My Fab Five

7 Dec

I have been asked to write on my top five favourite topics we learned about in my public relations class this semester. Those top five would have to be…

  • crisis management
  • ethics
  • public opinion and persuasion
  • writing
  • Marketing vs. PR

I thought crisis management was very interesting because of the diverse range of ways to handle and plan for when crises arise. It was surprising to me that many companies don’t prepare ahead of time  for possible conflicts. I really enjoyed reviewing recent issues such as the BP oil spill and Maple Leaf  meats to see how important it is to have good PR.

Learning about ethics by having to solve an ethical problem in groups was very informative. It is one of those topics that when just reading about, or taking in a lecture, you can say “easy peezy, I know what I would do.” But when actually handed a situation to solve you realize all of the intricacies and how many people need to be taken into account. These scenarios also showed how differences of onions can prolong the decision process as well as bringing forth the various angles one situation can be looked at.

Public Opinion and persuasion was where I began to discern public relations and marketing. You started to see how PR was really about creating and maintaining relationships–ergo, publics are extremely pertinent in the world of PR.

It was made known that writing in the world of PR is of very high importance. I loved making the time to write this blog (unfortunately, one week had to be sacrificed) and stretch out my three-quarters-of-an-English-degree skills. Blogging really allows you the freedom of opinion as well as the chance to explore language and your own personal writing style.  Sometimes I’m not sure if Camosun marketing students are given enough opportunity to exercise/improve upon their writing skills which, as shown in this course, is much needed.

Lastly, I appreciated the lecture on the difference between marketing and PR. Taking a course in PR and marketing communications at the same time made it easy to confuse the two. from this lecture I learned that PR focuses on relationships  and decreasing costs while marketing focuses on making/creating profit. With PR, you can renew a product using the power of messaging and the legitimacy created by the media, where marketing does not necessarily do this.

At this point, I can’t really decide whether I like public relations or not. For now, I think I wouldn’t mind doing a job where PR is necessary from time to time, but not as my main function within an organization. I still have some time to think and explore on that anyway.

Thanks for an interesting semester!

Sara

Let the shopping begin!

26 Nov

I thought my previous blog post would be a good segway into a discussion of one of America’s biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday. The day after thanksgiving, American’s like to start their Christmas shopping and they like to start it with a bang. On Black Friday, stores across the country provide their customers with extreme discounts that create line-ups and sometimes leads to fighting! Look at the YouTube videos in this article on the Global News website!

 

malls are crowded with people taking advantage of the black friday deals

 
Looking at the picture above makes me a tad bit claustraphobic, but I have to admit that I would love to see more deals and discounts in our Canadian stores. Apparently I’m in luck. Most news coverage says that the American tradition is creeping it’s way across the border. Many Candians do make the trip down to take advantage of the deals and it seems that our retailers are catching on to that. The Times Colonist recognized several stores in Victoria advertising Black Friday deals, even small businesses such as Lansdowne Appliance on Douglas Street. Other major stores you can expect to have Black Friday deals in Canada include Best Buy, Chapters, Michael’s, Future Shop, and Toys R Us.
 
The real fun I find in this crazy shopping day is the start of the holiday season. After Black Friday, the holiday festivities start to take off. You see lights on houses, the carolers start downtown, and best of all are the displays at Butchart Gardens. So I end this post with an image of the Butchart Gardens–it will make you go oooh, aaahhh 🙂
 

Butchart Gardens at Christmas

  

It’s cool to be occupyin’

26 Oct

I was perusing my favourite magazine online today (Elle of course) and found a blog post about Occupy Wall Street that made a couple obvious jabs, but nevertheless enlightening.  The post centred around the filming of the “front lines”  of Occupy Wall Street to be aired on a show called ‘True Life” for MTV. The writer mused on the fact that connecting with the protesters was so easy, questioning the protesters use of smartphones and access to computers. And this is where things got confusing for me. If you have these devices like smartphones and computers that are becoming more and more necessary in our day-to-day living how are we supposed to rid of corporate greed–especially with constant brand competition (Mac vs. PC anyone?)?

