A Good Way to Deliver Bad News?

Is there a right way for a company to announce bad news? The answer is yes, even though bad news is never good, there is a good way of announcing it.

An example of someone delivering bad news the wrong way would be BP’s CEO Tony Hayward. When the BP oil spill that happened in the Gulf of Mexico. Hayward said in his speech how the oil spill was relatively tiny and that the environmental effects would be modest. This was a lie, the BP oil spill spilt billions of gallons of oil into the ocean and cost 11 people their lives.

Tony Hayward made the mistake of saying that a huge incident with massive environmental effects. This was a way for him to feel better about delivering such bad news to so many people, but it also undermined just how big the incident was.

There are many wrong ways to deliver bad news but there are also some guidelines to help deliver it properly. You always need to speak up and deliver the news as soon as possible. This means that there’s no hiding it or setting it aside for later. Secondly you need to make your statement accurate, don’t try to make it seem like a smaller deal than it is. Lastly, you need to say what your plan to do next is. You should never deliver bad news with no attempt at a solution. This causes people to panic a bit more trying to think of something to do.

Through all the horrible examples of people deliver bad news like Tony Howard, there is a proper way to deliver bad news. All you have to do is follow the steps.


Andersen, Erika. “How Great Leaders Deliver Bad News.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 07 Mar. 2013. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

Is communication becoming too informal?

Communication. “Means of connection between people or places, in particular.” Many different categories of communication are used including verbal, non-verbal and written. Communication is very powerful as it connects one another and it helps build relationships but there should be a balance of how much we use of each category, we should try to get comfortable with all of them and continue to improve our communication styles. Written communication has definitely increased over the years and is the major form of communication today. Text messages, emails, and social networks are the easy, popular ways of communicating with one another. So, are these things contributing to communication becoming too informal?

We tend to be more open, speak our mind and even say things in written form that we would not say in a verbal conversation. We also use slang language and acronyms and become so used to it that we start to forget how to use formal communication. Social media has become very important in our lives today. It gives the ability to connect with people whom are far away, but ironically it also separates us from the people who are close. We get so caught up with looking at what others are doing, what they share, how many likes we receive, that we tend to pay less attention to the people we have close. Our face to face conversations diminish and we don’t feel as confident and comfortable communicating verbally. People become so involved in their virtual lives and spend less time in their actual lives. 

Laura Lopez

I’m not Lion, Animals ComMEWnicate!

Whether you are a cat person, a dog person, or anything in between, there most likely has been a moment we looked at our pets and thought “Man, I wish you could talk.” Well, what if I told you they can! Animals DO communicate, and if we pay attention there is a lot we can learn to “talk” with them! Animals and humans are more similar than you might think using chemical signals, vibrations and sounds, and even movement that can be witnessed in human interactions, too.

Most of us are familiar with the chemical signals animals unleash, but what do they mean? Those of us who have cats, or have been around them, have most likely experienced them rubbing against an object or the not-so-pleasant spraying from male cats. That is a cat letting you and other animals know it has claimed that object as its own.  Skunks are famous for their chemical signals, using their very pungent spray as a threat to anything that gets in their way!

Chemical signals are not the only form of communication, just ask animals such as elephants, jumping spiders, and Caribbean white-lipped frogs which communicate primarily through vibrations. Elephants use low-frequency calls that travel through the ground in the form of seismic waves to communicate with other elephants miles away. On the other hand, jumping spiders vibrate their bodies and special organs to find a mate…and reduce the chances of his suitor eating him. Caribbean white-lipped frogs also communicate through vibrations, burying their heads into the mud and expanding their vocal sacs to send out vibrations to potential mates.

Vibration-based communication may be fairly common in the animal world, but the most well understood nonverbal communication takes the form of body language.  Generally, we learn the most about animals from how they act during different situations. For example, when cats are happy their bodies are relaxed, their whiskers are to the side, and their ears are pointing forward. When cats are mad they keep their bodies and tails low to the ground and their whiskers and ears down to let you know not to mess with them. Animals constantly give signals to tell us what they are thinking, and they are similar to some that we as humans express.

There are awe inspiring interactions happening all around us that sometimes we fail to appreciate. Dogs, for example, are man’s best friend and they teach us every day to love unconditionally by expressing never-ending loyalty and respect. Ants teach us the importance of working together as a team to collaborate rather than compete. And all animals can teach us to not take ourselves so seriously and to let go of our attachment of being right or wrong. If we do, we will begin to fully embrace times we enjoy and align ourselves with what we value most. Animals teach us all valuable life lessons, and it is our job to listen.

By: Carrie Caldwell,  Biology major at IUPUC

Marketing Through Blogging

5 Minute Read

Blogs, Blogs, Blogs… They are everywhere and you may not even realize it. Blogs are the marketing tool of the time and blogs are giving newspapers and radio advertising a serious run for their money. In order for a company to effectively use blogs as a marketing tool, a company has to have a solid understanding of what social media means for businesses today and how they can utilize the social media world and blogging to benefit their long term strategy.

