1. Which of the following is a database that contains current and past news stories?
- Lexis Nexis
- Alta Vista
2. Effective downward communications within an organization or company can include all of the following except:
- delivering copies of job descriptions to all employees
- provide regular opportunities for employees to provide supervisors with status updates
- regularly scheduled staff meetings where management shares goals and achievements
- employee performance reviews conducted annually or more frequently
3. If an organization’s communications department creates a press release, the inverted pyramid style of writing may be preferred since:
- it provides readers with understanding even if they stop reading before learning all the details
- it provides a clear presentation of each of the main points with all supporting details provided with the related point
- it uses an easy to understand verbiage free from specialty or industry specific terminology that readers might not understand
- it offers a short synopsis of main points with little detail
4. When writing an optimized press release, a communications writer must focus on which of the following to obtain maximum viewing?
- Easy to understand terminology
- Submission to multiple news outlets
- Keywords to obtain high rankings on search engines
- Release with a short period to reach readers quickly
5. When an audience is receiving a message they go through four stages: awareness, comprehension, conviction, and commitment. Which of these stages involves the audience matching their own interests and views with the information being offered?
6. When communicating face-to-face, negativity is often apparent when a participant:
- leans forward in his chair
- crosses his legs
- crosses his arms across his chest
- rests his chin on his hand
7. When conducting negotiations, a key component is considering each stage of the interactions. Negotiations should never begin with:
- an unrealistic offer
- a concession
- a probe
8. When conducting a media interview or making a statement to a member of the media, the phrase “not for attribution” generally implies:
- the reporter can use the information, but cannot quote the source directly
- the reporter can use the information to help gain perspective, but cannot use the information in publication
- the reporter has full use of the information, but must credit the source
- the reporter may use the information and credit the source, but only if verified by a second, independent source
9. If you have been asked to give a presentation to an audience of co-workers, a good strategy to keep the audience engaged is:
- to avoid the use of related visuals such as charts or pictures which might distract from the presentation
- provide handouts to guide the audience through the presentation
- avoid contact with specific members of the audience, focusing on a point at the rear of the room
- using all strategies stated above
10. When communicating information, employers will most likely be successful in capturing employee attention by:
- enclosing the information in paycheck or pay stub envelopes
- printing the information in a company newsletter or regular publication
- presenting information at brief staff meetings
- posting information on break area bulletin boards
11. You are the public spokesperson for a large company which has recently experienced a scandal involving a key employee. When contacting radio stations to present the company’s position on this situation, keep in mind they are interested in actualities or:
- a basic list of facts surrounding the incident
- a 30 or 60 second story
- exclusive rights to the story
- recorded comments by those involved for use on air
12. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicators (MBTI) is a tool that can identify a person’s basic preferences in a number of areas including communication styles. According to this tool, which type of personality is most likely to make decisions based on logic and reason, avoiding the influence of emotions, values, and attitudes?
13. An organization’s lateral communications system is most likely to involve which of the following exchanging messages?
- supervisors and their direct employees
- employees with similar responsibilities in different departments
- employees with different responsibilities in the same department
- company media representatives and the media
14. In order to convince your audience to support your proposed changes to the organization’s structure, any speech to them must be of what type?
