Monday, May 2, 2011

Ethics Class Finale

I’ve really enjoyed my ethics class and have learned so much about advertising and PR. My “oh wow” moment was when we started to learn all the codes of the PRSA code of ethics. I’ve never realized how many there were and the standards they required. It made me proud to know that, unlike most business roles, PR offered a sort of “playbook” to follow.

I understand that not every PR practitioner will follow these codes or even sign up for them, but knowing that my major has one really makes me happy. I’ve grown up knowing what is right or wrong but sometimes it’s hard to decipher what those two things are in business. In this class, with the help of our codes, we were taught how to take case studies and break them down to see their flaws. I really enjoyed this and walked away learning a lot.

Along with this, I learned that signing up with PRSA and agreeing to their codes makes you look more reliable and more professional.  Even in business, people should be held to a certain standard and again, it’s nice that PRSA gives us a “playbook” to help us.

My other “oh wow” moment was realizing that, although you can quit a shady job that asks you to do something you don’t agree with, that job might have a reputation for that kind of work and now it’s on your resume. We talked about researching companies and learning if they have a reputation before you take a job with them because it can harness or ruin your career in the end.

There was so much I learned in this class including laws, case studies and advertising rules. I’m proud to go to a school that requires young professionals, like myself, to take an ethics course because I know that everything I learned can and will be taken with me into the business world. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

CEO Pride Creates Media Disaster

So the PR daily came out with the top five media disasters of April and I’m not sure how I missed the number one.  Although the other four were worthy of mentioning, number one was the best.

The founder of, Bob Parsons, put out a video of his success in killing an elephant while on vacation in Africa. He posed, with his gun, over the elephant and put the video to AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells.” Obviously, this pissed off PETA and a lot of customers. Instead of just taking it off the Internet, Parsons made the situation worse by supposedly threatening to sue bloggers who posted his video. Clearly Parsons wouldn’t win since he placed the video online first.

It’s obvious that Mr. Parsons created a perfect PR disaster for himself single-handedly.  Why would a CEO of a company release a video of himself killing an animal that is loved by millions? Understandable that he was proud, but come on; does everyone have to know about it?

Anyone in the public eye needs to know that they should watch their actions more than most. Even private actions can hurt their image and cause damage to their company or reputation. I’m not sure what Mr. Parson’s was really thinking but it sounds like he needs to hire a publicist to take care of what he says, does, and what he puts on the web.

Hopefully Bob Parsons has learned his lesson and stays away from Africa for a while.  Maybe he will take my advice and hire a publicist. 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Race, Gender and the Media 4/25

We've been discussing, in class, about how the media portrays illegal immigration. Most illegal immigrants, but not all, are hispanics. The portrayal of hispanics have been that all hispanics are illegal, drug dealers and wife beaters. Obviously, this is just caused from ignorance and the media putting these kinds of ideas into the minds of Americans. The media portrayal of hispanics reminds me a lot of what my people, the Polish, went through in the 1970s. That is where I want to take this blog.

The media always likes to create racism towards ethnic groups. Have you ever heard of a Polish joke? I bet everyone has. It's understandable that people in the south haven't really heard of Polish jokes because there aren't a lot of Polish people in the south. A lot of racist jokes originally come from Polish jokes. Here's a little history.

Polish jokes are the longest running jokes in this country, longer than any other race or even Aggie jokes. (Crazy, I know!) Polish people are considered dumb (usually called a Polak) and dirty. There are a couple of theories of where the Polish jokes originated. One of these theories is that, when everyone was immigrating in the early 1900's, people maintained their "old-world" ideology. With this, came hatred towards Poles. Poland is considered a weak country because it has been owned by every country around it at some point in history. The other theory is that, because Slavic is such a hard language to speak, Polish-Americans had a hard time learning English creating the idea that they are dumb.

The media loved Polish jokes/stereotypes and in the 1970's, people started to regularly say and use them. Classic stereotypes are that Polish people love sausage, the Pope John Paul II, polka music, and bowling.
Here are some websites that contain Polish jokes. What I find interesting is the explanation that some of these websites contain in order to excuse their behavior.

I think you get the picture. Why is it still okay to say Polish jokes? Supposedly, the word Polack, Pollack, or Pole doesn't mean a real person anymore, but "only the individuals described in the jokes themselves."

I'm not saying that I agree with illegal immigration. I think that everyone should go through the same process to become an American citizen and that means applying for citizenship. What I don't agree with is stereotyping ethnicity's and creating racial views or hatred. Like the Polish, the Hispanics are being grouped into these stereotypes that only apply to a small minority. The worst part is, once people start saying racial jokes and create these stereotypes in their minds, they have a hard time letting them go. This in the end, creates a hatred towards people who are hard working and just trying to start a new life.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

SMU "death penalty" Good Example Of Kickbacks Gone Wrong

For my ethics class, I have to write a paper about the 1980’s Southern Methodist University Mustangs football team receiving the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s death penalty, which caused SMU’s football league to not have a 1987 or 1988 football year.  ESPN’s 30 by 30 movie called “Pony Excess” discusses all of SMU’s football scandal and what happened afterwards.

So here’s what happened. SMU was a decent team in the 1970’s but became remarkable, all of a sudden, in the early 1980’s. After beating the University of Texas one year, the NCAA decided to investigate the players and team to make sure that their new recruits were recruited ethically. The NCAA found that they were under-dealing a few illegal things to get football players so the NCAA put them on probation during the years of 1981 and 1982.

After 1982, when the team was at their best, their head coach, Ron Meyer, randomly decided to leave and coach for the New England Patriots. Some say he left because the NCAA was investigating, others say it’s because he wanted to take the opportunity. After he left, they hired a coach from Mississippi. The SMU boosters took it upon themselves to continue to do illegal dealings with recruitments and the new coach, Bobby Collins, just told them to do what they wanted while he “coached.”

After years of doing illegal recruiting, SMU got caught. In 1985, the NCAA came out with a new rule called the “death penalty.” Basically, it if a school was a repeat violator of illegal dealings, their program would be shut down completely.

In 1986, a disgruntled player came out to Channel 8, specifically Dale Hansen, about what exactly was happening. SMU paid him $25,000 to play there. With this information, the board and athletic director was questioned, and instead of fixing the situation, they basically dug their own grave.

Since these dealings happened while SMU was still on probation, they became a repeat violator leading to the NCAA giving them the death penalty. They went without a football program in the year 1987 and chose to not have another season in 1988 in order to create a new team.

This case, although more detailed than written above, is a prime example of how a lie can grow and soon ruin a company or even a football team. In PR, there are tons of opportunities for PR practitioners to do illegal dealings and tell lies. There are codes that try to get people to maintain ethical behaviors but the choice is really that persons. PR practitioners need to be careful of kickbacks. They are small, hidden but can come back and literally kick back in a negative way. Like the old mantra, what goes around, comes around.

To learn more, check out ESPN's 30 by 30 movie called "Pony Excess"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

"Three Cups of Tea" Author Being Questioned

This week, a best selling author is being questioned about the authenticity of his book and the stories within. Greg Mortenson is the author of “Three Cups of Tea” that became a best selling book about raising awareness and funds to build schools for girls in Pakistan.

Supposedly, Mortenson tried to climb the highest peak in Pakistan, K2, had to be rescued by local villagers. Seeing a need for schools, he came back to the states and wrote his book. On Sunday, a gentleman named Jon Krakauer said the story isn’t true. Krakauer was a donor to Mortenson’s charitable organization, Central Asia Institute, but decided to withdraw his support after he became concerned that the money wasn’t being used properly.

Along with this allegation, and a lot of others, came one from Central Asia Institute themselves. Although they have seen an increase in their funds since the book came out, probably from people inspired by the book, they said that there is a lot of money not actually going to the building of schools in Afghanistan. President of the American Institute of Philanthropy, Daniel Borachoff, says that there was only one audited financial statement in 14 years that showed “a lack of transparency and "disappointing" intermingling of Mortenson's personal interests with those of his charity”.

CBS “60 minutes” has found a lot of evidence that backs up Krakauer’s claim that the story is false. Mortenson came out with a statement saying that the interview, on “60 minutes” with Krakauer, saying he stands by his stories and defended his charity group. Although, I found it interesting he declined CBS’ request to do an interview with him and CNN was unable to contact him. He says he denied them access to an interview because the result would come out “unfair and imbalanced.”

In a PR aspect, Mortenson has done some of the right things. He has written a statement against the claims before they even were aired and he makes sure he hits all the claims made. The only thing he isn’t doing right is contacting CNN back. He supposedly has medical issues keeping him from an interview, which is understandable, but I feel like, if he is going to respond to theses claims, than he should respond to everyone to show he is confident in his story.

I’m interested to see what happens with this allegation. I have personally read the book and absolutely loved it. I’m curious to find out if it’s still a real story or not.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Groupon CEO Andrew Mason Digs Another Hole.....Deeper and Deeper

The company Groupon use to be known for giving great deals and coupons for things across your local metropolis. Today, Groupon is known for their horrible Super Bowl Ads that were meant to mock themselves but instead, offended a lot of people.

