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THE ROLE OF DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS IN BUSSINESS

Prepared for Maple Leaf Furnishings


Marcia Johnson
La Crosse, WI

Prepared by
Andrea L. Matson
Manager of Client Services
Communications Consultants

April 22, 2014

Communications Consultants
201 Main Street
La Crosse, WI 54601
April 22, 2014

Phone: 608 385 7722


www.communciationsconsults.com

Marcia Johnson
Maple Leaf Furnishings
613 West Avenue
La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601
Dear Ms. Johnson
The attached report, requested through our initial consultation meeting on March 15, showcases
what we at Communications Consultants believe to be best for Maple Leaf Furnishings. As a
growing furniture company it is understandable that you will need to improve your
communications department. We believe that you will find the following preliminary report very
useful.
This report showcases the following areas:

Describes both traditional and digital communications


Showcases the benefits and problems of both types of communications
Recommends ways to prevent problems.

The report was written with Maple Leaf Furnishings in mind. It especially considered the fact
that you have recently opened branches in Rochester, Minnesota; Duluth, Minnesota; and Grand
Rapids, Michigan. Because of this Maple Leaf will need to rely more on digital communication
rather than traditonal communication forms.
As you stated in our initial meeting Maple Leaf will be relying more on digital communications.
The following report focuses more on ways digital communications will best benefit your
company.
I look forward to working with Maple Leaf Furnishings and helping you to integrate these
communications into your business. Communications Consultants and I thank you for your trust
in us. I look forward to discussing the report with you further.
Sincerely

Andrea L. Matson
Manager of Client Services
TABLE OF CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.............................................................................................................iv
INTRODUCTION ..........................................................................................................................1
BACKGROUND:
WHAT ARE DIGITAL AND TRADITONAL COMMUNICATIONS? ........................................1
Digital Communications......................................................................................................1
Internet and the World Wide Web............................................................................2
Email........................................................................................................................2
Instant messaging and Chatrooms...........................................................................2
Text messaging.........................................................................................................3
Social Media ...........................................................................................................3
Videoconferencing...................................................................................................3
Traditional Communications ...............................................................................................3
Written.....................................................................................................................3
Face-to-face..............................................................................................................4
DISCUSION: BENEIFTS AND PROBLEMS ...............................................................................4
Benefits ...............................................................................................................................4
Digital communications ..........................................................................................4
Traditional communications ...................................................................................8
Problems..............................................................................................................................9
Traditional communications...................................................................................9
Digital communications.........................................................................................10
SUMMARY ..................................................................................................................................13
CONCLUSION .............................................................................................................................14
RECOMMENDATIONS: HOW TO ADDRESS PROBLEMS....................................................14
Suggestion 1: Policy..........................................................................................................14
Suggestion 2: Procedures for suggested digital communications.....................................14
Videoconferencing ................................................................................................14
Email......................................................................................................................15
Social media...........................................................................................................15
Texting...................................................................................................................15
APPENDIX

................................................................................................................................17
3

REFERENCES..............................................................................................................................19

FIGURES
Figure
1
2
3
4

DIGITAL COMMUNICTAION USSAGE..........................................................................4


INCREASED USAGE OF DIGITAL COMMUNICATION..............................................8
DECREASED USAGE OF POSTAL SERVICE...............................................................10
TEXT AND IM SLANG....................................................................................................12

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Maple Leaf Furnishings is a growing furniture construction and retail company based in La
Crosse, Wisconsin that has recently opened branches in Duluth, Minnesota and Grand Rapids,
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Michigan. Because of these recent additions to Maple Leaf will have to rely more heavily on
digital communications rather than more traditional face-to-face communications. Therefore this
report aims to help improve Maple Leafs inter-office communications.
This report is based off of research specifically tailored to Maple Leafs needs. The areas the
report focuses on are:

Types of communications. Maple Leaf may not be aware of all the different types of
communications that are available to them. This report will explain the different types of
both traditional and digital communications, with a focus on digital communications.

