Archive for the ‘communications, marketing, public relations’ Category

Communicating between Generations

October 20, 2010

In today’s blog, SPC Board member Diane Gaw offers her take on the CCIL (Coalition for Communication and Intercultural Leadership) seminar held October 14 at Clark University, with panelists John Chetro-Szivos of Fitchburg State University, Jose Ramirez of UmassMemorial Health Care, Azure Collier of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Alicja Januszewicz of Boston Scientific Labs.

In a room packed with communicators, business people, and academics, I listened to a fascinating discussion on intergenerational communication preferences. The organizers divided the generations differently than some I’ve seen (usually Boomers are 1945-1964), with “Traditionalist” 1925-1942, “Baby Boomer” 1943-1960, “Gen X” 1961-1981, and “Millennial” 1982-1998.

The panelists agreed that e-mail needs to remain written in “real” English, with full sentences and good spelling, especially as it’s used for work, but that reaching younger audiences means using all the social media tools at hand, too. Azure, from WPI, reminded us to be prepared to react quickly to any negative posts – which often simply means “pushing them down” in Facebook comments by adding new information f-a-s-t.

One of the most remarkable results of new technology noted: the ability to self-publish. With the numbers of newspapers going down, each of us now “owns” a publishing machine, and direction has changed — rather than the papers telling us what to think, customers now tell companies what’s up. John Chetro-Szivos, who moderated, reminded us that Marshall McLuhan’s point about communications being an extension of the body is even more true now than when McLuhan wrote it!

It was stressed that we need to know our audience before deciding which “tools” to use — perhaps printed and e-mail for Traditionalists, more of a mix for younger generations, and, for Millennials, all the current methods at our disposal except, possibly, print. So, for any one communication blast, we may need a variety of paths.

When I asked about how to attract younger members to our group and Web site, the answer, from Azure, was “talk to them.” Invite them to learn about etiquette for business writing, tips to navigate the business world, etc. Anybody up for founding a traveling program on “How to Write Like You Mean Business”?

And, a tip I try to take to heart: own your boundaries — just because you have a smart phone doesn’t mean you HAVE to be on call 24/7. Set your times to be “offline” — say, after 7 p.m. till you choose to check e-mail in the morning. Easier said than done, when there’s an anxious client on your case!

It certainly was a great beginning to a program of CCIL podcasts coming up for SPC members this year. I say: catch them, if you can!


Thought Bubbles and Web 2.0

December 9, 2009

Cynthia Wright

In today’s blog post, SPC co-president Cynthia Wright, principal of CJW Associates, offers her thoughts and insights on Kel Kelly’s December 8 presentation on how Web 2.0 is changing the public relations world.

Kel Kelly’s dynamic presentation to SPC yesterday was an impassioned tutorial for those who still may be keeping a distance from the tide of energy that Web 2.0 carries with it. If you’re not ready to surf the waves now, you and  your clients are losing out on a great gift from the tech world to the world populated by individuals who love words and the power of communication but aren’t sure how to keep up with the wired and wireless among us.

If you’re any sort of freelancer, no matter what you so name yourself—solopreneur, consultant, independent communicator, or simply a fabulous freelancer—Web 2.0 opens the door to the easiest self-promotion imaginable.  Comment on blogs? Start a Facebook group? Tweets? This is insanely perfect for one-man bands, like many SPC members. Those blog comments and tweets are thought bubbles, according to Kel. Don’t let your thoughts float away! Make them work for you and your clients!

Kel gave us the inside track on sites that are specific to PR specialists (as well as broad and specific strategies for client placement).  Be sure to check out to take advantage of stories in process, to leverage releases, and to jumpstart and/or focus your Twitter experience.

Thanks again to Kel Kelly of Kel & Partners for such a lively presentation to SPC and for donating her stipend to the Worcester County Food Bank. If you missed out on the chance to contribute to SPC’s annual food drive, please consider making a monetary donation today!

What is Google Wave?

December 8, 2009

Has anyone been using or experimenting with Google Wave?

“Google Wave is an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. A wave can be both a conversation and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more,” according to the Google Wave site. You can check out a video on that page that explains exactly what Google Wave is and what is is designed for (be advised: video is 80 minutes long). Basically, Google’s goal was to examine what e-mail would look like if it was created today.

For a much shorter and more entertaining overview of Google Wave, check out the following video from Epipheo Studios.

Is Facebook Losing its Coveted Demographic?

December 3, 2009

Check out what Brian Solis has to say about Facebook losing its coveted demographic (18-24 yr. olds) on his PR 2.0 blog. Interesting stuff. Be sure to check out Brian’s other postings as well. Lots of great material.

Solis is Principal of FutureWorks, an award-winning PR and New Media agency in Silicon Valley. Solis blogs at PR2.0,, and regularly contributes marketing and tech insight to industry publications.

Retailers use social media to entice shoppers

November 27, 2009

Check out how some retailers are using social media to get the word out on their deals to holiday shoppers this Black Friday.

New Media Technology Reading

November 24, 2009

As many of you know, I’m taking a master’s course at Clark University this semester entitled New Media Technology. Essentially the course deals with social media and how businesses and organizations are taking advantage of it. One of the best parts of the course has been the books we’ve read. Here is a list of what we’ve read that you may want to take a look at:

The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More (by Chris Anderson)

  1. Also check out Chris Anderson’s Long Tail blog

The New Influencers: A Marketers Guide to the New Social Media (by Paul Gillin)

The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools & Strategies for Business Success (by Lon Safko and David K. Brake)

We also read a fascinating article entitled “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” by Nicholas Carr which appeared in the July/August 2008 issue of the Atlantic.

Let the blogging begin!

November 6, 2009

Welcome to the SPC Communicator, a brand new blog launched by the Society of Professional Communicators. My name is Mike Vigneux and I am on the SPC board. For my day job, I’m the director of public affairs at the Colleges of Worcester Consortium, Inc. I’ve been an SPC member for about five years.

We hope this blog will be a fun and interactive space for our members to talk about and share interesting trends within the communications field. Please feel free to comment on our posts and suggest material for us to cover.