Mobilenomics

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In the 21st century, mobile connection and economics are becoming synonymous with each other. Digital leader and motivational speaker Erik Qualman identifies several statistics of marketing through mobile economics, which he describes with the portmanteau as mobilenomics. Businesses benefit from creating a relationship through mobilenomics because mobile is instant, personalized, and easy to access for both the consumer and the business. However, Qualman identifies situations that prevent businesses from capitalizing on the advantages of mobilenomics.

Actions, Responses, and Priorities

Communicating through mobile is now a critical component of successful marketing. Qualman (2013) declares that 90% of all Tweets are from mobile devices but businesses spend less than 1% on mobile strategies. Businesses that want to develop relationships with clients have the opportunity to communicate with clients directly and instantly. Businesses that want to have better success rates through mobile should have an evolving social media policy in place. Another situation that Qualman identifies as influential in mobilenomics is the response rate for consumer action using mobile devices. The redemption rates for coupon through mobile are ten times higher than print redemption rates, and 70% of mobile searches lead to action within one hour whereas searches on a desktop lead to action in one month (Qualman, 2013). Consumers have determined that immediate savings is a priority so businesses should have a plan in place to cultivate communication with clients through mobile.

Relationship Marketing through Mobile

Contemporary marketing through mobile is instant and establishes the importance of the businesses and client relationship. “Relationship marketing continually deepens the buyer’s trust in the company, which, as the customer’s loyalty grows, increases a company’s understanding of the customer’s needs and desires” (Pride, Hughes, Kapoor, 2012, p. 336). Qualman states the advantages of mobilenomics for businesses by describing the relationship between the power of mobile and consumer behavior. Mobile marketing in the 21st century is a crucial aspect of a successful business.

References

Pride, W. M., Hughes, R. J., Kapoor, J. R., (2012). Business, 11th Ed. Mason, OH: Cengage        Learning.

Qualman, E. [Erik Qualman]. (2013, March 25). Mobile Stats Video – Mobilenomics |      @equalman [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRiwUCXPo8U

Situation Relevance and Mobile Marketing

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As mobile marketing becomes more complex and technologically easier to use, situational relevance will evolve into a dominant aspect of marketing efforts.  Marketers will need to engage consumers in creative and unusual ways that allow the consumer the ability to navigate a marketing situation with clarity.  Successful mobile marketers will need to achieve a balance between providing relevant content and demonstrating ethical behavior to consumers. 

Martin (2013) describes the Cool Versus Creepy Scale as a measurement for situational marketing.  Content will need to become finite and personal but simultaneously feel unobtrusive and natural. In The Power of Habit, Duhigg (2012) describes how Target used shopping habits to send coupons to pregnant women without creeping out expecting mothers.  “They camouflaged what they knew” (Duhig, 2012, p. 463).  Consumers can benefit from value-added information in context but the information needs to have an organic and passive approach.  Mobile marketers can achieve situational relevance while simultaneously demonstrating an ethical approach to user data.

References

Duhigg, C. (2012) The power of habit :why we do what we do in life and business New York : Random House.

Martin, C. (2013).  Mobile Influence: the new power of the consumer.  New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

New Media Versus Old Media

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The blog post New Media vs Old Media from the Rand Media Group explored the shift in consumer behavior toward media and technology trends. This blog post provided interesting information about ad revenue, which corresponds with the topic of information accuracy (Rand Media Group, 2014). One subtopic that was examined was vetted journalism in both old and new media. Vetted journalism is an important topic within media convergence because the effects of spreading unexamined and inaccurate information can have detrimental social repercussions.

Baran (2014) identifies dependency theory as the, “relationship between the larger social system, the media’s role in that system, and audience relationships to the media” (p. 331). New media and old media have converged but have not completely integrated. As smartphones and connection service to the Internet became affordable, the seemingly natural evolution was that old and new media would synthesize. However, the business models behind old media have not adapted to new media consumer behaviors. Martin (2013) indicates that old media marketing efforts are lead in the traditional serial process but new media consumer behavior is continually in action. Consumers of new media will not wait for information to be distributed at a predetermined time. Even though old media has been converging with new media since the 2000s, new media has the consumer advantage because new media is instant.

