Tuesday, April 8, 2008

CSR- Today’s Key to Business Ethics

What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? How do companies/organizations demonstrate this in their everyday business ethic? These are questions you have to ask yourself when trying to understand how and why today’s businesses are using CSR. The definition of Corporate Social Responsibility is “a concept where organizations consider the interests of society by taking responsibility for the impact of their activities on consumers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, communities and the environment in all aspects of their operations”, but I’m not here to bore you with the details and definition of CSR; I want to tell you about an organization I found that exemplifies great ethical CSR values.

Looking at CSRwire, the leading global source of Corporate Social Responsibility news, I found many of different companies/organizations and their latest “acts of kindness” to the community. The one that appealed to me the most was the MetLife Foundation because of their generous contribution of $815,000 to the Alzheimer’s Association for Hispanic Outreach and Safety Initiatives. I chose this association because my grandmother suffers from Alzheimer’s and I feel that the more money out there for research the closer we get to a cure for the future of our families.

MetLife and the Alzheimer’s Association have been working together for over two decades. The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. It has a mission to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the development of research, to provide and improve care and support for all affected and to decrease the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

For those of you who don’t know about the MetLife Foundation, they are an organization that MetLife established in 1976 to carry its long-standing tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. MetLife has a long-standing commitment to the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. They have invested more than $15 million for Alzheimer’s research and public information programs, including $10 million through the Awards for Medical Research program. Working with the Alzheimer’s Association, the Foundation has supported care giving videos, resources for the Hispanic community and the Safe Return identification program, which addresses the problem of senior wandering. The Foundation has expanded its focus on aging issues, including helping people remain physically and mentally fit and remaining engaged in the community. It also supports programs addressing issues of care giving, inter-generational activities and volunteer opportunities.

The April 3, 2008 contribution from the MetLife Foundation of $815,000 was divided into two different grants. One of $400,000 funds an extensive media and outreach campaign for the Hispanic population that includes radio and Internet messaging; also the introduction of a Family Caregiver Resource Kit which uses existing and new Spanish-language educational materials that raise awareness about the disease. The second of $415,000 for the Emergency Responders Outreach Initiative supports the development of a national training program for emergency responders, including law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and others.
The way that the MetLife Foundation donates their time and money to the Alzheimer’s Foundation demonstrates how committed they are to the community. Like Sibyl Jacobson, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation, says, "Alzheimer's affects millions of individuals, and the Alzheimer's Association is a leading resource for the general public for accurate information about the disease, MetLife Foundation is pleased to support these initiatives, which will provide much-needed resources to communities across the country." Even though the practices of CSR in today’s businesses are subject to much debate and criticism, this organization has found a way to show its public that they really do care and are in it for the long run.

* To visit the MetLife Foundation CSR Profile click here

* Pictures from Google Images

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Strikes been over.... But what about the shows?

I’m just doing a little follow- up on the whole writers strike situation. I don’t know about you but this really bugs me and I feel like I need to speak up. Like I had mentioned before, the strike is officially over and has been for quite a while now, but yet a lot of your favorite TV shows have not returned. They have been slowly coming back, but they don’t happen to be any of my favorites. They constantly announce the shows premiers, but to me it feels like they have changed the dates a million times. In the past few weeks CSI Miami, 2 and a Half Men, How I met Your Mother, and a couple other shows have come back, but the others are set for some time in April. It just seems to me that they are taking so long and the viewers are getting very anxious awaiting their shows. They are getting tired of the re-runs and want their Dr. McDreamy, and new gossip from Gossip Girl to come back. Why after months of being on strike do we still have to wait even longer for new episodes to come? Which are your favorite shows and what do you think of this whole waiting situation, do you think it’s fair for the viewers?

*For more information on your favorite show’s upcoming premiers just go to NBC, ABC, CBS, or any of the television stations official websites for times and scheduled dates.

* Picture from Google images

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

“If you want to control ones mind control the internet”

How can you censor something protected by the First Amendment? With today’s Internet crazy society can you imagine it not existing? Internet censorship is defined as the “control or suppression of the publishing or accessing of information on the Internet”. In many countries around the world it already exist, in some more than others, but they have found ways to “firewall” material that the government finds their citizens do not need to know. Such nations often censor political content and may retaliate against citizens who violate the censorship with imprisonment. Internet censorship did not happen overnight, but has slowly come to America's shores from China and other controlling countries.

Since the development of Internet censorship, a project formed called
OpenNet Initiative whose goal is to monitor and report on Internet filtering and surveillance practices by nations. “The project employs a number of technical means, as well as an international network of investigators, to determine the extent and nature of government-run Internet filtering programs.” They work hard at preventing the censorship these countries have created, but can only do so much.

Countries such as China, Cuba, and Iran are some that have created massive amounts of “firewalls” on website access. Their government’s feel as though the citizens should not be allowed to see certain websites in fear that they will rebel against the government.

Cuba has the lowest
Latin America ratio of computers per inhabitant and also the lowest Internet access, but even with that its citizens have to use government controlled "access points", where their activity is monitored through IP blocking, keyword filtering and navigation history checking. The government blames the lack of access to Internet services to high costs and the American embargo, but that is not completely true.

Iran Internet censorship is delegated to ISPs who attempt to filter contents critical of the government, pornographic websites, and political blogs. Iranian bloggers have been imprisoned for their Internet activities by the Iranian government. Most recently, the Iranian government has blocked access to video-upload sites such as YouTube.

