All posts by Heather Woods-Ferro

One Size Does Not Fit All

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We live in a diverse world made up of different ethnicities, religions, traditions, interests and preferences.  So, how do we tailor our messaging to appeal to a diverse audience in the business world? Whether communicating globally, or even one localized audience with diverse backgrounds, we have to be cognizant of our audience members. Because of the diversity of our world, it is impossible to please everyone and one size definitely does not fit all. However, there are ways that writers can develop their communications to better appeal to the majority of our diverse audience.

The first thing writers need to understand about communicating cross-globally is the concept of globalization. As Doreen Startke-Meyerring describes it, “Globalization… is the web of contacts, impacts, and connections now engulfing the basic institutions of the world in virtually every dimension of activity: demographic, economic, technological, environmental and political”. Our points of contact with anyone else outside of our background can be considered an aspect of globalization. Continue reading One Size Does Not Fit All

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Social Media Usage in Organizations

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In today’s world we are so overloaded with information, images, and rhetoric that we have become desensitized to it. Our attention spans are extremely shortened because we are so used to having instant gratification. We know there will be something else to come along that will be vying for our attention. For these reasons, it is extremely important that what we put out in the virtual universe is what we intend. This means, in business, we need to educate ourselves in order to effectively utilize social media sites to ensure that we are having the effect on the public that we want.

Because social media is so important for public perception and awareness of our organization, we have to take into consideration the power that social media has. Helene Solomon, author of Social Media for Non-Profits states that “social media create opportunities far beyond brand awareness and advocacy; social media recruit volunteers and yield real-world, actionable results”.  With this in mind, it is crucial that our posts are well-thought out instead of haphazardly constructed and left for our social media followers to misinterpret. We need to be very clear with our messaging the first time around.

22c44b1 Continue reading Social Media Usage in Organizations

Writing What You Know

Have you ever been so angry with someone or a particular situation that you were able to draft a very well-written, passionate response to what angered you in the first place? Did you notice that it came easily and the words flowed effortlessly? I think this is something that we have all experienced at least once in our lives. For me, I have noticed that when I write about something I am passionate about, the piece that I’m writing seems almost effortless because I am personally invested and I have my own experiences and knowledge that I bring to the subject.

Typically, when you are passionate about something, you are knowledgeable about the subject matter. The passion you feel for the subject has led to years of experience and learning all you can about that particular subject. Continue reading Writing What You Know

Discourse Communities in Different Organizations

“Language has a magical property: when we speak or write we craft what we have to say to fit the situation or context in which we are communicating.”

– James P. Gee

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When we write or speak to others throughout our daily lives, we practice tailoring our messages to the situation. Our conversation takes shape based on the situation: the topic of the conversation, the person or people we are communicating with, the setting in which the conversation is taking place, and your relation to the person or people you are communicating with. Just as our spoken communication is shaped by the audience, when we write we must also consider the audience and tailor our messages to them. However, without the audience member being present in the conversation, you must anticipate their needs and their expectations without them being right in front of you. That is why it is so important to have some understanding about the audience of your message when writing anything such as a quick text message, an academic paper, a proposal, or an email to a client. Continue reading Discourse Communities in Different Organizations

Communication in Non-Profit Organizations

I have worked in a wide range of industries consisting of pest control management, non-profit, hospitality, retail, online education, and corporate buying. One of the things that I have learned along the way is that no matter where you work or what your assigned responsibilities are, you need to know your audience. Communication cannot be effective unless the message is tailored to the audience, and in order to do that, you need to know a little bit about who your audience is. The message must be “heard” by the recipient or else there is no communication at all. Famous author and management consultant, Peter Drucker, once said “There is no possibility of communication, in other words, unless we first know what the recipient, the true communicator, can see and why”. Continue reading Communication in Non-Profit Organizations