15 of the most avoidable language errors

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This is reprinted from Ragan’s PR Daily. It is written by Kevin Allen

Chances are, if you made it through college and are now employed as a professional communicator of some sort, grammatical errors drive you insane.

Especially these:

• Your vs. You’re
• Its vs. It’s
• Their/There/They’re

With social media now an all-encompassing part of our lives, we are forced to see which of our friends are total idiots by their misuse of the above.

For those friends (and other grammatically challenged individuals in your life) Copyblogger offers this handy infographic:

More on Crisis Communication

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Three Rules of (Damage Control) Crisis Communication

1.Get information out early.

• Respond within 2-4 hours (quicker, if possible) – if only as an acknowledgment that you are on top of the situation.

2.Get it out yourself.

• The spokesperson should be a high profile representative of the organization.

3.Get it out on your own terms – control the message.

• Tell it First

• Tell it Fast

• Tell it All

• Tell it Yourself

Whether the crisis is the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, child sex-abuse at Penn State University or some less visible organization, or a mass shooting at a school or movie theater, a major charity executive embezzling funds, the (seven) Tylenol-related deaths in 1982, or a space shuttle tragedy, the public wants and deserves answers. As J. William Jones says, those answers must be based on accurate information and should be given by “unflappable” professionals who know what they are talking about. The need for crisis management policies has become a major priority for many corporations and other organizations. Thanks to effective planning, victim organizations can control a crisis through rapid systematic dissemination of information – being proactive rather than reactive – so long as that information is factual. Strategic counselors and reporters alike agree there is no substitute for believability (truth) and credibility (trust). Once lost, they are nearly impossible to regain. Avoid any instincts to minimize or cover up bad news. If not totally truthful and trustworthy, the media will eventually discover your unprofessional approach. What ever trust you once had will be gone forever. Keep in mind, when dealing with a crisis, the goal should be more than just “damage control.” If the crisis communication plan is carried out properly and successfully, the damage control will take care of itself. When a crisis hits, your publics want to know: what happened; how it will affect them; what is going to be done about it.

Communicate Early and Often

•Contact the media before they contact you.

•Communicate internally first, then externally.

•Put the public first.

•Take responsibility.

•Be honest.

•Never say “No comment.”

•Designate a single spokesperson.

•Set up a central information center(staging area).

•Provide a constant flow of information.

•Be familiar with media needs and deadlines.

•Monitor news coverage and telephone inquiries.

•Communicate with key publics.

•Be accessible.

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Top jobs for college and high school grads

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before getting into high-paying jobs for high school grads, let’s look at college communication major.

The 7 Top-Paying Jobs for College Graduates in 2014 and Beyond

These degrees help students get the biggest financial bang for their education buck

By Mary Patrick (U.S. News and World Report)
Posted 2014

The 7 Top-Paying Jobs for College Graduates
The 7 Top-Paying Jobs for College Graduates

Going to college and obtaining the knowledge to become an expert in a specific field is a worthwhile goal in its own right.

But let’s face it: everyone also knows that earning a degree typically leads to more money.

A report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows clearly how much a college education can be worth. According to the study, a person with a bachelor’s degree makes $1,066 a week, far more than the $652 a week made by those with just a high school diploma.

Those with a master’s degree make $1,300 weekly, while doctoral degree holders make $1,624, according to the BLS.

But which occupations can maximize the earning potential of a college degree?

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) recently released its annual salary survey, which includes salary figures for the disciplines that offer the best starting salaries.

It’s worthwhile to note that across all disciplines, the average starting salary for college graduates in 2013 was $45,327, a 2.4% increase over 2012, according to the NACE report.

Engineering Degrees

The salaries for engineers continued to be the best among all disciplines for college graduates, with an average starting salary of $62,062.  In specific fields, two stood out in the report. The starting salary for bioengineering majors jumped 10.1%. Also, the highest starting salary of any major studied in the report was petroleum engineers, who start at $96,200.

