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Four Deep Journal #6: Communication Theories

Throughout the several weeks that I have spent at Four Deep Multimedia, I have learned many different lessons, and quite a few of these have involved how my studies that I learned in school translate into the workplace. In my last blog post, I wrote about the classes that I have taken which helped me in the internship. For this post, I will write about the two communication theories that were at play during this internship: social information processing theory and functional perspective on group decision making.

I spoke a little about social information processing theory in the last post. This theory describes how people can communicate in an environment that lacks many of the social cues of real life social interaction. In the text-based format that most online communication takes place in, communication theorists originally thought that it would be impossible for any human interaction to take place other than for office use. This was eventually found out to be false, as can be seen through various online forums and social networking sites. Since I was a social media specialist, understanding how this theory worked was very important. I once watched a webinar on increasing the social media following for an Instagram account, and the speaker placed a large emphasis on interaction with accounts similar to yours. He clarified that this interaction could take various forms, such as following, liking and commenting. I used this practice not only on Instagram, but on our other platforms, as well. A recent example of this success is when I Tweeted an article in the Atlantic about the office messaging app Slack, and its impact on  Facebook. I tagged three accounts in this Tweet: Slack, the Atlantic, and the article’s author. I then quouted the first Tweet, reminding users of Four Deep’s capacity to help those who need some assistance with Slack. After that, the Slack account followed Four Deep’s account.

The second communication theory that I found at this internship is functional persepctive on group decision making. This theory is about how group members are able to be productive when they fulfill four different requirements: analyze the problem, set a goal, identify alternatives, and evaluate positive and negative consequences. I can remember this happening with several projects at Four Deep, one of which was when we worked on the branding for Carefree Ink, a custom T-shirt company run by one of the Four Deep Multimedia founders and his friend. We analyzed the problem, which is that Carefree Ink needs to draw more attention to its brand. A goal was set, which was that we needed to find out how to do this by identifying various different strategies, such as redsigning the website and changing the social media strategy. The alternatives we identified were strategies like changing the user interface for the custom shirt design functions on the website, and what can be posted on social media about Carefree Ink. Each of these strategies have various positive and negative aspects to them. For example, altering the website’s user interface could improve the user’s experience on the website, by making the process easier. However, we felt limited as to the variety of content that could be posted about Carefree Ink on social media, at least at that time. A limited amount of content would result in just uploading pictures to Instagram of previous shirt designs and some new ones.

Both of these communication theories, social information processing theory and functional perspective, are very well seen in my internship at Four Deep Multimedia. I could see them at work particularly when I was working on Carefree Ink and on Twitter.

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