Here's the thing....

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..."-Jack Kerouac

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Diabetes Article (Blog #12)

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/25/health/25ada.html?ex=1166158800&en=18616e2e9c7c7a2e&ei=5070

I applaud the ADA for making the first step to project a better ethical image. The baby steps are whats most important, and I look forward to seeing what the association does in the future.

However, is it really enough? And what about the phrmaceutical companies?

" Others remain concerned about the A.D.A.’s relationships with pharmaceutical companies. Their presence is evident throughout the charity, from its annual convention, which is largely underwritten by drug makers, to its board meetings, where pharmaceutical executives have served on the volunteer committees that set policy.

The A.D.A. says its independence is evident because it has often acted against the interests of the pharmaceutical industry. Last month, for example, a panel it appointed to study how to treat people at heightened risk of developing diabetes decided against recommending the use of higher-priced brand-name drugs."

Big freakin' deal- one thing happens that they oppose, and suddenly they are completely independent of pharmaceutical companies? That's quite lame and not something that they should be claiming. For an association that regulates the food and drug administration, the ethical value would be to to not accept any money at all from something that could be swayed. To me, it looks very shady and unethical- who knows what money is being slid under the table for the association to be approving the drugs? This is not something that should be messed with- these are the drugs that people are buying everyday, and just because large companies give a ton of money does not mean they should get special treatment. Also, who says that its right for someone who works for a drug company to serve on a volunteer board that sets "policy" of all things? That is not ethical because the company is going to want to make the policy reflect positively on their drugs, to make it easier for them to be approved. We live in a money driven society,and something MUST be changed for it to start to turn. If not, we will be turning a corner for the worse- and thats scary.

Financial Conflict of Interest (Blog #11)

This topic is what really bothers me about society- the close-mindedness and the drive to get the cash, no matter the cost. Who cares where it come from? As long as the green is there, you are able to go forth with your cause. However, it seems to defeat the purpose of a cause-driven non-profit; what you stand for is how you represent your company, and by accepting money from a conflict of interest, it makes your company image change drastically.

In class, we discussed how alcohol companies have offered money to organizations such as M.A.D.D. Although Im sure that the money is large and a tempting offer, and the organization would love to take the money rather than have the organization completely disappear due to lack of funds. However, what kind of image is that sending if an organization is accepting money from something they advocate against? I applaud MADD for not accepting the money, and for taking an ethical standpoint that others in its position should follow. Just because you lack money does not mean you should ever compromise your morals and ethical standpoint.

I think its ludacris that companies accept money from the places that they advocate against. If you are promoting a cause, dont go after the money from a company that is the exact opposite of your purpose. Be a better person, and do not be driven by capitalism and the drive for money. I say it all the time, but we are the change of the world- who are we to not take actiom? Who cares if all of society is doing it? We owe it to ourselves to be ethical advocates, and support organizations that are ethical advocates, and actually follow it, as well.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Saving Truth (Blog #10)

We talked about saving truth during the last week of class, and I believe that everyones own "saving truth" defines the person that they are. What our saving truth is completely portrays the persona of us.

I believe that my own saving truth is a bi-fold- one is through my faith, and the other is through my beliefs towards socialism and capitalism. I am a follower of Christ, and truly believe in Christianity, and that Christ is my savior. That is something that I base my life around, by having good faith, which leads me to good works, and helps me lead my life. How I treat people, and how I react in situations, is based largely around the faith I have, and the community that I have around me through my church at Denton Bible. My faith is my saving truth, and is something that I should not deny telling others about.

"But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be.”


Another part of my saving truth is my beliefs towards ethics, socialism and capitalism. I believe that as advocators of ethics, we should not cower in the face of corporations- instead, we should be the change. Instead of pointing fingers at others, perhaps we should point the finger at ourselves and become the ethical persona we want our company to be. Who are we to say that the world can't change? Who are we to fear that change? Who are we to claim that nothing can be done, and we are going to sit on our haunches and watch the world fade away? That's crap, and should not be tolerated. If we don't believe in ourselves, how can we believe in this field? I believe that my faith in God has enabled me to have faith in myself- faith to change the things that others don't want to.

I could go on and on about my own saving truth through faith, but this is the basis- the whole thing would be so many pages your eyes would get tired after reading only 1/3 of it. :)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Close-mindedness and Ethics (Blog #9)

So, this past week in class has been interesting.

