Thursday, October 31, 2013

Online Assignment 2_Burnham

The two categorizations that the VALS survey gave me were Striver and Experiencer. A striver is someone who is motivated by their achievements and highly care about the opinion of others. Money defines success and they favor stylish products. A lack of skills and focus often prevent them from moving ahead. An experiencer is motivated by self -expression. They are often young compulsive consumers and can become enthusiastic very quickly. The want variety and excitement and they often spend their time outdoors and socializing. They place a high value on looking good and having cool things.

I think that these two categories each fit me in some way. I can compare and contrast aspects of my personality with both a striver and an experiencer. I identify with the striver because I find that I am often motivated by achievement and I do subconsciously care about others opinions and thoughts. I want everyone to approve of me, like in some way I should be able to make them all satisfied and content. I don’t know if I agree that money defines success like a typical striver, but I do know what its like to never have enough to meet my desires. I find that sometimes I feel like if I could obtain a certain object, I would be better. I agree with the lack of focus preventing me from moving ahead, because often I find it hard to improve my skills due to attention deficits. I identify with the experiencer because I to would consider myself at times, a young and compulsive consumer. This fits with the striver side of me. I am motivated by self-expression and am always looking for variety and new cool things. I would consider myself to be a little offbeat so it makes sense that I do this. I have spent a lot of my life in sports like soccer and would consider myself to be a very social person.

Online Assignment #2_Yadegar

   After taking the VALS survey I agreed with my outcome 100 percent. My primary VALS type is Experiencer, which I couldn't agree more with, while my secondary type is Innovator, which too seems very fitting. I'd like to think the claims that describe an Experiencer like being young, enthusiastic, finding a variety of excitement, being social, liking the outdoors, and finding ways to stay cool, all match parts of my persona. I love trying new things which fulfill my level of excitement, like going sky diving or trying some sort of offbeat foreign food. The same can be said about the social aspect of an Experiencer, I always strive to meet new people and talk to anyone I can that seems interesting. I think what is most fitting, is the Experiencers are described as having "their purchases reflect the emphasis that they place on looking good and having 'cool' stuff." I have a strong passion for staying up to date with the latest fashion, music, and social trends, and once reading the description of an experiencer I completely agreed with everything that was said. My secondary VALS was also right on the money, categorizing me as an Innovator. I take on the same leadership role that constitutes as being an Innovator. I like to take charge of situations, while at the same time motivating others to do their best. Out of all the descriptions of an innovator, this line seems the most appropriate in comparison of my life, "Image is important to Innovators, not as evidence of status or power but as an expression of their taste, independence, and personality."

Online Assignment #2_Trainor

My primary VALS type is Experiencer and my secondary type is Striver. I would mostly agree with the results from this consumer survey. The Experiencer type is summed up as a young and enthusiastic consumer who buys impulsively. I have often bought clothes, tickets and electronics on a whim. However, the word ‘impulsively’ seems to have a negative connotation. My personal buying history has never consisted of lavish things that I have no use for. Instead, I impulsively buy things that I need but never put any research into them. This can definitely be risky and was consequently pointed out by the VALS report.
The activities that each type gave are also relevant to the way I live my life. These include exercise, sports, outdoor recreation, and social activities. The Experiencer type adds that shopping is a major way that I would go about interacting socially. This is true. Unlike others, I view shopping as a form of entertainment opposed to something that I have to be forced to do. Both types assume that I am an avid consumer which is obviously true.
The only thing that the report did not get right is the list of things I probably like. Both types provide things that I have no inclination towards: VW, Rolling Stone, Red Bull, the lottery, Coke Classic, and Playboy. I doubt many people would admit that they enjoy Playboy even if they did but, nonetheless, I do not like Playboy. As for the other examples, many more similar products come to my mind that I far more enjoy than the ones listed. I think it is interesting that the description can be dead on but the list of things I probably like is so off. I would attribute this error to the shear amount of products available for consumers today. In the past I am sure it was easier to pinpoint exactly what a specific consumer liked after performing a similar survey. However, I do not think today’s consumers can or want to be defined by a simple list of products.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


