Marketing: Who do you think you’re talking to?

Marketing: Who do you think you’re talking to?

Brand Manager

Prior to becoming an instructor, I worked for a time as the brand manager of a medium-sized community. I was tasked with hiring a marketing research/creative firm, facilitating their work, and managing the brand.

Because it was a community brand, my employer and I recruited a team of community stakeholders to help with the hiring and implementation process.  In response to our initial RFP, the team received many excellent responses.  We interviewed five finalists over the course of a couple days.

The process was an education.  We got to see many unique design philosophies.  But one firm, in their presentation, won us over when they asked our hiring panel, “what are the six P’s of marketing?” read more…

The “Nest”: the Birthplace of Perception

The “Nest:” the Birthplace of Perception

baby bird

One morning as I went out to work in my flower bed, I found a baby robin hopping about the front yard. The anxious mother I am, I immediately sensed she was in danger and wanted to “save” her by putting her in her nest.

In my gardening gloves I reached out and said in my high, “for-baby” voice. “It’s okay, little birdie! I’ll help you!”

As I stepped closer, my face spread with a loving smile, the baby bird FREAKED. Its wings began wildly flapping and it tweeted hysterically. I gasped in surprise and immediately withdrew. What in the world? Why wouldn’t she let me help her?

I futilely watched her hop around for quite a while, fretting that she was destined for a cat’s lunch. But I couldn’t come up with a solution. Defeated, I left her hopping sweetly and obliviously among the shrubs.

As I reflected on this interaction, I had two thoughts. One is that animals are animals; I cannot interfere in her destiny. She has to brave the world as nature intended. Two, this interaction is a great example of how well-intentioned communications can be misinterpreted because of the lack of a shared meaning system. (I know… crazy bird lady. But bear with me). read more…

Is THIS love?

is THIS loveIs THIS love?

In class when we discuss verbal communication (the words that we use to communicate), we talk about how language is both abstract (it denotes something but is not the actual thing) and ambiguous (it has more than one meaning).  Yet we human beings believe we are speaking clearly and everyone (particularly those closest to us) should understand what we mean because, dog-gone-it, we said it!

This belief leads us into a lot of trouble because each of us uses language uniquely. Based on our experiences words take on meanings that are known only to us–and even we may not be fully aware of those meanings. read more…

Public Speaking Adrenaline: For Good or Evil

No to public speaking One of the most dreaded components of my Introduction to Communications class is public speaking.  Consistently when requesting first-day, “tell me your concerns” feedback from students I learn that they “hate” public speaking. I’m not surprised. Public speaking, I tell my class, is like throwing up.  You are put in circumstances that require you to do it, and the closer the event comes the worse you feel.  Your palms sweat.  You get the shakes. Your stomach turns into a hard ball, your mouth goes dry.  But the minute it is over, you feel GREAT.  You experience this tremendous, whole body bliss… until the next event comes. But why do we hate this experience so much?  What is so bad about it?  And how do we best survive? read more…

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