Ineffective Communication: Acronyms and Business Cards

I was shopping in a store for the 4th of July, a store I had never been to, and met a 71 year-old brilliant woman named Dora [Dodie to some]. She was a former PR major at WCU, the same university I attend, and was involved with PRSSA. I automatically liked her! When my friend and I were introducing ourselves, we automatically used acronyms for the organizations and groups we were involved with on campus. She didn't understand and pointed this out to us.

Dora told us that as communicators we needed to learn to communicate more effectively by better explaining ourselves when we first met people. At first, my friend and I were a little shocked, but then Dora explained how we needed to clearly define what organizations and groups we were involved with and not use acronyms when explaining.

I introduced myself:

Hi, I'm Lauren Gray, senior PR student at WCU, and I'm the National Vice President of Public Relations for PRSSA and the Director of PR and Marketing for SGA on campus.

 

What I should have said/should say in general to others:

Hi, I'm Lauren Gray and I'm a senior public relations student at Western Carolina University in North Carolina. I'm also the National Vice President of Public Relations for the Public Relations Student Society of America, a national pre-professional society for students, and I'm the Director of PR and Marketing for the Student Government Association on campus.

 

I think this much better explains what I'm about and what I'm doing other than using acronyms. Dora was dead on.

My other favorite thing Dora said was, "PR is a standard and we all need to remember that." She was right about that too. It's amazing who you can meet when you take the time to talk to others and what you can learn.

 

One more thing: Dora isn't online at all. I gave her my business card with my social media links and email and she doesn't do any of that. Phone contact is all she does. It's just another thing to keep in mind.

 

"The greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished."  - George Bernard Shaw