Tag: Communication

Overcoming Process, Personal, Physical, and Semantic Communication Barriers

According to Abdin (2019), communication barriers include four main ones: process barriers, human barriers, physical barriers, and semantic barriers are all examples of these types of obstacles. As a manager, my goal is to use rules, tools, processes, and procedures to get beyond these roadblocks. As a result, the importance of excellent communication in any business cannot be overstated. Despite this, communication barriers exist in many companies, and once they are identified, they must be overcome. Because of this, if these barriers are not dealt with effectively, they can be highly harmful when it comes to accomplishing particular corporate goals.

Read also Communication Barriers between Police and Community

Process Communication Barriers

Process obstacles are a major roadblock (Abdin, 2019). Two people must communicate for a message to be exchanged. Things can go wrong while data is being transmitted. I would improve on my communication abilities to overcome these obstacles. When speaking, I would be sure to talk slowly and clearly and use terminology that is easy to comprehend. I would make sure I use listening skills to fully know what the other person understands by having them repeat back what I said. When it comes to communication, I Will not utilize text messages or email. I will rely on phone and face-to-face communication to get the job done. Personal boundaries are also a hindrance to communication. Trust and ego are two of the most common personal hurdles. It is impossible to have clear and effective communication if two people don’t trust one another. Employees will have faith in me if I show them that I’m trustworthy. When it comes to running my business, I’m not allowing my ego to get in the way. Employees shall be held to a high standard of integrity, treated with dignity, and treated fairly at all times.

Read also Real Communication Barriers Created by Technology in the Workplace – Annotated Bibliography

Semantic Communication Barriers

Misunderstandings arising from differences in a person’s understanding of words are known as semantic obstacles to communication (Button & Rossera, 2019). Even though words can have a variety of meanings, communicators need to remain focused on the precise topic at hand. Semantic obstacles include slang, metaphors, and connotations, which are examples of semantic barriers. To avoid this misinterpretation, a manager should remind their employees to use precise language while communicating. This is a personal matter that necessitates personal attention to be successfully implemented. Managers must set an example for their employees in how they interact.

Read also How to Overcome Communication Barriers As A Manager

Physical Communication Barriers

The workplace itself can act as a communication roadblock. Miscommunication is made easier by physical barriers in the workplace (Button & Rossera, 2019). Noise, high temperatures, cubes, walls, and locked doors are just a few examples of the various obstacles that stand in the way. As a result, workers won’t collaborate efficiently, which might lead to poor communication. Managers should watch out for such impediments and establish an office plan which fosters collaboration among personnel. Heating and cooling systems should be regulated to a suitable temperature, and any additional obstructions should be removed. Physical or manipulable things don’t necessitate complex tactics to be solved, making this a straightforward task.

Read also How Can i Improve Personal Communication?

Personal Communication Barriers

The obstacles that stand in the way of a person’s success are known as personal barriers. These obstacles might either be actual or imagined (Klimova & Semradova, 2019). When time is used as an excuse for not finishing a task, it becomes a personal barrier. Fear can also be a stumbling block since it prevents us from achieving our goals. Lack of resources and energy are two other factors that can get in the way of one’s achievement. Managers must pay close attention to the individual actions of their employees if they are to recognize and address personal impediments as a manager can overcome personal barriers by increasing the level of comfort with a subject which can be accomplished by learning more about it. I will also improve my decision-making level by raising my level of awareness. To achieve long-term success, I will pay attention to even the smallest things in the organization and improve my vocabulary to provide clear and succinct messages. Lastly, I will build trust with my team members and come up with knowledge and solutions that will benefit the organization.

The Six Functions of Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication has six functions, namely contradict, repeat, substitute, regulate, accent and complement. Contradiction is the first function of nonverbal communication. Contradiction leads to giving inconsistent messages to employees, which causes them to lose trust in the company’s direction. For example, a supervisor asking his employees to get psyched for the day with a casual attitude may affect employee productivity.

Read also Interacting With African Americans – Non Verbal Communication Training Guide

The second nonverbal signal is repetition when a signal is transmitted to mimic a prior communication. Effective management ensures employees comprehend what is going on and highlights the message. For example, if a firm manager tells an employee how to do something, then shows them, they may do it better in the future. Regulating is a nonverbal communication function used when someone signals the other to slow down or halt in a conversation. This is vital to inefficient management because it ensures communication. For example, when two employees are working as a team, the supervisor may glance or even point to one of them.

Read also How to Overcome Communication Barriers As A Manager

The next nonverbal communication signal is substitution, which occurs when the environment inhibits verbal communication (Burgoon et al., 2021).  For instance, businesses with noisy environments may need to use these signals to manage effectively. Another befitting example would be in a concert with loud music; security may provide signals instead of verbally communicating.

Read also Non-Verbal Immediacy Interpersonal Communication Strategy

The fourth nonverbal cue is an accent that helps focus on attention. This is critical in good management because it draws employees’ attention to potentially vital information. Excited by the company’s new developments, a supervisor would jump up and down, hand in the air. This excitement may inspire employees to take on new changes and challenges.

Lastly, a complement is a nonverbal cue that guides or supports what is stated. This nonverbal communication signal is essential in good management since it improves communication and trust between employees and management. For example, a supervisor greeting the staff with a pleasant grin and firm handshake may inspire employees to work for that person and trust them.