Blogging has broken out from the conventional blog hosting sites and is now on all of our social media platforms.  If the criteria for a blog is: regularly updated articles, one or more authors and typically focused content written in an informal or conversational style then blogs populate Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pintrest and many other platforms. When you like and share an article or a post you are GVessentially marketing for someone and perpetuating a blog. Today, social media and the internet allow companies to have direct relationships with their consumers that were not possible in the past. Companies can now interact and engage easily with their consumers just as consumers can now easily engage with their favorite companies. This dynamic has some companies scratching their heads while it has other forward thinking companies developing strategies around it.

Two forward thinking companies I think that are effectively utilizing blogs as a marketing tool are Coca-cola and Gary Vaynerchuk with Vaynermedia. Both have set up an amazing web of blogs and social media content that keeps the attention of their consumers and maximizes interaction and impact.

Both companies realize that the use of blogs as a marketing tool is a long play. The effectiveness of blogs relies more on the quality of its content and the relational depth a company has with its readers than the number of followers alone. A good blog should not push sales, it should give value to the reader. Nobody wants to read blogs that are always pitching a sell to them. A reader wants value from the content in the form of entertainment or knowledge. Essentially a blog is a marketing expense that is used to give your customers value in the form of entertainment or knowledge. That sounds like an awful play but if you consider the blog as a relational investment in regards to the integrity of your consumer base then it makes sense. Effective blogs are relationship and trust builders. Gary Vaynerchuk once said, “If you give more than you take then you have leverage for life”.

CokeCoca-cola has positioned their blogs as a form of engagement and interaction while providing stories and product updates through their blog “Unbottled”. The content is not overwhelming or pushy and articles can be easily searched and found through filtering. Coca-cola wants to reach and keep the attention of as many consumers as possible in order to fabricate a lasting loyalty from them. Their focus is rooted in retention through attention and Coca-cola quickly cycles numerous pieces of content that are broadly appealing and shareable.

Gary Vaynerchuk is the CEO of Vaynermedia, a 600 employee media and strategy company that boasted over $100 million in revenue last year. He is a pioneer in the digital and social media world and an incredible entrepreneur to say the least. Gary started his career after he graduated college in 1999. He took over operations at his father’s wine company and increased the annual revenue from $3 million to $60 million annually through the use of an incredibly effective e-commerce and e-mail marketing program. He started one of the first online video blogs in 2006 called Wine Library and in 2009 he and his brother started Vaynermedia. Gary hustled his way toG.png the ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes and see what they want is the greatest gift anyone can have. With that gift all you have to do is deliver and Gary understands that today’s generations require interaction, online relationships and above all else… attention. The social media climate is driven by attention. That is why we have like buttons and share buttons. It is why we post pictures and stories for people to read and tell us how great our lives are. We crave attention and Gary is a deliverer of attention, value and motivation. Gary also blogs to maintain his personal brand as an industry leader. His blogs means more followers which result in credibility. Credibility sells books and authors get paid to speak. That type of notoriety can lead a company such as Vaynermedia which sells various media products and provides services such as social strategy and social media management to many fortune 500 companies.

As you can see blogs allow a company to be more up close and personal with their consumers than ever before. If a company understands what they want to achieve through blogging they can begin to develop a strategic plan and begin the long game strategy. The first step is to create shareable content that readers will find value in. Then listen and be empathetic to their needs and deliver to those needs. Interact and keep their attention and the number of followers will increase. If a company can remain consistent and present, then they will gain the trust and loyalty of their followers and that is the goal of any company or blogger.

-Brent Devers

Murderer, Widower, or Both?

“He’s cute,” said Penny. “Doesn’t that teardrop tattoo mean he murdered someone?” asked Bernadette. Canned laughter ensued. I was watching The Big Bang Theory, and that one statement was all I knew about teardrop tattoos. I have since researched teardrop tattoos and learned that, while the tattoo can have many criminal connotations, it may also simply signify the death of a loved one or some other tragedy the wearer has experienced. At the time, however, based on the information I had, teardrop tattoo equated to murderer; and this was further supported by my past experience of having a coworker with a teardrop tattoo, who, rumor had it, had been convicted of attempted murder.

Clearly, how we present ourselves matters, and in the workforce, it matters based not on what we mean to portray, but based on how we are viewed by those we are portraying ourselves to. Tattoos are an example of nonverbal communication, something that gives people an impression of us based on their own interpretations of how we look. A first impression is made in a matter of seconds, and, later, is very hard to overturn, which means that how we present ourselves can be our biggest weapon or our greatest downfall. Navigating the world of nonverbal communication is especially difficult when dealing with a workforce comprised of multiple generations.

A Harris research poll found that nearly half of millennials and a little over a third of Gen Xers have tattoos, while barely over 10% of Baby Boomers sport tattoos. In a workforce composed of at least these three generations, a tattoo will mean different things depending on the viewer. The fact that first impressions are made within the first few seconds of meeting someone means that, in an interview, a decision to NOT hire a candidate may be based on the nonverbal communication that occurs before a job applicant even has a chance to open his/her mouth.

