Just before spring break, a schedule change forced me to cancel your quiz on the readings from Swann, Chapter 9. This week, we make up for lost ground.
This assignment has two parts. You are to complete both no later than 11:59 p.m., Sunday, April 3rd. This assignment has the value of 3 quizzes — or 30 points total. You may earn 10 bonus points by coming back to the conversation on Part Two and posting additional comments. You will be asked to enter your name and email address. Don’t panic. The email WON’T be posted anywhere. You may use your full name, or simply choose and ID that’s clear, e.g., “William S.”
Part One (20 points)
Chapter 9 of Swann introduces you to two important areas of public relations practice.
Directions: Read the TWO blog posts linked to below. Then, based on what you’ve read and the comments others have posted, leave your own comment to fit into the conversation. Limit each comment to 150-200 words, but at the same time, make the comments substantive. Bring some insight to the discussion. It’s not enough to say, “I agree” or “I disagree” with whomever.
Also, make comments clear and grammatically correct. This isn’t email, it’s a class assignment, which means you will be held to a high standard of writing quality. You need only one comment on each post for this part of the assignment.
Use critical thinking as you consider these two issues.
- Activist Communities. Swann says, “Activists are people who seek political, social or organizational change by targeting organizational policies or institutional behaviors through vigorous campaigning.” Activists tend to be passionate about their causes. They’re willing to take substantial risks to expose what they see as unjust or unsafe policies of business and government. Among the most visible activist groups are those espousing animal rights. And their favorite target is Big Agriculture.
Here’s a post about animal-rights activism: PR’s ethical dilemma: When should the chicken die?
- Corporate Philanthropy. “By law,” Swann tells us “corporations are allowed to donate up to 10 percent of their earnings to charitable organizations.” But why would anyone give away one-tenth of the profits? Because it’s the right thing to do? Because it improves the corporation’s standing in the community? Or — is it simply a strategy to increase sales?
Here’s a post that raises the question: Are strategic philanthropy and cause marketing truly ethical?
Part Two (10 Points + Bonus)
To complete Part Two of the assignment, read on, and use the comment box below. You simply must read Chapter 9, then join the conversation. Post one intelligent comment and you’ll earn the full 10 points. All comments should reflect thorough understanding of the case being discussed and what your classmates are saying about it. Don’t be afraid to be first!
Guideline: This is blog conversation, so be brief. Make your posts substantive, but keep them under 200 words — or thereabouts.
Bonus: Come back to the conversation a day or two later and earn 5 bonus points for each additional comment you post — up to 10 extra points. Follow-up comments, as your initial one, must be substantive. But make them concise.
To be part of a conversation, you should arrive early and come back frequently. If you merely show up to post a comment the day before it’s due, no one really benefits. Nor will you :-)
I’ll get the ball rolling by asking a few questions about the readings. You need not address them all. Pick the one that interests you — and let’s see where this goes.
- In the case, “It’s the Real Thing,” protesters were upset at the way artworks displayed at the Jewish Museum in New York City portrayed the Holocaust. If you had been PR director for the museum, how might you have advised the museum to manage the controversy?
- When Wells College decided to admit men for the first time, in 2005, a majority of alumni were upset. What key messages you would have suggested the college use to communicate its rationale and to build support for this major change?
- In the case involving John Hancock’s sponsorship of the Boston Marathon, is this sponsorship is a wise use of PR and marketing resources — millions of dollars in all? Why or why not?