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Think outside the box ... Literally

Think outside the box ...  Literally | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

Even though it appears there are more “health” foods available to us than ever before, individuals across this country seem to be battling weight gain and chronic disease as much or more than in past years. Reports indicate the problem behind these “healthy” foods is that many of them are processed and in a box. Even though they are categorized as organic, enriched, or natural, they do not necessarily offer the nutrients our bodies need on a daily basis. In other words, consumers must begin to get away from “the box!” In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, they should focus on eating whole, fresh, and unprocessed foods and try to stay away from prepackaged products while preparing the bulk of their meals at home. It is suggested that consumers start small; focus on one meal rather than the entire week. Do research by reading health food magazines and healthy recipes online. In addition, individuals should allow themselves time off in that 90 percent of the time they prepare their own foods at home, and 10 percent of the time they splurge and eat out.

 

This is a topic that certainly hit home with me as I am very careful about the foods I eat. I consciously made the decision to eat “healthy” foods several years ago and focus on eating only those items considered to be organic and natural. I found myself attracted to items that were labeled with the words such as “all natural,”  “organic,” and “enriched” in bold letters across their packages. In the beginning, I did not take the time to closely read their nutrition labels as I fell into the hype they must be what I was looking for as the package said so! I did exactly what advertisers wanted consumers to do; I acted on impulse and bought the product because of one or two words slapped across the front of the packaging, television commercials, and even flyers announcing the arrival of such products at my nearby grocery store. I even paid more for some of these items! Restaurants even advertise that they use these same “natural” products while preparing some of their new and improved healthier items on their menus. No doubt, the companies that produce these foods have listened to marketing executives and public relations teams working on ad campaigns which have suggested they use the types of food labels as listed above to get the consumer’s attention. Teamwork was needed to reach the public and probably included company executives, buyers, accountants, and CEOs headed by a great public relations team all focused on getting the consumer to buy the product. As noted in Adventures in Public Relations by Guth and Marsh, a 2004 survey of business- to-business communicators noted that their “top goal was driving sales followed by customer acquisition” (p. 192). This is definitely the final goal of the many companies offering these organic and natural products. They want to increase their sales and hopefully acquire new customers who will remain loyal for years to come. While it appears to be quite successful for the companies involved, the general public might want to take a closer look at nutrition labels rather than just the “large print.”

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Sarah Westaway's curator insight, July 19, 2013 7:50 AM

Interesting article about what one thinks and what is actually the reality. Read this article and critically think about what you consume or would like to in the near future. Make changes to your diet if necessary to become a healthier person!

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Unaware and uninformed: Trouble in Tokyo

Unaware and uninformed: Trouble in Tokyo | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

A former contract worker for Tokyo Electric Power Company has filed a complaint against the company alleging its actions have led to radiation injuries for him and his six member team who were sent in to lay electric cables in the basement of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. The plant’s reactor building had exploded ten days earlier releasing enormous amounts of radiation into the environment. Shinichi claims he and his team were sent into the building without proper warning that water leaks had been found in parts of the building. Hired to lay electric cables in the basement of the Unit 3 turbine, Shinichi reports of wading through steaming radioactive water which actually felt warm through his work boots. According to the team’s pocket dosimeters, radiation levels in the wet basement were high enough to cause a temporary decline in white blood cells. While the amount of radiation Shinichi was exposed to is not considered a serious health risk, he still worries continuously about his well-being as well as the other members of his family.  A TEPCO spokesperson admits the company should have been more careful due to the irregular plant conditions.  In a complaint filed by his lawyer, Shinichi is requesting authorities confirm TEPCO’s safety violations and force improvement orders. He is also asking for penalties and fines under the Industrial Safety and Health Act against TEPCO.

 

As I read this article, two things immediately came to mind. Initially, I could only imagine how upset and violated I would feel if the company I worked for had not been watching out for my health and safety. I do my best to live and follow a healthy lifestyle. This is a decision I consciously made several years ago. I watch very closely the types of food and drink I consume, exercise on a daily basis, and work to maintain mental health. It is not always an easy task to follow. To think that all my hard work and effort was for nothing just because my company was more interested in the bottom dollar than my well-being would infuriate me. In addition, from a public relations standpoint I was completely surprised TEPCO’s spokesperson actually admitted the company should have been more careful with the safety of its employees. A complaint has been filed against TEPCO seeking monetary damages as well as jail sentences for those in charge. Why in the world would TEPCO basically admit guilt? Are we to believe they have suddenly realized what they did was wrong and their ethics are now shining through? My guess is that TEPCO’s public relations team has spent countless hours since the incident, and after many hours of critical thinking sessions has developed a plan to minimize TEPCO’s financial losses. I am also guessing the executives of TEPCO were not looking too far ahead when they gave the orders for Shinichi and his crew to go into the reactor building to lay cable. TEPCO’s concern at the time was focused on getting their business up and running because of the enormous amount of money it was losing daily after the explosion and not on that of the safety of its employees. TEPCO executives got caught up in short-term thinking.  According to Guth and Marsh in Adventures in Public Relations, “Short-term thinking is poor critical thinking.  It involves refusing to consider the long-term consequences of your actions” (p. 243).  TEPCO was worried about getting back to making money as quickly as possible and not that of the health consequences their employees might face in the future if they were exposed to radiation. They may have wondered about the standing radioactive water in the basement; however, they chose to ignore it and send crews in. They were in denial by choice. It was easier to “not know” about the water and hope everything turned out right. In hindsight, TEPCO should have taken time to have the radioactive levels checked in the water and even had it pumped out before sending in crews to work. Short-term thinking on TEPCO’s part has probably caused them more problems now in the long-term.

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Ex-Ram rejects fame, money, and fortune for health

Ex-Ram rejects fame, money, and fortune for health | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

Past Rams offensive guard, Jacob Bell, has announced he is retiring from professional football as he feels the risks to his health are simply not worth the big paycheck and his love for the game. Bell claims he gave much thought to his decision; however, the anxiety and ambiguity over the long-term effects of head trauma along with the recent suicide of linebacker Junior Seau finalized his judgment.  Seau took his own life after a long struggle with mental health issues due to repeated concussions during his pro-football career. Bell, who played four years with the Tennessee Titans and the past four years with St. Louis Rams, estimates he has received over 30 concussions each season.  According to Bell, “I want to get out before the game makes me get out, where I can get out on my own terms, and I can limit the amount of stress and negative impact that the game would leave on me.”  Bell had just signed a one-year free-agent deal with Cincinnati several weeks ago.

