December 15, 2009
Writer: Writer: Colby Flint
Ahmad S. Corbitt, director of the New York Office of Public and International Affairs for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, addressed Brigham Young University-Idaho students in a university forum Thursday, teaching how communication relates to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"Communication is a powerful engine for driving not only goods and services but whole economies," Corbitt said. "Thus, the more we understand and apply the Lord's principle of communicating to our audiences that they may come to understanding, the more successful we will be in our respective careers."
Corbitt then outlined and explained scriptural principles that improve communication.
The first principle he addressed was identifying and reaching target audiences. "When we communicate, we must do so in ways that most effectively convey our message to those we seek to reach," he said.
Corbitt taught that content must be true, accurate and correct, but good communicators present it in a way that best reaches their audience.
He addressed crisis communication by noting that there is opposition in all things. "How we communicate through a crisis is usually determined by our perspective, our state of mind, our attitude about the situation.... In any crisis or problem there is sure to be a corresponding opportunity for something that engenders happiness affixed to it."
He gave an example of a church house being vandalized in New Jersey. After it was repaired, he and his stake held an open house to reopen the building. Many community members attended, including the mayor, deputy mayor and local religious leaders. Positive results stemmed from an otherwise negative situation.
Corbitt also spoke about the effectiveness of consistently delivering true and positive messages, and the importance of strategy in communication.
In conclusion, Corbitt told students to have confidence in the future. He said their integrity will shine in the marketplace, and the Lord will bless them as they keep the commandments, follow the prophet's counsel and stand for what is right.