Tag Archives: Newtown

Glee’s Major Misstep

For decades, television shows have mimicked real-life events. Shows for younger people are especially famous for doing this as to drive home a point and discuss current issues faced by adolescents. For the most part, this concept is a good one that can potentially teach kids valuable lessons. However, this past week’s episode of Fox’s hit television show, Glee took it one step too far.

All of us can vividly recall the tragic events that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut a mere four months ago. Twenty six innocent lives were lost in a massacre shooting that should have never happened. In an attempt to raise awareness of gun violence and possible mental health issues, Glee’s latest musical showcase featured a cut and dry “school shooting.” There was not any back story or discussion after the event occurred. It seemed to be just thrown into the middle of an episode where it truly didn’t belong.

gleeThe Glee kids are in the choir room when suddenly a “pop pop” is heard and everyone is told to hide. The camera shoots empty hallways and then shows all the cast members safe and sound. In the end, Becky, a student at McKinley High School and reoccurring Glee character, relieves only to another teacher, that she brought a gun to school to protect herself. Becky has Down Syndrome and doesn’t feel prepared to take on the real world so she thought a gun could protect her. Her teacher and mentor, Sue Sylvester takes the gun from her when it accidentally goes off and causes alarm throughout the school. Sue also ends up taking the blame for the incident and is asked to leave McKinley.

This was not a school shooting but rather a false alarm that caused a bit of panic. After all of the recent events, in particularly in Newtown, having or showing a gun in a school is just not right. It is too soon, featured on a show that younger children watch. There was also no discussion about the incident, no set-up or follow-up. Viewers of all ages were left to draw their own conclusions.

Additionally, this episodes touches the very sensitive topic of mental illness. Becky is visibly scared to enter adulthood in the episode. While the fear is natural, I don’t know if putting a gun in her hands was the best way to deliver that message. Some of the shooters in recent events did have mental disabilities, but without any discuss or accountability, the message Glee was trying to send was lost.

I understand why an episode like this was featured on a show like Glee. The audience is young and impressionable; they might actually listen to singing high school students. But, the timing and delivery were off. If they would have waited longer and executed the episode with more intention, it might have worked. I am not an expert and do not have any experience in this area. However, sometimes it is not about the media or entertainment but about human emotions trumping everything else.

A clip from the episode is below. Take a look and share your thoughts.

Touchdowns & Fumbles of Superbowl 47

I guess I’m going for a sports theme this week! I am an avid football fan and look forward to the Superbowl every year. While my New York Giants were not in attendance, I still tuned in for the game. This year, I really watched the game through a public relations lens, meaning I thought about the positive and negative PR aspects of the entire event. I actually kept a list of touchdowns (pros) and fumbles (cons) from a PR professional’s perspective during the game. Here’s are my thoughts:

Touchdowns

  • The Entertainment: I understand the Superbowl should be about football but by having megastars Alicia Keys and Beyonce perform, you are appealing to a larger audience. You know certain people just tuned in to see these divas perform, thus increasing ratings. Additionally, having children from Netwown, Connecticut sing was the perfect way to honor the memory of all those who lost their lives earlier in the year. A lot of NFL players were in touch with families who lost loved ones so it was an appropriate connection.
  • The Game: Well, obviously the game should be the main focus but sometimes it isn’t. This year, the game proved to be highly entertaining and a nail biter towards the end. Hopefully, the competitive showing by both teams helped the NFL recover from its big blunder of the night.
  • Oreo: Whoever created the advertisement that went viral during the blackout should be promoted immediately! In response to the blackout during the game, Oreo send out an ad over Twitter and Facebook that captured the essence of the brand. The ad was fantastic, but it was even better that Oreo had a social media plan in place for such an event.

 oreoWSJ

Fumbles

  • The Blackout: Of course, this was the biggest problem of the night. I understand things happen that are out of our control. However, you are the NFL and this is your most important event of the year. From the lack of information to the ridiculously long delay, it was clear to see that the NFL did not have a blackout as part of their crisis communication plan. Bet they learned their lesson.
  • The Commercials: Except for all of two commercials, companies did not hit creative gold this year. Most commercials were confusing or utterly disturbing (see GoDaddy). You pay all this money for prime advertising space just to say we’re all farmers or to broadcast old people making out. Customers deserve more.
  • The Players: I feel like this year more than ever, the players in the Superbowl made some silly comments. First example: Joe Flacco using the word retarded to describe playing at MetLife Stadium before the game. Then he dropped an F-bomb after winning while his mic was still on. Ray Lewis as a preacher might offend some people. My advice: hire a publicist to write statements for you. You have the money to do it.

I enjoyed watching the Superbowl this year. It felt good to take everything I’ve learned in school and apply it to a real-life event. I have noticed more and more that I view situations and events through my PR lens. Can’t lie, I love it! Goes to show that I chose the right career!

What were your favorite parts of the Superbowl? Share your thoughts with me!

superbowl47

Family Fridays: We Must Remember

The amount of tragedy that has occurred in the month of December is incomprehensible. Too many lives have been lost. There were still dreams to be achieved, birthdays to celebrate and memories to be made. One short week ago, the nation was rocked by the devastation in Newtown, Connecticut. I will never be able to grasp why babies were sent to heaven too soon. As a big sister with siblings in elementary school, I cannot begin to think about that and immediately called my siblings when I heard the news.

Tragedy and heartbreak do not choose when to strike. On Tuesday morning, my 45-year-old cjoeousin, a father of two young boys, had a massive heart attack and passed away. He will be missed by many but in his death, all of us should be reminded how short life is. Like all those lives lost in Connecticut, his life was cut short and heaven gained another angel just too soon.

So what do we do now? It is hard to come to terms with all that has happened in just the last week. But in order to move forward and honor these angels’ memories, we must properly grieve. The Metro had a helpful article earlier this week about how to handle such grief and tragedy.

memorial 1. Honor your feelings: Most people try to suppress what they feel. However, that is probably the most unhealthy thing to do. It is okay to cry, to be angry or to be alone. Do whatever you have to so your feelings are fully expressed.

2. Set loving intentions: The hardest part for me in such tragedies is that there isn’t anything I can do. I am a doer and always feel the need to fix things. Death and tragedy are not things that can be fixed. But, by setting intentions, prayers or moments of silence for the victims, I am doing something to honor their memory.

3. Be kinder to everyone: Hug your loved ones a little tighter. Call your grandparents. Tell your friends how much you appreciate them. Thank your parents for raising you right. Do something to pay it forward and remind those you care about how important they are to you. Practice being kinder to everyone in your life including strangers.

Ultimately, the best thing we can do to honor these fallen angels is to never forget what happened and to learn from this horrific tragedy. Life has been put into perspective and the little things that are stressed over are now insignificant. May all of these new angels rest in peace and let us never forget them.

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