15. You are giving a news brief to the media on your organization’s response to a crisis situation that has emerged. One way to avoid miscommunication is to:
- use as many words a possible
- use abstract terms to avoid being committal
- define relative words
- use acronyms instead of entire organizational names
16. Considering that some experts believe more than one half of the emotional meaning of a message comes from non-verbal communication, an important consideration in delivering a speech to an audience is:
- avoiding overdressing for the occasion
- keeping your voice low to avoid the impression of yelling
- choice of vocabulary
- culturally significant gestures
17. When considering the exact wording of a speech that you are writing, the most important consideration given should be to:
- using high level vocabulary that indicates your educational achievement
- avoiding words that must be explained or defined
- using effective vocabulary that clearly communicates your message
- limit or avoid the use of highly technical terms
18. If your organization is hosting a charitable fundraising event and wants to increase attendance and participation, you might partner with local media to produce:
- a press release
- an advance story
- a blind interview
- a style guide
19. Your organization’s public relations representative gives an interview to a local newspaper with the understanding that the interview is “on the record”. The PR representative has consented to:
- full use of his comments and name in publication
- full use of his comments in publication, but not his name
- limited use of his comments with editorial rights and full use of his name
- limited use of his comments with editorial rights, but no use of his name
20. When considering potential sources of information to use in printed or verbal communication, you should consider FOI laws which:
- give public access to government information
- allow defamation lawsuits against individuals and entities
- require verification of facts before publication
- govern publication on the internet
FSOT Communication Practice – Answer Key
Lexis-Nexis is a vast database used for locating numerous types of information including news stories. A and C are search engines and D is an online, volunteer edited encyclopedia.
This is an example of upward communication from subordinate to supervisor.
In this style the most important points and details are presented first. Additional details follow, in order of lessening importance. This allows readers to get the main idea quickly, but does not require complete reading to understand.
This type of press release is intended for the online audience. Skillful writers can include keywords that produce high rankings on search engines, optimizing readers reached.
Awareness is the realization that a message is being offered. Comprehension is understanding the message. Conviction is matching the understanding with our own ideas and views. Commitment is making decisions or forming opinions based on the message.
Arm crossing suggests a barrier while resting a chin on a hand or crossing legs is seen as contemplation and leaning forward indicates interest.
A concession sends the message that you feel you are negotiating from a weak position. Listening and probing are always important to gauge the intentions of the other party. Unrealistic offers give plenty of room for compromise.
Not for attribution implies that the reporter not credit the source directly when using the information supplied.
Handouts are a good tool to focusing an audience as are relevant visuals such as pictures, charts, and multimedia presentations. Avoiding eye contact, while comforting to a nervous speaker, can disengage the audience.
Based on surveys and research, it is difficult to substitute for face-to-face communication. Employees are more interested in the money than the paperwork attached and this form of communication is often more of a nuisance than a benefit. Unattended bulletin boards can become cluttered and out of date. Written publications are not as cost and time effective as emails and easily overlooked or ignored.
These recorded statements would be from principals in the event. Recorded or live commentary is especially important to a news medium with no visual aspect.
The MBTI divides behavioral types into four somewhat opposing pairs. The Thinking-Feeling pair describes personality types that make decision in a detached, logical way or an emotional, values driven way.
Lateral communication is usually part of an informal system, linking employees at similar levels of responsibility that do not work directly together. Management should recognize the importance of this type of communication as well as the risk it poses to bypassing the chain of command.
While informative and entertaining speeches could serve your purpose, they are not required. After leaving a successful persuasive speech, people would want to make change. Impromptu speaking should be avoided as it lacks the key element of planning.
Excessive wordiness, use of acronyms that might be confusing, and abstract terms all increase the likelihood of miscommunication. Defining relative terms makes your position and statement clear. For example, instead of saying, “a large group”, say, “a group of about 1000”.
Gestures mean different things among different cultures and consideration should be given to the make up of the audience to avoid offending them. Dressing well no matter the audience or occasion is a sign of respect. A low voice is likely to prevent some audience members from hearing and choice of vocabulary is not non-verbal.
Effective vocabulary should always be your goal. This means it is not so simple that the meaning is ambiguous such as the word, “great” and not so advanced so as to leave most audience members confused. It is okay to use words that must be explained, including highly technical terms, if they are relevant to the presentation.
Although a press release could cover the event in advance, it would generally be produced in house and not in cooperation with media. An advance is a story highlighting an upcoming event.
“On the record” implies full use of all comments and the full name of the source.
Freedom of information (FOI) laws allow public access to all government records. There are some limitations regarding classified information and government agencies can charge reasonable fees to provide the information.
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