Strategic Communication, What, How, Worth it?

When you here the term strategic communication, what does it make you think of?strat com

I’m a Public Relations student at Central Washington and I’ve heard this term thrown around a lot but have always had a hard time understanding what it is, how do you use it and is it worth doing for a business?

Some may be saying, isn’t that the same as normal communication?

Oh my, are we all wrong, strategic communication is a key role in everyone’s life and every business life. This type of communication is a more precise communication that has meaning and purpose.

 

Let’s start with what is strategic communication is, strategic communication is defined as communicating a concept, a process, or data that satisfies a long term strategic goal of an organization.

strat part 1 woot

This is a little cut and dry for my taste, so let’s spice this definition up. Strategic communication is more than trying to grow a business goal or a person goal, it’s a mindset.

 

A great example of this is when a business is trying to gain more awareness to their customers, it’s not always achieved by communicating generally to the public. Strategic communication that is targeting a specific group of people will have more of an effect on the end goal.

Power-of-Communication

Humans are hit with communication almost every hour of everyday and because of this we have learned to tune a lot of this basic communication out. When communication becomes more specific and has been designed to attract a certain type of person, it is very hard to tune out. Instead most people become more engaged because this communication is connecting with them on a deeper level.

 

Well we kind of started diving in to how strategic communication works and what strategic communication is. Let’s continue with how strategic communication works in personal lives, not just in the business world.

 

This type of communication can be used to help get your point or question across in everyday interactions. This can be done in many ways and certain situations will dictate how it is going to be used. For example, when I was younger I use to ask my parents if I could go hang out at my friend’s house. Now I would do this no matter what my parents were in the middle of doing and I would always just blurt out, “Can I go to Kyle’s and play?”

 

This usually didn’t work out to well for me and I would be told no more often than not. As time went one I started to see that I needed to change my strategy if I wanted a different answer.  Any time I knew I wanted to ask my parents to go play, I would make sure to not interrupt my parents when they were busying doing something. I would also make sure to do several chores right before I would ask the question. Not only that, but I made sure to give my parents a complement before I jumped in and asked for what I wanted.

 

This strategy help to increase the yes responses that I got from my parents. This one of thousands of examples of how we use strategic communication every day. It may not always go your way and each situation may call for a different tactic, but overall you will notice a difference in how people respond to your new communication.

 

Now last but not least, is strategic communication worth spending money and time on as a business?

 

HECK YES! This type of communication is key for the survival of any business now and days. This type of communication shows that a business is constantly trying to improve themselves and learn from their customers. This form of communication is greatly appreciated by the customers. People can tell when a message or advertisement is put together without thought or without thinking about what the customer wants to see or hear.

strat com for sure

This communication will always be evolving and growing as the business and customer pool increases as well. If you do not have strategic communication or don’t think it’s worth the time and effort that goes in to it, then I would challenge you to try it for a month and see what strategic communication can do for you.

Advertisements

Are Essential Oils Really That Essential?

essential oil part 1 yiAbout three years ago, I was introduced to this thing called Essential Oils and at first it sounded like some hippy dippy voodoo. Before I jump to far ahead of myself let’s start at the beginning and ask the question, what is an essential oil?

 

Essential Oils are oils that are derived from all natural resources that help with many different symptoms. An example of an Essential Oil is peppermint oil, this oil can be used to help clear one’s sinuses or it can be used to help do away with headaches. Now this is what I was told about them at first. I also thought that it was a big load of rubbish and that nothing was better than modern medicine.

essen part 1

One day at work I was dying from allergies, I’m talking so bad that I was sneezing so much my eyes were crying and swelling shut all at once. My boss asked if I wanted to try some of her Essential Oils that would help me and I told her yes, but in my head I was thinking that it wasn’t going to help me at all.

 

She proceeded to take out three different bottles, one said peppermint another said lemon and the last one said lavender. She put one drop of each bottle into my hand and told me to rub my hands together and breathe deeply into my hands. I didn’t think about how goofy I looked, I just did what she asked and my mind was blown away.

doterra essential part 1

In seconds, I could breathe through my noise and was breathing deeper without coughing up a lung or two. After five minutes I was back to my normal non-swollen self again and could work with no problem.

