Category Archives: Communication

mission for the week

As well as putting together AgriExchange’s next fabulous newsletter, my mission for this week is to increase the search ranking for SA Murray Irrigators’ website.

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oops

I may know about apostrophes but I certainly can’t spell. The title of the below post was supposed to have only one error – not two!

apostophe’s

Very much enjoyed Iain Shedden’s article in the Review section of the Weekend Oz. I always find myself shaking my head and, on many occasions, groaning loudly when faced with signs, advertisements, menus and other such items that blatently misuse the humble apostrophe.

As Shedden pointed out mistakes often abound in references to decades – ’70s, ’80s and ’90s (or 70’s, 80’s and 90’s as many would have you believe) – and entertainment (CDs and DVDs – did people formerly write tape’s, record’s and radio’s? Could the misuse of apostrophes be directly linked to the advent of new technology?).

Working in regional newspapers I was constantly confronted by people referring to the A’s, B’s and under 18’s in their sports reports and it was all I could do to not beat them about the head with a giant grammar book.

One of the most common mistakes I come across now is childrens – chidrens menu, childrens centre, childrens clothing… Watch closely everyone – it is ALWAYS children’s. There is no other option. I like Bill Bryson’s reference to this particular error in his book on troublesome words, aptly named Troublesome Words. He writes:

The error (childrens) is a sign of fundamental illiteracy and to be deplored at every instance.

There was a discussion on the local ABC Radio station this morning about which subjects primary schools should include in their curriculum. I have a new one – Apostrophe Studies. All students MUST pass to continue their schooling and I vote Iain Shedden as their mentor.

Website design

Have been spending a lot of time discovering my inner website designer recently – editing and designing sites for a top local builder – Bennett Builders – and a local native fish rehabilitation project called Katfish Reach (site not quite ready for public viewing yet).

the future of newspapers

Below are some links to handful of blogs on this topic, which has been around since Adam was a boy, but seems to be gaining momentum as newspaper companies around the world fight against decreasing readership.

Newspaper killer confesses

The future of newspapers – the editors’ perspective

What comes next?

And a story from the Economist about The New York Times

Later

Some info on internet marketing and internet useage.

facebook and blogs

Communicating with customers, shareholders and other stakeholders has taken on a whole new level thanks to the internet.

Being able to directly identify and communicate with a target audience, via blogs, social networking sites and other web-based sources, gives businesses, and their stakeholders, so much more power.

Public relations expert and theorist James E. Grunig devised that there are four models of public relations which, put simply, are propoganda, public information, one way asymmetrical and two way symmetrical.

Basically, an organisation can listen to or ignore its stakeholders. It can communicate with them or talk to them.

Clearly two-way symmetrical communication – in which an organisation evolves as a result of stakeholder influence and impact – is the fairest and most desirable role. And it has now become easier than ever to achieve such communication.

Utilising the internet and the web to directly connect with stakeholders opens a world of opportunities for companies and organisations – if they are willing to take the chance and delve into the world inside their computers. Many generation X or Baby Boomer managers are still perplexed by the popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace – there is a lack of understanding why people would want to put their lives on show for anyone to read, why they don’t just pick up the phone to communicate with their friends.

But once you delve into the world of the internet – the millions of blogs, websites and networks – it can be quite overwhelming. There is a whole world in there that individuals can feel lost in. Joining Facebook or setting up a MySpace page is a way of staking out a claim in that world – like building a home. It’s a visable sign of your presence. And once one house is built others join them, until your own little community is visable and recognisable amid the chaos.

Globalisation continues to erode our physical boundaries – communities are not what they once were. Consequently, people continue to turn to the internet to cement relationships and find their place in what is both a smaller yet more complicated web-widened world.

 

2043 – the last newspaper

Reports that newspaper readership throughout the world continues to drop seem to have been widespread in recent weeks.

This morning I read a blog that discussed that very topic and referenced an article from the New Yorker, that I had also read recently, which highlights a prediction that newspapers as we know them will be dead by 2043.

This morning’s blog argued that while blogs are subjective and opinionated by definition, they still provide readers with a better world view than newspapers, which often struggle to be subjective and fair, despite journalists’ protests otherwise.

Tim and I have discussed this extensively during our media/PR/newspaper/coffee chats in the JMS office and, while we both agree we love reading a real newspaper, we realised we do get the majority of our news information during the day from the net.

As a member of Generation Y, I also realised during this dicussion just how impatient I become when news websites are not updated immediately with information I have heard elsewhere (which links to my comments yesterday about not being able to readily find information about encephalitis on the Department of Health website).

Reading the Weekend Australian, for example, becomes a weekend luxury that is stretched over Saturday and Sunday, and even into the following week.

But having just written all that, I received an email from the editor of The Bunyip newspaper in Gawler, who mentioned that their next edition had gone up to 90 pages. From a weekly paper that was averaging about 64 pages per edition when I started there in 2003, it has grown at a fast rate of knots in the last few years (as has Gawler).

For a small country newspaper this has various ramifications, with one summed up nicely by said editor:

(Journalist 1) has chanced upon the wonderful idea for journalists to receive commissions, as do the ad reps, directly aligned to the number of stories they do each week – we can dream!