Nestle In Hot Water…Again — November 24, 2015

Nestle In Hot Water…Again

Nestle Banner

‘Tis the season…for scandals! With the Starbucks red cup scandal dominating the beginning of the month, it looks like Nestle will bring up the end of the month with, yet another problem.

A couple years ago, Nestle found itself in the midst of a bottled water scandal as they were seen “stealing” all of Canada’s naturally fresh water and selling it back to them. Earlier this year even, they were accused of leeching water in California in the midst of a drought to sell back to consumers. Clearly, Nestle does not have a good track record. And it gets worse.

On November 23, 2015, Nestle was caught in a slavery and coercion ring in Thailand. Last December, Nestle heard rumors about the mistreatment of the workers in the seafood industry where they purchase the majority of their fish for a variety of products. They commissioned a non-profit organization, Verite, to look into these rumors to see if there was any truth to them. And guess what? There was! (Or why would I be writing this? Ha.)

Turns out, they jumped on it and just admitted to the press that they were involved in this violation of human rights issue. This might just work for them. Being transparent in a crisis situation is key and that is exactly what Nestle did.  Even though they are getting flack for raising the white flag of surrender without completely admitting that they had anything to do with it, I think it still works in their favour. They have beaten all the other companies to the punch, making them look good and potentially making their competitors look guilty.

I don’t think this latest crisis will hurt this corporate giant at all. Their scandals go all the way back to 1977 with the Nestle Baby Milk Scandal and they are still around. I think that there are just some corporate giants that refuse to fall from their gold laced beanstalks.

While I don’t agree with the practices Nestle keeps, I do believe that there has to be something to say about their PR department. They keep getting thrown to the wolves and always manage to walk out with a few scratches. Is that all based on transparency or is there something more to it? I guess we will have to just sit back and watch this scandal unfold to see how warm the water will get around Nestle’s ankles.



Starbucks “Red Cup” Scandal -Accident or On Purpose? —

Starbucks “Red Cup” Scandal -Accident or On Purpose?


I know, I am late to the party by about 23 days. But, as the snow falls outside my toasty apartment and I whimsically drift into my own rendition of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, I stop and think about the Starbucks Red Cup Scandal that rocked the United States earlier this month.

At first, I was just consumed with rage at the thought that all this controversy was started over a simple red cup. As a former Barista of Starbucks, I was flabbergasted. There are wars in other countries and in our own backyards (homelessness, poverty, etc.) that I just could not believe what I was reading online.

Then it hit me. What if this was all just a ploy to get us all talking about Starbucks? There has been no drop in sales or customers that Starbucks has publicly reported. Just their name. Everywhere.

With some PR knowledge under my belt, I really started considering it. Everybody and their dog was talking about this so-called “scandal”. Even a presidential candidate was talking about it within his debates. What a brilliant, and cheap, way to get your name out there. Or, at least, MORE out there. (They are Starbucks after all). They just made plain red cups, sat back and watched the madness unfold. Genius.

Upon looking up this Christmas scandal, I stumbled upon an article in Entrepreneur Magazine that encourages businesses to look at what Starbucks did as a learning opportunity. It goes on to point out three lessons that can be learned to better your business. Even small business owners are looking at this as a moment for education.

Well Starbucks, I give a hats off to your public relations team. We will never know if this was done by accident or on purpose, but kudos for going out there and giving everyone something to talk about.

To get the full (and maybe somewhat biased) view on the “scandal” and how it may be much more than what it appears, go to:

Cheers, and have a Merry Christmas!



Need For Bus Etiquette-The Speech — November 23, 2015

Need For Bus Etiquette-The Speech


In class, I had to write a 2-3 minute speech on something that I was passionate about. I decided to take it upon myself to make a speech about the need for bus etiquette. This is because I wanted to make a social statement against the transit taking community.

I don’t have a license and therefore, bus everywhere. Even if I have to go out of town, I hop on a Greyhound or the GO bus and transit my way to my destination. It’s my own fault for not getting a license, but I manage. Because of this, I find myself surrounded by people who do not respect the others around them while aboard a bus. I had a thought, when I started this program, to create a campaign based on the principle of treating everyone with mutual respect on the bus. And every time I have gotten on a bus since (so, multiple times a day) I have thought about it more and more.

