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Depending on which source you consider, the average American adult is subjected to somewhere between 2,000 and 20,000 messages each day. In our digitally enhanced, 24/7 world of instant communication, these images find their way to us through email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, web browsing, online and traditional news consumption, television, and more. They come at us whether we want them or not.

No matter how you slice it, we are overrun with information.

Recently, I had the chance to teach corporate communications to executive-level MBA students at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management. The class was included as an elective in the iMBA curriculum as part of a long-term effort by the Public Relations Society of America and SU’s Newhouse School of Public Communications to inject formal communications education into business schools. Syracuse University is one of about a dozen universities around the United States to embark on this initiative.

Recently I had the chance to learn about some groundbreaking research being done by my good friend and colleague Dr. Terry Flynn, faculty member at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON. Terry has been working for the past several months with some other researchers on a project sponsored by the Institute for Public Relations that is focused on how cognitive behavior and neuroscience relates to effective communications and senior leaders.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

With some successes but little political momentum, organized labor and low wage workers are continuing to call for a $15 minimum wage. 

Brittany Buffman once earned minimum wage in a job at the dining halls of Syracuse University. She says union efforts to pump pay the college allowed her and her husband to buy a house and raise a family.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Local police and Sen. Charles Schumer are asking the Secret Service to investigate a rash of counterfeit money that has turned up recently.

A handful of local businesses, from Wegman’s to Empire Brewery have been fooled in the past few weeks by fake bills. In all, law enforcement says 10 businesses in central New York have fallen victim to counterfeit currency in the past month. 

Also victim has been Byrne Dairy, where regional manager James Kehoe says each register has a counterfeit detection pen for employees to use, which he demonstrates on a new $100 bill. 

Central New York’s business and economic development agency is starting a new chamber of commerce for minority-run companies.

According to CenterState CEO, the black and Latino communities in New York have $170 billion in buying power. That’s why, it says, it’s forming the Upstate Minority Economic Alliance, the only one in the region.

The news was announced at CenterState’s annual meeting. Edward Cuello will lead the new Upstate MEA. He says its mission will be to harness the minority community’s business and buying power.

Destiny USA

  The sixth largest shopping mall in the country says it's taking a recent call to attack Western shopping centers by a terrorist group "very seriously."

Destiny USA, in Syracuse, was not formally named by Al-Shabab, as was The Mall of America and malls in England and Canada, in a video released over the weekend. The video calls on sympathizers to the terror group to carry out the attacks. 

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Following a trend for downtown Syracuse real estate, an office building is being renovated to have residential space, but with a twist. 

The building at the corner of Jefferson and Warren Streets is transforming into a communal space, with room for both co-working and co-living, making it perhaps the most different addition to the neighborhood’s residential construction boom.

Troy Evans is converting two floors of empty office space into co-living space, where tenants will rent small rooms with individual bathrooms.

Charles Atkelson / via Flickr

The central New York operation of Lockheed Martin failed to secure the third round of a lucrative Navy supply contract.

The first two rounds of funding for a new electronic warfare system known by the acronym SEWIP were given to Lockheed Martin’s plant in suburban Syracuse in 2013 and 2014. Last summers award was worth $147 million.

But the Navy decided to the award the third, and largest, part of the contract to competitor Northrup Grumman. The Navy says the contract is worth skywards of $300 million with all the options.

governorandrewcuomo / via Flickr

The head of New York state’s economic development agency says a recent report questioning its success is flawed.

In his testimony to a state Legislature budget hearing, outgoing Empire State Development Corporation Commissioner Kenneth Adams said the comptroller’s report on his agency is misleading.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The renovation of Hotel Syracuse has started creating jobs.  The first of several job fairs was held in the lobby of the historic hotel.

There hadn't been so many people in the lobby of the Hotel Syracuse since it closed over a decade ago. Hundreds of men and women filled out applications for Environmental Remediation Services Inc, the company that’s handling the demolition and asbestos removal portion of the renovation of the hotel in downtown Syracuse.

Chad Parks figures he’ll be sifting through between 600 and 800 applications for 30 to 40 jobs.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The business incubator that has helped spawn several businesses in downtown Syracuse is growing. The Tech Garden has had a waiting list for over two years at it's original space on Warren Street, so it's expanding -- by 18,000 square feet.

Tech Garden II, on the ground floor of AXA Tower II, opens up more opportunities for startups who can take advantage of the support and facilities offered at the Tech Garden. Dave Bulger is starting up a company called tuzag, something he says he couldn't have done without that support.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed 2015 spending plan includes a sizeable amount of money for upgrades to the Port of Oswego.

In his recent combined State of the State agenda and budget plan, Cuomo pledges $65 million to upgrade the state’s infrastructure network, part of what helped build upstate’s economy decades ago.

"From Albany to Oswego to Syracuse to the Port of Ogdensburg to the Binghamton rail yard, you have to be able to move goods in and out," Cuomo said. "And this investment will help make it possible."

Too often, organizations are so focused on delivering their messages to the local news, government officials, on social media, in newsletters, and even holding special events – but they step right over their employees in order to get to all of these other channels. Your employees notice this, and they’re likely bitter about it. That is setting yourself up for failure.
 

