Bovee & Thill Business Communication Blog
Insights and commentary from the authors of the world’s
leading business communication textbooks

Subscribe

Enter your Email:

Sugggestion Box

Please send us your suggestions for improving our textbooks and supplementary materials. We’d be grateful for your feedback.

clear

Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

BurningGlass-BaselineSkills-Ranking-600x775As we embark on another fall term, it's always good to remind ourselves and our students just how valuable the skills learned in the business communication course truly are. Students must put a lot of time and energy into this course in order to succeed, so be sure to let them know they're developing skills that will serve them for a lifetime. 

Burning Glass, a company that uses advanced job-market analytics to study the qualifications employers want, confirmed this with an in-depth study across multiple professions. 

In every profession except two, overall communication skills are the most-requested qualification (and in those two professions, it ranked number 2). In addition, writing ranks number 3. (You can click the thumbnail to see the ranking chart or click here for a full-size graphic and an accompanying article.)

Burning Glass offers a comprehensive report on these findings, and one paragraph from the report really jumped out at us:

Writing, communication skills, and organizational skills are scarce everywhere. These skills are in demand across nearly every occupation—and in nearly every occupation they’re being requested far more than you’d expect based on standard job profiles. Even fields like IT and Engineering want people who can write.
(The Human Factor: The Hard Time Employers Have Finding Soft Skills, Burning Glass Technologies, 2015.)

In other words, communication skills can give all graduates a significant competitive advantage in the job market. As part of their studies, business students learn to recognize the value of competitive strengths, and the good news here is they can apply this lesson to themselves and become more valuable and more successful professionals. (For even more evidence of valuable this course is, this post outlines 27 specific ways the business communication course will help them in their academic, personal, and professional lives.)

With this confirmation of our vital shared mission, we wish you and your students a successful fall term! As always, please don't hesitate to get in touch if you'd like to discuss any aspect of business communication practices or pedagogy. 



Have you noticed more companies lowering their guard when it comes to communicating in a lighthearted style?

We have only anecdotal observations on this, but as social media change the nature of the relationships between companies and their stakeholders, we’ve noticed an uptick in the number of companies working humor into their routine communication efforts.

At the subtle end of the humor spectrum, for example, the software company Techsmith includes the following privacy statement at the end of its email newsletters:

We’re happy to have you on our list, and since we want to keep you all to ourselves, we never share your email address with anyone.

“We want to keep you all to ourselves” is a pleasant and slightly offbeat way to convey both the privacy assurance and the idea that Techsmith values its customers.

At the other end of the spectrum—far, far at the other end—the online music retailer CD Baby has some fun with its version of letting customers know their orders are on the way:

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our world-renowned packing specialist lit a local artisan candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, May 17, 2011.

We hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. In commemoration, we have placed your picture on our wall as “Customer of the Year.”

Such an over-the-top message wouldn’t work for a bank or a medical products supplier, to be sure. However, the humor probably promotes a closer emotional bond with CD Baby, if only for poking fun at other companies that take themselves a little too seriously.

Have you seen notable examples of “business funny” that suggest a more relaxed approach to business communication (outside of advertising, that is)? Would you consider having your students try a writing exercise in this vein?

By the way, we’re going to take a short break and will begin posting again in mid-August. Have a great summer!