Davis Thinking } analysis and interpretation
We've all been inundated with news, stories and images from the tragic events that occurred at Virginia Tech earlier this week. The story has been told from several angles, focusing on the victims, the police and school response, the shooter and, now, the media's handling of the event - specifically the airing of bone-chilling videos and pictures the shooter sent to NBC. The videos and photos were initially aired heavily by NBC and, subsequently, other networks; however, the airings were drastically cut back after backlash from the victims' families, the general audience and other media. In fact, according to the Los Angeles Times, parents of two victims canceled a scheduled appearance on The Today Show in protest.
We could never watch you suffer; we could never watch you fall. So, we offer this simple, soaring anthem -- a gem from 1989 that reminds us of an older and purer (and, yes, kinder and gentler) notion of prayer and community. The great irony: the band is called Texas, and we know now what crawled forth. The song means more today than ever. We hope it lifts your day and spirit as much as it does ours. Sing loud and testify!
Usually I would argue that service is no more than a price of entry to do business. If companies cannot provide good service, they have no business to be in business. Ironically, service is at the airline industry’s very core, and despite them completely ignoring this fact, many of them are still in business!
The international edition of Variety.com recently reported that Coca-Cola has halted the scheduled release of an Italian spiritually-themed film for unauthorized use of the brand.
It’s been but a few days since the Virginia Tech “massacre” and already the media has covered nearly every angle of the story. I need not go into further detail on all of the media coverage, as we’ve all been inundated with the words, photographs, cell phone videos, e-mails and instant messages that captured the sadness that occurred on April 16. The one angle that interests me the most, however, is the way that technology has impacted the way we learn about, respond to and deal with a crisis.
There are few things we love more than McSweeney's -- whether it be the brilliant quarterly concern, the Internet tendency or the store briefly documented in this clip. These folks are so smart: genuine and precious eccentrics celebrating engaged minds and the curious connections they make. It serves as a gentle, humane reminder that "mash up" is nothing new; the brain has sought and processed creative collision for a long, long time. And where else can you take a writing class, read books and buy a new glass eye? Step inside and peruse, use, excuse, recuse, amuse, bemuse yourself and others. Choose: a world of McDonald's or of McSweeney's? Only one nourishes.
The event that took place at Virginia Tech is quite disturbing, and as a current college student, it really hits home. Too much pressure isn’t good for anyone, and I believe many of today’s college kids are experiencing stress and pressure at really high levels. Without proper outlets and forums to voice day to day problems and issues, I think we are creating a escalating problem. However, there is one outlet available, and widely accepted among students. It’s called Facebook, and trust me, it’s used daily by many of us!
Ok, now read this in your head (or aloud if you’d like) in the fashion of your favorite movie trailer voice-over guy (note: if you’re reading this aloud, really emphasize the throaty, I-just-inhaled-an-entire-carton-of-Winstons-dipped-in-wet-asphault voice). Everybody ready? Here we go: “In a world where creativity hides in dark alleys behind commercial franchises, the masses are lining up for what critics call ‘…grippingly compelling…,’ ‘…compellingly gripping…,’ and ‘…an experience that is sure to compel the grip right out of your pants…’
While it’s not the newest tagline on the street, it is one of the most poignant and relevant with regards to the shifting consumer control of brands. As is evidenced by some of the world’s largest brands (e.g., Apple, Nike, Target) marketing has evolved from product-focused and transactional to consumer-focused and relational. For example, not only does Nike tell YOU to “Just Do It” both bluntly through its tagline and subtly through its logo, but the company also empowers consumers to now customize their own shoes. Successful companies are handing over control at the risk of misuse; knowing that consumers will own and shape their brands to their liking, regardless of the company’s permission. These companies understand that it’s do or die.
John Stauber is a self-proclaimed watchdog over the PR industry. He paints all PR efforts as evil and manipulative, disregarding programs that educate seniors about things like Medicare enrollment or vacationers about safety abroad. Are these programs paid for by drug companies or travel groups? Sure. Does that make them evil, even as they help with essential life issues? PR has been abused by unethhical companies, and indeed it has a complicated past. But it is not all evil all the time. At best, Stauber is a hypocrite. Notice the books he flashes in his innocent video -- they are written by him and the sales of them benefit him. Stauber uses the same techniques he so despises. Propagandists! They are everywhere.