Twitter and Tweed - a semiotic analysis of corporate media
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Twitter and Tweed - a semiotic analysis of corporate media



A comparison of corporate social media and corporate wear. And a proposal of a semiotic analysis based on the semiotic square by Greimas.

A comparison of corporate social media and corporate wear. And a proposal of a semiotic analysis based on the semiotic square by Greimas.



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Twitter and Tweed - a semiotic analysis of corporate media Twitter and Tweed - a semiotic analysis of corporate media Presentation Transcript

  • Between Twitter and Tweed – Corporate Communication under the Conditions of Web 2.0 Semiotic Summer School Imatra 2010
  • What is this about? • Who is KMB? • The new variety of corporate communication • The old variety of corporate wear • Semiotic insights and semiotic tools – A semiotic scoring model for corporate communication – Consequences for enterprises – Consequences for semiotics
  • Who is KMB?
  • KMB|Dr. Klaus M. Bernsau – professional • Dr. Klaus M. Bernsau: nearly 20 years experience as consultant and conceptionist in advertising and marketing • Founder and owner of the consultancy “KMB | Konzept • Management • Beratung für Unternehmenskommunikation” (i.e. Concept Management Consulting for Corporate Communication C 4) • Clients: Coca-Cola, ContiTech, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Post, Opel, Rewe, but also many small and middle seized companies • Branches: automotive, energy, finance, retail/FMCG, industry, IT/telecom, logistics, pharma, fashion • Two employees: graduated media and communication managers • Focus: Optimizing communication by applying semiotic and communication theories • More under:
  • KMB|Dr. Klaus M. Bernsau – scientific • Dr. Klaus M. Bernsau: Studies of Communication Science, German Literature, Marketing, Physics, Sociology and Information Management • Magister (M.A.) degree in Communication Science about “Signs for Sale – Coca-Cola-Marketing looked upon in a semiotic way” • Dr. phil. degree about “Changing the economic structure is changing the social meaning – Regional-marketing of the Ruhrgebiet” • For over 15 years teacher and researcher at University Duisburg Essen and recently Upper Austria University of applied science. • Main subjects: Corporate Communication, Communication Theory, and Semiotics • Different presentations and publications about the theory of corporate communication in nowadays globalizing media society • Member of the advisory board of the German Semiotic Association (DGS) – topic: economy and management
  • New Media – New Communication and Semiosis?
  • New Media: Lust or Frustration?
  • The web is personal (again) “The power of a single individual to shape perceptions on a massive scale is a dramatic and fundamental shift. Brands aren’t defined by campaigns anymore, but by the consumer ecosystems 5 Behaviours to survive we nurture to support 1) Turn consumers into “prosumers” them.” 2) Built bilateral brand experiences 3) Place context on par with content Mike Mendenhall, 4) Master the new calculus of communication Marketing Chief of HP 5) Collaboration is king
  • Enterprise have to manage the expanding universe of communication social Corporate Environment Public Media Advertising Vehicles Social Media Plants Corporate Products Communities Corporate Media Services Press Releases Software Brochures technical Engines Uniform ‘natural’ Corporate Tool Blogs Hardware Twitter Speeches Blue collar White collar tools Manuals tools Clothing Personal Media Letters Personal Tools personal
  • Clothing as social system
  • Clothing as prototypic field of social individuality – uniformity vs. diversity • Which person has the most individuality? • Individuality is all about differentiation from each other (G. Simmel) • But intergation into a group is an important factor of self confidence and personality (= identity) • Finding one‘s personality by joining and avoiding groups • Yesterday‘s difference is nowadays fashion and tomorrow boring • Fashion and clothing is a social semiotic system
  • A short view especially on corporate wear
  • From tweed to twitter: Corporate identity as the unifying vision of personal individuality Corporate Behaviour Source: Birkigt/Stadler/Funck (1998) Corporate n tio un a t e Philosophy Co esign ica m m or rpo D Co Corp rat Acting like one e individual person Seen as one individual person
  • Semiotic insights and semiotic tools