Recently, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason threw the ad agency he used, called CP&B, under the bus saying that they relied on them to be edgy, informative and entertaining, and we turned off the part of our brain where we should have made our own decisions. We learned that you can't rely on anyone else to control and maintain your own brand." This statement came out publicly right after CP&B was dropped by one of their biggest clients, Burger King. This is clearly a big PR no-no.

Mr. Mason, I feel, is digging a bigger hole for himself each time he speaks. At first, he backed Groupons decision to allow the CP&B designed ads to run but then quickly turned on the ad agency once his company went under the heat lamp. On top of this, Groupon is making it seem that they fired CP&B, although the contracts tell a different story. Supposedly, CP&Bs contract was up in February and seem to only have been used for the Super Bowl.

It doesn’t take a genius to understand that what Mr. Mason did was wrong. Although the ads were distasteful and obviously designed by the ad agency, Mr. Mason gave them full permission to be used. Groupon wanted to take a gamble and then couldn’t handle the pressure once it failed.

In a PR world, Groupon shouldn’t have ever dissed CP&B the way they did and instead, should have just admitted that they were wrong and be done with it.

I was impressed with CP&B’s CEO Andrew Keller statement about the whole situation. He said; “We signed on with Groupon on a project basis and produced the work that we agreed upon. They are incredibly smart marketers, [we] felt privileged to work with them and look forward to their continued success."

This statement was classy, honest, and didn’t take away from what they did, right or wrong. If Mr. Mason would have just been honest with the public that they made a mistake and that they were happy that CP&B did the work they asked but were looking for a new ad agency, I think everything would be better. 

Sea World's Killer Whale to Re-Appear

This last week, Sea World made a big announcement that they were letting one of their orcas, Tilikum, come back into their “Believe” show in Orlando. Tilikum is the orca that famously killed trainer Dawn Brancheau last February, causing Sea World to shut down and their PR department into crisis management mode.

A lot of the public is confused why they are putting this “killer” killer whale, which has supposedly killed 3 people, back into their show in Orlando. Since the incident last February, Sea World has not allowed any of their trainers in the waters with the orcas. This has helped relieve a lot of anxiety of people wanting to visit the parks but a lot of people are still confused why he isn’t being taken out of the show permanently.

Sea World has yet to answer CNN’s questions about the incident but came out with a statement last week saying that putting Tilikum back into their show would help him physically, mentally, and will help with his “enrichment.” Grey Stafford, trainer from the Wildlife Zoo and Aquarium, did an interview with CNN discussing why he thinks it’s a good idea that Tilikum be brought back into the show. He mentions that the biggest reason they are bringing Tilikum back to the show is because he is not an immediate threat to any one besides the trainers and that Sea World was taking extra precautions to protect the trainers.

As for PR, the reason I thought this should be discussed is, although Sea World has done its best to clean up the crisis, bringing Tilikum back into the picture might hurt them more than help them. Not answering the media’s questions quickly has left some people confused and for a business all about “butts in seats”, they need to make sure the public understands, fully, why they chose to do what they did.

Not only is the public needed to be reassured about this idea but also the family of Brancheau. Sea World’s PR department needs to make sure they make the public fully aware that they are sorry about the incident but that they are trying to think what is best for one of their orcas. Obviously Dawn died doing what she loved, but the whole incident was sad and shouldn’t be tossed aside so easily. It will be interesting to see if Sea World ever responds to CNN. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Padded" and "Push-up" Tops Now Made For Little Girls.....

Abercrombie & Fitch has always been one for controversy. They like to offer “grown-up” clothes to little kids, causing concern for a lot of parents. Recently, they have been under the spotlight for offering, “padded” and “push-up” bikini tops for young girls.

We’ve discussed in my Race, Gender and Media class about how little girls are being taught, at a very young age, that they need to be aware of their sexuality. It’s sad that we are pushing children to grow up faster, when really, we should be teaching our children to act like children longer.

Abercrombie & Fitch made a huge mistake by not making any comments on this issue. We’ve talked in class that, by not saying anything, makes you look guilty. Obviously, Abercrombie & Fitch doesn’t see an issue with it because they didn’t have their PR department release a statement to clear the air that they aren’t trying to push little girls into being aware of their sexuality. So what did they end up doing to “fix” the problem? They just changed the information, on their website, to read, “striped triangle, bottoms sold separately”. Sounds like their PR department needs a re-training and a whole lot of classes with Bufkins.

According to the article on, Abercrombie got into heated waters in 2002 for a controversially racist shirt against Chinese people and then again in 2003, when they were pressured into “halting” their racy magazines and discontinue their holiday catalog that had naked young adults in provocative positions.