 

For Jacob Bell, this is a personal decision he made based upon his own concerns and apprehensions about his health and its consequences not only for himself, but his family as well. From his standpoint, I do not see the need for a major media blitz formulated by his own public relations team to explain his decision. It is simple and straightforward-he wants to keep his health and enjoy his family. To him, there is no amount of money that can replace this. He has no doubt come to his conclusion based upon personal values which may have been formed years earlier through the influence of his family, education, religion and even his culture.  Jacob Bell is living by his own personal code of life.  According to Guth and Marsh in Adventures in Public Relations, personal codes “are not just for the profession but for life” (244).  These are the values and beliefs that matter most to us in our daily lives and are the basis of our ethical foundation. Bell has certainly considered consequences to both his professional and family lives when making the decision to quit football. Many in today’s society base success on the almighty dollar.  The more a person makes, the more successful he or she must be. It doesn’t matter if a person feels  a sense of accomplishment or self-worth in the work place, what matters is how large the paycheck is that is deposited in the bank. There are those that would risk relationships, health, and even family in order to receive Bell’s $6 million dollar a year paycheck; yet, Bell appears to have his priorities straight.  He has personally been touched by the mental disease and eventual suicide of peer, Junior Seau. Not only is Bell concerned about his own apparent future health issues, but worries about putting his own family through such trauma. I believe Bell’s moral and ethical character shines as he literally rejects money, fame and fortune over a healthy life with those he loves.

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St. Charles County: healthiest of them all

St. Charles County: healthiest of them all | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

In Missouri, St Charles County has been named the healthiest place to live while St. Louis city has been named the unhealthiest for the third year in a row. The report was prepared by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Two categories-health factors including behaviors, accessible care, economics and safety in addition to health outcomes consisting of illness rate and longevity were studied for the report.   Not too surprising, the report also indicated that residents of the healthier counties smoked less and exercised more. These counties had fewer teen births along with lower crime rates and unemployment. An unexpected finding indicated that rates of excessive drinking and obesity were not meaningfully different in healthy and unhealthy counties.

 

I believe St. Charles County should jump on the opportunity to publicize the finding from this report in every conceivable way possible.  With unemployment rates low, the housing market at a literal standstill, and negative news reports of increased crime and corruption, this is the basis for positive marketing of the St. Charles County region. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase St. Charles County to possible investors, small businesses, industry and individuals interested in purchasing homes. This is a time for county leaders to enlist the media in their area and foster a robust working relationship with journalists from local newspapers, radio announcers as well as local television reporters. Simply put, they need to reach out to these reporters and work towards reaching them in the best way possible. St. Louis County’s public relations team must engage in media relations tactics to get the message out that their county is the place to be. In order to accomplish this, journalists must be engaged in the message St. Louis County wishes to convey to its public.  According to Guth and Marsh in Adventures in Public Relations, “Journalists are busy people with little time to waste.  In their world, there is no time to ‘schmooze.’ Journalists are more likely to listen to you if they know that you have a reputation as a professional who values their time and only calls when you have legitimate news” (p. 118). Direct interpersonal communication is the preferred way to reach a mutual understanding.  This can be by either talking with them in person or over the phone. Talking with someone one on one is always the best means of communication. Because of their busy lifestyles, journalists or news reporters want people to get right to the point.  News releases, media advisories, pitch letters, media kits, and video news releases may be employed in order to accomplish this.  All are effective means of communication with area journalists; however, they must be written or produced in such a way that engages the journalists and entices them to cover the findings of this study. All in all, now is a great time for St. Charles County to make certain to keep its relations with the media in great standings so they will want to work for the county. 

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Collinsville Middle School: ABCs of eating!

Collinsville Middle School: ABCs of eating! | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

Students at Collinsville Middle School in Collinsville, Ill. are now learning how to fight childhood obesity in a proactive manner during their health classes. Kevin Pysz and Anne Wolff, seventh and eighth grade teachers, are stressing the message that healthful living is all about preventing illness. In a three week unit, students learn how to read and interpret nutrition labels, compute the number of calories they need in a day to sustain health, and experience various types of physical activity in order to live an active lifestyle. Lessons are based on the significance of healthy choices and informed decisions. Students are encouraged to lead by example as eating and living healthy is contagious. Pysz and Wolff openly share their own experiences to make the learning environment in the classroom more comfortable. Both teachers say they are seeing positive results in their students and feel the lessons are both well-received and working.

 

What a great way for Collinsville Middle School to show parents it is taking proactive steps to help keep their children healthy now as well as in the future. Daily, it seems there are stories in the news which depict the nation’s schools in a negative light. The public is bombarded with low state test scores, accounts of teachers behaving improperly, and incidents of bullying in which the school seems to turn its head. This is positive publicity as the school system has the opportunity to demonstrate its basic mission; equipping students with the necessary skills to be successful in society. Not only is this school providing children with academic and social talents needed, it is going above and beyond to furnish adolescents with a skill that will maintain healthful living. It is estimated that one in five adolescents in the nation are overweight. The risk for   childhood diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer are higher for children who are obese. In addition, the article reports that The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shares children who are overweight are more likely to mature into overweight adults. The administration and teachers at this particular school have obviously seen these statistics and following their school’s organizational code, initiated a program to further benefit their students. According to Guth and Marsh in Adventures in Public Relations, “A good organizational ethics code clearly specifies the values that unite the organization, that guide its ideas and actions” (p. 244). Clearly, Pysz and Wolff see a problem facing their students. Because they are a part of an organization whose purpose is centered on the needs of its children, they acted with great integrity.  I’m sure these two individuals could have continued teaching health from their textbooks in the same manner they had taught in the past; however, they took the time to write and prepare a new program to help their kids. Their values came to life in their daily routines.

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Health kicks and paper clips: Fitness in the workplace!

