A COMMUNICATION BLOG WHERE OPINIONS POP

Archive for August, 2010

ScriptShirt takes inspiration more than a statement

Contact Information

Jamie Espadilla                                                                                                                          0922-8481457, 0927-2868754                                                                                         scriptshirtclothing@yahoo.com                                                                                         http://scriptshirt.multiply.com/

SCRIPTSHIRT TAKES INSPIRATION MORE THAN  A STATEMENT

ScriptShirt, an online business of  RTW statement shirts, came from the conceptualization, initiative, and commitment of Ms Jamie Espadilla, together with Louise Espadilla, James Ferrer, and Derrick Mapagu in September 2008. Bound by music and inspiration to spark a difference, they are also passionate in spreading their faith and belief in God in this very creative way.

“I’m into Christian music while my business partners (Louise, James and Derrick) are into Emo music. And that’s how we ended up with statement shirts that could either be dedicated for God or for someone special.” -Jamie Espadilla, on how ScriptShirt came to be

The ScriptShirt Team (Derrick, Louise, James, and Jamie)

ScriptShirt is named after the word Scripture that represents biblical texts. True enough, its founders basically spread God’s word through shirts’ statements and from this, seek to get other people inspired as well. Furthermore, Jamie puts it, “Eventually, we realized that our shirts, if utilized properly, can actually make a difference. Of course, it’s not about the shirt but the statement printed on it! For the Christians, this is one way of doing a simple evangelism. For others, this is one way of inspiring people and spreading positivity. Either ways we can all MAKE A DIFFERENCE through wearing a shirt that has a positive impact. ”

This business joins Facebook and Multiply in promotions and advertising. To date, it has garnered 633 fans in Facebook. Updates such as new designs and upcoming events ScriptShirt will join are posted there moreover. Their using of social networking sites provides convenience to their business in terms of connecting with their customers in one hand and seeking for potential partners as well on the other. Features of these sites that allow them to add people into their list as prospective customers, posting of blog and photo albums in product marketing, and messaging features such as chat, personal messages, and comments allow them to explore promising ideas to manage and improve their business as well.

They recognize how much help Internet has been to their business but at the same time know where and what to work on.

“The challenge in using social media is that have to be online most of the time because: 1) customers need immediate response from us; 2) we need to be aware on the messages people post in our sites because we wouldn’t want negative feedback to spread.”  – Jamie Espadilla, on the obstacles they are facing as an online business

In 2009, ScriptShirt launched ‘Shirt for a Cause’, featuring ‘Inspirenation’ shirt, where 20% of each piece sold went to Ondoy typhoon victims through Red Cross relief operations.

It keeps its customers engaged via social networking sites not only by getting feedback such as comments from them and the like. ScriptShirt launched its promo, ScriptShots Part 2,  in February 2009 to celebrate the month of love. ScriptShots is a compilation of meaningful photos of people wearing their favorite ScriptShirt outfit.

Now who says that new social media can’t lead to a difference in our society?

Boilerplate

ScriptShirt is an online shop owned by Jamie Espadilla, Louise Espadilla, James Ferrer, and Derrick Mapagu creating RTW statement shirts. For orders and inquiries, visit ScriptShirt official sites on Facebook and Multiply or text 0922-8481457 or 0927-2868754.

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Workplace redefined?

Time is running out for me to enjoy the perks of being a student who relies on parents financially. I know, and no matter how  it disturbs me, I have to be mature enough to assume the role of our family’s breadwinner sooner or later. We discussed in our previous classes in Communication Trends and Styles that the dynamics of the workplace, particularly on employees as to what motivates or compels them to work and the values they bring along with them, has changed thanks to ‘generation gap’ (as we may call it) between the ‘baby boomers’  and  the ‘NetGen’.

Being a part of NetGen makes me question the nature of workplaces, hierarchy, or even work itself time and time again. Maybe I am just that kid before who was used to have things set by parents that’s why applying for my first own job and setting my career are difficult and, sometimes, tear-jerking. I contemplate on things regarding life after college these days no matter how exaggerated this is for others.

I don’t know but, perhaps, people enter college to secure employment upon graduating. This is a fact. After years of being in school, we as students have to pay back our parents who spent most of their earnings for our education. And so, it’s highly depressing to know that jobs are not everywhere, competitors abound, and opportunities are most of the time biased. Moreover, it’s sad to note that your own country can’t support you to have your dream job that you just have to forget attaining it. After years of study, it will be just salary, salary, salary. Sometimes factors like self-fulfillment are considered less.

