Archive for 2011

First post on my brand new website!


This site is going to continue to my personal blog. My official site is

I may even change the title of this blog sometime in the future. In the meanwhile here is the article I just posted:

Occupy Clarksville Uses Social Media To Keep The Public Informed

Clarksville, TN – Social media has become the best way for information to travel to like-minded people. A great example is how the Occupy Wall Street movement has spread nationwide through the use of social networking. Major cities like Boston, Los Angeles, and Chicago have all started similar protests as the one in Lower Manhattan. Even smaller places like Clarksville, TN have their own Occupiers. 28 days ago a group of about 20 people decided to show solidarity with the Occupy movement by utilizing their rights to protest. They are now at Public Square across from Clarksville’s city hall.

While the group is not allowed to have tents as in larger cities, they work together by taking shifts. The most activity happens around 6:00 PM, the time the group uses to have their general assembly and make decisions as a collective. Information is then passed on using the group’s Facebook page and Twitter account. The Twitter site uses the trending topic #occupywallst to attract those who are in support their cause. The Facebook page is constantly updated with status messages to keep everyone informed.

The small group of occupiers are in constant communication with each other through the use of smart phones and laptops. Credit: Jason Luntz
What is very noticeable is the constant use of smart-phones, such as iPhones and Blackberrys by the individuals sitting outside. There are many applications made for Twitter and Facebook  for these mobile devices that make it easy to stay in contact with each other. The group has a website but it does not have much activity. The bulk of information remains on the Social Networking sites.
Photos taken by the occupiers are then uploaded and shared online. Particularly on the Facebook page these images and other topics are available for discussion.
According to the Facebook page the group demands an end to:
- Wall Street money in our politics
- Unemployment
- Student debt
- Home foreclosures
- Corporate greed
- Attacks on organized labor
- Racist police brutality/death penalty
More information about Occupy Clarksville is available at and
Written by Jason Luntz

Latest Press Release


This is a copy of the latest Press Release I have written. I completed this for my first client, a new Restaurant in Tennessee. I am excited to not only write their press releases, but I am also handling their social media needs as well. Take a read and let me know what you think. 

Singleton’s Restaurant Announces Official Opening of its Establishment at 1502 Fort Campbell Blvd, Clarksville, TN 37042

Singleton’s Restaurant announces September 16th, 2011 as its official opening date. The Southern Comfort food and BBQ restaurant will be celebrating by hosting a performance by Nashville, TN’s “The Genius Band” at 8:00 PM CST. 


(Clarksville, TN) - September 14, 2011 – Singleton’s Restaurant is proud to announce the date for its official opening. Owners and operators William and Jennifer Quailes have developed a menu that features a variety of southern dishes and what Tennessee is best known for; BBQ. Singleton’s was also designed with the idea of a place that could offer live music to accompany great food.

The 95-seat restaurant features a variety of seating options, including booths, 4 top tables, and a full length wooden bar. What is most striking about the location is the fully equipped stage with a drum set, two electric guitars, keyboard, and electric bass.

The idea of creating a restaurant that could also host some of Tennessee’s best Jazz & Blues bands was a dream that William has held unto for many years. His late grandparents were his biggest supporters. “When I shared the dream of my restaurant with my grandmother and grandfather they were the ones that believe in me the most,” William explains, “That is where the name of the restaurant comes from, it honors the memory of Tom and Aquilla Singleton.”

To help celebrate the occasion, Singleton’s Restaurant is proud to host Nashville’s own “The Genius Band” lead by Julius Fisher. Know to be an innovative performer; Julius will be playing music that incorporates various styles that include Jazz, Gospel, R&B, Rock, Soul and Spoken Word. The talented musician has worked with such legends as Angela Winbush, Isaac Hayes, and B.B. King.

The menu specials for the evening will be Billy’s BBQ, Tom’s T-bone steak (16 oz) and Aquilla’s Sirloin (8 oz).

Singleton’s Restaurant is located at1502 Fort Campbell Blvd in Clarksville, TN. It is less then an hour away from Nashville, TN and in close proximity to Fort Campbell, one of America’s largest Army Bases. The restaurant and bar will be open at 11:00 am every day, closing at 11:00 pm Sunday – Thursday, and 1:30 am Friday and Saturday. Live music will include the best of Jazz, Blues, and Soul music during the weekend dinner hours. For more information visit or follow the location on Twitter @singletonsrest

I am done with school!


I just got my final grade for my Communications Studies Capstone Course. I got an A! The instructor was very impressed with this blog. I am so grateful for my time at Ashford University and I am very proud of graduating with a 4.0.

