• Note From Mary Ellen

    Spring Mary EllenSpring is here, and you are probably planning your spring break vacation or recovering from it. Here on the West Coast, my editorial team was busy meeting to plan the next edition of Business Communication: Process and Product. Coauthor Dr. Dana Loewy and I met with our three editors in Ventura, California, at a seaside hotel where we fought a tempting urge to escape the meeting room and head for the nearby sandy beach. We did eventually walk along the shore, but only after a grueling day of determining the direction of the Eighth Edition of BC:PP. It's amazing how many decisions, assignments, and goals must be established before work begins. Exciting revision plans include a new edition highlighting the digital workplace with new graphics and e-book resources.

    Want a Laugh?
    One of the issues we discussed in our planning meeting was videos to accompany the new edition. Coauthor Dana described to the group a hilarious video about PowerPoint that she shows to her class. In this video, comedian Don McMillan has the crowd in stitches with his description of typical PowerPoint excesses, including reading from the slides, flying words, and dizzying graphs. He correlates font choices with personalities and laments horrendous color combinations. Students love it, although he touches a couple of topics that tickled the audience but may trouble instructors. Take a look at Life after Death by PowerPoint. Is this a video that we should try to offer with BC:PP?

    Missed Our EBC Webinar?
    In March coauthor Dr. Dana Loewy and I hosted two webinars introducing the Ninth Edition of Essentials of Business Communication. The best part of these webinars is the opportunity to chat with you instructors across the country and pick your brains for teaching ideas. Janice Lawson, Colorado Mesa University, told how one of her students delivered his oral presentation by Skype. He stood outside the room with his laptop in the hallway and skyped his presentation to his teammate's laptop, which was plugged into the classroom projection system. She said that the quality of sound and image were not as clear as if he were actually present, but the real message was how this new technology can be used in the business world. Jim Onsager, Northeast Iowa Community College, told how his students used the writing plans in EBC as they developed portfolios documenting their work in the class. He said that one student was able to skip taking the required business communication course at the four-year school to which she was transferring on the basis of the written work shown in her portfolio. To hear our webinar if you missed it, look for "The Ninth Edition - It's Just That Easy" at the Cengage Seminar Site.

    Edition Update

    • Essentials of Business Communication, 9e, is now available for your spring and summer classes.
    • Business Communication: Process and Product, 7e, is currently being used, and the authors are beginning to work on the 8th edition to be released in 2014.
    • Business English, 11e, is undergoing the final revision touches and will be available for your students in January, 2013.

    To order review copies, call 1-800-423-0563, speak to your Cengage sales rep, or write to Courtney Doyle Chambers (courtney.doylechambers@cengage.com).

    ABC in Hawaii
    It's not too early to begin planning your trip to Hawaii for the 77th Annual International Convention of the Association for Business Communication. Please join me along with my coauthors Dana Loewy and Carolyn Seefer from October 24-27 at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort, Honolulu. For more information about the convention, go to www.businesscommunication.org.

    Remember that I love to hear from you! Send a message to m.e.guffey [at] cox.net.

    Mary Ellen