   My VALS primary categorization was experiencer and my secondary categorization was achiever. Young, enthusiastic, and impulsive are all words that describe an Experiencer. The survey describes Experiencers as “quickly become enthusiastic about new possibilities” which is an accurate assessment of how I feel about new opportunities when they are presented. VALS also describes Experiences as being young, enthusiastic, and impulsive consumers. The first two words can be used to illustrate my attributes, but I am far from an impulsive consumer. I am very thrifty and think through all my purchase, so I would have to disagree with this assertion. To elaborate on the types of consumer VALS describes Experiences as being, they are supposed to be “avid consumers and spend a comparatively high proportion of their income on fashion, entertainment, and socializing.” This is inaccurate as it pertains to me except for socializing. To me, clothing and entertainment are not very important things for me to spend my money on, but I do spend money on socialization. 
   My secondary description was being an Achiever. Achievers are “motivated by the desire for achievement…have goal-oriented lifestyles and a deep commitment to career and family. This is an absolutely perfect depiction of the person I am. My family and I are extremely close, and I am very much goal oriented with the idea of getting to a certain place in my career. Achievers are often “interested in a variety of time-saving devices” according to VALS. This is also a very accurate                          portrayal of how I live my life. I look for anyway to save time because I am always busy and on the go.         

   Overall, I think this VALS assessment was pretty truthful as to the type of person I am. I think I fit the achiever description more than an Experiencer, but both are accurate. 

online assignment #2_Long

The VALS categorization that I received was Experiencer/Innovator. Experiencer was my primary VALS, where it represents my dominant approach to life and Innovator was my secondary type, which is a particular emphasis that I give to my dominant approach. These categories are rather surprising to me. I do not believe that these fit me as well as they could. What I found interesting, however, is that I believe these categories would have fit me better if I had taken this survey a few years ago.
            The category of Experiencer partially suits me. I believe that I am motivated by self-expression with emphasis on variety through excitement and risk. However, I do not spend a large portion of my income on fashion, entertainment and socializing. I used to find myself seeking out new fashion and popular entertainment, although I have recently lost interest in finding the new and popular ways. This makes me conclude that the majority of who I am still fits into this category enough, to not be pushed over into the Makers category.
            From my perspective, the category that is Innovator does not suit me perfectly either. I do not believe that I have as high of self-esteem as they are giving me and I also do not have very upscale taste when it comes to consumerism. Again, these two points may have better suited me a few years ago. However, two things that I can agree with in the Innovator category are that I seek challenges and have a lot of variety in my life. These complex categories seem to oversimplify who I am so that I can be put into a particular market group.
            I understand that the VALS survey is used for marketers to understand the many different customers that exist in society, however it made me feel as though I was just being put into another category of society. For example, not only am I a white, middle class woman, I am not an Experiencer/Innovator according to VALS. Essentially, it makes an instant decision of who I am; what I like, what I do not like. In this way, it is very stereotypical. It gives me the impression that I am being taken advantage of simply for the use of these people above me, who make decisions of what I like and what I do not like. This side of the VALS survey made me skeptical of the United State’s consumerism society. I now have to ask myself the question: Do I actually like this product? Or am I being summoned to like it because of the category that I fall under in the VALS survey? These questions will be very difficult to decipher but I hope that I put more thought into the marketing world from now on. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Online Assignment #2_O'Shasky