Look out for my exciting stuff with this blog. I plan on taking it to the next level.

Professional Communication Organizations


There are many organizations available for Communication Professionals to join. Some organizations focus on those who teach communication theories, others are centered on different industries in the communication field such as Public Relations or Journalism. I have selected five organizations that are available for professionals, which work with communications, to join. After I a little information about each organization I explain if I would join the group or not:

1. The Broadcast Education Association (BEA) – An association created for “professors, industry professionals and graduate students who are interested in teaching and research related to electronic media and multimedia enterprises” (BEA, 2011, ¶ 1). This group has over 1,600 members and has affiliation with 275 college’s and university departments. This organization is not very attractive to me simply because my focus is not in teaching or doing more research at this time. I am looking for a group of like-minded individuals who are using their passion to work.

2. International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) – This organization has a very large network with members that represent many careers in the field of communications. Individuals who join can use IABC as a resource to make an impact at their job, find hidden job markets, enhance skills, and find clients and friends (IABC, 2011). Because many of the members hold positions that I am interested in pursuing, I believe this organization would be beneficial to join. I also like the international aspect of it, because we are now in a global economy.

3. National Communication Association (NCA) – Is the largest association for communication “researchers, educators, and professionals, [who] work to understand and better all forms of human communication” (NCA, 2011, ¶ 1). Members of this organization have many resources and events that contribute to the education of communication and its benefit to society. I would consider this organization simply because of its great resources for job searching. The website offers tips for interviewing and that only lets me know they are serious about helping communication professionals.

4. Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) – This organization describes itself as a “community of more than 21,000 public relations and communications professionals across the United States, from recent college graduates to the leaders of the world’s largest multinational firms” (PRSA, 2011, ¶ 2). The group was created to help those in the PR field with networking, recognition, and other aspects of the industry. What I found interesting about the group has a student subgroup called Public Relations Student Society of America. I really like that they reach out to those learning about PR as well as those work practice it. If I go into the PR field, I am sure I will join this organization.

5. Southern States Communication Association (SSCA) – This organization is based of communication professionals located in the southern states of the US. It is a non-profit organization that has a purpose of promoting “the study, criticism, research, teaching, and application of the artistic, humanistic, and scientific principles of communication” (SSCA, 2011, ¶ 1). This group is not taking members at this time. That is too bad because I live in Tennessee and would like the chance to network with others who live close by.


BEA. (2011). About Us. Retrieved April 7, 2011 from

IABC. (2011). About IABC. Retrieved April 7, 2011 from

NCA. (2011). About NCA. Retrieved April 7, 2011 from

PRSA. (2011) About PRSA. Retrieved April 7, 2011 from

SSCA. (2011) About SSCA. Retrieved April 7, 2011 from

Conflict Management: Bullying


This is an article I was commissioned to write for the website Beautifully Said last week. The webmaster said they were in need of some information about bullies. Using some of the knowledge I gained in my Communication & Conflict course at Ashford University, I put this together. Let me know what you what you think.

Bullying has become a large problem in society. Long gone are the days where a child would be picked on a few times during the day at school. Now because of technology, bullies can attack their victims on social networks, with cell phone text messages, and through email. This can lead to a young person developing low self-esteem issues, as they withdraw from all normal social activities. It is important to tackle the problem of bullying by learning ways to stop the bullying from taken place, making social interaction safe for all children.

To begin to understand how we can tackle this problem we have to understand the different forms of bullying that occur.

The website list the following as the type of bullying a child may face:

• Physical bullying
Pushing, shoving, hitting, tripping and other acts, which physically harm another person.

• Verbal bullying
Insults, harassment, taunts and other forms of aggression (expressed verbally or in writing).

• Emotional intimidation or “relational aggression” Withdrawing friendship or rejecting someone in order to assert control over that person.

• Racial bullying
Mocking racial traditions, spray painting racist graffiti, making racial slurs and engaging in other racist behaviors.

• Sexual bullying
Making sexual comments or engaging in unwanted sexual touching.

Physical bullying has been a large problem with pre-teens and teenagers and can often lead to very serious consequence. Take for instance Casey Heynes, a bullying victim from Australia. A recent video of Casey confronting his bully vent viral around the globe:

While Casey had every right to protect himself, it is possible that the damage he could have caused to his bully could have been irreversible. The situation should not have been allowed to escalate to this point, leaving Casey with no choice but to take this level of action. It is imperative that adults recognize when bullying is taking place and do everything in their power to stop it.

