What’s the difference between a squirrel and a rat? PR.

The reality of picking a career path from around the age of sixteen that may dictate the rest of your professional life is immense. It’s a regular convention of traditional education in our generation, but just because it’s common doesn’t make it ordinary. This decision process, aided and hindered by influences such as parents, siblings, friends and teachers, tends to divide the teenage population into two categories. A spectrum exists between the two extremities, but more broadly there is one of two responses.

  1. PANIC: This response involves someone adding years on to their prepubescent bodies and minds through the futile gesture of stress. Lots of it. Everyone reading this can think of an example of this character. Teens in this category may know exactly what they want to be from a young age and are therefore aware of the snowballing pressure of achieving academic success. At the opposite end of the panic spectrum, teens in this category might not know what they want to do at all. This is often the case with smart children who are heaped with praise and told from a young age that they can be anything they want to be. When the world is your oyster, which path might produce most pearls? The pressing weight of expectation shows no mercy to the precociousness of youth.
  1. DON’T PANIC: This response has its variants, too. At one end we have the ‘wasters’ as they’re commonly known. Those who, for one reason or another, are so indifferent to academic progress that their future education doesn’t bare consideration. Alternatively, we have the academic optimists- those who believe it will be fine regardless of how much consideration is given to the decision. How can one decision at sixteen really shape your life? And the downright oblivious – fully unaware of the significance of what’s going on.

Honourable Mention; Treefish. The Treefish is a student whose intelligence can’t be measured by methods of traditional education. Stemming from Einstein’s famous quote on judging a fish by its ability to climb a tree, this type of student should not be confused with the wasters.

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I was more of a Don’t Panic. I’m not saying I was laid back, I was closer to the oblivious category than anything else (although I often fancied myself as a bit of a Treefish). I could, with some competence, identify my own internal characteristics. I was better at knowing what I liked about myself than knowing what I could succeed in as a career. I couldn’t picture working in a real job, and I failed to see how any of my personal qualities could transfer to my internalised concept of a professional environment. I wasn’t good with numbers, I couldn’t remember the periodic table and the bandsaw quickly became the banned saw in my case. I had traits – I was relatively hard working from a young age, dedicated, honest. But I never thought I had any skills. I failed to comprehend where I could take little more than a genuine consideration for people and their happiness and make a living out of it. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that I found out about PR because the truth is, I’m still discovering it. With each revelation about the nature of the sector, I feel confident that I’m on the right track.

So, what makes a successful PR practitioner? (I think):

Communication:

“Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people”

W. B. Yeats

I’ve always been a good communicator. In every scenario apart from texting my mother to let her know I’ve arrived safe and well, I’ve always been able to get my message across. Such a talent is central to the word of public relations. Tracing back to the 19th century and predating the first recognised PR practitioner (Ivy Ledbetter Lee), diplomat Alvin Adams states “Public relations are a key component of any operation in this day of instant communications and rightly inquisitive citizens”. Communication was, and remains, absolutely vital. If only Adams (deceased 1877) had any idea how his world of “instant communications” might develop. Which brings me on to my next point.

Media & Relations:

“It is always a risk to speak to the press: they are likely to report what you say”

Hubert H. Humphrey (Former US Vice President)

To succeed in PR, a flair for media is crucial. Definitively, PR was founded on the use of mass media to achieve organisational goals (Duhe, 2007). I’ve always been interested in the capabilities of all media, particularly as it’s developed in the digital age. Figures from Statista (2018) claim that there are 2.62 billion social media users in 2018. To add context to this figure, eMarketer (2017) states that with a global population of 7.63 billion people, 1 in every 3 people is connected online via social media. Subsequently, the impact of recent social media revolution cannot be understated (Kraski, 2017, p.924). A fundamental contrast between traditional mass media and social media is that social media takes the audience from a passive role and centralizes them in the process. The role of social media from a business perspective is a “delicate harmonizing act between users’ trust and owners’ monetizing intentions” (Clemons, 2009, cited by Van Dijck, 2013). If users feel manipulated, they can simply leave the site.