The VALS survey classified me as both an achiever and a striver. I think that I fit most of the characteristics that an achiever has. A few of the biggest similarities would be that I have a very deep commitment to my family and my career (school being my current career) and that I live a very goal-oriented lifestyle. Ever since I can remember I have been continuously setting goals in my life for things that I want to accomplish and places that I want to go. Achievers are said to live conventional lives, be politically conservative, and respectful to authority. While I would say the first and last of those statements are dead on, I do not consider myself politically conservative. I am fairly active in the marketplace, which is also a characteristic of achievers. I will typically buy products that already are established and popular. My other classification was a striver. While I am fun loving and motivated by achievement, I would say that is about where the similarities between me and a striver end. Strivers are said to define success as the amount of money a person has which is something I strongly disagree with. I am not into style and would not be considered an impulse shopper which are also said to be characteristics of a striver. I am probably the worst person you will ever meet at making impulse decisions. I need to spend time thinking about what product to buy. Overall I feel the achiever classification better suites my characteristics and habits.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Online Assignment #2_Wedge

             The VALS survey was quite interesting and fun to take. The VALS survey classified me as both an experiencer and a striver. Of the two classifications I feel that I most accurately match the description of the experiencer. The experiencers are young, impulse buyers that are willing to make a risky purchase and not be worried. I usually like to buy something that looks interesting or catches my eye that someone else may not already have. I also connect through the energy that experiencers have. My energy outlets are sports like baseball, basketball, and football along with exercising about four times a week. I also really enjoy social activities such as parties and tailgating for sporting events. I disagree with the purchases as described by experiencers. I usually buy something if I have the money to buy, not to look cool and most of my purchases are towards food right now, but this may change in the future. I do not really enjoy VW or the magazine, but it is amazing that the survey was able to tell that I do really enjoy Redbull. 
             The strivers on the other hand, I mostly disagree with the description. I do not buy to show off my money or shop as a social activity. I do strive to do well and I do enjoy being acknowledged for the good work that I do, but I would not be defined by money as the strivers are described. I also am more of a Ford guy then Chevy or Dodge, but I do really enjoy coke, but I believe no one would dislike winning the lottery and no man minds an attractive set of girls. Overall, I believe that I most accurately fit the description of the experiencers. The strivers seem to be more kiss-ups to strive and really enjoy being rewarded with money, while I like to do the work well, without expecting a reward. The experiencers are also not nearly as worried about buying something on a whim and the use of energy perfectly matches my own use of energy. The experiencers define me most now, but that does not mean that after four years of college I won't change.

Online Assignment #2_Kayla

My VALS primary categorization was experiencer and my secondary categorization was innovator. I definitely think that experiencer suits me better. Experiencers are described as young, enthusiastic, and impulsive consumers, which I would say fits me quite well. Experiencers are also described as “seeking variety and excitement, savoring the new, the offbeat, and the risky”. I wouldn’t say that I’m constantly seeking variety and excitement, as I do prefer a fairly consistent schedule and laid back quality to my life. However, I do think I’m drawn to things that are “new, offbeat, and risky”, mostly in areas like fashion, music, or consumer products. For example, I bought my Blackberry z10 shortly after it came out, in the midst a huge Apple/iPhone hype. Experiencers are said to find outlets for their energy in exercise, sports, and outdoor recreation, but I think my outlets are in other places. I exert my energy by expressing myself through the way I dress, my schoolwork, and by whom I choose to spend my time with. VALS also states that experiencers spend a “comparatively high proportion of their income on fashion, entertainment, and socializing”, which is definitely true for me. I undoubtedly spend more money on clothes, shoes, and accessories than anything else. Included in the list of experiencers’ favorite things is redbull, which I love; the fact that any person or company could pinpoint what type of drink a person likes from only a vague set of questions is actually pretty crazy. Overall, VALS was on point with their categorization of me. 

Discussion Questions_Goodman_Burnham

1) Keith Michael Hearit, a communications professor at Western Michigan University, said “BP could apologize every day. They could have a situation where the C.E.O. goes on an environmental pilgrimage and falls on his knees going up a mountain, and it wouldn’t do them any good. Until the oil stopped, there was nothing that could be done to make it better, but there was plenty that could be said to make it worse.”

