Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, explains the logic behind using innuendos instead of speaking straight.
Relationship types (dominance, communality and reciprocity) are reflected in language. If the relationship type is not clearly defined, innuendos are one way to avoid conflict. Moreover, the content of innuendos only create individual knowledge instead of mutual knowledge and that´s why their content (if inappropriate) can be “taken back”.
The video also explains, why for example calling the boss by his or her first name might cause akwardness among employees instead of comfort. It also explains why mutual knowledge is so important in change-processes. This leads us back to the key role that access to information has in a democracy.
For more videos from the RSA go to RSA Comment.
Social media changes the communication culture in certain target groups, the way they gather information and prepare purchasing decisions. Many companies still do not know how best to deal with this new channel, in particular because it calls for a new culture of communication and because traditional strategies do not work.
In our strategy workshop, we help you to determine:
- Whether getting involved in social media would benefit your company (target groups, advantages and disadvantages of social media etc.)
- The departments for which social media might be a useful channel (for example: PR, customer services, sales; cost-benefit analysis)
- The kind of resources you would need (one or more employees, outsourcing to a partner etc.)
- Who in your company should be involved in your plans
- How you can represent your corporate culture in social media (wording, topics etc.)
Everyone would have thought that publishing secret material like the embassy cables would in itself create so much attention, that no additional pitching would be necessary. In fact, Wikileaks learned that this is not the case. With pitching I mean the term used in PR, which means bringing a topic to an editor´s attention by calling him, writing an email or summarizing the story by writing an abstract.
Originally the Wikileaks founders thought, that all those thousands of people editing Wikipedia and all those bloggers commenting on critical issues, complaining that they never get access to an original source like established media outlets do, all these people would be delighted if they got original source material and they would spread it on the net in no time creating maximum impact.
But according to Julian Assange, this is not what he experienced. Simply publishing source material does not work. I think legal consequences do also play a role, but his conclusion is that non-professional editors only write about topics that display their values to their peers. I guess this is the reason why it is so hard to get coverage on facts that oppose the current opinion of many bloggers (and editors also), which I already experienced myself.
Assange concluded that Wikileaks had to give at least summaries of the source material or in case of more complicated stories, write an article. They actually liaised with editors to give them the material plus story on an exclusive or semi exclusive basis and to spread the embassy cable news worldwide, Wikileaks liaised with major editorial houses in the US and Europe.
A year ago many people watching the development of the internet as a news channel predicted that the internet would lead to maximum transparency. Well yes, there is much more transparency now, but the “currency” on the net (as everywhere else) is still attention, as Google puts it. The Wikipedia example shows that apart from all transparency on the net, news still follow the “old rules” in terms of how to create awareness, and that a lot of the impact (apart from the story) depends on the credibility of the publisher and the awareness he or she can create among the general public, which means inside AND outside the internet.
PS: I really like the Guardian Live Blog on Wikileaks. It´s very interesting to follow the events and comments on Wikileaks around the world in real time and in one place.
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