Bovee & Thill Business Communication Blog
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Archive for the 'Resources for Instructors' Category

Identifying the key words and hot-button issues in a profession or an industry can be a challenge for students working on employment-related communication, particularly for younger students with limited work experience.

Glassdoor is a free community-participation website that encourages employees and job seekers to post salary information, reviews of their jobs and employers, and information about their interviewing experiences, including the specific questions they were asked. The interview information a valuable resource on its own, of course, but it also gives students an inside view of the language used in a particular company, profession, or industry. Students can search through this information for key words to use in their résumés, application letters, and other employment communications. Plus, these reports can reveal the issues that are on the minds of company recruiters—insights that students can use to make their communication efforts more audience focused.

Newsfeeds from blogs and other online publishers can be a great way to stay on top of developments in any field. However, anyone who has signed up for more than a few RSS feeds has probably experienced the "firehose effect" of getting so many feeds so quickly that it becomes impossible to stay on top of them. Moreover, when a highly active publisher feeds every new article, from the essential to the trivial, the reader is left to sort it all out every day.

An intriguing alternative to newsfeeds is media curation, in which someone with expertise or interest in a particular field collects and republishes material on a particular topic. Business Communication Headline News, for instance, was one of the earliest examples of media curation in the field of business communication.

The latest curation tools, such as, make it easy to assemble attractive online magazines or portfolios on specific topics. To see these tools in action, check out Bovee & Thill's Online Magazines for Business Communication:

  • Business Communication 2.0: Social Media and Electronic Communication
  • Teaching Visual Communication
  • Teaching a Modern Business Communication Course
  • Teaching Business Communication and Employment
  • Teaching Business Communication and Workplace Issues
  • Teaching Business Communication and Interpersonal Communication

And on the right side of our home page, you can see the many curated magazines that we follow as well.

Curation promises to bring the power of community and shared expertise to a lot of different fields, and we're excited to see how it will shape business communication.

See media curation video.

These PowerPoint slides offer annotated examples from three companies making effective use of social media tools to develop customer relationships:

  • Biznik
  • Segway
  • Lie-Nielsen Toolworks


You can download the PowerPoint file from the link below.

Hard to believe fall is upon us! We hope you had a relaxing and productive summer. We'd like to start off the new season with a brief reminder of the free online resources we have available to help business communication instructors and students, including the many resources available exclusively for adopters of Bovée & Thill texts.

Business Communication Headline News

Business Communication Headline News delivers late-breaking news stories, interesting blog posts from a variety of communication professionals, and other information you can use to enhance lectures and class discussions. You can also follow BCHN on Twitter (@buscommnews) and Facebook.

Real-Time Updates

Bovée & Thill’s Real-Time Updates service offers a wealth of material we have personally selected for instructors and students, sorted by media type and textbook chapter.

Business Communication Communities on Facebook and LinkedIn

Connect with business communication instructors and professionals from around the world in the Bovée & Thill online communities on Facebook and LinkedIn:

Bovée & Thill YouTube channel

The new Bovée & Thill channel on YouTube offers videos with advice on teaching the new elements of business communication.

Bovée & Thill's Web Search

This powerful metasearch system developed by Bovée and Thill lets you quickly access more than 325 search engines. The tool uses a simple and intuitive interface engineered to help business communication instructors and students find precisely what they want, whether it’s PowerPoint files, PDF files, Microsoft Word documents, Excel files, videos, or podcasts.

Website Registration

You'll notice that instructors and students are now asked to register for Real-Time Updates and Business Communication Headline News. We implemented this change to preserve the integrity of these resources as unique benefits for adopters of Bovée & Thill textbooks. Registering gives you full access to the entire Business Communication Network, including the Learn More media items highlighted in the texts, downloadable student assignments, and more. During registration, instructors are asked to enter a special one-time password that you can retrieve from the publisher's website (instructions for doing so are provided on the registration screen). After registration, you and your students can log in simply by entering the email address and personal password you provided at registration. Note that registration is not required for this blog or for Bovée & Thill's Web Search.

If you experience any challenges in registering, contact us at

Again, we wish you and your students a successful fall term. If we can answer any questions or entertain any suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment.

Court Bovée and John Thill

p.s. You may encounter temporary availability issues with some of the Real-Time Updates media items. We're "recovering" from a system upgrade and are working hard to restore all of these.

Situations that involve negative news are sometimes opportunities in disguise. After Toyota had issued several vehicle recalls and been subjected to quite a bit of media scrutiny regarding product quality, the company’s chief quality officer took the opportunity to discuss the meaning of a product recall and explain how Toyota was responding to the situation.We've annotated a copy of the news release that you can download from SlideShare or from the link below.

A few readers have reported difficulties with downloading the classroom slides that accompany some of our blog posts. For your convenience, all the slides are now available on SlideShare at

As George Bernard Shaw famously put it, the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. One of the great promises of online business communication is the relative ease with which companies can test to see how well their communication efforts are working.

Online marketing expert Anne Holland’s website offers a great opportunity for students to test their acumen by predicting the relative performance of actual split-tested web communications. The archived tests on the site are subscription-only, but each week's new test and a commentary on the results are available for free.

Millions of bloggers, tweeters, and forum posters appreciate the free-wheeling nature of online communication, but a growing number are learning that free speech sometimes has a steep price. As Santa Clara University’s Eric Goldman emphasizes in this helpful overview article, “Most people have no idea of the liability they face when they publish something online.”

Anonymity is no safeguard, either. Even anonymous posters have been sued for negative remarks after the websites on which they left comments were forced to reveal their identities.

These legal and ethical issues in online communication offer intriguing and sometimes troubling examples to discuss with students. To find cases to cover in class, a good place to start is the “Legal Threats Database” maintained by the Citizen Media Law Project.

We’d love to hear about your experiences teaching online ethics, etiquette, and associated legal matters as part of a business communication course.