I fully agree with what Lambiase has said all semester, and especially what she said last wednesday. This is an ethics class, one used to make us think, where the constraints of society do not limit us to what we believe we can achieve, even when "everyone else is doing it." You know what? Who cares what everyone else is doing? Who is to say what we can or can not do, ESPECIALLY if it is right?

It is NOT right for an alcohol company to offer money to MADD. I don't care that they want to donate money, that is great. The point is the conflict of interest- what type of image would MADD be portraying if they accepted the money? I think it all goes back to the fact that I hate capitalism, and think that pure capitalism does not work. In a money driven by society, we feel that it is our right to accept whatever money is offered to us, especially if we are a non-profit. In a society where credibility should mean everything, its instead the money that defines who we are.

Before we start pointing fingers at others, perhaps we should look at ourselves, and what WE can change. We sometimes have no say over what other people do, but we are the change that we define in ourselves. If we take that one step, others will follow. We are not perfect, but we do have a say in how we live our lives.

As PR professionals, it shouldnt be looked at as "saving the world." We are the representation of companies and of people. We should have the highest standard of ethics out of anyone. Before pointing our fingers at the organization, lets look at ourselves for once- what can we do to change the system? It's not set in stone, and we should not be taught that it is. That is close-mindedness, and it should not be tolerated.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

"Someone You Don't Know" Assignment (Blog #8)

So, in our class last week we sought out someone we had never talked to before this class. Our PR Major, as a whole, is really small. We know each other, and we hang out in our cliques. We all sit in the same seats, around the same people.... an I've noticed that I do this as well. I think, as a society, we hang out with our friends... the people we feel comfortable with.

For this assignment, I aske Kwesi to be my partner. At first glance, I had a preconcieved notion that Kwesi was an intelligent overachiever, which is something I admire because I am the same way. However, through this assignment I learned that we had other things in common, but we also had our differences. Pleasant conversation ensued, and I felt just as comfortable talking to him as I would, say, Libba. Although we talk about different things, I think its great that we as potential PR majors can talk with any type of person- because that is what our job needs us to do.

Similarities
Minority status
Raised Catholic
PR Students
Seniors
Upper Class Family
Foreign parents
Perfectionist
Yankee

Differences
Family-base
Gender
Sibling Position: Older v. Youngest
Inter-racial parents

The best part was our way that we perceive people in Texas.... both of us were raised by one foreigner, with both parents being from the north. Perceptions are completely different where my parents are from, and I believe that has shaped how I speak to people, how I was raised and how I think. We both are perfectionists, and anyone who knows us can attest to that.

I honestly enjoyed this excercise for what it showed me- that you can find similarities in anyone, even if its just the comfortable factor that you have with someone.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Pornography in Hotels (Blog #7)

I grew up in a world where a mother would not let me watch much T.V., and when I did, absolutely forbade me to watch shows such as "The Simpsons" and "Married with Children." That mindset has stuck with me through my adult life as well... I tend to read rather than rot my mind with mindless TV. Sure, Grey's Anatomy is my one guilty vice, but its 1 hour of television a week... not too shabby.

So, porn. It's not really a topic I am extremely knowledgable in, as I have never viewed it. I find it vile and self-degrading, and from hearing some guys talk about it back in HS, somethng I would never want to be subjected to watch. Women, in essence, are sex objects- the men, the beast. Its a world where women are still second class, and enjoy doing whatever the men asks of them.

This is what hotels are selling themselves as. They are the women, the customers, the men. Many hotels give the image of "anything the customer wants, the customer gets." The more said customer pays, the more said customer gets. The porn and sex industry is like that- the more you pay, the better prostitute you get; the more you pay, the better porn you get.

In a society that thrives on this image, it makes sense that this is the direction hotels are going in. However, its not the best image to portray. These hotels are not exclusively 18 and up. Sex is starting to leak everywhere, and if hotels do not stand up and take it off of their choice of movies, it will become the norm. The porn will get worse, and children will start being exposed to worse. However, if a hotel says "No Porn", I bet people will still be going to their hotels. Also, I bet that they would be having less problems with hiring of prostitutes, and from getting a seedy image that they claim they are trying to veer away from.

