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ISC Topic 5. Top 5 Tips to Keep in Mind While Blogging

6 Dec

The top 5 tips for creating and keeping a well organized, aesthetically pleasing, entertaining blog are as follows.

  1. Keep up with the blog weekly. Do not wait because your blog will suffer. I had 37 blogs at the end of the semester, and I could not have imagined doing them all in the last week. It would take you forever, and I can guarantee you will not receive a good grade.
  2. Utilize all tools like prezi, scribd, and Twitter. Incorporating these into your blog make it aesthetically pleasing and easier to read.
  3. Use widgets. It makes your blog interactive.
  4. Make it consistent. When you have categories, make titles the same. For example, all of my ISC topic titles start like this. “ISC TOPIC 1.” Or 2 etc. This makes it easier to identify information on your blog page and where it pertains to.
  5. Use proper grammar rules. Writing well makes the blog seem more credible, and pleasing to read.

ISC Topic 4. My Blog Highlights Skills and Knowledge of the Field of Strategic Communication

6 Dec

This Blog highlights information for an integrated strategic communication class I took in the fall semester of 2010 at Queens University of Charlotte as an undergraduate. My best work includes connections to the class, labs and topics from the specific work asked from us.

My best connections include Connection 1, highlighting  the importance of digital media literacy. Connection 4 was  a reflection of Dr. Fareed Zakaria’s speech at Queens in 2010. He spoke about information technology. Connection 6 includes humor in talking about Twitter and how the world used to communicate through YouTube.

ISC Topic 2 includes the topic of privacy and freedom of speech, which allowed me to blog about freedom of speech rights in the workplace using an article about a woman who was fired for expressing her ideas and beliefs.

Labs were important to include because a lot of the information in them are real events or highlights my use of different tools. Lab 11 is a media kit for the opening of an on-campus building. Lab 10 highlights my use of Prezi. Lab 3 is a press release written for an on campus event.  Lab 1 along with all of the media labs use scribd to highlight the information and show up on my blog. All of these tools are important to the professional world and I am glad I know hot to use them to present information in the best way.

ISC Topic 3. Integrated Strategic Communications. Yes.

25 Oct

I think our course is suitably named what it is – Integrated Strategic Communications.
There could be some confusion on the specific nature of the course and what it covers, but after reading chapter 17, it puts all of the information in perspective. Yes, public relations is the way that companies, and people put themselves out there and PR utilizes all of the marketing, and advertising tools.
However –
a mix of all 3, in order to do it well, is integrated strategic communication. If you know what advertising is, great. If you know what marketing and public relations are, great. If you know how to do those well and communicate through those tools, even better.
That is integrated strategic communication. Learning the knowledge about public opinion and how a company looks in the eyes of the city it resides in is not PR. If you were to publicize it, it would be PR, but, the knowledge that is accumulated before is communication – integrated strategic communication.
You need critical thinking skills to be able to create messages sent in PR, advertising and marketing. In order to create successful messages, you need to have writing skills and presentation skills (UKY.edu)
If you look on the Course Description on The Queens University Website, (or below) the answer to this question lies within.
COMM 306 Integrated Strategic Communication
Strategic communication refers to the totality of an organization’s efforts to lead, motivate, persuade, and inform its various publics, which include consumers, investors, employees, and the media. This course provides students with information and insights about strategic communication: how messages are created and framed, why we respond to messages the way we do, and how to employ communications strategies to advance organizational goals. Prerequisite: COMM 101. 3 hrs.

This also sounds like a little phrase we keep hearing about – Digital and Media Literacy. We need to be able to take in, figure out, and re-tell information well in order to be successful communicators. If we do not do this well, the Public Relations aspect of this class would not be reached anyway.

ISC Topic 2. Freedom of Speech or Privacy. Pick One?

19 Oct

The National Freedom of Speech week is October 18th– 24th, 2010. Freedom of speech is very important to our country and a company’s privacy and right to represent them as well. The right to speak freely is held within the first amendment.

When you work for a company, there are many things that may need to be balanced, like; values, opinions, ethics, and privacy, with those that the company holds as well. There are many times that a person may be having a hard time balancing an outside value they have that their company does not.

Below is an example of freedom of speech interfering with those rights of a company to keep their views private, and unbiased.



