to use body language correctly and appropriately can be a large factor in achieving an overall objective or avoiding negative occurrences.

        In addition to Amy Cuddy's talk, other professionals have identified correct ways to use or judge body language effectively and in a gainful manner. According to a New York Post article, there are many indicators which could help assist strategic communication professionals and others in gainful ways. Knowing how to recognize certain signs and indicators of others could assist in responding appropriately to other individuals. For example, recognizing a head tilt in a job interview is a very important sign to notice. This would indicate that the boss is showing interest. Eyes are an important factor to notice as well. If someone was asking a person a question, you might assume that they do not want to do what is asked. If the other person rub's their eyes when asked, then that action will indicate an underlying issue. Mouth movements are important as well. Biting of the lips can indicate someone is stressed. For the dating world, lips are an important sign to watch. When someone is close to another they like, blood rushes to the lips and gives them a puffy appearance. And, don't forget about the neck either. If someone is touching the neck, it can show that the person feels threatened. This action can be traced back to times of early man. When man would fear large felines attacking, they would cover that area to protect the vulnerable area. Shoulder action serves as a common indicator as well. When shoulders rise, it shows a sign of insecurity. Watch the arms as well. Arms crossed around the belly indicate dislike, and someone is able to get a better feeling of how someone feels about them. If you want to know if someone is guilty of stealing something, look at the chest. If a person thrusts the palm of their hand toward the chest with the fingers spread, then that will show a sign of honesty. Therefore, that person is the one that is not guilty. Individuals need to work on their handshake as well. A firm handshake is not the only important thing in a job interview. If thumbs are hidden, it portrays a lack of confidence. Towered fingers exhibit a high level of sureness. The action of legs is an important act to watch for as well. How a person positions their legs when sitting next to someone they do not like, the legs are moved away. Couples that are displeased with one another will hold hands, however, they will not allow their legs to touch. Don't forget about feet action either. When someone's feet are turned toward the door at a party, it will indicate that the person is ready to leave or wants to get out soon.

       Through the use of effective body language and notification of other's as well, individuals and strategic communication professionals can achieve gains in life and in the desired outcome pursued. Body language notification and usage is important to use in everyday situations and in the professional world, and it should remain an important aspect of all individuals. 


Kaplan, Michael.”Body Language Expert Shows What Signs To Watch Out For.” New York Post, 22 August 2018, https://nypost.com/2018/08/22/body-language-expert-shares-what-signs-to-watch-out-for/

