Final Exam Essays:
1 – I do believe that celebrity always means power. In our society, the way we promote the importance of status and money, it is no surprise that most of us are glued to what celebrities are doing. In this way they have power. Every time one of us subscribes to a Twitter account for a famous person, watch them on TV, read their blog or website or listen to them speak, we give them more power. Power is the ability to speak and have people not only listen; but react in some way as well. When Kim Kardashian tweets about what she had for breakfast this morning this is a fairly inconsequential piece of information, but instantly, a million of her followers know it. However, as much as fame and notoriety give celebrities power, they also make them equally weak.
Having your life analyzed and broken down in the public eye might be fine and fun, until you actually do something human and make a mistake. Tiger Woods’ affair is despicable, but should have never been played out so publicly. Paris Hilton is filmed having sex, and becomes more famous than she ever would have been if she wasn’t. Even situations that are less extreme, such as Ashton Kutchers tweet about Jo Paterno or athlete Rashard Mendenhalls frequent political tweets are scrutinized and blown out of proportion just because of who said them. It is almost so that the freedom of speech of celebrities is limited to only neutral stances, while they continue to have the loudest voices of anyone.
4 – Public relations, in my opinion, is simply trying your best to make a company seem as much like another person as possible. But not just any person, it isn’t enough to seem human, a company needs to offer the people who care about them a chance to talk to them in a human way and feel like they know the company like they would know a person. Ewen supports this ideology, “Get back to the concept of markets as conversations among peers, which means speaking in a human voice and getting away from the tactics of mass marketing (53).” If this means starting a Facebook page or a Twitter feed to communicate then this is what needs to happen. From Ewen, “Dialogue doesn’t mean agreement… dialogue is about inter-subjectivity and not objective truth (49).” The communication process is essential for a business. If your demographic isn’t on either of these by any chance, you need to tie yourself into the things your demographic associates with.
Beyond association though, I think you need to be extremely honest with the people you rely on. As put by Ewen “During a conflict or crisis, people, especially journalists and bloggers are going to report about your organization anyway, so you might as well work with them to make sure the story gets out quickly and accurately (81).” And this is true, any cover-up you attempt will probably be uncovered and your company will look unprofessional because of this. Taking an honest approach will not only allow you to frame your story before someone else gets the chance, but will also earn you the respect that lasting consumer/business relationships are founded on.