Category Archives: PR Connections

PR Connections: Budget Crisis

The Georgia Legislature has asked the University system of Georgia to prepare for a $300 million dollar reduction for the 2011 fiscal year. This means that Georgia Southern University will be cut an additional $14.7 million on top of an already $11 million dollar cut.

What this means?

  • 6 more furlough days to be taken in Fiscal Year 2010, starting in July
  • Elimination of state subsidy that is used to support the Division of Education, Performing Arts Center, Wildlife Center, etc. These will have to become self-sufficient.
  • Elimination of one-half of all temporary faculty (63 full-time temporary faculty and 54 part-time temporary faculty).
  • Elimination of 67 staff positions.
  • Unspecified cuts to athletics.
  • Consolidation and elimination of academic programs.

Although this is a terrible dilemma that we are all about to face here at GSU, I found it interesting how both faculty, staff, students and even new President Brooks Keel have utilized social media techniques to not only spread the word, but also to ask for help.

Here is a video from President Brooks Keel further explaining these cuts and how we can help:

Here is a list of links to Facebook groups, events and notes that deal with these new budget cuts. While all similar, each offers a different look and different options of how to take a stand against these proposed cuts.

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PR Connections: Sea World Disaster

Dawn Brancheau, a whale trainer at SeaWorld Adventure Park, poses while performing. Brancheau was killed in an accident with a killer whale at the SeaWorld Shamu Stadium Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 24, 2010. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Julie Fletcher)

As most of you probably know last Wednesday Veteran Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau, 40, was killed  by the killer whale Tilikum in front of a horrified audience.

Sea world continued shows the next day, but after making world news coverage because of the incident, the Orlando based attraction quicly saw themselves faced with a PR disaster.

SeaWorld has halted Shamu shows at the Orlando theme park and at sister parks in San Antonio and San Diego while it reviews the death.

In an article written by member of the Associated Press, steps are listed of possible actions Sea World can make in order to counteract this disater. Sea World officials stummbled in the first press conference after the incident saying that Brancheau had drowned and was not killed by one of the wales. They later spoke again, correcting themselves and saying how Brancheau had been drugged down into the water by her ponytail after Tilikum grabbed her.

One interesting point that was brought up in the article was that this incident may in fact help attendance, when it comes to the younger demographic.

Larry L. Smith, president of the Institute for Crisis Management, in Louisville, Ky. said that “It’s not going to draw families necessarily or older people who would typically visit there, but there is an age group that gets excited about the risks and the potential for drama and it may attract some of those folks.”

To read the entire AP story click here.

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