Diane Dew greeting protesters outraged by newspaper’s actions

When the editor ordered me to sign a statement relinquishing my rights to write about or discuss abortion, even one-on-one, even in church — or be subject to dismissal — I faced a choice I never thought I’d have to make.Your Job or Your Beliefs:What if you really had to choose?

DIANE DEW

I never imagined that in America, and especially in an industry that champions “free speech,” an employer could fire someone simply for refusing to relinquish her constitutional rights.

My pro-life beliefs never interfered with my job, at The Milwaukee Journal (now Journal Sentinel) or elsewhere. I never discussed abortion on company time. As newsroom secretary, I had no influence over newscopy. I typed the weather page, posted obituaries, and occasionally took dictation from reporters on the field.

So when the managing editor called me into his office one day, challenged my beliefs and demanded I sign a statement promising never to write about or discuss the issue of abortion, even one-on-one, even in church — I was stunned. Since I had some background in constitutional law, as a legal secretary for a pro-life firm, I knew my rights under the first amendment included freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of association. I was amazed the newspaper was so bold as to even put it in writing exactly why I would be dismissed, if I declined to sign.

Had any other employee ever been asked to sign such a statement, I asked? No, he replied. This agreement was being drawn up just for me.

A reporter covering a downtown clinic protest had noticed me among hundreds of others peacefully carrying a sign: “It grows, it moves, it breathes; it has fingerprints, a separate blood type, a heartbeat. It’s a BABY!”

“This is tissue,” the back of the sign said, with a small Kleenex box stapled at the top. ” This is a baby,” it said below, with a picture of an unborn child.

Sometimes I pushed a stroller full of broken baby doll parts covered with red paint.

Word of my position on the issue apparently disturbed editors of the newspaper, which was a regular donor to Planned Parenthood. (In addition to The Journal Company itself, several editors and a reporter who regularly covered abortion protests and wrote feature stories on the issue, also were found to be donors to the largest abortion provider in the world — none of whom lost their jobs or were even threatened with dismissal.)

Ironically, the newspaper’s excuse for firing me was that the paper might “appear” to be biased! (Biased in the opposite direction, I guess.)

However, I had never been presented a copy of the “Employee Handbook” to which they referred — for several reasons. First of all, as the Handbook itself states, these rules applied only to editors and reporters, who have influence over the news. Secondly, the Handbook was never adopted by the Newspaper Guild as valid. Why hadn’t I been informed of such a rule at my hire? I asked. I checked with the personnel department, and no Handbook was a part of the package presented to new employees, even in the editorial department, I was told. It took several employees a couple hours to dig up a copy from an old storage room, at the managing editor’s request.

How could I break a rule I didn’t know existed? I asked. And how can it apply to only me?

Certainly this smelled of discrimination, and I knew it. I asked God for wisdom on how to respond.

“I need some time to pray about this,” I told my managing editor.

“Well, how long does it take for God to give you an answer?” he said, sarcastically.

“It depends,” I answered.

“I’ll pray that he does it really quick — like by 8:30 tomorrow morning,” he said.

At 8:10 the next morning, I sent a network note to my colleagues, saying good-bye: “Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of association. Folks have died for these rights. If I lose my job because I refuse to give up those rights, it’s been nice working with you all. Really.”

When called to the office, I explained I could not in good conscience sign a statement promising to be silent on an issue the Holy Spirit would probably prompt me at some time to speak out on. I could not sign, I said, but I did not choose to resign. I was promptly fired and escorted from the newsroom and out of the building.

Surely the editors thought this soft-spoken secretary would just go home and cry, and find another job. What I did was call a Christian pro-life attorney and file a complaint with the EEOC.

It didn’t take long for the Christian media to pick up on the story, and soon the story was receiving widespread national coverage: National Public Radio, talk shows in Washington, DC, Dallas, etc. Even liberals concerned about free speech were upset at the paper for violating my freedom speech, and freedom of association. Even the liberal newspaper union went to bat publicly on my behalf — and as a part-time employee I wasn’t even a member of the Newspaper Guild! My dismissal became an issue in major trade journals (Editor & Publisher, Presstime, etc.) and journalism classes. Even Newsweek interviewed me (though the story was bumped). In the Christian media, it was covered by Moody magazine, Christianity Today, nationally syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, and many others. I was also on Focus on the Family, Marlin Maddoux, etc… Still, the Milwaukee Journal refused to report the story within its own pages, for weeks*, until challenged by conservative talk show host Mark Belling of WISN and others.