It is often discussed how children can deal with bullies. Relying on friends that they can trust is often mentioned. Speaking honestly to adults, they feel comfortable will is known to be helpful. As well as believing and loving themselves, are ways to build self-confidence. Bullies are known to attack weaker and lonelier children, so all that advice can work. Yet it is not address often enough about the source of the problem; the actual bully. Steps must be taken to eliminate the behavior, which is putting the blame not on the victim, but on the perpetrator.

The first step is to accept that a child is being a bully, and then begin to identify what is triggering their negative behavior. It must be made clear that their behavior will not be tolerated and they will have to learn other ways to channel their aggression. At this point, it is best to not use physical punishment, because it will continue the linking of aggression with their actions. This is an appropriate time to take away something important from the child along with a conversation on why this is happening. If they hurt someone or damage property, have them apologize to their victim, it is important for them to understand the pain they have caused. Finally, once they begin to make progress and control their anger, praise them.

As children interact with each other, they begin to learn about how their behavior affects others around them. Those who use aggression and anger to express themselves must be taught quickly that their actions will not be tolerated. Bullies must know that their treatment of their peers can and will lead them to trouble. If all adults in the young person’s life express this with love and understanding, the problem can be conquered at the source.

Public Relations Proposal


One of my favorite classes at Ashford University was a course titled 'Public Relations Practices & Promotional Writing'. It was there I learned not only how to write press releases, but the basic concepts behind PR. When a public relations professional is contacted to help a potential client in a crisis, they must complete a proposal with their plan intact. This makes the client aware of how the PR rep plans to resolve the issue. The following is an example of just that. 

I was assigned to complete a proposal for a fictional professional athlete who I find my self working for. The athlete is taking heat from the public for allegedly taking illegal substances for performance enhancement. Read the following proposal to see how I would plan on handling the situation:

The Situation

Athlete X is a well-known baseball player who has come under suspicion of using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. At this time there have not been any formal charges towards Athlete X. However, there has been an increase of interest in his activities throughout the media. As this story becomes more popular with the public, the threat of formal accusations is closer to becoming a reality. If this comes to fruition it will cause irreversible damage to his career.

With former baseball player Mark McGwire admitting, “he used steroids for nearly a decade” it has become evident that the use of performance enhancing drugs has been taking place in professional sports for some time (Knoblauch, 2010, ¶2). To save the images of these athletes, public relation (PR) campaigns must be developed. Athlete X’s agent is currently looking for a PR firm to create such a campaign, before his client is formally accused. It is possible that creating a positive public opinion of Athlete X will help him avoid any serious legal matters with this issue.

Athlete X’s agent, in a confidential manner, has made it clear that his client has taken a performance enhancing  substance in the past. He has admitted doing so without any knowledge of it being steroids. This information does not prohibit the creation of a PR campaign to repair X’s public reputation. As recent as July 2009, Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz admitted to having a positive drug test in the past (BBC, 2009, ¶2). Ortiz has acknowledged that he was unaware of what the substance was that entered his body. A year has passed and Ortiz is still playing Major League baseball and his reputation is still intact.

The Need

For an ethical campaign to be developed, X must first publicly admit to unknowingly using a performance enhancing substance. This action will take place in the form of press conference. At said press conference, X will denounce the use of steroids by expressing his extreme distaste for that type of activity. He will then explain that he would never knowingly take any substance that is banned by the MLB or that is considered illegal. The press conference must then end with a series of questions, which X will answer to the best of his ability. It is imperative that this course of action take place, in order for a campaign to be created that is based on information.


The campaign will have both informational and motivational objectives. The informational goal will be to disseminate the situation. It is impetrative for the public to view X as a grateful person who would never jeopardize all he has accomplished by doing something illegal. The motivational goal will be to keep X from ever being brought up on formal charges and to continue playing baseball.


As Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sports writer Bob Klapisch (2010) recently stated, “Yes, it's true, everyone is suffering from steroids fatigue. No one wants to read about them anymore” (¶5). What the public does want to read about are athletes who appreciate the opportunities that their talent have given them. As well as positive stories portraying the athlete as someone who cares about the less fortunate. A media campaign will be developed to place favorable accounts of the positive actions that Athlete X has and will continue to perform.


Initial research will include finding all media stories that involve Athlete X. Any story that is deemed positive will then become talking points whenever X is interviewed. These stories will include any community service that he has performed in the past.

X will then begin to perform new community service programs in two specific places, the city his team plays for and his home town. Community service will be targeted around children and teenagers, to remind the public of his role model status. He will also choose a charity that is of importance to him and volunteer time and money to its cause.