References

Baran, S. J., (2014), Introduction to Mass Communication Media Literacy and Culture. (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Martin, C. (2013). Mobile Influence: the new power of the consumer. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Rand Media Group. (2014). New Media vs Old Media. Blog. Retrieved from http://snhu-media.snhu.edu/files/course_repository/graduate/com/com568/new_media_vs_old_media.pdf

 

Reuse or Reimagine Copy for Multiple Media Platforms

Communicating across multiple platforms is skill professional communicators need to develop to remain relevant in any communications field. Creating content that incorporates the roles of the audience and the methods of interaction on different technological devices is a necessary consideration. Designing information as a strategic measure will help professional communicators create compelling content for a diverse audience using varied new media platforms.

Planning and Development of Visual Platforms

In an increasingly mobile society, content needs to be accessible across a multitude of platforms (Handley and Chapman, 2012, p. 13). Developing and planning content for continuity of platform creates consistency for readers, which is important for lasting business relationships. Even though society has adapted to a more mobile use of media, maintaining information that is accessible in desktop computer form is relevant. McGrane (2013) indicates that audiences do not think of different platforms such as smartphones, tablets, and personal computers as separate containers for content but as windows into one container. Recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of story telling with new media is a necessary skill for creating continuity and simplifying the user experience. According to Kolodzy (2013), a professional communicator should determine the best use of words, pictures, and sound to create suitable media that best serves the audience.

Strategic Design for Creating Continuity across Platforms

The audience, purpose, and context are the three key elements for creating continuity in content across different devices. Kostelnick and Roberts (2011) describe the audience as the group communicated to, the purpose as the point of communicating information and the context as the circumstances the audiences is accessing the information communicated. Drafting content to meet the different demands of visual design can include spatial modes and arrangements. The size and shape of a screen should be factored into continuity across platforms. Continuous scrolling and landscape orientations perform differently on a tablet versus a desktop so a professional communicator needs to address how icons, links, logos, photographs, and text will transverse (Kostelnick and Roberts, 2011).

Moving from one form of technology to another should be a seamless transition for content. Beebe, Beebe, and Ivy (2009) define noise as the “interference, either literal or psychological, that hinders the accurate encoding or decoding of a message” (p. 12). Reducing visual noise by ensuring textual transition from devices is an important part of developing continuity. Visiting a website on a tablet in portrait orientation and visiting the same website on a desktop should maintain font style but shift typeface width to eliminate blank screen space (Kostelnick and Roberts, 2011). Linear components such as the visual elements of text should maintain consistency and the textual elements of width in the typeface should be applied to specific devices.

Conclusions of Interactive New Media Relationships

Audience participation through different modes of technology is a central aspect of website design in the 21st Century. Readers are beginning to expect that websites will work across multiple technological platforms so creating content that is not only engaging but is consistent is necessary for success. By examining how an audience interacts with new media platforms and applying writing strategies for developing appropriate content, a professional communicator can influence how information is distributed, perceived, and redistributed.

 

References

Beebe, S. A., Beebe, S. J., & Ivy, D. K. (2009). Communication: Principles for a Lifetime. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon Pearson Education, Inc.

Handley, A., & Chapman, C. C. (2012).  Content rules: How to create killer blogs, podcasts, videos, eBooks, webinars (and more) that engage customers and ignite your business (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley

Kolodzy, J. (2013). Practicing convergence journalism. New York, NY: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Kostelnick, C., & Roberts, D. D., (2011). Designing visual language: strategies for professional communicators. (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.

McGrane, K. (2013, January 23). Windows on the web. A List Apart. Retrieved from http://alistapart.com/column/windows-on-the-web

Written Communication: Informative Versus Persuasive Messages

Composing messages in written form is a fundamental skill that any professional communicator should know and improve upon. Understanding the difference between informative and persuasive messages can be complicated so examining the approaches to drafting these two types of messages is necessary. Examining the different approaches to creating informative and persuasive messages ensures that a communicator constructs messages in an ethical and authentic manner. Furthermore, by analyzing why informative and persuasive messages are different a professional communicator can introduce important messages to unreceptive audiences.

