Archive for June 2011

PR 7   Leave a comment

The FDA met with board of advisors recently to discuss whether or not the cancer treatment drug Avastin should remain approved for treating Breast Cancer.  This was a very emotional hearing, as there were two full days of testimonies from doctors, patients, and family members of those that have taken Avastin for Breast Cancer.  The FDA has not officially repealled Avastin’s Breast Cancer treatment status yet, but the board of advisors tallied in with a unanimous 6-0 against the drug.


What is strange is that the FDA usually follows the advice of their advisors, as evidence to the recent Four Loko craze.  The advisors vetoed the use of Avastin for Breast Cancerin 2008, but the FDA decided to approve it anyway.  Part of the reason why the FDA approved the use of Avastin for Breast Cancer was because of it’s good track record of helping treating lung, colon, and brain cancer.

Avastin will still be available for commercial use for other treatment methods, but many insurance companies will most likely not cover it for the use of Breast Cancer.  This means that an average year of treatment cou


ld cost about $100,000 which would make it virtually obtainable for most families.  The drug itself is supposed to prolong the advancement of the cancer for an average of 5.5 months, but in this instance, many patients that were on the drug experienced heart attacks, high blood pressure, and bleeding.

It is unfortunate that a drug that has helped so many people will not work for some.  I think that it is crazy that something that helps lung, colon, and brain cancer doesn’t work for something like breast cancer.  This seems discouraging that scientists are close to finding a cure to the disease that has claimed so many lives of people around the world.,0,5052968.story


Posted June 30, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in PR Connections

ISC Topic 2   Leave a comment

Somehow this one slipped through the cracks… well I suppose that it is better late than never.  Anyways, Shirley Sherrod was a government official working for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  As an African American, Sherrod was asked to help many farmers who were on the brink of bankruptcy.  At a later date, Sherrod was filmed addressing an audience at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and telling a story about how she did not provide the full assistance to a specific farmer because he was white. 




The details on the story are somewhat vague, my guess is because the story is over a year old, and that a great number of politcal groups were involved with the ordeal.  However, both Fox News and MSNBC agree that Sherrod was not providing full assistance to the poor white farmer.  The video was posted on a number of blogs, and like a wildfire her ‘racism’ was ringing throughout the blogosphere.  The government asked her to step down, but upon further examination of the full video appologized to her and offered her her old position back.

It is important to know as a strategic communicator that you need to have all of the facts.  Seitel says in his book many different times that the cardinal rule of public relations is to remain honest.  I think that it was unfortunate that she was forced to resign, but it really shows the full power of the blogosphere.  By spreading information at an instantaneous rate, (even if the information is false), public opinion can be influenced faster than ever.  That is why it is critical to keep healthy relations with the press, which now includes those who maintain popular blogs.  While it seems silly that people that are not actually employed to be journalists can bolster such influence, but that is the reality of our world today and it is the job of strategic communicators to monitor these relationships.



Posted June 29, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in ISC Topics

ISC Topic 7   Leave a comment

So you have decided to take Comm 306 eh?  Good decision and I promise that if you stick with and put in genuine effort, you won’t regret it.  This is a class that really stretches your ability to think critically, add a certain creative flair that will help your work stand out from everybody elses, as well as testing your close reading skills.  While this might sound a bit unnerving at first, don’t worry I will share some advice with you that helped me succeed in the class.

  1. Stay on top of the workload- The hardest part about this class is the freedom that you are given.  You can complete assignments at your own pace and Dr. McArthur will still give you credit for them, but that will leave you with a staggering amount of work to do at the end of the session/semester.  That and you will loose points from the weekly upkeep section on your blog
  2. Read the entire chapter (including the examples)- There is a reason why the majority of the assigned homework is chapter reading notes.  The chapters themselves provide a lot of great examples that will help you with other assignments in the class, and if you take notes as you go, then you basically have a study guide for the exams as well!
  3. When the prompt suggests creativity, don’t be afraid to try something new- This class provides some great opportunities to get your hands dirt, metaphorically speaking of course. Don’t be afraid to try something new, or to include different types of media in your presentations.  Even if your attempt isn’t the best work, Dr. McArthur will apreciate you testing your limits and trying something new.
  4. Read the articles and posts that Dr. McArthur provides you with- Dr. McArthur is definitely a pro at all things involving media and communications.  I have asked him probably a million different questions this summer term, and he has always provided quick, friendly, and helpful responses to my questions.  He also posts a lot of helpful informationt that will help you with your blogs.
  5. Put your best effort into all of the assignments- Don’t just try to finish all of the projects, actually put effort into them.  You will be surprised with what you end up with.  If you put your best effort into the class, then at the end of the semester/term you will have an awesome portfoio that you can use if you are trying to get a job in Media Communication.

For some helpful tips check out some of these links:


Posted June 29, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in ISC Topics

ISC Topic 6   Leave a comment

It seems like such a long time ago when we first started this class.  I can tell that I have progressed a lot because I didn’t even mention strategic communication in my post… whoops.  However, I do know that I didn’t have much of a definition for it, it was something along the lines of “carefully considering the wording of a specific message”.  I was pretty much dead wrong.  Now that the class is pretty much done, I realize that strategic communication is more of specifically tailoring a message that will have the most likelyhood to influence a targeted audience.  While there is much more to strategic communication then just one sentence, I would say that is a pretty decent way to summarize it. 

