Hot Chicks, Guns and “Bad Words” Sell Merchandise!

By: Cody J. Giordano

Gary Vaynerchuk is a media expert. Vaynerchuk recently said in a Facebook video that he does not want to make a conventional video. He would rather make something people enjoy watching with cues, such as logos and objects or merchandise within those commercials. All forms of advertising have a place, but newspapers and inkblots, alone, will not cut it in our technology-driven society. Advertising styles have changed dramatically.

Black Rifle Coffee Company does an amazing job at selling products without directly advertising them. The veteran-owned and operated company makes funny and outrageous videos on YouTube and Facebook. The videos depict attractive women (hot chicks), guns, extreme sports, nice cars and everything else guys, like me, can’t get enough of. Below are three videos from BRCC.

John Willis, the owner of Special Operations Equipment (SOE) and James Yeager, the “MFCEO” of Tactical Response, have gotten famous by being unapologetic business owners. SOE makes gear like gun belts, chest rigs, rifle slings, etc. Tactical Response is a firearms-fighting school. Both Yeager and Willis speak their mind. When someone doesn’t agree with them, they will fan the flames. This gets the customer fired up. That customer then runs to forums and social media outlets to complain about either businessman. This draws supporters, like myself, to defend Willis and/or Yeager. Willis says that this model works because it is like a traffic jam. Everyone stops to look at the car with a flat tire. This slows down traffic, and more people see the flat tire (his name). The people then flock to his page by the hundreds to buy products. Yeager uses this model to get new students to sign up for classes at Tactical Response. They call this firing customers. By not wasting time on one bad customer, they can help two or three good ones. Both can be seen on YouTube and Facebook doing this very well.

Times have changes, and so have advertising styles. Rather than try to convince you why their product is better or tell you all about their products/services, they give you entertaining content that has subtle hints towards their business.

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.

Sources:

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

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.

Good Ways to Deliver Bad News

Delivering bad news is never fun for any of us, but if you are a CEO of a company it definitely adds to the difficulty. Not only is your reputation on the line but you represent the company and how your employees and the public view you, they also view the company in the same way.  You have the whole company’s reputation at stake when speaking on its behalf. What you say should be something that you would want anyone to hear.

Leaking Information

IBM CEO, Ginni Rometty, is an example of this. After the disappointing earnings report on April 18, Rometty released a video to all 434,000 employees in which she admitted that IBM hadn’t “transformed rapidly enough.” She called out the sales staff for missing out on several big deals. “We were too slow,” she said. “The result? It didn’t get done.” The press got wind of her message, and Rometty’s now accused of the corporate equivalent of yelling at her children in public. (Suddath) Always keep in mind that internal information can be leaked to outside sources. Being clear and direct is a positive but being degrading and placing blame is not acceptable. Keep in mind that what you are communicating to your employees should be something that you don’t mind your stakeholders hearing.

Focus on the Issue

When there is a big crisis, you must be ready to own the mistakes, express regret, and show that actions are being made to correct them and move forward. One of the most egregious in recent history was former BP CEO’s Tony Hayward’s handling of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in which 11 people lost their lives and billions of gallons of oil ended up in the Gulf of Mexico. (Andersen) His infamous words “I want my life back” remind us that when you have to deliver bad news, you should put your self-pity to the side. Stakeholders would have much rather heard that he understands the extremity of the spill as well as the relentless efforts that were being made to clean the water and rescue wildlife, as well as what actions are in place to keep this from happening again. (Owen) His words made the public feel that he was being insensitive about the concerns of the oil spill in 2010 and thinking of only himself instead of focusing on how he was going to assist in the efforts to make this bad situation better. This reminds us that even though you are being impacted by this, make it about them not you. Always keep in mind that you need your stakeholder’s support and that they are depending on your to be a strong leader that takes ownership when something bad happens.

