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For my blog today, I wanted to comment on Lance Armstrong and how he decided to step down from LiveStrong.

Lance Armstrong is facing a PR disaster. I actually feel sorry for the guy because, he is going to be remembered for doping rather than all of the good he has accomplished. I think it was wise of him to step down from LiveStrong because that way their image won’t be tarnished by his actions.

However,  have read articles about how his teammates were also doping. So, his titles are going to be taken away but who will they give them to? I pose this question because, it sounds like more people were doping than just Lance Armstrong- the second and third place winners were too. So, where will they have to go then? They cheated too, just not as well. And who, aside from the few reports, is talking about his teammates doping?

Lets remember that he is a cancer survivor, and he has donated millions of dollars to charity before we hang him out to dry for using steroids. Lets also remember that he created charity companies as well.

I hope his publicity team can handle this quickly and effectively because it would be a shame for everyone to remember him as the guy who was doping rather than the guy who started a tremendously effective charity. I do applaud his PR team for responding quickly and giving the whole story rather than shy away. It is bad that he lied about it and denied the allegations and than was found guilty later, but I am going to assume here that he didn’t think he would get caught.

So- lets remember Lance Armstrong as an athlete and a contributor to charitable donations rather than a terrible cheating doper. I cannot imagine the wrath that his twitter followers are giving him!

I decided to critique a case study called,”SearsKilledMyDog.com: The Anatomy of a Social Media Nightmare Averted – A Case Study”  I chose this case study because, it caught my eye. “Searskilledmydog.com” That is a pretty strong website name- how can you not be curious about it?

What happened in the case study was that this couple bought a freezer from their local Sears, when the freezer was delivered the delivery man hit the couples dog, Toot, and it was fatally injured. The couple went to Sears and basically Sears said, “Sorry about your loss it’s not our responsibility though.”

So, the couple made the website, “SearsKilledMyDog.com” and within two days of posting their story Sears found out about the story and dealt with it. The case study explains that the local Sears did nothing wrong and that Sears PR people did right And, based on the authors examples of what Sears did right:

  • The team made their best effort to understand the problem with what they knew at the time.
  • A course of action was decided, and then immediately implemented.
  • Senior management reached out to Peggy and David, asked what they could do to make it right, and then went beyond the customer’s expectation

I agree, Sears PR did do a great job. They did everything as they should and the couple ended up taking the website down by their own choice.

My critique about this case study is that this ‘social media nightmare’ could have been avoided altogether if the local Sears would have dealt with the couple better after the situation happened. You don’t tell a grieving couple that they shouldn’t have let their dog out (although of course they shouldn’t have). Perhaps internal communications could have been better in this situation, with a more straightforward plan if a crisis does occur. Obviously I wouldn’t expect them to have something like that written in the books but the PR team knew what to do right- why didn’t the local store know?

I did really like that they handled it quickly, they didn’t ask the couple to take down the website, and that they didn’t try and hide what happened or shy away from solving the problem.

For my Comm 438 Class, Public Relations Cases and Campaigns, we are doing a group PR project for the NorthStar Commuter Rail. It is an exciting project that, I think will look nice on a resume. So, I am going to explain the whole trip from the very beginning, because I want to document it, and also because it will help me to remember better for my project.

7:00 am: Woke up, got ready and left the house by 7:30 to make it on the NorthStar Rail Fridley station by 7:52 am. The Fridley station was empty and for our trip there was only 4 people including our instructor, Lisa Heinrich.

8:10am: Made it to the Twins stadium by 8:10, we had an awesome awesome exclusive tour of the Twins Stadium with the communications director, Chris Iles. Here are some pics:

This picture was taken from the press box at the Twins Stadium, that is Anthony LaPanta down there!

This is the room where they do the press conferences from

10:00am: We all got together as a class and got coffee, and decided what to do from there, half the class stayed back and played pool at Brothers, and some of us had lunch with Lisa and got lost in the skyways. We definitely felt like tourists touring the big city, because we could not find our way through those skyways.

1:30pm: After finding our way through the skyways, doing a little shopping, and having some lunch at Keys Cafe half of the class went to another PR firm, Russel Herder. We met with Brian Herder, the creative director and he showed us the place. It was a quick trip, because at 2 we were going to Carmichael Lynch Spong. We hopped in a cab, and made it there by 2:05

2:05pm: We met with a lady at Carmichael Lynch Spong, a PR and Advertising agency with offices here in MN and in New York, and she gave us a tour of the building. This is in the front entry way at Carmichael Lynch Spong

So is Bigfoot. Carmichael Lynch Spong does the advertising for Jack Links and they wanted to incorporate all of their clients in some way to their building, so this is their homage to Jack Links.

After the tour, we met with the president of Carmichael Lynch Spong, Doug Spong for about an hour and talked about all kinds of things from job hunts, to bad PR. It was really neat.

3:57 pm: Back on the lightrail and headed back to Fridley MN. It would have been a $3 trip, but the kind folks at the NorthStar Commuter Rail gave us free tickets, which we didnt know we had to put our voucher in on the trip up so, I still have 1. Oops.. learning curve right?

4:10 pm: Back to Fridley, made it right on time!

All in all it was a very interesting and exciting day because we got to  meet top executives at PR firms, and see what really goes on at PR Firms, it really just makes me that much more excited to graduate in December and gives me that much more drive. It was good to really ride the rail so we can get a sense of what it is really like to be able to do our project. I am excited to get started on it, which sounds completely crazy- but these PR classes just make me excited for my major. Totally nerdy- I know.

-Meagan

Hello, I had no idea what to blog about, I was thinking- oh first presedential debates maybe that.. But, I am not going to be watching them- lets be honest.

However, I did find this awesome website from Jack Links that has Barrack Obameat and Meat Romney and that is all I cam going to say – you gotta check it out! And, ironically enough, it is made by Carmichael Lynch Spong which is the PR Agency I will be touring tomorrow with my COMM 438 classmates. So, I had to post it. Sorry to direct you only to the website

Jack Links Meatheads

If you will be watching the debates- enjoy! And then giggle at these meat heads..
Meagan

Vote Sasquatch!

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