Health kicks and paper clips: Fitness in the workplace! | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

A new trend in building design revolves around the concept of helping company employees maintain and live a healthy lifestyle in of all places, the workplace. Research indicates inactive lifestyles are making our nation’s people sick and overweight causing an increase in the use of employee sick days. At the same time, health care costs are skyrocketing. Science also shows that workers who are healthy and active are more productive on the job. Many companies are now hiring architects to make design changes in their existing workplaces which will promote healthy living. Besides the obvious addition of on-site fitness centers, architects are designing buildings which encourage individuals to “move” throughout their workday. Bulletin boards, pieces of artwork, and music are placed in stairwells giving workers a reason to take the stairs rather than the elevators. Flooding the office with natural light, more windows offer scenic views of picnic areas, fountains, flower beds, and beautiful shade trees inviting employees to step outside during their breaks and visit rather than to sit inside at their desks. Special accommodations have also been incorporated into the workspace so that employees may bring their dogs or cats to work with them. Research shows that such simple changes can result in a decrease in sick days used by as much as 50%.

 

Promoting an idea such as this seems like such an easy job for any company public relations team. Who could possibly find fault in a corporation that is doing whatever it takes to help keep its employees healthy and free of illness? Even if its main goal is to see a drop in the number of sick days used or the productivity of its staff increased, I do not see how anyone can see a negative in a business trying to help others stay fit and healthy. Of course, the public should be made aware of how much our company cares for its employees, but if I was a member of a public relations team for a corporation implementing these changes, I would suggest we “go all out” to let our own employees know exactly what we were doing to take care of them specifically. As noted in Guth and Marsh’s Adventures in Public Relations, “companies with effective employee relations returned three times more value to stockholders than companies with ineffective employee relations” (p. 32-33). What a perfect way to build positive employee relations! First and foremost, I would suggest we host a company gathering where we could point out the new additions, modifications, and accommodations that have been put into place to promote healthier lifestyles while at work. Healthy foods and drinks should be offered while allowing the employees to experience each new aspect of the building remodel at their leisure. Pamphlets with inviting scenic photographs outlining the positive healthful benefits of the changes should be given to each employee, and I see nothing wrong with skillfully incorporating the total cost of the renovation. This simply indicates to our employees how dedicated we are to their mental and physical well-being. In today’s society, many do believe the more one spends, the more that person must care. Employees should be encouraged to offer suggestions for future additions or changes in order to promote ownership of this healthy office lifestyle concept.  Increased productivity, fewer used sick days, and healthier employees all definitely add up to a better bottom line!

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United States toxic rice scare

United States toxic rice scare | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

South Korea and Seoul have halted all bidding and sales of U.S. rice imports since the Food and Drug Administration and Consumer Reports magazine found high levels of inorganic arsenic in rice.The findings by Consumer Report indicate that rice from Thailand, India and California contain lower levels of inorganic arsenic than rice grown in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Texas.  Historically, the use of lead arsenate as a pesticide in the United States may be the reason the elevated levels were found as other geographical regions in the world do not use these same pesticides. In recent years, the U.S. has been using chicken waste as a crop fertilizer. Because the chickens are fed arsenic for growth production and feed efficacy, inorganic waste remains in their excrement.  In addition, rice may easily absorb arsenic found naturally in soil and water as it is grown partially submerged. The FDA has found nothing that proves the rice is unsafe; however further testing will be administered. 

 

While the FDA has found no evidence that rice is unsafe at this time, this is still potentially a nightmare for the industry as individuals in our country and around the world are questioning the possibility of health risks. Let’s face it; consumers are not willing to take a risk of endangering their own health or worse yet, the health of their children or infants when the word arsenic is involved. The term arsenic itself is associated with poison and painful death. We often think of it as something to be used to rid our homes of mice, rats, or other unwanted creatures. If I held a position of authority in the FDA, I would certainly have my public relations team working on a campaign for the media that let American and foreign consumers know, without a doubt, our rice is safe to eat and use at the present time. While the FDA is not a corporation that must answer to a board of stockholders or investors, it must still answer to Congress and the American people.  These are their stockholders and investors. This public relations team needs to hit this issue head on and employ every avenue of media available to reach these individuals. According to Guth and Marsh in Adventures in Public Relations “The financial news media are a key intervening public in communications with investors and advisors” (p. 87). Knowing this, the message needs to be sent through all these possible avenues that American grown rice is safe to eat and safe to eat right now! For example, all realms of media must be used to inform consumers as well as investors that the FDA has found no evidence in its initial studies that rice is unsafe and the fact they plan to continue studying about 1,200 rice products just as it has for decades. It is imperative the FDA make their findings known to as many as possible and as quickly as possible.

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Backlash builds over price for prenatal drug!

Backlash builds over price for prenatal drug! | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

The KV Pharmaceutical Co. has admitted it has been bombarded with criticism over the extreme price of its newly approved prenatal drug, Makena.  KV plans to charge $1500 for the FDA-approved version of a drug that now sells for about $15. Several U.S. Senators have requested an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission while members of Congress and a spokesperson for the March of Dimes have openly voiced disapproval of the cost of the drug. A comparable low cost drug used to help prevent preterm births has been used in the past. While KV did not invent Makena, it has retained exclusive rights to market and sell the drug. KV is banking on the success of this drug to bring a profit back to its company. Over the past several years, the corporation has experienced massive layoffs and guilty pleas from one of its subsidiaries, Ethex Corp., to criminal charges of shipping oversized morphine tablets. KV’s only response to requests for a comment were made on its website: “We appreciate the concerns expressed by multiple audiences, and are committed to working collaboratively with all interested parties to make this vital medication even more available and affordable to women across the country.”

 

Wow!  If I was going to try to sell a product for 100 times the amount I knew a comparable product was already being sold, I believe I would do much more that make one small comment on my website in the attempt to get the public on my side and to justify such an extreme pricing difference. I have to wonder if KV’s public relations team is taking a nap on this one. Not only does this company need to answer to the public and possibly the Federal Trade Commission, it certainly owes its own investors and stockholders a real explanation and rationalization for its actions. I realize KV’s executives are interested in making a profit for their shareholders, but I have to wonder if they might not run them off before profit margins even have the time to increase. It does not appear investor relations are being addressed. What is apparent is that KV needs to take a step back and ask itself if it is not only acting in an ethical manner, but also one of integrity and credibility. Legally, this company may have every right to charge $1500 for this drug due to high production costs, research, or even availability. The challenge for KV’s public relations team is to show its stockholders and the world it is operating with utmost integrity and honesty. Without a doubt, they must be thinking not only like lawyers and financial analysts while speaking to the public like communications experts. According to Guth and Marsh in Adventures in Public Relations “You can deduce that an investor relations professional must be part lawyer, part financial specialist, and part communicator” (p. 86). KV needs to address its public through every available media emphasizing its honor and integrity. They must show reason for such a price difference while at the same time emphasizing the honor and integrity of their company. 

