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Social Media and A Company’s Reputation

Social Media and A Company’s Reputation

I think that the use and impact of social media can be either beneficial or detrimental to a company’s reputation. It all depends on the use and context of social media posts that are done by the company. There are billions of social media users in the world, so social media is a very effective way to reach people and advertise, and that number will only increase looking towards the future. Social media allows companies to be able to share information and content faster and easier than ever before. If done effectively, social media can grab people’s attention, tap into people’s emotions, and create humor and entertainment for the audience. Creating images that are simple and entertaining will grab people’s attention quickly. People who see effective social media posts are likely to explore further and visit said company’s official website. Company social media use also increases brand awareness and increases customer loyalty. In all of these cases, social media use would be beneficial for a company and its reputation.

However, if social media use is not done properly, it can be detrimental to a company. Everything needs to be worded carefully and controversial topics should be avoided. If a company posts something that is related to a controversial subject, they are also inviting people to comment on that post, which can lead to your audience writing negative comments about you on the post. Another example of bad social media use is using a tragic event on a post, such as a celebrity death. This can look like the company is using the tragic event for advertising their product or service and can look bad for them. Sometimes it’s just better to not say anything at all. It’s also important for company’s social media accounts to think twice before trying to follow trends, especially if they can be of sensitive nature. Don’t post something that’s meant to be funny when the hashtag is about something serious, such as relationship abuse, sexual harassment, etc. This will negatively impact your company and will result in bad press for your company.

Social media is a tool that companies should take advantage of. Creating posts and images that are entertaining and easy to understand will be great advertising and branding of your product or service. It provides multiple platforms for you to be able to easily reach your audience and even directly respond to their comments, if desired. However, the use of social media needs to be done properly. Be sure that only people you trust can post for you, and that it’s not in the hands of just anyone, and that posts could not be potentially considered offensive in some situations. This will quickly turn into negative attention for your company. Keep everyone in mind, be creative, and entertain your audience in order to use social media to its full potential.

– Darian McKinney

Conflicting Management Styles

Conflicting Management Styles

Conflict is inevitable and we all have will have to deal with it at some point in life. How we deal with conflict however, is what separates and defines us as individuals. When referencing conflict management, five styles are typically associated. These styles include; accommodating, avoiding, competing, collaborating, and compromising. Each of these styles fall between a scale of assertiveness and cooperativeness. Knowing what each of the conflict management styles are and applying them to your life and work environment can aid in how well you resolve conflict and uneasy situations.

Personally, I feel as though my conflict management style lies between accommodating and compromising. I don’t like to give a lot of my energy to conflict so when faced, I typically try to mediate, and see what will work best for everyone involved. That way we can move on and get the task completed. Although I typically stay in between those two, in given situations each of these styles can be utilized. If I am trying to accommodate everyone’s needs and someone isn’t willing to meet me half way then I transition into the avoiding style. Doing so allows all parties involved time to cool down and consider the situation. Sometimes I also feel as though I use the competing style. I have found that when working in groups, everyone has an opinion or idea about something. When I think my idea or solution is the best one then I get more assertive on why I think we should go with my idea over my teams. Although I want my idea to be the one chosen I also know how to collaborate with my team members in order to satisfy all sides.

Although we may think that our conflict management style is one way, we will ultimately end up using all five at some point or in some situation. Being able to understand situations and take a step back to evaluate what the true conflict is, will make it easier for you decide which direction you need to go in order to come to a resolution.

 

– Cheria Averitte

Enhanced Anxiety in Communication

Enhanced Anxiety in Communication

Looking at the past 30 years, social media and the expansion of technology have gained expansive growth; the way we communicate with each other can now take place on so many screened platforms, that we often can forget how to have a conversation face to face.

