Oral Presentation – Applying Putnam

My “uh-oh” for my oral presentation relates to my job as the Director of the Annual Fund and the annual employee giving campaign. This eyeopening moment occurred a couple of years ago when I became responsible for the employee giving campaign. The University I work for has a main campus and several locations non-traditional (adult learners) in southeastern North Carolina. The overall focus for the annual giving campaign was to promote 100% giving within departments. We operate as one institution but our locations have always felt like outsiders and unconnected. This has been tough but rewarding and I have made great strides.

My oral presentation concentrated on how to apply Robert Putnam’s social capital theory to employee engagement. The focus is primarily on how to bridge “social capital” for the purpose of employee engagement of fundraising, especially at our non-traditional campuses. I learned the process of bridging social capital is and will be a long process and “as a result of repeated interactions” and enacts trust and collaboration”. (p. 235).  There may be bonds established but for cohesion and collaboration to happen there have to community-building within the environment that involves active participation and trust. For me this means investing in interpersonal relationship that creates a bond of reciprocity.

To bridge social capital in an institution/organization you must understand the difference in “bonding” and “bridging”.  According to Putnam, “Bridging and bonding networks, which in this case employees, represent different types of relationships. Bonding social is easily formed and “reinforces exclusive identities, and promotes in-group cohesion.” (p. 234). As you listen to my oral presentation, I identify the bonding of social capital with the employees at the non-traditional sites is establish. The opportunity for me to actively engage in bridging social capital has presented itself in a campaign geared for implementation (in its infancy stage) this upcoming academic year called “Bridging the Distance”. This is exciting but also somewhat intimidating. However, the benefits of far out weight the intimidation when it comes.

Another component I have learned from my oral presentation is how to use (with my fingers crossed) screencast-o-matic and sound cloud. This is not easy and I have struggled but did not give up. Actually, I have tried all week to record and you will find my end result below the reference area.  In addition, I had no idea of the power sociology has in constructing messages to audiences. Quite honestly I have been exhausted from the readings each week but find myself wanting to read and learn more.


Luoma-aho, V., (2009). On Putnam: Bowling together applying Putnam’s theories of community and social capital to public relations. In Ihlen, Ǿ., van Ruler, B., & Fredriksson, M. (Eds.), Public relations and social theory: Key figures and concepts (pp. 231-251). New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.



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