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The Survival

Charlie Kaufman: The book has no story. There’s no story.
Marty: Alright. Make one up.

– Adaptation (2002)

 

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As man evolves, his tools also evolve. The tools to communicate have also evolved. We’ve gone from the stylus, to the quill, to telephones all the way to computers and netbooks. And since technology has allowed our tools to evolve, man’s ways to communicate also have changed. At the same time, corporations must cope with these changes.

 

The BIS Model

There was the Broadcast Model or the ‘We Tell You‘ stage where publishers decide on what the public wants to know and advertisers go for media with the widest reach.  Prime examples are the different news papers and TV news shows. Then came the Interactive Model or the ‘Tell Us What You Think of What We Tell You‘ model which is basically the same, only, we’ve been provided ways for feedback, comments and suggestions. In this model, advertisers still go for widest reach, but they’ve begun to buy smaller spots and customize content accordingly. Examples are the forums and comments threads found in most corporate websites today. Now, we are in the middle of the Social Media Model or the ‘We Tell Each Other‘ model where the public not only gives feedback, but also co-creates the content. Advertisers have completely focused on targeted advertising. Of course, wikipedia is the ultimate example.

 

The Mix

The most interesting part for me is that, unlike the theories on the evolution of mankind where the earlier ‘phases’ have been lost in time with the rise of the new ones, the earlier models in the communication evolution can still be seen today. We still watch TV, read newspapers and listen to the radio (even if it is only during while we travel).

 

Some corporations manage to work with a great mix of these three models and I’ve found it where I least expect it-from the very dynamic world of news and current affairs. Logically the broadcast model is the one evident in this field as it is even the essence of it. Showing us what we should know. But some organizations have managed to adjust with the changes happening in the world of communication.

 

Aside from being accessible through Twitter, CNN has IREPORT where we as viewers can also become cocreators by sharing our own news on what is happening around us and sending it online. Another publication I’m following through Twitter, TIME magazine, is devoting a page for its readers’ feedback. Reader’s Digest (though it isn’t really on the news and current affairs genre) posts their readers’ jokes on its pages.

 

I think I’ve just made the mistake of equating the ‘Social Media’ model with the ‘Internet.’ Yes, the Internet is where it is most evident, with different networking sites and dynamic corporate sites, but somehow, we can still see elements of it even in traditional media like publications and TV shows. And since they have managed to adapt to the changes, though they are what we call ‘traditional,’ they’ll make it even with all the new media that comes up every now and then.

 

Advertisements

“It isn’t about us and them. It’s about us. Them don’t exist. Not really. Corporations are legal fictions, willing suspensions of disbelief. Pry the roof off any company and what do you find inside? The Cracker Jack prize is ourselves, just ordinary people.” – Christopher Locke

Corporate Dogs and Female Dogs

I’m sorry, I just couldn’t bring myself to say the b-word. 😛

Anyway, for the longest time, I wanted to be one of them–something about being in control and having the opportunity to make a change. But reading the Internet Apocalypso has reminded me of the things tugging at me for a while now. Is it really all for profit? Do these people really care about the people below them? Do I really see myself as one of them?

It may be something written in the western context, but it’s happening even on our side of the world. Employees seen as mere parts and tools that can be easily replaced. How long do some work before they can be regularized and get the benefits every employee really deserves? Even regular employees don’t really get those benefits. Employees are only regarded based on their performance and output alone. Fail to deliver and you’re out.

Even customers/clients have been reduced to mere statistics. A percentage of teenage girls use this for that. A huge portion of customers come from this and that place. I fail to see the genuine concern.

It’s You and Me

But the internet has provided an avenue for us to react, to comment and to interact with our fellow consumers. And by doing so, we are not merely consumers. Corporations have used this as an opportunity to get feedback and suggestions from the people they claim to serve and provide for. And they should.

It’s faster. It’s cheaper than any worldwide survey they can fund. It’s borderless and can get feedback even from someone living in another continent, which is convenient especially for multinational companies. Thus, they shouldn’t have any excuse not to use it. Unless of course, they don’t want to lose control.

As Christopher Locke has said, ‘the Internet has made it possible for human voices to be heard again.’ And we as people and as individuals must speak out and not be passive.  After all, WE make up organizations. WE are the reason these companies exist. Without US, they wouldn’t have anyone to do business with.