There will then be an attempt to book him to appear on a variety of talk shows. This will begin in the city his team plays for with local radio and television. He will speak of his current charity work and use the interviews as a platform to bring awareness. This pattern will begin in that city but will grow as we begin to request interviews across the nation.

Finally, we will begin a viral campaign of Athlete X performing positive duties that the general public can relate. Because “viral is today's electronic equivalent of old-fashioned word of mouth” creating an online presence will help spread the new positive image of X (Djanseizan, 2005, ¶2). Using social networks like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter can allow X to communicate with fans as well as promote this image. Videos and pictures of X working with his charity, doing community service, and spending time with family and friends, will be uploaded on a regular basis.

Success of Campaign

The campaign to create a positive image of Athlete X will depend on his skill to truly work towards goals that the public respects. This particular athlete must perform these duties to the best of his ability. It is important to remain honest and factual at all times. X, at this point, will remain in the public’s eye through media scrutiny. Now is an opportunity for the media to view him as a person who cares. If followed, the strategy and tactics will lead to a complete image makeover of X and a strong possibility of his remaining in professional baseball.


BBC Sports. (2009, July 31). Ortiz admits positive drug test. Retrieved August 8, 2010 from

Djanseizan, K. (2005, June 22). 'Viral' advertising spreads through marketing plans. Retrieved August 9, 2010 from usat_x.htm

Klapisch, B. (2010, August 8). View from afar: A-Rod will not escape his past. Retrieved August 9, 2010 from

Knoblauch, A. (2010, January 11). Mark McGwire admits to using steroids [Updated] Retrieved August 8, 2010 from mcgwire-admits-to-using-steroids.html

What Makes A Good Blog?


            The term blog is a blending of the words web and log. (Blood, 2010). Posting a log on the World Wide Web became knowing as blogging. The individual who participates in such actions then grew to be known as a blogger. Bloggers post regular entries of observations, depiction of events, as well as videos and images. Some blogs deal with a particular theme, like Hip Hop music or Mexican restaurants, while others are just the random thoughts of the blogger.  As I observed different blogs online, I learned that a blog must look pleasing to the eye, allow visitors to interact with the site, and must have quality content of interest.
            In the Communications Capstone course at Ashford University, my classmates and I have been assigned to create our own blog. The purpose of the blog is to create a compilation of representative work completed throughout the Ashford University Communication program that demonstrates professional achievement. It is an electronic portfolio, which will display what we have learned as students of communication. As we entered the fourth week of class, we were instructed to view three of our fellow student’s blogs and to write a critique of each. This particular assignment gave me an opportunity to view my blog in comparison to others.
            The first blog I reviewed was by classmate Robert Brown and was titled Robert’s Blog with a web address of Robert’s blog had a good design that utilizes colors that worked well together. He choose a blue block backdrop for his various posts, with an image of the sky with large white clouds as the background. There was also a great usage of photos to enhance his already well-written blogs. While visually his blog did a lot for me, the site was lacking in content and it did not allow for any interaction besides the option of leaving comments.
            The second blog I viewed was titled Who Knew? Write On Caron created by Caron Carus with a web address of Of all the blogs created by my classmates, this was the best looking one.  Caron created her blog with her visitors in mind. She has a YouTube bar that allows those viewing her website to search for videos as well as a feed of CNET stories with relatable topics. Caron designed her blog differently then most by placing her personal information on the bottom of the page, opening up the side of her site for so much more. She also had a more content then the other blogs I viewed, giving me much more to read and enjoy. The only thing she needed improvement was visually how her post looked. She lacked any images inside her blogs to break up the lengthy amount of words. With that simple change, her blog would begin to look very professional.
            The last blog I visited was started by Justin Meeks and goes by the title of NFL and NFLPA Dispute: The Fans Courtroom with a web address of Justin took a unique approach with his blog by focusing his blog on a theme. He choose the topic of the NFL disputes between the players and owners. This blog has the potential to be a popular site to visit if it used correctly.  The idea of using content to attract a particular audience is great idea. Public Relations Specialist Sherrie Bakshi (2011) suggest that when starting a blog it is good to write about a topic that you love (¶4). In doing so, you will attract like-minded people. This blog lacks content and a strong visual presence though, hurting it from becoming as popular as I believe it can.
            After viewing the three blogs, I decided to make some changes to my own. First, I decided on a new template, for a more attractive visual statement.  I then added a new tab that explains the purpose of my site. The audience I am seeking is those who are interested in communication theory and those who will be interested in my style of writing. Last, I moved information to different areas, allowing more space to add content. I still plan to make my site more interactive with eventually creating a YouTube page that I will link back to my blog.
            I truly believe that within the last four weeks I have created a blog that is beginning to look and feel like the professional ones I have encountered online. In my blog there is content from previous classes at Ashford University, assignments from my current Communication Capstone course, and written work I have completed as a freelance writer. It is important to remember that like any other website, blogs must be visually attractive as well as have content that visitors will find interesting. What separates blogs from others places online, is that visitors can leave comments and interact with the site. To make a blog truly professional these components must be considered.
Bakshi, S. (2011, January 31). What Makes A Good Blog. Retrieved April 4, 2011 from
Blood, R. (2010, July 26). Weblogs: A History and Perspective. Retrieved April 4, 2011 from
Brown, R. (2011). Robert’s Blog. Retrieved March 31, 2011 from
Carus, C. (2011). Who Knew? Write On Caron. Retrieved March 31, 2011 from
Meeks, J. (2011). NFL and NFLPA Dispute: The Fans Courtroom. Retrieved March 31, 2011 from

