The new media and the Internet
By Digoy Fernandez There are many compelling reasons for continuing education, and this is true for executives meant for higher positions, aging dinosaurs of the corporate world, but especially for crusty entrepreneurs who have built up businesses from scratch. When we wanted to change the mind-set of the middle and top executives of a particular organization, we would start by sending junior executives to school for either short courses or full-scale MBAs. Before long, the more progressive among the middle managers demanded some form of continuing education of their own. After a few years, different levels of management and staff were undergoing complementary management education, and our organization spawned a generation of decision makers and thinkers who could self-start or handle crises on their own. When we first proposed computerization, the immediate answer was that it would cost too much. This was in the early late 70s and early 80s, mind you. An opening occurred when we were loaned some versions of the early word processors by a client. These WPs were strategically distributed by my office to a select of group of senior executive secretariesâ€¦who became enamored with their new toys and demanded that they be kept with their offices permanently. Faced with certain rebellion from the senior secretariesâ€™ ranks, senior management caved in to this first thrust in favor of automation. Another happy accident happened when a client decided to pay us in desktop computers. Again, we distributed these to a group of up and coming executives who began to see the benefits of using computers beyond word processing. The seeds were sown, and these allies fought for full computerization in coming budget sessions. Before long, our group and others in the organization kept the software boys and girls busy by looking into more and more applications that could be applied to make our jobs better and easier. With the advent of the Internet, moreover, even more ramifications set in since I formally retired from the 8 to 8 grind. First of all, I was able to whet the interest of my boys in what computers could do when I was tasked to set up the design parameters and the RFP for what is now the successful on-line lottery of the PCSO. The boys would accompany me to office and would tinker with the computers and the new (then) Windows OS. Pretty soon, I noticed they were fooling around with software of their computer games and doing things like giving themselves more lives, essentially defeating the computer gamesâ€™ ability to do them in! Now, my two boys blog effectively and the eldest is part of a group that exploits the ability of the internet to supplant the old parameters of marketing and doing business. My elder son Jayvee and a team of other professors from AIM and other sectors, just finished conducting a week-long course on the new media and how it can be harnessed as an effective marketing and promotion tool. As one who grew up with the age-old norms that also knew only of one type of tri-media (radio, print, tv), the new media made available thru the internet boggles the mind. Good thing that I have tried to peep over the shoulders of my sons and have managed to keep up with both the jargon and the applications in the internet. Thus, I email and some blogs regularly, gobble what I can from various sites in the net, Google for factoids, watch Youtube for anything from songs to basketball, enjoy a FaceBook account, and even set up a Twitter account that I still have to learn to navigate on. The executives who still think that the new media available thru the internet will just be another fad have a rude awakening in store for them. The social networking sites are now a permanent, if shifting, phenomenon. To be ignorant of their existence and their effectiveness as marketing tools is to court disaster arising from ignorance. Where else can one get almost instantaneous results and gratification? Where else can a nobody become a big somebody overnight, with millions of adoring fans (read Susan Boyle)? Where else can a product find adherents in just an instant â€“ compared to a marketing campaign â€“ based on a succession of favorable blogs and commentaries? You need information, go to the internet. You want to know what movie is hot, check out the appropriate sites. Ad infinitum. Thus, Jayvee was tapped along with some others knowledgeable in the industry to conduct a short course in the use of the new media. This course will also become an elective in the coming school year at AIM. To think that the interest in the school began when a student who had been following Jayveeâ€™s tech and other blog sites invited him to give a talk in the school. I was there one time when he was giving a talk. We were a group of alumni, professors, and others interested in charting new directions for the school. During one particularly extended exchange, I told those present that they should listen in to what my son was telling the students. That what he had to say was not even being taught in the school. It helped that Jayvee also graduarted with a Masters in Eduation, which made him desirable from the Instituteâ€™s point of view. Now, we have my young son who is in his twenties, teaching people twice his age. He laughingly told me that on the first day of the course, the participants thought he was a student. At the end of the course, they all became believers.
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