Thursday, July 2, 2009

Communicate this

Communications is an interesting field and something that I find difficult to define. A communications person should be able to communicate about anything, no matter what the product or service of a company is. I am beginning to learn that it more the style of writing and the way of going about things that defines the roles of someone in communications. These are skills which are learned through practice and experience. The style of writing, the details of what needs to be said when introducing people, how to keep everyone internally within the company happy, or how to interact with media and outsiders are things that I think will come to me with practice. On an academic level these skills are complemented by studies about the effects of media, how media is perceived and the effect of communications technology, especially in the 21st century when there are so many outlets for communication.

The former president and CEO of Discovery Communications, Judith McHale was sworn in as the Under Secretary for Democracy and Foreign Affairs in May of 2009. What I find interesting is how she now uses the skills and knowledge she obtained in leading a large media corporation to essentially act as one of the cheif communications people on behalf of the American government. While Discovery and the State Department do not have the same mission, it goes to show that successful people can communicate any message.

When I think of communications people part of me always refer back to Aaron Eckhardt's character in Thank You for Smoking, a character who could put a positive spin or minimize negative spin on any issue with flare. At least when I get up in the morning I can be happy about the fact that Discovery Education provides useful and meaningful products and services, it makes reaching the ultimate goal a little bit easier.

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