General Motors 2013 – 2014 Recall Crisis Communication Analysis

In 2013 and 2014, General Motors was engulfed in varied recall issues. It recalled many vehicles some of its vehicles were blamed for many deaths and injuries. The recalls had the potential of impacting on General Motors for many years according to Flashman (2014). The recalls made by the company injured own reputation markedly. After each of the recalls, the customers left comments expressing their disaffection with the company’s crisis communication approaches. Even though its representatives gave out many reassuring messages on varied media platforms, its reputation suffered marked challenge (Liker & Franz, 2011)Hemus, 2010). This paper explores the effectiveness of how General Motors communicated during the crisis typified by the recalls.

Read also Toyota Vs General Motors Promotional Strategies

Overview of the General Motors 2013 – 2014 Recall Crisis

Soon after Mary Barra had been appointed to be the General Motors CEO, it became apparent that the company had been concealing information for many years that a defect on the automobiles it produced. The defect was blamed for 13 deaths. The company had to recall many units already sold to clients. The CEO came off as unprepared or even incompetent in communicating during crises but she charged several representatives of the company with the role of communicating about the crisis. The representatives were effective in that role by and large. Notably, the CEO is now highly regarded for having been quick to admit responsibility for the defect publicly. The admission helped build marked goodwill towards the company in the public opinion court.

See Also Toyota UK 2009 – 2010 Recall Crisis Communication Analysis

The communications sent out by General Motors during the recall crisis had varied ethical implications. The communications projected the company as accepting responsibility for the defective automobiles promptly. In crisis communication, taking responsibility and accountability are critical elements. General Motors took responsibility for the defect in the recalled vehicles promptly, helping it build marked goodwill towards the company in the public opinion court as noted earlier. Company’s that accept responsibility for their defective products promptly establish procedures for assisting those making requests, complaints or claims. As well, they ensure that their stakeholders have easy access to relevant information. General Motors established an autonomous claim site for its clients keen on making related claims (Flashman, 2014).

Read also Nike Organizational Communication Strategies Analysis

All in all, the crisis situation projected General Motors’ products as being of wanting quality and its practices as opaque. General Motors incurred considerable losses from the recalls, and its competitors were keen on capitalizing on its misfortune by wooing away its customers (Dietz & Gillespie, 2012). General Motors was afraid that its reputation would have been further eroded by potential class-action suits against it from discontented business analysts and investors. Like other automobile producers, traditionally, General Motors emphasizes on effectiveness. General Motors’ keenness on effectiveness has made it renowned for its efficient production systems for many years. General Motors has embraced effectiveness as its elementary management objective for long. General Motors projects itself as engaging every employee in persistent improvement. Even then, the crisis projected General Motors as having some inefficient systems and not being on staff engagement. The crisis projected it as having ineffective safety and quality systems and procedures (Colby, 2015).

Read also Communication Audit – A Strategy to Improve Communication

Regarding culture, the crisis situation was blamed on General Motors’ hierarchical management and bureaucratic approach. The approach was seen as impeding junior staff members from communicating the flaws that they noticed promptly. Consequently, numerous problems in the company went unnoticed and unresolved until the crisis situation. As well, regarding culture, General Motors’ representatives who issued communications regarding the crisis appeared to lack evidence to support own rhetoric at times. They appeared to have lack facts as to why the defect had remained undetected for many years. As well, they appeared to lack well-thought out information on what General Motors was set to do to eliminate the possibility of the defect in future.

Read also Troubleshooting Communication: BP Oil Spill – 2010

Effectiveness of General Motors’ Crisis Communication

When the crisis situation was underway, General Motors established many open communication lines for use especially by its clients. Even then, there were no such lines for its junior staff members owing to the company’s hierarchical management approach. As noted earlier, the approach and related traditions impede junior staff members from communicating the flaws that they notice promptly. The company received millions of comments from its clients and other people especially via Facebook. Most of the comments were negative but the representatives kept direct and clear lines and responded to the comments rather humanely according to Flashman (2014). In addition to its Facebook messaging platform, General Motors put in place an independent recall site to further facilitate the conveying of offline information regarding the crisis.

Read also Troubleshooting Communication – Incidence Of Failed Communication, Reasons And A Possible Solution

General Motors accepted responsibility for the defect promptly as well as authentically. It was quick in making out of the situation initially, projecting the company as having been quick to address situation devoid of being compelled to act on it. The quick admission of the responsibility projects it as having been averse to engaging in corporate denial, it projected its organizational culture as having been defined by adequate vigilance for possible crises (Colby, 2015).

Read also Troubleshooting Communication – Coca-Cola Company and the ‘New Coke’

The General Motors’ representatives expressed candor, or forthrightness, in their communication during the crisis situation. By and large, they responded directly and clearly. They were clear that the company’s reputation was not dependent on the recalls themselves but by how they addressed the situation in the succeeding days. The candor projected the company as swift to explain and respond. They communicated to their audiences directly, especially through video recordings, using a direct, simple, and personal language. Their tone was rather direct, moving the related discussions offline smoothly (Flashman, 2014). Even then, the CEO was reluctant to do interviews regarding the crisis, thus the company’s overall communication appeared to lack a leader’s voice.

Read also Philip Morris International Promotion and Communications Strategy Paper

General Motors’ leaders came off as having been in control of the events and having been inclined towards taking decisive action in addressing the situation in a coordinated way. The actuality that the company recalled automobiles only once meant that the leaders were forthright in how they acted on the recall. They gave out infographics that showed that it knew how to go about fixing the defect simply and clearly (Flashman, 2014).

General Motors did not utilize the media adequately, as well as effectively, in delivering its principal messages during the crisis situation. Its executives were not readily available to the media most of the time. Even then, the representatives shared the related bad news and good news whenever they communicated through the media. The expressed considerably consistent, as well as believable, communication whenever the media engaged them and whenever they gave out communications via YouTube, Facebook, and varied blogs (Flashman, 2014).

