The History of Communication   Leave a comment

The field of Communication originated with the Ancient Greeks.  Philosophers such as Socrates and Plato lectured their peers on the power of Rhetoric, and many embraced the study of effective speech with earnest.  Even today, people continue to use the same theories of rhetoric originally outlined by Socrates, often times unknowingly.  There have always been scholars that have written about the importance of understanding the ways that humans create meaning with one another; their scattered essays appear randomly through the 1900’s through the late 1930’s.  One such communication pioneer was Charles Cooley, who published the article, “Social Organization: A study of the larger mind” in 1909.

One of the most important developments to the study of Communication was the use of Propaganda in World War II.  Both the Military and the government were interested in learning more about the persuasive power of language, which helped to increase the number of Communication scholars.  With an increase of demand for Communication scholars, a subsequent demand for formal institutions to study Communications in grew as well.  The University of Chicago and Columbia were two of the first colleges to offer degrees in Communication Studies. 

The most influential development to the study of Communication was the rapid increase of new technologies.  Devices such as the word press and the radio had brought about radical changes in the way that humans communicated with one another.  However, these devices pale in comparison to the awesome affect that Television had on communication methods.  As the popularity of Television grew, scholars wanted to understand what kind of effects that the technology would have on the way that society communicated with one another. 

Today, the world is characterized by the blazing speed at which information is available.  In other words, this is the Age of Information.  The printing press, radio, and the television were all necessary developments to the success of the Internet.  Society has come to not only enjoy, but depend on the instantaneous exchange of information that would have previously seemed impossible only two decades ago.  Considering that society has placed a special emphasis on the rate at which we communicate, it is only logical to assume that there is also a special emphasis on understanding the way that we communicate.  For that reason alone, any academic pursuit in the field of Communication would be a valuable asset in this day and age. 

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Posted February 21, 2013 by Big Man in Capstone Reflections

Blog Comments   Leave a comment

1.  “Chapter 2- History We Need to Know” by courtney1288, posted May 19th

Hey Courtney, I was just reading through your blogs and I just want to say that I am very impressed. It is clear to anybody with a half working brain that you are taking this class very seriously and it is refreshing and inspring. I look at your page, and the first thing that I notice is that you are almost completely up to date with all of your posts, something that I am trying to do today. But on to your chapter notes…. I think that it is interesting because you started out your post on chapter two with the importance of history and how it often repeats itself. I also started my chapter two notes with a little tribute to history. It is funny how people that don’t communicate with one another can form similar thought processes. I definitely agree with your view on the Greeks and their stressed importance on skilled public speaking. I think that is probably the number one trait that American citizens look for in their own presidents as well. Look at the past three presidents for example. Obama is constantly praised on his ability to effortlessly address large crowds of people with little difficulty. George W. Bush is still criticized today for his lack of great public speaking skills, something that will unfortunately plague him all the way into the history books. Then Bill Clinton, a man who was almost impeached for his affair, but he is still regarded with a great respect. It is all a very powerful statement of how much emphasis is placed on words in our society today.

2.  “Goo Goo for GaGa” by littleblondelulu, posted May 30th

Hey Lindsey I like what you have been saying about Lady Gaga. By no sense of the word can anybody credit her with being.. traditional, but that hasn’t seemed to stop her. Lady Gaga is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the hearts of millions of people around the world, and that in itself is credit to her legitimacy as an artist. The erratic behavior, combined with a ludicrous wardrobe all scream how much she values being in the spotlight. However, it has all become part of her identity as Lady Gaga. It also helps that her music is great. I don’t think that I have looked at the iTunes top ten singles list without seeing one of her songs in the past year. She is simply a pubic relations powerhouse, from publicity stunts like you mentioned in your post, to continually dedicating her albums and live performances to her ‘little monsters’ she has proven that she should be worshiped for the deity that she has become.

3.  “Employee Relations: Starbucks Has Done it Again!” by littleblondelulu, posted June 21st

Like Dr. McArthur said, I like the real world tie in. I think that it is refreshing to know that high ranking business executives are still concerned about each individual experience. I can say from experience that I am not a fan of Starbucks coffee, I usually feel hastled to order a beverage, and I am usually unimpressed with their product. Even worse is that I order plain coffee, literally the most simple order you can imagine. I don’t even ask for room for cream because I drink it plain but I still feel like either the baristas or the people behind me are impatient. That is why I like the simplicity of other coffee shops. However, hearing a story like this does make me think twice about my judgement of Starbucks. I think that if they really are going back to their roots as a single coffee shop and not just a mega-corporation then there is indeed hope. Great post, I thought it was really well thought out.