Sunday, December 9, 2018

How to Evaluate Strategic Communication Campaigns

       Strategic communication campaigns can be evaluated in many ways, and this is something that can be covered by quantitative rulers. Quantitative rulers are such things as surveys and questionnaires and qualitative rulers are things like interviews and focus groups. Through the use of  both of these tools, strategic communication campaigns can be conducted and evaluated thoroughly.
       In communication terms, evaluation is the systematic application of research processes and procedures to understand the conceptualization, design, implementation, and utility of interventions. This is also known here as communication campaigns. Evaluation research determines whether or not a program was effective, how it failed or how it achieved its desired objective, and the efficiency in which it achieved the desired objective. Evaluation adds to the knowledge base of how programs touch and influence their desired audiences so that researchers can learn lessons from these experiences and design more effective programs for future use. Instead of evaluating staff performances, evaluation is designed to identify sources or possible sources of implementation errors. Furthermore, it looks to find out if and how the program succeeded. Therefore, corrections can be conducted for current and future programming objectives. As a specialty field, empirical work on evaluation has grown over the past several decades. Today, evaluation is seen as a distinct research enterprise.
       In further explanation of the research enterprise, it is composed of three major debates. One debate involves the use of quantitative against qualitative methods. The balance of emphasis between these two particular methods should be geared towards their ability to answer the research questions being presented and the availability of data. In order to evaluate an intervention effectively, evaluators might seek to use both quantitative and qualitative measures. The research results from one will ultimately aid in supplementing the results of the other. A second debate involves the determination that non - experimental designs can appropriately control for selectivity and other areas involved in the public communication process. With the appropriate theoretical and procedural components, researchers can use virtual experimental designs for campaign evaluation. A third debate involves the advantages and disadvantages of internal against external factors. Oftentimes, external factors often have more justification. However, they are commonly less informed than internal evaluators involving aspects of the campaign's implementation that could influence its effectiveness.
       Furthermore, evaluation research plays three roles in any communications campaign. It improves the likelihood of achieving program success and by pushing campaign programmers to determine exactly in advance the goals and objectives of the campaign and the speculative or causal relations leading to those desired objectives. Once the campaign goals are determined, it becomes possible to develop programs to meet these objectives and develop ways to measure them. The first function of an evaluation is to determine the expected impacts and outcomes the program will provide. For instance, a campaign could be designed to increase awareness of the dangers of substance abuse. Therefore, the evaluation proposal should show the percentage increase expected in this raised awareness. The second function of a campaign evaluation is to assist planners and scholars in understanding how or why a campaign was successful or failed. Being able to determine how or why this program did not meet its desired objective through causal, academic, or implementation errors, will further increase the probability of successes that can be repeated and further failures are avoided in future behavioral promotion programs.
       Unfortunately however, there are multiple barriers that exist to complicate rigorous evaluation. One of these barriers is the estimated cost of the evaluation. Many programmers argue that money used on evaluation research should not be taken from program activities. This argument takes away from the desired objective that evaluation should be a key element in any program. Research costs should normally range from 10% - 15% of the project's total budget. These costs have very effective rates of return and improve implementation and provide a basis for explaining and understanding the results. There is another barrier that exists as well, and this second barrier involves the perception that research involves too much time. To lessen this problem, evaluation research should be available before, during, and immediately following program completion. Also, many argue that evaluation takes away from program implementation. Evaluations should not take away from programs, but they should be involved as an integral part and complement the program. It is definitely noted that planning and implementing a thorough evaluation outlines the timing and objectives of various program components like when to start the program launch and broadcasts, and finding how to organize supplementary activities to maximize exposure and impact.
       Moreover, evaluation research is often conducted in three distinct phases. The first step in the evaluation process is to identify and assess the necessities that cause the desire for a communication campaign. The relevant communities involved could be the overall determining factor of this desire. Once these needs have been identified, formative research can be conducted to more accurately understand the subject of the program. Then, process research can be used. This research involves those activities used to conduct the measurement of the degree of program implementation to determine whether the program met its desired objective. Following process research, summative research is conducted. This consists of activities used to measure the program's impact, lessons learned from the research, and to evaluate research discoveries.
       In addition to evaluation research, monitoring campaign exposure is an effective way of measuring campaign success. This is accomplished by measuring the degree to which audience members have access to, recall, or recognize the intervention.
        Along with campaign exposure, interpersonal communication is an important factor in measuring the success of a campaign. Public communication campaigns need to be able to achieve this desired objective. Oftentimes, communication campaigns purposely cause this act. The impact of the media produced communication will not be seen until the information permeates through interpersonal networks and individuals have time to share their attitudes, experiences, and opinions with one another.
       Due to the above information of the components and measuring tools for campaign evaluations, it further expresses how professionals are able to measure the effectiveness and impact of strategic communication campaigns. In addition, the writing further explains the use of quantitative rulers used to achieve the desired objective. With the use of the above listed tools and information, strategic communication professionals can accurately and effectively measure the impact of strategic communication campaigns.
Potter, Les. " The Strategic Communication Plan: An Overview." IABC, 1 March 2012, https://www.iabc.com/the-strategic-communication-plan/.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Leadership, Social Media, and Crisis Management