Problems and benefits. There are many benefits of digital communications for a
growing company like Maple Leaf; however, problems can also arise. This report will
showcase potential problem areas.

Addressing problems. Although problems could happen there are steps that can be taken
to prevent these problems. Having a solid procedure plan in place in the event of a
problem will be beneficial to Maple Leaf.

On the basis of the research conducted for Maple Leaf it is recommended that strict policies and
procedures are developed for all branches of Maple Leaf. It is also recommended that all
employees learn about correct procedures for using digital communications. Maple Leaf will
benefit greatly from avoiding future hassles by following the recommendations set forth in this
report.

INTRODUCTION:
This report was designed for Maple Leafs communication department. The report aims to not
only explain the differences between traditional communications and new digital
communications. Specifically this report answers
Defines different types of digital communications
Problems that arise from increased use of digital communications
Recommendations for Maple Leaf to improve their digital communications.

BACKGROUND: WHAT ARE DIGITAL AND TRADTIONAL COMMUNICATIONS?


With the emergence of the internet and with the mobile phone the way people communicate has
drastically changed in a short span of time. Not only has the way people communicate in their
personal lives changed but so has the ways a business communicates changed. Digital
communications are types of communications that are electronic and operate on digital codes.
Information like text, pictures, or video can be stored and transmitted through these digital codes.
New media is the digital and networked information and communication technologies that began
emerging in the late 20th century (Waldeck, 2013, p121).
Digital Communications
Within digital technologies there are some terms that can be confusing and are often mixed up by
laymen. Some of the more common terms that are confused include:
Multimedia: This is typically disk-based or device-based and may or may not be
interactive. It is a mixture of one or more media. For example a CD-ROM that has text,
pictures, and animation is considered to be multimedia.
Interactive Media: This type of media must be capable of enabling communication.
Communication can be through the user and the application but it is common to have
communication between people. This can be one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one, or
many-to-many.
Digital Media: This is often used as a catch all phrase for multimedia and interactive
media. However, technically speaking all most all publishing as well as TV, radio, and
telephone operations are digital media forms. Therefore the term digital media can be
unclear at times (Cadey, 1999, pp 4-7).
Although it is relatively young digital communications has a long history. There are many
different types of digital communications. Most of these communications came about because of
the internet and World Wide Web.