  • Applied Semiotics: Semiotic Communication Consulting by KMB • The big sign-history  to understand • The (automatic) controlling tool  to manage • The semiotic experiment  to decide • The semiotic workshop  to innovate
  • Semiotic Scoring syntactic Visibility pragmatic syntactic Visibility pragmatic silent communicative uniformity personality Single utterance Single utterance Specific mean Specific mean Importance Importance Importance of interpretation of interpretation of interpretation Corporate Corporate Identity Identity Corporate Corporate Culture Culture consent controversial identity diversity semantic Visibility sigmatic semantic sigmatic Visibility
  • Conflict measurements What? How? • Mean – culture • Syntatic measurements – formal • Utterance – culture • Semantic measurements – literal, lexical • Sigmatic measurements – referential • Utterance – identity Culture - identity • Pragmatic measurements – habitual •
  • For example • Corporate culture: we communicate active and via multiple channels within and outside the company • Corporate identity: we are a highly innovative IT company • Twitter is a fitting mean • „…“ [not using twitter] is a syntactic non fitting utterance but harmless • „We released an awesome gadget“ is a well fitting utterance in all aspects • „the guys here do code only bullsh…“ is a semantically and pragmatically non fitting utterance but culturally okay
  • For example • Corporate culture: we dress professional and conservative • Corporate identity: we are modern and innovative finance service provider • An individual business dress (not a uniform) is a fitting outfit • Plaid stockings, heels, lace-up shoes, and a brown dress are syntactically fitting elements for an utterance • This combination might be a sigmatically non fitting utterance as to sexy • Pragmatically it could fit or it could definitely not fit depending on the woman’s attitude
  • Consequences: Corporate challenges • Define corporate communication culture • Define corporate messages, identity, and behavior • Score and evaluate means according communication culture • Reduce corporate communication means to a manageable amount • Evaluate utterances • Interpret and re-interpret utterance • Regulate utterances in syntactic and semantic means • Integrate, teach, and influence communicators in sigmatic and pragmatic relevant means • And semiotics and semioticians can help here a lot!
  • Consequences: Semiotics challenges • Corporate semiosis is very promising field for semiotics – Knowledge wise – Income wise • Semiotics have to focus on the ongoing sign process, not on the exegesis of single dead materials like ads • Semiotics have to set up a model integrating the interacting factors of: – Sign material used in companies – Communication processes between employers and employees, companies and costumers and among entrepreneurs and costumers – Socialization of employer, employees, and costumers as individuals and members of social groups – Existing IT-tools to automate parts of the analysis
  • Semiotics can make you fly not only tweet “Semiotic corporate value management ltd.” • Semiotic management tools • Semiotics speaking the language of the management • Not only market research • But also active impact, as: – Semiotic scorecard – Symbolic values dashboard – communication initiatives with semiotic controlling – Sign setting – Media and mean controlling
  • Questions Doubts Comments Discussion! Additions Improvements
  • Thank you very much, and hope to see you soon:!
  • KMB|We are looking forward to you Pictures: Ioanna Terharn,,, KMB,, the web Service offering Contact details • Concept: Development of all future activities in KMB | Dr. Klaus M. Bernsau consideration of all relevant and promising instruments Konzept ▪ Management ▪ Beratung für and media (effect full, networked, intermedia, contemporary) Unternehmenskommunikation Hessenring 8 • Management: Taking over of the communication D-65205 Wiesbaden / Germany projects as virtual "full-service-agency" via the KMB network of competent service providers; management Phone +49-6122-704324 of the tasks with corporate intern resources and with Fax +49-6122-704378 existing extern partners of the client (e.g. temporary Mobil +49-178-2376728 (+49-178-Bernsau) management of advertising or projects); accompanying project leader (quick, flexible, good value, E-mail experienced) Web • Consulting: Analysis of weakness in existing concepts, activities, structures and teams; optimization consulting, goal development incl. buildup of quality- and controlling-processes; accompanying consulting of all relevant steps in corporate communication activities (open in results, critical, competent, goal- orientated)