Nail biting race in Brandon-Souris

Close race in Brandon-Souris where Conservative Larry Maguire defeats Liberal candidate by 391 votes.  A by-election that shows every vote counts.  Image

Source:  National Post


Source:  National Post

World pays tribute to the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination

Prime Minister assassinated.  President assassinated.  How would you react to either of these headlines?  Canadians, Americans, and people all over the world asked themselves that question the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.


50th Anniversary

This week marked the 50th Anniversary of American President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, which many people across the world paid tribute.  Newspaper dailies in Great BritainCanadaIsrael, and Germany, among many others, reflected on the historical significance of a former American President.

The front page headline of the Winnipeg Free Press on November 22, 1963 stated, “Kennedy Shot.  Rushed to Hospital.  No word on his condition.”[1]  According to The Winnipeg Free Press, Kennedy had been downtown in Dallas when the bullet hit him.  Jackie Kennedy, his wife, had cried out in horror.  Conspiracy theories emerged shortly after the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald, JFK’s alleged assassin, who was then later killed by Jack Ruby two days after.


“A terrifying experience”

JFK Inspired A New Generation

In the 1960s, JFK was a beacon of hope for many young Americans.  During his inauguration speech on January 20, 1961, JFK said, “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”  Here, he demanded that Americans reflect on their contribution to the nation.   It was the duty of every American citizen to protect the nation from itself, whereby citizens have an obligation to the security of its institutions and processes.

JFK was Irish Catholic, the only Catholic President to have served in the United States.  He captured the spark for a new generation, who could effectively communicate to Americans on televisions sets during an era of turbulence.

A Turbulent Period

The birth of Civil Rights movement, the Cold War, the Space Race, and Nuclear War characterized the 1960s.[2]   JFK’s domestic policy aimed at “federal funding for education, medical care for the elderly, and economic aid to rural regions, and government intervention to heal the recession.  Most importantly, he promised an end to racial discrimination.” Foreign policy dealt with the Cuban missile crisisLatin America, and South East Asia.  With radical domestic and foreign policies in the making, he was the figurehead for modernism in the United States.   His death not only affected the United States, but the entire world.

Time Stood Still

JFK’s assassination was a moment in time when people could remember what they were doing for years after.  “Grief and disbelief numbed the nation as most Americans spent the next four days in front of their television sets.”[4] The world stopped in much of the same capacity on September 11, 2001, when two planes slammed into the World Trade Center in New York.


Facebook and Social Media

4.7 million people on Facebook have expressed interest in John F. Kennedy.  In Canada, 62,000 people have liked JFK.  In the United States, 1.8 million people have an interest in JFK, 1.16million are between the ages of 13 to 50.  These statistics show that JFK still resonates through the minds of many people.  They have not forgotten.

JFK WorldJFK CanadaJFK United StatesJFK United States 13-50

Can you remember any moments in time that changed the world forever?  Please leave your comments in the section below.

[2] Boyer, An Enduring Vision: A History of the American People.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002, 605-610.

[3] Boyer, 610.

Social Media and JPMorgan

How has social media changed your life?  Has social media affected the way you do business?  In our last two social media seminars, we learned that social media is a mechanism that can spur movements, increase awareness of public issues, and transform a molehill into a mountain.  Our assignment this week is to reflect on how a particular news issue or story has affected an audience.


JP Morgan and Chase, an American multinational banking Financial institution, was in hot water on the week of November 15, 2013, after cancelling a question & answer session on Twitter.

JPMorgan’s formula was simple:  provide an opportunity for Twitter users to chat with senior investment banker Jimmy Lee.  The result was an unexpected backlash of pointed questions and insults directed towards the investment company and Lee himself.  The social media session turned into a PR nightmare, which JPMorgan wished they never started in the first place.  Tweets to Lee demanded response to ethical implications of the firm’s investment practices, and how the firm exploited their clients for their own financial gain.

JPMorgan sought to engage the global community

JPMorgan sought to engage the global community by using social media.  The spirit of the Q&A session was to develop a better relationship with the general public.  According to a story by, “Many of the tweeters out there don’t like the multinational financial services firm. As in, really, really don’t like them.”  Social media activists demanded answers to JPMorgan’s investment policies, that included Enron, Worldcom,  an overcharge of active military personnel, and alleged manipulation of the energy market for the firm’s financial gain.  A quick Google search will show that JPMorgan is highly unpopular outside of their investment circle because of their questionable record of investment practices.


According to Facebook statistics, in Canada, approximately 96,000 people have liked JPMorgan and Chase.  In the United States, approximately 2.4 million people have liked the firm.  It is safe to suggest that as an investment firm, they have quite the social media presence.  Could they have not have thought of a better solution to the outcry other than to terminate all conversation?


Social media as a bridge

Social media acts as a bridge between you/your company and the rest of the world.  Prior to JPMorgan’s Twitter announcement,  policy analysts and public relations coordinators should have prepared responses to the global community.     Instead, JPMorgan could have stated they are unable to discuss those issues at the present time.  The firm did not have to speak to any of the allegations.  Regardless of the outcome or backlash, JPMorgan should not have closed discussion.

Social media is an opportunity

Social media is an opportunity to create and maintain lasting relationships.  Undoubtedly, word of mouth communication is paramount for any business or person.  However, with tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest to name a few, it is prudent to actively develop an online presence than to not have one.

Has social media changed your impression of organizations in the last 5 years?  What have you done to develop your online presence?

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