The Internet and World Wide Web is the basis for the majority of digital communications. The
internet is the worlds largest computer network. It is a global connection system of computer
networks with common standards which enables information to be sent from any host on one
network to any host on another network.
It was after the creation of the internet that HTML was formed, and thusly the World Wide Web.
Through HTML (Hyper Text Mark-up Language) text can appear in various ways and can enable
multimedia to be delivered over computer networks.
The World Wide Web, or Web for short, is an information system on the Internet that allows
users to connect and share data. Basically, anything that is a computer file can be made into a
Web document (Cadey 1999, pp 15-23; Crystal, 2008, 188).
The internet contains many of the following forms of digital communications. As David Crystal
points out the internet is much larger than any other type of media because it combines so many
other media (2011).
Email first became a popular means for communication in the 1990 and has grown in its
popularity and usage. It is short for electronic mail and is used in similar ways. Users have
addresses which messages, similar to letters or memos, can be sent using computer systems.
They are stored centrally until accessed by the recipient. Email is one of, if not the, major form
of digital communication used for businesses. It a communication system that uses networked
computers to send messages (Waldeck, 2013, 131-133).
Another benefit of email is that email is more environmentally friendly. Being environmentally
conscious is important to many consumers. Since email is digital it saves on paper and the fossil
fuels that it takes to deliver, but it offers the option to have a print copy if needed.
Instant Messaging and Chatrooms are a bit similar. Often abbreviated to IM, instant messaging
works similar to email in which the message is instantly transmitted from sender to receiver.
However, the message is not put into an inbox to be discovered later, but rather is instantly seen
by the receiver to view the message. This only works if the receiver is online by being logged
into his IM account. Instant messaging permits rapid dialog between people or groups of people
(Crystal, 2008, p 181).
Chatrooms are a particular internet site, usually divided up into interest topics, where people go
to discuss certain topics. This is usually done in a similar way as instant messaging. However,
messages can be saved to view for later depending on the chatroom. Usually multiple people use
chatrooms at once compared to the one-to-one communication of instant messaging (Crystal,
2008, p178).
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Text messaging, also known as texting, is very similar to instant messaging. However, rather
than using the internet and computers messages are sent through mobile phone services. One key
difference is that text messages are limited to short messages of 160 characters (crystal, 2008
187).
Another potential benefit of text messaging is that texts are easy and efficient ways to contact
customers. Like a mailing list a company can have a list of customers who have signed up for
text message alerts. These alerts can range from advertisements to announcements or anything
else that the company wants to easily communicate to its customers. The best thing about text
messages is that they can be sent out to multiple people at once, and with the right software can
be sent to mobile phones from the senders computer. Compared to individual phone calls or
letters, text messaging can save time, hassle, and costs.
Social media is a broad term for media such as social network sites and blogs. A social network
site, like Facebook, is a dedicated website that enables users to communicate with other users
only through the website. This is usually done through posts, messages, and images. Blog is
short for weblog and is the diary of the 21st century. It is a persons individual website where he
can write his opinions and observations on certain topics of interest (Waldeck, 2013, p 135).
Videoconferencing is much like a traditional phone call. However, rather than be on the phone
users are on computers using web cameras and an online video chat website, such as Skype.
Users can see and hear each other just as if they are in person, however they can be anywhere in
the world (Waldeck, 2013, p 135).
For a comprehensive table of digital communications and their characteristics see Appendix A.
Traditional Communications
Traditional communications involve any type of communications before the immergence of the
internet as a mode of communication. These are the typical forms of communication. There are
two types of traditional communications written and face-to-face.
Written communication is anything that is physically on paper. Computers are often used to
type letters, memos, and reports. It is the actual printing of the document that makes it different
than its digital counterparts. It is important to note that more and more written communication is
being transmitted through digital means like email. The strict format of business memos and
letters makes this like the traditional communications. This is the reason why it is placed under
the traditional communications section.
Along with written communication is the traditional bulletin or message board. Before email this
was a place where management could place notices to workers and workers could place more
public messages to each other.
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Face-to-face communciations were once the most important part of a business. Face-to-face
communication is any type of communication where two or more people are talking directly to
each other.
Meetings and phone calls were the main way management communicated to workers. Meeting
minutes were usually taken and those minutes were used in the next meeting (Cadey, 1999, pp 910) Often people would have to travel for meetings or else telephone conferences were used.
Similarities and differences between digital and traditional communications
Although digital and traditional communications are different they have some common elements.
Both need a sender and a receiver. The difference with digital communications is that both have
to have a certain amount of technological skill and access to certain types of technology. Also,
the mode of communication chosen can affect the message. This is addressed more in the
problems area of the discussion.

DISCUSSION: BENEFITS AND PROBLEMS


Any communication type, whether digital or traditional, has both benefits and problems. It is the
aim of this report to show the benefits and the problems of both digital and traditional
communications.
Benefits
It is important to know the benefits of any form of communication. By knowing the benefits of
all choices of communication the company can better choose which will be best to use.
Digital Communications can be very beneficial for companies. They are especially beneficial
for communications between workers in the same company but who may be at different branch
sites in the country or even in the world.
The popularity of digital communication has rapidly increased. The following graph is a
collection of data from various PEW studies.