Handling Bad News

Here are some ways that you can better handle delivering bad news:

  • First speak up and be credible by giving accurate information.
  • Come up with a plan right away and communicate it.
  • Don’t put it off because it is always better that the accurate information comes directly from you. Take responsibility for what has happened and show empathy.
  • Listen with courtesy and respect to the response.
  • Communicate the next steps of the plan.
  • Do what you said you were going to do. Repeat as needed. (Andersen)

Good News

To end on a good note…the founder of one of Turkey’s most successful brands, the food delivery company Yemeksepeti, in May sold his 15-year-old company to Germany’s Delivery Hero for $589 million. $27 million is going to 114 of the company’s 370 employees. With the typical employee earning between $1,000 and $2,000 a month, the average $237,000 bonus works out to roughly 150 months of wages, per CNN Money. (CEO gives employees “life changing” bonus) This bad news of the company being sold, turned out to be the best news to 114 of its employees. The news of the bonus would be easy to deliver, however, telling the 256 employees that they will not be receiving the bonus because they have not been with the company longer than two years would be more difficult.

Works Cited

Andersen, Erica. “How Great Leaders Deliver Bad News.” 6 March 2013. Forbes. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikaandersen/2013/03/06/how-great-leaders-deliver-bad-news/&gt;.

Beam, Christopher. “Oil Slick: How BP is handling its P.R. Disaster.” 21 October 2015. Slate. <http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2010/05/oil_slick.html&gt;.

Bies, Robert. “The 10 Commandments for Delivering Bad News.” 30 May 2012. Wiki How. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesleadershipforum/2012/05/30/10-commandments-for-delivering-bad-news/&gt;.

“CEO gives employees “life changing” bonus.” 30 July 2015. USA Today. <http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/07/30/ceo-sells-company-gives-employees-life-changing-bonus/30878901/&gt;.

Mullane, Denise Lenci and John. “COMMENT: Communicating with the public: how BP told the Macondo story.” 6 December 2010. Oil and Gas Journal. <http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-108/issue-46/general-interest/comment-communicating-with-the-public.html&gt;.

Owen, Jo. “BP Oil Spill Crisis Management: How Not to Do it.” 11 June 2010. CBS News. <http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bp-oil-spill-crisis-management-how-not-to-do-it/&gt;.

Suddath, Claire. “The Right Way for a CEO to Deliver Bad News.” 9 May 2013. Bloomberg Business. <http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2013-05-09/the-right-way-for-a-ceo-to-deliver-bad-news&gt;.

Team, Mind Tools Editorial. “Delivering Bad News.” n.d. Mind Tools. <https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/bad-news.htm&gt;.

Weber, Erin McClam and Harry R. “BP’s Failures made worse by P.R. mistakes.” 11 June 2010 . NBC News. <http://www.nbcnews.com/id/37647218/ns/business-world_business/t/bps-failures-made-worse-pr-mistakes/#.Vikx1418OUk&gt;.

Witt, Chris. “How Good Leaders Can Deliver Bad News.” 21 October 2015. Reliable Plant. <http://www.reliableplant.com/Read/17101/how-good-leaders-can-deliver-bad-news&gt;.

 

Ad Web Audience Targeting

Defining and targeting an audience are vital steps in great communication.  In publications, the ads are an excellent representation of who the targeted audience is.  Websites of these publications also target an audience but with an added dimension, the ability to individually target the viewer (audience.)  The ads vary by the choices selected within the publication website thus, redefining the audience.

Forbes website was the chosen publication to illustrate this changing targeted audience.  On the homepage of Forbes, the ads are geared toward a well-defined target group.  The initial ads were for Wall Street Journal; government tax programs; CD bank rates; oil dividends; filmmaking courses; and senior cell phone plans.  Together, these ads are for older wealthy businessmen. These are representative of the homepage initial ads.  The target audience is towards one who is interested in financial issues of taxes, CD notes, dividends, and business news from the WSJ…a businessman of diverse monetary concerns.  Definitely, the “senior plan” refers to an older generation.  The filmmaking courses also reinforce the older target group with an advertisement for a new hobby or starting a new business.  This is an extremely focused target audience.

