Monthly Archives: November 2012

Local crisis brewing? A health employee uses racial slur

Earlier today, I, like many of you, logged onto Facebook. I was surprised to see the below photo, not because of the language (or likes), but because, in this college town, it is receiving attention as if it is a football game. I think some of this attention is due to the fact the individual under discussion works in the health profession. And, of course, this is a college town. When I saw the initial post a little after 5 p.m. the picture had been shared by just under 600 people. Now, at the time of this post, about 4 hours later, the picture has been shared by over 1100 people. Needless to say her Facebook page has been either deactivated, for now, or deleted. Attached to this photo was the following description (I retracted the specifics):

This young lady is an employee of xxx of Drs. xx (location) 912-xxx-xxxx Judging by her racial slurs posted on Facebook concerning the re-election of President Barrack Obama I feel this particular Dr’s office should know exactly WHO they have working for them. Are African Americans safe at this office? Does this young lady care for African Americans as she does all patients? Re-post

The individual works, assuming she is still with her employer, for a reputable doctor’s office. In my opinion the doctors are great, their reputation in the community, on an individual level and as a practice, is strong. However, it will be interesting to see how they handle this situation and if their reputation can withstand the attention. What do you think the doctor’s office should do? What would you do? Would you have posted all this information about the individual in the photo description? Would you have posted the picture at all? Vote (and/or comment) below.

[Note: I have no professional affiliation with this doctors office or their employees.]

UPDATE: This employee was terminated from her position. The story received coverage in the local paper, on a regional television station, and in a metropolitan area. A formal statement was released.



Filed under personal thoughts

Topic of the Week 4 (Fall ’12)

  • Provide an argument as to why it is/or is not beneficial for a non-public relations major to complete an introductory level public relations course.

    Image courtesy of Istockphoto


  • Think about the last five movies/concerts you have seen. How did you find out about them? (Poster? Word of mouth? Newspaper/Magazine advertisement? Facebook fan page? Emailed newsletter, etc.) Some individuals dismiss traditional public relations and advertising, but what’s your experience?

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Filed under classes, PRCA 2330

Perspective on your request for a course override

It is that time of year again! Students are registering for classes, complaining about the server crashing, and sending emails to professors for overrides. Since I am teaching a highly sought after elective next spring, I now get the pleasure of reading the same request from a number of students asking “Can I get into your class?”. I know I am not alone in reading these requests. Although all the students asking will not receive an override into this course, due to physical space in the classroom and pedagogical issues, there are some things students should consider when asking for an override from any professor. [Note: With the exception of one or two requests received so far this semester, the requests have been professional and well written.]


Image courtesy of istockphoto.

1. Use a full salutation.–As ironic as this sounds you will be amazed the number of students that send an email request that begins with “Hi”. I know you thought there would be more to that, me too, but no, the beginning of the e-mail is literally “Hi”. This is only acceptable if we are continuing a conversation, and even then this form of greeting is questionable.

2. Provide context.–Yes, you have made it clear in the subject line you are seeking an override, but you never indicate in your email the course for which you are seeking an override. Most professors teach more than one course, thus you need to indicate in the body of the email the course under discussion. If you placed this information in the subject line, write it again in the body of the email.

3. Consider the language and tone of your email–Using phrases in your email, such as “I need…,” “I have been screwed…,” “My degree depends on…,” “If you don’t let me in the course I won’t be able to graduate,” etc., is often read with much skepticism. Keep in mind that you are making a request, not a ransom demand. Thus the appropriate language and tone for such a request should be utilized.

4. Set reasonable expectations to receive a reply.– It is rather unlikely that the email you sent at 6 a.m. will receive a reply by 8 a.m., or noontime, or 5 p.m. It is also unlikely that you will immediately receive an override into the course. Overrides are often granted to hardship cases first.

5. Realize you are not alone.–Sure, you know other people are still seeking entrance into a course, but you must also realize you are not the only person emailing the professor. For example, yesterday I received approximately 15 emails from 15 students within a two hour window for one course. I am sure that does not sound like a lot, but take into consideration that some of these emails were literally minutes apart and all the students request were the same. This does not take into account the emails I will continue to receive until the first day of classes next spring.

Granted this post does not provide you advice for obtaining an override into a course. However, this post does provide you with an inside perspective of how some professors view your override request. Next time you request an override consider the receiver of the message and how they will respond. Professors understand your degree curriculum, so act accordingly.

What has been your experience with requesting overrides or receiving override requests? Comment below.



Filed under personal thoughts