 

After this amazing discovery, I instantly asked if I could get some Essential Oils of my own. My boss provided me a mini startup kit and a flyer that told what each Essential Oil can be used for. I personally suffer from Ulcerative Colitis and with this disease I get chronic stomach pains. The Essential Oils flyer said that if you put a drop of peppermint into a glass of water and drink it that it can help.

images essential part 1

One day I was at work and had a massive stomach ache that was hindering my performance noticeably. I did what the flyer said to do and drank the peppermint and sure enough my stomach felt better in no time at all. Sense this time I have used Essential Oils every day of my life sense then.

essential 1

Essential Oils are essential to life and can help combat many symptoms you would never think could be helped by an oil. This is a truly an amazing discovery that needs to be communicated to the world. I hope that these oils can help make a positive impact in your life.

 

Here is a link to their website https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/discover

OPR Is Getting Loud & Proud!

Welcome to the communication plan for OPR at Central Washington University.

 

Last time we talked all about what OPR is and what kind of service they provide on campus. We also talked about how they are extremely unknown to the students of CWU. This time we are going to dive into a strategic communication plan that will help increase the awareness of OPR on campus and the amount of interactions that are made with students on campus.

Opr part 2The first step of the plan is for OPR to make flyers that tells people who and what they are. The flyer would break down what OPR stands for and some examples of equipment that can be rented. There would be some items from all the major activities in all the different seasons throughout the year on the flyer.

This flyer would also have a mini map on it with a star of where you can find OPR on campus. This would be a huge first step to OPR gaining more awareness amongst the students.

The next step would be for OPR to set up more displays our side their front door of business. The reason why, is because more people will be willing to interact with OPR when they see that OPR has that certain piece of equipment that they have wanted to try out. The more variety of equipment that can be displayed the higher chances are to attract more students.

opr part 2 copyMy next suggestion for OPR would be to have an event that invites all students to participate in. The event would invite students to the Surc to see OPR’s variety of products they rent out. OPR would have several tables full of all the different things that can be rented from OPR. They would also have the prices next to the gear so students would have an idea how inexpensive renting is.

 

By having this event it would allow students to, not only see how much OPR has too offer, but will give a chance for students to get an understanding of how easy and cheap it is to use OPR. This will also show students that they do not have to stay in their houses because they don’t have the right equipment to go play outside.

opr part 2 for sureI believe with these steps OPR could increase their interaction with students by tenfold. This is just a few things OPR could do to get started on their quest to being known amongst all the students of CWU. Check out your campus and see if you have a service that you have never heard about. I bet there are a few that could use some strategic communication like OPR and you could be the person to help them out now.

oprLogo both blogs

OPR, Known or Unknown?

 

Central Washington University has this wonderful service that is called OPR that is on campus. A lot of students have no idea what this stands for or what this service is. I personally did not know what OPR was until I had to do a project on them in my class this year. As we did research about this service that is provided to the students, my team and I found that most people have never heard of OPR or knew what they did on campus.

OPR_building part 1We wanted to see first-hand, how many students interacted with OPR during the hours of 12-2pm on a Thursday and a Friday. The numbers are extremely bad for OPR and being known amongst the students. I have been going to school here for three years and only found out about it two months ago.

Custom_Trips part 2

During our observation, we found a total of 11 students interacted with OPR. When I say interacted, I mean that the students entered OPR or touched one of the blow-up tubes that were being displayed outside. We observed over 650 students that walked by while we were on duty and of those 650 students a total of 25 students looked in the direction of OPR’s front door.

 

It blows my mind that this amazing service is going unused by the majority of students. OPR offers a huge variety of outdoor gear that students can rent for extremely low prices.  The type of gear they rent out rages from inflatable rafts, paddle boards, life jackets, coolers to camping equipment like tents and sleeping bags. This list only scratches the surface of what they rent out to students.

opr part 1

This is such a great opportunity for students to be able to explore the outdoors and don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on equipment. This is not a service that every college has on campus, which makes it more surprising how it is so unknown.

opr 1

When I asked myself, why is OPR so underutilized by the students of Central Washington University? The first thing that popped into my head is that they are lacking in their strategic communication. This is a company that needs help getting acknowledged by it potential customers. I have a strategical communication plan that will be a sure fire way to gain more interactions with students, but you will have to wait till next time to find out the plan.

oprLogo both blogs

What The Heck Is Winegars Going To Do In The Future?

header_2I scream Winegars, you scream Winegars, we all scream for Winegars! If you have been following my blogs over the last couple weeks, then you know we have talked about how good ole Winegars got their start. We got to dive into what Winegars is doing now and days.