4.  “Chapter 10 Blog” by The New Jersey Chad Polevoys, posted June 23rd

I like what you said about being personable Chad, and I would agree with you when you say that it is scary that the computer screen or the cell-phone screen is replacing good old fashioned face to face conversation. I think that it is really difficult to establish any kind of relationship when there is no personal interaction. Just think about when you meet somebody in a chatroom or on some Facebook group and you haven’t met them in person. While you might get along online, share the same interests, there is something missing from that relationship that prevents you both from really being friends. I feel like face to face interaction is one of the most important things to forming a successful professional relationship with people. Great post, it was very insightful

5. “ISC Topic #5” by littleblondelulu, posted June 23rd

The only thing that I would disagree with here is when you say that you lack a certain comical genius. I thought that some of your tweets about Rebecca Black and the way that Facebook users have more friends were entertaining. However, I would definitely agree with you when you say that fitting a concise, thoughtful post in 140 characters is difficult. When I first started my Twitter account, I just thought that it would be no big deal, but I have found myself devoting nearly half an hour to each post whether it is through finding a good link, trying to shave off unnecessary words, or anything like that. But I think that you did a great job with your account, and since I have been a little behind in that lab I looked at yours and Chad’s profile for inspiration. Great job, and don’t sell yourself short.

6.  “Chapter 15- Editing is Important” by courtney 1288, posted June 23rd

I like what you said about the relevance of this blog to the development of the class.  It is interesting that you pointed that out because I originally was confused as to the importance of this blog.  However, as I continued to do the assigned posts, I could begin to understand how the textbook and the blog were starting to come together.  Now that we are almost done with the class, I can even begin to see why Dr. McArthur picked the specific order of the chapters.  But I like what you wrote, it shows a lot of effort and well developed thoughts.  The video that you posted was pretty cool to, Chef Ramsy is ridiculous!

7.  “No Basketball and No Football” by The New Jersey Chad Polevoys, posted June 28th

I understand where you are coming from man, it makes me so upset to know that we probably will be forced to not have two major professional sports because of petty differences of a couple “0′s” here and there. I feel like you are making over a million dollars a year, what more could you really want? You would think that the players and the coaches obligations to their fans would persuade them to actually resolving this issue. It is despicable, and it goes against all of the PR that people work hard on. All of those “NBA/NFL cares” segments that say how much their fans mean to them are completely out the window at this point. Even if they do settle their problems with each other, the general public will be so turned off by the very notion of this betrayal and petty greed, that many will be dissuaded from watching, which would still generate a loss in profits for everybody involved. They sure do know how to rile up a crowd…

Now do you think that in the more than likely absence of NBA/NFL will show a dramatic increase in NCAA sports? Maybe we will finally get a playoff system for college football! What are your thoughts on the matter?

8.  “Chapter 18; Social Media Demands Public Relations Professionals Attention!” by littleblondelulu, posted June 28th

I think that you are totally right about Twitter being one of the most effective methods of effectively communicating with the general public. There is a certain comfort that comes from a message that is less than 140 characters. I think that it is the fact that the organization is forced to make their messages short and sweet, there is no fear of long, confusing, jargon-filled news letters that often leave citizens more confused then they were when they knew nothing. Besides, Twitter can be linked so effortlessly to different social networking accounts. This makes it easier for organizations because if there is a story too long for twitter, then you can directly link them to something like Facebook in which you can take more time to develop your messages. I like what you wrote, once again it was very well thought out, and written with great style. 

9. Lab 11 by The New Jersey Chad Polevoys, posted June 28th

 You could try to either take an image of the screen with your presentation and upload that as a picture…-or- Upload the document to something like photobucket or a website that will issue a url to the presentation, and then upload that as a picture.  That is all that I could think of, I hope it helps and let me know if you discover the right way to do it!

10. “ISC 6” by The New Jersey Chad Polevoys, posted June 28th

I understand where you are coming from when you say that it is surprising how little you really knew.  It is simply incredible what you can cram into your brain in a mere seven weeks.  I think that you have definitely come a long we, as we all have (sorry don’t interpret that as me being condescending), and I think that through reading the entire text book we have all picked up a lot of information that we will be able to use later down the road.  It has been great to be able to read your blog!

11.  “What can I do with a Degree in Communication” by Jamcarthur, posted June 28th

This is such a relief to read! I have had so many people ask me why I would decide to major in Communications, and I have always had some difficulty answering them with a response that isn’t just “because I want too!” But I like when people as esteemed as yourself are advocates for communications. It just seems like that major is never really given the credit that it deserves, oh well I’m glad to have picked it, and I think that it will help me a lot later on in life.