 

 

 

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Changing The Game Of Personal Health For Teens

Changing The Game Of Personal Health For Teens | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

 

 The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition has stated it will replace the President’s Council Youth Fitness Test originally used in the nation’s schools with the Presidential Youth Fitness Program published by the Champaign, IL based Human Kinetics corporation. This test will focus on the emphasis of health over student performance and uses Fitnessgram, an evaluation tool that focuses on a student’s own individual health and fitness, rather than comparing that student to someone in their same age group. Spokesman for Human Kinetics, Scott Wikgren, says the new program “places the emphasis on the value of living a physically active and fit life.”   Fitnessgram software evaluates a student’s health by testing muscle strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, heart fitness, and body composition. The Amateur Athletic Union, U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The American Alliance for Health are organizations supporting the change in the program. 

 

This is again another great example of a public relations team using large member groups or organizations to further along their cause as we see the announcement of endorsement for Fitnessgram by The Amateur Athletic Union, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and The American Alliance for Health. No doubt an increase in the use of taxpayer money has taken place in this situation as schools begin to change over to an entirely new fitness program requiring the purchase of computer software for the evaluation of student physical performance. This is a time when many schools are struggling just to meet basic financial needs. School boards are being forced to cut both extra-curricular and academic programs within their districts because of a lack of government funding, yet the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition now decides this is the time for the adoption of a new fitness test format!  What better way to gain taxpayer support and justify spending than to show the backing of Fitnessgram by such acknowledged organizations as mentioned above. Americans identify with organizations and associations as according to Guth and Marsh in Adventures in Public Relations “Approximately 150,000 associations exist in the United States alone” (p. 58). If a well-known or respected organization supports a cause, candidate, or idea individuals tend to offer their support without question or concern. It is almost as if we feel the association has done the hard work of investigating all the pros and cons of a cause and if they are on board with it, we should be too. It is at this point most simply jump on board or actually put the cause or concept out of mind as if it needs no further investigation or discussion.  We trust our organizations and associations! Also included in the article is the statement that Human Kinetics is “proud to play a role in the nation’s battle on children’s obesity,” as is the first lady, Michelle Obama. This is another great move on the part of the Kinetics public relations team in the sense they are aligning their product with the popular Michelle Obama and the concept of working for the good of adolescent health in our country. How can anyone find fault in a product, no matter what the cost, if it is essentially used to keep our children healthy?

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NYC's Sugary Scandal or Sugary Savior?

NYC's Sugary Scandal or Sugary Savior? | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Sept. 4 that a ban to restrict the sale of sugary super-sized soft drinks in the city received major backing from Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and several other diet companies. This comes just before next week’s vote at the city Board of Health.  If the proposal passes, it will go into effect in March.  The ban restricts the sale of any sugary drink in serving sizes larger than 16 ounces in such places as restaurants, delis, food carts, movie theaters and sports arenas.  Customers are still free to purchase as many 16 ounce drinks as they want.  The purpose of the proposal is to make the consumer aware of the number of calories they are consuming while encouraging portion control.  According to David Burwick, president of Weight Watchers, “It helps to remember what a healthy portion size is in a world where super-size portions have become the norm.”  A recent New York Times poll reveals 60% of New Yorkers oppose the plan. 

 

With one week to go until a vote is taken on this proposal and 60% of his constituents against the plan, Bloomberg was smart to gain and publicize support from such prominent associations or groups as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig.  According to Guth and Marsh in Adventures in Public Relations, “Ninety percent of U.S. adults belong to at least one association, and 25 percent belong to at least four (p. 58).    The chances are high that a large number of this 60% opposed to the ban either belong to or at one time belonged to Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, or some other diet organization.  Those who do not, may know someone who is a member or at the very least, been a part of some type of diet routine supported by one of the many other diet experts also backing the proposal.  Members of associations or organizations stick together.  This is exactly why we often see political figures working to gain the support of such groups during election times. Campaign headquarters knows that a positive endorsement from a major labor union group for example, will automatically mean an increase in votes for their candidate as many in that particular union will cast ballots in favor of whomever their leaders support without further question.   Bloomberg’s public relations team is no doubt banking on the fact that once the names of such visual associations are linked with their proposal, certain individuals will publically show their support for the ban.  In addition, by linking the ban of the super-sized drinks with such health conscience organizations, the message is being projected that this is truly an issue about healthy living and not one of government control in individual’s eating choices. It helps take away Bloomberg’s opponents idea that the city is overstepping its own power of individual choice and once again focuses on the concern of health and obesity of New York City residents. 

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Michaels Returns Helping Teens Battle the Bulge!

Michaels Returns Helping Teens Battle the Bulge! | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

 

In January, the 14th season of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” will see the return of beloved host Jillian Michaels along with the show’s first teenage participants.  After lengthy talks, the show’s producers have decided to take on the task to fight the problem of childhood obesity across the nation. The Centers for Disease Control reports that 17 percent of adolescents ages 2-19 are considered obese while this disease has tripled in the past 30 years. According to Michaels, “It’s brave, it’s bold and I’m sure it’s going to be controversial, and we’ll do the best we can to handle it in the most positive and effective way possible.”  Each six-member team will consist of at least one adolescent without the threat of elimination from week to week.  Children will not be weighed during the program and the emphasis on them will be weight loss for health and fitness, not fitting into a smaller clothing size.  The show’s producers stress they will be very sensitive to the adolescents’ needs throughout programming. 