My Part

Let’s go back to my question. Do I really see myself as one of them? Or as one of their tools for domination? NO. I won’t allow myself to be one. I’ll speak how I want to. I believe that when I do reach the highest I could possibly reach in any corporate ladder, I can be different than what many are today. I can choose to listen. I can choose to care. The internet has certainly provided me ways to do so. If in the future I don’t, please kindly redirect me to this blog.

The First OrCom Dilemma

Remembering my first days as an Organizational Communication student in UP Manila, I’m surprised at how far we’ve come. From being hesitant and unimpressed freshies who could only think of shifting, we’ve become–as many of my batchmates would say–ORCOMIZED.

OrCom IS my first choice in my college application. I’ve lived as a sheltered only daughter  in the southern part of Manila all my life and I wanted to break free of that and live in a dorm, or any other alternative. My plan was to choose a course involved in business, education, information technology or mass communication in UP Diliman. However, my parents would have none of it. UPD was too dangerous for me, they said. So my choices were limited to those in UP Manila. And being the Health Sciences Center of the whole UP System, most of the courses were medical. NO WAY. So I had to choose one of the few non-medical courses in the university.  This resulted in a very smooth college application.

From the beginning, I set myself to love OrCom. Since it was a communication course, I thought that was easy to do. I was clay ready to be formed in the OrCom mold. However, not all of my fellow OrCom students thought the same.

Almost every OrCom student (fellow freshies, of course) I met back then from the enrollment period to freshman and department orientation would say one or two of the following:

  • Organizational Communication wasn’t their first choice for a degree program. They applied for *INSERT DEGREE PROGRAM HERE* at *INSERT UP CAMPUS HERE.* For some reason (usually UPCAT results), they weren’t accepted into their first choice and after the excruiating process of appealing to the registrar and reconsideration, OrCom was the university’s choice for them.
  • This is my dialogue: Communication Arts or Mass Communication was their first choice. And because those programs are overbooked, OrCom seemed to be a good compromise. After all, it still has the ‘Communication’ tag in it. 😛
  • They just wanted to get into any University of the Philippines campus. So, they chose a course that isn’t very popular and with little competition for available slots. And it’s true, OrCom really isn’t that popular though it is celebrating its 25th anniversary in the university this year.
  • They would work hard to get above average grades for their first year so that they would be ‘eligible’ for shifting to another course more suitable for them.

Well, I couldn’t really blame them. It’s very difficult to work in or for something you don’t love. And during the first year, it was. When the various plans failed, we had to live with OrCom. We had to accept it. I remember thinking that if at the onset, we had bad attitudes on the course, how was it supposed to work?

2007

2008

2009

Three years passed.

We’re on our last year. And looking at us, you wouldn’t even know that we complained at the beginning. Not only have we accepted OrCom, we thrived in it. Once we realized the numerous career opportunities, the diversity of it and the culture of its members–there was no going back.

But let’s leave that for my next posts. Right now, I just want to encourage you to adapt the right attitude.

You could be an OrCom freshie, by choice or by circumstance.  We’re in June, the beginning of the school year and this is what’s happening around you now.  If you’ve got plans to shift, I’m not one to stop you. But at least research and try to understand what OrCom is before making hasty decisions. If you find that it’s really not for you, go ahead. If you plan to stick around and still have doubts, have faith in OrCom. It couldn’t have survived any university’s bureaucratic processes and become a degree program/course if it was lousy.

Perhaps you’re a high school student considering OrCom as a course in college. Well, I’ve given you a glimpse of what you’ll first experience. Read my next posts (wait for it, there will be :P) or click here for other insights on it. It will lead you to my page with other blogs on OrCom. If you want some basic questions answered, click here.

You may be a fellow OrCom senior or even an OrCom alumni who stumbled here by accident or by requirement. You’ve gone through what I’m talking about–all the whining and complaining we used to do and the uncertainty of our future. We’ve matured out of it and experiencing the ‘benefits’ of having it on our resume. Well, I wish us all luck in our future endeavors!

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The Beginning

This site features my thoughts, experiences, emotions as I further explore the world of Organizational Communication, my chosen path in the University of the Philippines Manila.

Let me warn you, I’m not really a blogger. Posts in my personal blog are months apart. I have to squeeze this out of me. But I’ll definitely post stuff worth reading — wah! pressure!

After a while of doing this, I hope that it would come naturally.

It should. 😛