The CEO and the representatives did not involve customers and employees in the company’s crisis situation-related communication effort. That possibly stemmed from the company’s hierarchical management approach. The approach impedes customers and employees from communicating the flaws that they notice promptly. As noted earlier, the approach meant that the defect went unnoticed and unresolved for many years.

The communication-related actions related to the crisis situation were not in agreement with its mission as well as values. Traditionally, General Motors emphasizes on effectiveness, which has made it renowned for efficient systems for many years. Even then, from the foregoing, it is clear that the company was devoid of efficient communication teams and strategies during the crisis situation. As noted earlier, the crisis projected it as having some inefficient systems. Even then, the actions projected the company as true to the value it attaches to responsibility. Especially, as noted earlier, the actions projected the company as quick in accepting responsibility for the faulty automobiles (Colby, 2015).

Read also Applying Balanced Score Card – General Motors

Crisis Communication Recommendations

  1. General Motors should put in place measures to enable it to communicate effectively in crises before they happen. Particularly, the company should:
    1. Anticipate crises
    2. Carry out regular vulnerability audits
    3. Create communications and operational plans for responding to possible crises
    4. Make out its crisis communication officers or teams
    5. Make out, as well as train, crisis spokespersons
  2. Whenever a crisis happens, General Motors should gather the relevant facts promptly and communication them aggressively and promptly to avoid possible uncertainties.

Read also Aging Workforce, Current Global Trend That Might Impact General Motors

Communication, Attitudes, Behaviors and Culture Effect on Team Performance

Communication, attitudes, behaviors and culture highly influence the organization performance. Communication highly determines the nature of interaction in a team. Open communication can highly encourage sharing of ideas and collaboration in problems solving and thus, good performance. However, when there is poor communication, the team is very likely to experience problems in their projects due to lack of information and delayed information.

Read also Elements to Address When Developing A Team

The attitude of the team members also influences performance, in that positive attitude encourages collaboration, interaction and determination to produce the best. However, negative attitude kills members’ enthusiasm and desire to perform better. Members’ behaviors also affect the performance, in that bad behaviors destroy relation among members.

Read also Group Polarisation Phenomena And Interaction Exchange Theories Application In Team Working

This can destroys the bond that keeps the team together and creates a great level of division such that collaboration is no longer possible. This situation negatively affects the team performance. However, positive behaviors result to development of good relations, collaboration, harmony, and systematic ways of solving problems. This creates a good team working atmosphere and thus, good team performance. Finally, cultural differences create diversity on how people perceive the world and react to different situations. When not controlled, cultural differences can stimulate conflicts that would make teamwork a problem and thus, resulting to negative performance.

Read also Developing And Maintaining A Multinational Team

Well managed cultural diversity can improve team’s performance by sharing ideas, and employing diverse and unique ways of solving problems as contributed by different members from different cultural background. To lead this team I would employ problem-solving technique. This technique involve problem identification, problem assessment, gathering possible solution to the problem, sorting solutions from the most viable to the least viable, employing solutions from the most viable (Clark, 2003).

Read also Managing Virtual Team Conflict

Mazda Integrated Marketing Communications Case Study

Discussion Questions

  1. Analyze the role of integrated marketing communications in the marketing of automobiles such as the Mazda Protegé and MAZDA6. How is each IMC element used to market automobiles?
  2. Evaluate Mazda’s decision to drop the “Get In. Be Moved’ tagline for the Protegé and adopt the “Zoom-Zoom” theme for its advertising.
  3. Evaluate the strategy Mazda is using to advertise the new MAZDA6 sports sedan. Do you agree with the decision to use a more mature and less playful approach for the MAZDA6?
  4. What recommendations would you make to Mazda regarding its integrated marketing communications strategy as the company moves forward?


Mazda has been selling cars and trucks in the highly competitive U.S. market for more than three decades. The company’s various models have always received high marks from consumers in areas such as styling, performance, reliability, and value. Sporty models such as the rotary engine RX-7, which was introduced in 1978 and was Mazda’s signature car for many years, and the Miata roadster helped the company sell nearly 400,000 cars and trucks per year in the U.S. throughout the decade of the ‘80s and into the early ‘90s. However, during the mid ‘90s Mazda embarked on an expansion program in an attempt to compete directly with Honda, Toyota and Nissan. This plan included the introduction of five new models in less than a year that resulted in a lack of focus in the company’s marketing and advertising plans. From 1994 to 1997 Mazda’s U.S. sales declined by 33 percent and reached their lowest level in 15 years as the various models were positioned primarily on the basis of value for the money. When the new president took over Mazda North American Operations in early 1997, he found an inefficient company with an image that was bouncing all around. Most of the advertising for the various Mazda models touted the prices and functional features of the cars with little attention being given to image and positioning. A change in marketing strategy as well as advertising philosophy was clearly needed if Mazda was to regain its strong position in the U.S. market.

Read also Marketing Communications Objectives In AIDA Framework

The Road to Recovery

To begin its recovery, a new marketing strategy was developed which called for Mazda to refocus its efforts and target a younger generation of drivers who appreciate cars with sporty features and want to make a statement about themselves with their cars. In the fall of 1997 Mazda parted ways with its advertising agency of 27 years and awarded its business to a new agency, W.B. Doner & Co., now known as Doner. The new agency was given the charge of building an image that would capture Mazda’s overall personality and set it apart from other cars, i.e., to develop a brand DNA. They were also asked to develop an advertising theme that could be used for the Mazda brand rather than trying to establish a separate image for each model. Doner developed a simple but powerful slogan for Mazda, “Get In. Be Moved.” The slogan was seen as more than just an advertising tagline, it was a brand promise. Mazda’s group manager of brand strategy and communication noted that “It’s an invitation to the consumer; a motivation and a promise that you come to Mazda, you get in, and we promise that you’ll be moved by what our cars have to offer.”