Foundations of Writing Informative and Persuasive Messages

Almost every written message contains elements that include identifying the purpose of the message, analyzing the audience for key elements, considering the context of communication, and selecting the appropriate medium for distribution (Walker, 2015). However, informative messages and persuasive messages differ in structure, organization, and presentation of content. Informative messages identify the topic, whether through direct or indirect approaches. The direct approach states the purpose and provides an abridgment of information at the beginning of the message (Walker, 2015). The direct approach is most often used for business communication for positive message distribution. The indirect approach is a common method for conveying unpleasant information or bad news. Restructuring information so that the negative information is not first and the message is supplemented with positive information at the end is a common practice for developing an indirect message.

Persuasive messages require a professional communicator to self-analyze, research, support, and demonstrate information to compose a compelling message. The structure of a persuasive message includes a claim, evidence, and an appeal to a schema of logos, ethos, or pathos (Walker, 2015). Schemas “function to control the encoding, storage, and retrieval of information…and serve as frameworks for comprehending new data, guiding actions, and bridging gaps in information” (Sullivan, 2009, p. 460). Claims and evidence demonstrate the ability to reason and establish a foundation of knowledge for persuading an audience (Walker, 2015), whereas claims and evidence are not used to influence an audience in informative messages. Although making a claim and providing supporting evidence is relevant to both informative and persuasive message construction, this process is more important for writing persuasive messages. Structure as a tactical element is more important in informative messages.

Direct and Indirect Approaches in Written Informative Messages

Peter Cardon, the associate professor for Center for Management Communication at University of Southern California indicates that the most effective process for creating an informative business messages is to use the AIM planning process. AIM is an easy to follow planning process; A is for audience analysis, I is for idea development, and M is for message structuring (Cardon, 2016). The AIM planning process is applicable for both indirect and direct approaches. Professor for the Center for Management Communication at University of Southern California Robyn Walker (2015) indicates that direct approaches are most applicable for all types of business communication both formal and informal where as indirect approach is best used for bad news. Most business people expect the direct approach in written communication because the direct approach provides a clear idea of what to expect in the message. However, using the indirect approach is necessary for conveying negative information. Unlike stating the purpose of the message upfront and placing the most important information at the beginning and end with the direct approach, an indirect message is buffered with neutral information at the beginning and end and the bad news is sandwiched in the middle of the message (Walker, 2015).

Ethical Messaging and Cultural Characteristics

Determining whether the indirect approach in written communication is ethical is relative to the audience so audience factors need to be considered. Professors Marianne Dainton and Elaine D. Zelley of La Salle University identify five cultural characteristics that affect communications. Individualism-collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance, masculinity-femininity, and long-term and short-term orientation contribute to how well an indirect message will be received (Dainton and Zelley, 2011). People from individualist cultures might perceive an indirect message as suspicious whereas collectivist cultures view indirect approach as considerate. The cultural dimension of uncertainty avoidance and whether a person is high uncertainty or low uncertainty avoidant will predict the receptiveness of an indirect message. Similarly, a high power distance person might accept an indirect message as an appropriate method of communication but a low power distance person might dismiss it. The masculinity-femininity characteristics influence an indirect message because masculine cultures prefer assertive communication and feminine cultures prefer flexible communications. Lastly, long-term sand short-term orientation can influence messages but neither cultural orientation appears to prefer indirect over direct approach. Understanding how different cultural groups process information will help professional communicators develop perceptive written messages that ethically transmit information using the indirect approach.

Influence of Logos, Ethos, and Pathos in Persuasive Messages

Walker (2015) states that a persuasive message contains two parts, which is the claim and evidence. The claim is defined as an idea presented as fact and evidence is specific information that supports the claim (Walker, 2015). Evidence is an important aspect in a persuasive message because providing evidence offers a professional communicator the opportunity to demonstrate reasoning and knowledge in a subject. Facts, statistics, examples, analogies, and expert testimonies are the types of evidence that can bolster a claim in a persuasive message (Walker, 2015). Using these types of evidence in a written persuasive message helps the audience process the message in a non-coercive manner. Additionally, appealing to the logical, ethical, and emotional interests of an audience is another tactic that a professional communicator can use when constructing a persuasive message.