The “Occupy” movement began on Wall Street in New York on September 17, 2011. It’s now the end of October and the movement is still continuing. My initial reaction to Occupy Wall Street was very suspicious since the whole thing just seemed a little general, I mean fighting against capitalism and corporate greed…ok, but where is this going? It just felt like there must be some sort of underlying motive here, or maybe a bunch over-educated people decided there hadn’t been a protest in a while and thought they would see how far social media could take them. It’s a pessimistic view, I know.

After sitting down and taking the time to scan over various articles I understand that the whole point is to be vague and general. The promotional poster above raises the question, What is our one demand?  I thought this was interesting because I guess it is, technically one demand, but a complex one that is a huge part of a North American’s life. The oh so reliable, Wikipedia took me to a site called democracynow.org which had a blogged interview with a Princeton Professor, Cornel West, who said “It’s impossible to translate the issue of the greed of Wall Street into one demand or two demands.” This statement cemented the sense that this protest was going for a minimalist feel; you know, not here for violence, strictly here to have our voices heard. The Wikipedia article also mentioned that one of the main goals was to get as many people involved as possible–strength in numbers kind of deal I guess.  

Celebrities have been making appearances at the Occupy sites

My career choices are heading down the path of marketing, sooo I’m finding it a tad difficult to decide where I stand in this whole thing. One interesting point I found during my research (if that’s what you can call an hour of Googling), is that the movement actually spawned from the Vancouver-based magazine Adbusters!  I did get quite excited when I found this out because it isn’t often that something so large begins so close to home. Adbusters, if you don’t already know, is an advertisment-free, anti- consumerist magazine. 

Now, I have a hard time figuring out where the line gets drawn in terms of being a consumer and buying in to corporate greed. It’s hard to see how the 99% of the population (main tagline stating wealth inequality) is able to switch from purchasing at Wal-Mart to purchasing from the local grocery store because the reason they can’t buy there is that everything is too expensive and usually doesn’t come in reasonable quantities for a single family anyway.  Even for me, still living at home and going to school, I have to watch my spending. For example, I would love to purchase Adbusters or even go as far as subscribe, but it’s around $7 for one issue. I’ll opt out and spend that money on a latte…

The Order of Good Cheer

10 Oct

Thanksgiving weekend is one of my favourite holidays because you really start seeing the changing of the seasons and you get to spend time with family and friends. I love spending time with my family, eating a big turkey dinner, walking outside to notice the change in temperature and the colours of the leaves. My mom’s birthday also falls on this weekend which means birthday cake too! Basically, I never take part in the annual Goodlife marathon, I just eat.

I wondered this weekend, when I was trying to decide what to write for this blog post, how the Canadian Thanksgiving came about. I realized I’d only really ever heard of the American thanksgiving. I decided Google was the answer. It seems to me, the only real difference between Canadian Thanksgiving and American thanksgiving are the Pilgrims.

The Canadian Thanksgiving is mainly a time to celebrate the fall harvest. The tradition was brought into Canada by the French and English. Martin Frobisher, a English Explorer, was the first to introduce Thanksgiving in1578. He’d been looking for the northern passage to the orient, but ended up in Newoundland. It was in Newfoundland where he had a huge feast to give thanks or surviving a long journey.

Samuel de Champlain

Martin Frobisher

When the French settlers arrived with Samuel de Champlain, they practiced a similar tradition of Thanksgiving. They formed “The Order of Good Cheer” and shared their food with the First Nations.

I think Thanksgiving can be taken for granted sometimes. I hear often of people going on trips and opting out of the turkey dinners. But I think everyone eeds to remember to be thankful for what they have in their life and, I mean, we all know turkey and gravy is delicious!

So, I hope this breif history enlightened those who were unaware of the origin of Canadian Thanksgiving as well as remind those that it is more than just an extra day off work, but a time to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends.