In a positive light, electronics have made communication a simple task at any distance; we can now communicate with loved ones or friends on any continent, anytime. The barriers of time and distance no longer seem to be a detrimental factor in communication with others. Not only have advances in technology made it easier for us to communicate with others, but now we have the ability to do so over a wide range of devices. Almost all of these devices support various forms of communication, such as text, voice, and video. Telephone technology is no longer a primary means of communicating, and this has made way for other electronics to make communication mobile, fast, and direct. This quick access to fast communication has boomed into, as some may say, the primary means of communication today. But, even though this may be the case, at what cost is it to ONLY communicate in this fashion?

Conversations used to flow over face-to-face contact, voices, body language, and visual/auditory stimulators that aided in all communicative fashions. Speaking with someone face to face allows direct contact in emotions, tone of voice, and feelings between both parties. It is easy to see how some of these details can be lost among screens and electronic means of communication. By learning to have face-to-face communication skills from a young age, one learns to read other’s expressions, gain social skills, and learns the appropriate ways to properly respond to situations. Yet, if one is so accustomed to only communicating by screen, these “old fashioned” ways of communication can be lost, thus diminishing the ability to gain cognitive conversation skills. In the younger generations of today, I feel that the primary means of communication is being utilized via screens; this, personally, makes me worried, as the younger generation will not have the skills to communicate in person with others. I have seen it through my own experience working with youth. Younger teenagers find it difficult to make phone calls, knock on someone’s door, or even order food at a counter. Not having the proper exposure to this type of communication style limits their connections they could be establishing with others. Also, as stated above, without this practice so to speak, they lose the ability to understand social cues.

Later on, when it comes to those very important situations that require face-to-face conversation, they will lack the ability to communicate and convey points due to lack of exposure. The fast expansion of technology is wonderful in making human highlights become something much greater that what they are in real form. When executed too much, the ability to have real thoughts and emotions becomes a void concept, which can lead to a bleak reality of lost connections and conversations. Technology needs to be utilized and understood, but just like most great things in life, it needs to be used in moderation.

 

– Zoey Spengler

Politeness Theory and College Education

Politeness Theory and College Education

Politeness Theory states that we determine our identities through the use of politeness strategies. These identities are present in the individual personas that we create, such as work, school, and personal personas. It is impossible to avoid creating these personas, which makes it of vital importance to observe how politeness theory plays into these identities, specifically in an education setting.

When it comes to learning, it is the responsibility of the individual to take ownership for his or her education. In order to learn, an individual must be motivated to gain an understanding. No teacher or professor is responsible for learning on the behalf of an individual. When analyzing education from this perspective, it can be easy to denounce politeness theory as inapplicable. If it is the sole responsibility of the individual to learn, it can be easy to question why someone would need to “preserve face”.

However, education as a whole is consistently collaborative. In the education system, individuals are charged with effectively communicating with their professors, team members, and peers. These are the relationships that will enhance an individual’s ability to learn and give him or her a broader perspective on potential issues. In order to preserve and foster these relationships, the individual must implement politeness theory in some capacity. If the politeness theory is not applied to these relationships, the individual’s education opportunities suffer. It can also be extremely difficult to receive assistance when presented with a problem. Even if an individual is talented or intelligent, their abilities are limited and can only be increased by asking for help. If the politeness theory has not been applied, it may be difficult for that individual to find the help necessary for succeeding.

While politeness theory is not the sole contributing factor to a person’s education, it is of high importance. It is possible to learn logistics, procedures, and methods individually, but in order to effectively apply those methods in real-world situations, an individual needs to have an effective method for managing relationships. The politeness theory is that effective method.

– Lauren Donahue

Cell Phone Usage: What To Do and What Not To Do

Cell Phone Usage: What To Do and What Not To Do

Cell phones have become an integral part of business. They are used professionally for voice communication and text messages. Given the onset of this development, I have a few suggestions in regard to their use for professional purposes. The following suggestions are based on my personal experiences and ideas cultivated from reading Applying Communication Theory for Professional Life: A Practical Introduction—a book written by Marianne Dainton, and Elaine D. Zelley.

