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Thank you so much for visiting my blog. This blog is designed to illustrate my work, my skills and my passion for Marketing, Communications and Public Relations as well as provide a resting place for my thoughts and feelings about current issues.

Please visit my tabs above and categories to side for: About Kelly, Writing Examples, My Resume, PR Examples. Below are fun, sometimes serious blog posts illustrating my thoughts and feelings about current issues or items of personal relevance.

Please contact me with questions regarding my work. I look forward to talking with you! 

Contact information is available upon request: kmacdonald1521@gmail.com

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I love watching a good television series. A good television series is one of my favorite ways to spend an evening. The show “The Big Bang Theory” makes me laugh out loud each Monday night. Check it out.

But I also hate television too. It can consume you. If you watch too much it becomes your life. If you watch none you miss out on some pretty cool stuff. It’s not a common sentiment, but television is something I think can be enjoyable in small doses.

Before I came to college I don’t think I really realized how television works. I grew up with a cable box and was therefore stunned to see the free access to channels on my ancient TV with some old bunny ears. My roommates and I used to take turns of who had to hold the metal in the right spot so the bars wouldn’t shift down the screen.

With the dawning of DTV and digital cable,  I can use of my government sponsored TV digital converter box and watch all the basic (and I mean basic) channels for free over the air. It helps me not be consumed but the hundreds of channels available but still allows me to watch the big shows while saving some cash.

The only thing I miss is HBO and those shows like Deadwood, Rome and Big Love. But for those I can always go home and use my Dad’s On Demand cable. I suppose, in all actuality, I’m just really cheap. But what can you expect? I’m in college.

Money saving/life advice: get rid of cable, you realize how much better spent your time is and you have extra cash to go do something instead of watching really dumb reruns…

Slow down.

Two times in three days, life made me stop.
I was rushing, trying to get to class for my final presentation. I was juggling my bag, my notebook, my bags of candy to give to the class. I was tossing the hair from my eyes , tucking my blouse into my skirt as my high heels clicked on the ground.

I was stressed. I just wanted the presentation over, I wanted the semester over. I wanted college over. It was eating away at my existence. It was making me want to cry. The papers, tests and grades consumed my thoughts.

I got into my car, turned up the country radio that my friends despise and tired to mentally prepare for the presentation ahead. I had on my power suit. If nothing else that should sell them on my business plan. Even if there were gaping holes in the data, I simply didn’t care anymore.

But it was at the end of my street that I saw three orange cones. Another barrier and inconvenience to my day. But I looked again, closer, I saw the road to my right was closed. I could see the flash of lights. Police cars blocked my view of the person, a person I didn’t know, lying on the asphalt. The only three cars on the street were motionless now, the street seemed eerily quiet as I looked down. There was no more traffic, just three broken cars, and a stroller.

I could not tell what happened, only that glass and metal littered the street, but it was bad. There was too much damage for it not to be.

Two days before I had witnessed another accident. I was on the middle of a bridge in my home town. I had never stopped there before, I had only ever been moving through.

I didn’t see it, the accident. I just saw a body across the center line; he was alive, but not moving. It was a motorcycle and a truck. The traffic lined back for miles as I called the police, no one answered. I hung up when I heard the sounds of sirens coming behind me.

People were already crowding around the scene. They knew more than I, I was just in the way. I left, drove on, the stereo turned down.

Two times in three days I have seen life damaged, hurt, splayed on the asphalt. It made me stop. It made me wonder why I was rushing. Who was that person? Those persons? Who wasn’t coming home? Who would care if I didn’t?

It reminded me of a time my freshman year of college. It can be a very difficult year for anyone, but especially me. I used to hate living in the dorm, the noise bothered me and the immaturity suffocated me. When I couldn’t relax I would go out beyond the dorms on walks in the night.

It was there in the quiet stillness of night that I could find peace. I walked amongst the trees and into the fields just to look up and feel small. Alone.

I realized that no one wondered where I was, no one would notice if I didn’t come home; not very many at least. It was then that I wrote this as a Facebook note three years ago when I realized that everything I worried about was for nothing:

I have told every person I’ve met this last month the same relationship advice. Whether it be about lost loves, old flames, new prospects or old memories. Maybe everyone could use this same advice.

You deserve to be with someone who likes you as much as you like them. There is someone out there who will, and you deserve it. Don’t settle.

Let yourself love totally and completely. Do not hold back. You shouldn’t have to convince someone to want to hang out with you; you shouldn’t have to convince someone to love you. They should want to be with you, don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking that it’s normal to feel neglected.

