Communication and Politics Through New Mediums

By Billy Walsh

Political communication has changed throughout the decades. Throughout our country’s history, politicians have used technology to his or her advantage.  Present-day politicians are able to use the new media technologies to help with campaigns and messages for the people.

During the 18th century, politics and communication were not hand-in-hand.  The first time politics and communication collided was with Thomas Paine’s Common Sense. The article was able the colonies suffrage under King George III.  This work helped united many Americans in the campaign for a revolution.  However, the document did not spread quickly throughout the colonies.  The same can be said about the Declaration of Independence.  It took several weeks for the people to read the document in newspapers.  Lack of technology prevented the rapid spread of the news.  Newspapers would not begin to see great expansion until the Telegraph began to be used.  In 1844, Samuel F.B. Morse first showed how the telegraph would play a major role in the speed of communications.  He reported updates from the Whig Party’s national convention in Baltimore to Washington, D.C.  The telegraph would lead newspapers to compete to publish new stories first. By the 1880’s, newspaper printing and typing technology helped the papers spread much faster and to larger markets.  Newspapers began to have a major political impact on the views of the people.  Paper companies would begin to back a particular candidate and help persuade readers to vote for them.

Even as newspapers continued to grow, a new form of technology was about to take the political communication to a new level. The radio became a new form of communication that allowed the people to actually here first from the politicians they sought to vote.  By 1930, forty-five percent of households in the United States would have a radio, and by 1940, eighty percent.  Radio was quickly sentenced to regulation by the government. The Radio Act of 1927 required radio stations to give equal air time to candidates.  The radio would be a major instrument used by Franklin Delano Roosevelt throughout the Great Depression.  The radio talks, also known as “Fireside chats,” became a way for the president to have a personal connection to the people and be present in their homes.

While radio and print media fought it out to determine the best political communication medium, television began to rise.  Television would be a way for people to be able to see the future leaders of the nation before they would be elected.  The importance of this technology would be tested with the 1960 presidential debate between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy.  Debates were a new way to help people form their own opinions on who to support.  During one of the three televised debates the two politicians held, Nixon appeared to be roughed up and tired, while Kennedy was clean and sharp.  After the debate, a poll ran to see who the Americans believed to win the debate.  The people who listened to the radio believed Nixon had won, but, the people who watched on television saw Kennedy as the winner.  Kennedy would go on to win the election, in part to his television exposure.

Television would only improve throughout the decades, but when the presidential election of 2008, social media began to have an impact on the campaigns.  This new technology connected a much younger audience to the election, which helped Barack Obama secure victory over John McCain.  Obama hired Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook, to assist in his media campaign.  Although not Facebook alone, the Obama campaign’s use of all forms of social media became known as the “Facebook effect.”

As technology continues to advance, political communication will reach new heights.  Politicians seek ways to connect to the people to show off his or her new ideas and campaign strategies in hope of election.  It will be interesting to see in the future where technology and communication take politics.

Works Cited

E Book, Currents in Communication: Textbook and Reader, 2nd Edition, Chapter 6

Image, nhbrc.com, “Political Communication in China”

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Caulfield Lecture 2015

By Bailey Myers and Billy Walsh

On Monday, April 20th, 2015, Loyola University Maryland welcomed Kara Swisher to speak at the 2015 Muriel & Clarence J. Caulfield Memorial Lecture.  Swisher, a former reporter for the Washington Post and author of “aol.com: How Steve Case beat Bill Gates, Nailed the Netheads and Made Millions in the War for the Web” and “There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere: The AOL Time Warner Debacle and the Quest for a Digital Future, ” spoke about intergrading technology more and more into our everyday lives. She talked about how sensors over the coming years will be everywhere. She mentioned how in San Francisco they have sensors already in parking spaces to alert to you or whoever where their car can park. Also, with Google’s purchase of Nest, a company that produces smoke alarms and thermostats, companies will be able to track what you do away from the web.  As more developments are put into play, this new life style would mean a huge change for how we live compared to today. She was saying how we have to be weary that something like Terminator or the Borg doesn’t come out of us trying to increase our livelihoods. She made points that the way we live today will be radically changed. I was thinking during the lecture about all the laws that will need to be changed and how much of an overhaul the American Government will have to go through to be up to par with the technological changes.  How will the government regulate this new technology? Technology will only continue to advance in the near future, but will we be ready?

Pitch Perfect by Bill McGowan

By Billy Walsh

Do you want to know how to say anything, to anyone, in any form? Then Pitch Perfect is the perfect book to read. The book is written by a former television producer who offers his perspectives of how to be able to communicate any message, without insult or offense. This is the reason why his lessons are utilized by celebrities, politicians, and business executives.

