Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Searching for our own identity

Canada is a country with rich, and young roots. We are constantly reminded of our British heritage from our neighbors across the pond.
It hasn't even been a full 48 hours and already "the Royal Conception" has invaded my Facebook timeline, my Twitter feed and I can only assume the front page of every newspaper across the country this morning. It's understandable that the news be presented to the public, as the child will one day rule Britain, but the fact that it seems to be force fed to the point where it's pushing local news as well as the important happenings from our own nation to the back pages of the paper doesn't sit well.
Canada has it's own issues to deal with right now. Ontario is without a premiere, Toronto's mayor was just ousted, and there's an NHL lockout sitting heavily on the shoulders of many canadians. It just seems silly that we are so drawn to the fact that Kate Middleton has in fact conceived and experiences morning sickness just like all the other pregnant women in the world.
One can only imagine that over the next nine months, the coverage will be endless, about nine books will be written and there will be a website dedicated to guessing the name of the future king or queen. I just can't wait!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Victoria Secret's speedy PR

As a current Public Relations student, I'm beginning to catch myself take note of certain headlines in the news where issues arise and PR consultants are to take immediate action and prevail to save the day.
I'm taught about examples of good PR and bad PR, such as the Maple Leaf Foods crisis in comparison  to the BP oil spill incident.
Just this past week I saw a clip in the news about a culturally offensive Victoria's Secret fashion show that caused an upset, and just how quickly Victoria's Secret responded.
In a recently staged fashion show, one model strutted the catwalk in a Native American head dress and skimpy bikini. It wasn't long before a Navajo Nation spokesman reacted, explaining the upset of such an act. Victoria's Secret was quick to react, stating an apology and assuring that the segment would be edited from the Dec. 4 broadcast of the show.
Kudos to Victoria's Secret for apologizing and reacting as quickly as they did, but apparently these offensive stunts tend to be reoccurring in the fashion industry. So perhaps a step further is appropriate, and all racist and culturally offensive outfits should be eliminated from any future shows fashion lines.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Random acts of kindness

They are sometimes few and far between, but random acts of kindness, especially from a complete stranger, are life's special gems.
In an article I read earlier today in The Paris Star, an elderly woman submitted a letter to the editor about a bouquet of roses she'd been admiring over the weekend. Strolling through downtown Paris, she stopped to peak at the beautifully bunched flowers out front a store, but carried on walking as they were out of her budget. Moments later, a man tracked her down, presenting her with the bouquet, saying "I saw you admiring these roses - here they are - for you."
I can recall a similar occurrence when I was downtown Paris making a donation to a local charity and was short a few dollars for a raffle ticket. A gentleman walking by thoughtfully contributed for my lack of change, smiled and continued on his way.
It's these rare, special moments of kind and generous gestures that make a smile last an entire day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Remembering Remembrance Day

Scrolling through the headlines today, a number of similar themed articles are catching my eye - one reads "War medals stolen over Remembrance Day weekend", another "Poppy boxes stolen," and lastly "War memorial vandalized."
The three events are completely seperate occurances, but all disgusting, disgraceful and ignorant. It surprises me that people would do such selfish and immoral acts, while disrespecting and hurting the very people who fought for our country.
I recently just got back from a weekend away in Ottawa where I attended my first Remembrance Day ceremony in our nation's capital. It was lovely ceremony, filled with many opportunities for reflection and appreciation for the many veterans who marched in front of me and who stood beside me. It was a great, yet sombre experience, to see such an emotional ceremony from that perspective.
If only others could be more appreciative and considerate of the numbered men and women who've served and sacrificed.