I’ve always had an interest in developing good relationships with those around me. While I perhaps lend myself to it more than I should in some instances, I feel that it’s a trait indicative that I’m in the right line of work. Positive media relations are fundamental to success in any PR role. Additionally, in an age of increasing consumer control, ethical and honest media relations are essential, particularly as stonewalling isn’t as effective as it was in previous generations due to a world of hyper-connectivity and instant communication. If an organisation refuses to converse with the media, the world will quickly know about it and begin to theorise why. Hence, communication should be transparent. This brings me on to my next point.

Ethical Practice:

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get it’s pants on”

Sir Winston Churchill

As discussed in the previous report, many struggle to trust PR as a credible, trustworthy sector. This image comes as a result of the actions of few dictating the perception of all. PR ethics focuses on “the ethical implications of the strategies and tactics that are applied to solve… the problems of organisations” (Parsons, 2016. P.148).

An example is often made of the Philadelphia 76’ers. The basketball team pledged to deconstruct their roster in order to allow for future superstars and success, with the backing of their fans amidst a risky plan. However, lies were publicly conjured about fake trade deals and injuries, and following this realisation, the fans turned their backs. A classic example of how unethical PR backfires.

Satisfying client needs is a key role of PR. But to reference back to Grunig and Hunt’s definition “management of communication between an organization and its publics” (1984), it’s nonsensical to communicate in an unethical manner that has the potential to jeopardise public opinion or trust. As an industry, the level of ethical consideration within PR practice varies. This is not a “if you can’t beat them, join them” situation. In fact, the whole issue lends itself more to Harry Truman’s “If you can’t convince them, confuse them”. Nonetheless, I enter the industry with the plan of being as ethical as possible.

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It’s hard to pin down!

Exciting Functions of the Industry

As a profession, PR is fresh and exciting. A personal attraction of the industry for me is the variance in work. From the social elements of networking to the reflective evaluation of drafting a press release, PR doesn’t fit the archetype of a normal desk job.
It’s People-Driven. People skills are easy to overlook. Considering I have them, I plan to use them and PR is the right industry to put these tools to use.
It’s a jack-of-all-trades industry. There is an interchangeability to the industry. It’s near impossible to predict which client l could be working for next, in which industry, or the insights and knowledge I gain along the way. I consider myself as being “pro stuff” and the opportunity to get involved across a variety of industries is quietly inspiring.
The industry is hard to pin down. Some can’t see its value and some feel that its literature is outdated and in need of a revamp. Phoenix Business Review (2018) placed a PR executive 8th in their list of most stressful jobs of 2017. Interestingly, Huffington Post (2012) conducted surveys with Dunkin’ Donuts and CareerBuilder.com and found that PR consumes the second largest amount of coffee annually per profession, beaten only by lab technicians. While all this may lead to to a job that is perceived as stressful, it provides an interesting challenge both existentially and academically. Proper application of one’s self to a career within Public Relations is no doubt trying, but surely rewarding. I intend to find out for myself.

Eamon Daly is a final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. He can be found at: Twitter – @EamonDaly5 ; LinkedIn – linkedin.com/in/eamon-daly-608780137

Damore You Know, The Less You Think

Damore You Know, The Less You Think

I don’t believe this to be a sexist rambling, nor the defence of a sexist rambling. This was rather intended to be an exploration of modern societal and political forces on free speech, decision making and potentially clever PR. I’d love to hear any thoughts on this one.

On 7th August 2017, James Damore was fired by Google for a “sexist memo” that he posted on an internal message board that depicted women as being “inferior”. I remember reading the headline. For me, it was another mundane day in a remedial office job where I thought – wow; prime-time idiocy. As if letting go of the dream job and become public enemy number one on the same day wasn’t bad enough – how could this sexist pig really believe such a thing? Disgraceful, I know.