In terms of the way that BP handled the coverage of the oil spill do you think the public opinion would have turned out any differently had they not made the PR mistakes they did, or was it completely dependent on the duration of the oil spill?

2) The article talks about how there is a constant battle between the lawyers and communication professionals when it comes to presenting a companies stance in a situation. Which side do you think is more successful in saving a company's reputation? Which side plays a more important role in the PR spectrum?

3) Going off this, it seems that both sides attempt to scam their audiences by presenting conclusions that aren't always completely truthful. Do you think one side offers a more accurate idea of the actual situation, or are both sides equally to blame for misleading the public?

4) In reality, everyone makes mistakes, including big corporations. Do you think that these big corporations such as BP and Toyota deserve the harsh scrutiny that the public puts them under when they make a mistake? 

5) Do you think that with today's social media obsessed culture, corporations are at more of a risk for PR scandals? Do you think that social media can also play a role in saving reputations of big corporations that would otherwise seem unapproachable?  

6) It seems that with the invention of 24 hour news, and social media rising in popularity, there will be far more PR scandals among large corporations. Do you think these PR scandals carry the same destructive impact of scandals from the past? Or are there simply far too many scandals for the public to be able to focus on specific ones and actually cause a dramatic impact? 

Research Report_Goodman_Mogck

Rachael Mogck
J201: Section 304
Jiun-Yi Tsai
October 28, 2013

            In his article on crisis management, Peter S. Goodman (2010) describes the situations Toyota, BP, and Goldman Sachs found themselves in during their extreme image crises. Goodman (2010) looks at each case individually and describes what went wrong and what the company possibly could have done better. He also, however, provides input from contributors who believe that it is possible the situations were so bad, that nothing these companies could have done would have fixed their problems. For example, " Eric Dezenhall, a communications strategist in Washington who worked in the White House for President Ronald Reagan, argues that the standard playbook is useless when the facts are sufficiently distasteful" (Goodman, 2010). Goodman (2010) ends the article on neutral ground, stating that these companies definitely made mistakes in their crisis management, the same ones in fact, but that the companies may have known that their options for management were poor from the start and there was not much they could do besides getting back to business.
            Peter Goodman is currently the executive business editor of the Huffington Post, but in the past he has worked for many different newspapers including The New York Times and The Washington Post.  Goodman specializes in writing on economics and finance and often writes about economic security and sources for quality jobs. He has also written a book titled PAST DUE: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy which focuses on the breakdown in American economic life and ways to stimulate the economy.  
            Goodman grew up in New York City and went to school at Reed College. Outside of the United States, he has spent time working in Japan, Southeast Asia, and China. While abroad, Goodman traveled around Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. During his time overseas, Goodman studied and explored China's unique economic system in great detail.
            Goodman's article, "In Case of Emergency: What Not to Do" (2010), appeared in The New York Times during his time of employment there. The New York Times is one of the most respected newspapers around the world and is known to be reliable and credible. Because the article appears in such a highly respected news source, it is possible that it reached a broad range of audience. The article is written in an academic fashion, with many sources, which reflects the style of The New York Times. The article is also straight forward and easy to follow, which makes it understandable to many audiences. Where the article appears on The New York Times website, it would appear that commenting is not available.
            Goodman's article presents views on publicity crises situations that are easy to relate to and understand. Readers of the article are also consumers and can identify with reactions to these crises and confirm their feelings on the issues and how the companies handled them. Along with being highly relatable, the article also offers opinions of many sources including spokespeople of the companies themselves to give us a better understanding of the companies' views and tactics on the crises. On top of that, the article was published in one of the top newspapers in the world, which in itself gives the article large credibility. Overall, it would seem the article provides accurate and reliable insight into crisis management situations.   

Goodman, P. S. (20120, August 22). In Case of Emergency: What Not to Do. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Peter S. Goodman. (2010). Retrieved October 27, 2013 from