It is obvious that Abercrombie & Fitch needs to work on fixing their image before they become an un-reputable company, including a hiring a new PR team. They need to remember that they market to tweens and young adults, who mostly rely on parents for income. Parents aren’t going to want to support a company who offers a “padded” and “push-up” bikini tops for little girls. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

World Wide Travel's Press Release

This week a tour bus, in New York City, crashed into two poles on I-95 killing 14 people. The New York news speculated if the driver fell asleep at the wheel or if they were hit. The driver surprisingly survived and said that the bus clipped a tractor-trailer, sending it sideways into two signs on the highway. This account is still being investigated. Since the accident, the bus company World Wide Travel, has been scrutinized and investigated as well. The media has found that they have had accidents in the past couple of years.

Immediately, World Wide Travel sent out a press release. An article called “Seven Rules to Remember When A Crisis Strikes” in the PR Daily discussed seven things you should always remember. World Wide Travel hit four of those rules. The first rule, which says you should discuss the victims, was done well. World Wide Travel made sure that they sent their condolences to the victim’s families. The rule I thought they followed best, and one that we’ve discussed in class, is how timely they sent it out. We’ve been taught to send out the release as soon as possible and World Wide Travel sent theirs out within hours.

The last two rules, that they followed, have also been discussed in class. The third rule is to make sure your company responds first and becomes the primary contact before others. This helps control rumors and accusations. The last rule is saying “not comment” is like saying your guilty. Professor Bufkins has talked about this subject continuously. When companies don’t say anything, it sounds like they are trying to cover up their guilty actions. World Wide Travel did a great job by communicating and showing that they cared.

It was a tragedy what happened and it will be curious to see what happens with the investigation. Until then, World Wide Travel has done a great job communicating to the public and attempting to control the crisis.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Do the right thing because it is right

“Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic key to living your life with integrity.”
–W. Clement Stone

I’ve always loved this quote but I wish doing the right thing would be that easy. Obviously, people struggle to know what is right and acting upon what is right. This is where codes of ethics come in handy. We’ve been discussing the different codes of ethics and what topics they discuss. I thought I would share three codes that I found interesting to compare.

We will start with Honesty. I believe that everything revolves around this key factor. Without honesty to the client and the public, a PR practitioner is nothing. Some codes are blunt, like Arthur Page Society, and just tell you to tell the truth. Some of the others, like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and Global Alliance, tell you to “adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth.” Although these are basically telling the same thing, to be honest, I feel that the meaning of “highest standards” could be skewed to fit what people feel it should. The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) said something I really liked. Not only do they tell you to be honest with others, but that it is more important to be honest with yourself. This type of honesty should be encouraged because, if you can’t be honest with yourself, you won’t be honest with your publics. I read that the American Advertising Federation listed truth as their first code of ethics. I was glad to see that telling the truth is just as important to Advertising as it is to PR.

One code, which can interfere with honesty, is loyalty. According to PRSA, PR practitioners must be faithful to their clients but take care of the public interest as well. I personally believe that it is loyalty that will test how PR practitioners deal with honesty, especially if their client doesn’t want the truth out. I was a little shocked that some codes, didn’t have codes for loyalty. I’ve always assumed this was as important as honesty, but I guess some codes don’t feel that way. PRSA, Global Alliance and Arthur Page Society, all have codes for loyalty. Not to play favoritism, but I am happy that PRSA has ethical codes for all the big ethical issues. When it comes to Advertising codes, they don’t really hit the topic of loyalty but they do suggest that advertisers make a clear representation of their client.

The last code I found interesting was competition. I never knew there was a need for a competition code until I got into my class. Competition can be good if it’s done right but can be extremely harmful if it’s not. I really liked what the Council of PR firms code said about competition. It said, “handle relationships with business partners and vendors in a businesslike manner, and give credit for ideas and services provided by others.” I really liked that they encourage PR practitioners to give credit where credit is due. Advertisers are constantly having competition and so I wasn’t shocked when I found their code for it. Advertisers are not allowed to make wrong statements about a competitors products or services.

There are so many codes for PR and advertisers to follow. They are all state different ethical codes but they all say the same thing. It comes down to us, in every decision, to make the right choice. Again, I wish it were so easy. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Race, Gender and the Media 2/28

Monday in class we listened to people present their projects. I really enjoyed Kali's project about how gay's are misrepresented in the media. I'm an avid Glee watcher and, although Kurt is one of my favorite characters, I do feel that they make him be every stereotype a gay man has.

I feel that stereotyping gays has led to a lot of issues, possibly even the reason there has been an increase in bullying. I understand that a lot of people don't agree with their lifestyle but that doesn't mean we should tease and bully them. This same type of treatment happened to women in the old days. We were characterized as "housewives" and portrayed as weak. Then, the feminist movement happened, and women began to show they were more than what men believed them to be.