Similar to communicating to the five types of cultural characteristics affect communications, appealing to schemas of logos, ethos, and pathos is another method of persuasive communication. Logos or logical appeal is the category of information that includes facts and statistics (Walker, 2015). Ethos is the “ethical appeal that refers to information that provides credibility to ourselves or our position” (Walker, 2015, p. 159). Pathos is the emotional appeal that allows an audience to empathize through emotion (Walker, 2015). Logos is deployed in written persuasive messages because business communicators use facts, statistics, examples, analogies, and expert testimonies. Logic is a foundation of persuasion. Ethical appeal is used because organizational culture includes ethics as a foundation for business. People will develop trust for a person if the person can establish credibility through ethical appeal. However, pathos should be used with significant consideration because emotional appeal is not appropriate for every audience. Collectivist feminine cultures with high uncertainty avoidance and low power distance might respond better to pathos whereas Individualist masculine cultures with low uncertainty avoidance and high power distance might respond poorly to pathos (Dainton and Zelley, 2011).

Establishing Common Ground for Persuasive Communications

Common ground is defined as “the interests, goals, and commonalities of belief that the communicator shares with the audience” (Walker, 2015, p. 94). Establishing common ground is important for most types of business communications but is particularly important when communicating with a hostile or resistant audience. An audience might have developed a confirmation bias or perceptual mind-set that influences how a message is received and interpreted. Dainton and Zelley (2011) define Inoculation Theory as a process of understanding how resistance evolves in an audience when drafting persuasive messages. Similar to the function of a vaccine, a weak argument from in a message can create immunity for the message receiver. “Once exposed to this weak argument, people are less likely to change their attitudes when presented with a stronger form of the argument; they have, in essence, developed a formidable defense system” (Dainton and Zelley, 2011, p. 135). Establishing common ground is the first step for influencing an audience that is resistant or immune to new information because this process helps transform and construct social realities.

To Inform and To Persuade

The foundations for communicating through written messages for both informative and persuasive are the same. Identify the purpose, analyze the audience, consider the context, and select the channel are evident in nearly every type of professional communication method (Walker, 2015). Additionally, selecting tactical elements such as planning, incorporating visual elements, editing, and revising are apparent in most types of professional communications (Walker, 2015). By understanding the difference between informative and persuasive messages, a professional communicator can compose messages appropriate to the audience.

References

Cardon, P. (2016). Business Communication: Developing leaders for a networked world (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Dainton, M. & Zelley E. D., (2011). Applying Communication Theory for Professional Life: A Practical Introduction (2nd ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Sullivan, L. E. (2009). The SAGE glossary of the social and behavioral sciences. US: Sage Publications Inc.

Walker, R. (2015). Strategic Management Communication for Leaders (3rd ed.). Stamford, Connecticut: Cengage Learning.

Strategic Communication Process: Audience Analysis

Communication in the most general sense is the process of transferring information. Creating a shared meaning by exchanging symbols and nonverbal messages contributes to how people make sense of information. Business communication is a combination of interpersonal, intercultural, and institutional communication. Understanding the components within business communication is necessary for transferring information to the appropriate audience. By analyzing the components that comprise an audience, a business can tailor messages to address the specific business needs while transferring information appropriate to the audience.

Importance of Audience Analysis

Cardon (2016) defines business ethics as, “the common accepted beliefs and principles in the business community for acceptable behavior” (p. 9). Business ethics are a combination of transparency, corporate values, and code of conduct that establish credibility of a business. An effective way of establishing credibility is to demonstrate accountability. By creating a sense of accountability, a business is positioned to communicate important messages about products and services to a target audience. To transfer information to an audience, the dialogic model of communication is a method that incorporates attributes of “trust, lack of pretense, sincerity, humility, respect, directness, open-mindedness, honesty, concern for others, empathy, nonmanipulative intent, equality, and acceptance of others as individuals with intrinsic worth, regardless of differences of opinions or beliefs” (Walker, 2015, p. 30).