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Repositioning of the Protegé

One of the first challenges Doner undertook was to develop a campaign to completely reposition Mazda’s subcompact Protegé model for the 1999 model year. The Protegé had been positioned as a car that was a step up from a compact sedan but retained compact attributes such as fuel efficiency and price. The dual market for the Protegé included entry level young buyers and older, empty nesters who wanted a smaller second car. However, the new advertising strategy for the Protegé called for positioning it as a cool, fun and hip to drive vehicle for young, individualistic females. The ads targeted young professional women in their early 20s to mid 30s and promoted euro-chic styling, room for friends, value, reliability, and cool features of the car.

Read also Philip Morris International Promotion and Communications Strategy Paper

To launch the repositioning campaign for the Protegé, Doner developed several television commercials combining computer-generated backgrounds with live action and featuring a group of hip “20-somethings” carpooling in a Protegé. One of the most popular spots was called “Protegé World” and showed the group driving a Protegé through a surrealistic cityscape accompanied by a vocal set to music from the rock group Nails’ “88 Lines About 44 Women,” bemoaning the trials and tribulations of their workday lives. As the car drives off the screen, the voice over describes how the Protegé “is a change from your high-maintenance relationships.”

In addition to the commercials, Mazda also gave the redesigned Protegé a major push on the Internet. Mazda kicked off what it called “the world’s largest online automotive launch party” with banner ads on a number of web sites and portals such as Yahoo!, Excite, America Online’s Autocenter, CarPoint, and MTV. The ads led visitors to the Protegé section of Mazda’s web site, which was created by CKS Group, Mazda’s interactive agency. Once there they could start the Protegé Road Trip where users picked the traits and a photograph of an imaginary travel companion before starting on a cyber journey that included choosing virtual roads to take. Fun facts about the car were offered along the way. While online, travelers could also enter a sweepstakes to win a new Protegé and play trivia games supplied by the game show site Uproar. Mazda also mailed a CD-ROM with music, movie reviews and interviews to people who requested more information while visiting the Protegé web site. The IMC program was extended to dealer showrooms by developing point-of-purchase cubes that used the same imagery and tonality as the television and print messages.
The IMC program developed by Doner was highly successful in repositioning the Protegé and attracting younger buyers. Protegé sales increased 33 percent in the fourth quarter of 1998 and nearly 12 percent in 1999. Imagery perceptions were also used to track and evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign and revealed that the campaign was successful in creating a new image for the Protegé as younger, hipper, and more intelligent. The research also showed an increase in perceptions of the Protegé on key attributes such as overall quality, reliability, and dependability.

Zoom-Zooming in a New Direction

The success of the Protegé campaign prompted Mazda to use the “Get In. Be Moved” as it overall branding theme and as the tagline in campaigns for various other models. However, the company’s marketing executives were still not entirely sold on the tagline. In 1999 Mazda North America hired a new group manager for brand strategy and communications. She felt that Mazda still lacked a strong brand position, as “Get in. Be moved.” was too passive and vague and could just as easily work as a tagline for an airport tram as a car. The new manager was an advocate of the idea of using a unified branding effort as she felt that having a different advertising theme for every model would weaken Mazda’s overall brand image. However, she wanted a theme that could be used to appeal to the driving enthusiast in everyone and build on Mazda’s heritage as the creator of sporty vehicles such as the RX-7 and Miata roadster.
Ironically, when Doner had pitched the Mazda account in 1997, one of the creative ideas that was presented centered on a theme based on the phrase “Zoom-Zoom.” The agency had presented a “brand essence” tape that showed images of children enjoying their “wheels” which included toy cars, tricycles and bicycles. The adults in the pitch tape were shown still expecting and experiencing the same excitement when it comes to their automobiles. In early 2000 Mazda had Doner develop a new branding campaign that would communicate the idea that the company makes fun-to-drive cars for adults who are still in touch with their inner child. The first commercials in the campaign showed a young boy running up to a road and turning to the camera to whisper, “Zoom-Zoom.” Interspersed were images of children laughing and playing with wheeled objects and adults being playful as well (such as a young man riding a shopping cart through a supermarket parking lot). The message also included a bouncy, Jamaican-toned jingle that keeps repeating the “Zoom-Zoom” phrase. The “Get In. Be Moved” tagline still appeared in the ads but was no longer emphasized.