Having the advantage of real-time viewing, websites can narrow the target audience.  When a viewer chooses a selection, a story or an article, the site chooses ads focusing on the audience’s interests.  If the chosen article deals with businesses with negative issues then the ads may change to customer service aids for businesses, insurance ads, or company improvement ads.  Relating the ads to the different types of articles narrows the targeted audience.

Another audience-targeting dimension of websites is third party advertising, directly targeting the individual viewer.  Third party advertising is advertisers which monitor viewers’ web surfing on their computers.  Directing ads of the real-time viewer’s interests allows the publication to broaden its audience.  These viewer-interest ads frame the articles with familiar and personal target ads.  Even though these ads may not have any connection with the article or the publication, the audience is familiar with these ads.  This frame may keep them reading the articles.  This allows for various changes so the targeted audience is the viewer even if the viewers do not fit the original targeted audience.  A young want-to-be businesswoman planning to start her own business would now be a targeted audience.  This real-time changing redefines the target audience as the current viewer to keep them interested in the publication even if they may not initially seem to be the audience targeted.

Concluding, this publication’s ads were aimed at a senior population of wealthy businessmen.  In general, this is the overall targeted audience but with websites drawing in different audiences with a specific article, the website uses ads to include the new audience in real-time viewing.  This advantage allows websites to reframe the site to include the viewer.  This is the magic of website ads – framing articles with advertising content this viewer is interested in seeing.

By Kentrina Freeman, Liberal Arts Major – IUPUC

Ad Web Audience Targeting

Defining and targeting an audience are vital steps in great communication.  In publications, the ads are an excellent representation of who the targeted audience is.  Websites of these publications also target an audience but with an added dimension, the ability to individually target the viewer (audience.)  The ads vary by the choices selected within the publication website thus, redefining the audience.

Forbes website was the chosen publication to illustrate this changing targeted audience.  On the homepage of Forbes, the ads are geared toward a well-defined target group.  The initial ads were for Wall Street Journal; government tax programs; CD bank rates; oil dividends; filmmaking courses; and senior cell phone plans.  Together, these ads are for older wealthy businessmen. These are representative of the homepage initial ads.  The target audience is towards one who is interested in financial issues of taxes, CD notes, dividends, and business news from the WSJ…a businessman of diverse monetary concerns.  Definitely, the “senior plan” refers to an older generation.  The filmmaking courses also reinforce the older target group with an advertisement for a new hobby or starting a new business.  This is an extremely focused target audience.

Having the advantage of real-time viewing, websites can narrow the target audience.  When a viewer chooses a selection, a story or an article, the site chooses ads focusing on the audience’s interests.  If the chosen article deals with businesses with negative issues then the ads may change to customer service aids for businesses, insurance ads, or company improvement ads.  Relating the ads to the different types of articles narrows the targeted audience.

Another audience-targeting dimension of websites is third party advertising, directly targeting the individual viewer.  Third party advertising is advertisers which monitor viewers’ web surfing on their computers.  Directing ads of the real-time viewer’s interests allows the publication to broaden its audience.  These viewer-interest ads frame the articles with familiar and personal target ads.  Even though these ads may not have any connection with the article or the publication, the audience is familiar with these ads.  This frame may keep them reading the articles.  This allows for various changes so the targeted audience is the viewer even if the viewers do not fit the original targeted audience.  A young want-to-be businesswoman planning to start her own business would now be a targeted audience.  This real-time changing redefines the target audience as the current viewer to keep them interested in the publication even if they may not initially seem to be the audience targeted.

Concluding, this publication’s ads were aimed at a senior population of wealthy businessmen.  In general, this is the overall targeted audience but with websites drawing in different audiences with a specific article, the website uses ads to include the new audience in real-time viewing.  This advantage allows websites to reframe the site to include the viewer.  This is the magic of website ads – framing articles with advertising content this viewer is interested in seeing.