As a millennial myself, I am not arguing that people should not express themselves via tattoos. I am simply urging readers to know their audience. An interview at a start-up begun by millennials like ourselves and an interview at a long established company with Baby Boomers in the positions of authority should be approached differently in regards to physical appearance. The same goes for actually working at these different establishments; being taken seriously at one may require a different appearance than being taking seriously at another. We can argue about the ‘injustice’ of the subconscious discrimination occurring or we can take control of the only aspect of it we are truly in charge of: ourselves. As Oscar Wilde says, “It’s the spectator, and not life, that art truly mirrors.” In other words, that teardrop tattoo can signify your heartache for your late wife all you want, but if the viewer thinks it means you murdered her…chances are…you won’t be hired.
By: Stephanie Baumgartner, Biology major at IUPUC

A New Business Environment

2004 was a year in innovation that everyone should remember. This is the year that effected nearly every human being either directly, or indirectly. It is said as of 2010 “one out of every dozen people on the planet has a Facebook account” (Grossman, 2010). Whether you realized this transformation or not, it plays a vital role in our economy. Some of us love it, others hate it. I have heard it called a gold rush, networking tool, and the demise of humanity. Which side you choose to be on is your individual filter of reality.

Yes, it is one of the most used social networking sites in the world today. Facebook.com. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s owner is valued at “$55.9 billion dollars” (Wikipedia, 2017). The site works by allowing users to build profiles of anything that can assume an identity such as a person, pet, or business to name a few. Once the profiles are built, the user has now agreed to the privacy statements herein the agreement you accept for using the company’s service, which is social networking. In return for using this service, you agree to allow them to use certain aspects of your profile for marketing purposes, which is also a way that they make their money. Since nearly two billion have profiles, Facebook has a vast array of human assets that can spread viral content, making them one of the best ways to advertise in today’s economy.

The aspect of collectively networking so many people through a social platform that allows for individual personalization continues to drive growth and innovation throughout the technology community. This platform practice is a template for many to learn from and grow with

On the other side of the business websites, we have a local plastic engineering firm that makes their money from manufacturing goods rather than the internet. C&T Engineering, Incorporated was founded in 1986 and their practice is to provide tooling and engineering expertise. They may not be an internet minded company, but they do have a website with a dot com domain thus making them a company represented with an online presence.

After reviewing their webpage, the main objective of the site is to inform potential customers of their background, location, and capabilities. The site does not allow for individual personalization, but offers the ability to inquire about servicing a need in this industry of tooling and engineering.

In comparison, both web pages have dot com domains and are representative of their comparative knowledge of how users interact with their respective online content.

In contrast, Facebook allows users to build personalized accounts and socially network with their community in exchange for the information you provide on that account. This site is monetized, meaning that they use your demographics to sale to companies that are in the market for someone like you. Because they have so many accounts connected, they have an enormous field of assets to sale, making them the leader in this style of business webpages. C&T’s website on the other hand, is built to inform you about the certain information hoping to attract your business. From what I have seen, they do not have personalization or social networking capabilities directly on their web portal thus they do not monetize their online content.

After reviewing both sites, it is my determination that having the ability to personalize an individual profile drives users to want to be at your web site and the internet is a vast forum of content that everyone wants to share. As color tv was to black and white broadcast, the internet is the new age of advertisement compared to traditional news applications. Keeping this in mind, you have to decide if you want to your website to be a marketing tool or just a plain informative page that barely generates viewership.

In conclusion, websites that just offer information on their services are missing out on opportunities to increase capital by not generating the ability to network and personalize. Networking and sites that generate wanted content, will continue to share a multibillion dollar advertising industry.

Difference between hard skills and soft skills.

How many of you consider yourself easily teachable? Well that is what jobs look for when you think about hard skills. They are trying to see if you are teachable and can learn new skills while on the job. Hard skills are teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to quantify. Some hard skills examples include: communication, leadership, problem-solving and many more. These three some of the more important ones because you have to know how to not only communicate with your coworkers but also customers or clients. With the leadership role they are looking for someone to take charge in situations that need a strong leader. Problem-solving skills are essential so you can take charge and figure out a problem that no one else can seem to figure out. Soft skills on the other hand are a little different. They are character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize a person’s relationships with other people. Some include self-motivation, team-work, and time management skills. These three are very important because you have to have the drive to push yourself to complete tasks and not slack on the assignment you are given. With team-work skills they want to see that you are able to work with others without conflict and complete the task that is given. Last with time management skills the employers are wanting to see that you can take the appropriate time to complete a task and finish it within a timely manner. Containing both sets of skills are very important because they want to see that you can not only get things done on your own but also work with others in a timely manner. They want you to be self-efficient and be able to take charge when it is needed. It is good to contain both hard and soft skills because you need to work together but also alone.