winegars photo blog 2

Winegars is not ready to plateau and they are aiming for the moon. Kori and Richelle Winegar are brother and sister and the co-owners of Winegars. These two have some extravagant ideas that they want Winegars to evolve into as time goes on.

blog 3 wine-gars

Let’s start with Mr. Kori Winegar’s ideas for the future. Kori would like to start a charity foundation that is called Ice-Cream for Breakfast. The idea is that Winegars ice-cream would be delivered to the Seattle’s Children’s Hospitals and served out to all the children there. Kori knows that the Seattle Seahawks visit the kids a lot and wants to team up with Russell Wilson to help grow the charity. Winegars does a great job of donating and helping in their Ellensburg community and only want to continue to help spread the joy with their delicious ice cream.

winegars blog 3

Now let’s jump over to Kori’s sister, Richelle and her future for Winegars. Richelle one year went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory and marveled in how the factory was run.  When you go to the Tillamook Cheese Factory, you do not just go to buy amazing cheese, but to enjoy the show and the experience. The factory is set up so that you can see how the company makes their products as they are being made. They have huge windows that allow the customers to view the machines and employees working diligently. The experience is like no other and at the very end you can purchase as much cheese as your heart desires.

ice-cream

What Richelle wants to do is build a Winegars store that incorporates the same idea as the Tillamook Cheese Factory. When customers came in they could see how the hundreds of gallons of ice cream is made. At the end of the tour there would be a full fledge Winegars store there to provide all the products they serve.

winegars blog 2

Both dreams are very attainable in the future and will lead to better experiences for the customers. Winegars is moving in a positive direction and is showing no signs of slowing down. Between the marketing of Kori and the management skills of Richelle this business is set for success.

tillamook blog 3

Seems too good to be true, you say? I challenge you to stop by Ellensburg the next time you’re in the area and come on in to Winegars. Ask for the Bald Man and get ready for an experience of a life time!

unknown

What The Heck Is Winegars Doing Now?

header_2

Last time we spoke, we talked all about what Winegars is and how they got started. Oh yeah, we also talked about how to pronounce this intriguing last name. We also learned that they are a family owned business that sell homemade ice-cream and coffee.

It’s a very heartfelt story of how this company has risen to the level it is at now. I think you all would be more interested on what this company is currently doing up to in Ellensburg, Washington.

winegars blog 2 for sureWinegars has two store locations on either side of Central Washington University on University Way. Both locations serve delicious homemade ice-cream and coffee that is made the way you want.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Winegars success. In 2016, Winegars was voted Business of the year by the Kittitas Chamber of Commerce. Winegars also has signed and shipped out thousands of pints of our ice-cream to stores up and down the west coast.

unknown

Winegars most recent success story has been signing a deal with UW to serve our ice-cream in The Hub located on-campus store. The new ice cream shop is called Glacie Creamery, where they hand scoop the delicious Winegars ice-cream.

 

Winegars sells a lot more than just ice-cream that will make your taste buds dance and coffee that will sooth your soul, while you gain more energy than the energizer bunny. They also make a huge variety of homemade muffins, scone, breads and breakfast burritos.

 

This is not your normal homemade pastry recipe you get off the back of a muffin box. This is that recipe that your Great Grandma would never tell anyone in the family till she was sure you would keep it a secret. These pastries are made fresh at our ice-cream factory in town and our delivered to both stores.

winegars northThis is a company that is only going up, up, and up in the future. If you have never tried this brand of ice-cream, I challenge you to go out and try a batch of it and see for yourself how jaw dropping good this homemade ice-cream is.

 

I say this company is only go up in the future, but what does that mean exactly? The Winegars family is a visionary one and always is looking to improve and grow. They have some amazing plans that could make Winegars the 9th world wonder, but you will have to stay tuned till my next blog.

 

I’ll give away all the juicy secrets about the future of Winegars!

What The Heck is a Winegar?

Have you ever heard of a Winegars? How do you even pronounce this word Winegars?

unknown

Turns out this is the name of a family run business that is in Ellensburg Washington. The stores are named Winegars Homemade Ice Cream & Coffee and it is the families last name.

 

Most of you are probably thinking, that’s cool and all but how do I say the name. A lot of people think its wine and cigars slammed together to make some cool new hip slang word, well it most definitely is not. It is pronounced, Wine-Uh-Gers.

Cows

Now you know how to say this interesting last name to this family owned business. You also know that they are based out of Ellensburg Washington and that they don’t sell wine & cigars.

Before I tell you about what this wonderful business sells, let’s look to see how they got started.