Career's In Communication That I Am Interested In


I was a communication major in the 90’s when I attended William Paterson University. At that time I had a concentration in film. While my desire to learn film-making is not with me anymore, I still knew returning to school I wanted to continue my education in the field of communications. My love and passion for writing also developed at this time. As my time at Ashford comes to a close and I finally accomplish my goal of achieving my BA in Communication Studies, I have been reflecting on what direction I want to take my professional career in . 

The following are a list of careers in communications that I have found interest in:

Public Relations Specialists
Public relations (PR) can be defined as the “management function which evaluates public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an individual or an organization with the public interest, and plans and executes a program of action to earn public understanding and patience.” (PR News as cited in Cameron, 2009, pg. 5). PR Specialists perform these functions with building and maintaining positive relationships with the public in mind. These specialists use every form of media, such as TV, newspapers, radio, and the internet, to get their message across to the masses. The ability to write, network, and market are necessary to be successful in this field. Opportunities for those with experience in this field will grow, but competition for entry-level jobs will make starting in the industry difficult. The median annual wage is $51, 280, with the $30,000 on the low end and almost $100,000 on the high end (, 2010).

News Analysts, Reporters, and Correspondents
The three positions make up a lot of what is known as journalism. “News analysts, reporters, and correspondents gather information, prepare stories, and make broadcasts” that notify the public of events (, 2010). It is a very hectic work environment that is based around deadlines and availability to find and report stories as quick as possible. The hours worked are different depending on the particular industry; magazine, newspaper, television, radio, etc. This field has a median annual wage of $34,850, with $20,000 on the low end and nearly $78,000 on the high end (, 2010). With in the next seven years employment is expected to decline. This is a result of many people getting their information directly from the internet.

Authors, Writers, and Editors
Communication professionals who work under these titles “produce a wide variety of written materials in an increasing number of ways” (, 2010). With the development of technology many individuals are performing these from home using software and the internet to complete their tasks. More writers are doing their work as independent contractors or freelance writing. Authors are self-publishing and using the internet to promote their own books. Many editors begin as writers and authors and decide to use their skills helping others produce the best content. Employment in this field is expected to grow 7 to 13 percent in the next seven years. Median income is $53,070, with the low end being around $28,000 and the high end being over $106,000. (, 2010)

Meeting and Convention Planners
Individuals that work as event planners for businesses work at bringing people together. While people with many different education backgrounds seek opportunities in this field, communication majors with a background in interpersonal experience should do well. Employment in this field is expected to grow at 14 to 19 percent in the next seven years (, 2010). Planners of this level hold over 56,000 jobs as of 2007, with a six percent being self-employed (, 2010).  The median income is $44,260 with the low end being around $27,00 and the high end being almost $75,000.

Technical Writers
A communication professional that can take hard to understand information and make it easy to grasp will be good at technical writing. Many jobs for technical writers require college degree related to the field of commutation. Being a good writer and knowing how to describe instructions are very helpful. The median wage is $61,620, with a low end of $36,500 and a high end of $97,460. Job prospects are expected to be good in this field. (, 2010).

After attending Ashford University I see my future in either Public Relations or Journalism. I am also looking into event planning, because I always enjoyed doing that sort of thing in my personal life. 


Cameron, G. T., Reber, B. H., Shin, J., Wilcox, D. L. (2008). Public Relations Today: Managing Competition and Conflict. Boston: Pearson (2010). Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–11 Edition. Retrieved March 31, 2011 from

The Process Of Making A Long Island Ice Tea


One class that I really enjoyed taking at Ashford University was my Technical Writing course. I learned a lot about writing instructions and proposals. My fourth assignment was to write a technical process of completing a task. I decided to have some fun and wrote about the process of making one of my favorite drinks; Long Island Iced Tea. Below is the actual paper I submitted. Give it a read and let me know what you think.

