Mississippi in the Dog House

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If you haven’t heard the story, their has been some negative attention on the Mississippi Governor. Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi, caused some controversy the other day when he made a statement about reasons why children are mediocre in school. His reasoning was that because there was no one at home to provide nurturing care to these children. However, his comment was assumed to negatively attribute the problem as women in the work place. At least according to ABC reporters that was the “firestorm” created after he made this comment. 

“I think when both parents started working, when mom started in the work place…” -Phil Bryant

He would go on to say that, “it’s not a bad thing that moms are in the work place,” but the damage was done. People began responding to this comment negatively which raises all kinds of questions about crisis management (and the state of affairs in our nation). 

 

Here’s a link to a video covering the story

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/video?id=9128344

If you watch the video, the Governor was obviously not attempting to put women at fault for the current education mediocrity but people have definitely clung to that as being the case. His statement would have been better phrased if he had never brought mothers into the subject, however he will have to do some work to get out of the spotlight on this issue.  

A question that PR professionals are going to have to answer in this matter; Is it better to allow his matter to go away on it’s own, or is he going to have to focus on restoring his image?

Response to Baylee, Week 3.

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This last week a classmate of mine wrote on article on the possible increase of prices for Netflix. It brought back memories of the great Netflix split in 2011. IN the split Netflix went from offering DVD and online streaming all in one package, too two separate packages. I remember the uproar and commotion it caused and according to Baylee cost them over a million customers. I think it will be fascinating to see how Netflix handles this price increase again. The first time wasn’t handled well. Although it is sometimes mandatory for companies to make hard decisions, however the damage can be minimized through effective campaigns and how they handle the situation. Netflix has a huge following, and a loyal fan base. It will be important to note how they will show their love to their customers in this time of change. Albeit a small change, it will still receive attention across the nation on social media.

Obviously how Netflix handled it’s first big change was disastrous. (Any company losing 1,000,000 customers would feel that in their pocket books). The problem was two fold in their first mistake. First, they had no strategy to prepare and help their customers make the transition. they were simply notified of the upcoming changes and forced to conform. More importantly they were cutting out half of the capability of their users. Second, they didn’t respond to the crisis. They didn’t release anything to their subscribers to calm their frustrations and by not saying anything, they communicated that they didn’t care. 

 

How Netflix plans to thoughtfully engage and respond to the problem before the changes take place will  fundamentally influence the the outcome Netflix will have from this event, especially if nothing changes but a price increase. 

Here’s a link to Baylee’s article

http://bayleedbunyard.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/netflix-is-soon-to-be-a-more-expensive-date/ 

PR Ethics Week 3: The Misunderstood Dilemma.

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In our world people assume they are grounded in what they believe. The problem is that we are in a much more difficult scenario and complex world than we have a grasp on. Even if we ignore current hot button issues, it is hard to know where we stand and how firmly we stand on a multitude of different areas. There are just too many good arguments out there on both sides of issues. More so, we don’t seem to understand the problems and current reasons for those problems as it is. This is important because many moral and ethical challenges are in the face of PR professionals. They carry weight and so learning how to handle their influence is something our nation needs. So in light of the difficulty and the necessity of PR professionals making wise decisions I am going to propose a a plan to assist those in the PR world. 

Here are three easy steps in learning how to maintain a strong ethical approach to their profession.

1. Humility: Having a humble attitude toward your profession and others is by far the highest priority. You cannot hear others concerns or address them correctly if your own pride gets in the way. Humility is hard, but the moment you dismiss concerns or assume you are in the right, you have already failed to help the situation. 

2. 1000 Sources: The number of times you come across a scenario that you don’t fully understand is innumerable (if not always) but a good habit to get into is asking for more information. Even in the event of a crisis, taking some time to know more on the situation is imperative to a good response. Read one author you are a close, a few your confused, and a thousand you are educated. Even Doctors get it wrong sometimes; don’t get lost in the first set of information you receive. 

3. Ask Questions: Many times people make mistakes when they have heard only what they want to hear. It’s hard to do something or listen to someone you disagree with, but you must hear them either way. Even if you listen and come to the conclusion that their thoughts are unjust or biased, you would want them to do the same for you. Whats more, is that you may find your opinion was misunderstood in the first place.

 

In a crisis management plan, and general actions in PR, a habit of humility will, seeking a 1000 sources, and asking questions will help reinforce and protect you and the company you represent in the long run. 

Response to “Blackfish”

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Although it was a hard situation that Sea World had to respond too, I don’t know if I could have a real understanding of what happened with Sea World otherwise. Taking an opinion from that movie would be the same as attempting to buy a Mac computer from a Microsoft store. The movie had a motive. It wanted you to look at Sea World from the most negative perspective and made sure you did so. Some of the PR moves that were taken by the company were extremely poor choices, but i don’t know to the extent that they were true. For instance, in the movie multiple trainers spoke as if they didn’t understand the risks that were involved with some of the fish, but I don’t think that was an accurate representation of the situation. The trainers themselves spoke on the information they were given but only those who had become outspoken against Sea World. They would speak of the dangers of getting into the water with the animals at live shows, but claimed that they weren’t informed about the risks they were taking. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know personally how the dissemination of information happens at Sea World, but I don’t think that someone who was attempting to get the parks shut down would be a great source for that information. The amount of bias in the movie raised high skepticism and if nothing else I would ask all of my peers to take a second look at some of content of the movie. I couldn’t know the problems that Sea World was facing or the reasoning for those problems through “Blackfish.” Perhaps if I were directly involved, had multiple accounts from Sea World trainers on both sides of the issue, and more than one whale specialist, then perhaps I would have a better idea of what went on there. I won’t, however, fall into a trap that I fear many of my classmates had done. Namely, accept all the information and opinions in the movie as fact. I would hope that we are a generation of people asking to understand the other side of the issues, rather than swinging back and forth between the loudest person yelling. 