The first Mazda vehicle to use advertising featuring the “Zoom-Zoom” creative platform was the company’s new Tribute sport utility vehicle which was positioned as an SUV with the “soul of a sports car.” The campaign for the SUV broke in August 2000 and ran through late November. The launch of the Tribute was extremely successful and its strong sales continued into 2001. Mazda had also begun incorporating the “Zoom-Zoom” phrase and music in ads for other models which resulted in increases in brand as well as advertising awareness. By the summer of 2001 Mazda had decided to phase out the “Get In. Be Moved” tagline and replace it with the “Zoom-Zoom” message in all of its advertising. Mazda and the agency refused to characterize it as a new tagline as Simmons described it as more of the “mantra” of the automaker noting that “’Zoom-Zoom’ sums up everything we stand for as a company.”
Extending the Protegé Line
By the summer of 2001, the “Zoom-Zoom” message was integrated into all new Mazda advertising which began carrying a sportier look. Advertising for the new Mazda Protegé positioned it as an agile, fun car to drive, with a sports car heritage. New commercials were developed which began with a shot of the Mazda Miata sports car, and asked the question “Where is it written that only a sports car can behave like a sports car?’ in a not so subtle attempt to associate the Protegé with the sporty Miata. The commercial also showed the new 2.0 liter engine Protegé keeping pace with the Miata on a curvy highway to demonstrate its speed and handling. All other elements of the IMC program reflected this positioning.
In addition to changing its advertising strategy, Mazda North American Operations had embarked on a new corporate strategy as well. Part of the Millennial Plan strategy included the launching of a number of new products including two models that were built on the Protegé platform, the Protegé5 and the MAZDASPEED Protegé. The Protegé5 is a four-door hatchback designed to fit into the growing niche of “crossover” vehicles. While many car buyers had rejected hatchbacks as boring and too much like station wagons, Mazda and other car companies were repositioning them as sporty and youthful, as well as practical. The target market for the Protegé5 is approximately 60 percent male, under 34 years old, college educated, with a college education and annual household incomes of nearly $70,000. From a life style perspective, the target consumer has an active lifestyle, makes time to have fun, loves to drive, and is likely to be a car enthusiast. To appeal to this audience, commercials for the Protege5 took the perspective of someone riding a bike zooming about the city, maneuvering around curves and having fun. A second commercial took a similar perspective from a skateboard. The message being conveyed was that if you think this is fun and exciting, you can now have the same experience in the new Protegé5. Advertising for the Protegé5 also noted that it was the only car to score a perfect 10 in Car & Driver Magazine’s “fun to drive” category and was ranked number one in head-to-head comparisons against other competitors in the category. Examples of some of several ads used for the Protegé5 are provided at the end of the case.
In the fall of 2002 Mazda introduced the MAZDASPEED Protegé, a high performance version of the Protegé sedan model. Mazda had previously positioned the Protegé sedan to appeal to young, college-age and professional women and the goal was to extend the appeal of the car. Mazda added some major “bells and whistles” to the MAZASPEED Protegé from a performance aspect to attract more male buyers in the same age range and appeal to real driving enthusiasts. These included a powerful 170 horsepower turbocharged engine, a sport-tuned suspension, racing inspired front air dam, a lightweight rear wing, and aggressive styling. Attempting to capitalize on a growing trend toward street rods, Mazda positioned the MAZDASPEED Protegé model as an affordable “Pocket Rocket” that appeals to the twenty-something, largely male audience that has made “slamming” (customizing compact cars with lowered suspensions, power infusions, outrageous wheels and ear-splitting sound systems) an American phenomenon. According to Mazda’s vice president of product strategy and development, “MAZDASPEED vehicles are the ultimate expression of Mazda performance. This car takes factory-tuned sport- compact performance to the extreme.”


Perhaps the most critical new product introduction from Mazda in more than a decade was the launch of the 2003 MAZDA6, the long awaited successor to the 626 family sedan. Mazda’s marketing vice president referred to the introduction of the MAZDA6 as “one of the most important launches in Mazda’s history” since it competes in the mid-size sedan segment of automobile market where most cars sell for $20,000 to $25,000. This is the most important segment of the market, because of its sales volume and the halo effect that results from having a successful brand in this segment. Mazda’s target customer in this segment is a mid-30s car enthusiast, although not to the extreme, who lives an active lifestyle.

The advertising strategy for the MAZDA6 departed from the approach used for the Protegé, as it involved what the company describes as a “more mature” effort that is designed to position the car as a refined, sporty alternative to the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, and Honda Accord. While the ads still use the “Zoom-Zoom” line, the campaign features a more confident and less playful feel than that used with the Protegé. The commercials are designed to reflect a more “grown-up” approach, with the young boy that appeared in the Protegé ads removed but still delivering the “Zoom-Zoom” phrase in the voiceover. The ads also use more action shots of the car and its workings. Introductory TV spots and print ads focused on attributes such as styling, performance and handling with each calling out mechanical features like zero-loss brake boosters, double-cone synchronizers and/or the car’s double wishbone suspension. A number of the prints ads for the MAZDA6 are also provided at the end of the case.
The promotional strategy for the MAZDA6 utilized a heavily integrated communications program. Print advertising accounted for 12 percent of the overall budget with ads being run in “enthusiast” magazines as well as in lifestyle magazines and newspapers. The broadcast media schedule was heavily weighted to college and pro football and included a marketing deal between Mazda and ESPN. This deal includes advertising of the MAZDA6 through ESPN’s various media including print (ESPN Magazine), TV, radio and the Internet as well as in ESPN Zone restaurants. It also integrates the MAZDA6 into various promotions such as ESPN’s “Pigskin Pick’Em” game and “Exhilarating Moments” along with nationwide exposure through the ESPN Truck. The IMC program for the MAZDA6 also includes an extensive publicity/public relations campaign, direct mail, and the use of interactive media such as online advertising, CD-ROMs, and a mini-web site onwww.MazdaUSA.com. The MAZDA6 also received strong media acclaim including being named one of Car & Driver’s 10 Best Cars for 2003.