Process of Making a Long Island Iced Tea
The Long Island Iced Tea (LIT) is one of the most popular drinks in the United States. A mix drink that is poured in a Collins glass, there is no actual tea in it. This particular cocktail reached its height in popularity in the 1990’s; it is still very popular nationwide (Drago, 2004, ¶ 10). Because of the popularity of this drink, it is a must know for anyone who plans on throwing a social event or hosting a function at their home.

There are a few known ways to make a LIT, but the most popular process includes Gin, Rum, Tequila, Triple Sec, Vodka, Sour mix and Coca-Cola for the right color. In order to make a perfect Long Island Ice Tea, one will need a collins glass, a shaker, ice cubes, and a lemon slice.

The steps explained here include the measurements of liquor, the mixture of ingredients, and the presentation of drink.

Measurements of Ingredients
Like with all alcoholic beverages, the correct amount of liquor is of the upmost importance. Different liquors compliment each other, only when poured properly. For a Long Island Iced Tea, one will need to pour .5 ounces of each of the above-mentioned liquors. This can be measured by using a shot glass and filling it half way.  Pour each into a collins glass filled with ice. Next, pour 1.5 ounces of sour mix into the glass, this being the equivalent of a shot glass and a half. Finally fill the rest of the glass with cola.

Mixture of Ingredients
To give a LIT its resemblance of a real ice tea, one must mix the ingredients. To do so take a bar shaker and pour everything inside. Shake the drink for approximately 30 seconds. Do not shake much longer because the alcohol will start to melt the ice and water the drink down. While the liquor and other liquids are mixing, foam will begin create.  Open the shaker and pour back into collins glass.

Presentation of Drink
If shaken properly the drink should have a brown color very similar to a real ice tea. The top of the drink should be foamy. Now take the lemon slice and place it on the brim of the glass. This Long Island Iced Tea will look perfect and refreshing. A straw is appropriate for this beverage as well.

The Long Island Iced Tea has remained popular because it has a lot of kick and does not taste as strong as it really is. Many restaurants exclude one of the liquors as to not intoxicate their customers quickly. It is important to remember to use the exact amount of liquor recommended for this particular drink. What is not a problem is experimenting with other ingredients, such as Cranberry juice instead of Cola, or real lemon juice instead of sour mix. Regardless of the contents of any beverage, remember too always drink responsibly.

Drago, W. J. (2004).  Long Island Ice Tea. Retrieved July 18, 2010 from

Delivering Bad News Tactfully and Effectively


In the study of communication a word that comes up often is 'Conflict'. It is uncomfortable but it happens, every day in fact. One place that conflict can really cause some serious issues is in the workplace. Below I was giving a scenario and asked how I felt is should be handled. I responded by explaining to conflict management techniques I learned. Personally my suggestions are pretty good, but you can be the judge of that.