       During a crisis, the correct leadership is vital in the overall outcome. Applying the correct leadership tactics is a major factor in the determination of what will later occur. In the past, appropriate leadership roles and strategies have been the main deciding aspect in the overall outcome of a crisis. One of the leadership strategies is the correct use of social media. The appropriate use of this tool has enabled leaders to guide an organization through times of crisis and create a more positive outcome for the organization. 
       One example of the use of social media, appropriate leadership, and responding to a crisis was the 2009 H1N1 flu epidemic. In mid - April 2009, a new strain of influenza was found in a 10 year old patient in California. This new strain of influenza originally emerged in Mexico and began to spread swiftly throughout the United States. By the end of April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also known as the CDC, was certain that a national public health crisis was forming. As the H1N1 epidemic began to rise, the CDC activated the Emergency Operation Center and the Joint Information Center. During national health emergencies, these centers serve as the operational basis for CDC strategic communication. The CDC's years of practicing strategic planning and emergency exercises for preparation of a global influenza pandemic were paying off. However, there was one aspect of the epidemic that the CDC could not have predicted. This major public health event would operate in an active online communication environment.
       Around the time of the 2009 H1N1 outbreak, such communication channels as Twitter were on the rise as a target online medium for exchanging news and information. Other communication channels like Facebook had over 200 million users, and YouTube had an estimated 100 million viewers. It was estimated that approximately 76.8 percent of U.S. Internet users were online video users. Due to the 2011 demographical data that YouTube users were females in ages ranging from 25 - 54, the online video sharing method served as a perfect way to target caregivers of both small children and the elderly. These two populations served as the most highly at risk area for problems or complications from the H1N1 virus. This further confirmed the importance of social media during disasters and emergencies. According to a study performed by the American Red Cross in 2010, 82 percent of participants use social media weekly and almost half of the respondents use it daily. However, only 1 out 6 use social media to gain information regarding disasters or emergencies. But, almost half indicated that they would share disaster or emergency information using social media methods.
       Because of the quickly expanding popularity of these online communication methods, social media professionals at the CDC were lead into the 2009 H1N1 response to form a communication strategy for social media methods that would align with traditional media strategies. Even though the social media agenda would involve a large presence on Facebook and Twitter, YouTube was earlier used in the response by the CDC to provide timely, accurate, and credible health messages by social media. The viewing of 2.1 million users of the 2009 H1N1 videos released by the CDC further confirms the participation on YouTube.
        Along with the appropriate use of social media to manage crisis, even the best crisis PR plans need to be evaluated and analyzed to ensure it represents the current, up - to - date, and certain crisis it needs to handle. When attempting to accomplish this task, public relations professionals should decide on their stance based on the brand's look on the issue and by the public's response. At this moment is where social media plays an active role by allowing brands immediate access to invaluable feedback across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social mediums. Public relations professionals have to decide what media strategies should be implemented to ensure that they are ready if and when a brand needs to manage a crisis.
      In order to manage a crisis effectively, public relations professionals need to know how to use social media appropriately to improve crisis communications. Public relations professionals need to learn to listen on social media, distinguish messages, and quickly address concerns. Using these three methods will further enable public relations or strategic communication professionals to respond appropriately to a specific crisis.
       By listening on social media, experts primarily focus on the "speaking" portion of social media management. This involves creating, searching for, and posting new content. But, many brands do not realize that it is just as important to concentrate on moderating and listening on social media accounts. When companies analyze their social media target, they should study the people's response as well. There are many forms of publicity, however, not all of it is good publicity. The people's responses should be monitored in both good and bad times, and it is equally important to know how people feel about the company and where sentiments lie. This should be known before engaging into an emergency. One of the ways companies listen is by using community managers that monitor conversations about the company. By tracking and listening, community managers are able to focus on what consumers are saying about the company. This will further allow managers to respond appropriately to a crisis when it arises.
       In addition to listening on social media, professionals should learn to distinguish messages. Just like some companies brand their company to different demographics in various ways, companies should construct different messages for the different groups of people responding to and affected by the crisis. This will further ensure all messages and clear and work together without causing confusion.
       Moreover, professionals should learn to address concerns quickly. By staying one step ahead of a upcoming problem, community managers can further prevent a crisis from spinning out of control or from occurring in the first place. The key is solving the problem before it actually occurs. If an angry individual resorts to showing negative feelings to a larger audience, it is better to have a plan in place beforehand. Solving problems quickly can increase the odds of keeping it quiet and not spiraling out of control.
       By using effective, efficient, and appropriate leadership, social media, and crisis management tactics, companies can further avoid catastrophic outcomes from a crisis. The proper use of these tools will allow organizations to stay afloat when a crisis occurs and dramatically reduce negative impacts from crisis occurrences.

Torrosian, Ronn. "How To Use Social Media To Improve Crisis Communications." Forbes, September 9, 2016, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2016/09/09/how-to-use-social-media-to-improve-crisis-communications/#7244b5e2f169.




