Ryan McGee in a limosine.

My name is Ryan McGee. I am a member of the Class of 2015, and I am currently seeking a degree in Integrated Marketing Communications spending the majority of my time at the Roy H. Park School of Communications. Before coming to Ithaca I lived in Trumansburg, New York just minutes away. Having one of the top communication schools in the country so close by, with a beautiful community and landscape, I knew it was right where I should be.

My Future in Communication

I developed an interest in the "how's" and "why's" of communication at an early age which grew more and more as I took different classes relevant to it in high school and encountered writings on it through the internet. It is a given, that as social beings it is necessary for us to communicate for survival and self-actualization. But, in this age of technology the spectrum of communication has grown, and it continues to. To be an effective communicator and to make oneself heard, there are adaptations to be made and steps to be taken now. Learning to make these changes, and utilize new technologies will ensure a spot as an important member of communication networks in the years to come.

Rather than focusing on the obvious fact that the communication world is changing, I've found it more important to recognize that it is going to continue to change. Adaptability and the ability to see opportunity before competitors capitalize on it are vital to a successful internal business structure. Foresight like this will come from staying on top of the latest features that media outlets are offering and continuously thinking of new ways that these tools can be utilized. This will set one vendor apart from the competition. Many social networking sites now feature account linking, to connect accounts on different networking platforms together and allow the same post to be seen on multiple pages at once. Using this, businesses will be able to connect to multiple audiences via one portal, making it a more efficient stream of communication. Moreover, users will have access to the business on multiple platforms, resulting in a greater flow of information to each user with almost no added effort demanded from the business' networking team. The utilization of tools like these will help me to connect both myself, and any team that I am a part of to a greater network.

"Word-of-Mouth" is one of the most influential and effective tools in the networking world. Surveys have shown that 90% of consumers trust peer-recommendations compared to 14% who place trust in advertisements. Peer review sites such as Yelp! can help to either make or break a business based on the reviews that customers post after visiting a retailer or restaurant. Sites like these, along with the ability of users on social-networking sites like Facebook to communicate about their experiences, act as a check to hold businesses accountable. Swift reaction to reviews both positive and good, along with feedback to customers who pose questions about a business are crucial to harboring a good relationship between provider and consumer. The knowledge and skill I have of these networking tools will allow me to make stronger connections with consumers alongside more efficient responses when questions are poised.

Satellite and antenna television and radio are finite means of communication, meaning they are subject to regulation. The internet has created an infinite form for information exchange for businesses and private individuals alike. This means that can businesses and agencies can post what they want, when they want to. It is a free source of advertising that gives providers an opportunity to utilize the transactional model of communication by linking them directly to the consumer for instantaneous feedback. Now more than ever people are logging on to the web instead of tuning into television or radio stations. On average young people spend 17 hours a week surfing the web compared to the 13 hours spent watching television. During this time, the feedback that can be derived from both sides of the communication exchange is an almost invaluable commodity that provides information to improve upon the topic of conversation, whether a product or service. The versatility the internet provides is one that is unmatched by any other medium today, and with amount of time the average user spend surfing the web, it is a necessary forum for any business to be a part to promise continued growth and improvement.

Through the creation and management of multiple social-networking accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter, FaceBook, Foursquare, and Tumblr and connect to companies across the globe for to establish and maintain business relationships. As these virtual worlds grow in population, it becomes more difficult to be heard in the crowd. However, the connections that they allow globally also create opportunity that did not once exist through remote completion and submission of work and the ability to work on a project in a team where members are spread across the world. Knowing that a vast amount of business is not done solely within the U.S. I am enrolling in a language course to expand my communication ability beyond the confines of the U.S. and English-speaking countries and already have a background in Spanish.