Home > Christina > LSW 2: Somewhere Between “Whom” and “LMAO!”

LSW 2: Somewhere Between “Whom” and “LMAO!”

“To Whom it May Concern.”

“OMG, Check this out!  LMAO!”

Depending on who you’re talking to, there are countless ways to greet people and carry on a conversation from there.  Language patterns and rhetorical features are as varied over social media as they are in face-to-face communication.  Users are being more innovative with their language than ever before, and the 2-way symmetrical model of communication is redefining what it means to speak professionally.  The name of the game is to communicate in the way that is most effective for the audience you’re trying to reach.

As a professional, when you address your customers, it is important to listen to them first, just as chapter 2 in our text book describes.  You have to get a feel for who your audience is, and pick-up on ways the customers are interacting with each other.  That way, when you join the conversation, you can communicate with language patterns that are relatable, yet still professional.  This rhetorical concept is known as building ethos, or credibility.  You will want to interact with them in a way that makes your audience want to trust you, like you, and still respect you as a professional.

Take the two greetings above, for instance.  “To whom it May Concern,” may be professional, but it’s not going to win over a casual audience.  On the other hand, “OMG, check this out!  LMAO!” is relatable, but probably not a good professional strategy unless you’re marketing to tweeners.  Again, the key is to listen to your customers, and find a naturally professional and relatable way to say, “hello.”

Word count: 267

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