    Sunday, November 25, 2018

    Guerilla Marketing Today

           The practice of guerrilla marketing is a technique used to compete in today's market. With the help of changes in technology, markets, commercial chaos, and audience skepticism, the traditional advertising model has undergone evolution. More and more marketers are searching for new ideas and re - examining old methods of portraying brand messages and managing consumers. By further analyzing the tactics of guerilla marketing, communication professionals can more adequately understand the environment of emerging media where cultural producers such as advertisers plan and research the spreading of information and the use of persuasion by means of concealed and outsourced streams. By definition, the concept of guerilla marketing is an array of product placement, outdoor alternative - ambient, word - of mouth, and consumer generated approaches. Cultural producers and advertisers use their remarkable creative license not simply in terms of content, but they use it equally in context. By expanding and reconfiguring the space mainly used for commercial petition, producers and advertisers seek to achieve their desired objective. With a streamlined public relations mindset, the guerrilla idea they desire to portray travels from the bottom to top, through unseen mannerisms, or from dispersed avenues. By this approach, they hope to engage markets in apparently unforeseen ways. By closely examining significant campaign examples, trade press coverage, and in  - depth interviews with well - known professionals, this act takes away the layer on a type of cultural production that reconfigures the main archetype of mass communication and reevaluates how consumers are managed and organized. The Foucaldian theory provides a concept of an active subject instead of a type of domination that has frequently defined the use of power. Some argue that this regime is a more casual or unseen way of consumer governance that assists and constructs a participatory agency. Also, it destroys its own authority and purpose through uninterested areas and unestablished arrangements. It opens up the brand - text as a more open method and democratizes in support of heterarchical association. In simple terms, it is advertising that attempts to not come across as an advertisement. By analyzing inspirations, machinations, and designs used by campaigns to unveil and map the institutional disorder and cultural thinking at work, professionals find and research common themes of power and usage that highlight otherwise disparate advertising manners and assist in redefining media industries.
           In addition to the previous information describing guerilla marketing and its intentions, many other professionals describe the act in further detail. In marketing, guerrilla techniques mainly act on the element of surprise. It intends to form highly unconventional campaigns that catch people unexpectedly in the everyday routine of life. The term "guerilla marketing" was established in the 1980's era by the past business writer Jay Conrad Levinson. The writer composed several books describing guerilla tactics used in various professional manners. At that time, guerilla marketing appeared in a different manner. Today, the quickly growing digital landscape in changing what the tactic looks like.
           Furthermore, this changing tactic is very advantageous for marketers. This practice allows marketers to operate on a quite low - cost budget. The implementation, both creative and intellectual, is the main investment. However, this does not have to be costly. Professionals mainly refer to it as an investment in time and not money. Using certain segments of a report and further elaborating in a blog post is one way that shows time and not monetary usage. Guerilla marketing works by repositioning the current environment of the audience. Through evaluation and configuring certain segments, its purpose can be changed to include the brand.
           In addition to its usage, several types of guerilla marketing exist. Outdoor guerilla marketing adds something to preexisting urban landscapes. Some examples of this type are putting something removable into a statue, or placing temporary artwork on sidewalks and streets. Indoor guerilla marketing is like outdoor marketing, however, it only takes place in indoor locations. Such indoor locations could include train stations, shops, and university campus buildings. Another example is event ambush guerilla marketing. This practice involves leveraging the audience of an in-progress event to promote a product or service in a noticeable manner. This oftentimes occurs without the permission of event sponsors, and includes events like concerts and sporting games. Also, experiential guerilla marketing is another tactic. This practice involves all of the above tactics, but they take place in a manner that requires the public interact with the brand.
           In addition to some of the items listed above, many modern day examples of guerilla marketing are used quite often.
           This is an example of a marketing tactic used by Bounty. We are all too familiar with the everyday messes like coffee spills, table messes, and other spillage of liquids and items. Bounty placed life - sized messes along the streets of New York to help easily catch the eyes of those passing by. Some would argue that that a billboard could have just have been used to portray this idea. However, billboards are used very often by people. And, that tactic could not be quite as eye - catching as this example. This was an innovative way for Bounty to draw people's attention and would be very uneasy to ignore. The main takeaway from this advertisement is to identify the largest problem your product or service solves. Then, discover an unconventional method, without using words, to display it to the public.

           The picture listed above is another example of guerrilla marketing used today. This brilliant portrayal of guerilla marketing by an underwear company shows an unconventional method of advertising its product or service. The is the placement of a large pair of underwear briefs on a commonly known statue of a charging bull. Goldtoe was looking for a way to tease and promote the launch of it's new undergarments. Well, this idea certainly helped the company achieve its objective. In addition to the charging bull, other pairs of undergarments were places on statues throughout New York City. Due to the budget friendly nature of guerrilla marketing, one can assume that Goldtoe used leftover manufacturing fabric to complete this action. The largest takeaway from this marketing campaign is to not overthink a particular idea. Some of the silliest ideas can turn out to be the most effective, efficient, and productive.
           Today, guerrilla marketing is a productive and effective use of companies to display products or services. This tactic can be very helpful for an organization to get its product or service to the public's eye. Due to its effectiveness and budget friendly nature, this strategy would prove very smart and effective for all organizations to use.

