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December 26, 2014

14 Things I Learned in 2014: Communication

Senior Producer, Ryane Murray, has been an amazing teacher this past year to the activation team and continues to set great examples in leadership and communication at Hype.

Here are Ryane’s 14 Things She Learned about Communication in 2014:


RE: Staffing/Promotional World


1. Texting is quickest – to an extent.

What came first? Event staff texting their account managers with questions? Or account managers texting staff to find out where they are? (today’s chicken vs. the egg convo). Either way, communicating via text message has opened a lot of doors in reaching people who perhaps aren’t as glued into their email, overly screen calls or are working and cannot answer their phone. It’s a great tool for sending out quick reminders or updates to your team.

However, texting also leaves one open to receiving messages at hours they would rather not. If is also advised against texting an account manager about a job you are interested in – especially if it’s not their account. All job posts mention how to apply – it is still your best bet to follow the process in order to be taken seriously. If one has questions related to accounting/payment/paperwork, not just because it’s polite, but keep this conversation to email to help protect oneself with a “paper trail”.


2. Social Media is just that…. Social. Somebody posting on Facebook all day is like somebody constantly wondering around the office headed to the water cooler. You are not getting anything accomplished or you have a ton of free time…


3. Social Media is not where you draw your portfolio from either. Selfies and filters are not the right photos to submit for professional consideration.


4. When applying for positions, do not forward an email to an account manager from when you submitted yourself for another position. If you are going to do this, there is a smarter way to keep the message from looking like a direct forward, but overall it is LAZY and will likely NOT get you the position.


RE: Leadership/Business Comm.


5. I have come to appreciate “throwback” language – ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘whenever you have a moment’, ‘you make excellent points’….


6. Some terms I hope to see retire for 2015 – ‘ASAP’, ‘Please advise’, ‘definitely’… if you write these in every message, it really starts to lose it’s flavor.


7. Taking time and being diligent in responses and conversation to get a clear message across.  Nobody will accuse me of not being wordy enough and while I certainly ramble at times, it’s always evident what I’m trying to say and what points I am making.


8. Training and educating means taking time to explain the thought process behind a certain decision, email, conversation, etc. We need to help those new to the industry or company figure out what the bigger picture is and provide context whenever you need to!


9. Get Personal – make your conversation a dialogue and not just a monologue. This hits right at Hype’s core, that we are making person-to-person connections and getting to know each other – whether it’s internally, promotional staff or a client.


10. Lighten up! Have fun! Take advantage of working in this creative industry in that everything is colorful, remarkable and new! Nobody’s lives are at stake! Exclamation points! Making peoples’ days! If I’m smiling, I want to make sure it’s clear in my email, over the phone or I seek out a colleague to share some of my good mood! EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!


11. Nothing good happens after 2AM (HIMYM) – and that means for your work email too. Read it in the morning or send during normal business hours even if it’s ready. Set some boundaries for your work/life balance! But also don’t give anybody the opportunity to wonder what’s going on in your life that you’re up talking about work in the middle of the night….


12. Set an example. I’m constantly reminded that I am responsible for setting a tone and others are learning from every move I make or sentence I type. But, boy, does that whip you into shape quickly.


13. Use your team! Sometimes when taking in all of the above advice, one could be left wondering, is this the best way to say that? Will this message be read incorrectly? Am I simply fueling the fire? No one person is a master communicator so reach out and ask for another opinion. If you need support on an issue, seek it out!


14. Inspire action!! Be a partner! We all learn more when considering other’s wants/needs/desires than focusing on our own. When you set your focus on contributing more than receiving, you will have accomplished the goal.