Nicco Mele

I learned a lot from Nicco Mele’s presentation to our MC 4002 class. Personally, I loved his views on embracing your individual reality. The best example that he gave was about John Kerry’s presidential campaign. John Kerry, a Boston native, could have used the fact that the Red Sox’s won the World Series for the first time in 100 years in his campaign but, he chose not to even mention it. This could be an opportunity to embrace his roots and really rally for his city but, he decided to post a blog article about healthcare reform. I see this as a missed opportunity for John Kerry and his campaign. 

I believe that making your client a real person is very important during any campaign. Personally, I would be more likely to follow a person on Twitter than a brand. In reality, it is usually never the actual person tweeting and posting but, it makes the person seem more reachable and real. 

Also, Mele talked about how intimate media has become. It is usually the first thing you do in the morning and how you find out major life changes about family and friends. Social media has become a way of life and something that people must embrace. In this movement toward intimate media, I found that is important for PR practitioners to adapt to this change and use this as an opportunity to make clients and brands more relatable. 

Southern University

Last Friday, Chancellor James Llorens of Southern University found out that his contract for the next school year would not be renewed and would expire on June 30, 2014. The board that made this decision was made up of 16 people who have stayed relatively quite since the vote was made. The exception to that statement is Ronald Mason, the President of Southern University.

Mason said that he stands by his statement that Llorens’ contract should be extended for one year. This would include some of Llorens’ power being given to Mason. The students of Southern University in Baton Rouge have not taken this decision lightly. The President of the Southern Student Government Association organized a protest rally to keep Llorens as the chancellor. 

The students’ protests were so effective that the board has agreed to meet again to discuss Llorens’ contract. This proves that the old grassroots ways of protest should not be forgotten in today’s times. The students would not stand for this ruling and they have made enough noise via social media and in the school that they are making the board take a second look. 

This situation paints Mason as the bad guy. To the public, it seems like he is trying to take the power for himself and not let the students have the candidate that they want for the job. The best way for Mason to handle this situation would be to issue a public statement to the students to ask them what they want and put some of the power into their hands. If he opened an online forum of some sort, the students could voice their reasons as to whether or not they would like Llorens to stay as the chancellor of the school and the board can base their decision on the student’s voices. If Mason stands behind the students, he will get back in their good graces and the university will function even better than before. 

Uintah Elementary

On January 28, 40 parents in the Uintah School District were in shock when their children returned home from school to tell them that their lunches were thrown away. After investigation, parents found out that a child-nutrition manager was called into the school to investigate the number of students who were in debt to the cafeteria. Once the children were served, the students that were in debt had their lunches seized and thrown into the trash.

If I were a parent at this school, I would have been outraged at the treatment of these students. Not only is this incident wasteful, but embarrassing to students and parents. I believe that the best solution to this problem would be reforming the cafeteria system. With new technology, the schools could set up an email or text messaging service to notify parents when their children are on the verge of a negative cafeteria balance. This would be effective because these elementary students would not be responsible for notifying their parents. 

Situations like these make me wonder how often this occurs. My sister, a Baton Rouge high school senior, notified me that students are her high school are not allowed to be served lunch if they are not wearing their student ID around their neck. In recent trends, it seems that schools are putting more focus on things like money or rules than nutrition. Hopefully, this case will be a wake up call to schools around the nation to seek reform in their cafeteria systems.