    Zantel - Weiner, Amanda. July 30, 2018 "What Is Guerilla Marketing." Retrieved from https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/guerilla-marketing-examples

    Sunday, November 18, 2018

    Leadership and Vision


           According to Deep Patel's Forbes writing "11 Powerful Traits of A Successful Leader," he outlines the basic traits of a successful leader. Successful leaders are the muscle and brainpower behind all organizations, and they provide vision that controls their brand around hazards. These leaders have to know when to take hold of opportunities and how to motivate employees to work hard toward achieving company goals and objectives. Productive leaders are given the title of "manager" or "boss," and they have found a way to accomplish the correct blend of charisma, enthusiasm, and self – reliance. Also, a strong amount of luck and timing probably helped too. It could appear that some are just gifted with these abilities, however, the simple fact is most leadership traits can be learned and honed with time and practice. A leader can start constructing his or her success by developing these 11 necessary traits of a powerful and successful leader.
         Of these 11 traits, the first is self - management.  Without the ability to manage oneself, it is hard to manage others productively. A successful leader is able to prioritize goals and objectives, and set guidelines for achieving these desired outcomes. Time management, attention and emotional maturity, and awareness of strengths, weaknesses, and possible areas of difficulty are all traits that embody a successful leader. Successful leaders are well - endowed to regulate stress and provide balance between their personal and professional lives. However, productive leaders must be able to provide compassion and respond to people and events in an appropriate manner. Self control and discipline are mandatory traits that should avoid developing into too modest or non - compliant behaviors.
           The second trait of  successful leader is acting strategically. Leaders must think towards the future and have an open mind. Leaders must prepare to adjust their strategies to take hold of oncoming opportunities or face unexpected challenges. Having the ability to think strategically is a continuous process that involves evaluating the business environment. There are various ways to act strategically. One, leaders should always be curious and focused on the company and the outside business environment. Two, it is important to have a flexible mindset towards embarking on new ideas and possibilities. Third, leaders should remain focused on the future and think about the company's current conditions of operation. Lastly, leaders should always sustain a positive outlook.
           Furthermore the third trait of a successful leader is to know the right time to talk and the correct time to listen. Effective communicators have the ability to clearly and concisely explain to employees all things ranging from organizational goals to certain tasks. If people are not able understand or lack awareness of your expectations, then they will not be able to achieve the desired objective. If a leader is more detailed, then it will be easier for others to comprehend. A successful communicator should have the ability to communicate on all levels. Levels ranging from one on one, to the department and entire staff, by phone, e - mail, and social media are all areas where an effective communicator should be able to correspond. Communication is constructed on a constant flow of verbal and nonverbal exchanges of ideas and information. Therefore, all leaders should focus on being approachable and involving people from all different levels.
           Moreover, the fourth trait of all successful leaders is being accountable and responsible. Power and authority should be used and managed accordingly by all successful leaders. Employees should not be overwhelmed nor felt overpowered by leadership. Effective leaders should take responsibility and be accountable for their own mistakes, and others should do so as well. Successful leaders have the ability to work within established procedures while remaining productive and efficient in their decision making skills. All productive leaders should support and recognize the importance of promoting individual efforts while guiding others to stay within rules and policies. An effective leader will maintain balance of different outlooks while taking necessary action as well.
           Moving on, the fifth trait is setting clear goals and persisting in achieving them. Obtaining charisma can be easily obtained by setting clear goals and maintaining determination and purpose while achieving those goals. Self confidence is a major factor as well. If a leader radiates enthusiasm and expresses excitement about what he or she is attempting to accomplish, others will naturally be attracted towards you. Keeping an accurate account of desired goals and objectives is a large factor in the overall success of the individual and company. However, time is always an aspect in goal achievement. If a leader shows withdrawal from a goal, others will do so as well. For a leader to be successful, that leader must have the will to keep persisting when others feel like quitting.
          In addition, the sixth trait is possessing a vision. Great leaders possess the ability to see into the future of the company and make clear, concise goals that will benefit the organization. The leader is confident, positive, and stimulates enthusiasm in those around them. A visionary embodies the trait of being able to manage change while maintaining a balance between stabilization and growth. New changes must be incorporated without getting distracted from the main goals. The role of visionary means understanding that change is constantly going on all around, and past strategies may not work well towards future objectives. Successful leaders must be remain adaptable and flexible as the implementation of new strategies occurs allowing the business model to develop accordingly.
           And, the seventh trait is being able to manage complexity. Problem solving and smart decision making while swiftly shifting changes occur are characteristics that successful leaders must possess. Many environments are very complex, and leaders need to know how to lead effectively. Even before definitive information is presented, great leaders must evaluate the complexity of the situation and select the most correct direction.
           Furthermore, the eight trait is fostering creativity and innovation. Leaders must possess the will power to risk experimentation and encourage creativity. This will enable innovation that will guide the organization to new levels surpassing the twists and turns of an evolving business environment. Leaders must be persistent in staying focused on goals and staying open and flexible to ideas on how to reach those goals. The leader should encourage surrounding people to sacrifice at least 15 percent of their time searching new ideas by brainstorming and prototyping.
           Moreover, the ninth trait of a successful leader is team building and promoting teamwork. Great leaders are constructed by the people surrounding them. Team Building is mandatory to leading a diverse and unique group of people with distinct personalities, motivation and skills.
    Successful leadership is built on the people around you. Strong teams and teamwork are vital to reaching many of the objectives on this list. Recruiting and developing the correct team will create the right team to drive the organization's success.
           In addition, the tenth trait is creating lasting relationships. Compelling leaders go above more than just inspiring others to follow them. They have the ability to motivate employees to strongly pursue company goals and objectives. Employees that feel valued, appreciated, and believe they are making a difference, are more willing to push harder to achieve organizational success. Great leaders also understand effective networking is involved. This will not only advance their own career, but the organization will benefit as well. Through the creation of a wide network of people, leaders are able to form lasting relationships with customers, clients, partners, and competitors as well.
            Lastly, eleven is learning agility. Successful leaders recognize that leadership in constructed on their ability to respond to change and recognize when to take hold of opportunities though an ever changing environment. Maintaining a strong curiosity will further push one's desire to learn and grow. Being an agile learner focuses on fostering critical thinking skills, noticing uncertainty, embodying social and emotional intelligence and always keeping the desire to move forward.
           In addition to Patel's writing of "11 Powerful Traits of a Successful Leader," many others have formed their ideas of leadership and vision. Some emphasize the realization that starting off struggling or at the bottom is an aspect that aspiring college students will have to accept. This is one the major steps toward leadership success. Also, looking toward the future and visualizing exciting opportunities is the most important characteristic that separates successful and unsuccessful leaders. Moreover, some leadership professionals believe that no institution or enterprise can accomplish its planned goals without using and forming with the information environment. There are many resources available for leadership professionals to use. In order to stay competitive, leadership professionals will need to use all resources available. By staying focused and adhering to all the traits that leadership professionals teach and maintaining a clear vision, organizational leaders will be further prepared to effectively and efficiently lead their organization towards promising goals and achievements.