This brings me back to the beginning of this post. When given the opportunity, I had to jump on it. So, here it is in all its glory. You never know, maybe I can make it into a public service announcement one day. Enjoy!

We are always moving. We are always trying to get somewhere. We are always headed in a direction on a specific path to accomplish something. We are always moving.


While some can be in charge of how they to their destination, others cannot. We are forced to rely on public transportation systems to take us where we need to be. We wait at bus stops, in varying degrees of weather, we pay to get on and pull a cord to get off. It isn’t glamorous, but it is how we get where we need to go.


Statistics Canada says that we, as transit users, spend an average of 40 minutes commuting one way to our destination. That means we spend 487 hours the year on a bus. These long trips could be pleasant if it wasn’t for the collection of careless, cranky and sometimes even callous citizens we find ourselves sharing this never-spacious vehicle with.


My fellow transit users, it is time we demanded more from the other people we spend these rides with. It is time we stand up against the shovers who squeeze their way through the crowd to sit in a seat while to rest of us get packed in, similar to sardines inside a twenty ton tin can. It is time we rise up over the brazen body odor and the backpack bruisers. It is time we rebel against the empty seat squatters who refuse to move themselves or their belongings to allow standers a chance at a seat. It is time for us to set a standard for other transit users. It is time for us to come together and demand more from ourselves and others.


We spend too much time and money on this system to allow another person to step on us, sneeze on us or stand so close to us that we can feel their breath on our skin. We spend too much time and money on this system to dread using it.


We need to come together for change to happen. We need to set out ground rules. We need to lead by our own example. We need to show everyone what it means to be a respectful transit user. We need to make a change.


We are always moving. So, why don’t we move towards a brighter future for transit users. The bus is coming. Are you on board?

Does The Media Help Or Hurt In Times Of Crisis? – Umpqua Community College — October 6, 2015

Does The Media Help Or Hurt In Times Of Crisis? – Umpqua Community College


I’m going to get very serious for a minute.

In light of the recent school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon last week, I can’t help but feel like we, as a society, keep creating these situations. I’m not talking about the bullying that doesn’t stop, or whatever causes these students to carry out these acts. I’m talking about the news media, but also social media. While this might not be completely related to PR, I feel compelled to share my feelings on this issue.

Since the Columbine shooting in 1999, there has been 262 school shootings in the US. That number is outrageous. I can’t help but wonder if we didn’t glorify the victims as well as the offender in such a public way, if these numbers would go down. I know that for myself, even though I don’t attend a college in the US, that every time I hear about a shooting at a school that I get nervous. It makes me wonder if we are giving people ideas.

There have been cases of crimes being committed for the fame, be it a copy cat or corresponding with the media to allow their crimes the 15 minutes of fame that they feel it deserves. I don’t think that these shootings are any different. With the news media allowing full media coverage of the wreckage, it’s making the offender a type of celebrity, if only for a moment. And now with social media making information travel even faster, and to a wider audience, there is no telling how this might affect the future safety of these students.

Social media sounds innocent in its layout. We use it for liking pictures and sharing our lives with each other. But we also use it for news and tragedy. When there is a missing child, or a mass murder (like these school shootings), my Facebook lights up. I don’t even need to check a paper or subscribe to a news channel because it’s all right there. Every gory detail at my finger tips.

I’m not saying that the news media is doing anything they aren’t supposed to. I’m just saying that maybe these events should be kept local. While it is a tragedy, why does the entire world need to know? I know that it isn’t my job to be a journalist or report on tragedies, I just feel that this is a good message to get people talking about.

If I haven’t convinced you of my points, I will post this video that I found that sparked my curiosity into this topic. This video plays on a social media site called Reddit every time there is a school shooting.

I hope this was thought provoking. See you on Thursday.


