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Guide to Electronic Communication (Prentice Hall Guides to Advanced Business Communication)

Guide to Electronic Communication (Prentice Hall Guides to Advanced Business Communication)

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HOW THIS BOOK CAN HELP YOU If you have ever wondered how to handle all of the emails you receive, how to find the information you're looking for on the web, or how to use up-to-date visual aids to be a more effective speaker, then this book is for you. As skilled as you are in most aspects of your life, you may be uncomfortable with some aspects of new technologies or unaware of some of the powerful new technologies available. This book is designed to give you an edge every time you use electronic communication technology such as presentation software, email, or the Internet. Even if you don't have a specific question, this book can help you by providing general guidelines, tips, and techniques for using a variety of forms of electronic communication. For example, would you like suggestions on: Designing a powerful slide show to win an important account or contract? Utilizing videoconferencing and web conferencing to cut the time you spend traveling? Managing all of the email messages you receive every day? Distributing multimedia business cards to clients and employees? Finding the information you need to make the right decision? Understanding how to make the most of chat rooms and newsgroups? Using your cell phone without offending those around you? Using electronic tools to find the right job? If you want information about other kinds of communication in a business or management setting, please see the other books in this Prentice Hall series on Advanced Communication. All of the books in this series are short, professional, and readable. Guide to Managerial Communication: Effective Business Writing and Speaking by Mary Munter (Prentice Hall, 2000). Guide to Meetings by Mary Munter and Michael Netzley (Prentice Hall, 2002) Guide to Presentations by Mary Munter and Lynn Russell (Prentice Hall, 2002) Guide to Report Writing by Michael Netzley and Craig Snow (Prentice Hall, 2002) WHO CAN USE THIS BOOK If you use electronic communication technology, then this guide is for you. You may be reading this book as part of an executive seminar, an MBA class, or a workshop. The book was written for anyone who wants a concise, professional, readable summary of tips and techniques for effectively using technology to communicate. WHY THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN The thousands of participants in various professional electronic communication courses and workshops I have taught at Brigham Young University and the University of Southern California business schools, as well as at dozens of companies and organizations tell me they want a brief summary of electronic communication techniques. Such busy professionals have found other books on this subject too long or too remedial for their needs. That's why Prentice Hall is publishing this series, the Prentice Hall Guides to Advanced Communication-brief, practical, reader-friendly guides for people who communicate in professional contexts. (See the opening page in this book for more information on the series.) Brief: The book summarizes key ideas only. Culling from thousands of pages of text and research, I have omitted bulky examples, cases, footnotes, exercises, and discussion questions. Practical: This book offers clear, straightforward tools you can use. It includes only information you will find useful in a professional context. Reader friendly: The book provides an easy-to-skim format using a direct, matter-of-fact, and nontheoretical tone. HOW THIS BOOK IS ORGANIZED This book is organized into six chapters. I. Trends in Electronic Communication Being an effective communicator involves being aware of how technology affects communication. The first part of this chapter discusses current trends that are affecting electronic communication: the knowledge economy and knowledge management, e-business and the web, and telecommuting and virtual companies. The second part of the chapter reviews the effects of e-communication trends: loss of privacy, future trends, and increased media choice. II. Electronic Tools for Conducting Research This chapter provides information about how to use technology to collect and manage information. It covers how to use electronic resources in your research, how intranets and extranets are used, how online surveys are conducted, and how personal digital assistants can help you manage your own personal data and information. III. Electronic Tools for Written Communication This section of the book addresses technologies that affect printed and electronically transferred writing. It starts with helpful tips for using technology to improve your writing. Next, the chapter offers guidelines for using email, sending faxes, participating in electronic discussion forums, and utilizing multimedia business cards. IV. Designing Web Pages The fourth chapter of this book examines one of the fastest-growing areas of e-communication: web design. First, the chapter discusses setting your strategy. Second, it provides guidelines for planning and designing a web site. Third, the chapter offers suggestions for managing a web site. V. Electronic Tools for Oral Communication This chapter offers techniques for successfully using electronic media when communicating orally. It includes tips for using electronic presentation aids, electronic conferencing, and telephones. VI. Electronic Tools for Job Searches Chapter 6 offers suggestions for using technology in your job search. The chapter describes techniques for designing and distributing an electronic resume and ways to use the web in your job search. E-Glossary The final section of this book defines commonly used electronic communication terms. Throughout the book, potentially confusing words are bolded and italicized. These words, along with selected other terms, are defined using everyday language in the glossary. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS A great deal of the information in this book is a result of conversations I have had with colleagues and students at Brigham Young University and businesspersons I've had the pleasure of working with. Thank you for all you've taught me. Special thanks to my colleagues Bill Baker, Michael Thompson, Garth Hanson, Kaye Hanson, Karl Smart, and Karen Lewis Papka who edited drafts of this book. I also appreciate the counsel I've received from my colleagues in the Management Communication Association. My research assistants, Louise Nickelson and Holly Cornia, provided significant input into this book. They gathered current research, analyzed its applicability, and helped me put together the ideas. Melissa Leilani Larson helped with word processing. Professor Mary Munter critiqued early and penultimate drafts of this guide and offered valuable feedback. Special thanks to David, Michael, and Elizabeth for their constant support and encouragement.