But maybe I didn’t know. James Damore being sacked was percieved as a good move by an appalled public who couldn’t fathom what possessed him to post such a sexist memo. This was seen as a feat for equality and politically correct behaviour and thought. But at the core of the scandal-turned-viral, were Google really as moral, as progressive, as forward-thinking as it may seem?

google - meme

What Happened (as we know it):

This whole mess began with one simple meeting. Google, like they often do, held a diversity meeting which, amongst others, James Damore was invited to attend. Damore, in an interview with academic marmite Jordan Peterson (You either hate him or you love him), recalls that Google didn’t record this meeting – the only instance of this that he can rememeber during his time with the Lords of the ‘Net. Damore believed that Google’s methods of inclusive hiring which they were discussing that fateful day were arbitrary and possibly crossing the line into illegal, which would explain the lack of documentation.

They’ll listen to us all through our phones but won’t listen back to their own ideas? Proof that nobody likes the sound of their own voice on record!

Damore states that he felt uneasy at the mention of the secretive positive discrimination tactics of hiring. Once the meeting had wrapped up, Damore along with all other partcicpants were encouraged to give their feedback on an internal message board – a central convention in Google who strive for improvement wherever possible. Damore compiled a ten page memo explaining why he felt the proposed hiring methods may not be a good idea and posted it on the aforementioned message board. Big mistake, Jim.

What he Said (Well, not exactly. But the jist of it):

Damore’s core belief in his memo was that there is a biological difference between men and women that may impact a corporate reality. His musings were a review of existing modern personality and individual differences literature that found that, in its simplest form, men are more likely to be attracted to object related professions and women to people related professions (heavily linked to studies surrounding testosterone levels – don’t @ me). He even mentioned that he is an advocate of diversity and inclusion. However, he didn’t help himself in suggesting that these Biological differences “may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership”. This may be a review of exisiting literature, but he surely could have sugarcoated the bleak academic truth in this point. Manners cost nothing James (in fact, a lack of them may have cost you your job).

My Name is Sue (How Do You Do?):

Damore responded to his dismissal by choosing to sue Google, which further enraged an American public that viewed him as the biggest inidvdiual threat to feminism in the U.S. since the man who actually runs the country. Damore accused Google of intolerance of white male conservatives; three majority categories that we can assume recieve little sympathy from the “politically correct”.

Damore told the New York Times that he has “a legal right to express (his) concerns about the terms and conditions of (his) working environment and to bring up potentially illegal behavior, which is what the document does.” It must be highlighted that Google’s decision to fire Damore is perefectly legal. Even within Damore’s right to free speech, an employee can be lawfully fired for being seen to violate an organisational code of conduct, which Google believed they saw. While some forms of employee speech are protected by US Labour laws, the Constitutional right of free speech is not extrapolated to the workplace.

Image result for JAMES DAMORE MEME
Triggering Time:

I’m exploring this at the risk of coming across as sexist or non-progressive here which, as a young, caucasian, heterosexual, Catholic male in Northern Ireland, is quite politically and socially charged. As I play the role of the drawn-out, eye-rolling “Devils Advocate”, many of Damore’s arguments were grounded in scientific research up to this point. While this may change in future, many believe that we as a society must place our fundamental trust in the processes of science. The “feedback” from Damore suggested that Google’s attempts to neglect suitable candidates for an engineering role in favour of a less suitable candidate who fits into a particular race, religion, or particularly gender may ultimately impact upon job performance. The media picked up that Damore views women as “inferior” to men when really, from what I can decipher, he was merely highlighting that, statistically speaking, there are less women who interested in the field of engineering than there are men.