Moving Forward

During the 1980s and ‘90s Mazda North American Operations had spent much of its time and effort trying to imitate and keep up with its major competitors in the U.S. market such as Honda, Toyota and Nissan. However, by 2003 Mazda was on its way to returning to its roots as a marketer of sporty, fun-to-drive, stylish vehicles. While overall sales in 2002 had declined by 4.2 percent from the previous year, much of this decline was due to the phasing out of the Mazda 626 and Millenia models. The company had assembled a strong product line with vehicles such as the Tribute SUV, Protegé, and MAZDA6 showing very strong sales. Sales of the Protegé models rose to 83,367 units in 2002, a 5.9 percent increase over the previous year. By July 2003 sales of the MAZDA6 reached 32,297 units as the new flagship sports sedan was on track to exceed the previous year’s sales of the 626, which it had replaced.
In July 2003 Mazda introduced the new RX-8 sports car which had been in development for nearly 10 years and marked the return of the rotary engine. The RX-8 was eagerly anticipated by the automotive community and first few month’s sales were very strong. The success of the RX-8 would be critical to Mazda’s recovery as the senior vice president of marketing and product development referred to it as “our halo car, the one at the top of the mountain.” The launch campaign for the RX-8 included product placements in TV shows and films, including being featured as the escape vehicle for the hero in the movie X-Men 2. One of the launch commercials featured a man’s loving admiration of his RX-8 in his garage being interspersed with his fantasies of open-road driving. At one point he is shown hugging the car and its doors close in such a way that the vehicle seems to be returning his embrace. All of the RX-8 spots feature the “Zoom-Zoom” message.

As Mazda prepared to move forward, the issue now facing the company was to ensure that its advertising, as well as other elements of its integrated marketing communications program, would continue to resonate with consumers and support its positioning platform. Mazda had become identified as the “Zoom-Zoom” brand and a decision had to be made as to whether this was the image that would best serve the company in the highly competitive U.S. automotive market.

Niagara Health System : An Innovative Communications Strategy – Case Analysis Report

Issues Facing the Organization

The key issues facing the Niagara Health System (NHS) is poor communication and public relation. Notably, the hospital’s strategic plans do not entail any public relations metrics. Thus, when it attracted negative public opinion due to the C. difficile outbreak, the NHS was not well equipped or prepared to effectively manage the crisis that stemmed from negative public opinion. Johnston and Sheehan (2020) elucidate that how a healthcare institution responds to a crisis and bad press is crucial to its trust and reputation. The communication and public relations struggles adversely impacted NHS’s reputation as both internal and external stakeholders lost trust with the hospital.

Possible Solutions

            A possible solution to the communication and public relation issues is the formulation and implementation of an innovative communications strategy. The strategy must incorporate both short and long-term provisions. The short-term communications framework will serve as a crisis management and damage control strategy. On the other hand, the long-term aspect of the communications strategy will be geared towards ensuring that the NHS maintains an authentic relationship with all the stakeholders by making them feel they are part of the hospital. According to Pursiainen (2017), an effective communication strategy is one that builds strong relationships with the stakeholders by facilitating regular flow of purposeful information.

Recommended Solutions

            The central aspect of the communications strategy should be the hospital’s message to the public emphasizing what it stands for. For the short-term communications strategy, NHS should ensure to communicate as much information as possible to the public, press, and other stakeholders. The public knowledge of what is going on minimizes room for speculation (Bundy, Pfarrer, Short, & Coombs, 2017). Secondly, the hospital should take responsibility for the situation to pre-empt the blame. Taking ownership demonstrates a sense of responsibility, hence, trustworthiness. Lastly, the organization should ensure to react as fast as possible to avoid further deterioration of its reputation (Johnston & Sheehan, 2020). An effective communications strategy emphasizes character and competence.

            Regarding long-term solution, NHS should integrate the formulated communications strategy into its organizational culture. The key underpinnings of the communications strategy should be integrity, character, and competence. By emphasizing integrity, an organization demonstrates care for others, transparency, and courage to stand by what is right. On the other hand, stressing competence and character cultivates three key values namely honesty, fairness, and authenticity (Bundy, Pfarrer, Short, & Coombs, 2017). Notably, the communications strategy should also incorporate a two-way communications framework so that the community is involved in the decision-making process of the hospital, where applicable. NHS should also leverage technology such as social media to improve its relationship with the public.

Expected Outcomes           

If well implemented, the short-term solution will manage the existing crisis and repair the damage that is already done. NHS has already attracted negative press and public opinion which have adversely impacted its reputation. The short-term communications strategy will repair the reputation and help rebuild trust with the stakeholders. As for the long-term communications strategy, it will ensure that the hospital builds robust relationships with the stakeholders based on trust and mutual respect. The strategy emphasizes two-way communication and transparency, which is what has been missing in NHS’s communications with the stakeholders. The strategy will also allow NHS to be better prepared in case of a future crisis. Bottom line, the expected outcomes include effective crisis management, damage control, repaired trust and reputation, and strong relationships with all stakeholders.

Personal Communication Devices Use In Nursing Practice

How can the use of the nurse’s personal communication device(s) impact patient care positively and/or negatively?

Research performed by Alverina University to determine personal communication devices found that in one colossal hospital corporation situated in the U.S. indicated that about 54 percent of nurses preferred their smartphone to handle clinical duties to any other communication devices (Kenny et al. 2019). Approximately two-thirds of healthcare providers have medical applications on their phones, making them part of their clinical practice. I have to accept that I solely depend on my smartphone to look after my patients in my current practice. I installed the Awhoom pregnancy app on my phone. It is an essential app. I have many patients who previously have complained that they do not receive adequate and effective prenatal care every time they visit the hospital of severe emergencies. Awhoom app helps me quickly determine the approximated time of conception, gestational age, and estimated delivery date.