Figure
1

DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS USAGE


Internet

87%

Videoconferencing

19%

Text Messaging

73%

Instant messaging
Social Media
0%

42%
36%
10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
American Adult Users

Sources: Pew Research, 2014; Rainie and Zickuhr, 2010; Shiu and Lenhart,
2004; Smith 2011; Duggan & Smith, 2013

The Internet is the most used form of digital communications. According to a Pew study
conducted in 2014, eight-seven percent of American adults use the internet. Fifty-two percent of
internet users use the internet for work. Those that use the internet are more likely to use it
constantly at work rather than constantly at home.
The amount of people using the internet depends on a variety of factors including company size,
type of company as well as the profession of the worker. Managers and professionals, like
lawyers and accountants, are the types of users who use the internet the most for work (Madden
and Jones, 2008).
Email takes up a large portion of internet usage. Email is probably one of the most commonly
used forms of digital communication skills that a company can use. It is also the most important.
It is an excellent way to communicate both in the office but also to customers, venders and
others. A benefit of email communication is that the same forms and procedures used in written
communications, like that used for memos and business letters, can be used in email as well.
Another benefit of email is that there is no cost like with postal services. Emails can also be
much more easily filed than traditional written communications. It also can be sent to multiple
receivers at once (Cady, 1999, p 11).

Videoconference is new but very productive. According to a Pew study nineteen percent of
Americans have used videoconference calls or video chat. This can be done either through web
cameras on a computer or through smartphones which have video chat capabilities.
There are different ways to video chat, such as through Skype, Apple iChat, and GoogleTalk.
Videoconferencing has become increasingly popular in businesses (Rainie and Zickuhr, 2010).
This is because they have such great benefits for companies with offices in multiple locations.
With videoconferencing multiple employees can see each other, talk and instant message each
other. In some websites users can have access to whiteboards, share computer files, and share
their desktop with other users. It is the closest to face-to-face meeting than any other type of
digital communication.
Other benefits of videoconferencing include that it saves time and money because employees do
not need travel to meet face-to-face. Videoconferencing also helps employees develop
relationships and helps them to share their ideas and enhance their abilities (Waldeck, 2013,
p135).
Text messaging has become increasingly popular as well. Eighty-three percent of Americans
own a cell phone and seventy-three of those use text messaging (Shiu and Lenhart, 2004).
Texting is more popular with teenagers and young adults and it can be expected that as these
people enter the workforce they will also bring texting with them.
One of the benefits of texting is that the user can send quick messages to others while on the go
and can be very efficient (Shiu and Lenhart, 2004). However, with increase technology evolution
of smartphones which have email capability the need for texting for quick messages on the go
may disappear. However, texting is one form of communication that can have more problems
than benefits
Instant messaging is used by Fifty-three percent of Americans. Instant messaging is similar to
text messaging as it is quick and efficient and it is most popular with younger users. About 11
million Americans use instant messaging in the workplace according to one Pew study. Also Atwork IM users report feeling positively about how instant messaging improves workflow and the
quality of the work-day. It is most beneficial in the office for quick messages to other workers.

Social media is a new, but very popular way to advertise and communicate with customers.
According to a recent Pew research study thirty-six percent of internet users use at least one type
of social media site and forty-two percent of internet users use two or more social media sites.
The most popular social media site is Facebook with eighty-four percent of internet users say
that Facebook is the one social networking site they use (Duggan & Smith, 2013)
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Social media is a great tool for companies to contact both current customers and to attract
potential customers. YouTube can be extremely useful for a companys advertising because they
can show ads for services and products only on the internet.
LinkedIn, a business oriented social networking site, is a great benefit for businesses.
Professionals can promote themselves and connect with others in their field. LinkedIn has
become a great tool for job searching and networking.
Social media have changed how a company spreads its information to other people in the
workplace and to customers. Oftentimes social media is used to screen, interview, and hire
potential new employees. It also is a new way to market services and products (Waldeck, 2013
p.135-136).
Popularity of digital communications is highlighted in figure 2. It shows the increased usage of
digital communications since 1990.

Figure 2

INCREASED USSAGE OF DIGITAL COMMUNICATTIONS


100
90
80
70

percent of users

60

Computer Usage

50

Cell Ownership

40

Internet Usage

30
20
10
0
1990-1995 2000

2005

2010

2014

Years

Source: Fox & Rainie, 2014.