 

When using cell phones as a method of communication within your career, the tone and clarity used to deliver your verbal or text messages is pertinent to your professional relationships. In reference to tone, maintain a positive disposition when communicating. People do not want to hear or see cynical comments when discussing business. Nor do they want to be on the receiving end of hostility. That said, be mindful of remaining positive and professional while conducting business via cell phone.

 

In reference to clarity, make sure your statements are understandable for all parties involved as communicating in a professional environment can involve people from various generations and cultures. Dainton and Zelley fostered my understanding of how important this is in the section of their book entitled “Interactional Perspective on Workplace Generations.” Reading this section prompted me to be mindful not to exclude anyone from receiving a message by communicating in an unfamiliar vernacular. This includes using vocabulary, expressions, or languages that cannot be discerned by those participating in the exchange. So, make it a point to be clear and thorough in your delivery, and be sure to know the audience with which you are communicating.

 

Other practices to keep in mind when using a cell phone for professional communication involve respect. If someone entrusts you with their cell phone number, do not call or text them excessively, or after a reasonable time of day (unless it is an absolute emergency and unavoidable). Another thing to avoid is using your cell phone for personal reasons during meetings. Nothing is more disrespectful than sending the message that the conversation transpiring during the meeting is trivial in comparison to what is going on in your personal life. So, unless it is an emergency, refrain from using your phone during meetings.

 

Now that the suggestions have been discussed, I hope you find this information useful and it helps you with communicating professionally via cell phone.

 

– Kamar Hamilton

What Is Your Conflict Management Style

What Is Your Conflict Management Style

Conflict is a part of our daily lives. Simply defined, conflict is a disagreement.  Conflict occurs internally, interpersonally, between groups, and even within organizations.  Since we all deal with conflict on some level, it is important to understand how we resolve conflict.  This is not just a blog about all the different conflict management styles.  This blog will specifically discuss my personal approach to conflict and how to resolve it.

Given that one of the CICS program’s responsibilities is to produce smart and adaptive people to assume leadership roles in the industry, it is important for all students to be capable of utilizing each style.  Over the past 12 years of working in social services, with several years of that being in a leadership role, I have noticed that I do not have just 1 way of resolving every conflict. I have to be able to adapt to the situation and to the person.  I will discuss these styles briefly and how I have applied them in my life.

One style is avoidance. Little courage is required and when used incorrectly, no consideration for the other person is present. This strategy should be used sparingly and for very specific situations.  I use this strategy when the person I’m interacting with is emotionally charged and unable to see reason.  This strategy can also be effective when someone may be trying to bait you into an argument. Avoidance is not an effective way to manage a conflict long term.

Another style is accommodating. In this style, one person completely gives in to the other person’s point of view.   This style is helpful when someone else has the more effective or appropriate idea.  I use this strategy when someone’s view is better than my own.  In many scenarios, giving in can lead to making peace. Unfortunately, it can also lead to feelings of resentment as you may feel that your idea wasn’t heard or even considered.

Competing, also known as the “win-lose” approach, is when you do anything to ensure you win the battle.  This style is helpful when decisive, quick action is needed. I use this approach when dealing with emergency situations or when others are looking for me to be the leader.  Again, this helps with short term rewards, but can be detrimental to relationships or to the company if it is used all the time.

We see the first step towards long term conflict resolution when we compromise.  Compromising requires both sides to give a little for the greater good of the situation.  I use this approach when both sides are stuck.  This will yield a “lose-lose” outcome, with both sides not fully getting everything they want but it allows for some ideas to be kept.

Collaboration is the best approach to use when dealing with conflict because of the short and long-term rewards.  Collaboration invokes discussion, idea sharing, and creative thinking to resolve all the issues without any concessions on either side.  This is my preferred style of managing conflict but I will use other styles if it isn’t effective.

