Filed under: Organizational Communication
University of the Philippines Manila offers various undergraduate degree programs, such as Nursing, Biology, Behavioral Sciences, Medicine, Area Studies, and Computer Science. Yet among the spectrum of programs in the University, only one degree program you can place me in: Organizational Communication. Now I’m not saying I’m the paragon Organizational Communication (OrCom) student, rather, I’ve been in the program long enough (3+ years) to know that there is no other degree program for me but the UP Manila pioneered program called OrCom.
Admittedly, when I first entered the program, I had no specific dream job in mind. Public relations, human relations, corporate communications, advertising, marketing, and other strategic communications oriented fields were not in my vocabulary then. I only knew that Organizational Communication was “a really cool course!” (Good Friend, 2006), and it was about “communicating inside organizations, duh” (citation withheld).
Still, I stayed for the entire year, even though we had no major subjects to clarify Organizational Communication’s purpose then. And thank goodness I did.
Learning Organizational Communication (101) for the first time
OrCom 101: Introduction to Organizational Communication will forever be remembered as the subject that taught me the default definition of organizational communication. Gerald Goldhaber defined of organizational communication (from a book so obviously entitled, “Organizational Communication”) as “the process of creating and exchanging messages within a network of interdependent relationships to cope with environmental uncertainty” (1978). That definition was thoroughly dissected by my teacher, Professor Alice Adeva, until I felt slightly closer to understanding what Organizational Communication is.
In this same class, I got my first taste of conducting a communication audit. In a nutshell, I played doctor with my group mates, by analyzing the communication processes inside PETA–a theater organization–and then gave appropriate recommendations on how the communications can enter a healthier state. Through the communication audit, I learned how Organizational Communication practitioners are not just senders and receivers of messages; rather, practitioners act to improve, through communication, the existing condition of the entire organization.
Analyzing human relationships, part of the Organizational Communication business
I loved OrCom 104: Interpersonal Theories, if only because most theories taught were entertaining. And why wouldn’t those theories be fun, especially since everything dealt about relationships? Queer theories, two-step flow of communication, social penetration, social exchange, cultivation, and other relationship-based theories filled the entire semester.
I had to watch several films–like about gays, bitchy teenagers, and Sex and the City like women–and then somehow whip up “integration papers” that link the films to interpersonal theories. That was the first time I wrote film reviews backed by solid intellectual research. Oh boy, that was really entertaining!
Becoming OrCom ambassadors through OrCom 142
If I thought my second year in Organizational Communication gave me a clear idea of what my future would be like, third year made me love UP Manila’s Organizational Communication program.
In Communication Processes and Organizational Structures, my lecturer, Barry Barrientos, shared what I would consider some of the strongest OrCom-is-love statements. Samples in point–“UP na, OrCom pa!,” “In Organizational Communication, we become business people involved in communication,” among other statements that gave me the mindset that Organizational Communication practitioners go beyond writing and speaking well, and into becoming strategic partners for a company’s benefit.
Wanting to enter public relations thanks to OrCom 105
Ah, public relations. While I never belonged to the crowd of people who thought PR meant lies, half-truths, and endless spins… I never really thought about PR either. Now, though, my heart and mind are half-set (which is more than I can say about my other passions) to enter the world of public relations, thanks to my OrCom 105 (Dynamics of Public Relations) class. Just thinking about strategic planning, strategic thinking, corporate culture, and campaigns make me feel tingly all over.
Public relations is perhaps one of the branches in a company that spends more than it earns–after all, just how can one quantifiably measure the contribution of PR to the bottom line (ie company profit)? Regardless, public relations is a necessary component of companies; being the best company involves tremendous PR effort in ensuring that consumers actually believe, if not yet preach to the world, that the company is the best. Positive–company, brand, service, or product–reputation is the main concern of PR, and UP Manila Organizational Communication equips its students well enough to address PR’s concern.
Besides teaching us the different functions of public relations–such as employee, government, media, and cultural–through classroom lectures, I learn more through interviewing public relations practitioners, creating communication plans geared for actual companies in the country, and implementing public relations campaigns outside the classroom setting. Equipped with both theory and practice, Organizational Communication is a very good training ground for the business world.
- 1. If you want more details, or further proof of why Organizational Communication in University of the Philippines Manila rocks my socks, feel free to leave a comment below. Or you can ask far more credible OrCom graduates, such as Barry Barrientos or Ingrid Cudia.
- 2. For a complete listing of other Organizational Communication courses, read OrComSphere.com, a web site constructed by specially picked students from my batch.
- 3. I am currently a senior OrCom student in UP Manila, and I was not paid to do this entry about my course. 😀
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