Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Two-day workshop on campaigning at UT

Check out the link for information about a program that gives you a campaign crash-course, in a two-day $65 workshop in Austin in late May:


Monday, March 30, 2009

Personal relationships lead to influence


Test review:

For the test, you'll have a long essay question about the differences between corporate and commercial speech, and how the First Amendment fits into this dichotomy.

Other issues to review for the test, from Karla Gower's text:

What ethical values are necessary to govern the use of advertising and PR in social media and social networking?

Why are codes of ethics important to professions? What are some of the criticisms of the PRSA code?

How does a PR professional serve as an ethical advocate?

The FTC (FDA or SEC) and relevance to PR practice, and more broadly, to integrated practices that you may be involved in some day.

Think of an example of how defamation could occur in the PR context. Discuss red flags and strategies for avoiding libel.

Consider privacy and PR work, and strategies for ensuring that sensitive matters are kept private.

Read about PR and negligence, especially concerning contests.

What are two reasons PR pros should care about copyright?

What is Fair Use, and why does this concept probably not apply to most commercial activities?

Defamation and blogging?

The Beechnut case and fraud--what happened and how could it have been prevented?

Photoshop and problems of diversity?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ethics handbook for business

This link will be useful now and especially when we talk about business ethics later in the semester when viewing "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room." It also contains information about Beechnut's fraud as it marketed its juice as 100% juice, as referenced in Karla Gower's textbook on ethics and law.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

PR and the prez

Is Obama overexposed? Check out what the pundits have to say at AdAge:


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Final project assignment

Your case study for the final project will need to have a clear ethical dimension, at least in the way that you tell the story. For instance, it's perhaps not readily apparent that the Dallas Cowboys case study has an ethical dimension, based on the way that the organization told the story about Michael Irvin stabbing a teammate. To the organization, it was a harmless incident of locker-room horseplay. But there were clear legal and ethical issues the organization wished to ignore, such as a player's possible assault with a deadly weapon and the organization's systematic blocking of investigations by outsiders into the incident, since no local law enforcement was called and since medical care was done in-house.

Using the utilitarian/communitarian frameworks sometimes helps us find these other dimensions of the case. You'll of course need to focus on the communications/relationship-building activities.

The final study should be 8-10 pages long, double-spaced, not including works cited or appendix pages. You must use APA style; without proper references and in-text citations, you will fail this assignment. Incorporate practical suggestions from AP Style (such as time, day, date format--no dates such as "February 14th"; in AP Style, February would be abbreviated, and you wouldn't use -th).

Research should start immediately, with proposals due April 1 (you'll be asked to fill out a form in class). For the final version, you'll need to include an introduction, background and timeline, analysis using the communitarian/utilitarian perspectives, discussion, and conclusion. It should be written in impeccable formal discourse.

Here are further guidelines:
  • Introduction (a beginning anecdote or tipping point);
  • Background and review of scholarship (here's where you'll tell the case story, using a timeline and a list of activities, and you'll review existing research that is pertinent to your ethical discussion); here you will reconstruct the four parts of the PR process ("what happened" part of paper);
  • Discussion of the ethical dimensions of the case (your analysis and evaluation of "what happened"), first, through the two models of utilitarianism and communitarianism, using the values. Here, you might also want to include scholarship or editorial comments from newspapers and blogs about how others have viewed the ethics of this case. Is the organization on record about its own actions?
  • Conclusion, which will include your critical analysis and also a reference to the broader goals of cosmopolitanism--did everybody matter? What were best practices that were followed or ignored?

Please consider a topic, and we'll start discussing this further next week.

Some ideas for the final project

Bush library at SMU
One elephant at Dallas Zoo
Trinity River bridges and projects
City-owned hotel near convention center
School districts gone wild
Governors' and the stimulus bill
Community gardens
Fresh Food Financing Initiative
Museum/arts districts
Company layoffs, announcements
Texas legislature and pending bills
Political parties and fundraising
Sports clubs, arenas

Lance Armstrong Foundation's funding sources, which include Altria (the tobacco company) and many chemical and big Pharma companies

Any tech company's efforts to be greener (TI or Dell)

Continuing debate in Farmers Branch over immigration

New Toyota dealership in Metroplex using green construction

Toyota and other automakers using supplies from Brazilian slave labor

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A look inside an RFP by Walmart

Here's a link to an AdAge story about Walmart's recent request for proposals, or RFP, to find a new approach to its public relations effort. This is what agencies use to make presentations to gain work for the largest corporate and government clients.


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Some interesting reading for you

Targeting of Gen-Y by marketers

Facebook changes

My other blog, with information about tools for listening, tools for sharing, which we talked about on Monday: