Labor Unions and PR

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Labor Unions are established to better the working conditions of their members in whatever line of work they are in. They lobby corporations, negotiate with business leaders, and generally advocate the rights of workers. On Monday the Communication Workers Union will see if their lobbying efforts paid off when Ministers decide on a law that will require that all newborn puppies be microchipped at birth so that they will be more traceable and owners can be prosecuted in the event that their dog assaults someone. This law could lead to a direct improvement in working conditions for postal workers because over the past four years more than 23,000 postal workers have been attacked by dogs and almost 400 have taken time off sick in the past year following an attack. Passing this law will hold vicious dog owners more accountable for their pets.

Representatives of the CWU have made personal statements concerning the law on behalf of the organization that attacked the government in England, calling their previous action, the “Dangerous Dogs Act” a “failed” act and comments that make the government seem lazy. The Union has come up with a e-petition that supports changes to the law, which has already received more than 10,000 signatures. The CWU has latched on to this law as an opportunity to improve their workers’ conditions and play an advocacy role.

Another advocacy group has responded to the proposed changes in the law, but has taken the opposite approach. The Freedom Association campaigns for individual liberty in England protests the law, seeing it as an attempt by the government to penalize law-abiding dog owners. Millions of dog owners who have never experienced any trouble with their pet will now have to pay to fit their dog with a chip. This organization is doing the same thing as the CWU, advocating for their members aka all free peoples. The Freedom Association has provided an excellent example of the drama that unfolds when people take a stand on an issue that affects so many people.

A major goal in the CWU’s campaign is for more owners of violent dogs to be held accountable for their animals, as they have caused a lot of harm over the years. I feel like this law is effective, but current owners should not be penalized unless their dog has caused an incident. Perhaps as of Monday all newborn puppies should receive the microchip but not dogs born before the new law. The groups involved with this law are trying to take a stand to show that they are willing to press peoples’ buttons to get what they want. They represent a lot of people and have a lot of leverage. Labor Unions seem to be somewhat of a hassle in this way because they create a lot of laws to cooperate with and paper work to fill out. Labor Unions are a big part of Public Relations however because they use their power of communication to improve working conditions for others and that is vital to a world that can be very manipulative.

 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17807349

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Facebook to Purchase Photography App “Instagram” for $1 Billion

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Why do you use Facebook? To stalk your friends? To tell the world about what you had for breakfast? A large part of this social media is the posting and sharing of pictures and Facebook knows this. This is why they recently bought Instagram, an app for smartphone users that allows them to take pictures of every day life and customize them with filters and other effects. This deal is worth $1 billion making this Facebook’s biggest purchase to date, a big move for the popular company.

Is spending a billion really that bold for Facebook though? There are currently 500,000,000 active Facebooks online, that’s 1 in every 13 people ON THE EARTH, so it seems they can do no wrong. There is also a plan in motion for Facebook to go public which will gain millions more for the company. This makes now a good time for such a good purchase.

Facebook has bought out app companies in the past, but none as popular as the two year old, 30 million user strong Instagram. It’s cult like followers are already voicing opinions about the take-over, saying that this will change the program in a negative way. Facebook has certainly ended programs before, buying them and shutting down the operations to collect the workers. Such a trendy app associating itself with something as mainstream as Facebook has also been called selling out, I personally know multiple ex Instagram users that have decided to move on to the next thing now that it has been bought out. These users have nothing to worry about however, because all parties involved have promised to keep the app the way it is, an independent feature.

Apps on the go are an increasing market these days with everyone and their mother having some sort of smart phone. I can’t go to a restaurant without seeing at least four people on a tiny version of Facebook or Twitter. Their increasing popularity is something that companies have yet to truly take advantage of and with this deal Facebook is finally addressing this weakness.

It seems that Facebook truly is taking over these days. There are very few people that I know that don’t have one, and with all of the features it offers, what else are you going to do when you’re bored at work or in class? It has expanded to include artistic apps like Instagram as well as mindless games like Words with Friends or Farmville. These all started out as small companies with few employees and now they are part of a worldwide phenomenon and richer than they thought possible. With each new deal, Facebook becomes more and more appealing to the 21st century citizen and more and more useful to professionals in any sector of business. You’d think that people would get annoyed with all of the ads littering their news feed or all of the business pages asking for their friendship. This company is still going strong however and the deal to go public will probably increase this popularity, however they have a lot to lose if it doesn’t.
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/04/09/facebook-buys-instagram-for-1-billion/

http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/facebook-statistics-stats-facts-2011/

“Draw Something” Makes Creators Instant Millionaires. Is Anyone Surprised?

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A recent deal in the iPhone realm is making headlines and upping the ante when it comes to staying on top of the app world. The monopolistic app company Zynga has just bought out Omgpop, the makers of the now popular game Draw Something. Zynga already owns the rights to Farmville and they are considered the “king of social games”. The newsworthy element of this story is the speed at which it was bought with Draw Something having just been introduced seven weeks ago. With this game having already been downloaded over 35 million times it’s no wonder it caught Zynga’s eye and why $180 million was shelled out for it’s possession. The fact that the game has been downloaded that many times in such a short while is not as astounding considering how many people have smartphones and how trendy these games are, but Zynga’s speedy purchase is indicative of how fast companies have to move to stay on top of online trends and make the most money.