Today, the media portrays more women being independent and successful. I feel that the time is coming, when gay's will have their chance to prove themselves as well. Until then, I won't be able to watch any shows, with a gay character, without feeling sad and bewildered for people I have known to be kind and absolutely amazing.

80 Cents to $1

The Public Relations industry is growing fast. Last year, reported that 73% of PR practitioners were females.  Despite the majority of the industry being women, women are still experiencing a smaller salary than men. In 2007, PRSA found that men were making an average of $93, 494 compared to women, who made only $66,467 for the same jobs.

Wednesday, an op-ed came out in the NY times called “Girls and Boys Together” that discussed this issue. According to the article, women still only make 80 cents for every $1 a male makes. You would think that, 40 years after a feminist movement, this problem would be corrected. Obviously, it’s not.

What exactly is PRSA doing to fix this problem? According to them, they have a committee, called Work Life and Gender, which “explores various issues concerning the industry’s income discrepancy and how PRSA can address those issues.” The organization claims that the way professionals determine pay is through people’s years of experience.

What’s worse, studies show that young, childless women make more than men but once they get married and have children, their salaries decrease. Doesn’t sound like professional experience to me. So how exactly can women, like myself who are going into PR, do to fix this problem?

We’ve discussed in a lot of my classes that men ask for higher salaries. Women need to take an initiative, and do the same. We can have just as much experience and work just as hard, but, unfortunately, we need to prove ourselves more. Luckily, knowledge is power and letting women who are entering the Public Relations world know that the “glass ceiling” still exists, might allow the problem to be solved.

It will be interesting to see what PRSA does to correct this problem in the next couple of years. I just hope that businesses learn that experience is more important than gender.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Taco Bell takes to the fans

In late January, a federal court within the Central District of California, filed a lawsuit against Taco bell for not having real "beef" in their beef tacos. This suit angered a lot of people, especially Taco bell. For some time now, Taco Bell has worked to fix their image. Instead of this becoming a public relations crisis, it actually has worked to their advantage. Taco Bell made an incredibly smart move and, while sending out press releases and counter-attack ads in newspapers, they used social media to reach their most loyal customers.
Taco Bell offered a free "beef" taco to anyone who liked their Facebook page. They reported having over 250,000 "likes" to their page in just one week.  Taco Bell is commited to giving away 10 million tacos but they have not released an actual figure of how many coupons have been given away. Even so, Facebook is helping them to see how people are reacting to the lawsuit.
This lawsuit could have turned out extremely bad for Taco Bell. These days, everyone is all about going "green" and buying only organic or grass-fed meats. To find out that the meat used in your favorite taco, isn't meat at all, could have been devastating. Luckily, Taco Bell is taking the correct steps to fixing the problem. In the PR world, responding fast is extremely important, but knowing who to reach out to first is even more important. 
Contacting their loyal customers, through social media, is one way to fix the problem. People in my classes said they would still eat their tacos, with our without real "beef", because they were so good. They are examples of loyal customers to Taco Bell. 
It will be interesting to see what happens with the countersuit that Taco Bell filed against the California group. It seems like the Taco Bell incident is slowly dying down. I thought this was a great example of how PR practitioners can find ways to fix crisis situations and one way they can do it, through social media. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Race, Gender and the Media 2/21

I came across an ad on that caused some controversy in downtown Soho, New York. PR Daily was was discussing how an anti-abortion ad went completely overboard. This is the ad below.

I was completely shocked! I'm not sure what the anti-abortion group, Life Always based here in Texas, was thinking. They completely missed their mark. Not only is this completely racist towards the African-American community, but completely stereotypical. First off, the African-American community shouldn't be targeted for abortions when white women obtain 60% of abortions each year. So why isn't a white child on this poster? Forget the white child, why is this poster even created?? This does not help create support for anti-abortion groups but only creates more anger, and that makes me even more upset.

I know this doesn't really hit on what we discussed this last week and I will discuss Killing Us Softly 4 in my next blog but this really got me upset. What is your take on it?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Race, Gender and the Media 2/14

Since we've been talking about race in the media and this is black history month, I decided to share an empowering clip from 60 minutes. Morgan Freeman was being interviewed and was asked about Black History month. His response was priceless.

He doesn't want a black history month and I love when he says that "black history is American history." How do we end racism according to Morgan Freeman? To stop talking about it. If only the media and the maketing world would listen to him. I think that black history month is important only because it gives blacks the opportunity to have their history showcased but I don't really see a need for it. I feel like having a month dedicated to them supports racism because it's like telling them that you only get February to be recognized. Maybe that's just my opinion.

How do we end racism?? Hopefully everyone will take Morgan Freeman's advice and stop talking about it.