Identifying Differences for Targeted Messages

When constructing business messages, an aspect to consider is the differences in the target audience. A message that is meant for one socioeconomic background might not be applicable to another demographic. Generational differences will contribute to the success of information transfer. An illustration of this type of transaction is how politicians are addressing different voting demographics. Millennials are the young American voting population and are less interested in socialist ideology and more interested in closing the income gap (Chang, 2016). Millennials have grown up in a time where they witnessed the banking crisis and Wall Street run amok. Conversely, Baby Boomers who are the largest voting population in the United States associate socialism with the Cold War, which is an inherent threat to their freedom (Chang, 2016). Even though both voting populations are concerned about fiscal responsibility, drafting a political message meant for Millennials will have a different tone from a political message destined for Baby Boomers.

Understanding Differences in Communications

Cultural intelligence contains three key components, cognitive knowledge, motivation, and behavioral adaptability (Walker, 2015). Developing cultural intelligence is a necessary skill for communicators because every person is a member of the global village. Developing strategies to overcome cultural difference is a critical factor in successful business interactions, even if the interactions are uncomfortable. According to Martin and Nakayama (2010), indicate that intercultural encounters make people aware of their own ethnocentrism, which is “a tendency to think that our own culture is superior to other cultures” (p. 5). One method for recognizing personal bias is to understand that bias is relative to the person. The relativist position is the idea that a person is shaped by language, cultural behaviors, and field of experience, which also indicates that no universal truth exists (Martin and Nakayama, 2010). Maintaining a relativist position is employing the big picture strategy to create the social constructionist perspective.

Creating Message Content for the Appropriate Audience

Walker (2015) indicates that a social constructionist perspective is the process of creating and reinforcing a shared meaning through communicative practices including the use of symbols, cultural practices, and realities. By incorporating the knowledge, interests, attitudes, and concerns of an audience, a message can be refined so that the crucial information is portrayed. Conciseness is presenting information in messages in a way to prevent information overload, which inhibits understanding. According to Walker (2015), information overload affects a person’s ability to “gather, analyze, and identify information on which to base sound decisions and communication strategies” (p. 40). In addition to creating concise messages, democratizing messages is a way communicators can draft messages for a multicultural audience. Developing an understanding of an audiences’ demographic feature allows communicators to cultivate a clear message while aiming the message at the most important group allows for a democratic strategy.

Creating Audience-Centered Messages

Although self-centered communication is important type of communication because intrapersonal communication can offer insight into self- reflexivity, audience-centered communication is recognizing the needs, concerns, and expectations of the audience members (Walker, 2015). Ensuring communication is an audience-centered method of communication is a multipoint process. Analysis of topic location, eliminating superfluous information, logical organization, elaboration, and proofreading are the five points of constructing audience-centered messages. Analysis of topic location is confirming that the topic is presented first while eliminating superfluous information is removing information that is irrelevant to the topic. Logical organization of information is placing information in a clear and relatable order while elaboration is expanding on any information that needs additional clarification. Although necessary, drafting a message is not as important as planning. Cardon (2016) indicates that excellent writers spend most of the time planning a message as well as dedicating more time to reviewing. The fifth point of proofreading is a culmination of the planning, drafting, and reviewing process of message creation.

Predictions for Best Practices

Communication and the supporting tenets provide businesses and people with a foundation for delivering well-tailored messages. Analyzing the different audiences, identifying the most appropriate method for message delivery, and employing strategies for overcoming cultural differences are approaches for designing messages for a targeted audience. Strategies such as employing the five-points of audience-centered messages, recognizing how information overload can deter conciseness, and analyzing social constructionist perspective to determine the most effective procedures will help communicators develop accountability and establish credibility. By applying these components of communication, a business can present the clearest message for audience.

References

Cardon, P. (2016).  Business Communication: Developing leaders for a networked world (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Chang, J. (2016, February 9). Juju Chang: The Power of Your Story. [Video File] The National Society for Leadership and Success. Retrieved from https://www.societyleadership.org/members/content/broadcast

Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2010). Intercultural communication in contexts (5th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.