How do we respond to donors? Not well it seems.

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Non-Profits rely on donations and that money doesn’t just appear. Gratitude can sometimes be lost in the mission, but according to some findings it’s more often than we would like. Below I’m going to post some of the findings below so that I can reference. 

  • The level of failure of organizations to respond was high across all tests, up to 20 percent.
  • Nearly half of nonprofits don’t promote regular giving to someone who has given a one-time gift.
  • Up to 40 percent of organizations don’t thank donors when they set up a regular gift.
  • It’s not unusual for nonprofits to take weeks, even months, to respond to a simple request.
  • Five nonprofits that sent receipts of confirmations never actually took the donation from the credit card.

Having worded in Non-Profits already, I know it can be challenging to fund raise on top of hosting an event AND finding qualified / willing volunteers. The tragedy happens when people who helped get lost in giving thanks. These results demonstrate not an area of failure, but rather an area of growth. When a parent donates to a fundraiser they have to decide that over saving for their child. Budgeting and sending thank you cars, inviting one-time donors to make a longer commitment can all have tremendous effects on cultivating and meeting a mission. As the saying goes, you aren’t a leader if no one is following you. I strongly encourage all of those in a Non-Profit sector to notice these trends and that they motivate you to take aggressive efforts in thanking people and demonstrating kindness towards those who have shown you kindness. 

Here are a few non conventional ways to show someone you appreciate their donation.

1: Hand written snail mail is more personal. With an ever growing technological world, more and more people are going paperless. People appreciate a hand written thank you over email that was sent to thousands. It may be cheaper but it doesn’t cut the mustard.

2: Banquettes, pizza parties, shindigs: Just inviting someone to a thank you benefit may be enough but who sends a pizza as a thank you? No body. Even better I am sure there are ways to partner with a pizza company to do so. Good press for both sides and your donors are taken care of. 

Whatever you decide, do something to honor those who come along side you to make your mission a reality. 

Surveys about Non-Profit giving?

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I am always one to raise a skeptical eye when a report is posted. Even more so when it seems to benefit those posting it. According to an article posted in the Non-Profit times, a new post showing giving amounts from people nation-wide, showed that bible readers on average give six times more.  While I don’t have time to look in depth at the survey style and all of the other fine details, it might point to a growing trend that Non-Profits are going to need to start thinking how and who to focus their attention on. What may be even scarier for those seeking donations is that bible-readers are in decline. The study also showed that among the highest givers were the elderly and among the most outspoken about not giving any money were the millennials. Also, church attendance is in a decline nation wide. What will this mean for those in the non-profit sector and others relying on donations?

There are at least three possibilities that may arise from this information. 

1: The data is accurate: In this case, the Non-Profit sector will need to begin developing new strategies and hope to find a way to encourage giving among the new generation which the Kony 2012 campaign demonstrates can be done. 

2: The data is partly accurate: In this case, the Non-Profit sector needs to invest in finding out exactly which sections are accurate and developing reactions towards that data.

3: The data is inaccurate: In this case forget the article, but Non-Profit Times needs to check their sources. 

 

No matter what, Non-Profits need to take a serious look at the data. 

 

Here’s a link to the original article:

http://www.thenonprofittimes.com/news-articles/survey-bible-readers-give-more-than-those-who-dont/ 

Response To Sarah’s Instagram

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Sarah Jane wrote an insightful article on the questionable activity of random accounts adding you on social media sites. Facebook may have a way to prevent random people from befriending you and monitoring your activity, but how do we act when random people follow us on Intragram or twitter? 

As the world gets more and more intertwined with technology we are losing much of our animosity. How do we go about hiding our activity? Much less do we even have a right to hide our thoughts when we are posting them to the “World Wide Web?” Sarah s article raised some challenging questions as I read through her article. 

Should online companies be obligated to take action like Instagram? Do these websites have a good way of monitoring suspicious activity and even if they did, should they use that technology? At least some boast about how many followers they have, (in fact numbers started getting dropped in our first day of class.) Should action be taken if it’s going to harm other uses of these media tools? 

In the case of her newly created account for Jam the City, she had multiple followers before anything was posted. That could have been the case of die hard fans or ghost accounts liking everything but in either case, shouldn’t a company, who’s desire is to generate a following, accept those new followers with open arms?

Overall, Sarah’s brief insight into the matter only glances over much of the drama that will eventually play out through some of these social networks, but we will have to wait and see how things change in the future. 

Here’s a link to her article, maybe you can join the conversation. 

http://sarahjanejohn.wordpress.com/2014/04/17/can-i-instagram-that/