Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ch. 14 Cross Cultural Communication

I thought that when Sandy Diez came and spoke to our class about her job she did a great job at describing how cross cultural communication is very important. It was funny how she talked about Koreans being very friendly and Americans are more formal. I also found it amusing that her comapny is called T & A. In America that might be translated into a sexual meaning. I also found the Memo from the Field interesting. In that story Bill Imada makes a very true point about how Western Countries often talk about the lack of time we have to accomplish things, we are always talking about how "time flies." Where in many Latin American countries and Asian cultures may say "time walks." Both are correct, it is just different cultural view points. Gestures in other countries is also another important difference to keep in mind when doing business across seas or simply with another business you are not familiar about. There can be huge differnces that could make or break a deal or product. In my opinion, Public Relations is a very well-rounded profession underneath a huge umbrella of oppurtunities. I like how Bill Imada gives this advice to students, "The most effective Public Relations practicioners will recognize early on that there are a myriad of different ways to reach where you'd like to go. take time to explore each route. You'll be pleased that you did." I interpreted that advice as don't set your heart on one position in PR, keep your options open. Just as I said I would never want to do Corporate PR, I might end up in Corporate PR in 10 years. Nobody knows what the future will bring!

Ch. 13 Marketing and PR

When reading Ch. 13, I found one part paticularly interesting. The Quick Break 13.2 discussed "The Fall of Advertising." Al and Laura Reis, co wrote a book titled "The Fall of Adverising and the rise of PR." They are a father- daughter team that has made headlines with this claim. "A new study of 91 launches shows highly successful products are more likley to use PR-related activities. One of the guest speakers from conference this year also feel that PR is taking the front seat before advertising. He is the owner of a boutique PR agency in Milwaukee called Caffeine Communications. He has worked with large well-known companies such as Harley Davidson, and YMCA. His vision is that PR is more credible, and a better way to establish a brand's identity or like Harley re-establish a long known identity. The events that he has put on for these companies were amazing. Very much thinking outside the box! I think that Advertising and PR each have their own place. Both are important to each other in some way. I like how they close the story with "Public Relations should come first, establising perceptions and credibility." I think that the growth of Public Relation will continue to grow and be more and more powerful tool for companies new products or services, what ever they are trying to get the word out about.

Ch. 12 crisis communication

When sitting at home last week during the bad weather I started to watch a show about Hurricane Katrina. The show was really informative and started with FEMA. It talked about how they were aware years before Katrina hit, if a storm of that size came to New Orleans, the levies would not survive...I know Hurricane Katrina has been criticized and beaten down, but after watching this show that was like a marathon, 6 hours later, I felt that I individually had a better picture and idea of how the government handled the situation. In this Chapter, it is all about crisis communiation. So why in such a horrific crisis was there such poor communcation? After reading this Chapter it makes you think that enacting a crisis plan is as simple as following a few easy steps, when in reality when a crisis does occur I think the plan is alot harder to carry out. I'm not one of those people that blames the crisis of Katrina on the government and FEMA, but I do feel that the people of New Orleans and the Government did not have a clear path of communication. The people of New Orleans of course did not want to abandon their homes because for some it is all they have. But I feel that if the government would have enacted a better evacuation route, then there might have been more success with getting people out of the target of disaster. Anyways, the bottom line is companies need to have a crisis plan. Not just have it but also be able to execute it. When I did my Bird Flu media kit, I decided to use my Dad's company rather than the energy company. When I looked further into it after I turned my project in I found out that Sun Micro Systems does have a plan, but it is kept confidential between the employees. My dad e-mailed it to me, and I was very surprised that they are on top of thing like this. I guess that's comforting knowing that my Dad's last company was a joke, you might remember the scandal and crisis with MCI. Not only did that cost my dad 22 years of saving, but also the joy of working in the same building as my mom!! The bottom line that I feel this Chapter teaches is be prepared for the unexpected, because anything can happen anyti e, and companies need to be prepared!

Friday, November 17, 2006

PRSSA Conference 2006

Wow! Salt Lake City is a gorgeous place, and I am so glad I had a chance to visit. I had a blast and I am so glad that I was able to go represent our school. It was a little embarrasing, since we only had 3 members, but we had a fun time and met many other chapters around the nation that gave us great recruitment tools and many thoughts for fundraising. I would have to say that I strongly reccomend for younger students to attend. During Conference this year we many amazing speakers, real world professionals giving great advice. These included PR professionals from ABC, Academy Awards, Utah Jazz, and the Elizabeth Smart Case. Of course, I can't leave out Richard Edelman.....I hope that PRSSA at NT will continue to grow. Going to conference gives you take on how you will apply everything you learn in textbooks and classes. I want to be able to give back to future PR students and to maintain relationships with alumni is very important. Just thought I would let you know how conference went this year.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Here are two business continuity plans I found:

Met Life Business Continuity Plan

MetLife, Inc. together with each of its subsidiaries and affiliates, including its broker dealer affiliates, (collectively “MetLife”) is committed to safeguarding the interests of our clients and customers in the event of an emergency or significant business disruption (“SBD”). MetLife’s comprehensive business continuity strategy is designed to enable MetLife to meet its existing obligations to its clients and customers in the event of an emergency or SBD by safeguarding employees’ lives and firm property, making a financial and operational assessment, quickly recovering and resuming operations, protecting all of MetLife’s books and records, and allowing customers to transact business.
MetLife has a documented corporate policy requiring each Business Unit to develop a business continuity plan (hereinafter “Business Continuity Plan”). Pursuant to this policy, MetLife’s I/T Risk and Business Recovery (“ITRBR”) department has the full-time responsibility of coordinating the development, testing and maintenance of all MetLife Business Continuity Plans. ITRBR also manages contracts with recovery services vendors and is responsible for management reporting on all aspects of continuity. A formal process that includes a continuous review of internal controls enforces the corporate policy on continuity.
Business Continuity Plans have been developed, tested and approved by management for all MetLife business locations and production IT systems and applications. The plans reside in a common, best-of-breed database and are routinely updated by business units and ITRBR staff. The database is replicated between two sites that are several hundred miles apart. Business Impact Analyses are used to keep the Business Continuity Plans aligned with business requirements.
Recovery resources are identified in advance and are obtained from several sources. These resources exist either within MetLife’s capabilities or are obtained from recovery services vendors under contract.
Local crisis management teams are in place in all MetLife locations. These local crisis teams are charged with recording and managing any potential or actual crisis at the site from the time a situation occurs to the resolution of the incident and resumption of normal business operations. MetLife’s Business Continuity Plans address advance preparations and actions to be taken in response to disruptions of various magnitudes. The Business Continuity Plans address the potential impact of varying levels of disruptions to MetLife employees, equipment, computer and telecommunications systems, and office facilities. While it is impossible to anticipate every type of disruption that could effect MetLife’s businesses, examples of the incidents covered by the Business Continuity Plans include, but are not limited to, terrorists attacks, hurricanes, fires, bomb threats, earthquakes, public transportation strikes, IT disruptions and cyber-threats.
MetLife maintains back-up systems and power supplies that allow critical computer and telecommunications systems and facility functions to be maintained in the event of minor, local disruptions. The duration of the disruption will depend on the nature and extent of the emergency or SBD.
In the event of an SBD, where it is not possible to conduct business from one of MetLife’s offices, the company has contracted with a recovery services vendor for use of a remote alternate site equipped with sufficient resources to support critical business operations. Telephone service would be re-routed to this site. MetLife’s networks and major business applications are replicated daily in a different geographical location from the company’s offices, enabling it to access these systems from the remote site should the local systems become unavailable. As required in the Business Continuity Plans, MetLife is generally prepared to restore critical business functionality at the alternate site no later than 48 hours after declaration of an SBD. Other employees have been designated to work from home during periods of major disruptions.
The MetLife’s Business Continuity Plans are reviewed as necessary, and at least annually, to ensure they account for technology, business and regulatory changes, operations, structure or location. The Business Continuity Plans are subject to change, and material changes will be updated promptly on the MetLife public website and all affiliates’ websites. You may obtain a current written copy of this notice by contacting a MetLife representative or writing to us at:
MetLifeOne MetLife PlazaLong Island City, New York 11101Attn: Corporate Ethics and Compliance.

The Enterprise Group of Funds, Inc., AXA Enterprise Funds Trust and the AXA Enterprise Multimanager Funds Trust and their distributing broker dealer, Enterprise Fund Distributors, Inc., (collectively "AXA Enterprise"), have developed a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to respond to events that could significantly disrupt or impact their businesses. Since the timing and impact of a potentially significant business disaster or disruption (an "SBD") cannot be predicted, AXA Enterprise will have to be flexible in responding to actual events as they occur. AXA Enterprise is providing you with this information regarding its BCP. Contacting EnterpriseIn the event of a SBD, customers may continue to utilize the current telephone numbers for information about retail accounts: (800) 386-3527 for customer service and (800) 821-9540 for automated account information. BFDS-Midwest, Inc., the transfer agent for AXA Enterprise as described in the applicable prospectus, maintains these numbers. Customers may also continue to utilize (800) 432-4320 for marketing or literature requests. AXA Enterprise in Atlanta maintains this number, however, in the event of a SBD, it will be re-directed to the transfer agent. Retirement account holders may continue to utilize the current telephone numbers outlined in the Retirement Plans account access section of the Web site. BISYS Retirement Plan Services is the service provider for 401(k) and Individual(k) accounts. BFDS-Midwest, Inc. services all remaining types of retirement plan accounts. These firms are collectively referred to as "service providers."In the event of a SBD, service providers will continue to provide prompt access to funds and securities, enter orders and process other trade-related, cash, and security transfer transactions as described below. BCPAXA Enterprise plans to quickly recover and resume business operations after a significant business disruption and will respond by safeguarding employees and property, making a financial and operational assessment, protecting the firm's books and records and allowing customers to transact business. The BCP is designed to permit the firm to resume operations as quickly as possible, depending upon the scope and severity of the significant business disruption.The BCP addresses the following: data back up and recovery; all mission critical systems; financial and operational assessments; alternative communications with customers, selling firms, employees, and regulators; alternate physical location of employees; critical supplier, contractor, bank and counter-party impact; regulatory reporting; and assuring customers prompt access to their funds and securities if Enterprise is unable to continue its business.AXA Enterprise, along with its service providers, backs up important records in a geographically separate area. While each emergency situation poses unique problems based on external factors, such as time of day and the severity of the disruption, the service providers have advised AXA Enterprise that their objective is to restore their own operations and be able to complete existing transactions and accept new transactions and payments within 48 hours. Orders and requests for funds and securities could be delayed during this period.Varying DisruptionsSignificant business disruptions can vary in scope and could affect AXA Enterprise solely, the single building which houses the AXA Enterprise office, the business district where the firm is located, the city where AXA Enterprise is located or the entire region. In addition, within each of these areas, the severity of the disruption can also vary from minimal to severe. In the event of a disruption to AXA Enterprise, the building housing the office or a disruption affecting our business district, city, or region, AXA Enterprise will transfer calls and if necessary, certain personnel, to the service providers. In this instance, AXA Enterprise expects to recover and resume business within twenty-four hours. AXA Enterprise plans to continue in business and will make notifications through its web site at or the customer service numbers listed above. If the significant business disruption is so severe that it prevents AXA Enterprise from remaining in business, AXA Enterprise will assure customer's prompt access to their funds and securities.For More InformationIf you have questions about the BCP, you can contact us at Enterprise Fund Distributors, Inc., 3343 Peachtree Road, Suite 450, Atlanta, GA 30326 or e-mail us.

Chapter 6

According to the CNN website, Fortune Global 500 has just come out with their second annual rating of Global 500 companies. According to the article about one in ten assets under mangement in the US, an estimated 2.3 trillion out of 24 trillion is being invested in companies that rank highly on some measure of social responsibility. The survey was conducted by AccountAbility (a London think tank on corporate accountability) and CSR network ( a British for profit consultancy), measures six criteria, ranging from stakeholder engagement to performance management. Many of the do-gooders were not what any one would expect. Oil giants shell and BP ranked 2nd and 3rd. This year's top ranked no. 1 was British based Vodafone, the world's largest mobile phone operator, edging out the leader last year BP. Once again European companies outperformed their counterparts in US and Asia. The top US company was Gm no. 12. Of course this survey was way above a typical consumers view. If you are just a person on the street all of this Fortune 500 blah would mean nothing to you.
There have been many organizations exposed latley in the media for ethical behavior. I think that Walgreens is a good example. If you bring them an empty print cartridge they will fill it up or exchange for a new one for a small price. A very good example of unethical behavior that we discussed in class is the HP scandal that has been going on recently. Fortune chief editor stated that, "the fact that their company's chief ethics author was orchestrating the unethical behavior suggests that policies, internal education, and attitudes inside the company are seriously in need of remolding". Previously HP had a reputation of the most ethical of all large Tech companies, but after such unethical decisions have been made Hurd will have to do alot more to assure its employees, customers , and investors that sucj huge mishaps in ethical standards and judgements will be less likley in the future of HP!

Starbuck's Case Study

I thought that the case study about Starbucks was a great example of ethics in the workplace. As soon as the President of the compnay heard of the mistake he immediately got on his phone to call the ambulance company to reimburse the paramedic. In this case, it was not so much that the paramedic needed his three dollars, but it was the fact that in a time of crisis and disaster an employee was thinking about doing her job how she had been trained, not to give free things wawy. Little did that employee know that our nationhad just been attacked by terrorists. Starbucks did a great job at addressing the problem, taking care of the problem, and on top of their great handling of the situation, they let all employees off work in such a time of grief. No wonder they were placedon the Business Ethics Magazine annual list of "100 Best Corporate Citizens". Not only once, but every year since the list beganin 2000. When I visited Starbuks website it was very user friendly and the mission statement was very easy to find. Starbucks growing success is due to their great code of ethics. Their mission states: Establish Starbucks as the premire purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncomprising priciples as we grow. The following six guiding principles willhelp us measure the appropriateness of our decisions, and the six guidelines followed. I can relate to this because at my he restaurant we have two main values that we follow. Take great care of each other, and second, give every guest a multitude of reasons to hurry back. Working in a restaurant can get very tiresome, but if you don't follow these two values you will never be successful. Spitting in someones food and not helping fellow employees out is not going to bring customers coming back time and tiem again. We nust be doing something right at Bonedaddy's becasue sales have been through the roof latley. Ethics in the workplace not only applies to PR professionals but to every job out there.

Ethics in PR

According to Steven Van R. Hook, a PhD, Public Relations and ethics are not an oxymoron. He says that PR is the "ethical heart of an organization". I really liked the article that I read from Steven Hook. He puts PR people at the top with executives because they are in charge of the flow of good and bad news. He referencs to PR people as "elbows of top officers, drafting a companies mission ststements, its strategies, its visions." Throughout the article he informs of the many ways to practice ethics in the work place. One of the most common he mentions is The IABC and the Public Relations Code of Conduct which was adopted in Venice in 1961. PR professionals have come a long way since PR practicing began many years ago. I was very impressed to find out that there is actually a group called PR WATCH. The group is in charge of catching misleading and manipulative PR practices. According to the text book, ethics is defined as identifying our values and acting on them. I think that this is more easiy said than done in some cases. We had a discussion in class about being in foreign countries as a PR professional or a journalists. Would or should we adopt their values, and where does accepting their values cross your companies code of ethics. I think that would be my biggest concern as being new in the field. When Sandy Diez came to or class to talk I thought she did a very good job of addressing this topic from class. Since she does work foreign compnay ahe has had to deal with ethics and how to adapt to other cultures without crossing the line. I liked her example with the samsung phones and how one culture wanted her to old the phone and make smiling faces, while in the US that would not be considered acceptable, mainly because Americans are more formal. Many people perceive PR professionals as something less than respectable, as clever strategies to convince the public that whats wrong is right. Many see Public Relations as manipulators of the mind, not conveyors of the truth, so it is up to future PR professionals to prove this long time myth wrong. If ethics becomes part of your daily life it is easier for it to come naturally in your workplace. I leave with onef ianl statement throughout many schools and code of ethics growing up we all learned one common thread, DON'T LIE!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Homeland Security??? Is their warning system really working????