By Kentrina Freeman, Liberal Arts Major – IUPUC

What can we learn from Apple Inc. ?

Apple Inc. is one of the most successful businesses in the US to date. To say the least, Apple has made a name for itself in the American culture. According to an article written by John Kell in the Fortune 500 online magazine, Apple was number one on the list of the top 10 most successful companies in the US. Apple earned $35.9 billion dollars last year. With the unveiling of the iPhone 6, 6plus and the Apple Watch, Apple has made it self a leader in the computer gadget industry.

Being an Apple consumer, I have noticed that Apple’s image is to make technology beautiful. With all of its products that become thinner and sleeker, they have accomplished to make their products attractive to nearly anyone. With curves instead of sharp edges they appeal to look softer and more friendly.

Apple holds on to the image of their beautiful products by always coming up with a new and improved product just about every year, sometimes twice a year. It’s always either smaller, thinner, more colors, bigger screen, lighter, or better quality. By coming out with a better product so often, it keeps your customer base involved. The customer wants the next coolest piece of hardware so that they can have the status that comes with being ahead of the game.

Apple has developed a culture around their products that keep their customer base growing. They do not just specialize in hardware they also have created various programs that keep their particular customers involved in the company everyday. Applications such as Apple Music, iTunes, AppleTV, Siri, iMessage, and the list can go on of the different ways that apple has diversified its potential.

A huge lesson to be learned from Apple is to be diverse in what we can offer and make it flawless. The reason why Apple can bring in so much cash flow is because they can dip into many different markets and appeal to all kinds of people. Their products are more user-friendly so that even children under the age of 5 can use them. America has definitely benefited from Apple products and I don’t see Apple doing anything else but continuing to grow.

_________________________________________________________

Apple Reports Fourth Quarter Results. (2014, October 11). In Apple. com.

Kell, J. (2015, June 11). Fortune 500’s Most Profitable Companies. Fortune.

The Rise and Fall of Paula Deen – the power of words then and now.

Who doesn’t love some good ole down home cookin’? To most of us Paula Deen in not an unfamiliar name. We’ve all heard that sweet southern mama in our TV’s sharing her secrets to her delicious food. Just recently the southern bell fell from her grace. One word a long time ago caused this women who was arguably one of the most well know TV chef to lose her empire she worked so long to build.
Being born and raised in the south during a time with segregation, the “N” word was not such a big deal. The power of words back then did not carry the same weight they do today. The “N” word said today by someone with such high notoriety would be ground shaking, 60 years ago, that was not the case.
Slang changes with time just as fads and fashion. In the early to mid-1900’s the words that were considered to be slang are now considered to be offensive terms used to degrade people of different backgrounds. Words have always had a tremendous power. Context and perception dictate what kind of power a word does or does not have.
When it comes to words that are offensive they have changed dramatically over time. These changes happen as peoples societal positions change. In the mid 1900’s where Paula Deen had been brought up African Americans were not considered equal in the eye of society, especially in the south. Referring to someone as an “N” word would be the same as today saying someone was “black”. It may not be politically correct but it was not necessarily offensive.
Today that is not the case. People have realized that all colors, races, religions are equal and we pride ourselves on being a free and equal opportunity nation. Everyone being equal and having these rights has caused a hypersensitivity to language.
There is such a diverse culture today that it is hard to tell what may or may not offend someone of a specific color, nationality, religion, or background. The nation has evolved and there are some definite words that are known to not be acceptable such as the “n” word, but there are many that are in a grey area.
Paula Deen has apologized and said many times that she thinks everyone is equal. This for many is not enough, in today’s society people find words to be extremely powerful. We as a new generation must realize that words can, and many times will come back and haunt you.
So for you Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram addicts remember you may not have a fortune to loose and Paula Deen did, but people are watching, so choose your words wisely!