The history of Canadian Thanksgiving was found on http://www.twilightbridge.com/hobbies/festivals/thanksgiving/canada/

Naming Worms, Women’s Rights and Unassuming Pregnancies

25 Sep

What’s been making it’s way into the news this past week or so? Well, there were a smathering of stories that caught my eye. I will break it up into The Times Colonist and The Web. The list is as follows:

The Times Colonist 

“What would you name a new worm? Asks UK museum”

http://www.timescolonist.com/travel/What+would+name+worm+asks+museum/5448157/story.html

“Woman gives birth after trail rescue”

 http://www.timescolonist.com/life/Woman+gives+birth+after+trail+rescue/5455688/story.html

“Victoria Royals win first-ever home opener; greeted by sold-out arena and earsplitting cheers”

http://www.timescolonist.com/sports/Victoria+Royals+first+ever+home+opener+greeted+sold+arena+earsplitting+cheers/5454721/story.html

The Web 

Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry continue the Gardasil mandate debate

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9GSaJP96Z0

“Saudi Women can vote in national election, King says”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/25/saudi-women-can-vote-in-national-election_n_979829.html

I imagine living in Victoria BC is similar to what it would be like to live in a bubble. Being a rather small city with a mild climate and lots of retirees results in an easy-to-read newspaper. It’s not very often that the local section of the newspaper will contain a story that is absolutley heart-wrenching or graphic, and I would go on to guess that the majority of Victoria’s society would like to keep it that way. 

 On Saturday night the Royals, Victoria’s new WHL hockey team drew a crowd of approximately 7,000–that is a full house at the Save-on-Foods Arena and on top of that, they won! This made me wonder about the effects this game had on other events that were happening in Victoria this weekend, such as the Rifflandia Music Festival. Were there many people that opted out of the music festival for the hockey game? Would the music festival had more media coverage had the hockey game been on a different weekend? There doesn’t seem to be much media coverage of the music festival and I do think that the hockey game has over-shadowed this event. It comes down to what’s more of a story and the hockey game has that comradarie everyone likes to hear about–the true team spirit.

Like the article about The Royals, these other articles I read are success stories.  A woman was successfully rescued from the West Coast Trail to the Victoria General Hospital where she delivered a baby girl named Fern. Now, the twist in this story is that she did not know she was pregnant. The woman had a miscarriage earlier this year, preventing her from noticing any of the signs attributed to pregnany. The other obscure piece I read was about new worm species found deep in the Antarctic. British citizens are able to take part in naming the five newly discovered species; the goal being to show citizens that taxonomy is interesting and fun.

While the local news can be interesting and fun, like taxonomy, the world news can be serious and contemplative. Election time has begun again in the United States and that means debates over things that are rather meaningless in the big picture. One of the recent topics I found amusing is the argument between Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry regarding the proposed mandate of the HPV immunization for 12 year old girls in Texas. Bachmann is claiming this to be a money scheme of Perry’s and the drug company, while Perry claims it is simply because he is “pro-life” and wants to prevent cervical cancer. I tend to side with Perry on this one, but mainly view the whole debate as entertainment rather than anything I would merit towards a voting decision. This is because there are much bigger issues they should, and I hope, are discussing like economy and war.

Saudi Arabia made a huge step recently in women’s rights, and no, I’m not talking about the allowance of Gardasil. The Saudi King announced that women will not only be able to vote, but run in the next municipal elections which will occur in 2015. It is amazing to be able to read about these advancements other countries are making, but then look back on that local news that was just read and wonder why with all of  this top notch health care we have in North America we couldn’t figure out that a woman was pregnant?

Hello

19 Sep

Hello,

I’m a communications and marketing student at Camosun College in Victoria BC. I have started this blog to begin my journies of staying up to date on the latest current events and forming my own opinions. Information comes to us in so many mediums today and in such vast quantities that it will be a challenge to sift through everything and find what i beleive to be the most important and interesting to discuss on this blog.