I think that the most beneficial part of this class was the blog.  By reiterating what I read in each chapter, and completing lab assignments and ISC topics that required creative thinking, I think that really applied what we were learning to a real life example of how strategic communication is done.  I know that I really enjoyed the lab assignments the most because it allowed for a certain aspect of creativity and freedom that weren’t really there in the chapter notes section. 

Some of the skills that I frequently used throughout the course of this class were close reading, analytical thinking, creativity, as well as organization.  I think that the organization part was the most important for me.  With so many different types of assignments all due at the same time, it was important for me to write out what was due each week, so that I could keep track of what I had already completed.  After organization, I thought that creativity was the most important skill to utilize.  With all of the projects that included media presentations or one page visuals, I needed to think of a way that would say everything that I was trying to say without boring people to death.


Posted June 29, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in ISC Topics

ISC Topic 5   1 comment

When I found out that we had to make a Twitter account for this class I was very skeptical.  I didn’t really think that Twitter was very significant, and I thought of it as just another way for teenagers to say that they are bored online.  Part of my initial reaction to the assignment was because I had already tried to make a Twitter account, and I didn’t really see any point to it.

I think that the main reason why I quit Twitter was because I wasn’t using it to be helpful and to spread information, I was basically using it as another Facebook status update.  However, when we started the week of Tweeting, I purposefully waited for others to start so that I could get an idea of how they were using this account.  Much to my surprise, and pleasure, this was not just mindless meaningless babble, but it was actually stimulating. 

When I first started my account for #comm306, I wasn’t really sure where to start.  I mean, how can you pick one story out of everything on the Internet, and then summarize it in less that 140 characters!  I thought that my tweets would take no more than 15 minutes to complete, but my first 10 probably took me about an hour each.  While that seems excessive, I was trying to ensure that I didn’t polute the tweet-osphere with more junk. 

Overall, I really enjoyed my time on Twitter.  It is something that you need to take an active interest to get anything out of it.  Just like school, you only get out of it what you put into it.  I think that I am going to continue tweeting, but I think that I will probably change the name so that people don’t think that I am just doing this for class credit.  I’m not saying that I am going to be posting 4 things a day, but I will definitely attempt to continue providing the world with what I deem interesting or funny.!/Harris216/status/85728730353381376!/Harris216/status/85392663544725504

Posted June 29, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in ISC Topics

Lab 11   1 comment


For the lab 11 assignment I decided to research Nike.  Nike is one of the largest sports equipment retailers in the world, and they have created an international empire.  Nike has shown great skill in their marketing campaigns and excel in nearly every facet. 

Online marketing, television brand integration, buzz marketing, and sports teams are all areas in which Nike excels in.  They have at least 10 different Twitter accounts and Facebook profiles which all tailor to a specific aspect of Nike (lifestyle, general fitness, or specific sports).  This creates a huge online presence, and combined with the trend culture of Twitter, Nike is able to effectively produce am ungodly ammount of buzz marketing.  At the last world cup, Nike was the most recognized/referenced brand there, and they were not even an official advertising sponsor. 

Nike has developed a line of television commercials that are all available on a function called Nike TV.  This is sort of like a database of all of their best commercials that are available for instant viewing.  The commercials are also broadcasted on television frequently, and are specifically tailored depending on the sporting event that is on TV.

Nike’s masterful marketing techniques have earned them a spot at the top of the corporation food chain. Compared to competitor brand Under Armor, Nike might as well be like McDonalds and Under Armor is like Burger King… it just isn’t the same.  Those that work in the marketing department at Nike have definitely found their target audience, and they are even better at finding new audiences.





Posted June 29, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in Lab Descriptions

Chapter 20   1 comment

Chapter 20, the final chapter.  It is a little bitter sweet to be honest, I have grown so used to reading through everything that Seitel had to say about public relations, and now it is all but over. However, even in his final chapter, Seitel continued to show his characteristic sense of humor, followed by a plethora of real world examples.

I absolutely loved the last survey that he included.  For any that may have forgotten or taken the same infatuation that I did, basically 97 of the top public relation specialists in the country and determined the seven most significant factors to success in public relations.  Seitel states:

” 1. Diveristy ofexperience 2. Performance 3. Communication skills

4. Relationship Building 5. Proactivity and Passion 6. Teamliness

7. Intangibles” (405-411). 

I think that this is probably the most helpful part of this entire book, I mean what could be better than the advice from 97 of the most esteemed professionals in the field?  Seeing that list really gave me a realistic thought that I could actually become a successful public relations professional.

While I loved the list of traits survey, I thought that the three consecutive pages of Position Descriptions was a little overkill.  It is great to have that kind of exposure to the real working world, but I felt as if it were too much information just thrown at the reader.  I feel like Seitel could have used a little more creativity by perhaps adding comments directly onto the page, or highlighting certain parts that distinguished the different levels of work.  While he later acknowledges the key points and differences from the entry level employee and the more distinguished senior manager, I feel like it would have been more effective and interactive had he spruced up the bland descriptions.

For whatever reason I just thought of the idea to check out Frasier Seitel online, just to see what kind of credentials he has.  Not to say that I thought that he was wrong, or posing as an imposter, but I thought it would be interesting to see what he has achieved himself.  A quick wikipedia search later, I found that Seitel has a very impressive track record indeed, and he currently resides as the President of the Emerald Partners, a successful communications management firm founded in 1992.

Thanks for the lesson Mr. Seitel, it has been a pleasure learning from you.


Fraser P. Seitel, public relations extraordinaire

Posted June 28, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in Reading Notes