Bad Email Practices

            Have you ever received an email with so many typos and grammar mistakes in it, you can hardly understand what they were trying to get across. This is becoming a far too common in modern day emailing. In today’s society a common form of communication is texting and the use of social networking like twitter, Facebook, and myspace.  Although they make it a quick and easy way to communicate to friends and family, it doesn’t call for the most formal use of words and grammar.  Examples of the incorrect word forms people are using are slang, abbreviations, jargon and more. Because it is widely accepted in these situations, people are becoming less likely to use the proper format for professional emails.

            The problem with writing a professional email or letter in an incorrect format is it causes miscommunications between two parties, or would allow someone to believe that you are not properly educated. You only get one first impression and if it is used in slang and abbreviations, you might not give across the right impression of yourself or lose creditability with the receiver. Most of the mistakes that are in an incorrect email can be fixed by simply just proofreading before you send it. Reading it back to yourself allows you to make the corrections before you send it and don’t have to resend it with the correction. Most email replies are to clarify the previous emails sent to them and this can be avoided by reading over and correcting any mistakes or ideas the first time you send it. 

                Some examples of things not to do are:

  • Sending emails when you are angry
  • Including useless information
  •  Abbreviations or slang
  • Not putting a subject line
  • Not using complete and proper sentences
  • Capital letter(might come across as yelling)
  • Poor formatting of the email

            The use of email is a huge channel of communication in the modern society and I believe it will be around for a long time. The use of proper and professional writing only makes sense. When reading professional writing you are able to understand what is being sent to you and are able to make a good impression on whoever is reading your email. I hope this post makes you think next time you push the send button to make sure you read over the email one more time. It may take a few seconds, but save you from the embarrassment and miscommunication with coworkers, friends, and other in your professional field.

By: Luke Eddins

Communication Breakdown

COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWNS

 Lost Money

Communication breakdowns in the business world can be very costly. Many companies focus on increasing profit and decreasing their costs. What most companies don’t realize is how much of these costs come from communication problems between managers and employees or the business and customers. Millions of dollars are lost every day due to poor communication. United States hospitals alone lose more than $12 billion a year due to poor communication. The worst part is most managers realize that there are problems with communication but don’t realize how big of a role that they play in the miscommunication themselves. These communication breakdowns can be due to several reasons including:

  • Different generations not understanding each other
  • Long meetings where the employees fade in and out of conversations and only pick up bits and pieces
  • Poor documentation
  • Or simply misunderstanding a person’s meaning

Lost Employees

Money is not the only thing that is lost due to these communication breakdowns. Around 80% of all complaints by employees are due to some form of communication misunderstanding. Poor corporate communication can cost a business its best employees. Replacing key talent can cost anywhere between 70 to 200 percent of that individual’s annual salary. If this is a common thing in a business then they are going to waste a lot of money.

A good example of a breakdown between a boss and one of his employees is going on right now. Earlier this week Peyton Manning stated that he felt the current situation wasn’t “healthy for his healing” and stated everyone is “walking on eggshells.” Him saying this upset Jim Irsay who responded by calling Manning a “Politician.” This is an example of how wording one thing wrong can lead to much bigger problems. Originally all Manning was trying to express were his concerns about continuing to play for the Colts and how he was upset to no longer be working with old friends. The way he worded it made it sound like he was calling his boss out which is never a good idea.

 Loss of Public Trust

            Using poor communication with your customers is a quick way to have your business fail. If a company is unable to talk with its customers in a way that they both understand and trust then that company will lose its customers and therefor lose money.  A great example of poor communication ruining a businesses’ reputation is the British Petroleum oil disaster. After the disaster BP’S CEO admitted that he had previously received information that there may be a problem. BP’S CEO was later fired for his poor handling of corporate communication.

What It All Means

So what does this all mean? Good communication skills are essential to having a successful business. Even if you are not involved in business, having poor communication skills can cost you your job. If a business was ran and staffed by people who all had excellent communication skills, that business would save themselves a lot of time, resources, and money. A little thought and revision can go a long way.

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