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.