Truman

It all started back in 1949, when Truman and Phoebe Winegar started their own dairy and of course, named it Winegars Dairy. Most of Ellensburg locals would drive out to the dairy and pick up the bottled milk straight out of the Winegars hand. The Winegars not only loved providing a service, but they truly enjoyed interacting with their customers/neighbors.

 

Fast forward 11 years later and the Winegars Dairy was expanding to become Winegars Drive-in Dairy in 1960. This was a modern milking parlor, small bottling plant, and retail store. At this point, the heard of cows that were supplying Ellensburg with the finest milk around had grown to over 60 cows. The business was taking off, from the fresh product to the sincere customer service, Winegars was not slowing down anytime soon.

 

In 1971, eldest son Gary Winegar and his wife Margo became partners in the business. The father son duo took the state by storm and became the third highest producing dairy heard in the State of Washington by 1974.

 

The Winegars were killing the milk game and to be honest, they needed a new challenge to conquer in the business world. In 1992 Margo and Gary’s eldest child, Richelle Winegar, decided that she wanted to take Truman’s dream of Winegars selling homemade ice cream and turn it into a reality. Richelle got the training that was needed to start making Winegars first batch of homemade ice cream.

ice-cream

Two years later younger brother, Kori Winegars, decided to join the family business and helped his sister continue the ice cream business. In 1997, the first Winegars store that sold coffee and ice cream had opened! This was one of the hardest decisions had to make, because they didn’t know if the coffee business was going to be a long-lasting industry.

expresso

Let’s hop into our time machine and head to 2015, where Winegars had opened a second store that they were able to design. At this point they have two extremely popular stores that sell homemade ice cream and some delicious coffee made the way the customer wants it.

 

Now you know the history of Winegars Homemade Ice Cream &Coffee, along with how the heck to say their wild last name. The history of a business is pretty important, but you know what is more important, knowing what the business is doing currently.

 

Stay tuned for part two of, What the Heck is a Winegar, to find out what this unique business is doing currently.header_2

 

 

Gilead Science’s Need For Strategic Communication

Gilead title

Welcome back to part two of strategic communication with Gilead Sciences. In my last blog I talked a bit about what Gilead Sciences produces, such as the several medicines that help to fight AIDS to a near stand still. The other well-known medicine that Gilead has come out with is called  Sovaldi and this pill can cure Hepatitis C. They have produced over 20 different medicines to help humans combat the, what thought to be untreatable diseases.

I also pointed out that this company, that saves thousands of lives a year, is doing poorly in the stock market.

gilead pics for blog 2

Now, why is Gilead stock doing so poorly in recent years? Could it be because of pricing of some of their drugs? Or could it be a lack of strategic communication with the customers?

In my professional opinion, I believe that Gilead Sciences does a poor job at informing the public of everything that Gilead does. This company does not just make medicine, they are researching the safest and most efficient way to make an impact on untreatable diseases. They also have their own foundation set up, along with donating money and resources to hundreds of organizations that are in the same battle as them.

Lets take a quick look at some of the amazing things that Gilead Sciences does outside of making medicine.

“In 2015, Gilead gave nearly $500 million to almost 2,000 organizations that are helping to address unmet needs and lessen the impact of diseases such as HIV and HCV. Gilead’s generosity does not stop there, in 2015, Gilead’s Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Grants Program grew by 379 percent, giving more than $11 million to 101 U.S.- based nonprofit organizations — up from $2.3 million given to 19 nonprofits in 2014.”

blog 2 gilead hep

Gilead Sciences has a system when it comes to giving, they call it the four pillars of giving. The four pillars are reducing disparities, providing access, advancing medical education and supporting local communities. Each category helps to guid the company on what, where, and who to donate funds or equipment to. Most companies do not have this level of in-depth directions on how they give back to society outside of their product.

blog 2 gilead shot

The one major flaw is that this information is not strategically communicated to the public. I believe with a marketing campaign that is aimed at being more transparent with their corporate social responsibilities. I believe if they showed the world how much Gilead gives back to the communities beyond their life change medicines that their stock would do a 180 degree turn. This campaign would cover four main points giving & access, people, product and environment.

stock going up blog 2

This type of strategic communication would be the first step for Gilead to start changing the publics perception of their company. Gilead would have to make sure to continue to promote their CSR and then start to inform the public on what types of research is done by Gilead.

This is just one Public Relations Major’s idea of what could help a company that has produced some of the most effective medicines in the world. I challenge you, the reader, to go Gilead.com and look at what this company does to give back to the world.