“You are a department manager in a mid-sized company that provides technology support services.  You have ten employees who are required to maintain a high level of technical expertise and deliver excellent customer service.  One of your employees, who has been with the company for two years, is performing at a substandard level and you have received numerous complaints from customers and coworkers.  In addition, this employee has displayed confrontational behavior, which has created a hostile environment.  You must now meet with this employee and deliver an ultimatum regarding the need for immediate improvement or dismissal.”
            Any person who has worked in management position knows there will always be a member of their team that does not work well with others. It is essential to avoid procrastination, which tends to be “one of the biggest problems with delivering bad news” (Donnelly, 2011, ¶4). Rather than wait until a situation escalates, it is best to speak to an employee as soon as possible. A hostile work environment can be viewed as past the point of escalation. With the correct techniques, not only can the conflict be resolved, it is probable to save the employee’s position as well.
            In the above-mentioned scenario, it is the manager’s duty to bring the conflict caused by the employee to a resolution. When attempting to resolve any interpersonal conflict, a successful procedure to follow is the “confrontation ritual” (Cahn, 2007, pg 97).  This guideline consists of six steps:
1.            Preparation: Identify your problem/needs/issues.
2.            Tell the person “We need to talk.”
3.            Interpersonal confrontation: Talk to the other person about your problem.
4.            Consider your partner's point of view: Listen, empathize, and respond with               understanding.
5.            Resolve the problem: Make a mutually satisfying agreement.
6.            Follow up on the solution: Set a time limit for reevaluation (Cahn, 2007,                             pg 97).
            It is imperative to first, be very clear of what issues are connected to the individual in question. By indentifying the problem, it becomes an easier task to discuss. The next step is to not allow the problem to grow any worse, approach the employee and be upfront about the desire to speak to them.  When speaking to the person “keep the message brief, direct, and don't sugar-coat it” (Donnelly, 2011, ¶10). It is best to remain honest about the issue at hand. After speaking, it is important to listen to what the employee has to say. At this moment, it is time to resolve the issue. Finally, it is best to let the person know that there will be a follow up and a reevaluation of their performance.
            When using any theory that involves conflict management it must be remembered that people do not always respond as we would like them too. In using, the “confrontation ritual” there may be a point where another theory will be a handy tool to use. An example of a method that is helpful is referred to as the S-TLC system, an “acronym for Stop, Think, Listen, and Communicate” (Cahn, 2007, pg 41). An employee who has already caused a disruption with co-workers and offended customers, may cause management problems as well. If the process of discussing these issues becomes difficult, stopping to think while you listen will help make the decision on how you would like to communicate.
            A team member that has over two years of experience is difficult to replace. Time and money will have to be spent, training a new employee to fill that position. It is best to work on resolving a conflict with an experience team member then termination. By using the correct conflict resolution techniques, it is possible to save the individual from losing their job. The “confrontation ritual” and the S-TLC system are the necessary methods to make that possible.
Cahn, D.D., & Abigail, R.A. (2007). Managing conflict through communication. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.
Donnelly, T. (2011, January 14). How to Deliver Bad News to Employees. Retrieved March 27, 2011 from

Use Twitter for your Customer Service Needs


This is an article I wrote a little over a year ago. I was recent to Twitter and I immediately saw the benefits for business owners to use the social network as a platform to perform customer service. You can read the original article here.

February 03, 2010 - There continues to be much discussions about the benefits of Twitter and the many reasons why an account on their is necessary.  What sets it apart from other social networking sites is the  real time post of its members every second of every day. Many companies are quickly becoming aware of this fact and have started twitter accounts. Where at one time commercials and other forms of advertising would post the web address for a company, i.e. or, it is increasingly common to see an organization's Twitter address. Diverse companies such as @Comcast@Dell, and @Southwest Airlines have been using the site to not only help build brand image, but to have a direct platform for their customers.

Now why is this important to you? 

These twitter address for companies can often be the easiest way to accomplish many of your customer service needs. The advantage of immediate conversation, with a company you use for products and services is amazing. In theory, the amount of time it takes to send a tweet out and receive a response will be quicker then making a phone call. 

I will give a great example of using Twitter for this very use. Sometime last year I ordered an AT&T LG VU phone from the cell phone website  When the phone arrived to my home there were some problems with the device. I immediately called and of course was stuck listening to elevator music while being on hold. As I sat there waiting I got the idea to search for Wirefly on Twitter and came across their page.  I sent @Wirefly a tweet explaining my problem. Before a live person picked up the phone I was sent back a tweet and then a direct message explaining what I should do. This saved me an unimaginable amount of time. Now I will not get into what happened when the second LG VU phone came, lets just say I am the proud owner of a Black Berry Curve now.

Every experience with using Twitter for customer service may not work this perfect.  One should never discuss secure information online for starters. It is also wise to remember that you have no information about the company employee you are communicating with. With that said, it still can still be a great way for initial contact and get FAQ's answered. Also, large corporations are continuing to hire people to work strictly on their social media sites, and it is possible to build a rapport with these individuals.  This can be a great way to give immediate feed back about one's experience with a product.  

As the popularity of Twitter grows, businesses will continue to use the site for direct communication with customers. Discounts, product news & developments, marketing, and customer service will all be accessible on one page. It seems that 140 characters continues to be just enough, to say a whole lot. 

Social networking continues to be one of the most common tools we now use to communicate. The power of these websites for business purposes is still in the process of being discovered. I do believe that Twitter is on the forefront of this movement. 

Lets Discuss Media Technology


            As we humans advance in technology, we have discovered new ways to communicate with each other. The goal has always been to make communication possible quickly and over long distance of land. From the smoke signal to the messenger pigeon, man’s quest from the beginning was to discover how to accomplish this goal. The invention of internet technology continues to give us new and exciting ways to send and receive messages from one another. Media technology is on the leading path towards the future of communication.