"Racism is man's gravest threat to man---the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason" -Abraham J. Heschel

The Need for Ethics

We recently discussed an ethical situation where a company was practicing egoism and asking an intern to "spin" the truth. We all came out with the same responses that she should quit and realize what this type of internship could possibly do to her future. The situation was pretty easy to figure out using the Potter's Box but after class I started to think about the situation more.
It's really easy to sit back and read about someone else's situations and know exactly what they need to do to fix them. It's not so easy when it is us, instead, going through the situation. The struggle is a lot more difficult when your apart of it then when you're looking in from the outside. I felt like this with our case study.
It was easy for me to say what the intern should have done but I know that, if I was truly in her situation, it wouldn't have been an easy decision. This is where the Potter Box comes in handy. When we are faced with situations that truly test our moral and ethical codes, this system has a way of making you see the bigger picture. I wouldn't necessarily use this formula on all my ethical situations because I know my values, loyalties and principles pretty well. When it comes to unfamiliar situations in business though, I can see a real need for this type of system.  Making us write down the situation and who might be affected allows us to see what the consequences of our actions might end up being.
Overall, I enjoyed the case study because it made me understand a little more why Journalism students need to take an ethics class. We can all say that we would never go against our own values and beliefs but sometimes circumstances arise that will challenge everything we believe in.   
"Even the most rational approach to ethics is defenseless if there isn't the will to do what is right" -Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Silence isn't always golden

I am a hardcore Chicago Bears fan but I do love some players from other teams. One of these is Mark Sanchez. Sanchez, in my opinion, is one of the sexiest quarterbacks in the NFL. He has been an outstanding quarterback for the New York Jets and some would say a great role model, until recently.
Not much has been heard about Sanchez having a “good time” with a 17-year-old and he can thank the protests in Egypt for that. Recently, the 17-year-old named Eliza, sold a story and pictures to a website called telling about her racy night she had with Sanchez. Although the state of New York does not find this “illegal”, Sanchez has yet to come out and apologize for the scandal to his fans.
As someone who is in the public eye and seen as a leader of an NFL team, it is his duty to apologize to his fans about his behavior. Not saying anything leads to more talk. We have been discussing in class how being silent can sometimes make the situation worse. Fraser Seitel, a crisis management expert, wrote an article of three simple things that Sanchez should say in order to end the whole mess. The suggestions were:
1.       I made a mistake, and I regret it
2.       I’ve learned from this that I’ve got to be more careful
3.       From now on, I will be
Again, Sanchez would me smart to take Seitel’s advice. Situations like these always find ways of reemerging if they aren’t settled. He should look at Ben Roethlisberger and Tiger Woods. They both came out and apologized. Some still talk about their incidents but the majority has moved on. Let’s just hope that Sanchez follows their lead. Then again, I do love seeing his face in the news!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Race, Gender and the Media class 2/7

Last Monday night we watched a video that really upset me. The video is about how the black community fights to find who they are and what they should be. It's sad to hear how much they feel they need to change in order to "fit in" to society.  In the video, a girl asks 21 different African-American kids, probably around the ages of 5-6, which doll they preferred. Their choices were between a white doll and a black doll. In the video, 15 out of the 21 chose that they would rather play with the white doll.

One little girl was asked which doll looked "bad" and she chose the black doll. Then she was asked which doll looked "nice" and she chose the white doll. When she was asked which doll looked more like her, you could tell she got extremely upset and pushed the black doll towards the interviewer.

This video broke my heart. Little kids, no matter what color they are, shouldn't feel bad about picking a doll like them or even looking like themselves. On top of that, listening to these girls talk about how black people feel they need to bleach their skin or straighten their hair to look "beautiful" is just as upsetting.

The sad part is, things always look greener on the other side. For white girls, the need to be tan and blonde is just as pushed onto our culture as being white with straight hair is pushed onto theirs. The question is, where does it stop? When do we start teaching our children and other people's children that they are beautiful the way they are?

Watch the video. Spread the video and really get an idea of how these girls and children feel. Maybe then, we can change the way media is done and what messages are really being sent out. No one should feel like they should change who they are for society.