    Patel, Deep. "11 Powerful Traits of Successful Leaders." Forbes, March 22, 2017."https://www.forbes.com/sites/deeppatel/2017/03/33/11-powerful-traits-of-successful-leaders/#55b87762469f


    Sunday, November 11, 2018

    Leadership, Power, and Effective Communication

           Leadership is something everyone should inspire to have and possess. We all have our areas where we excel and where we can be looked at as a leader. Some are leaders in the music industry, some are leaders in athletics, some are leaders in medicine, and there are many other areas of expertise and influential moments where individuals are looked upon to be a leader. According to the TED Talk video by Drew Dudley, he talks about his "lollipop" moment. That was a time in his life where he made a difference in someone's life and was looked upon as a leader. We should all strive to be leaders and lead in a purposeful, meaningful, moral, and ethical manner.
           As leaders in the strategic communication profession, we should all strive to lead in a purposeful, meaningful, moral, and ethical manner. Leaders in communication can be very influential individuals and should strive to provide a positive impact on others. According to the writing of Sanjay K. Pandey and James L. Garnet from Rutgers University "Exploring Public Sector Communication Performance: Testing a Model and Drawing Implications," they stress the importance of communication. For a long time, it has been considered and believed within administrative and organization theory that sound communication promotes sound performance. In the work by Chester Barnard "Functions of the Executive," he discusses the thought that the "first executive function should be to develop and maintain a system communication." According to Barnard, communication is not simply an executive function. Communication is the first primary function. In a work by Simon, Smithburg, and Thompson, the notification and importance of the crucial nature of communication to government performance is signified. "Blockages in the communication system constitute one of the most serious problems in public administration." Through these readings, strategic communication professionals should realize the importance of communication within an organization. The lack of communication in government and other organizations can be detrimental and disastrous. There have been many recent and historical governmental failures that were caused by a lack of communication.
         For example, in the blog "Communication Failures in the Foreign Service" it outlines the case of Ambassador Scott Gration. Recently, this Ambassador resigned his post in Nairobi. The State Inspector General released its assessment of Gration's Kenyan performance. Time and time again, the IG emphasized Gration's failings in a very diplomatic manner. The IG referred to Gration's leadership style as "divisive and ineffective." Also, he mentioned that Gration had lost the confidence and respect of the staff to lead the mission. And, his greatest weakness was his hesitancy to take on well - defined U.S. Government decisions. According to press reports, these reports branded Gration as "the worst ambassador in the State Department." Gration was an ally of President Obama and a favorite of the higher officials at the National Security Council. Gration wound up belittled and ridiculed for various reasons. The key reason for his belittlement and ridicule was improper communication. Gration lied to Washington, insulted his staff, and he denied any meetings with significant Kenyan officials. Gration grew up on the continent and speaks Swahili fluently, however, he still was not able to communicate appropriately. This shows that just because someone is fluent in the local language does not necessarily make him or her a good communicator. This Ambassador never understood or tried to understand the culture of the State Department. He was unsuccessful in completing one of the nation's most important outreach and communication efforts as the Sudan envoy. This Ambassador completely failed and refused to speak with Congress. This was a major mistake by Gration. This behavior exemplifies the importance of being able to communicate effectively within an organization. Improper communication causes a decline in government and in any organization.