Ratings, Ratings, Ratings!  NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” is going all out to raise their Nielson numbers this fall.  Not only are they bringing back Jillian Michaels, their most popular trainer and motivator ever, they are expressing their “compassion and concern” for America’s overweight adolescents by adding obese children to the competition.  Their approach to this new idea is ingenious in that they not only report statistics to back their decision, but rehire Michaels as their spokesperson to announce the decision to the public. We can only speculate the salary and incentives Michaels was offered to return to the show and endorse this new idea.  No doubt, the show’s producers are working to keep their star happy.  Guth and Marsh state the following in their book, Adventures in Public Relations, “Excellent employee relations significantly benefits organizations, including the bottom line (p. 32).  In this case keeping Michaels happy will help NBC’s bottom line-an increase in rating and therefore, an increase in profits.  Parading overweight teens in front of the world in a competition to lose weight is a risky venture in which to partake.  There is a fine line between truly helping these children lose weight in order to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle and exploiting their insecurities and doubts in front of the world.  No doubt the show’s public relations team has spent many hours debating this issue while employing their critical thinking skills to problem solve all possible outcomes.  If their star, Michaels is happy and on board, they can effectively use her to appeal to the masses that what the show is doing is for the good of children.  Immediately, Michaels notes that this may be a controversial topic to challenge, but they will “handle it in the most positive and effective way possible.”  Strategically, she is informing the public from the start there may be moments on the show that prove awkward or even distressing, but in the end, the show is thinking about its youth.  What an ingenious way to cover themselves from the beginning!  This statement also offers the element of intrigue for individuals with the idea they tune into the show to see just what provocative moments may occur.  While this public relations team has obviously worked overtime on this announcement, I believe they have many extensive hours of work ahead of them once the show begins. 

 

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Going RAW in Your Diet!

Going RAW in Your Diet! | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it
Get your daily fruits and vegetables by juicing at home.NorthJersey.comThe trend coincides with the growing interest in consuming raw and unprocessed foods.

Via Cathrine-Mette Mork
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Back to School: 10 Tips for PR Majors

Back to School: 10 Tips for PR Majors | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

Class is back in session and you have finally decided that PR is your calling. Here are ten tips for public relations majors that will get you the grades and climb the ladder of success!

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Third-grade teacher or superhero?

Third-grade teacher or superhero? | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

Susan Richmond, a third-grade teacher in Ellisville, MO, just returned from competing in the World Championship 70.3 Ironman in Las Vegas, NV. A true believer in the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Richmond teaches a class, Shaping Your Life, to her students at the Center for Creative Learning in the Rockwood school district. The class focuses on awareness, education and participation of the students in order to equip them with the skills needed to develop life-long healthy habits. Richmond believes it is her responsibility to serve as a role model for her students in the hopes it will motivate them to live healthy lifestyles.

 

I’m sure there are plenty of great teachers in the Rockwood district who are quite capable of teaching Susan Richmond’s class. All they would need to do is study the text, lecture on the elements of a healthy lifestyle, and give students tests and quizzes to assess their knowledge of the material. Throw in a couple of guest speakers and projects, and the course certainly covers the necessary bases. The kids would probably receive the same information Richmond shares with her students on a daily basis; however, would these same students be truly motivated or understand completely these are habits they should maintain in their own everyday lives? Children model what they see. Evidence of this is all around us. We see it in the toddler who, of course, repeats the one curse word he heard his father say when the basement flooded.  We see it in the adolescent girl who dresses and applies makeup exactly as her celebrity idol. It is evident in the young child who prays each night at the dinner table just as her parents do before each meal. Why not then shouldn’t this same rationale extend to what takes place in the classroom?  Without a doubt, Richmond’s students are getting a firsthand view of what living a healthy lifestyle looks like. Sharing with her students the time, conditioning, and practice she must put in before each race affords her students with the knowledge that what they are being taught is real. These are not just words from their teacher, but are a way of life Richmond believes in. Her dedication proves to her students she practices what she “preaches,” and this is something they can do too. In Adventures in Public Relations, Guth and Marsh discuss the idea of honor in relation to public relations. They acknowledge that the PR Coalition “urges business leaders to create workplace cultures in which a commitment to ethical behavior permeates every meeting, report, and action” (p. 248).  I believe this is exactly what Richmond is exhibiting in the way she role models what she teachers to her students.  Not only does she teach the material, she lives the material right in front of her students’ eyes. What she is teaching is her way of life, and it is not simply lip service for her kids. She is not asking the students to do anything she is not willing to do herself. She believes in what she is presenting to her children and through this, her ethics and sense of social responsibility permeates the classroom.

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The best ME is drug FREE: Red Ribbon Week 2012

The best ME is drug FREE: Red Ribbon Week 2012 | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

St. Charles County Schools are actively observing the nation’s Red Ribbon Week for the 27th year in a row through a variety of fun and informative activities planned for the students.  Keeping their adolescents drug free is seen as a continuing fight for school and county officials. Drug offenses in the St. Charles County Juvenile Court increased from 137 in 2005 to 249 in 2009 while youngsters receiving clinical treatment almost doubled from 48 to 92 from 2008 to 2010. Concerns include not only how many students are using drugs but the ease of availability of drugs on the street and the types of drugs adolescents are using. According to St. Charles County Sheriff, Tom Neer, “Within the past five years, there has been a steady influx of drugs available to teens, including longstanding substances like marijuana and new challenges like heroin and prescription medication.” Because of such changes, schools are restructuring their Red Ribbon Weeks’ activities. More emphasis is being placed on learning about healthy habits, effects of bullying, and possible future career choices. These types of messages have been shown to aid adolescents avoid behaviors which may lead to the use of drugs during middle school and high school years.

 

Red Ribbon Week is obviously a great opportunity for the St. Charles County schools to focus on a stand against adolescent drug use and provide students with information and life skills to promote a drug free existence; however, this is something I would like to see county officials and the schools deliberately attack throughout the entire year. Our children are the future of our country, and adolescent drug use is a major issue that must be openly addressed more than one week each year. We simply cannot deny the existence of this dilemma as easy as denial can be. Denial of what we choose not to see is powerful. We know the right path, but sometimes it just appears too difficult to follow. According to Guth and Marsh in Adventures in Public Relations “We choose a different course because doing the right thing-honoring the most important values at stake-just seems to hard” (p. 242). The statistics listed above are staggering and show a prevailing need for solutions to the problem. No doubt, this will require many long hours of problem solving involving a variety of individuals from throughout the community. It will require funding in a time when money is tight for not only citizens, but county municipalities as well. It would be quite easy for St. Charles County officials and schools to “look the other way” and justify that the problem of adolescent drug use is being addressed through the activities provided during Red Ribbon Week. Without a doubt, a great deal of time, effort, consideration, and money is poured into the planning for this one epic week. Imagine what would be required to continue such events continuously during the school year. In addition, county leaders, administrators, and school personnel have busy schedules, and it would be difficult to find time for a variety of these individuals to get together. Finally, the question of funding must be addressed. It is always difficult to find funding for such programs. Certainly, all of these issues pose challenges and fighting this aggressive battle throughout the year would be challenging; yet, it is fight we must not deny for the future of our country’s adolescents.