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Real Housewives of Miami

I've never been a big fan of Bravo's Real Housewives. I'm not into all the drama, fighting and gossip that the shows usually pertain. Rumor has it that the new "Real Housewives of Miami" will be hosting a lady who owns a very well-known PR company in Miami called The Patton Group.
The Patton Group, owned by the soon-to-be housewife Marysol Patton, does PR for some very famous people and companies like Robert Cavalli Vodka, Emilio Estefan, Renaissance Hotels, De Beers and Diane Von Furstenberg.
It was reported, in the Miami Herald, that Marysol will be involved in some romantic "entanglements" throughout the show. As someone who owns and represents some of the largest names in business, I don't think that this show will be good PR for Marysol herself. I'm still trying to figure out why she would sign herself up for the show knowing how the show is?
We've talked before that there is no such thing as bad publicity but that doesn't mean that you should expect the worst and still do it. I can't see any good publicity for Marysol coming out of this show. Almost all the Real Housewives are criticized more than they are admired. If I owned a PR company and if I was the image of that company, why would I risk my company, and the companies I represent, for one silly show?
Maybe I can't see the bigger picture of the whole situation but I won't be surprised if Marysol finds herself having to do a little PR on herself at the end of this year. What would you do? Would you sign up for a silly show that broadcasts your life and the way you live when you own a PR company for some of the largest names in fashion? It will definitely be interesting to see what happens.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Race, Gender and the Media Blog #2

So last monday we watched a video that talks about how specific cultures are seen in the media. Native Americans are always seen as living in teepees, blacks are seen eating chicken and watermelon, and asians are always doing kung fu.

It's sad to say that the only thing that shocked me was how they left out two white "cultures" that are always misrepresented. I guess, because they are white, it's okay. They didn't have Italians in the video. This is strange to me because Italians are always classified as being in the mob/mafia, wearing gold chains, having mistress and killing people. Isn't that miss representation and stereotyping? The Italians I know don't do any of those things.

Let's not forget hillbillies. My family comes from the mountains of Tennessee where the world "hillbilly" is actually a good word. Hillbillies were people that lived on the mountains and fought for the "billy yanks" of the north. Mountain people didn't need slaves in the old days and so they were against it. Now days, hillbilly means someone who sleeps with their sister, lives in a trailer, is lazy and doesn't have a steady job. It pretty much goes hand in hand with redneck (which has also turned into a bad thing when really it meant people who worked the fields and got sunburned) What I find interesting is that no one is complaining about those groups being misrepresented in the media. Don't they have feelings too?

I mean, my family doesn't get offended and instead, usually turns it into a joke. Why can't other cultures just see it as a joke? No one is doing it to offend people really because if that was the case, no one of that culture would be willing to act in those movies. The guy who played Mr. Myagi never said "I'm not doing Karate Kid  because I don't think they are representing asians properly."

Cultures are constantly making fun of themselves but that allows others to think its okay to do it too. The only way I think we can stop this type of stereotyping and misrepresentation is showing respect for our own culture first. Then, I think everyone will follow. Might sound rude but thats how I feel about it. All in all I think that if its such an issue, cultures would start saying no to roles and things in the media that make them look bad. The case is, they don't.

Jones World Fails....

So after many months of planning, Jerry Jones and the NFL still find a way to screw up. Tonight, 30-minutes before kick-off, about 1,200 people were denied their assigned seating. The fire marshal exclaimed that the temporary seats, placed inside to add more seating, were not safe enough for people to sit in and so a PR disaster was in the making.
Trying to figure out an alternative, the NFL tried to place people where they could and were offering 3x the face value of the tickets. The only problem is, the face value of almost all those tickets were way less than what people actually paid for them. An example is a gentleman from Dallas who paid $9,700 for two tickets and will only be getting back $1,800. I can only imagine how much people who came into town lost between tickets, hotels and transportation.
What would have made this a better solution? Spending less time and energy on providing entertainment and more time into preparing for hundreds of thousands of people. Who sends a fire marshal into a stadium the day of a football game to okay thousands of seats??? Sounds like poor planning.
The NFL came out saying that the safety of the fans were "paramount" to their decision making. I think their PR team needs to come out with a better statement than that. That statement doesn't explain why they forgot to get safety regulations checked BEFORE the day of the game. Also, they need to do more than just give 3x the face value of the seats back. Some tickets sold for $4,000, I'm pretty sure they made enough money tonight to refund the tickets entirely.
All I know is, thousands either left, missed some of the game, or got stuck in crappier seats than what they were going to be sitting in. Sounds like this "amazing" Superbowl in the "outstanding JerryWorld" crashed before it began.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Apples' non-existent PR

