What is more important – your reputation or the concerns of the public?

The “pink slime” debacle was one that is still remembered today and may still affect the way consumers think about the beef industry.  In case you are wondering what “pink slime” is…it is the something safe added to beef to help preserve it.  Although there is no scientific evidence that this slime is unsafe to the public – after images surfaced of what this product looked like – there was a public outcry and uproar.

Pink Slime - picture fromhttps://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/Ground_beef_USDA.jpg
Pink Slime – picture from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/Ground_beef_USDA.jpg

This brings me to the following question: how important is it to defend ones views while respecting concerns of the public?

In my opinion, a company has a duty to ease consumer concerns while also protecting their own views.  In the situation with “pink slime”, the beef industry put out full page advertisements about how this slime would have essentially saved a child’s life had the child not eaten non-treated meat.  This is a way to protect their own views while also attempting to ease consumer concerns.  The bottom line with this situation is that the beef industry was not doing anything wrong.

A company has the right to defend their views as long as they are not breaking the law.  I think once a company has taken a stance on a situation they must stand by their decision.  If they were to essentially ‘flip-flop’ about their views this may increase public concerns because the public will not know what the correct information is.  In order to gain the public’s trust (aka the stakeholders) once again, a company should keep repeating key messages to enforce their stance on the situation.

Overall, the “pink slime” incident was one that many will not forget.  It was blown extremely out of proportion by people who were not experts in the field – such as by the celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver.  Oliver had essentially said people were feeding themselves poison by eating the treated meat, which again had no scientific proof.  Had the media and influencers not made things look so dramatic the incident may not have exploded among the public like it did.

If You Don’t RACE, You Can’t Win

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In Public Relations (PR) – there’s this little formula called RACE, and if you aren’t doing it, chances are you aren’t winning in the competition that is the PR field.

What is RACE?

R = Research, A = Action, C = Communication, and E = Evaluation

For the purpose of this post, I will be focusing on the R and A portion of the formula.

Research – essentially deciding what the problem or issue is at hand

It is extremely important to perform meaningful and comprehensive research in order to complete a process.  There are different types of research; the main ones I will be focusing on are secondary, qualitative, and quantitative research.  With research comes creating surveys and questions for these surveys to gather information.

Action – also known as planning

There are 3 objectives in the Action part – informational, motivational, and behavioural.  Each objective is used to create a separate type of outcome.  It is important to note that objectives and goals are not the same thing.  You want to create SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound) goals and proper objectives to go along with these goals.  By planning you are anticipating the end outcome – to have a successful PR campaign.

 

When creating parts of your RACE formula, consider who your audiences are.  These can be allies, neutrals, or adversaries.  You need to consider their needs and anticipate what they will want.


 

For now I will leave you with an interesting post I found about redefining the RACE formula and if it needs to be thought about in a different light to include social media.

 

Thanks for reading!

Carolyn

@CarolynPogo

The Reasons Daylight Savings Time Should be Year-Round

Daylight Savings Time (DST) is something I have always had a love/hate relationship with.  I enjoy the extra hour of sleep in the fall and curse the lost hour of sleep in March.  According to multiple CBC.ca articles regarding DST and the comments posted beneath them – many people are in the same boat.

But is it something that should be removed completely?  Will anyone ever be satisfied?  The answer to both questions is no, and here are my reasons for why DST should be year-round rather than remain the same or be abolished.

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(1) Darker mornings means lighter evenings

  • You get 1 hour of extra light in evenings, although in the morning sun would not rise till an hour later
  • I tend to get more done in evening than early morning – many people would probably agree with this

(2) Time changes alter sleeping patterns

  • Sleep is a very important factor in peoples lives – disrupting this pattern can create terrible effects twice a year (see health concerns)
  • Many people have a hard time with sleep in the first place and time changes can be more confusing
  • I always have a hard time with adjusting to the new time frame and find that going to bed one hour earlier takes me at least 1 week to get used to.

(3) Health concerns will not be as prominent

  • Studies have shown that people are at higher risk of heart attacks due to DST
  • No solid evidence that depression and suicide rates increase during DST
  • This ties in with sleeping patterns – if people are more tired they are less likely to be alert and more likely to do poorly in any tasks given.

(4) Energy saving isn’t really a thing

  • Initially it was thought that DST saved energy (people using less lights during the day) – but studies have shown there is not a lot of evidence to prove this is true
  • Sometimes more heat / more air conditioning used
  • Unnecessary light usage will always be a concern.

(5) No change in amount of daylight during the day

  • 12 hours is 12 hours is 12 hours of daylight. Many people confuse this by thinking we lose an hour of daylight which is not true
  • We still receive the same amount of daylight – just at different times of the day.

Want to read more? Check out this post on vox.com!

What do you think? Should DST be year-round?

 

Carolyn

@CarolynPogo