Traditional Communications
With the immergence of digital technology traditional communications have been put to the side.
However there are some great benefits to traditional communications. Overall some people are
put off by some forms of digital communications. They would rather communicate with your
company in traditional ways.
Written communications major benefit is that it is typically more formal than its digital
counterparts. Even the more informal styles of letters and memos are more formal compared to
some emails. Depending on whom the receiver is and the needs of both sender and receiver, a
more formal type of communication may be needed. Although emails can be printed out they can
be seen as informal.
Another benefit of written communication is that it can be nice to receive a letter in the mail
rather than through postal mail. Depending on the situation, a written letter may make your
company stand out from others.

The most important part of written communication is that it is a physical document. This report
will address problems that can come with digital communications in the next section.
Face-to-face communication has many benefits that cannot be achieved through digital
communications. One benefit is that humans are a social creature and need face-to-face human
contact. People brainstorm, communicate, strategize and problem solve when they are in the
same room together (Stack 2014).
Another important benefit is that face-to-face communication lets people read each others body
language. This is important because supervisors can pick up on clues that can indicate liars. Even
with videoconferencing, you cannot pick up on these clues.
Also, like with written communication, face-to-face meetings and even phone calls adds a
personal touch. You can better judge a persons attitude and feelings when in person than with
writing, especially digital communication writing like instant messaging.
Problems
Just as it is important to know what the benefits of either traditional or digital communications it
is even more important to be aware of problems that can happen. Problems can cause a company
to lose money, customers, and can even cause legal problems and cause a company to go out of
business. Knowledge of problems that may arise is the best way to prevent these problems.
Traditional Communications are facing challenges keeping up with its digital counterparts. A
great example of this is the decreased usage in postal mail. Often referred to as snail mail
because it takes at least 24 hours before it is delivered, postal mail has seen a steady decrease.
This decrease is shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3

DECREASED USAGE OF U.S. POSTAL SERVICE


250
200 212
203
150
amount delivered
in bilions

177 171 168


160
Pieces of Mail delivered

100
50
0

Years

Sources: Household diary, 2007-2012


The decrease in postal mail is a problem because it can be a contributing factor to increases in
postal rates. Companies will need to reach those customers who do not use the internet or other
digital communications. To do this they will rely on traditional means such as postal mail.
Comparing figure 3 with figure 3 shows that as the internet usage increased the amount of mail
sent decreased. The U.S. postal service equates the decrease in mail with a bad economy and
slow recover and the increased usage of the internet for both personal and business
communication (Household Diary).
One drawback to traditional communication is that it takes time and costs more. Figure 2
showed the increase in digital communications. Part of the reason behind this was that the
internet and mobile phones made it easier, cheaper, and faster to relate messages both internally
and externally in a company.
Digital Communications has many benefits but also comes with problems. A company will
need to have strong virus and firewall protection. This is especially important when dealing with
customers information like credit card numbers, addresses, and other sensitive information.
There are some problems that arise in almost all types of digital communication. One is that it
can be hard for the receiver to understand the tone or emotions of the sender. Therefore, a
manger may be trying to make a joke in an email but the employee does not have the face-to-face
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body clues and context for the joke and can misunderstand it. Or in the worst case the employee
does not understand the seriousness of an email and disregards a serious task that his manager is
asking to do.
Likewise, a second problem found in most digital communication is that people forget that they
are in a business setting. They treat the communication medium informally, not thinking that
what they do may reflect badly on them, but more importantly may reflect a bad image of the
company to clients and customers.
For ways to combat problems please refer to the recommendations section of this report
Internet is the first to have problems. With increased internet and computer use Maple Leaf
Furnishings may have more PC (personal computer) and network issues and problems. This will
mean that the company will need some type of IT (informational technology) department to
control and fix problems. Depending on the size of the company this can be done in house, with
a companywide IT department, or outsourced with an IT company. Either way internet usage
means increase costs to the company.
Email can have two types of problems. One problem with email is that people often use it in
very informal ways. Email is great for a quick update to a manager or question to a co-worker.
However, these emails can be written very informal. There may be certain instances where an
email needs to be more like a formal business letter.
Another problem is that emails can be easily forwarded. A message that may have been written
for one person can easily get forwarded, whether on accident or not, to the entire office. This can
cause inter-office relationship problems and could even lead to legal issues.
Another problem is that employees may either use work email for private email. They may also
use work computers and work time to check and reply to personal email. This can not only be a
security risk if the email has a virus, but it cuts back on workers production.
Instant messaging and text messaging are so very similar. Because they are similar they share
the same common problem. The biggest problem is that younger employees may treat these two
mediums the same way at work as they do in their personal lives. Employees may abbreviate or
use text message slang in official work communication. Figure 4 is a short list of some text and
IM slang words that could be confusing for the work place.