No matter how much money you make, no matter how much you achieve, if you have no one to go home to, no one to share in every pain and success of life, everything you do in life will have been in vain.

People, not things, are important

 I guess what I’m trying to say is life is precious. It puts things in perspective when you begin to wonder who will be left behind if you were sprawled, hurt and damaged.

Love someone and when they love you in return, you will have the most precious gift you can receive.

Today Chrysler (a part of GMAC automakers) announced it would become another in the long line of businesses to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy. We could be sympathetic; tough times and all. But I’m not too sad (or surprised) to see Chrysler go.

I know I’m a hypocrite. I like my share of country boys in Chevy trucks, but the U.S. automaker simply isn’t ready to compete in this global economy.

They can’t make a profit. And no matter what anyone tells you that’s the reason people get into business, it’s for the money. (Even non profits have to make money, or they won’t last too long).

GM (and Chevy) was at the top of the world 50 years ago. They were the cars America drove. We took pride in it. Insert Japanese automakers like Honda and Toyota. They made it better, faster and more cost efficient. Suddenly buying American seemed rather silly. After all, the Japanese cars lasted longer and were cheaper. They also got great gas mileage in the high price gas years in the 80’s. (Sounds familiar? No one is rushing to buy a Yukon these days either).

GM and other domestic car makers took notice. But sadly, it was too late. Built on the unions that define Detroit automakers, the cost to build a Chevy car is too much to sustain competition against other automakers. The competitors had the advantage of non unionized labor, a common platform, less distributors and part manufacturers and the fact that they don’t have to pay pension plans for retirees.

Here is a really good article about the failures of GM as a company and the mistakes of management: http://chrissilvey.com/weblog/?p=112

From the Article:

It takes GM almost 35 hours to build car, and Toyota only takes 27 hours

GM makes a profit of $20,000 per car while Toyota makes $26,000 per car

According to the article GM was actually losing money per car in 2004.

Can you see the competitive advantage of foreign automakers? And a lack of a good business plan for the U.S. car makers?

GM’s business plan would never get approved today. You would get laughed out of the office. They simply cannot sustain growth. This insistence of huge salaries, health care and pensions plans was built on the arrogance of American society that preached: we will never fail, we can spend as we like, we are Americans after all.

But there is always a cost.

You cannot spend the money on domestic labor, pensions, health care and other costs and expect to compete with a global competition that has no qualms with cheap labor, efficient factories and non-unionized manufacturing.

Chrysler, I like your trucks, but the world will continue without you. Honestly I think the American people need to realize that just because something is American, doesn’t mean it’s good. To compete globally we must understand the cost of manufacturing and what is best for the company.

I’m all for jobs in the U.S. but I believe U.S. automakers and the American people are to blame for their failure. They pushed unions, pensions and health care on a system that could not sustain it. They did so because they believed (falsely) in the superiority of American products. It was faith misguided.

For me, I’m not going to buy American. I’m going to buy the best. Sadly, American hasn’t been the best for a long time. Hopefully we can learn from this and realize our mistakes. If Chevy doesn’t die for good, it will only happen again. For its own sake, I hope their gas guzzler has finally run out of gas.   

Great Article: http://chrissilvey.com/weblog/?p=112

What if my best isn’t good enough? 

We talk a lot about vocation, or our “calling,” at my university.

They sent me pamphlets, leaflets and videos encouraging me to spend thousands of dollars to come to their school because they were the experts in developing my passion. It’s their specialty. It’s not about education; it’s about finding your vocation. They desperately want to help me find this illusive dream, a dream I can work towards with purpose for the rest of my life.

Essentially we have three vocation options at my university: Help people the poor, promote peace and community or ultimate Frisbee.

Sadly I haven’t had an inspiration in these categories. But I already know what I love to do. The problem is that although I love it, I’m not very good.

When we are young our parents and teachers look at us and tell us, “you can do anything if you try hard enough.”

With these words of wisdom we head out into the world, optimistic about the possibilities of the future. Unfortunately there is a harsh reality. The truth is trying hard isn’t always enough. Sometimes you just fail. Effort points don’t exist in the real world.

I love writing. I always have (it’s my vocation, per se).I used to write stories about dogs hatching from eggs and giants. My imagination was ceaseless. Someday I wanted to be a writer (I also wanted to be a waitress, but that is, perhaps, a lesser known vocation).