Personally, having worked in the recruitment division of a large technology firm, I have seen the process of hiring females with a less desirable skillset than their male counterparts purely based on their gender. The extent of Google’s actions compared to my own experience can’t quite be compared, as Google’s actions remain fairly secretive. While I fully advocate initiatives such as “women in tech” applied by my former employer and their industry competition, the gender-decisive hiring process was an aspect that I struggled to support fully. In this respect, I do agree with Damore. In writing this, I have been concerned with coming across as sexist in a hyper-sensitive era. But ultimately, I believe that people should be afforded an opportunity in a professional context based on their ability to perform the job role and all that it encompasses. From the technical elements of a role to the level of interpersonal skills required. These selections should not be made based solely on your gender and frankly, if you disagree, I don’t see how you aren’t supporting equal rights (@ me this time if you want).

Tin Foil Hat Time:

At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist – is it possible that Google, amidst an initial attempt to play fair, were afraid of possible repercussions of their positive discrimination methods and were able to shift the focus to Damore’s comments through a tactically calculated bet on how biased journalism might pander to the overly-politically-correct online consumers of today who often fail to scrutinize the validity of anything they read despite copious accounts of fake news? As I catch my breath, my mind casts to Benoit’s theory of image repair. The 14-option response kit of crisis management (devised in 1997) remains popular in today’s corporate world. Google seem to have employed the tactic of transcendence; aspiring to reframe their actions by placing it in the context of Damore’s; a more publicly detestable set of thoughts and actions.

Social Justice Warrior’s would have picked the carcass of James Damore clean in a vulture-esque fashion, if they weren’t all stage 5 vegans.

Failure to question the legitimacy of sources or the potential partisan of individual journalism is a monstrous issue in the modern digital age. Nicholas Carr in his book “What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains” discusses that, while the modern consumer has a better skillset for scanning, we pay the price with a diminishing capacity for concentration, reflection and contemplation. This alteration in mental capacity and skillset is particularly relevant in a modern age where Fake News has become practically unextractable from online media. Hence, it’s plausible that a mixture of shallow-level reading and the unattainable expectations of modern political correctness shaped Damore as an international sexist villain.

Interestingly (yet nothing more than coincidentally), Carr’s book came as a result of a widely celebrated article he wrote for US magazine Atlantic Monthly, entitled; “Is Google making us stupid?” Nice one Google. You just don’t quit- Do you? You big untouchable B****rd” (cries the writer, as he types in his Google Keep notes, processing every shred of information in this salty article from Google Chrome).

Benoit’s Image Repair Theory may be the academic grounding I need to support my argument that the dismissal and public shaming of James Damore was both a tactic of crisis management and a case of good publicity for Google as a diverse, progressive organisation. But as the case of Damore Vs Google indicates, sometimes science won’t prevail.

As I conclude, I know I took the scenic route on this one. There are issues on media consumption, disproportionate journalism, sexism and political correctness that I simply can’t condense in to one rambling article. If you can take one thing away from this – question your sources. Consider, contemplate and reflect. Don’t simply skim and absorb. And don’t hate on the concept political correctness. Lets just aspire that Social Justice Warriors would stop moving the damn goalposts every time anyone attempts to hit the target.

Eamon Daly is a final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. He can be found at: Twitter – @EamonDaly5 ; LinkedIn – linkedin.com/in/eamon-daly-608780137

Does he do much? Fuzzy Duck.

Does he do much? Fuzzy Duck.

What’s huge, yellow and generally regarded to be a massive waste of money? No, I’m not talking about the fact that Fox is still churning out new episodes of the Simpsons, I’m talking about Canaduck. Well, Canaduck isn’t the official name but it’s easier to write about than the unimaginative “Rubber Duck (Sculpture)” drummed up by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, from which Canaduck derives from. But that’s beside the point. Is Canaduck really all it’s quacked up to be? (Sorry- there are a few more of these to come).
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Bobbing along at six stories tall and weighing over 13000kg, Canaduck cost the Canadian taxpayers a total of 200,000 Canadian dollars. Talk about a massive bill! (again, sorry but I can’t promise that I won’t do it again). It’s safe to say that Canaduck fairly ruffled a few feathers since its announcement in June 2017, but what did it actually do? Well, the truth is, we’re still not sure. Visitors were able to walk around inside the giant bird via a backdoor entrance that somewhat emulated the stuffing of a turkey. This peculiar design seemed to be overlooked by the media as the world seemed more perplexed by the obscurity of the bigger picture than the daft little details. But what did the duck mean? Who thought it was a good idea? And why was the world so captivated?