Figure 4

TEXT AND IM SLANG


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Slang Term
2morow
Add
C%d
Dur
Idk
Jam
Msg
Pcm
Swdyt
Wk
Wtm

Translation
Tomorrow
Address
Could
Do you remember
I dont know
Just a minute
Message
Please call me
So what do you think
Week
What time

Source: Crystal, 2008, pp189-189.


These abbreviations can seem very confusing for someone who is unfamiliar with them. It can
cause problems and misunderstandings between sender and receiver.
A problem specifically for text messaging is whether the receiver uses texting. Some receivers
may not have a phone plan that has text messaging (Waldeck, 2013, p134). Also, the receiver
may not respond to texts altogether.
Videoconferencing problems often arise from technical issues. Cameras or sound systems may
not work properly. Another problem is that a new user does not know how to use the software or
how to work the camera. Often people forget to use basic face-to-face meeting etiquette
(Waldeck, 2013, p 135).
Social Media can be great for advertising and communicating with business but has its own
challenges. Often times the site will change its security settings so someone will need to stay on
top of any changes the site makes. For example, Facebook often changes the way the site works
with certain types of pages. You may be posting information but those following you, your
friends do not see your posts.
Social media can cause problems in the work place as well. Employees my go on their social
networking sites during office hours and waste company time. They can also use their sites to
play games at work, which can open doors for computer viruses.
There could also be some legal issues with comments made on social media. An employee may
post a personal opinion that could be considered the opinion of the company. This can be a
problem and could even lead to legal problems.
SUMMARY
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Maple Leaf Furnishings is a growing company and such needs to be aware of the different types
of communications that are available.
Videoconferencing will be the most beneficial, especially for the Grand Rapids and Duluth
branches as they are the furthest away from the La Crosse home base.
Internet, email, and social media will be extremely beneficial and will have little cost. There may
be a need to increase your IT. Currently your IT is outsourced through a local La Crosse
company. It may be beneficial for Maple Leaf to have an in house IT department. This would be
the most costly portion of increasing digital communications.
Text messaging and instant messaging should be considered but is not necessary. A survey should
be conducted of all employees to help with the decision.

CONCLUSION
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In conclusion it will be very effective for Maple Leaf Furnishings to increase their usage of
digital communications. Not only will digital communications help with contacting the branch
offices in Duluth, Rochester, and Grand Rapids, but they will also help with communications to
clients and potential customers.

As previously mentioned, there can be some problems that arise with digital communications.
These problems can especially arise with a company that is new to digital communication.
Therefore please refer to the following section, Recommendations. The next section gives brief,
suggestions on how to prevent problems. Further suggestions can be made upon further
consultations.

