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Communication News

Interview about Ocean City Oddities

Brandon Seidl (Stevenson Business Communication 2006), SU's current senior director of web and digital marketing, is preparing for the publication of his latest book, "Ocean City Oddities," through an interview with Delmarva Life. You can watch the interview with Brandon and his co-author, Kristin Helf, and learn more about the history of the beach town on the Eastern Shore. This is his second book, following another Ocean City, Maryland look, "Trimper's Rides," co-authored with Monica Thrash. Congratulations to Brandon for turning his passion and his writing into capturing days gone by on the boardwalk and the beach.

 

Thank you note in envelopeA personal, handwritten "thank you" note can be the difference between getting the internship or job -- and being left without one. Students in either of the communication majors need to understand the importance of follow-up gratitude expressed immediately and personally.

A short, handwritten note sets you apart from your competition. It shows that you took the time to express your gratitude, look for an address, find a stamp, and send off a note. You demonstrate your thoughtfulness and appreciation to someone who took the time to interview, chat with, or mentor you. Being professional, in fact, includes showing your gratitude.

Other good advice includes making sure you send the note immediately, no more than a day or two after the meeting or exchange. In order to make it easier on yourself, purchase some correspondence cards on which you can write three simple sentences of thanks. In fact, your department has a stock of these cards and envelopes free to anyone who would like to send one!

Remember that every professional interaction you have with someone is critical -- and a personal thank you note becomes even more essential in this world of email and cybercommunication.

Megan Harrell Mahaley teeing offCongratulations to Business Communication alum Megan Harrell '08 Mahaley, just named to Stevenson University's 25th anniversary team in women's golf.

According to gomustangsports.com, "in order to be eligible for the 25th Anniversary Teams, a former student-athlete must have exhausted their eligibility prior to 2018-19, have graduated from Villa Julie/Stevenson, and left their program and the institution in good standing. A maximum of 25 former student-athletes will be honored in each sport. Teams were selected with input from the head coach of each program, along with former coaches and players and a committee of Stevenson athletics staff."

Congratulations to Megan, one of the earliest members of the women's team.  (Photo from Facebook)

Desh set up from BBJThe Baltimore Business Journal featured a "career and workplace" piece on May 11, 2020, that highlighted the home workplaces of three of local public relations firm Profiles rockstars -- who just happen to be Stevenson University Business Communication alumni!

Bridget Forney, Allison Winer, and Grace Clark (left to right in the photo) were featured in the article that examines what it takes to make a home workplace successful. Photographs, including the one above from the article, and practical advice from the three PR gurus were among the article's highlights.

Three alums at Profiles - Bridget, Alli, Grace"Two account executives and the vice president of the company shared photos of their home offices this week because, like countless Marylanders, they too are now working from their living rooms, kitchens and makeshift office spaces as social distancing guidelines remain in effect due to Covid-19," wrote Digital Editor Carley Milligan.

Congratulations, ladies!

(Photo from earlier Profiles post)

Images of a computerImproving your communication is essential as you step out into the world of work. Forbes' contributing writer Amy Blaschka offers some pithy words of advice for all, excerpted below, from a May 4, 2020, article.

"Stop meandering and get to the point...

Have you ever starting reading something that went to go on and on, where you struggled to figure out the author’s intent? Or maybe you’ve started watching an eight-minute video only to discover that five minutes in you’re still not sure what the poster wanted to say?

Meandering signals that you’re unorganized and unsure. Worse, you’ll lose your audience’s attention—and the opportunity to communicate. When you want to deliver a message, be intentional about it, eliminate extraneous material, and get to the point.

Focus on one takeaway

Another common communication misstep is trying to cover too much at once. A good rule of thumb is that each piece of content should revolve around one central theme. This forces you to get specific about and home in on your message. And that clarity promotes better understanding, making it easier for your audience to understand your perspective,

Switch from negative to positive

When you use positive language, you’re perceived as more likable, supportive, and caring. In contrast, using negative language paints you as critical and confrontational, even when that’s not your intent. Positive language lets someone know what you can do instead of what you can’t do. 

According to studies, positive statements are more quickly received, and they are also well-received by the audience. In addition, research shows that using positive language is a highly efficient tool for being happier and more productive.

Move from passive to active voice

Imagine if Nike changed its tagline to It was done. Not very inspiring, is it? Passive voice is just that: passive. With it, the subject is acted upon by the verb. Something happened to it; there’s no forward momentum.

Using the active voice conveys a strong, clear tone, such as Nike’s famous tagline, Just do it. There is a call to action. Action-oriented language propels us to do something rather than remain idle. Where possible, minimize passive language and use using active voice.

Incorporate evocative language

Incorporating evocative language into your repertoire opens you up to a more descriptive, interesting lexicon. Never again will you have to use “nice,” “good,” or “fine”—the four-letter milquetoasts of the word world. You’ll stand out, capture your audience’s attention, and ensure that your message will be more memorable.

Craft your story

The finest and most memorable communicators understand the power of story to convey a message... Research from Paul Zak confirms this: Stories that are personal and emotionally compelling engage more of the brain, and thus are better remembered than simply stating a set of facts. Sharing our stories help others know, like, and trust us.

If you’re looking for a way to communicate and connect better, craft a story. Because once you have your story, it changes everything, including how others perceive, pay, and promote you."

 
 
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