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The minds behind the cutest 13-tonne structure in the world are the organisers of the Redpath Waterfront festival. The festival usually takes place in the penultimate weekend of June is free to all who wish to attend. The annual event’s website states that the festival intends to provide “on-land and on-water programming for people of all ages and interests with the goal of promoting Toronto locally and internationally as a premier waterfront destination”. Ok, so Toronto is a premier waterfront. Ducks like water. Now the duck existentially makes sense… right?

Wrong. A water city or not, Conservative MPP Rick Nicholls seemed personally offended by the bird, statingAs the PC Critic for Tourism, Culture, and Sport, I am not against people enjoying Canada Day festivals and festivities, but what I object to is the government funding a giant rubber duck that has no connection to Ontario or Canada”. Being publicly ridiculed by such a credible source, the geniuses who drummed up this idea must have felt like sitting ducks themselves. On the water, the duck looks calm and collected, but glance below the surface and his feet are churning a mile a minute. Nicholls clearly didn’t appreciate what this meme-worthy inflatable bird was doing to the reputation of his city on a global basis. Maybe Canada just hates the idea of being laughed at, eh?

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As this inflatable structure made worldwide news, I remember laughing profusely. Only now as I sat to review the giant cutie, did I really ask myself what the duck could have stood for. A hefty sum of taxpayer’s money was thrust into this duck- could it be a satirical swipe at the Canadian government’s misuse of taxpayers hard earned money? Or was it literally just a two-hundred-thousand-dollar floating selfie partner? What did the driving forces behind Canaduck have to say about all this? Well, they claimed that the duck would boost tourism “with particular Instagram and selfie appeal”. So, there we have it. My brainpower in hoping to unearth some deeper symbolism of the duck appears to have been misplaced. It’s officially just a big duck.

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There is something beautifully Canadian about Canaduck; innocent, apologetic for its own nature and, quite frankly, too nice for the United States. The instantaneous and volatile nature of the meme world allowed this gigantic bath toy to reach parts of the world that the team at Redpath Waterfront Festival had surely never dreamed of. But meme trends are as short as they are sweet. What the media didn’t tell us is that Redpath Waterfront Festival generated a record economic impact of 7.6 million dollars as well as an unbridled level of publicity for the festival. The previously labelled “cluster duck” made such a splash that the water taxi industry even saw an unexpected resurgence.

In the end, this boils down to the age-old debate of whether or not any publicity is good publicity. This was a remarkable PR stunt to follow in that it evolved from a laughing stock to a resounding success for revenue and brand awareness. Was this the plan all along? Or were there jobs on the line in the build-up to the festival? Did the brains behind the world’s largest duck foresee such a rollercoaster of publicity chockfull of political and economic commentary? Or was it just a big duck because they thought it might look cute? Returning to the previously mentioned intended goal of the festival (promoting Toronto locally and internationally as a premier waterfront destination) Canaduck, despite all its critics and cheap jokes, can surely be considered an emphatic triumph. Say what you will about our feathered friend, but one thing is for sure; it all went swimmingly in the end.

This would have been the part where I asked you all to click the link below to sign my petition to bring Canaduck to Newry to help revive the place as a premier waterfront “city” but the petition has been thrown out. UKgov.com claimed I was “probably joking”.

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Needless to say, it was not a day for the ducks.