McGowan’s lessons have become popularized by Fortune 500 companies and their sales forces. The book seems to be geared toward selling teams and designed to help them present their messages in a formulaic presentation meant to “land” with their intended audience and outline whatever value proposition or message they intend to deliver.

Beyond the rather obvious lessons of preparation and never ad-lib a pitch, the book outlines seven key lessons outlined as their cornerstones for effective communication. They are as follows:

  • The Headline Principle: The key lesson is to be concise and compelling. If you cannot summarize your key pitch or idea in this way you must reassess your message before continuing.
  • The Scorsese Principle: Use images and stories to illustrate your headline or key idea. Channel your best Hollywood director, like Martin Scorsese, in how they illustrate a story to make it compelling an entertaining.
  • The Pasta- Sauce Principle: To make you message rich, boil it down. Don’t worry about using too many words, think of the most efficient way to make your point or pitch.
  • The No-Tailgating Principle: The speed of your speech is in correlation to the certainty of the knowledge of the content.
  • The Conviction Principle: Ensure your physical message matches your verbal. Maintain good posture and eye contact. Even the most impactful message will be lost if your physical demeanor doesn’t match your message. You can’t say your excited and be monotone in your delivery.
  • The Curiosity Principle: Give your audience the impression that you are “in to” your message. They will only believe your message if you show that you are also fully committed to it.
  • The Draper Principle: Based upon the leading character of a popular television series, Don Draper, will always play to his strengths when pitching a new advertising campaign. If the topic is one that does not fit your key strengths, change the conversation. You need to be careful of how you change the conversation, but with careful practice you can move the discussion to an area where you can excel.

What the reader will appreciate is that these seven principles are presented with relatable stories of how to do it well, and some humorous examples of how to avoid the famous mistakes of others. The Draper Principle is one in particular that can be dangerous. It requires practice and finesse to avoid looking like a politician avoiding a question. The book spends a good amount of time discussing specific techniques.

The Scorsese Principle is also presented in great detail helping the reader learn how best to build a story to make it compelling and entertaining. It’s lessons of preparation make it clear that the most successful speakers are prepared for those moments that appear to be spontaneous. A business dinner or even an elevator ride is never truly spontaneous. Interpersonal communication is an important piece of forming relationships. A professional will always have a crafted and prepared topic, story, or message ready to be delved in the off chance they meet a potential client in a forum that was unexpected.

Social media today provides a great way for the professional to learn how to connect with a client through simple research than can be conducted in advance of your first meeting. However, here too, your communications must be planned and practiced. If you’re not careful you can leave your client with the impression that you were electronically stalking them. Not only will you not endear them as planned, you may leave them feeling that you violated them. Try to imagine being a coach and communicating with his team or a potential new player, you always want to leave a positive message so the player will play for you team. Also, plan on monitoring your social media accounts, as they may play a major role in your capabilities to bring in new clients that may run background checks on future employers. Any Web site that allows social interaction is considered a social media site, so you must be able to monitor how you communicate via the web.

I highly recommend “Pitch Perfect” to anyone who is looking to seek an edge against his or her competition, or someone just trying to learn better ways to communicate with their followers, employers, and in some cases, fans. The “Pitch Perfect” hard cover copy published by HarperCollins can be purchased for $20.96 on Amazon or at any book retailer near you!

Out with the old, In with the new

By Billy Walsh

Whether you have an account or not, everyone has at one point or another encountered Facebook. Facebook quickly raced passed MySpace, which was the social media juggernaut at the time. Mark Zuckerburg’s dorm room creation launched on September 26,2006 to users ages 13 and older and has had an international impact and can be seen anywhere over the world. With over one billion users, Facebook is the most used form of social media in existence.  Its complex technological development helps make Facebook a combination of many different forms of social media. The site uses software such as PHP, Linux, MySQL, and many over sub programs under each. However, recently, Facebook has not been a hit with teens, the age group that uses the most social media.  Five years ago, for teens, a Facebook profile was the thing to have.  Teens used Facebook as a way to connect with friends, post pictures, and even to play games.  Now Facebook has seen a trend losing this age group.  So, I went and asked some friends about how they used Facebook five years ago and how they use it today.

I began with my friend Danny.  Danny first created his Facebook account during the fall of his freshman year at high school.  He thought the account would help him get to know people better.  He never really got into using Facebook and never made frequent posts or added pictures.  Although he still has an account today, he hardly ever visits the website to view his profile.  Other than Snapchat, Danny does not use any other forms of social media.

Next I talked to my friend Brendan.  Brendan has had a Facebook since he was in seventh grade.  Brendan used Facebook a lot throughout his first couple of years on the website, but has slowed in recent times.  He currently only uses to see pictures he is tagged in, but sees no other use in the account.  Brendan spends some of his time using Snapchat and Instagram, but not Twitter.