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Abortion: Pro or no?

Abortion: Pro or no? | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

Even though the Supreme Court ruled in Roe vs.Wade that abortion is legal in this country, dozens of states are making it harder to get abortions. Within the past two years, 34 states put new restrictions on abortion while the number of abortions has somewhat fallen in states with the most constricting laws. According to Dr. Renee Mestad, an OB-Gyn who performs abortions in New York, “The way people are attacking abortion is distressing, because they are getting much more creative the way they’re chipping away at it.” In some states lawmakers want to make the waiting period two to three days for women waiting to have an abortion while requiring doctors to tell women about supposed risks from abortion that most science does not support. Women seeking an abortion at the Hope Clinic in Granite City, Ill. have been photographed and their pictures posted on an anti-abortion activist’s website.  Most states ban abortions around 20 weeks unless the life or health of the woman is in danger, and counseling is required before an abortion in 35 states.

 

Obviously, the topic of abortion evokes a variety of emotions and opinions in many individuals.  It is an issue that will no doubt be debated for many years to come whether Roe vs. Wade remains enforced or if it is one day overturned. Does the nation allow women to make a very personal decision about their own bodies on their own or does it pass legislation which takes that right away from them yet saving the life of an unborn child? No doubt, whatever side one finds himself or herself on, the matter of abortion is highly sensitive conjuring gut wrenching passion and reaction. This is a problem for our country’s citizens. An outsider might even say there is no way we will ever come to a consensus about the issue of abortion; in essence it is a dilemma. Is there really a good solution to an unwanted pregnancy?  One must truly call upon his or her own values and make this decision.  Again, is it more ethical to allow a woman to make her own choice or make the choice for her and possibly save the life of an unborn child?  Such a decision forces us to call upon our deepest values and ideologies. Harvard Professor of Ethics, Joseph Badaracco refers to ethics dilemmas in Guth and Marsh’s Adventures in Public Relations as “defining moments” in our lives as they reveal to us who we truly are and truly believe in (p.244). With the upcoming election, this is something both President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney will have to take into account as they elicit votes from citizens across the country. The President is in favor of pro-choice while Romney opposes it and believes Roe vs. Wade should be overturned.  According to the news article mentioned above, 40% of registered female voters in 12 swing states see abortion as the most important issue for women in the current presidential election.  With the race in a literal tie at this time, it will be interesting to watch both candidates address this issue. Will they remain completely true to their own values or will they find creative ways to appeal to the voters?

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National security concerned of USA's obese population

National security concerned of USA's obese population | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

Mission:Readiness, a Washington-based nonprofit group which represents over 300 retired military leaders wrote a letter to Congress outlining concerns about childhood obesity. According to the veterans, one in four young adults ages 17-24 does not meet weight and height requirements for military services. Once they reach adulthood, 73% of this nation’s men are considered obese or overweight. The group believes these latest statistics are just another indication of the childhood obesity epidemic facing the country. While on duty, overweight soldiers sustain more injuries simply because they are out of shape. In excess of $1 billion a year is spent by the Department of Defense on obesity-related health problems in active duty and retired military personnel. Mission:Readiness supports current mandates which require schools to offer more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in their menus as well as updating standards for foods sold in vending machines on school campuses. Retired Navy rear admiral Charles Williams shares they do not want the students to have the “alternative to go down and get a soda and Fritos out of the vending machine.”

 

Mission:Readiness’s interest in the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic is founded on its own self-interest. While I do not doubt they do care about the well-being of American children, the basic push behind their involvement in current legislation notably stems from the fact the Department of Defense spends over $1 billion a year on health-related injuries in overweight military personnel. Obviously, this amount of spending needs to be reduced. To ensure the probability of success, Mission:Readiness may proceed with a campaign centered on its interest in helping the nation’s children maintain healthy lifestyles. Who can say no to anyone trying to make life better for kids?  How can congress vote against any bill that is written to support children?  Essentially, Mission-Readiness may try to convince congress and the public in general that its concern for this nation’s children is the driving force behind all lobbying efforts and desired passed mandates or laws.  Its interest must appear to stem from a concern for kids rather than the bottom dollar. Is it ok to lie for example or tell a partial truth if the outcome is actually positive and one gets what he wants? America’s adolescents will be healthier; however, would this make it right for Mission:Readiness to mislead congress with its true intentions? In other words, does the end justify the means? Philosopher, Immanuel Kent’s categorical imperative theory argues this is not the case.  His theory asks we “imagine a world in which the basic principle derived from your action would become an unbreakable rule” ( Guth and Marsh p. 247). One could argue The Department of Defense backed by Mission:Readiness and the children will both be winners if legislation is passed concerning healthier lunches at the nation’s schools, and it should not matter how these outcomes are achieved. Does it?

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Barbaric bullying or concerned citizen? You decide

Barbaric bullying or concerned citizen? You decide | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

Anchorwoman, Jennifer Livingston of WKBT-TV in La Crosse, Wis. responded during her broadcast to a viewer who wrote her an email criticizing her for being overweight. During a four minute segment, Livingston referred to Kenneth Krause as a bully and advised young viewers not to permit such individuals to define their own self-images. Livingston initially chose to dismiss the negative comments, but felt the need to take a stand for children who might not also be able to do the same. Krause feels his words have nothing to do with bullying. In his first email Krause wrote “obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make. Reconsider your responsibility to present and promote a healthy lifestyle.” Backed by over 1,000 supportive emails, Livingston stresses to children being bulled “Learn from my experience; that the words of one are nothing compared to the shouts of many.”

 

Without a doubt, Jennifer Livingston and WKBT-TV operate with great integrity and a true sense of social responsibility. The article clearly states that Livingston has “always rebuffed personal attacks.”  When she received the negative email, she initially dismissed it. It wasn’t until she began to think about her own daughters and other youngsters that she realized she must confront her critic in front of the nation in order to make a point. Livingston wanted to send the message to children being bullied because of their weight, color of their skin, sexual orientation, or any type of disability that they must not let the bully define their own self-worth. She could have easily trashed the email and not one viewer would have known about it; however, she openly admitted to her viewers she knows she has a weight issue, but he is not going to let someone’s cruel words determine how she feels about herself. In doing this, Livingston had to know that taking this stand would bring scrutiny to her weight. She knew some individuals would side with Kenneth Krause and agree she was overweight. Honestly, what person wants an entire nation sizing him or her up? Yet, she put herself out there because of her values and ethics. According to Guth and Marsh in Adventures in Public Relations, “doing ethics –and actions is the heart of ethics-can be tough” (p. 241). WKBT-TV most certainly is a corporation that functions with a great sense of integrity while doing ethics. Executives and producers at the television station had to grant Livingston the time during her broadcast to make her statement to the viewers. TV time is priceless, and no anchor has the power to determine what will be shared on-air unless given permission to do so. These sane executives, producers, and Livingston probably problem-solved with their public relations team searching for the best time, manner, and words to best respond to Krause’s emails. All in all, this is a great example of a person in the media and a corporation doing ethics and simply not speaking them.

