Archive for March, 2006


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Thinking Forward…

Some students of Auburn university in Alabama have set up Forward to help and guide all those starting out in PR (like me!). Their managing editor Erin has already got a really sucessful blog of her own and has brought together a group of students, practitioners and lectuers to ‘provide a comprehensive, ever-evolving, online springboard for students and young professionals in PR’. Really cool stuff.

I am a little behind the times it seems, but spreading the word futher is going to do no harm.

The website is full of career advise, basics, and pretty much anything you would wish to know about going into the industry. I’ve only been on it briefly but already I can see that this is going to be so helpful to me over the next few months!

They are also open to contributions (I think I might have a go if they will let me!) whether you want to leave a one off or undertake regular postings. As far as I am aware they haven’t got any regular British writers – So get in quick!

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I smoke. I love smoking. I’m smoking right now (not really but by the time you read this I could be). Every day I contemplate quiting and everyday I think about it over a cup of tea and a ciggy. Of course, I smoke in the privacy of my own home where whether I am allowed to smoke is never comes into question.
I joke that the reason that I smoke is because it is clever and grown up but its not. I kid myself that I will give up when they reach a certain price (£4.50, £5, all came and went).
Because I shouldn’t smoke and I don’t think anybody else should either. The Packets say it all: emphysema, heart disease, cancer, cancer, cancer and, the loveliest of all, impotence (I don’t understand the packs that say – DON’T START, presumably if you have dedicated a, considerable, amount of money for this pack I would guess you had already started smoking).
But I enjoy it. It’s gross. It stains my lungs. It kills people. It goes so well with my tea. It de stresses me, and I love it.
I fully appreciate that other people dislike smoking. If I am at someones house where they do not smoke I have no qualms about going outside (I do this at my Parents house.) .
Anyway didn’t Oscar Wilde say: “Let us go and lie on the grass and smoke cigarettes and enjoy nature.” (I’m rather proud at finding that quote.)
People argue that ‘It’s perfectly legal to have sex, be naked, urinate, but try doing any of those things in the dining room of a restaurant and you’re looking at a hefty fine, if not jail time. The same should hold true for smoking.’
This is a very strong point – but why can’t we have smoking bars and non smoking bars? Forest, the ‘pro-choice’ smokers rights society (they even have awards) have suggested this from the start. Their argument is if you are going to ban it in some places ban it everywhere, don’t victimise people over a lifestyle choice. They use the D-word (Discrimination) a lot.
Anyway I shall be watching the progress in Scotland carefully, it is a sign of things to come.
On a similar note – there is a film out in the states called Thank You for Smoking, which delves into the American lobbying system, following a man who represents the tobacco industry. It looks rather good – I wonder if anyone has seen it?
Interestingly they have their own MySpace and the director(Jason Reitman) has his own blog too. Is this becoming the norm for all film promotion?

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Only a few more days and then the Easter Holidays are going to feel like:

Of course I am not going on holiday – apart from a trip down to london to see my folks and friends. Although I am really looking forward to that, I haven’t seen people since Christmas.

The picture is how I am going to feel once I have handed in my dissertation. I’m sorry to keep banging on about it but there really isn’t room in my life for anything else until this is done.

Until Easter I will have many sleepless nights and about one hundred panic attacks to look forward to – and after…

(And portfolio..)

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Excellent news locally. The BNP has been rejected from Keighley, diminishing their number of seats on Bradford City Council to three. Hopefully the whole of Yorkshire will soon be freed from these people and stop voting them in! They drag the reputation of this beautiful county through the mud.

For the Americans who read this the BNP (British National Party) are a particularly unpleasant extremist party from the UK they are are racist and fascist scaremongers. I would provide a link so that you can see for yourselves but I don’t want it on my site.

The church for one opposes them and Stephanie Rybak, executive secretary to the West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council (WYEC) has said:

‘We feel the BNP is a deeply worrying movement and its policies are racist and fascist.’ She added: ‘Were concerned at the level of voter apathy, which means people wont vote. If they don’t, there’s a real danger that extremist parties might get elected.’

But why aren’t the other councillors in these BNP prone areas working together with the church to get rid of them through a massive campaign to get people voting? Surely with a common problem such as this they should be working together.

Local PR firms should get involved, I would do it pro bono, to lobby against this kind of extremism and to build stronger local links and links to local authorities to give the public hope that their vote will make a difference and will not have any adverse consequences. Surely some corporate social responsibility from local businesses would help. There are also loads of anti BNP groups on the internet – although some of them are just as extreme.

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He ain’t heavy…

Chloe is right this whole blogging phenomenon is very infectious! More and more people are getting themselves involved and it is pleasing to see.

I was talking to my brother earlier and even he is interested and wants to know what to do and where to go. He is a first year student at Nottingham University studying Psychology so I reckon it will be great. He assures me that he will let me know his address as soon as he sorts one so I will post a link from here! This goes for any other new bloggers out there as well.

Blogging is a fantastic way of communicating and getting your opinions out there. I have commented before that it does get rather addictive, but this is by no means a bad thing. Often a blog will force you to read further into your professional area. As well as examining your own beliefs. Blogs also are an easy way of getting acquainted with a subject you were previously unsure of, after all there are experts out there expressing their superior wisdom and all you have to do is tap in.

Although having said that it is not all easy sailing and quite often I have to look things up!

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Thank you

A quick thank you to all those who took part answering my questions for my dissertation. You know who you are. Without your contribution the dissertation would have never happened.

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