           Furthermore, leadership and effective, reliable, and accurate communication within government and organizations is of the utmost importance. Leadership and communication should both be used in an effective manner. In the article, "Perceptions of Power" by Leanne Glenny, she references the ideology that public and scholarly discussions of communication are oftentimes overpowered by notions of publicity and turn in which the government is generally viewed as holding control over the target of it's communication effort. This effort she is referring to is the general public. This view contains problems for two reasons. One, it categorizes people and organizations involved into two basic opposing parties. These two parties are the government and the public. The second is the simple idea of power in relation to resources used to convey a certain message into a less powerful and resourceful manner. By this method, government communication can be viewed as something that the government does to the public using models of information dissemination in which the government's resources to communicate far override those of the public. Governmental power should be regulated as well as the public. In any hierarchal organization, a system of checks and balances should be formed to prevent the use improper use of power. When an organization or individual is given too much power, oftentimes there is the temptation to abuse that power.
           In addition to providing leadership that is purposeful, meaningful, moral, and ethical in manner, providing effective and efficient communication, and regulating the use of power within organizations, effective internal communications is of the utmost importance as well. Internal communications is simply communication within an organization, and it involves both official and unofficial communications. By official communication, communication professionals refer to memos, guidelines, policies and procedures, and more. By unofficial, communication professionals refer to the exchange of ideas and opinions, the development of personal relationships, and the traditional communications around the coffee pot. This communication spans in all areas as to those who do the specific work of the organization and those who work directly with the population. For example, administrators, supervisors, clerical, and support staff, volunteers, and maybe even the Board of Directors encompass this group. Internal communication is more than just people engaging in active communication, it can be the blood pumping through the organization by everyone receiving the information that is needed. This allows everyone to get questions answered, and no one is left out from information flow such as company info or even birthday or wedding celebrations of staff members. Productive and effective communication provides people with information that is needed to perform a task successfully, and enables individuals to stay aware of any issues that concern them. Also, it provides people with a clear understanding of standards and expectations of work related tasks. Feedback on work performance, emotional support for difficult work, and new ideas about work and life related issues, are other examples of effective internal communication. Also, good internal communication can allow company staff to know the heartbeat and understand the organization's overall current situation. Also, it provides a way of maintaining a common perception and sense of ownership of the organization.
           By providing leadership that is purposeful, meaningful, moral, and ethical in manner, establishing effective and efficient communication, regulating the use of power within organizations, and using constructive and productive internal communications within organizations, organizations can progress further in a healthy and successful manner. Through the use of these traits, organizations can maintain and increase productivity and provide a healthy, happy work environment.

    Fitzgerald, Bill. "Comunication Failures in the Foreign Service." Twitter, 13 August 2012, http://www.foreignserviceexam.org/communication-failures-in-the-foreign-service/.

