Welcome to another edition of Media Bullseye’s weekly Radio Roundtable. I was joined as always today by Jen Zingsheim, and our special guest on the Roundtable this week was Bob Ledrew. Bob has been a journalist and PR guy since the late 80s, and today he’s closing out his first week as director of communications at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario. He’s been writing his PR blog Flacklife since 2003, and spent 8 years as the PR columnist for a national radio show on Canada’s CBC Radio One.
This week, we tackled topics ranging from inappropriate use of tragedy to cash in on an agenda to how the location of the Summer Olympic Games starting today may have affected the public relations surrounding the event.
PETA Takes the Wrong Approach – As Bob reported in his blog this week, it seems that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals attempted to launch an ad campaign in the wake of the grisly murder aboard a Greyhound in Manitoba. Their premise was that the murder was in some way comparable to the slaughter of animals for human consumption. We all agree that they were attempting to be inflammatory to shed light on their cause. Bob and Jen point out that while their intentions were likely to get people discussing their issues and debating the merits, they may have misfired, as now even those sympathetic to the PETA cause will be left with a bad taste in their mouth from the callousness of their approach.
Zscaler is Watching You – I prove especially inept at pronouncing this service’s name, and we have a lively discussion about the merits of monitoring employees’ online activities. Zscaler is a new service that provides “in the cloud” web filtering. Unfortunately, I’m not sure anyone on the Roundtable today could say what “in the cloud” means, but we do have opinions on whether an employer should either block or interfere with their employees’ web traffic. I think it shows a lack of trust and might affect morale, and Bob points out that many companies are still fearful of the new technology.
Olympic PR – We end the Roundtable this week discussing the public relations behind the selection of Beijing as the location for this year’s Olympics. It was a controversial choice, and this article seems to assert that perhaps that bit of controversy was just what was needed. Jen and Bob agree that they likely won’t pay much attention anyway, but have seen lots of chatter about the games (which open tonight). I point out that the glory days of the Olympics is over, and that maybe some controversy is what’s needed.