by Kami Watson Huyse, APR
Contact: kamichat [at] yahoo [dot] com
I am passionate about communications and about sharing the best communication practices out there. If you want my regular bio, you can head to my formal biography or to my LinkedIn page. I have been traveling this journey toward better communication since 1994.
I often am also often asked about the name of my blog, Communication Overtones. What does it mean and how does it have anything to do with public relations?
The Musical Metaphor
The name is a partly reminiscent of of my musical heritage — I have sung everything from jazz to rock-n-roll to opera and I also play the violin. I’ve even sung backup on a children’s CD. But mostly the name serves as a kind of metaphor. We can learn a lot about communication from music.
Overtones are what make music so special. When a note is played or sung, there are several other notes that you “hear” at the same time that give the sounds its richness. You don’t consciously hear these notes of course, but their presence makes the music special. Occasionally two instruments can sound the same note so perfectly in tune that it will cause one of these overtones to audibly sound a third note. You can read more about the physics of overtone here.
Communication has the same synergistic potential.
Companies and organizations that work to find this “sweet spot” of communication with their stakeholders can co-create a kind of communication overtone – the place where the interests of the organization cross with that of its publics to create a synergistic energy. A relationship.
It is this for this kind of communication that I am passionate.
Thus the name of this blog and its singular focus – to find that intersection and explore best practices to get us all there. Because what fun is it to travel the road to discovery alone?
What About Social Media?
I also happen to believe that social networking and social media tools represent the first viable pathway to realizing the two-way symmetrical model of communication that we all learned about in theory class in college but found to be difficult, if not impossible, in the real world.
However, as much as I am enamored of these new tools, I also believe that they should be complimented by more traditional tools and steeped in strategic thought. The mainstream media, while struggling to redefine itself right now, is still of paramount importance. The third-party credibility of both journalists and trusted members of social networks are still the gold standard. Real-life events are important. Investor relations and public affairs are critical to the health of companies. Donor relations are the lifeblood of the non-profit organization’s mission.
The written word, both on and offline, still matters.
The theories that form the basis of communication still count.
Strategic thought and objectives still are critical to success.
We shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
I am looking forward to getting to know you. Stop by often, add your thoughts, let’s make Comminication Overtones a place to discover and grow together.
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