But then, whew.

A New Workplace

Perhaps, the Internet has been changing a lot of aspects in our lifestyle today and there’s nothing it does not affect at all. The notion of workplace is definitely one of these. If work is just a means to an end which is connected to financial stability at the very least, then some factors will not be that held important. Nowadays, more and more people looking for income or jobs  are opting to take freelance work or work at home instead. Virtual companies such as those of language tutorials are on the rise.  For instance, in freelance work, one can enjoy:

  • flextime at its fullest
  • working at home (while attending to other matters)
  • no or less dealings with difficult bosses
  • no interaction with difficult co-workers
  • a salary that office employees are likely to earn

There are even call center companies that allow employees to work from their homes. Of course, these are all possible through the use of new social media. Language tutorials are done in Skype where people of different nationalities converse. Web designers do the layout of corporate websites without being those company’s employees. Organizations hire bloggers just to make blogs and comments for their companies’ sake. There’s a lot of avenues new social media could provide now- without the limits of organizational hierarchy or policies and regulations.

"Freelance work" photo credit: http://www.atniz.com

New behavior?

Would there be a point that employees will stop seeking for corporate life? Would there be a point that they ’employees’ or ‘workplace’ are going to vague terms as well? Employees, being individuals, will continue to have increasing demands, differing values, and new priorities as they, of course, age.I know some people who abandoned their corporate life to give way to their own business they manage through new social media. Most of them value being at home and with their families as to decrease the chances of them being so workaholic neglecting their responsibilities with their children at home.

Organizations, in the advent of NetGen in the workforce and as ‘baby boomers’ are about to retire, should be ready for the ‘unthinkable’ implications today’s trends concerning new social media. This will in turn provide new paradigms in communication within organizations above all. Could it be possible to have computer-mediated organizational communication in the future?


When customers become your ‘friends’

They say finding true friends in the Internet is next to impossible. The fact that you cannot communicate with them in flesh says it all. Let’s just say that nonverbal communication can never be replaced and still the most difficult to objectively decipher. Written messages in social media in the form of wall posts, status, or comments can never suffice the richness a message has. All netizens, experts or not, alike know this basic tenet.

Computer-mediated communication has brought some changes not only in communication per se but rather on relationships. My close friends whom I spent almost everyday with years before are the ones I miss a lot these days. Some of them are abroad while some are the ones whom I lost communication with. Yes, thanks to Internet, I can have conversations with them now. But then, I know that nothing is going to be the same anymore. Failing to connect with them once accounts for everything.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but these days, I am thinking over how social media and the Internet redefined the meaning or ‘friendship’. Perhaps at least one friendship is ended everyday as well as a new friendship that is formed between two strangers. Some friendships end while some just becomes faded.

Building friendships is similar to establishing connections with customers in the perspective of organizations. Maybe the difference lies in the fact that organization-customer relationship is crucial for it’s not that symbiotic. Organizations should develop good customer relations if they want to survive in this age of business competition literally. However, customers now are the ones to be ‘pleased’ and hold less pressure for there is a wide array of products, services, or companies to entrust themselves into. When customers lose interest, and moreover trust or loyalty, to a product or service, companies have to think of strategies to win them back. In a sense, this is like a one-sided relationship. Although both parties benefit, the amount of effort and expectancy level is not equal. And now, these all become more complicated because of social media, where a person’ message can instantly reach millions in just a click.

To organizations,

but be sure on how to have them.

Although a neophyte in communities and chatting, I learned essential things . I think these things may not be that directly translated to organizational strategies but I believe they are the fundamentals in every relationship there is. Here they go:

1. Disclosing true information helps you.

What’s the sense of pretending to be someone you’re not? Yes, information we disclose over the Net must be carefully sifted for security reasons. Yes, deception can be said to have higher rate of occurrence in the world wide web (particularly in social networks) than face-to-face. But there will always come a time that scandals will surface, hidden agenda will be traced, even secrets will be revealed in the Internet age. And that time is more unpredictable than before.

2.The first conversation is always the most important.