12. “Call me, tweet me, if you wanna reach me!”  by Miss Teace, posted June 30th

First off I am really jealous that your tweet examples actually embedded properly… I watched that video three times to make sure that I was doing it right, and my computer refused to do it. Anyways, I like what you said about Twitter made it easier to keep tabs on the different classmates. The blog makes it a little difficult because you have to navigate through a few different windows before you can find them. I mean it isn’t that difficult to do, but it is a lot more effort to find them all on wordpress then it is on Twitter that is for sure.

You are right when you commented on how we all discussed different things with our blog posts. I think that it is nice that we only have 4, (or is it 5?) people in our class because you have the time to actually read what people are posting.

13. “ISC #6” by littleblondelulu, posted June 30th

I love your definition of strategic! I feel like my own definition was rather inferior in comparison but I’ll be able to live with it. Clearly you have taken this class very seriously, and you have learned a lot as a result. Whenever I would read your blog, something would stick out as either interesting or really pensive.

The part where you discussed how the actual upkeep of the blog throughout the course was interesting because that is what I thought was one of the most important things to my own learning. By being challenged with multiple assignments a week that had different expectations, the structure of the course forced us to apply what we had learned from the class to the real world.

14. “Chapter 19 Blog” by The New Jersey Chad Polevoys, posted June 30th

This is a great real world example of the dangers of poor PR! I didn’t even think of the BP oil spill! I suppose that I was still thinking about all of the politicians that have been involved with scandals over the few years to really give much thought to big companies. I think that this example really shows the incompetence of the executives at BP oil. It isn’t like they don’t have enough money to afford a great PR department.

When you think about it, with as much controversy has been linked to big oil companies as of late with things like global warming and off shore drilling, who in their right mind would not actively seek out the best PR personal in the business? That is what I would have done, but great idea in applying that story to the chapter, and thats is a really cool photo to accompany your writing.

15. “Speak English!” by Miss Teace, posted June 30th

I understand why Senator Harris would be upset, speaking Spanish deliberately to make a point makes a mockery out of the state legislators power. It is unfortunate that somebody who knows how to speak English doesn’t have the respect to talk to his own elected officials in the same language. This kind of disrespect to the American culture that infuriates people to the point of wanting to close the borders for good. People are so quick to point out how intolerant Americans are towards other people’s culture, but examples like this point out otherwise.

This is a good story, there is a lot of significance behind it, and I am glad that you shared it with us!

16. “Chapter 17 Blog” by The New Jersey Chad Polevoys, posted June 30th

My mom was born on Long Beach Island and lived there until she was ten! Small world haha, but I thought that how you said that marketing, advertising, and public relations are all basically doing the same thing, “selling the idea” is pretty much true. Obviously there are many differences between the three fields, but much of those differences are technicalities. Many people do not understand the difference between the three fields, I know that I did not before this class.

The way that you included your own summer job into the post was a great way to add some excitement and authenticity to your post, which is something that I have been trying to do this entire summer. I’m a little interested on what else you guys at Joe’s do to stand apart from all of the other pizza shops besides just the advertising. It sounds like an interesting job though!

17. “Microsoft Steps up to the Plate With Generous Public Relations Strategy” by littleblondelulu, posted June 30th

I think that this is an incredible deal. When I decided to purchase my laptop before coming to college I didn’t even consider Microsoft as an option for a computer. I felt like the company was too professional, and… boring. However, if this deal was going on when I was making my laptop decision I would have been very tempted to consider Microsoft.

This is an interesting tactic to draw in customers though. Xbox 360′s are by no means cheap, they can cost anywhere from $200 to $350 depending on the package that you decide to go with, so I can’t see how they would profit from including an Xbox with every purchase. Xbox is owned by Microsoft, so the company might be willing to take a hit on profits in an attempt to take away customers from Apple. I saw this promotion on a commercial on TV, and I would be very interested to see how it all works out.

18.  “Not part of the game plan…” by missteace, posted June 30th

I agree with you on your opinion that people should not underestimate the power of both Twitter and Facebook. While they may seem like sophomoric methods of communications, enough people have began to use them to spread information that regardless of what some people may think, these are both very legitimate means of communicating.

For a business executive to completely disregard the power of Twitter shows his ignorance. That and anybody that would blatantly shoot people down like that deserve any bad thing that would happen to them.

19. “Even the big news can be meaningless” by The New Jersey Chad Polevoys, posted June 30th

I can’t believe that I hadn’t heard about that until just recently. That would definitely bring a country to it’s knees though. Just think about everything that you get through the mail, bank statements, credit card statements, official or notarized documents, packages and materials needed to run small businesses… without the post office all of these things woud come to a grinding halt bringing economic fail and unemployment rates into a commonality.

