Tours Travel

communicate with each other

Evolution of communication and appearance of social networks

To be sure, there have been great technological improvements that have transformed the way information is collected and transmitted on both the micro and macro scales. Social networks, be it Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, Instagram, Pinterest… and the list goes on, have revolutionized the way we communicate.

In the public sector, social networks undoubtedly play a fundamental role in the way messages are delivered; however, the message must be precise, clear and consistent throughout the organization.

We live in a 24/7/365 society. The faster the better, right? If you read it on the internet it must be true. Is any information better than no information or is it? Send the message as quickly as possible, especially during an emergency – timing is everything. How many times have you read an article online with grammatical or factual errors? The use of social media must be carefully planned and strategically implemented throughout the organization for its intended purposes; Otherwise, it will be counterproductive, ineffective, potentially damaging and, in extreme cases, can lead to public doubt, fear and mistrust.

It used to be think before you speak, say what you mean and say what you say, but now it’s read and reread, don’t act in a hurry and read and reread again before you hit send. The evolution of communication, while providing the opportunity to quickly deliver data and messages to a large audience, is a powerful tool, but instant misinformation cannot and should not replace accurate information. There needs to be a proper balance between timing, quantity and quality of messages and information.

This evolution of high-tech communication is also something of a paradox in that the speed and number of people a message can be communicated to at once should invoke pause and encourage public sector employees to be deliberate in what is being said and how it can be interpreted. Remember this isn’t Las Vegas – anything you say or do, particularly in a public setting or forum, can be evaluated and scrutinized by a large audience in the amount of time it takes to tweet or post a photo or video online.

Text conversations or face to face meetings???

Which prefer? Colin Powell, a military leader and statesman stated, “The day soldiers stop bringing their problems to you is the day you stop leading them. Either they have lost confidence that you can help them, or they have concluded that you don’t care. Either way is a failure of leadership.” I believe in the importance of face-to-face meetings; One-to-one communication and/or traditional public forums cannot be overstated or understated in their benefits.

In the public sector there is something I call the “Fishbowl Effect”. Politics, the media, public scrutiny, transparency and accountability all contribute to the “Fishbowl Effect”, which is this: If you work in the public sector, you should be held to a higher standard. Your actions speak louder than words and perception is reality. Because?

Self-reflection and individual predispositions are important because working for the public requires a strong commitment to serve and engage those within the community of which you are a part while being an advocate at the same time. Public sector employees are trustees of public funds and are therefore entrusted with enormous responsibility. In that sense alone, public sector employees have an obligation to sit down and talk to those people, whether residents, business owners, or other stakeholders, about what their concerns are, as well as actively listen and engage them, whether during a planning process, budget hearing, or other form of public business.

Phone calls are great, and I try to adhere to the 24-hour rule to return a call if I at least say I got your message and will get back to you on such-and-such a date with a response. Text messages and email are certainly acceptable; however, I believe they should be used to supplement phone calls and face-to-face meetings, not replace them. I am a fervent believer and advocate that true trust can only be achieved through face-to-face meetings and one-on-one communication, and as public sector employees it is our responsibility to ensure those opportunities are provided.

Communicate a clear and consistent message

George Seldes, in a 1942 publication of his weekly newsletter, In Fact, Inc. titled: Facts Are…: A Guide to Falsehood and Propaganda in the Press and Radio, wrote about the power and corruption of the press primarily because of its close association with special interests. He said: “What is the most powerful force in America today? Answer: public opinion. What makes public opinion? Answer: the main force is the press.” Is this still true today?

I would argue that public opinion is as important if not more important today than it was in 1942. Whether it is “the press”, another media outlet or an Internet troll, our society is continually bombarded with information, messages and editorials. Therefore, it is imperative, particularly in the public sector, that these information transmissions are clear, timely, accurate and provide a consistent message.

Throughout history up to the present, the media have always conveyed, through any medium, news, events and other forms of information to a large audience: the general public. While communication has evolved from oral tradition to the written word sent via The Pony Express, via telegraph wires and fiber optic networks, the media and the power of public opinion have remained constant and pervasive. The only difference is the speed at which messages are transmitted and received.

Think of the public leaders throughout history who have embraced the media and used it as a resource most effectively. Many are also known as some of the most charismatic people in history. Some come to mind: President Abraham Lincoln, President James A. Garfield, who revolutionized “ingress campaigns,” President Theodore Roosevelt, who was effective in engaging the media in positive ways but also learned by “Muckraking” (a negative metaphor for what is now commonly known as investigative journalism) the power the media had to expose corporate corruption and social ills.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt used frequent radio broadcasts that became known primarily as “Fireside Chats” to enter homes across the country and communicate messages in a way that captivated the American public and elicited public confidence in him.

the power of words

Words, whether spoken, written, texted or tweeted, are powerful and must be chosen carefully, especially during difficult times and under challenging circumstances. I’ve mentioned several public figures throughout history who I believe have effectively used the media to convey information to large constituencies.

Think about famous speeches that occurred, when they occurred, and why these speeches could be or were required to be some of the most powerful of all time or during critical or defining moments in our nation’s history. A few come to mind: the Gettysburg Address, President Roosevelt’s address to Congress after the Japanese joined Pearl Harbor, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and President George W. Bush’s address to the nation on September 11, 2001. All took place over a period of 138 years, each for diverse audiences of multiple sizes, all of different lengths and mediums, but each required requi He laughed precise delivery and carefully selected words.

During President Roosevelt’s address to Congress following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt was very deliberate in his choice of words. He declared war on Japan but not on Germany. Three days later, Germany declared war on the United States. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke before a large public audience in a landmark public display with incredible conviction and during an extremely turbulent time in American history.

Although well known at the time it was in this sentence and specifically the words, “I have a dream”, that remain embedded in our minds. President Bush addressed the American people after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 through a television camera while seated at a desk, and every word he used was carefully chosen, spoken, and delivered in a manner that demanded that, as the leader of our country, confidence be instilled in the citizens during an extremely tense and vulnerable time in the 21st century.

I encourage you to read or listen to any of the above speeches and pay special attention to the choice of words, how they were delivered, and the commanding presence of the four speakers. There are many other examples that also deserve our attention, and each one offers an idea of ​​why it is so important to communicate a clear and consistent message. We must also remember that while each of these speeches was intended for a specific audience, they were also going to be read, seen, or heard by broader and more diverse audiences.

What would happen if President Roosevelt or President Bush did not address the nation after the events that occurred in 1941 or 2001? Particularly in our 24/7/365 society, what if President Bush waited a day or two to deliver a message? He would suggest that the message would have been delivered multiple times by a myriad of groups and individuals and what impact would this have on the American public or others around the world? Imagine, if any of the aforementioned speeches never happened.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *