Week Now

For the first time since starting to teach Strategic Public Communication in 2014 I don’t have a single student blogging about fashion.

What’s up with that?

You would think as we near term’s end I’d stop noodling about this and give my mind over to more critical things. But no.

All the PR faculty who teach J452 take note about how many students blog about fashion and PR. It just never fails that at least three to four students a class choose that topic.

And truth be told, I love showing students through my weekly insPiRation how fashion relates to PR, something I honestly hadn’t given much thought to until I started teaching this class. If I had a fashion blogger right now, I’d share this story I saw today about how model Hanne Gaby Odiele came out as intersex and is using her celebrity to advocate for people who are intersex.

But that’s the funny (and great) thing about teaching. I’m constantly surprised by my students. For example, this term I have a student blogging about education and PR and another about PR and theatre and performing arts. Those are new pairings for me as this course’s instructor, and I’m loving it. It pushes me to see new PR connections as I search each week for for insPiRation for students’ response posts.

typewriter dress

Courtesy of Google Images

Speaking of insPiRation, here’s the last (sob) round of the term:

Theatre & Performing Arts…Nonprofits…
Adam Driver’s Nonprofit Seeks Soldiers For The Stage (The New York Times)
There’s been a lot of focus on helping veterans experiencing PTSD. Here’s a new approach. What does this announcement mean for the theatre community and its connection to the veteran audience? Why does this effort from Adam Driver feel so authentic compared with some other social outreach by actors? How can celebrity nonprofits drive conversation about important social issues, such as veterans and healing from PTSD?

Nonprofits…
80% of Nonprofits in N.Y., D.C., and Philadelphia to Hire in 2018 (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)
How would you encourage nonprofits to reach out to candidates to fill the jobs gap in the sector? The second-most common reason for the sector’s upcoming hiring spree is marketing and communications needs. How would you encourage young PR professionals to put themselves in position for these jobs?

Education…
Penn State Student Given 18 Drinks in 82 Minutes Before Hazing Death, Prosecutors Say (NPR)
Sadly, hazing by fraternities is not a new story. How should Penn State respond from a PR standpoint? (It’s taken some policy steps, but how should it publicize them and seek to limit damage to the university’s image?) How can the national Beta Theta Pi respond, especially given that the local chapter members lied to police? More generally, how can universities and national Greek Life organizations take this issue on proactively?

Aviation…
India’s Aviation Market To Be Third Largest By ’27 (The Times of India)
If you were in charge of PR for India’s aviation sector what PR plans would you make to help get the sector ready for this growth? What campaigns might you run to ensure the industry has enough of the employees it needs in time?

Health care…
Study Shows Bystanders Are Less Likely To Give a Woman CPR in an Emergency (MIC)
Take the force and clothing excuses and develop messages organizations that promote CPR (such as the American Red Cross) should use to change people’s reluctance to perform CPR on a woman. CPR training aside, how should these organizations publicly communicate these messages to general audiences?

TV…
Amazon’s Next Victims Might Be TV Networks Funded By Commercials (Quartz)
From a PR standpoint what do you make of Amazon’s new business products, such as commercial time during live streams of the NFL, and a free version of Prime Video? How does this help Amazon with its PR and how might these new products help other brands reach new audiences?

Sports…NBA…
Veteran Sportswriter Uses ‘N*****’ While Commenting On LeBron James-Knicks Scuffle (The Washington Post)
What do you think of Vescey’s response from a PR standpoint? Does his defense show his authenticity or should he have apologized? Should Kanter or James comment on the Twitter scuffle – or not?

Sports… NFL…
Colin Kaepernick Lands the Cover of CQ in Magazine’s First ‘Citizen of the year’ (Mashable)
People Are Divided on Colin Kaepernick Being Named GQ’s ‘Citizen of the Year’ (Unworthy)
How does this development affect Kaepernick’s image? How should the NFL respond (if at all)? What risks is CG taking with this choice?

Travel & Tourism…
Our Condolences to the @me Twitter Account, Which Gets So Many Notifications (Mashable)
How could Teddy Worcester of Maine.com jump on this to make PR hay? How would you advise him to drive legitimate traffic to his site/increase interest in Maine tourism with this @me phenomenon?

Food…
Nutella Fans Are Freaking Out Over Recipe Change (CNN)
What do you think of Ferrero’s response (or lack thereof)? What could the company have done differently? How can food companies prevent – or at least mitigate – social media meltdowns from food lovers?

Food & Restaurants…CSR…
McDonald’s, Ben & Jerry’s, and 63 Other Food Companies Receive Top Scores For LGBTQ Inclusivity (Mic)
If you worked in communications for one of these companies how would you broadcast this news to reach audiences such as potential employees, existing customers and new customers? How would you respond to backlash from consumers who don’t agree with LGBTQ-friendly approaches? What are these companies already doing right from a PR standpoint?

Music…
Tim McGraw: Gun control is ‘not about the Second Amendment,’ it’s about ‘common sense’ (The Washington Examiner)
CMA Awards Take Playful Jab at Trump In Carrie Underwood Parody Song (TMZ)
Recently, several country music stars have made statements that could be interpreted as “liberal” or at least, not in line with supposed “conservative” values. (I used quotation marks because people who consider themselves liberal or conservative don’t all necessarily think one way or believe the same things.) What are the risks to these country music stars’ images, if any? Will audiences approve of stars speaking their minds or get angry at them for not toeing the line? Do you think country music audiences are becoming more diverse politically? Or have they always been diverse and musicians are just now feeling free to acknowledge it? Are musicians acknowledging that most Americans are actually centrist – and what does it mean when musicians and their niche industry don’t see eye to eye?

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