For communicators, listening is key. A few tips to improve your skills.

There is very little that is natural about communication. Word associations. Metaphors. Our vision of the world is like a kaleidoscope of moving bits of glass, settling in a slightly different configuration every time we pause to ponder. In fact, most of concepts, symbols and metaphors that we process as we communicate are of a […]


The study of how we understand one another.

I have always been fascinated by hermeneutics, which is the study of meaning and understanding. What does it mean to mean something? More importantly, how what does it mean to understand something that someone else is communicating? In my PhD thesis, I explored whether it was possible to use the structures in a text (syntax, […]

Public Relations and the Social Media Revolution

Mass broadcasting systems permitted the marketing revolution of the 50s and 60s. Now, the social media revolution is opening up the same radical possibilities for public relations. PR is the business of building relationships, in Canada that means preferably symmetrical relationships between an organization and its various publics. In the past, it was very hard […]

We live two lives, in two realities: physical and online

People no longer live one life, but many. Physical. On-line. With whom are we really communicating? You may think that this is a silly topic, if you’re someone who hasn’t grown up on-line or thrown yourself into the world of the Internet and social media. But you would be mistaken – a significant proportion of […]

Summer 2010 residency for MCM733:CommTheory complete

Yesterday, we completed day 5 of the summer residency for MCM733: Communication Theory, offered in the Master of Communication Management Program at McMaster University. It was an excellent class – quite intense, quite a whirlwind, very engaging. The class was very active – we had many in-depth discussions on how a solid grasp of communication […]

Video: Public Relations and Edward T. Bernays

Public relations was born out of idealism, elitism and a desire to perfect democracy. The founder of the field, Edward T. Bernays, was the nephew of Sigmund Freud. He created the field and named it on a whim. This video, produced in the United Kingdom and called The Century of the Self, while quite critical […]

MCM733: Communication Theory!

Today we had our first introductory class in MCM733: Communication Theory. It went very well! We worked through the following questions: “What is communications theory? and why is it useful to public relations practitioners?” I focused on the idea that theory provide vision, language and strategy. When you use communication theory, you stand on the […]

We remember what we hear and feel, not what people say.

I have always believed that humans have feelings and that these feelings impact our reasoning. Current trends in neuroscience seem to be bearing this belief out. For me, my thinking about emotional cognition started during a philosophy seminar in which we discussed René Descartes notion that cognition is purely rational. Cogito ergo sum. He also […]

McLuhan on the Global Village. Amazing.

I am continually amazed at how prescient Marshall McLuhan was about how new media would change our culture, economy and society. Listen to him in this series of clips: Here he is, interviewed on CBC TV: And here he is, presented by Peter Hirshberg during his TED Talk: The Web and TV, a sibling rivalry […]

Happy Mothers Day! A party in King City with my family.

I like feasts like Mothers Day, because I get a chance to spend time with my extended family in a relaxed way. I like parties that focus on a person or a theme. They have a warmth and ease that regular get-togethers sometimes lack. If people have had a rough week, their trials can sometimes […]

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