We Do It “OUR” Way – Review of The Canadian Press Style Book — September 24, 2015

We Do It “OUR” Way – Review of The Canadian Press Style Book


As a student, it feels like a lot of the textbooks we buy are overpriced, useless and unnecessary. While I always purchase what the book list says I should, I even find myself questioning when I will ever need these again. However, I was pleasantly surprised in the first semester of my first year when I came across the most useful textbook ever. (I know you don’t believe me, but just wait for it…)

The 17th Edition of The Canadian Press Style Book; A guide for Writers and Editors. (Available on for purchase!)

Don’t roll your eyes just yet. Let me explain why. As Canadians, we are always compared to the United States of America. I am with you, it’s annoying. However, because of this, we have a serious spelling epidemic on our hands. The media we are bombarded with on a daily bases (most of it American) has caused us, as a society, to forget that we are special. We spell things differently from our southern cousins. As Canadians, we spell it OUR way. This is an important thing to remember. Always. Words like: neighbour, labour, harbour, colour, etc, we spell differently. And it even goes past the OUR rule. In Canada, “barbecue” is spelled with a “C”, not a “Q”. Weird, right?

I’m not trying to bore you with a spelling lesson. There is a point here. The communications field is filled with great writers who write a variety of ways for a variety of companies. If you are going to do this job in Canada, you need to know these tips and tricks. Hence, the book. I am a Canadian born 25-year-old who is an excellent speller, and there are words in there (like barbecue) that I had no idea I was spelling wrong! This book is so useful! I wish I had it in high school. It would have been so useful at a younger age to know these things. Communication in any field is key. And getting your point across in a concise (and correctly spelled) manner is also super important!

Also, the book is small. Like, smaller than a novel. So, it is totally portable and easy to have on hand for those “crap! How do you spell that!?” moments. So, I say go out and get your hands on this book as soon as you can. You will not regret it, no matter who you are, or what you are doing with your life. It’s just the Canadian way!

I hope you enjoyed my not-so-orthodox book review. I will be back again on Tuesday to cover more exciting PR topics for your enjoyment. Don’t miss out on my Inspiring Quotes of the Day!


How To Dress For Success: — September 23, 2015

How To Dress For Success:


While trying to create a Vision Board for my “Personal PR: Promoting Yourself” class, it dawned on me: I don’t own a single piece of nice clothing. That horrifying thought was followed by a hypnotic chant of “where do I get these nice clothes?” and “what does ‘professional’ even look like today?”. Disclaimer: I am an avid wearer of jeans, nerdy graphic tees and comfy hoodies. I was totally out of my element.

After tormenting myself and spending a lot of time online, as well as in clothing stores I have no business being in, I came upon yet another question: “Am I the only one out there who is panicked by this thought?”

The answer is (thankfully for my self esteem) no! I came upon quite a few articles that focused on how young women should dress for the workplace. And that is how I ended up here. I thought I would share my new found knowledge with all of you lovely young women, like myself, who may be questioning what makes an appropriate wardrobe these days.

The best article I found was published by Forbes. Here are a bunch of tips from that article that I found to be very useful:

  • Presentation counts! This includes dressing as you want to be seen, and just because you might have a job that requires a slightly more casual dress, that doesn’t mean you show up looking like you picked your clothes up from your bedroom floor.
  • Size up your workplace! If you want to one day be a manager, look at how your manager is dressed and follow suit. I’m not saying buy the same outfit (weird!), just dress similarly so you won’t be overlooked for that promotion you have your eye on.
  • Here’s what you should have at least one of: a skirt that sits just above your knee, some nice dress slacks, a pant suit (If you’re into that), a piece of SIMPLE jewelry, a nice pair of flats or respectable heels (no stilettos please!), and a nice sweater for the winter. Don’t forget: have a light touch with your makeup and perfume as well as ask about pantyhose…no one wants to wear them unless they have to.
  • For your first day, over do it a little. It’s always better to be over dressed and told to relax for the next day, than be told that you should have tried harder.
  • Finally, just remember: always dress for the task at hand. Wear clothing that will suit what you are doing that day or the type of job that you have rather than totally missing the mark and landing flat.

I hope this was as helpful to you as it was to me. Be sure to check out the full article for more details at:

Also, stay tuned for more blogs by yours truly on Tuesdays and Thursdays! I will be covering more interesting PR related concepts for your enjoyment!