In 2004, Apple announced that Steve Jobs was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer. Since then, not much has been heard about it, until recently when they announced Steve Jobs was taking a medical leave. This caused a drop in their stocks.
Steve Jobs being sick causes a lot of problems for people who own stock in Apple. Steve jobs is the brain of Apple and if anything were to happen to him, it could cause a lot of people to lose thousands, maybe millions, in investments.
Have they thought about how much trouble they might be in if Steve Jobs dies? I don't think so. I read an awesome article called "Apples' PR elephant in the room".  It is true that Apple is allowing Steve Jobs health to be a large elephant in the room. No one wants to discuss what they should do in case something were to happen. The COO, and possible successor Tim Cook, hasn't even been seen in public. If he is suppose to take over the company, he needs to show the public who he is and what he will do in replacement of Steve Jobs.
The best suggestion, the author of the article had for Apple, was to make a public appearing about what is the "vision" of Apple. Since Steve Jobs is seen as the founder, maker and brain of Apple, shouldn't they show the public that if he dies, the company won't die with him? The best way to ensure this is to have a conference with all the leaders of Apple and have them discuss how they see Apple staying ahead in the technology world without Steve Jobs.
Whatever Apple does, they need to do it quickly. Everything is so secretive. You can't be completely secretive when you are a BILLION dollar company with thousands of shareholders. Otherwise, Apple may never recover if something were to happen. Hopefully, Steve Jobs is going to be okay. Let's all pray for the best.  

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Race, Gender and the Media Class Discussion Jan. 24th

In our last race, gender and the media class, we discussed race and local TV. We had a long discussion about the Antoine Dodson video that went viral. I completely agree that, as a TV station, there was no need to put that entire comment on the air. They should have edited the information more. Also, there should have been information about the suspect.
Our other discussion was about minorities always on TV for crime. I think minorities are always tied with crimes on TV because they usually are tied with crimes in real life. Most crimes take place where there are drugs and money. Both of these things run rampant in the projects and low-economical neighborhoods. Does this mean that all minorities do crimes? No. Should they be portrayed this way? No. The only way to fix this is having TV stations show less crime and find better alternatives about minorities in the community.
Race is always going to be an issue. Someone is always going to be unhappy and will be pointing a finger. I sometimes wish the word “race” would be dropped because I feel like everyone who lives in America is American, no matter what color you are. It just seems like the people who always bring up race are the ones who say they want “racism” to be non-existent. Who knows. I think this class will be interesting but I can see, from the list of things we talk about, that there will be a lot of disagreements. I’m just going to have to control what I say and how I say it.

Important of Ethics in Business 4470

“The moral sense of conscience is the most noble of all the attributes of man.” –Charles Darwin
Ethics are like social norms. Do you ever wonder where we get some of our social norms? Like standing in line for a bathroom stall? Or how no one talks to strangers in the elevator with them? These are silly questions but are things that everyone does because it’s become innate. We learn from childhood that social norms are what people expect of us and if you don’t follow them, bad things happen. Ever seen someone cut a line? Precisely.
Ethics are the same way. They aren’t laws that people have to follow but more like guidelines that people expect others to follow. They are guidelines to make sure people do the right thing. From childhood we learn what is right and what isn’t right. The problem is ethics is subjective. It means different things to different people.  
Even with it being subjective, ethics keeps everyone on the same page in business. This is why ethics are so important. Having such guidelines keep businesses from doing the wrong thing because, when they do perform an unethical situation, they usually never recover. An example of this is Enron.
Ethics are extremely important in business. They help companies build good reputations. As PR practitioners, our job is to build an ethical and honorable relationship with our organization and the public. We have a duty to our organization and the public to perform ethically in all situations. PR is already seen as a “lying and spinning” business and so we have to work extra hard to make sure we are reputable.
Imagine what the world would be like without social norms. There would be chaos. Now imagine business without ethics. Get the picture?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Barnett Shale Under Investigation

The concerns of hundreds of people in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area are coming true. In Parker County, a gentlemen called the Environmental Protection Agency because he started to notice gas was being leaked into his well contaminating his drinking water. Not too far from his home is a Barnett Shale drilling station done by Range Production Company. Of course there are investigations to see if the gas in his well is in fact from the drilling nearby because natural gas has supposedly been found in wells around his before. Since Texas was once filled with natural gas pockets, it's supposedly not uncommon to find gas in wells. Some say it's gas that's naturally in that area, while some say it's caused by a leak from the drilling nearby. This makes Barnett Shale look pretty bad since they have been saying for years that the drillings would be safe. The worst part of this article says that EPA mentions that they have problems like this nationwide.

This article hit so close to home since they are planning on putting a Barnett Shale drilling station near my house. I know our drinking water will not be affected but I would assume that, if gas is leaking into water sources, that there is going to be environmental damage. Barnett Shale should understand that their obligation is to those around their drilling stations and to prove that they will investigate and get the matter under hand. Otherwise, this is the kind of thing that can shut a company down.

Read the article. It hits too close to home for a lot of people in the north Texas area.’s-drinking-water-puts-drilling-epa-in-national-spotlight.ece

Thursday, January 20, 2011


So i'm not much of a blogger or writer. My mother is usually the one who is witty enough for these kinds of things but unfortunately i'm having to have a blog for my class. So here we go.