 

– Rashad A. Williams

Assimilation Recommendations for CICS Program

Assimilation Recommendations for CICS Program

To successfully become a fully functioning member of the CICS community you must assimilate to the unique culture that is created among your peers, professors, and other vital CICS resources. This is a quick guide to the most important factors to consider during your adjustment period!

 

Social Learning in CICS

As a newbie, make sure that you include yourself in as many social learning events as you are able to! Put yourself out there and contribute to conversations in and out of the classroom. There will be many opportunities where you will be able to go out with your new CICS peers. Go out! These colleagues will become some of your closest friends and resources when the going gets tough throughout the program.

There are many events that the program puts on. These include the annual wine dinner, golf outing, and various opportunities to interact with past CICS alumni. Even if you have never held a golf club, go to the event. Here’s a little secret… It’s not actually about the golf. It’s about interacting with your peers, understanding the basics of networking, and the experience overall.

 

The Dress Code

Sadly, jeans and a t-shirt won’t cut it for this program. As a CICS graduate student you are expected to have on professional attire when in the classroom and Center. This doesn’t mean that you are required to wear a suit every day, but some people do. At the very least, business casual clothing is required. Eventually you will be in professional clothing for the majority of the week. Wearing casual clothing will ultimately become a weird experience for you. By month three you’ll find yourself grocery shopping in a suit and life will really seem strange.

 

Feeling Overwhelmed?

At some point you will feel incredibly overwhelmed in this program. The amount of assignments that you are expected to complete will seem like a steep mountain. Take a deep breath and take it one day, and one assignment at a time. By the end of the week the steep mountain will transition to a hill, and then to level ground. Get a study buddy to suffer through content with. This makes learning the content a lot more fun and a great way to bounce ideas off one another.  Lastly, remember that you and your peers are in this together. Help one another, study together, and work as a team to complete objectives.

– Kasia Majkowski

Is Social Media Beneficial, Detrimental, or Both To A Company’s Reputation?

Is Social Media Beneficial, Detrimental, or Both To A Company’s Reputation?

The answer to this question is simple: both. Social media can be beneficial to a company’s reputation, in addition to detrimental. The difference lies in the way social media is used. Instead of discussing whether it is beneficial or detrimental, we are really talking about: If a company uses social media effectively or ineffectively. Social media is a business platform as much as it is personal.

Effective social media use projects a favorable image of the company, and it is a constant effort. This means having a team that manages the company’s social media pages, not just one person. This depends on the size of the company of course, but a team effort is more effective. The content should be related to the goals and industry of the company. As I said, in this instance we are using it as a business platform, which should avoid personal content. Of course, keeping all posts professional, clear of vulgarity, and FACT-CHECKED/PROOFREAD is essential. Other businesses and potential customers will be evaluating your posts while reading them.

Essential social media use keeps in mind that everything posted to sites is permanent. Once you hit “post”, that information that you shared is out there forever. Each post needs to have a reason. It should also follow a regular schedule. This will show your followers that you are professional and consistent. Something to keep in mind: these general guidelines are a loose framework. Just like anything else, it depends on the unique context in which the business is located.

The reverse of effective social media use is as you guessed: ineffective. Not doing any of the previous things I have discussed would generate ineffective use. In addition to the opposites already mentioned, there are some hallmarks of ineffective social media use. The main hallmark is how you respond publicly to the feedback you receive on social media. Not responding positively and constructively will damage your reputation heavily. This is where having a social media team is beneficial. A business will not be able to respond to everything, but responding to as much as possible positively will help your company’s reputation.

To wrap up this discussion of social media use, we can evaluate an example. DC comics tweeted out a page of one of their comics. On this page it read: “translated from Pakistanian”. The post immediately was evaluated and received numerous responses on Twitter. This post was not fact-checked or proofread, as the official language is known as Urdu. This slip is forever documented and will remain as a stain on DC Comic’s reputation. Keeping in mind how to use social media effectively will help this technology platform be beneficial to your business. Not paying attention to social media intricacies and permanence will cause harm to a company’s reputation. Social media is a powerful business tool.