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Tempting tastes without the grimy guilt!

Tempting tastes without the grimy guilt! | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

The latest trend in diet foods offered in grocery stores, shops, and restaurants is the mid-calorie snack. A mid-calorie snack is made by shaving a few calories, fat, sugar, salt, or carbohydrates from the original item so that the taste has not been altered drastically as is the case with most no-fat or low-fat foods. At the same time, the manufacturer can advertise its company is offering a healthier version of the original product. Marketers of cakes, cookies, chips, and even coffee drinks are now following the lead of soda suppliers such as Dr. Pepper and Pepsi that offered mid-calorie drinks just last year.  The research firm, Euromonitor International reports sales of such foods has “risen 16% to $51.72 billion since 2006.” Consumers want their snacks to taste great, but also realize that by reducing even a small amount of calories in their daily diets, they effectively fight obesity. 

 

Obviously, the best way to lose weight is to avoid high-calorie snacks and eat only fresh fruits and vegetables between meals. Dieting should be a lifestyle and not just a temporary time in a person's every day life. But let’s be honest! Not many of us follow this eating plan in our daily routines. Snack foods such as chips, cookies, soft drinks, candy bars, and those delicious mochas and lattes just taste too good to pass up. Products labeled fat-free, low sodium or sugar free simply have no taste or taste similar to the cardboard containers in which they are packaged. Company’s such as Edy’s and Lays have found what they hope is a happy medium for consumers. Now, they just need a great public relations team to sell this idea to their patrons. This PR team needs to convince the public that these mid-calorie snacks are healthy and tasty at the same time. Obviously, all aspects of the media should be flooded with advertisements boasting their products’ great tastes while conveying the message they are healthier than their original counterparts. This can be done through radio, television, billboards, and interactive Web sites which allow the consumer to compare caloric counts as well as fat, calorie, carbohydrate, and sugar levels. Online offers should be made available which allow individuals to receive samples and taste the mid-calorie snacks for free. All aspects of digital marketing should be effectively employed to get this product into the hands of the public. Because it is imperative the consumer realize these snacks taste great, I think a good public relations team should also focus on partner relationship management to achieve this task. The idea behind this has its origin in the concept of customer relationship management. According to Guth and Marsh in Adventures in Public Relations, this is a “marketing process that uses individual consumer information, stored in databases, to identify, select, and retain customers” (p.193). Why not partner with such companies such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and Nutra System in order to tap into their data bases to find those individuals wishing to lose weight. Sample products or coupons for free or reduced mid-calorie snacks could be mailed directly to people on these lists with the knowledge they are probably already looking for such items in their quest to drop a few pounds. In the end, this campaign should focus on a specific target group that it already knows wants to lose weight and do it eating great tasting foods.

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Hobby Lobby sues morning after pill?

Hobby Lobby sues morning after pill? | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. filed a federal lawsuit contesting a mandate in the country’s health care law that requires employers to give coverage for the morning-after birth control pill. The owners of the Christian-based company allege this violates “their deeply held religious beliefs under a threat of heavy fines, penalties and lawsuits.” Hobby Lobby can be fined as much as $1.3 million dollars a day if it does not offer the pill in its company’s health insurance plan. Because the company is self-insured, it must observe the new law by Jan.1. Similar lawsuits totaling 27 have been filed by mostly non-profit groups. 

David Green, Hobby Lobby CEO and founder surely has a public relations team working on this issue. No doubt he wants his stockholders, public and even the judicial system to fully understand his concern with this particular mandate as his family and company executives view this pill as a form of abortion. The Green’s family’s religious beliefs have always been made well-known to not only its company’s stockholders and investors, but the public and customers as well. The business, based on Christian values and beliefs, was founded in 1972 and consists of more than 500 stores in 41 states. Its stores are closed on Sundays in observance of the Sabbath even though revenue is probably lost to competitive stores offering similar products. Green and his stockholders feel this mandate forces them to go against their faith while making a choice between following their religion and the laws of this country. My guess is that most Hobby Lobby investors also share similar religious beliefs as the Green family; therefore, its public relations team must reassure them that the company will stand strong against what it sees as a challenge by the federal government towards their shared religious beliefs. According to Guth and Marsh in Adventures in Public Relations, the United States and Canada both have a Code of Ethics in which its members pledge to “Practice investor relations within the highest legal, regulatory, and ethical standards” (p. 85). In this particular case, this not only means full disclosure of Hobby Lobby’s financial information, but also effective communication of the company’s pledge to maintain its religious convictions. Hobby Lobby’s public relations team must assure its stockholders it will do everything possible to fight this government mandate which prevents a fertilized egg from attaching to a woman’s uterus or what they see as a form of abortion. Hobby Lobby stockholders must be guaranteed that this successful company founded on religious philosophies will continue to operate under the same religious beliefs at a cost or battle. 

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Most say Apple will be fine with Jobs on medical leave!

Most say Apple will be fine with Jobs on medical leave! | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is reportedly taking a second medical leave of absence in less than two years. Jobs, 55 has undergone a liver transplant and survived a rare form of pancreatic cancer in the past decade, but the reason for this particular leave is being kept quiet. Serious questions have arisen about his health as Jobs is known to be a hands-on leader involved in all aspects of running the corporation. Investor’s faith in the company and its new product development is strongly vested in Jobs himself which could result in tremendous falls of Apple’s shares. In a statement to the public, Jobs did not mention the length of his leave but did he would be involved in major decisions affecting the company while continuing as CEO. Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook will be in charge of daily operations.  Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies, who has covered Apple for years, said “Cook understands the way Steve thinks, how Steve manages. He understands Steve’s vision, he understands Apple.”