The Homeland security thought that designing the warning system after 9-11 would make America feel at ease, they thought that it would give them a sense of comfort of knowing when we are most at risk of terrorist attack. According to Dave Letterman and many political people this warning system was just a wast of time, and "senseless and unfocused." After reading the case study I would have to say that I agree that The Department of Homeland Security did not thoroughly think this warning system through and did not anticipate how they would implement it in future terrosrists attatcks. Their main problem was not letting the public know how to respond to "green" or "orange". That was a HUGE mistake on their half. After such a tragic experience with 9-11, it just seemed that the government could have prepared a little better. Let's not even get started with the whole incident of 9-11, because that will lead me on a rampage!! We are a very technologically advanced naton and we are relying on telling the nation of a terrorists attack with colors, that just seems odd to myself. Anyways, to make it more effective they should have stated specific measures to take, like do not leave your home .....something along those lines. I can't criticize the homeland security completley because the idea behing their system was smart and could have been more successful if more strategic thinking was involved.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Wow, I never knew that public had such a deep meaning. When I hear the word public I just think of a group of people. Well, according to the text, public has a much deeper meaning. In ch. I we learned public is any group whose members have a common interest or common values in a particular situation. When reading this chapter I felt that i could relate, especially to the part about traditional and nontraditional publics. The book then went on to give statistics about employee relations, and how it will make or break a business. I wait tables at a restaurant in Richardson, Texas. I know your probably thinking why does she drive so far??? Well, I guess you could say it has to do with employee realtionships. The company I work for has pretty much mastered how to be successful. A typical Friday we bring in over 20,000. Compared to ther restaurants I have worked in that is awesome. I think not only the concept is great, the food is great, but also the way the owner has built the realtionships between us girls, and between mangement and customers. I feel that the skills I have acquired working in restaurants, talking to people and being able to communicate easily will be very beneficial with my career in Public Relations. Since I would like to get involved in event planning in the futue, I think I am on a good path....

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

History of PR

When I began to blog today I thought I would get on the internet and search history of pubic relations. The first site that came up was very interesting because it dated all the way back to 1730'swith the Seditious Libel when juries revolted in England, it then went on to talk about Sam Adams and how he used strategies and tactics of PR. He had activist organizations and many channels of communication, then the Boston Tea party in 1973 orchestrated conflict. Later came the Federalist papers, which was a campaign to gain acceptance for the constitution. This was known as "History's finest public relations job." It amazed me that growing up I learned about all these famous events in our country not realizing that Public Realtions was involved in some form or fashion. Public Relations is such a fast growing profession that it is constantly changing with the advancement of technology. Although it did not attainits current meaning until the 20th century I had no idea of how long it had been used since the dawn of history was recorded.

With a such growth of modern public relations, it has opened up many new jobs and postion in many different fields. When searching the internet for PR jobs, the first site I thought of was Craig's List. This website had many amazing jobs and internships. I want to move to California so I looked at San Diego and Los Angeles. One very interesting job I found was located in Carlsbad, CA. The job title was Manager of Corporate Communications- Action Sports. The job required 4+ years of experience, preferably in action sports. It also listed many other things including strong communication skills, and ability to travel 25% of the time, but what surprised me was it said position may require lifting heavy objects up to 50 pounds. That doesn't seem like someone in a position would need to be able to do. When I think of a technician job, I think more of the "bitch" work (pardon my french!). I was stunned that was listed as a requirement for a PR management job. According to all the jobs I looked at I'm going to be broke for about the first four years out of college!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

When interviewing 3 people about Public Relations I thought who better to ask than my mother, my roommate, and of course my boyfriend. Probably three of the most important people in my life besides my Daddy! My mom who attended North Texas with a bachelor in Fashion Merchandising was kinda of stuck. Her response to what is pr was: An ambassador, or someone trying to advertise their company or product. She thought PR was more along the lines of advertising. I asked her who she could name as a high profile PR person, and she came up with Michael Jordan! I guess from the advertising perspective he is somewhat of a public figure but not exactly what I had in mind. When I told my mother defination from the book, she was like oh....well that makes sense, but that is not what came ot my head first. My roomate, a senior in college, on the other hand had a little more knowledge on the subject. She said PR was a way to inform the public of current issues. The person that popped in her head when I asked her name a high profile person was Peter Jennings. Which I guess in a way he is somewhat of a pr figure but again not what I had in mind. The third person I interviewed was my boyfriend. He decided not to attend college and begin work immediately after high school. His reply to my question was, "Public Relations is just working with people and clients, making people happy." I told him a more formal defination of Pr sand he replied with, "that is just a more upscale defination of what I just explained to you." The high profile PR person he named was "Puff Daddy", or Sean Combs. So what I concluded from the interviews from a gradute of college oto some college, to no college was that they were all somewhat confused on how exactly to describe PR to me. That was exactly how I felt towards to PR before I began studying it. My mother described it to me as a positive job. My boyfriend on the other hand, thought more negativley about the subject mainly because of all the drama with 9-11. I thinkt hat PR has a huge potential, and if more and more people practice values -driven Public Relations, the profession will gain more and more respect in the career fields.