– Drew Apanavicius

A Company’s Social Media Presence

A Company’s Social Media Presence

Over a billion people in the world have some form of a social media account. In fact, 31 percent of all internet traffic is due to social media. With the large volume of people on these websites every day, an organization can easily be seen by millions of people in an instant. This is both exciting and frightening to public relations employees everywhere. A company’s reputation can be easily smeared or boosted due to social media influence. It is important for a company to closely monitor their social media accounts and have a strategy and plan in place to make sure disasters or accidents don’t happen. That same strategy can put a company in the limelight and separate them from their competitors. A simple tweet or post can change one’s image in an online world.

Examples of social media triumphs and failures are not an uncommon occurrence. We often will see the failures in the media. These mistakes made on social media make a great story. United Airlines is a wonderful example of what a company should strive not to do on social media. Earlier this year, they received mass amounts of attention for injuring and forcibly removing a paying passenger from one of their overbooked flights. Customers were not pleased. In situations like this, social media can be your friend or your foe. A social media apology is a great way to reach customers and show that you are listening to them. A strategy needs to be in place to handle sensitive situations like this. United Airlines instead added fuel to the fire by criticizing the passenger and blaming him for what happened. United Airlines did eventually admit their wrongdoings but not until after a drop in stock value, costing the company around 255 million dollars.

 

Successful social media strategies can be found throughout the internet as well. One example of an excellent social media strategy is with Arby’s restaurants. Arby’s social media page has been getting a lot of attention for its interesting approach on social media. Over the past year, Arby’s has shifted from using social media to showcase menu items, to catering to a gaming and anime community as well as a younger and more diverse population. They have also made references to old popular television shows using Arby’s products and merchandise in their posts. Since the strategy launched, Arby’s shares on Facebook have doubled and the Arby’s customer population for 18 to 38 year olds has increased to over half of its customer base.

A company’s reputation is important to maintain. Social media is a crucial part of keeping that image in a positive light. However, it is a double-edged sword. That same platform that helped you grow your reputation can tarnish it just as quickly. A strong social media strategy is vital and becoming increasingly important as the use of social media continues to rise.

– Ryan Suter

Social Media and Business

Social Media and Business

With the continued growth of technology, and its use, social media has become a powerful tool in business. In fact, social media has become so prevalent in the professional world that it is now seen as being taboo if a company is not active on at least Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This increase in the professional use of social media has brought about great benefits for businesses. However, some of those benefits come with potentially negative consequences.

 

As a benefit to business, social media has become an additional platform for companies to advertise. Evidence of this are the ads, announcements, commercials, and links of numerous companies displayed on social media websites. In today’s society, this form of promotion keeps companies on the minds of consumers 24 hours a day and allows companies to receive perks such as: increased brand awareness and loyalty; valuable customer insight; and increased web traffic. However, while those perks are good for business, they all bring the potentially negative consequences associated with heightened visibility.

 

One of the most detrimental aspects of increased visibility, via social media, is accountability. Due to the level at which information is shared on social media, it has become more difficult for companies to conceal secrets that can damage their reputations. In today’s world, it is commonplace to see press conferences and apology statements from companies and organizations because of incriminating information displayed on social media.

 

A current example of a company in the negative spotlight of social media is Equifax. Without social media, the hacking of their system may not have been as publicly known. To the detriment of Equifax, and some of its employees, updates of the company’s business post hack may negatively affect its market share price.

 

Social media has been embraced as a staple in global communication for businesses. The benefits are huge, but so are the possible detriments. With the potential for an increase in revenue from advertising on social media, the benefits may outweigh the negative costs. That is, unless businesses develop the habit of allowing colossal mistakes. Since that is not likely to become the norm, social media is probably more beneficial than detrimental.

 

– Kamar Hamilton

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