 

With the launch of the Apple Iphone 5 this Friday and estimates of sales exceeding over 8 million, I can’t help but wonder what Apple’s investors are thinking this week in comparison to Jan 2011 when the announcement came that Steve Jobs was taking another medical leave. At that time, stockholders must have seriously been considering selling shares with the thought the stock would certainly take a plunge if it was to lose its trusted CEO and innovator. What a nightmare this must have been for Apple’s public relations team as investor relations play such an important role in the purchasing and selling of company stock.  According to Guth and Marsh in Adventures in Public Relations “almost half the adults in the United States now own stock in public companies” (p. 86). This represents an enormous number of diverse individuals living across the country and even oversees that needed to be reassured quickly their money was safe if they kept their shares of Apple stocks. Apple’s public relations team most assuredly went to work right away employing all critical thinking tactics and strategies available. With the announcement of Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook taking over daily operations, it must have been imperative for the team to send reassuring messages about Cook to their shareholders almost instantly. If I was a part of their team, I would immediately suggest we target all media outlets right away including television, radio, web sites, webcasts, newsletters, magazines and even perhaps personal letters sent to each and every stockholder. We would post financial information about the company as well as personal and business information about Cook with the idea these insights would assure our investors the company would remain operating just as if Jobs was on the job site daily. Investors who feel a company is strong and productive will feel assured in leaving their money invested in that corporation.

 

 

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NBC's 'Biggest Loser' adds teens; Jillian Michaels returns - Chicago Sun-Times

NBC's 'Biggest Loser' adds teens; Jillian Michaels returns - Chicago Sun-Times | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it
Boston.comNBC's 'Biggest Loser' adds teens; Jillian Michaels returnsChicago Sun-TimesThe show's producers discussed adding teens at length and are “incredibly sensitive” to safeguarding them, Michaels said.

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Taboo for Tanning Teens

Taboo for Tanning Teens | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

On September 4, Springfield, Illinois aldermen approved a city-wide ban on minors tanning in commercial beds even if they have their parents’ consent.  Previously, Illinois law had banned children under the age of 14 from tanning at any salon while those ages 14 to 17 could tan if a parent signed a release form.  This new law goes into effect Jan. 1 but does not apply to individuals owning their own private beds or spray tanning at professional salons.  Businesses which do not follow the new law will be fined $75 to $750 for a first offense with a minimum fine of $250 for a second offense within a year’s time.  Springfield Alderman Sam Cahnman stated “While I do not support an increase in burdens on our local small business of increased mandates by government, I do feel the risk of inaction by us as a city council is too great and we must take responsibility here tonight.”  Chicago passed a similar ordinance in June.  Additional Illinois cities are expected to follow. 

The biggest problem I see with compliance and enforcement of this particular law actually falls with the employees of tanning beds in the Springfield area. It is fairly obvious that policing such a large number of tanning salons in this region is almost impossible. The Springfield police department, as well as other law enforcement agencies in the city, has more serious issues to deal with rather than checking for “illegal tanners” on a daily basis in their jurisdiction.  Most front desk employees at tanning salons are teens themselves or college students working for minimum wage.  Even if they know it is illegal, they will probably not see the harm in letting an adolescent tan as long as mom or dad is along.  Most will not care to stand up to an adult asking for a child to tan, and most will probably let friends or acquaintances tan as they do not see the actual harm in tanning. If they do get caught and fired for this, they simply go find another job.  In order to gain their employees’ support of this new law, tanning salon owners and managers must seriously rely upon employee relations tactics.  Initially, a face-to-face meeting between employees and their supervisor should take place relaying the knowledge that the management expects each employee to enforce and follow the new law.  According to Guth and Marsh’s Adventures in Public Relations, “Employee relations studies generally rank this tactic first in effectiveness” (p. 36).  By sitting down directly with their employees and making the case that this is a rule the company will now enforce with consequences for those that do not comply, employees see firsthand from their superiors the importance of such a change.  However, managers and owners should not stop there, but keep the significance of this change in front of their personnel through the use of newsletters, email notifications, videos, and even intranet Web site postings as well.  Constant reminders to their workforce that this is a law we plan to follow will greatly increase the chance that compliance will be attained. 

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Queen of Southern Cuisine or New Face of Diabetes?

Queen of Southern Cuisine or New Face of Diabetes? | Healthy Lifestyle PR | Scoop.it

During an interview on the NBC “Today” show in January, Paula Deen confirmed speculation she had been living with Type 2 diabetes for three years.  She also announced she and her sons, Bobby and Jamie Deen, had entered into an endorsement deal with Novo Nordisk, the Danish pharmaceutical company which produces Victoza, an expensive injectable diabetes medication used by Deen.  Known worldwide for her fattening Southern recipes including large amounts of butter, bacon, mayonnaise and cream cheese, Deen will now be promoting a healthier lifestyle through the campaign known as “Diabetes in a New Light.”  While Deen will not say her own recipes may have played a role in her illness, she is vowing to take her medication, exercise, and reduce portion sizes.  She plans to continue with her same basic lifestyle and cooking style.  According to Deen, “I’ve always preached moderation.  I don’t blame myself.” Deen has received both positive support as well as criticism from those that question her motives behind waiting to announce the disease until now.

 

There is no doubt that Paula Deen’s public relations team worked overtime since the moment they were told of her diabetes.  Because of the empire she built around the conception of cooking comfort foods filled with fats and sugar, this team was challenged to find a way to announce to the world she had diabetes, yet it had nothing to do with the way she cooked or ate.  Admitting her recipes were a part of the reason for her disease would mean the end to her rule as the southern cooking queen.  This team probably looked to the basics of public relations image control for their client and began the critical thinking process.  Defined by Guth and Marsh in Adventures in Public Relations, critical thinking is “reasoned judgment and problem solving given by research, analysis, and evaluation” (p.11).   For three years, her team took their time and carefully weighed all possible outcomes before allowing her to announce to the media she had diabetes. No doubt they brainstormed many possible scenarios and outcomes and in the end, came up with a brilliant plan.  Deen would endorse the very drug she must take while promoting a healthier lifestyle of exercise and moderation.  The term moderation is the key.  This allows her to continue cooking the same foods her fans love her for while she promotes the idea of eating them in moderation.  Deen makes money from the drug company she endorses and at the same time may continue her reign as America’s southern cooking queen.

 

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