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Tutor profile: Sommer V.

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Sommer V.
English Major, Former Journalist, Executive Director for a Private PR Firm
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

Is it necesary to use a coma before the word "and" in a list series?

Inactive
Sommer V.
Answer:

The use of the comma at the end of a list series, also known as the "Oxford Coma" is a never-ending debate for many writers. AP Style, which is used by most journalists does not use the coma. Whereas the Chicago Journal of Style does use the coma. I personally agree with the use of the coma to make sure there is no ambiguity in what is communicated. Such ambiguity cost Oakhurst Dairy $10 million, as its drivers sued the company in a class action lawsuit for overtime that was not paid to them. They won the case based upon a missing coma in the series of overtime exempt responsibilities in the employee manual. The manual stated that overtime pay did not apply to: "The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of: Agricultural produce; Meat and fish product; and Perishable foods" The missing coma after "shipment" created ambiguity where drivers believed overtime would not be paid for either "shipment OR distribution..." - not "shipment AND distribution" which would have been implied by the use of a coma after the word "shipment." In this case, adding the coma would have saved Oakhurst Dairy $10 million.

Subject: Digital Media

TutorMe
Question:

What are some tips you can give a company or organization that is starting to use social media to increase its brand awareness and sales?

Inactive
Sommer V.
Answer:

Posting content on social media should be done on purpose. A business should create and utilize a posting calendar to include the nature and content of each post. This is beneficial to align its message with current offerings of the business. This does not mean scheduling posts that constantly promote the business itself. This approach comes across “salesy” and can deter the desired audience. Instead, schedule a hard sale posting once a week and surround it with other amazing content. One simple way to get started is to refer to the company's events calendar and schedule posts that coincide with it. New businesses should also start by scheduling inspirational insights, industry tips, and use curated content from other reputable sources. It is important to remember that social media is meant to be a two-way conversation. So, adding content that engages the audience; i.e. posing a question, creating a poll, highlighting new customers, etc. are vital

Subject: Communication

TutorMe
Question:

In today's world, do you believe traditional communications still has value in comparison to the age of digital communications? Why or Why not?

Inactive
Sommer V.
Answer:

Traditional communications such as broadcast and print media still have value. However, their value is in the ability to keep up with trends of digital media. The vast majority of individuals still watch tv, which gives extreme value to the use of branding through commercials and product placement. However, print media has to converge into a digital platform in order to maintain its readership. When working with clients, I see a huge "Return on Investment" (ROI) when they are able to saturate their efforts in digital media, which requires a big budget. In contrast, if a small start-up business wants to increase its brand awareness and has a small budget, the ROI from digital platforms may not be as great. In my experience, there is no better way to grow a start-up than to utilize traditional forms of communications - including phone calls, networking, and meeting potential clients face-to-face. The use of digital media would be just to keep their brand at the forefront of their online follower, which may be very few in numbers. Ultimately, the use of traditional and digital communications should work in tandem with each other. There is a place for both forms of communications, but it is necessary to identify a succinct strategy to ensure that each platform has its purpose and is successful.

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