The move away from Facebook could have many reasons.  People do not like the amount of advertising that is found on the website.  Also, Twitter and Instagram both offer similar ways to connect as Facebook does, but in simpler fashion.  As Facebook dies with teens, it continues to grow with adults.  Facebook currently has over 30,000 servers and over 25 billion units of content, and it continues to grow. Adults, such as my mother, use Facebook to connect with old friends from high school and college. Facebook has adapted a new audience in the past five years.  I first made made profile when I was thirteen, and at the time, I was the only one in my family to have a Facebook.  Now my parents use the website all the time while my brother, who has deactivated his account, and I lean on new forms of Social Media. If Facebook wants to bring back a younger clientele, they are going to need to create new marketing strategies.

Climbing in Cochise

Billy Walsh

 

For the My Story Project, I chose to use my spring break trip with Loyola University Maryland’s Outdoor Adventure Program to Cochise Stronghold, located in southern Arizona.  The trip was a training trip for our entire student staff, as well as our 3 person Pro-staff.  The trip left on Saturday, February 18th, and lasted into the early hours of Sunday, March 8th.

The biggest challenge I faced while making this project was selecting footage to use.  I collected nearly three hours worth of hiking/rock climbing videos and over two-hundred photos of the scenic desert on a GoPro Hero 3+.  For the production of the project, I began with GoPro Studio 2.0 to trip select film to make into a video.  Once I had finished the video pieces, I transferred to iMovie to edit, add music, and make transitions to the final cut.  I chose to do the project a little different since I felt my style of videos left a more visual story to be seen.

 

 

If you want to learn more about what we do at Outdoor Adventure Experience, visit our website for details.

Gus Kenworthy, James Franklin, and the Twitter World

by billy walsh

The use of twitter has increased the ability for people to get to know their favorite celebrities. People can follow whoever they want and can favorite and retweet whatever their favorite celebrity has to say.

For my Celebrity Research blog, I chose to follow Gus Kenworthy and James Franklin.  Gus Kenworthy, an Olympic silver medalist in men’s ski slopestyle, is a professional freeskier from Telluride, Colorado.  James Franklin is an American football coach from Langhorne, Pennsylvania who currently coaches at Penn State.

Gus Kenworthy is one of the biggest names in the ski industry.  One of the most vocal progressivists in the sport, Kenworthy has been featured on all types of media.  Gus’s popularity rose after the Olympics, not only because of his medal, but because of his publicized adoption of several puppies living outside the athlete village in Sochi.

James Franklin is the head football coach at one of the most prominent football programs in the country.  Franklin, a native to Pennsylvania, dreamed of playing football for Penn State, but never had the talent.  Now, as the head coach of the school he loves, Franklin called his job a “destination job,” meaning Franklin has no motive to leave for any openings at another college or the NFL.

Both Kenworthy and Franklin are frequent users of twitter.  Kenworthy provides updates about competitions and how he thought he preformed.  Gus also will tweet ski videos or other links of stuff he finds to be cool.  He also provides his fans with tweets talking about what he is doing, and, sometimes, he will post pictures of his Sochi pups.  His account is very personable and not filled useless information.  James Franklin tweets multiple posts each day.  His account is opporated more professionally and is full of upcoming events and thank you/congratulation tweets.  Franklin, however, retweets posts from his assistant coaches who generally provide updates on what players had a great practice.

Twitter has made communication with celebrities very simple, so I asked a couple of my friends on who they like to follow on Twitter and why their selection.

I first asked my friend Peter about who he enjoys to follow on Twitter. He responded with Adam Schefter. Schefter is an ESPN NFL correspondent. Peter finds Adam Schefter’s tweets helpful in updating him about what is going on around the NFL. Peter enjoys frequently checking his phone for tweets from Schefter.

Next, I asked another friend named Cate. Cate is most connect the Not Johnny Manziel twitter account. Although a parody account, Cate finds the account funny and is entertained daily. This account, though not operated by Johnny Manziel, allows people to enter inside the mind of a fictionalized version of the player.

My next participant was my friend Brendan. Brendan is an admirer of Mariah Carey and she is his favorite celebrity to follow on twitter. He enjoys her daily updates on her life and upcoming events.

And then was Danny. Danny is a huge sports fan and enjoys to follow his favorite soccer player Mario Barotelli. Danny enjoys reading about updates about Barotelli’s performance and how Liverpool, Barotelli’s soccer club, is doing.

Everyone uses twitter differently, but there is common ground with people following celebrities for news, gossip, and other updates. Twitter is a great app that allows people inside access to their favorite celebrities that they never had before.