    Saturday, November 3, 2018

    The Makeup of Viral Videos


           Why do videos go viral? Videos go viral in many ways. According to the Ted Talk Video by Kevin Alloca, videos go viral by the use of tastemakers, communities and participation, and complete unexpectedness. Certainly, these are ways in which videos can go viral. When a person that is well known backs or promotes a video, that causes a broad exposure of the video. Then, the video spreads even further to individuals that would not have normally recognized the video. Communities and participation are an important aspect as well. When communities develop or promote a video, that creates an even further spread of information, an idea, or innovation. Depending on the size of the community and the level of participation, these factors can cause a dramatic effect on the widespread viewing or exposure of a video. Complete unexpectedness is definitely a way a video can go viral as well. When something spontaneous occurs, people tend to catch notice of the act. Spontaneity is a very big aspect in the notification of a video, idea, or new concept. 
           In addition, there are certain aspects of videos that cause them to go viral. The design or construction of a video causes a dramatic effect on the how well the idea being portrayed is going to take notice. Analyzing videos that were successful is a very important practice to developing a successful video. Based on the Ted Talk video by Adam Sadowsky, they wanted to construct a video using ideas of members whose previous video had over 50 million views. The new video would be designed using ten commandments, and the video would be designed around the symbol or image of the Rube - Goldberg Machine. The ten commandments were followed in order. One, no magic. They wanted to make sure the video could be understood and taken in by a grandmother. When constructing a video, that is a very important factor to consider. Designers need to make sure that the video is going to be easily understood. Even if a video designer is simply trying to capture the attention of one demographic, ease of understanding will allow the video to capture other viewers as well. Two, band integration. Three, machine action should follow song feeling. Four, make use of space. Five, messiness. Six, machine starts the music. Seven, the music is synced to rhythm and hits specific beats. Eight, end precisely on time. Nine, machine should PLAY part of the song. And ten, it should all be done in one shot. Attempting to encompass all of these commandments would be a very difficult task. However, using the advice and ideas of other successful video designers is important to follow. Even if a task is difficult, it could prove worthwhile later in the overall success. Through the design of this video, the designers learned many important life lessons. One, planning is incredibly important. As with any task or action, careful planning is extremely important. Improper planning can easily cause failure of a project. As well as proper planning, flexibility was an important lesson learned. When taking on a project or trying to accomplish a task, there are going to be setbacks and failures. Being able to be flexible to go through trial and error is a very important necessity. Also, a designer would need to put reliable stuff last. As with any task, the things that are easily done, accomplished, and require little to no thought, should be saved to the end. And, remember that "this too shall pass." There will be difficulty, setbacks, failures, headaches, rising tensions, and further difficulty in the promotion or design of videos. However, those will occur in almost any project or task. Those will pass. When success and completion occurs, the difficulty, setbacks, failures, headaches, rising tensions, and difficult will be forgotten.

            When attempting to figure out what makes videos go viral and what is needed to design a successful video, there are other factors to consider as well. Public relations specialists, journalists, and other communications professionals are also needed as well. A video can have all the necessary makeup and characteristics, and it can be designed perfectly. However, other communication professionals will be needed to further promote or analyze the video correctly and successfully. Public relations specialists will be needed to promote the idea and video in the manner it was to meant and to correct any false or misleading information. Even if a video goes viral, it can go viral for the wrong reason. Public relations professionals and journalists are two professionals that can assist in the success of a viral video. With the use of these professionals, videos can gain further exposure. And, the video can be successful in the manner it was meant. However, public relations specialists and journalists have developed controversy amongst one another. Both professions need one another, but only in a professional manner. There is often times an ongoing rivalry amongst the professions, and journalists have attempted to become PR professionals as well. In 2008, the U.S. public relations industry increased by 4 percent, 3 percent in 2009, and a 15 percent decline occurred in the American Newsroom. According to the ASNE, 8,300 reporters and editors were lost. Journalists with industry contacts and the ability to tell effective stories seemed to be more attracted to the world of public relations. This further represents a great migration of journalism to public relations.
           However, some saw difficulty and error in this process. Where an increase in prosperity is welcome, common concerns can arise as well. Some public relations professionals feel that journalists attempt to join the ranks with a culture of communication that encompasses a false urgency. And, there is an absence of appreciation for the deepness and range of what reputation or management involves. Journalists enter the public relations world with wonderful contacts, great and finely tuned storytelling abilities, and an experience in the media business. These journalists know how to sell a story, but that is to the editor. However, these former journalists turned public relations professional might have trouble trying to sell new business to a client. These newly turned public relations professionals might not be able to conduct market research for developing a strategic communications plan that would increase awareness of a company's product or service. And, they might not know that the public relations industry has a code of ethics. If moving from journalism to public relations, these are all factors to consider. Even though the profession are connected, that does not mean that one would do well trying to accomplish the others' tasks.
           Moreover, both are needed in the success of a video and it's attempts to go viral. Correct characteristics, smart engineering, and effective journalism and public relations are all important traits needed to cause a video to go viral.