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When Dancing With Wolves Isn’t Dancing With Wolves

Communication is not held at the same level of prestige as other areas of occupation. I say this as someone who majored in communications, specifically journalism. It’s a very frustrating perception but a perception nonetheless. However, those who can communicate effectively have the golden opportunity to change a stranger’s life forever.

In a comedic way or an equally memorable and impactful non-comedic way.

And now we know:

If you turn around when you hear your name called, you can turn around someone’s life–and yours.

P.S. Always keep a Sharpie pen on you at all times. 

Curb Your Sales Pitch

When someone (or some company) gets it, as in really gets it, that’s worthy of a spotlight.

Apple is the tech company that doesn’t act like a tech company. And, because of that approach, Apple became the leading personal technology firm in the world. Maybe they took a page from Jason Alexander’s book pamphlet Acting Without Acting.

When you’re browsing in a store without any specific focus, do you find it helpful or less than helpful when the salesperson approaches/sprints to you with their commission-based agenda? Most people, I would imagine, would respond with annoying less than helpful. As consumers, we’re well aware that the employee is the store’s personalized informational resource. But, like most situations in life, we’ll ask for help when we need help.

Turns out, Apple executive Angela Ahrendts feels the same way. Ms. Ahrendts recently sat down for an interview with Norah O’Donnell on CBS This Morning.

Apple’s mentality of selling without selling is certainly a multi-faceted, top consumer strategy in the digital era. And this modus operandi should be applied to more than just selling tech products or acting. If you act like a salesperson, you’ll be treated like a salesperson. But if you act differently than people expect, then you’ll be treated differently than people expected.

Imagine the possibilities.

United’s PR Has Been Grounded (Sorry, “Re-Accommodated”)

Re-accommodate?

That word should be discussed in every communications class in every college this week. Everybody has seen the shocking video of a passenger, who bought a ticket like you and I would for a flight, aggressively and violently removed from his seat on a United Airlines flight while preparing to take off from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to make room for a United Airlines employee. However, what was almost equally as disturbing as the incident was the response from United Airlines. Among the many curious phrases used, the one that elevated above the rest was “re-accommodate.”

That tone-deaf sentiment, rightly so, sent people’s reactions to this situation to levels of anger they didn’t imagine was even possible.

Re-accommodate!

Once again, a leader of a major institution proves to be detached from reality. Many have said that major institutions are failing. False. People leading major institutions are failing. Institutions have always existed and will always exist in some form or another. Institutions are constants. People are the variables. And United Airlines CEO Oscar Muñoz (and his PR team) are the latest examples of this modern societal problem. What’s more is that people in high positions of authority don’t seem to realize that while their power may remain above ours, the checks and balances on them, through social media and major influencers on TV, is flatter than its ever been.

The outrage from the United Airlines disgraceful act of aggression is actually an extension of the populist rage engulfing the world. No, this populist anger is not directly tied to anything Donald Trump or Nigel Farage. Instead, this populist anger rises above to something very non-partisan. People in all ideological corners are beyond exhausted with leaders in high authority not listening to them, being tone-deaf and, quite frankly, reacting with no elementary sense of right and wrong.

The crisis management by United Airlines perfectly illustrated how everyone (yes, everyone) is fed up with this lack of responsibility nonsense.

Look at that, United Airlines united us after all.

You tell me who won the PR battle here: United Airlines or Jimmy Kimmel/America?

Well(es), That Happened

“Wait, what was wrong?” was probably bouncing around the head of Orson Welles nearly 78 years ago.

Wednesday is a great day to wonder. For instance, did Orson Welles invent the viral video (technically, viral broadcasting)?

The radio broadcast “War of the Worlds” (adapted from author H.G. Wells) caused an uproar with the American public on the evening of October 30, 1938 because of the realism conveyed through the audible airwaves. In 2016, the equivalent would be staging and enacting a fake global war on TV with vivid, realistic detail and unimaginable consequence and panic. The hysteria generated by the “War of the Worlds” broadcast is still widely viewed today with incomparable impact.

Question: Have you seen Orson Welles respond to journalists following “War of the Worlds”?

Jimmy’s Daily Planet has the scoop from that famous Sundae Sunday night broadcast.

Rosebud…

Actually, Rosebud has no relevance here. This blog post is about Orson Welles, so it felt right.

Reflecting on the power of mass communication, it makes one cogitate the possibility of a cinematic equivalence occurring in the modern era? With the instantaneous and cross-checking nature of social media and Google, could anything similar to the radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds” happen again? Even if unintentional?

Either way, as Frasier Crane would say, “I’m listening.”