Another way Draw Something has become popular is through the use of Facebook and Twitter, with users posting their drawings on their personal pages to share with friends. In this way audience awareness and reception is easily measured and open to the public. Just looking at the iTunes app store right now the game is number two on the top app charts. This notoriety made Omgpop an obvious candidate for purchase by Zynga.

This kind of success in business is obvious because public deals are involved with money changing hands and big businesses placing value on the product. The game became popular because of its simplicity and because it was different from the other games that people were obsessed with at the time. Those first 30,000 users who downloaded the game the first day it was released probably had no idea it would become so big but alas just seven weeks later it’s creators were having cocktails at an expensive hotel in Manhattan, celebrating it’s ascension to Farmville status. The nature of today’s communication spectrum has a lot to do with it, with everyone and their mother having a smart phone and the ability to play and become addicted to any game put on the web. I know I’ve felt its presence at every outing I go on with friends who whether their bored waiting for food or taking a study break, always pull out their phones to send their sketches to friends. And it’s not only an Elon thing either, having visited friends at other colleges and seeing them playing Draw Something just as much as Elon kids do. This observant success measurement has been just as effective as quantitative data in this case because that is the whole point behind trends. It gives me hope when I see this game being played at every bus stop and grocery store now that I know of its humble beginnings and speedy victory. Maybe the fast paced world that we live in isn’t so bad after all.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/technology/draw-something-changes-the-game-quickly-for-omgpop.html?pagewanted=1&ref=business

Facebook and Empowering Women

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          The article “The $1.6 Billion Woman, Staying on Message” highlighted Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, and her priorities during a time of possible changes in Facebook’s operations. Facebook is considering making this switch to a public company due to its unmatchable success and expansion. This could lead to major changes in the way Facebook functions, and while all hands should be on deck within Facebook to make sure this endeavor goes smoothly, Sandberg has chosen to focus more on a topic that has always been dear to her heart: women in the workforce. Sandberg’s campaign to empower women to strive for more influence in the workplace is one that she feels should be the backbone of all of her work endeavors. Since Facebook is primarily used by women and its influence on the nation is rapidly growing, women are prime candidates for work in marketing, advertising, research, and countless other professions. Sandberg has participated in many events in the attempt to promote women in the business world such as the recent World Economic Forum as well as hosting regular dinner parties with the nation’s most influential women in business. She preaches her cause at countless college campuses across the nation to spread the word, which is most effective as fresh female faces could be just what companies like Facebook need to stay on top.

            Sandberg is a highly prominent woman in today’s culture, being Mark Zuckerberg’s right hand woman, and yet today is the first time I have heard her name. To be honest I was surprised to see a woman’s face at the head of this article because a woman having such an important position isn’t too common these days. This woman uses her position to stimulate the hunger for power in other women which it truly inspirational. Her stance is somewhat controversial however, because of her tendency to call out women that aren’t making moves professionally. Sheryl Sandberg was given more opportunities than many women and some people find her slight impatience of less successful women a case of misunderstanding. The fact that Sandberg is taking time out of her soon to be 1.6 billion dollar career to spread this awareness however, shows how willing she is to work hard for the women she thinks can make it in the industry.

            Sandberg is not the only woman in the workplace that can be considered a role model for women striving to be taken seriously in the business world, but she is certainly a rare case. She is married to the CEO of SurveyMonkey with two children so the importance of family life is a major talking point in her campaign. When interviewing a woman for a job with Facebook, Sandberg specifically said both a career and family life were possible. The article mentioned her winning personality and excellent presentation skills which make her as well as her company look more capable and stable. The fact that she is so influential in a company that is so monumentally important to the people of this country makes me wonder why she is not given more attention in the media and given the opportunity to extend her crusade’s reach. The world needs to know that companies want strong young women for their teams and once we do we will begin our acceptance of what needs to be done for a business to thrive in the 21st century.

Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton

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The photographs of movie stars and other important people in society taken by Cecil Beaton are interesting on so many different levels. First off, they’re of famous people who are generally more physically attractive to the public. Seeing these familiar faces is interesting to me because I want to know more about them.

Second, his use of lighting and color are very attention grabbing and appealing. It seems like he spent a lot of time engineering these sets and his vision was clearly defined going into the project.

Third, he puts a lot of thought into the setting and background of the portrait. Some photographs are meant to focus on the individual’s beauty but others place the subject in a situation that causes the viewer to spend some time dissecting something other than the famous person. This I like because it’s like the subject is a part of something bigger than them. Yes they are interesting and everyone wants to know more about them but in Beaton’s photography they are at his mercy, posing how he wants them to pose and being placed in surroundings thought up by him. It gives me a sense of power to the photographer which I think he deserves.

Belk Library, Beaton Portraits
Call Number 779, B38PE