But unfortunately, I’m not very good at it. Yes, my friends will tell you that I’m a good writer, a good student and very intelligent. But they don’t get the true picture.

There are people who are just naturally brilliant. They don’t need to study or stress; they just can grasp the world easier than others. I am not one of those people. I’m one of those persons that work way too hard for reasons that no one understands. I study too much and stay in too often.

I get awards sometimes, for writing. I don’t deserve these awards, I’m just the only one that applies, or maybe the only one that tries at all. Again, the absence of certain social life aspects gives me a plentitude of study time.

I won a prize for feature writing in high school. I was named the Washington State High School Journalist of the Year.

But I failed the standardized test in writing to get into community college for Running Start.

I have written a 90,000 word book (it was rejected by the first publisher).

But I cannot spell very simple words. Like necessary or believe or receive or guarantee. (I actually misspelled grammar in this very post, ironically)

I fail at writing. I receive poor grades on papers. I use too many commas. I also have many comma splices. I don’t know what these are, so I continue failing. 

My first mistake in middle school was thinking that creativity trumped structure. Wrong. If a middle school teacher gives you a rubric, you write to fit what they want. Paint by number to get a grade.

This is how to get a good grade. Forget thinking, forget adapting. No, sentence by sentence they want what they want. Forget about starting with anything other than a topic sentence, follow with support, close with a conclusion use a transition, repeat.

Mistake number two was thinking college would be different. Also I hoped once I knew the rules I could break them. That was mistake number three.

But there have been successes. Even though the books are telling me I cannot do it, there have been shining lights of promise. I remember them all.

In seventh grade my teacher wrote on my short story “one of, if not the best.”

In eighth grade my teacher told me I was good at writing.

In high school my teacher said my work was good, but it must take me a long time to write.

They called me “the closer” in newspaper class, I did everyone else’s work to get it done, and done well.

In college my creative writing teacher, a published writer, asked me to come to her office and she told me I was a writer. She told me I wasn’t silly to write a book. She said that I could succeed.

So I haven’t failed, not really. I told my friend recently that the only way to know if you truly want something badly enough is give it the test:

If everyone you know tells you it’s not a good idea, that you shouldn’t do something and you believe in it enough to do it anyway, you should. That’s when you know: When you love something enough to fail, that is passion.

I may fail at tests, I wouldn’t get past the second round of a fourth grade spelling bee, and I may hate writing with proper grammar and structure. But I love writing enough that I can’t stop. Even if I fail. Even if my best isn’t good enough.

Because it’s good enough for me.

This movie was powerful.

This is the kind of movie that makes you wonder why you were born in middle class America when so many others are born into a world of everyday suffering. I was so impressed at the maturity of the youth. Yes, there were times when they were foolhardy, but their ability to survive, however unsavory the means, was impressive. They were creative and ingenuous with their survival strategies. But it was hard and sad to watch. Yes the ending was happy, but the life of Jamal was so long and so hard, it makes me wonder how many others live their whole lives with no happy ending. This movie was a definite culture shock, I learned a great deal about India and the life of people outside of my American bubble. Here are three things I learned about India in regards to international business:

 

 

            In the course of one mans life India has grown and changed. In the movie the two brothers sit and look out into the place they used to call their slum in childhood, now it is a business center. India is has become less of another developing nation and is now on the fast track to becoming a world power. While this population growth will help bolster India into prominence, the sheer numbers of their people and the vast inequity in living conditions may keep India from truly thriving for years to come.

            Second, I liked the chance to see outsourcing from the source. For so long U.S. citizens and companies have complained about the pains of the people involved in outsourcing. When I watched this film however I saw hundreds of people in a nation deprived of jobs, working and earning an honest, worthwhile wage. Yes, perhaps they are making less than American workers, but I’ll bet they are making more than so many more Indians left to the slums. I see those jobs as a way out of poverty. For that reason, I am not so sure outsourcing is the evil it is made out to be.

            Lastly, it was the score of human rights violations because of the lack of government intervention which made me pause.  In a place where children are lost forever with no means of protection makes me wonder what the implications are for businesses. Does the increased FDI help these countries help themselves to increase police help, child services and lawful standards of conduct? I hope so, but I do not know. From what I witnessed it was standard practice to lose track of children, for the police to do nothing, and to never feel safe. But the people were survivors. For this reason I see the potential in this country for investment. I see a country that is poised on the brink of greatness. But I hope the children and the weak of this population are not left behind.