I suppose that because nobody has died as a result of this, it isn’t necessarily ‘news worthy’. This is rather shocking though, because I can’t understand why this wouldn’t be published. Our news system is pretty much useless because it is so weighted down with the obligations of filling the schedules of 24 hour news networks, and political partisanship. Hopefully things will begin to change.

 

20.  “ISC 7” by The New Jersey Chad Polevoys, posted July 1st

Haha I love your last bit of advice, keep up with your comments. I think that it is funny how nearly our entire lists are the same. But this was such a fun opportunity, that at times it didn’t even feel like we were in a class room.

Posted July 1, 2011 by Big Man in Comments

PR 7   Leave a comment

The FDA met with board of advisors recently to discuss whether or not the cancer treatment drug Avastin should remain approved for treating Breast Cancer.  This was a very emotional hearing, as there were two full days of testimonies from doctors, patients, and family members of those that have taken Avastin for Breast Cancer.  The FDA has not officially repealled Avastin’s Breast Cancer treatment status yet, but the board of advisors tallied in with a unanimous 6-0 against the drug.

 

What is strange is that the FDA usually follows the advice of their advisors, as evidence to the recent Four Loko craze.  The advisors vetoed the use of Avastin for Breast Cancerin 2008, but the FDA decided to approve it anyway.  Part of the reason why the FDA approved the use of Avastin for Breast Cancer was because of it’s good track record of helping treating lung, colon, and brain cancer.

Avastin will still be available for commercial use for other treatment methods, but many insurance companies will most likely not cover it for the use of Breast Cancer.  This means that an average year of treatment cou

 

ld cost about $100,000 which would make it virtually obtainable for most families.  The drug itself is supposed to prolong the advancement of the cancer for an average of 5.5 months, but in this instance, many patients that were on the drug experienced heart attacks, high blood pressure, and bleeding.

It is unfortunate that a drug that has helped so many people will not work for some.  I think that it is crazy that something that helps lung, colon, and brain cancer doesn’t work for something like breast cancer.  This seems discouraging that scientists are close to finding a cure to the disease that has claimed so many lives of people around the world.

http://www.latimes.com/health/sc-dc-0630-fda-avastin-20110630,0,5052968.story

Posted June 30, 2011 by Big Man in PR Connections

ISC Topic 2   Leave a comment

Somehow this one slipped through the cracks… well I suppose that it is better late than never.  Anyways, Shirley Sherrod was a government official working for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  As an African American, Sherrod was asked to help many farmers who were on the brink of bankruptcy.  At a later date, Sherrod was filmed addressing an audience at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and telling a story about how she did not provide the full assistance to a specific farmer because he was white. 

 

Sherrod

 

The details on the story are somewhat vague, my guess is because the story is over a year old, and that a great number of politcal groups were involved with the ordeal.  However, both Fox News and MSNBC agree that Sherrod was not providing full assistance to the poor white farmer.  The video was posted on a number of blogs, and like a wildfire her ‘racism’ was ringing throughout the blogosphere.  The government asked her to step down, but upon further examination of the full video appologized to her and offered her her old position back.

It is important to know as a strategic communicator that you need to have all of the facts.  Seitel says in his book many different times that the cardinal rule of public relations is to remain honest.  I think that it was unfortunate that she was forced to resign, but it really shows the full power of the blogosphere.  By spreading information at an instantaneous rate, (even if the information is false), public opinion can be influenced faster than ever.  That is why it is critical to keep healthy relations with the press, which now includes those who maintain popular blogs.  While it seems silly that people that are not actually employed to be journalists can bolster such influence, but that is the reality of our world today and it is the job of strategic communicators to monitor these relationships.

 

References:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41589161/ns/us_news/

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/19/clip-shows-usda-official-admitting-withheld-help-white-farmer/

http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/02/14/sherrod.lawsuit/index.html

Posted June 29, 2011 by Big Man in ISC Topics

ISC Topic 7   Leave a comment

So you have decided to take Comm 306 eh?  Good decision and I promise that if you stick with and put in genuine effort, you won’t regret it.  This is a class that really stretches your ability to think critically, add a certain creative flair that will help your work stand out from everybody elses, as well as testing your close reading skills.  While this might sound a bit unnerving at first, don’t worry I will share some advice with you that helped me succeed in the class.