            The following are four examples of media technology used every day. I have deciphered a brief description of the technology and the general audience who would have a need for its functions:

·         BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) – is an instant messaging application available only to Blackberry users. The BlackBerry website (2011) explains that the program is “chat style layout and [has] unlimited characters” (¶1). The app is an enhanced version of texting with features that include real time confirmation of message delivery, status updates, the ability to share photos and videos, as well as a display picture for other users to view. The audience of this technology are owners of Blackberry devices who want too instantly communicate with others.

·         Twitter – is a micro blogging site that lets individuals post updates about what they are currently doing. The site “is a real-time information network” that all connects users topics they find interesting (Twitter, 2011, ¶1).  It only allows users 140 characters to say what is on their mind, allowing for a lot of creativity in self-expression.  Twitter’s audience includes both individuals and businesses that are looking to receive and give information to others

·         Wordpress - is a content management system that is used to create blogs and websites online. Volunteers who create “plug-ins” enhance the user-friendly platform. Similar to mobile applications, plug-ins allows those using Wordpress to create any site they can imagine (Wordpress, 2011, ¶4). Many of the sites that people visit everyday on the World Wide Web were created using Wordpress software. Its audience includes anyone who wants to create a website or blog on their own.
·         YouTube – is a video share site that allows users to upload, share, and view videos. Now one of the most popular sites in the world, YouTube has become a part of our culture. The site is also a social network in that many individuals use it to Vlog (video blog). With individuals sharing their vlogs, favorite TV and films, as well as homemade video, the audience for the site is every single person on the planet.

            While the majority of the above-mentioned technologies are web based, they all have usage on cellular phones. As we use the internet more to communicate, it becomes imperative that we have access to the same technology as we are on the goal. It is interesting to note that many of the websites we use on daily basis have applications for mobile phones. While BBM, for example, is something that only Blackberry users can have, a mobile version of YouTube or Twitter is available to all cell phone carriers. The future of media technology is how well can it be used on individuals computers as well as their mobile calling devices.


BlackBerry. (2011). BlackBerry Messenger. Retrieved March 17, 2011       from
Twitter. (2011). About Twitter. Retrieved March 17, 2011 from
Wordpress. (2011). About Wordpress. Retrieved March 17, 2011     from


My first Press Release


This is a copy of the first press release I was hired to complete. When the company that owns this particular site contacted me I was currently enrolled in a course entitled "Public Relations Practices & Promotional Writing" at Ashford University. Our text had all the information I needed to create this type of document, so I was excited to put my education to use. 

With a press release it is important to communicate the 5 W's and the H: who, what, when, where, why, and how. A quotation from an individual in the organization should always be included. Another name for press release is news release, so make sure it is something important about the company or individual that you are writing about. Always remember that the goal of any release is for a journalist to pick it up and put together and article. They are busy people, so the less work they have to do the better. 

Give it a read and let me know what you think. Develops Easier to use Interface for Listeners and Musicians recently developed a new design and updated many profile features for its users. Easy to navigate interface, along with a new member profiles, where they can upload videos, flyers and much more.

(Press Release) – Mar 15, 2010 – recently developed a new design and updated many profile features for its users. 

Known as the place to promote music on Twitter, is an external site that helps to make Twitter a full interactive experience for musicians and fans alike. Many changes have been added to give the site its own social network appeal. The most important new feature is users now have their own profile page. With their profile, artists have a billboard where promotional tools like flyers, images, and even YouTube videos can be added to the site, in addition to the ability to leave and reply to comments. 

The original version of the site was limited in allowing visitors to find new music in particular genres. This has been revamped with each genre of music having its very own tab to click on. Listeners can also browse for musicians by name and filter genres to make the search easier. From the artist’s tweetmysong page, fans can easily follow members on Twitter, retweet links to the artist’s music, and even download the music to their computer. 

Other updates include an almost effortless interface for artists to upload songs and album covers, as well as upload entire mixtapes as well as single songs. The home page now offers the most unique mixtape and song listens, displaying what music is the most popular. 

“From the beginning we were focused on developing the most user friendly layout for our users.” said Web designer William Rodriguez. “With our recent modifications, we feel we have achieved the best possible design for people to promote their music on Twitter, and allow the listener to find the music they are looking for.” 

Musicians, especially independent artists, have been using to promote their music through Twitter’s viral system. The site tracks unique listens, total listens and downloads. By using their twitter account and password, artists can easily begin using the site to upload and distribute music on Twitter. 

The site remains ad-supported and is free to all users.  Visit to view all the exciting changes.

For the record this organization found me on Twitter. I actually was tweeting that I was looking for freelance writing work and I was a creative writer. They must have been searching for that topic because they contacted me and I have been writing for them every since. Never underestimate the power of social networking.