 

            The Commercial Appeal, a Tennessee newspaper, has published a searchable database of the identities of all possessors of concealed weapons permits. This database can be accessed by anyone on the newspaper’s web site. Users can search by name, city or zip code to find people who hold the permit. The information is already available from the Department of Safety requests for information, the newspaper simply made it easier. The paper said it is simply trying to gather and present the most information possible to the community, including restaurant cleanliness scores and soon sex offender and real estate transactions. But naysayers say this information is an invasion of privacy, and the newspaper has gone too far. The opposition believes the nature of a concealed weapon’s permit is private, often because of fear. They believe these people will be victimized and targeted, perhaps even burglarized with their addresses posted on the web site.

It is the most viewed item on their web site, getting some 65,000 hits per day. National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said in the article, “A normal person wouldn’t say my right to information is more important than someone’s fear and safety.”  He said it is a hateful and shamefully irresponsible. Only 19 states offer this information to the public, 21 deem it strictly confidential. This response will examine whether or not the opposition have a case for invasion of privacy.

            At the beginning of every invasion of privacy tort a lawyer must examine if the action or information violates one of the four distinct privacy torts explained in the Communications Law text: 1) Commercial appropriation of name or likeness 2) Public Disclosure of Embarrassing Private Facts, 3) Placing an individual in false light or 4) Intrusion upon physical seclusion. (167)

            This case would try to convince a judge of tort two, disclosure of private facts. The reality is that this database offers only truthful information, therefore there is no libel or defamation committed. The lawyers must decide if this information meets the standards for invasion of privacy.

            On the side of the newspaper they had an excess of applicable defenses. Tennessee has made these records public; therefore the newspaper is entitled to the pubic record privilege. As described in the Cox Broadcasting Corp. v Cohn case of 1975, “Even the prevailing law of invasion of privacy generally recognizes that the interests in privacy fade when the information involved already appears in public documents,” (180). Essentially, this case made reaffirmed the ability of news organizations to release already published documents. They are only making easier what is already published. Under the Freedom of Information Act, FOIA, and the open records laws all information except for key exceptions, is available to anyone who pursues it, “All state legislatures and the Congress have concluded that government records should be generally be open for public inspection,” (228). Meaning this information is fair game.

            Also the newspaper may use a newsworthiness defense – that the public has a right to know this information whether or not it can be deemed personal, (181). Some states have clear guidelines to determine the newsworthiness of information, like California. Under California’s laws, news organizations must weigh the balance of 1) the social value of the facts disclosed against 2) the depth of the intrusion into private affairs. (182). The law also prohibits the printing of mere curiosity pieces simply for the sake of publishing something scandalous, not necessarily something newsworthy, (182). The defense would have to prove that a reasonable person would not find this information objectionable in breadth or depth and that there was legitimate reason for publication despite the curiosity factor.

            So let us turn to the other side of the coin, those individuals whose private address and names are all searchable in a database connecting them with a concealed weapon’s permit. Let us go through the check list of the text and see if this situation satisfies a public disclosure of private facts case.

  • Has publicity been given to heretofore private facts of another’s life? Yes
  • Would the publicity be highly offensive or embarrassing to a reasonable person? This is up to interpretation.
  • Is the disclosed information of no legitimate public interest? Yes and no. This database could be a great resource, but it could be easily used to victimize those within it, (186).

So where then is the line? The newspaper has every legal right to print this information. It is already public record information. But is the information too much? There is a reason 21 states have deemed this information confidential, but obviously Tennessee feels differently. It basically comes down to this, the information is true, it’s personal but it’s not embarrassing, and unless they are truly victimized because of this behavior they have no case. A newspaper deemed this information was of legitimate public interest and newsworthy, therefore legally the newspaper would win a lawsuit.

Unfortunately for the people on the database, there simply is no law evidence to support their claim. The newspaper only made the information easier to obtain, they didn’t publish it for the first time. A better idea to keep information private is to go straight to Tennessee lawmakers and ask for a new law to keep concealed weapons permits records confidential to protect the safety and identity of those involved. But for now, they must simply grin and bear it.

However, if something was to happen to a member of the database, a victimizing through hazing, burglary or some other offense, a plaintiff then may have a case of negligence on the part of the newspaper. If they could adequately connect the dots that a newspaper owed them a legal duty of care, that the duty was breached and the breach was the cause of injury, a victim may then be able to win a case against the newspaper and have the database removed, (94).

Until then, people must simply hope that professional ethics will prevent private information from entering the World Wide Web, because the law cannot defend them.