Relationships involve conversations. People rely and believe on first impressions. These are facts. First conversation is actually a predictor of the existence of succeeding ones. It’s like establishing good PR for yourself leveled up because it’s online. Smart people know whom and not to trust in the Internet. Gaining trust, perhaps in any channel or mode, is still difficult.

3. Keeping conversations entails pressure.

How to keep the interest in your target burning is a difficult task to do. In fact, it’s sometimes pretty normal to be paranoid in predicting, assuming, and expecting customers’ behavior. Each opportunity an organization can get to have conversations with customers should lead to more conversations in the future. Sometimes, it is even better to have clashes between companies and customers (although this is a huge no-no!)  than finding customers apathetic. It’s like having people not realizing your existence.

4. No matter how short conversations are, people remembering you gives the best feeling.

Trust is definitely gained, hardly gained. Real relationships are with people who know one another though they are not with each other physically. I am working on the assumption that when people/ customers believe in and like you, they will remember you without commanding them to. They will be ‘evangelizers’ of you instantly. It is not about the quantity of conversations organizations are having with consumers, but the quality of their relationship’s impact is. It’s about how much they value one another and be there when one needs the other.

Of course, I think, too, that relationships have their endings. No matter in what form those would be and because of what reasons, relationships should be taken care of very much while they last.


Is Intranet a new CPR?

These past few days, one company has been topping the headlines due to some problems with its employees. Employees’ resignations. Employees’ protests. And these got me concerned more than before.

Yes, it is Philippine Airlines. And it pains me to see the first ever company that made me feel what corporate life is all about is undergoing such issues.

I did my internship in Philippine Airlines in summer this year. I was assigned to the Advertising and Promotions division under the Commercial Group. It was there when I first learned how was it to go to the office rushing before the clock strikes 8 in the morning, dress up in stockings and high heels, use lunch time for something worthwhile, and anticipating for the last hour of work. It was there when I first learned how to build relationships with other employees and co-trainees. It was there when I first realized that a President’s office is really huge and worth-craving for. It was my first workplace.

Headlines say that cabin crew of PAL- pilots, flight attendants, and others- are resigning from their posts. In fact, the resignation of 25 pilots caused some alterations on the flight schedule of some passengers. Whether their resignation is legal or adhering to their contracts, I don’t know. But the company for sure is about to lose more and more experienced and knowledgeable workforce if it will fail to address their employees’ concerns.

In my limited stay in the company, I somehow felt what the pilots and flight attendants are accusing PAL to have been falling short of. They say they don’t value employees in such a way that the management fails to give them the right amount of salary they should have as well as the holiday and rest days they deserve. Okay, as a trainee, I am not entitled to those work conditions but I felt like  the management is a world away. In my observation, there are limited avenues in which the management keeps in touch with the employees.

The Possible Effect of Intranet Overhaul

During free time in my practicum(or when there is nothing to do), I read PAL Infoserve, the company’s intranet. It serves as a bulletin where announcements are posted, and where PDF files of these can be downloaded to be exact. There are also some advisories and other articles posted by Human Resources as pieces of advice to employees. But then, I noticed that this intranet of theirs is linear and definitely a top-down communication. Some employees don’t even take a serious look on what the intranet says. I think it apparently lacks engagement from the employees that social media have now.

What if their Intranet works two-way? What if it has forums or discussion boards where employees can discuss their grievances or better yet, with the management itself? Can overhauling their Intranet provide an answer for better dialogue between the management and employees?

I think it will. Aside from being a source of feedback, the management can utilize the Intranet for establishing solid employee relations? They can even make loyal employees that way and avoid high rate of turnovers. Communication among PAL employees from offices worldwide can be made possible. Employees will feel that they are valued and taken care of.

Employees as Stakeholders

I think above any other stakeholder, an organization should prioritize employees. I think messing up with them is a no-no. First, employees are the company’s workforce. No employees, no operations, no company. Bad employee relations could solely dictate an organization’s effectiveness and efficiency. Second, employees are definitely brand ambassadors. Their loyalty and faith in the company will translate to them ‘evangelizing’ the company itself to customers and perspective consumers alike. They are a instant source of people who will give highly-credible testimonials that will benefit the company’s reputation as a whole.

Now I am convinced that social media could be enough to resuscitate an organization. It can be even said that social media is an organization’s oxygen in the present age. And I did not thought of this before; social media can make things critical for an organization or become its panacea.