Tag Archives: Tate Modern

Reputation Management and Appropriation, Lessons in Ethics from Edmond Dantès

My study of communications and public relations was taught by passionate adherents to Ivy Lee’s Declaration of Principles – that it is the ethical responsibility of a public relations practitioner to offer uncompromising truth to the public on behalf of one’s clients. Perhaps because of this, and despite working in high tech for 16 years, it should be un-surprising that I view the use of technology in the form of bots exponentially deployed during the United States 2016 presidential elections, let alone anywhere else, as abhorrent.

My various social media accounts address the complexities of my person; Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram serve as outlets for my professional existence while Pinterest and Facebook are more intimate expressions – at the intersection of these social platforms is my blog. While I have a blog I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself ‘a blogger’ (it is not a commercial venture). Yet my writing on this platform, having gone viral, has had impact – in part responsible for shifting public policy and the proposed exploitation of the pristine waters of the Adriatic in 2015/2016.  While building my own Instagram presence I admit to being thoroughly perplexed as to how (with the quality of photos and nominal content offered) fellow travel specific accounts could possibly have earned followers approaching 100,000 in less than a month. Thus, the clarity offered in reading Jess Gibson’s Dear PRs post referencing ‘bot-gate’ was genuinely appreciated, and it’s also why I take a particular delight at the failure of Instagress.

The truth has always found a way to be revealed, in our connected world discovery of appropriation, fraud or illicit behavior comes down to days, minutes or even seconds with a few keystrokes and keen intelligence. Throughout history there have been individuals whose jealousy, ruthlessness, greed and sloth have risked fortunes and reputations for (perceived) gain or retribution – Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo anyone? Just as Edmond Dantès took full advantage of his time falsely imprisoned to learn every skill imaginable in developing a faultless reputation and re-branding himself, every effort in thought leadership and in garnering a dedicated follower base, and fostering epic levels of engagement takes considerable patience, skill and acuity.

Beyond the Instagram bloggers’ ‘bot-gate’ other more widely known unveilings of deceit relate to appropriation of the resistance movement by Pepsi and State Street of New York City’s iconic bronze sculpture created by Arturo Di Modica.

The Tate Modern offers this essay on appropriation,

[…] to create a new situation, and therefore a new meaning or set of meanings, for a familiar image. Appropriation art raises questions of originality, authenticity and authorship…

All great art is subversive, a commentary manifest with physicality. Co-opting the passion found in resistance to injustice in its many forms, feminism, racism, environmental stewardship, and its related arts for commercial gain by the advertising industry has a vast history in the United States.

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I don’t like what Fearless Girl ‘is’ specifically because she is contrived by Mad Men to gender-wash their clients’ bottom line. The $2.5 trillion (under management) State Street Global Advisors opted for a publicity stunt on International Women’s Day of instead of doing the long overdue ‘hard work’ of creating a work environment of equality and gender partity or proactively investing in education for girls on a global basis. For the unaware allow me to point out that advertising (in which both Pepsi and State Street engaged) is only related to public relations as it is a part of the greater communication functions in general. It seems to me if you are retained to represent the interests of a seven or eight figure client your responsibilities should include candid risk assessment to any proposal you present. Ultimately this all comes down to proactive reputation management versus putting your client in the rather costly position of damage control through crisis management.

With so much to lose why take a chance in the first place?

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

 

Rubber Meets the Road – guest blog for Ethical Value

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Please consider visiting Ethical Value for consulting on CSR best practices!

Publishing simultaneously with Ethical Value – http://bit.ly/174hNas

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Let me be clear I am not an eco-warrior, or a war protester. I have the utmost respect for NGO workers but there is something terribly flawed in the pervasive hand-out, not hand-up mindset of so much of what is called ‘aid’ coming from the private sector or governments.  Create jobs with all that money for goodness sake! Image

Since the 1970s (in the tender bloom of my teenage years) I have maintained that doing right by the world around us, ethically, in terms of product development, green i.e. sustainability and its net results in recycling, reclaiming, up-cycling, stewardship of the planet as well as solving the Earth’s ‘pressing problems’ need not be mutually exclusive to creating jobs and building economies which scale and have positive impact. Making money out of ‘doing good’ is not a horrible thing! What is horrible, in my humble opinion, is leveraging ‘feel good’ marketing and communications to increase profit with only nominal re-investment in society or none at all (while fat, dumb and happy Joe or Jane consumer thinks they are making a difference in voting with their wallet).

My personal efforts with Thistle & Broom were driven by the belief that to sustain the cultural heritage of a specific country whilst positively impacting the lives of the actual artisans creating bespoke luxury products by their earning 66% of the retail price was a noble and ideal business model. Honestly, given my own elimination of the brick and mortar storefront a decade ago, T&B should have served as a paradigm shift for the luxury goods space and made me a key-note speaker at the Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit at least once.  Alas, I suppose I must content myself with having been quoted in The Economist!

There are plenty of other like-minded individuals with deeper pockets, outside investment, and, far cooler products than, say, an authentic hand-knit Fair Isle jumper. People who understand that doing good and having positive impact can only be sustainable with innovation and, yes, volume sales.  It’s why, as the driver of an 1989 Turbo-charged Saab convertible and someone who once sold luxury automobiles while simultaneously serving as the Finance Director for a United States Congressional campaign, who looks at the Bentley Continental GT and gets a total head rush, I am VERY EXCITED about the various vehicles of Croatia-based RIMAC Automobili and United States based BRAMMO.

ImageImageThe products of these companies fire on all possible cylinders for me (pun intended) even as I am not a motorcycle rider, nor likely to ever spend $1m USD on a limited edition car, or ride an electric drive bicycle. They are based in sustainable practices and if they only eliminated the consumption of petroleum based fuel they’d rock; but what both the RIMAC and BRAMMO marques offer are exquisitely designed, breathtakingly engineered and (mostly) practical transportation solutions.

As a modest car geek, you’ll forgive me if I get ridiculously excited about the tire shredding capability of the RIMAC Concept One car, 1088HP, 0-100kmp (0-60mph) in 2.8 seconds, a Bulgarian leather interior that is so gorgeous it belongs in MOMA and the Tate Modern, the coolest placement of engines ever – one at each wheel; something that RIMAC CEO Mate Rimac calls All-Wheel Torque Vectoring (AWTV) – the car is first and foremost a super car that just happens to out-perform combustion engines. Did I need to mention it’s also urbane and sexy?

Equally but differently so, Craig Bramscher of BRAMMO has taken his eco-consciousness and early adopter mind-set to create world class motorcycles that cherry picked engineering from precision racing brought such down to street level for law enforcement as well as commuters. PS, I LOVE that Craig has staff to teach an all-female riding school!

The men behind these machines certainly embrace the mantra of “I feel the need, the need for speed”, Vrrroom, and their teams excel at meeting their objectives.  It is only a matter of time before the Top Gear guys are begging for the opportunity to drive (or ride) any of these machines, very likely bumping into the top 10 episodes of all time in the process!  From an outsiders view, both companies successfully leverage the passion of their founders and best in class commitment to their portfolios while providing real value to employees, customers, their respective economies and the world at large.  It’s an exciting possibility to consider that in our near future that technical innovation and sustainability will be “where the rubber meets the road” fostering dynamic system changes across all aspects of our global economy.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Available through Amazon, Lulu and Barnes & Noble!