There are a lot of good things that lots of organizations do or accomplish every day. Some of them are nice internal efforts or achievements, some involve new initiatives for the organization, and some stuff has a real impact on the community that the organization serves.

In times of trouble, or times of transition, we expect the president or CEO to be the delivering the messages. Sure – if the news is big enough. But the CEO doesn’t always  have to be or organization’s spokesperson. In fact, there are several scenarios in which that can hurt your organization.

For the most part, the more media attention your organization receives, the more your stakeholders will recognize you. But visibility isn’t enough. It’s the content of news stories and online posts that determine whether your audiences will have a favorable impression of you.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

One of the new laws going into effect in New York this year is targeted to employ more out of work veterans.

New York state now has a tax rebate program for companies that hire an unemployed veteran. It’s worth five percent of the vet’s salary – or 15 percent if the veteran has a service-related disability.

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr

Workers in New York who earn the minimum wage are getting a raise today. The state's minimum wage is now $8.75 an hour, up from the $8 it stood at before. It will fatten the paychecks for 284,000 employees across the state, according to the labor department.

"This is a good thing for workers in New  York state. Is it enough? No, it's not enough," said Ron Deutsch from the Fiscal Policy Institute, who argues wages should be be closer to $11 an hour, given inflation.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Winners of New York state’s casino competition celebrated Thursday. A statewide gaming board this week recommended gaming licenses for three developers across upstate New York, including the proposal from the Rochester-based Wilmorite Corporation to build the Lago Casino and Resort in rural Seneca County.  

While weather kept Gov. Andrew Cuomo from taking part in the Finger Lakes portion of a statewide casino victory lap, unions were out in full force in Seneca County. The potential for jobs for 55 out-of-work electricians has union rep Michael Davis happy.

Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

Crossing the border into the United States may have gotten a little more convenient. U.S. Customs and Border Protection unveiled the Border Wait Time app Wednesday. It will provide travelers with estimated wait times and open lane statuses at bridges.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

An officially designated convention center hotel in Syracuse has been a goal of Onondaga County officials for decades. It looks like they’ve found it in the soon-to-be renovated Hotel Syracuse.

Onondaga County lawmakers Tuesday designated the Hotel Syracuse as the convention center’s official hotel. It’s a key move in rehabilitation of the hotel, which has been shuttered for a decade.

Legislator Kathy Rapp says the county legislature’s move ultimately unlocks some state money developer Ed Riley will be able to use, as he plans to bring the landmark back to life.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

The summer shipping season is about to come to an end for the Port of Oswego. The port says its seen growth in the amount of goods coming through its facility, which it attributes to recent infrastructure investments and the continued success of several companies the port does business with.

According to the American Great Lakes Ports Association, the St. Lawrence Seaway saw a five percent increase in cargo coming through its system this season, but that pales in comparison to the success the port has seen this year.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The city of Syracuse has joined Rochester and Buffalo in approving "Ban the Box" legislation. This was the third attempt by city common councilors to pass the legislation.

The new ordinance would prevent the city, and any contractors doing business with the city, from asking a job applicant about criminal convictions unless that person has received a job offer.

Small Business Saturday is this weekend, and shoppers across the country are visiting local mom and pop stores in support of their communities. The event was launched in 2010 by American Express to encourage people to shop at independently-owned businesses, and also to bridge the gap between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

jpellgen / via Flickr

The University Hill section of Syracuse is home to two colleges, three hospitals and several businesses that support them. It’s also a quarter of Syracuse’s economy.

There's $650 million worth of investment underway on the hill, according to Dave Mankiewitz, president of the University Hill Corporation.

The University Hill Corporation has been advised that Interstate 81 needs to be removed for the neighborhood to thrive. But the group is waiting to weigh in on the project.

Another 126 layoffs hit gunmaker Remington Arms

Nov 12, 2014
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Triple-digit layoffs have again hit the century-old firearm maker Remington Arms, which employs over a thousand people in the Mohawk Valley.

State Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney confirmed 126 layoffs at the plant yesterday on her Twitter feed. The news was first reported by WKTV in Utica. Calls to the company and a union representative from WRVO were not returned.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

About 10 million bushels of grain come through the Port of Oswego each year, but the port cannot export that grain to other countries by ship because it doesn't have the necessary designation from the USDA.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says he is going to try to change that. Schumer says he believes the port could qualify for the USDA designation, with some help from SUNY Oswego.

Matt Martin / WSKG file photo

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo pitched his idea of opening up to four casinos in New York state, his goal was to create jobs in upstate New York. But a proposed Seneca County casino is ruffling feathers about 70 miles away in Oneida County.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Construction can now begin on an amphitheater on the western shore of Onondaga Lake.

Onondaga County lawmakers agreed Monday to borrow almost $50 million to build the venue. Opponents, like Republican Kathleen Rapp, voted against the plan, suggesting it doesn’t have enough of an economic punch.

“It’s like your family budget," Rapp said. "You’d like to do everything. I would love to do this amphitheater, but not at the cost of giving up other things that would give far bigger return to taxpayers.”

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