An attorney with the Rutherford Institute represented me and I settled out of court with the newspaper. The media’s bias had been exposed; my point was made.

P.S. It’s a scary thought, when the media can so monopolize a metropolitan area, that they can squelch a story, rendering it apparently nonexistent — all the while the rest of the country is reading about and discussing the event. And they were afraid I would make them look biased! And they, the bastions of free speech.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Unfortunately, this woman, who was a writer, was representing her company in a way they did not want to be represented, and in their eyes, harming their privacy (to the public) to be unbiased.

I believe the way to balance these 2 circumstances (freedom of speech and your company/client’s privacy) is to make sure you have similar values of the person you are going to work for. Also, I think it is important to remember, when you work for someone else, that you need to represent a whole instead of just yourself in some situations. I also believe that hard central values are hard to change, and you should not change who you are to work for someone, which is why my advice is to be employed by those similar to you.

ISC Topic 1. Shirley Sherrod’s Battle Against the Tea Party and Conservative Media Outlets

29 Sep

Do a little web-based research about the Shirley Sherrod case that occurred this summer. Based on your findings, what are the major strategic communication issues present in this case? How could a better understanding of  strategic communication, as you understand, have bettered this situation?

The Shirley Sherrod Case demonstrates a situation of how the media can sway public opinion about a person very quickly. Shirley Sherrod is a former employee of the United States Department of Agriculture. She was forced to resign after a video was posted online by Andrew Breitbart, and shown through media outlets which made her out to be racist person working for the government. The video was edited and the full extent was not shown at first.

The first major strategic communications issue present in this case is that the video was not questioned before it was shown on a variety of networks. It was shown, and then questioned. If people, especially at FOX news (go figure) said, “maybe this is not the full video, and we should find that exact video before we show the world how this woman is a racist, and let them make judgements”. The first video shown was 38 seconds long. It was not until the next day that a news channel (CNN) had Sherrod defend herself – they were the first. First of all, how many speeches are that long? Think about it.

Exactly – it is not very hard to think twice about the bias someone may have had against someone when they post such a small portion of their speech. Also, whether this woman was making racist comments or not, the full video – or the part with her point being made – needed to be shown in order for the audience to get the full affect and make a decisions for themselves instead of being swayed.

The second major issue is that this information spread far and wide and because no one checked to see the validity of it, everyone was furious and or informed with only some of the facts. You can get the full affect of how fast it spread on this timeline which displays how the Shirley Sherrod Case was handled.

The third issue I noticed while researching this case is bias. News channels who supported the tea party were quick to make this woman look bad (FOX) and more, while other news channels and outlets did more to get both sides of the story. It was political in nature and it became more about personal interests. David Gergen, an adviser to four presidents, said, “this has ripped away the veil and shown us all that is wrong with politics today, an ideologue injects poison into the internet, other people rush to judgment on camera, and an administration gets stampeded and commits this travesty of justice” (Rose). This is exactly what happened through the media as well.

This creates a problem because personal interests preside over the public’s right have a fair and truthful view of media.

These are the main issues that stuck out to me while researching this scandal. It gives me a better understanding of strategic communications as a consumer. I need to be more cautious, or have high digital media literacy, which is what it’s called nowadays (right Dr. McArthur?). I need to be able to choose what I am watching, reading or listening to while also understanding the information once I receive it. Although we live in a country where communication and media have free range, they also can withhold whatever they want as well. They choose to tell the public what they want to.

I believe that having a better understanding of strategic communications as a receiver makes for a better producer. In the end, FOX news along with others gave a lesser version of the information than they could have gotten their hands on, and they looked unprepared in the long run. In my opinion, I watched and read a lot of FOX based information and wondered why there were no refutes, or other sides of the story. Once Breitbart admitted that the video was edited and there was more, it was disappointing.

Rose, Adam. “Shirley Sherrod SCANDAL: Democrats, Republicans Unite To        Insist She Be Rehired (VIDEO).”TheHuntingtonPost. The        Huntington Post, 07/21/2010. Web. 29 Sep 2010.        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/21/shirley-sherrod- defended_n_653747.html.