Moreover, the app also helps me to review many sonograms and ultrasounds, the approximated weight of the fetal, and offering educational contents. With rising technology advancement, mobile healthcare apps are common and widely used by nurses. Using mobile clinic apps can enhance quality treatment, learning, and communication among healthcare providers. The bottleneck of using these apps is that they can cause distraction and interfere with privacy and security when misused.

What are the ethical and legal implications of the use of personal devices?

From this week’s readings, it was noted that nurses who use different forms of social media and social networks need to be cautious. Giving information about one’s practice and confidential data associated with patients’ treatment can be traced and leaked to their family. This can be disastrous as it can tarnish the nurse-patient relationship. We all understand that nursing is among the most trusted fields. According to Hood (2014), involvement in social media or rely on these devices in our daily nursing practices means that we must remain vigilant as part of our professional obligation. Going against patient confidentiality and privacy is a serious problem that can attract legal issues.

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What does the professional literature say about how communication devices can support safe nursing practice?

Henderson and Dahnke (2015) argue that the biggest risk of social media in healthcare facilities is the confidentiality and privacy of the patients. Patients have more trust in nurses than any other healthcare expert. Kenny et al. (2019) hold that breaching this privacy and distracting the confidentiality can destroy the relationship and trust between nurses and patients. So nurses must be careful when using social media and sharing patient data. According to Hood (2014), lack of trust between nurse and patient reduces care quality as many patients may feel insecure about revealing their confidential information that may be necessary for their treatment. The Healthcare information portability and accountability act (HIPPA) dictates that the client’s medical records’ confidentiality must be protected. The privacy of patient’s information must be observed when being shared.

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How Communication Flows in a Department in My Current Organization

Companies with strong cultures have a strong flow of communication that moves in every direction. The four types of communication flows are

  • Downward: communication flows from top management down to employees.
  • Upward: communication flows from employees up to management.
  • Lateral: communication flows between employees at the same level.
  • Diagonal: communication flows across different work areas or organizational levels.

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How Communication Flows in a Department in my Organization

Communication flow in my department follows can be described using downward and lateral communication flow. This communication form is used because the company has adopted a hierarchical organization structure, where orders and instruction run from the top management down-ward to the department managers, to the supervisors, and then to workers. Sometimes, department managers can decide to make a follow-up by directly communicating with workers, especially when there is a significant issue. Downward communication helps eliminate tensions and ensure a clear explanation of the department procedures and policies (Kwateng, Osei & Abban, 2014).

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It also aids in providing departmental procedures, individual evaluation and expectations, and training. This form of communication helps create a procedural work culture where workers wait for the guidance of those in authority. The department also uses lateral communication to enhance communication among workers of equal level. This mostly focuses on the sharing of knowledge, ideas, and solving work-related issues. It also ensures proper division and management of tasks within the department.  This form of communication is also used during informal conversations and structured meetings. This form of communication is likely to promote collaborative or cooperative culture in an organization, especially among workers at the same work level. It enhances problems in solving good personal relations in a department (Kwateng, Osei & Abban, 2014).

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Lateral communication also makes it possible for workers in a department to gain collective bargain when speaking against the unwanted practice of unwanted working conditions. The collaborative culture created by lateral communication makes it possible for the department workers to work as a team even when advocating for improved working conditions.

How Can i Improve Personal Communication?

How can i improve personal communication skills before my placement at the hospital?

Remove barriers to effective communication

Stress and emotion- Find a coping mechanism that works to relieve stress in the moment to avoid sending negative signals or making knee-jerk reactions at the workplace

Lack of focus- Minimise the time spent on my phone during the placement period to breaks in order to prevent distractions.


Learn to focus fully on the person relaying the message, minimise distractions and try repeating the message over in my mind before providing feedback.

Provide feedback to people I communicate with to ensure that no misunderstanding took place during the relaying of the message.

Avoid interrupting verbal communication to provide counter arguments or defend yourself. Wait for co-workers and patients to finish speaking before responding.

Clarify all information I receive from patients and co-workers.

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Non-verbal immediacy.

Practice non-verbal immediacy techniques such as gestures, eye-contact, Relaxed posture, smiling, standing or sitting close to the people I speak to especially the patients to close the perceive power distance between myself as a healthcare professional the patient. To ensure the patients are not afraid to communicate their concerns to me.

Read also Non-Verbal Immediacy Interpersonal Communication Strategy

Improve on how I deliver and interpret Non-verbal cues in communication.

Research the ethnic and cross-cultural diversity in the workplace as well as among the patients to avoid misreading cues on cultural context. Consider non-verbal signals used throughout the length of the communication instead of just focusing on one negative or positive cue.

Avoid sarcastic comments, satirical expressions in written communication since they may not always be interpreted the way I want them to be in addition to being completely unprofessional. Make sure my body language matches the words I use in verbal communications to minimise the perception that I am being dishonest.

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Communicating under pressure.

The hospital is a highly stressful environment I must learn to stay calm under pressure at the workplace. In addition, I must learn to deliver effective communication to patients and co-workers under this high pressure environment.

Learn to pause before giving any response in order to collect my thoughts to provide babbling or incoherent statements that waste time and frustrate the listener.

Make one point at a time, pause to allow the listener to internalize it, then proceed to the next point.

Deliver verbal and written communication with clarity, elaborate if necessary.

Avoid the use of medical Jargon while communicating to patients. Clarify any technical terminology used.