 

Eamon Daly is a final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. He can be found at: Twitter – @EamonDaly5 ; LinkedIn – linkedin.com/in/eamon-daly-608780137

Going for One, Plastic Bags & Counterculture

Going for One, Plastic Bags & Counterculture

Who’s to Blame in the Inebriation Game?

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that Ireland and the UK has a destructive drinking culture. And in an all but amicable fashion, I admit that I might have to include myself and many of my friends in this category, if only for a brief spell in life called University. I realise that such a statement could be potentially detrimental, but I’m ready to fight my corner. Additionally, if ten current university students in Belfast were to read this, my train of thought would be far from unique. What causes us to act and think in this way? Is it innate? Or possibly a byproduct of culture, influencers, support systems and media? As I sit and critique our drinking culture, I don’t want to come across as a hypocrite. Many times, I’ve met a housemate on their way to class, him strolling into Monday morning as I stumble my way out of Sunday night. Him shouting Pancake Tuesday at me and me hearing Sheffield Wednesday; most of us have been there or thereabouts. But this isn’t quite the problem. Long gone are the days of “Guinness is Good for You” but a culture where “FOMO” (or fear of missing out) is normalised to the point that we use it as an excuse to binge when we have more pressing things to consider, who’s to blame for our nonchalant attitude towards a significant societal issue?

alcoholic, alone, beer

It’s often satirized that “sure we’ll go for one” is the biggest lie you and your mates will ever tell yourselves #SureWhatAmILike. While this may be true, the truth just might not be so funny. We as a culture, particularly the student culture, make light of our inability to limit ourselves to one pint at the pub, a solitary glass of wine or single measure for a change. Within popular culture and assisted by various social media platforms, this standpoint on how we drink is almost desirable. Interestingly, and something that students know all about, this has undergone a bit of a syntactical change in recent years. For some, “going for one” refers to the act of one single drink and returning home, often as there is something more important to deal with. That’s the gist at least- personal experiences may vary. But for many, going for one is a financial decision as the gradual ascent of the price of pints means many can’t participate for more than a round or two in their local. This may sound like this would be a step in the right direction for our drinking problem, but it’s not quite as simple as this- but more on that later. Returning to our initial definition of the phrase; Who causes us to view these actions in such a way? And is anyone talking about how much of a problem it is? Could it possibly be the same people?

As my Dad (The philosopher and king of the lightweights that he is) often reminds me “Your age can go nowhere without having a drink. You even drink before going drinking. I remember when we used to batter each other with sticks ’til some gave up. We lost the same amount of brain cells, but at least we were getting some fresh air!” Lost brain cells might explain a bit, but I feel there is more to this. Many of us feel lost for inspiration for things to do in the evenings or the weekends that doesn’t involve a drink. This is not the case for all, but I know many of you will have experienced the struggle at times. Returning to my earlier gripe, the problem with not being financially stable to go to a pub, I think my Dad has hit the nail on the head. Youth today drink to go drinking, and less affordable pubs means the notion of sitting and drinking in houses, often consuming much more at a quicker rate and occasionally enraging some neighbours, without even the silver lining of generating much for the economy (say the way they might at, a pub) has a genuine, unfaltering appeal. This reality mixed with the romanticised notion of pure inebriation in our culture can result in a downward spiral that many feel the effects of on an existential level.

Image result for lenny drinking time

From an outside perspective, fingers are often pointed in the same directions. The popular Facebook page Humans of the Sesh is often criticized for promoting ideologies that are nothing more than fuel to fire of our mass consumption of alcohol. After all, the boys behind the notorious “Big Bag of Cans” craic are surely responsible for many livers looking like a punched jambon. This over-the-top machoism and love for mangling one’s self, unfortunately, seems to be taken a bit literally for some, but I feel it’s a tad naïve to pin such a societal issue on the satirical content of a few young guys caught up in the counterculture. Another common target is Blindboy from the infamous comedy duo The Rubber Bandits who found out that singing songs about fighting your father and claiming to be on drugs on live TV doesn’t necessarily provide job security as a lecturer in University of Limerick, nor does wearing a bag on your face all the time conceal your identity, apparently. Don’t worry about Blindboy though, he’s raking in 150,000 listeners a week with The Blindboy Podcast where he seems to articulate the ramblings of the common people time and time again, often touching on issues like the state of the modern economy, mental health and his own struggles. Yet interestingly, no Irish brands seem to show any interest in promoting his insights.