RECOMMENDATIONS: PREVENT PROBLEMS IN DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS

The best recommendation is to prevent any types of problem from even happening. These
suggestions could be expanded to other forms of communication. However, it is the goal of this
report to showcase how digital communications can affect a business. Therefore the following is
a list of recommendations for digital communication problems.
Suggestion 1: Policy
Have a strict policy in place and make all employees aware of it. This means that Maple Leaf
should have rules about internet, email, and social media use on company computers. Consider if
you want your employees to be able to check their personal emails and networking cites at work.
If so what are the rules for them? Consider surveying employees on their choices.
Suggestion 2: Procedures for suggested digital communications
Have a handbook or something with correct procedures and etiquette for the different types of
digital communication. Some suggestions are listed below for the types of digital
communications that could be the best for Maple Leaf Furnishings.
Videoconferencing is a great suggestion for branches that are further away from the home base.
To combat any problems it is best to test all videoconferencing equipment beforehand. This way
if something is not working there is plenty of time to fix the problem. Also, employees who will
be teleconferencing should know how to use the software and equipment. If needed training
session should be held.

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Employees need to remember that this is still a meeting and should follow your organizations
etiquette and rules about meetings. An employee should try to make eye contact with the others
at the meeting. This will help with the issue of reading body language (Waldeck, 2013, 135).
Email etiquette is very similar to traditional written etiquette and should be followed. Make sure
to check spelling, facts, and other information before sending the email. Pay attention to
structure and font. Make the email easy to read and include bullet points and bolded fonts if
needed. Proofread the email at least once before hitting send. Include a meaningful and relevant
subject line.
Remember to consider the audience, not just the immediate recipient. Who might this email get
passed on to? Employees should not use email to discuss personal information or confidential
information. Although it may be considered polite to ask a sender if their email can be forwarded
on it is not necessary.
Answer promptly to received messages. Even if you cannot answer questions right away at least
let the sender know that you are looking into their questions. Be careful using the reply all
button. Consider if everyone needs the message or just the sender (Waldeck, 2013, pp. 131-133).
Social media has great potential for Maple Leaf if used and managed properly. If Maple Leaf
plans to use social media, either for advertising or for communicating with customers, it may be
important to designate one person or a few people to control and monitor the social media site or
sites. They should keep on top of any new changes made to the site, make regular posts and
monitor posts for unwanted spam or comments.
The people responsible for social media should remember the following: The key to social media
is to not post something that you would not say or do in a face-to-face setting (Waldeck 2013,
p135-136).
Text messaging may be used depending on employees needs and wants. It is important to
discuss in your company if you want to use text messaging as a mode of communication or not.
It may be beneficial for some employees to use it while others may not. Employees should
specify if they would like to use text messaging or not.
Some other key rules are to keep texting short but not to use abbreviations and slang. Also do not
include sensitive information in texts. Also be considerate of the receiver and do not expect an
instant reply. The receiver may be in a meeting, may not have their phone, or may not answer
texts at certain times. It is also considerate not to text after a certain time of night.

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An employee should not text while in a meeting unless it is very important. It is a good rule of
thumb that a person should not compose a text while in a face-to-face conversation with another
person (Waldeck, 2013, p. 134-135)

APPENDIX A

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This table is taken from Hutch Carpenters blog. He further states:


Email is both persistent and searchable. Those are valuable characteristics, as Joelle
Nebbe notes during the FriendFeed discussion. But they have to be in your in-box to be
accessible, because they are private.
IM and SMS text are pretty similar. One happens on a phone, the other happens on PC
client. Or both happen on the phone, I suppose. LOL kthxbai!
Twitter can be both private (DMs) and public (default). The 140 character limit is genius
to some people, frustrating to others.
Social Networks are private? Doesnt that fly in the face of all the media about
embarrassing pix on Facebook? I know information can leak out, but thats not the
default setting. For instance, see if you can find the most recent blog post I wrote on
Facebook Notes about my kids. Unless youre my friend there, you cant access it. Its
private. Social Networks are private in terms of their in-site messaging. Like Twitter
DMs.
FriendFeed is public or private. Privacy can be a setting for all of your stream, or you
may live in a Room with restricted access. Its one-to-many only. No way to reach out
talk to a specific user directly

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To clarify, Friendfeed consolidates all of a users social media and social networking updates
including RSS feeds in real time. It is important to note that these are the authors personal
definitions and feelings.

REFERENCES
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