Non-Verbal Immediacy Interpersonal Communication Strategy

Non-Verbal Immediacy

Non- verbal Immediacy is a form of interpersonal communication strategy that is meant to close the perceived psychological distance between individuals by adopting the use of non-verbal cues that evoke liking and declaration of feelings towards communicators. Immediacy in communication is best attained through the use of non-verbal communication techniques such as smiling, gestures and touching. These techniques are meant to develop interpersonal relationships by increasing sensory stimulation during the process of communication. This increase in sensory input draws people towards the communicator, reduces the perceived psychological distance and provides for a low power influence relationship. Non- verbal immediacy communication strategies are of particular importance in situations where the relational power gap between communicators is significant and can reduce the effectiveness of communication.

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In light of this, researchers have focused on non-verbal immediate behavior in the classroom where this relational power gap is more obvious than in any other area. Immediate behavior in the classroom has been associated with better learning outcomes, improved perceived teacher credibility, affective learning and liking which has been linked to greater cognitive learning outcomes. On the other hand, non-immediate behavior such as; looking away, formal body posture, stern expressions, negative head nods and leaning away increase the perceived psychological distance between individuals by communication avoidance behavior, dislike and coldness. These non-immediate behaviours cause the subject of a communication strategy to move away from the communicator, dislike him/her, evaluate him/ her negatively and develop a negative preference towards him/her.

To examine the specific role that non-verbal immediacy plays in student learning, York (2016) conducted a quantitative and qualitative research to determine the correlation between non-verbal immediate input and improved student learning, involving 8,000 undergraduate students from a mid-sized mid-western university in the United States and two instructors who utilized, high non-verbal immediacy and low non-verbal immediacy respectively. The researcher analyzed the results of the pretests and post-tests, survey questionnaires and focus group data and obtained a positive correlation between greater use of non-verbal immediate behavior and greater recall of short term course information from quantitative data. Student learning was also greatly affected by the degree of non-verbal immediacy regardless of the material that was being taught. Students who received instruction from the Instructor with high non-verbal immediate behavior reported paying attention more in class while students who received instruction from the instructor with low levels of immediate behavior reported being bored and wandering off (York, 2016). From the results of this research, it can be concluded that a non-verbal immediacy is an effective tool that can be utilized to provide enrichment to the learning environment that enables the student to pay more attention to an instructor’s verbal communication.

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How best can non-verbal immediacy be employed as a communication strategy?

Well, according to Richmond & McCroskey (2004), non-verbal immediacy can be achieved if communicators employ several non-verbal cues during communication such as standing or sitting in close physical proximity to other people while talking to them, maintaining eye contact or looking in the overall direction of the subject while communicating, maintaining a relaxed posture, employing the use of gestures such as hand movements and calm movements of the body, changing voice pitch, speaking in relaxed tones, smiling at the subjects, nodding, Touching hands or forearms as well as patting on the shoulder. There is consensual agreement among educators and researchers alike that the resultant non-verbal immediate behavior is an effective and crucial part of teaching. According to Ozmen (2011), the perception of who is an effective teacher by 450 student teachers in 3rd and 4th year classes of undergraduate ELT programs in Turkey and, Japan and USA measured using a non-verbal immediacy scale self-report show that teachers accord with the idea that non-verbal immediate behaviour was an effective method of teaching with the highest scores being obtained in American student teachers.  

Non-verbal immediate behaviour impacts positively on motivation especially to learning new information as was proven by Hsu (2006). According to the research, there is a positive correlation between non-verbal immediate behaviour and the motivation to learn English. This was proven when 303 participants from a technology University in central Taiwan were involved as respondents to instruments that were designed to measure the frequency at which non-verbal immediacy influences the motivation to learn English. The research employed multiple regression analyses and Pearson correlation to show the specific non-verbal immediate behaviours that correlated with increased motivation which included, smiling, use of gestures, adopting a relaxed posture, vocal variation and the use of a monotone voice (Hsu, 2006). These behaviours were shown to reduce the fearful environment that instructors often unknowingly create inside the classroom and create a more enabling environment for students to communicate by raising concerns, asking questions and engaging with the instructor in constructive debate about the subject.

Despite its applications in improved communication, non-verbal immediacy can be limited especially when gender and cultural constructs are employed. According to Santilli & Miller (2011), women often perceive more non-verbal immediacy than men in symmetrical power relationships. Moreover, cultural power is a variable moderating factor in non-verbal immediacy with highly dominant individuals often acting as the determinants of how much immediacy will be employed in communication. Societies with greater levels of social-hierarchy might exhibit a low level of immediate behaviour especially considering the fact that differences between superiors and subordinates in the cultural constructs are valued and cherished. This research utilized three-way ANOVA to determine the effect of the independent variables of country (Kenya, Brazil, USA), power condition and gender on the dependent variable which was non-verbal immediacy. The research partially supported the hypothesis that the degree of difference in non-verbal immediacy in symmetrical power relationships versus asymmetrical power relationships is greater in medium-high power cultural conditions (Brazil, Kenya) than in low power cultural conditions (USA).

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From the discussion presented above, there is a consensus that when specific techniques are employed in they result in non-verbal immediacy that increases the effectiveness of communication, especially in the classroom. Apart from increasing the level of student engagement in the classroom, non-verbal immediate behavior has been shown to increase the level of motivation for learning displayed by students as well as improve the cognitive outcome of learning. However, specific limitations of non-verbal immediacy can be observed when communicators reside in cultural constructs that enable a high power relational gap between dominant individuals and subordinates. Further research on non-verbal immediacy could focus on the role of non-verbal immediacy as a communication strategy to improve internal motivation within an organizational context. Moreover, since individuals from different genders perceive non-verbal immediacy differently, further research should be done to determine the effect of the communicator’s gender on the effectiveness of non-verbal immediacy as a communication strategy.

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