Hotels should follow the example of FoxFaith- a new unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, who are committed to only promoting and distributing Christian based, family movies. Then there is Fox Atomic, another new unit, that is only directed at the teen market.

Seems to be a step in the right direction. Hey hotels... thats all it takes. One step.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Taking the fall for others (Blog #6)

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-foley6oct06,0,387537.story?coll=la-home-headlines

In the American society, we are taught expect the worst. The Republican Party, one month shy of mid-term elections, is facing what could be the worst. Foley resigned Friday after ABC News asked him about two sets of explicit messages. He has been accused of having sent sexually explicit instant messages to teens who had served as House pages.

Foley, however, will not be investigated. Because the panel's jurisdiction is limited to House members and staff, the investigation will not directly affect Foley, but he will be called to testify in the investigavtie hearings. It could lead to disciplinary action against House members or staff found to be complicit in Foley's misconduct.

Although his actions are what is the cause of the scandal, our system will be investigating the Speaker of the House and his office, and what kind of timeline they used, plus the tools, in the investigation. What did they know? Why was it hidden? What steps did they actually take?

My question to the office is how they managed to piddle around for 3 years, and why is this just coming out now? Sure, there are a ton of conspiracy theories against the democratic party, saying they waited until right before midterm elections to do it. At the forefront of this IS Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill), who in "an interview published Thursday in the Chicago Tribune, he blamed the news media and politically motivated Democrats for fomenting the scandal." He is quoted as to saying "The people who want to see this thing blow up are ABC News and a lot of Democratic operatives, people funded by George Soros," a liberal billionaire financier.

Are you kidding me? Why on earth would you say to the media that you are going to shift blame? That, right there, is acknowledging that you know the blame is on you. Yes, its an election year. But, to get my vote, you need to be honest. If you are openly shifting blame, what else is the party shifting blame onto?

Usually, when people are guilty, they try to shift the blame as much as possible. I think this is the worst thing that the Speaker can do. I'm all for him NOT resigning right now, especially right before mid-term elections. However, he should say what his office has done since finding this out, what they plan to do, and that the are cooperating with the investigation. By making this a blatant point of finger at the Democratic Party is childish, immature and guilt-ridden.

Shame on you, Speaker. You need to hire a good PR person.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Pee Yew.. it smells like T.O. (Blog #5)

Oh, T.O. You lived a troubled past and youve been kicked off of two teams. Then, you get sent to play for a team that years earlier watched you participate in the defamation of their symbol on their field.

Then, on Monday you missed your son's 7th birthday party and ended your engagement with your fiancee. So, when your close friend and publicist finds you unresponsive with a 40 pill pain prescription bottle empty, she immediately calls 911. When the report comes out that it was an attempted suicide.

So what does his publicist do? Deny, Deny... and then deny some more.

I find it rather peculiar, as the writer at the DMN did, that it almost seemed too tidy. The first report came out with full details, while the second report had almost everything blacked out. The black-out method is used for high-profile individuals, to give them some sense of privacy.

Honestly, there is a reason they are a celebrity. This is a professional football player, and people are going to want to know about what happened. I find it strange that Jerry Jones, master of I have a comment for everything, has not addressed the issue to the media personally, but through an organization statement made by the Cowboys.

This incident echoes that of an incident involving Michael Irwin, who made a 6 inch gash in another players throat with a pair of scissors. The media reported it, but then after that, had no other details or information to go on. The incident was so tidy, that not even people that were friends of those in the Cowboys organization know what happened.

If you expose a weakness of a celebrity, it only give the media the power to exploit it, over and over. Sweep it under the rug, and the story will go away because the lack of information makes it impossible to report anything other than opinion columns.

Can we consider this good, or bad, PR? A potential suicide might have occured, and I can only imagine what other football players would think of T.O. if this is true. He might be viewed as weak and a lesser player. He might lose his starter position because his teammates will not throw him the ball.

The epitome of a pro football player is that no weakness is shown. The course of action taken by the Cowboys can be taken both good and bad, in my opinion. The good is that no factual bad press can be printed, other than what the organization and T.O.'s publicist say. Other than that, its all speculation and there is nothing concrete available. By being tight-lipped, the story will go away, and T.O. can keep on as the most arrogant player to ever enter the NFL.

Where do we draw the line on people's personal lives? If their past is that bad, I can only hope that he is getting help privately and has a supprot system of friends to get him through whatever happened.