The Need For Strategic Communication, When Saving Lives

Gilead title

Communication is key in all relationships, whether it is between a girlfriend and boyfriend or between a husband and wife.

It is also important in the business to customer relationship. Communication between a business and a customer is good, but a customer wants and needs more than basic communication.

A business must use strategic communication to maintain customer satisfaction, along with increasing the amount of new customers to the business.

Gilead 2

Now you may be thinking, “If the business has a really good product then it will sell itself and attract the customers on its own.” I wish this was the case, but at the same time if that was the case then I wouldn’t have a job.

Gilead pic 1

A prime example of a company that produces an amazing product but lacks in strategic communication is Gilead Sciences. Unfortunately, this company has one of the most miraculous  products known to man kind and for some reason they are struggling to gain footing in the stock market.

Gilead stock

Not many people have heard of Gilead Sciences, so before I go on lets take a second to find out what this company is.

Gilead’s website does a great job of summarizing what they do in one sentence and that is that they are a research-based  Bio Pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercialize innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need.

They research how to create medicines to treat the diseases that are incurable. Some examples of drugs that they have created are Viread, Truvada, Viread (HBV) and Sovaldi. If you have never heard of these drugs then that is most likely a good thing for your health. Viread and Truvada are two different pills that work together to hold AIDS at a stand still in patients. This is allowing people with AIDS to live much longer lives then before these drugs were created.

The second Viread pill that was created is the cure to Hepatitis B and Gilead is responsible for creating all of these products and more.

Gilead pic 4

Now you are probably thinking to yourself, “Damn, this company is saving so many people there is no way they are doing bad in the stock market.” Well on the contrary, Gilead stock hit their highest mark in June of 2015 at $119.80 a share. Sense then, Gilead has been on a steady decline to $66.58, which is where the stock currently stands as of 4/9/17.

Gilead should not be doing this poorly in the stock market when their product is cutting edge and saving lives around the world. I believe with the right strategic communication this could be the number one stock in the Bio Tech world.

Make sure to stay tuned for part two of  “The Need for Strategic Communication, When Saving Lives.” Where I will be discussing the type of strategic communication that will help Gilead make its come back in the stocks and the customers hearts.

 

Strategic Communication in the Pentagon!

Strategic Communication is defined by Strategic communication is an umbrella term to describe the activities of disciplines including public relations, management communication, and advertising. This term is used in business and governments around the world. When a company talks about adding strategic communication to their business it is seen as a good thing, but is it always a good thing?Pentagon meme for blog 1

The Pentagon created a department of Strategic Communication so the military could synchronize its messages with its actions. It was thought that this would help make communication simpler and easier in the military. After six years of using this department, it seems the Pentagon wants to go in a different direction.

The Pentagon is banishing the term “Strategic Communication”, which will end an initiative that was supposed to streamline the military’s messaging. This Strategic Communication ended up leading to bureaucratic chaos and confusion that made its original task unachievable.

Not only did this department cause chaos and confusion, but there was over $5 Million spent on contractors that were assigned to strategic communication. If that was not enough to send this initiative down the drain, then the memo that USA Today obtained was.

Meme for blog 1USA Today procured a memo about the banishing of the Strategic Communication in the Pentagon. In the memo, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs George Little wrote that over the past six years, strategic communication “actually added a layer of staffing and planning that blurred roles and functions of traditional staff elements and resulted in confusion and inefficiencies.” It continues to say that some of the military chiefs would make sure to avoid using the term strategic communication because it caused confusion amongst everyone.

If strategic communication is not working for the military, then what type of communication is needed?

Prior to the implement of strategic communication in the military, they would have a public affairs department that handled the military messages and actions. Once the ban is in affect the military will be going back to using just the public affairs department to link the messages and actions together.

Will this be more affective then before?

No one can be certain that this communication is the most efficient way of doing things in the military, but the flaws can and should be pointed out, so they can begin to be fixed. Unfortunately, the way this news was broken to the public was not very strategic at all. The military could have used some strategic communication when breaking this story to the public.


It is disheartening that our government does not believe in strategic communication can help our military and
cannot implement a more effective communication plan then they have in place currently.

This is a great example of when strategic communication would have helped break this story to the public, along with improving the communication amongst our military forces.

Will we see changes in the near future? We must wait and find out.

cabnet for blog 1.jpg

References:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/03/pentagon-trims-strategic-communication/1743485/