  1. Stay on top of the workload- The hardest part about this class is the freedom that you are given.  You can complete assignments at your own pace and Dr. McArthur will still give you credit for them, but that will leave you with a staggering amount of work to do at the end of the session/semester.  That and you will loose points from the weekly upkeep section on your blog
  2. Read the entire chapter (including the examples)- There is a reason why the majority of the assigned homework is chapter reading notes.  The chapters themselves provide a lot of great examples that will help you with other assignments in the class, and if you take notes as you go, then you basically have a study guide for the exams as well!
  3. When the prompt suggests creativity, don’t be afraid to try something new- This class provides some great opportunities to get your hands dirt, metaphorically speaking of course. Don’t be afraid to try something new, or to include different types of media in your presentations.  Even if your attempt isn’t the best work, Dr. McArthur will apreciate you testing your limits and trying something new.
  4. Read the articles and posts that Dr. McArthur provides you with- Dr. McArthur is definitely a pro at all things involving media and communications.  I have asked him probably a million different questions this summer term, and he has always provided quick, friendly, and helpful responses to my questions.  He also posts a lot of helpful informationt that will help you with your blogs.
  5. Put your best effort into all of the assignments- Don’t just try to finish all of the projects, actually put effort into them.  You will be surprised with what you end up with.  If you put your best effort into the class, then at the end of the semester/term you will have an awesome portfoio that you can use if you are trying to get a job in Media Communication.

For some helpful tips check out some of these links:

http://www.techtalktoe.com/?p=15

http://publicrelationsmatters.com/2010/05/21/10-blogging-tips-that-will-change-your-life-or-grade-at-least/

 

Posted June 29, 2011 by Big Man in ISC Topics

ISC Topic 6   Leave a comment

https://harriscomm306.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/isc-topic-1/

It seems like such a long time ago when we first started this class.  I can tell that I have progressed a lot because I didn’t even mention strategic communication in my post… whoops.  However, I do know that I didn’t have much of a definition for it, it was something along the lines of “carefully considering the wording of a specific message”.  I was pretty much dead wrong.  Now that the class is pretty much done, I realize that strategic communication is more of specifically tailoring a message that will have the most likelyhood to influence a targeted audience.  While there is much more to strategic communication then just one sentence, I would say that is a pretty decent way to summarize it. 

I think that the most beneficial part of this class was the blog.  By reiterating what I read in each chapter, and completing lab assignments and ISC topics that required creative thinking, I think that really applied what we were learning to a real life example of how strategic communication is done.  I know that I really enjoyed the lab assignments the most because it allowed for a certain aspect of creativity and freedom that weren’t really there in the chapter notes section. 

Some of the skills that I frequently used throughout the course of this class were close reading, analytical thinking, creativity, as well as organization.  I think that the organization part was the most important for me.  With so many different types of assignments all due at the same time, it was important for me to write out what was due each week, so that I could keep track of what I had already completed.  After organization, I thought that creativity was the most important skill to utilize.  With all of the projects that included media presentations or one page visuals, I needed to think of a way that would say everything that I was trying to say without boring people to death.

 

Posted June 29, 2011 by Big Man in ISC Topics

ISC Topic 5   1 comment

When I found out that we had to make a Twitter account for this class I was very skeptical.  I didn’t really think that Twitter was very significant, and I thought of it as just another way for teenagers to say that they are bored online.  Part of my initial reaction to the assignment was because I had already tried to make a Twitter account, and I didn’t really see any point to it.

I think that the main reason why I quit Twitter was because I wasn’t using it to be helpful and to spread information, I was basically using it as another Facebook status update.  However, when we started the week of Tweeting, I purposefully waited for others to start so that I could get an idea of how they were using this account.  Much to my surprise, and pleasure, this was not just mindless meaningless babble, but it was actually stimulating. 

When I first started my account for #comm306, I wasn’t really sure where to start.  I mean, how can you pick one story out of everything on the Internet, and then summarize it in less that 140 characters!  I thought that my tweets would take no more than 15 minutes to complete, but my first 10 probably took me about an hour each.  While that seems excessive, I was trying to ensure that I didn’t polute the tweet-osphere with more junk. 

Overall, I really enjoyed my time on Twitter.  It is something that you need to take an active interest to get anything out of it.  Just like school, you only get out of it what you put into it.  I think that I am going to continue tweeting, but I think that I will probably change the name so that people don’t think that I am just doing this for class credit.  I’m not saying that I am going to be posting 4 things a day, but I will definitely attempt to continue providing the world with what I deem interesting or funny.

http://twitter.com/#!/Harris216/status/85728730353381376

http://twitter.com/#!/Harris216/status/85392663544725504

Posted June 29, 2011 by Big Man in ISC Topics