So where do we stand in all of this finger pointing? Are we so emotionally inaccessible that arguably our biggest public speaker about mental health in youth comes from a satire artist with a bag for a face? Concerning, when you consider that our generation is thought to be significantly more in tune with our emotions than previous generations, and even more so when you consider that the average teenager today reports more anxiety than the average child in a psychiatric unit in the 1950’s. When 56% of teenagers in the country believe that anyone their age diagnosed with a mental illness would be treated differently, is it really so unusual to identify with the social outcast with the bag on his head? Long may his off-kilter delivery of the truth continue. Yes, I’ll take a bag for life, please.

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My interest really sparked when coming across a current campaign to Save the Local spearheaded by Havas. Upon watching the attached advert, it’s fair to say I felt quite upbeat, with emotionally persuasive phrases like “Our culture, our identity, the life of the village” really galvanising the idea of the pub. That’s where this thought began. What was the true purpose of this campaign? For an innocent minute, I considered that in a culture where our issues are often swept under the rug, an effort to help facilitate less excessive pre-drinking may be the purpose. Soon later, I landed on the charmless reality that this is no more than a gentle sales booster. More pints, more money, no real progress. The nine million pounds campaign over three years to help save “the local” comes as a result of the stats that three pubs a day close permanently across the UK. Unfortunately, asking for money that people don’t have doesn’t necessarily mean that people won’t hand it over, either. The campaign mentions that pubs are under “increasing tax pressures“. Sorry to tell you pubs, you’re not alone on that one.

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So, we’ve looked at our culture, we’ve considered our influencers and we’ve heard what the media has to say. Where else can we turn in search of an answer? How about the support that those in trouble really receive? To be frank, it’s nothing short of ridiculous to consider that increasing the price of cheap alcohol by a few cents is really going to help to irradiate a drinking problem. Here we have thousands of cases of people who have let go of their careers, their family, their lives all relinquished due to their issues with alcohol. Any notion that a pound more per tin might be the point of no return for these unfortunate cases is genuinely ludicrous. We as a society are taking a drinking problem and adding on a financial problem.  Lambasted by our aforementioned influencers, Humans of the Sesh, they summarize; “Unfortunately, the real reason people go on mad drinking sessions is that they probably feel unfulfilled in a society where it’s harder and harder to even get on the first rung of the ladder of what we culturally consider to be a success“.

Image result for this buds for you advert HD

My argument is beginning to resonate with Homer Simpson’s “Alcohol; the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems” and being linked to the GOAT of animated Television is fine with me. I think a lot of us, students in particular, are stuck somewhere between “eat drink and be merry” and wondering if the drink takes more out of us than we take from it, and both are natural, healthy states of mind to have. The truth is, alcohol has the power to be a wonderful central convention. Be that a pint with the boys, wine night with the girls, or a hot whiskey with your significant other when they’re under the weather. It can evoke moments of unadulterated truth, accompany some of the finer times in life, and even open floodgates that were probably bursting at the seams for a bit too long. Giving my two cents; Remember to have fun, remember to be responsible and if it seems like somebody at the table isn’t managing either of them, remember to check how they’re really doing. And for all you might be going through; This Bud’s For You.

To good health; Sláinte

Eamon Daly is a final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. He can be found at: Twitter – @EamonDaly5 ; LinkedIn – linkedin.com/in/eamon-daly-608780137