Walker, R. (2015). Strategic Management Communication for Leaders (3rd ed.). Stamford, Connecticut: Cengage Learning.

 

The Skills of Strategic Communicators

Sending and receiving a message in the 21st Century has evolved into a complex model of communications. Strategic and ethical communications are practices that every CEO needs to understand at a fundamental level. Additionally, developing ethical communications is a skill that CEOs need to incorporate into business practices so that the appropriate message is communicated to the right audience. By identifying the skills and abilities necessary for creating strategic and ethical communication practices, CEOs can create an impact within their organizations that promote values of the organization.

Development of Strategic and Ethical Communication

Walker (2015) identifies the strategic process of communication as the big picture process of communicating goals, plans, or results. A strategic communicator should have skills that include personal, social, business, and cultural literacies (Walker 2015). In addition to these skills, strategic communicators need to develop an ethical approach to communicating. Demers and Sullivan (2016) outline several considerations for communicating ethically including respecting rights, informed consent, maintaining confidentiality, minimization of intrusion of privacy, confidentiality, and accepting responsibility for actions. Recognizing that strategic communication skills entail ethical communication is necessary for communicating to a multifaceted audience. By understanding the intricate systems that comprise the communication environment within a business, CEOs will have a better opportunity to communicate the right message at the right time to the right audience in an ethical manner.

Communicating in a Connected and Global Environment

The communication landscape has changed dramatically since the early 2000s. One of the most important perceptions that a CEO should be aware of is that social media is no longer a novel fad but is a fact of communication that, “is here to stay” (Arthur W. Page Society, 2013, p. 9). Another important perception is that classic method of message segmentation is a dated concept and rapid response is critical to success. “CEOs are now convinced that all communications strategies need to work for all audiences, all the time” (Arthur W. Page Society, 2013, p. 9). CEOs need to recognize that rapid response is a crucial part of communications management. Kat Cole the CEO of Focus Brands, the parent company of Cinnabon, has a company wide policy of no tweet left behind. This policy was the reason Cinnabon was featured on the program Better Call Saul. A relationship formed because Cole’s social media policies recognized that communicating instantly through social media is a priority.

Impact of Behavioral Literacy

Fouberg, Murphy, and de Blij (2009) describe spatial interactions as distance, accessibility, and connectivity that shape human perceptions of global landscape. Physical space contributes to the diffusion of information while the ease of communicating contributes to the knowledge of a person’s place in the world. The ability to access a network of information and become involved with others helps a person develop a relative cultural approach to interacting with others. Understanding the relationship between spatial interactions and strategic communications is an important concept for CEOs to understand. Mastering the new media and maintaining an uninterrupted presence is critical for business success (Arthur W. Page Society, 2013). CEOs need to realize that communication is a multichannel that evolves instantly with our without their involvement.

Final Thoughts

Quality communication adds significant value to an organization and CEOs recognizes the inherent worth of a well-versed strategic communicator. Incorporating strategic and ethical communications into a business plan is an approach that CEOs understand because strategic communication can become a factor that determines the success or failure of a business. By recognizing the versatile literacies of human behavior and ethical considerations of communications, CEOs can successfully implement plans for strategic communications within the global environment.

References

Arthur W. Page Society. (2013). The CEO view: The impact of communications on corporate character in a 24/7 digital world. [Survey report]. Retrieved from http://www.awpagesociety.com/wpcontent/uploads/2013/08/The-CEO-View-2013.pdf

Cole, K. [NSLS]. (2016, February 23). The Art of Change, Trust & Influence. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.societyleadership.org/members/content/broadcast

Demers, J. A., & Sullivan, A. L. (2016). Confronting the ubiquity of electronic communication and social media: Ethical and legal considerations for psychoeducational practice. Psychology In The Schools, 53(5), 517-532. doi:10.1002/pits.21920. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=psyh&AN=2016-15448-001&site=eds-live&scope=site

Fouberg, E. H., Murphy, A. B., & de Blij, H. J. (2009). Human geography: People, place, and culture (9th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Walker, R. (2015). Strategic Management Communication for Leaders (3rd ed.). Stamford, Connecticut: Cengage Learning.