Computer Science Degrees

As a whole, computer science degree earners saw their starting salaries dip by 2.5% in 2013. Still, the resulting average starting salary – $58,547 – was enough to make those with computer science degrees the earners of the second-highest starting salary. The dip came primarily in information sciences, where the average starting salary fell about half a percent.

Business Degrees 

The chief business of the American people is business, according to former President Calvin Collidge, and the starting salaries show that. In 2013, the average starting salary for business degree holders increased 7.9%, the largest increase of any discipline. Business degree holders made an average starting salary of $55,635 in their first year on the job. Within the business category, finance majors (at 10%) and business administration majors (at 6.7%) saw the largest increases.

Communications Degrees 

Communications majors actually saw their salaries increase in 2013 by 3.7%, making the average starting salary $43,835. On the downside, advertising majors saw their salaries fall a little less than 1% to $47,300, according to the NACE.

Math & Sciences Degrees 

Overall, the starting salaries for those with degrees in mathematics and science increased by less than 1% in 2013. However, within this category there were some areas that saw bigger increases, including architecture majors (2.7%) and biological science majors (2.2%).

Education Degrees 

Those who earned a degree in education saw an overall increase in their starting salaries, going up 3.2% to $40,337. Also, according to the NACE report, the overall starting salary for all the individual education fields also increased. Those increases ranged from 7% for pre-elementary education graduates to 1.7% for physical education majors.

Humanities and Social Science Degrees 

Many of those with degrees in the humanities and social sciences saw increases in their starting salaries, according to the NACE. Those ranged from a 10.8% increase for sociology majors (to $37,000) and a 8.1% increase for criminal justice majors (to $34,800). The lowest increase was for social workers, who went up 2.3% to $36,000. Those with visual and performing arts degrees actually saw their starting salaries drop to $35,600. Overall, those with degrees in humanities and social sciences saw a 2.6% increase in their salaries, to $37,791.

Susan Ricklerof CareerBuilder wrote a column on “High-Paying jobs for high school grads:

Here is a summary:

1. Commercial pilot = $98,410

2. Claims adjuster, appraiser, examiner and investigator = $59,850

3. Construction and building inspector = $53,450

4. Elevator installer and repairer = $76,850

5. Fire inspector and investigator = $53,990

6. Farmer, rancher and agricultural manager = $69,300

7. Line installer and repairer = $58,210

8. Postal service and worker = $53,100

9. Power plant operator, distributor and dispatcher = $68,230

10. Railroad worker = $52,400

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The Communication Audit — Tips to Succeed

[ From M. Larry Litwin’s The ABCs of Strategic Communication — see www larrylitwin dot com]

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1.What is a communication audit?
It is a complete analysis of an organization’s communication
program – a picture of its goal, objectives, strategies, tactics
and evaluations.

2.What is the scope of an audit?
The scope of an audit may be as broad and as deep as the
size and complexity of the organization’s demands. The audit
can measure the effectiveness of communication programs
throughout an entire organization, in a single division or
department, or within a specific employee group.

3.What does the communication audit provide?
It provides meaningful information to members of management
concerned with efficiency, credibility, and economy of their communications policies, practices, and programs. It also provides valuable data for developing or restructuring communications functions, guidelines, and budgets, as well as recommendations for action tailored to an organization’s particular situation as uncovered by an analysis of the collected data.

4.When should an audit be conducted?
Generally, an extensive audit should be conducted every five to
seven years. In the interim, reliable feedback techniques should be obtained periodically through the organization’s routine communication function.

5.What subjects are covered?
Typically an audit covers such areas as:
• Communication philosophy
• Objectives and goals
• Existing communication programs
• Existing vehicles and their uses
• Personal communications
• Meetings
• Attitudes toward existing communications
• Needs and expectations

Credit: Joseph A. Kopec – Kopec Associates Inc., Chicago, Illinois
Read more at www.prsa.org/_Resources/resources/commaudit.asp?ident=rsrc3

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