China blocks or filters Internet content relating to Tibetan independence, Taiwan independence, police brutality, the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, freedom of speech, democracy, pornography, some international news sources like the
BBC, certain religious movements as Falun Gong, many blogging websites, and Wikipedia. Most recently this issue has become very popular because of the upcoming Olympics and how China wants the world to view it; they want to bring the best about China and censor the bad, but citizens are speaking out. They have had enough and bloggers are going crazy constantly posting and being imprisoned for their online comments. Here is a CNN article that better explains China’s censorship strategies and how they control their citizens.

For many years, the web has been heavily censored in countries around the world. That censorship continues at this very moment. Now it is happening right here in America. It is illegal and should not be permitted by any country. The massive censorship of the web on a nationwide and global scale not only violates the first amendment, but human rights as well. This in my eyes is a crime and one not being taken seriously, especially since our societies are becoming more and more Internet based everyday. Something needs to be done before blogging and the Internet are completely controlled with our first amendment rights entirely revoked.

Pictures from Google Images

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bloggers are just rude!

Why is that no one wants to visit and comment on our blogs? Since blogging has become one of the major tools in communication today why don't bloggers like to go and comment on other blogs? Are they really that busy that they can’t go around and answer those comments others have made? People have taken their time and gone to their blog and read their stories, but yet they are being rude and not responding. To me that is just plain out rude and shows how much bloggers don’t really care what others think, but better yet just care about themselves and their blog. If they were smart they would take this as an opportunity to give their blog more publicity.

* This is just me venting and does not include all bloggers, just a generality of my experience with some.
* Picture from Google Images

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Blogging Disasters: “Sony Shuts Down Fake Blog For Good”

With blogging being one of the newest and most used communication tools in today’s society expect that not everyone knows exactly what they are doing. Many companies have started to use blogging as a form of free advertising and others just as a networking tool. In this time of experimentation, many mistakes have been made and blogs have started to become problematic rather than beneficial.

Sony is one of those companies that have made mistakes; they used their blog in the worst way possible by lying to their customers. Sony and their marketing firm, Zapatoni, were caught in creating a fake blog to promote their new PSP. The blog was called “AllIWantForXmasIsaPsp.com” and it consisted of different people talking about how they wanted a PSP for Christmas or how they had one but their friend didn’t and really wanted one. The site looked pretty official, but to those die hard Sony customers t was easy to figure out the dishonesty. Like it said in Blog Herald, “With it’s overly hipster talk and the fact the domain is registered by a Marketing firm, it didn’t take long for the gaming community to find that Sony was behind the blogging deception.” Today, the blog has been taken down but Sony is still suffering from its ramifications. It’s customer’s are finding it hard to believe what they say anymore; will they ever recover from this horrible mistake? How could Sony not know that their “tech savvy” customers would discover their deceitfulness, were they not analyzing their audience correctly? Sony I think has learned a big lesson from this blogging disaster, to always analyze their audience and not try to get ahead of themselves. Now to all you new bloggers, learn from Sony’s mistake and other cases out there and do not let blogging become a problem but better yet learn to use it to your advantage.

*Picture from Google Images

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Writer's Strike Is Over, Now What?

Woohoo!!! The writer’s strike is over!! Now that this long awaited moment has come, when are the shows coming back? I don’t know about you, but it’s been way too long since I have had my Thursday night date with Dr. McDreamy, I miss my Grey’s Anatomy! I have been on withdrawal from my weekly shows (Monday- 2 ½ Men, Wednesday-Gossip Girl, Thursday- Grey’s Anatomy) for a while now and yet now that the strikes over I still have to wait some more. When are these shows coming back, I’m sick of repeats? When are we going to have our date night back Dr. McDreamy? Tell me what you think about this and let me know if you have any idea when they are coming back, I NEED TO KNOW!
*Picture from Google Images

Thursday, February 14, 2008

How Technology has Shaped Communication

With technology at our fingertips I can’t help but ask myself how this growing World Wide Web is affecting the Communication field? Is this new and emerging technology controlling our views and ways of communicating? What are its implications, or better yet does it have any? In today’s ever so growing world of communication we have come to see that even though these new technology tools have helped us to network they have also created some problems that were non-existent. With mass media blowing up and having access to various kinds of news reports from many different sources at once, where do you know where the truth comes from? How are you able to filter out the truth from the “spam”? Are newspapers and magazines obsolete since the invention of online resources?

People today are able to sit down at their computer and look at CNN.com, NewYorkTimes.com, MSN.com, and many other sites for their daily news and current events instead of reading just one newspaper or magazine. If given the opportunity wouldn’t you rather get your facts from different sources at once rather than just one? Websites like Current, a fairly new online site that gives you the latest news buzz and access to write what you think about the topics at hand, is a great example of how technology has shaped and changed our society. Being a student studying the Communication field, this site really shows me how easy it has become to voice your opinion.

Technology today has really opened up the Communication field by allowing you to network and speak out about what you are trying to sell or promote. Whether it is a product or a client you can get it out there instantaneously. YouTube has also been a big contributor to this technology mayhem, especially in this year’s campaign election. With Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both using it for videos to promote their campaign, YouTube has become a great source for information about the trail. Having thousands of viewers on a daily basis, YouTube has even gotten Obama a Grammy for one of its videos. So, is YouTube a credible source for people to go and obtain views on issues at hand? What has technology really done for the Communication field in general? What has it done to us as a society, is it controlling our thoughts, and the way we communicate? What can we see as valuable sources of information, who can we believe? How has it changed our generation and the generation to come? These are the questions that come to my mind when I think about technology and how it has shaped today’s Communication field, like a fellow blogger wrote, “The future of communications is already upon us. Get used to it.”
*Picture from Google Images