There is a brief article by S.V. Date on NPR’s website called “NRA’s ‘Anti-Gun’ List Includes Some Not-So-Obvious Names” which says that the NRA’s list has over 500 names on it. I’m surprised the NRA would keep such a list, but what doesn’t surprise me are the celebrities who say one thing and do another. Date points out that Matt Damon and Carrie Fisher used weapons in their movies, and it reminded me of a video someone told me about, which I’ve posted here (it’s the clean version of the original).
Mike Hunt, who created the video, shows celebrities speaking out against guns, then shows scenes of them using guns in TV shows and movies. He’s obviously pointing out those celebrities’ hypocrisy, and he has a point. When it comes to the media, whether we’re famous or not, we all have to think carefully about what we say…and do. Look at those celebrities in the video: they’re saying guns are bad, but they’re making money by using guns to entertain the public. Since a celebrity’s job as a professional communicator is to influence people, do their actions or words matter? Can their movies and TV shows influence people to use guns, even though they say they’re against them? Basically, they’re mixing messages, and it’s something that we should also be careful about. And it’s not like the NRA is in the clear, either. By keeping a list, they’re giving people different messages about freedom. They want people to have the freedom to own guns, but they’re keeping track of people who are against guns. Whether a list is kept by a government group or not, it has negative connotations, especially once it hits the media. The bottom line is that we should have consistency in character. John Maxwell and other public speakers have said that you have ethics, or you don’t, and it’s important to consider what you say, and how you act, wherever you are.
I’ve been saying for a while that one way to promote yourself is through photos, and I was reminded of their importance when I saw a fire. Actually, I didn’t see a real fire where I live or work, but I’ve been following the story about a big fire in Bridgeport. Even though we hear about fires throughout Chicago, we might not pay much attention to them, unless they’re part of a case that an attorney is working on or if there is a lot of drama surrounding them.
Since that fire in Bridgeport was in an abandoned building, it didn’t seem like a big deal, but then I saw photos of it popping up on Facebook and other social media. What got people’s attention was the aftermath of the fire. The firemen spent hours in frigid temperatures fighting the blaze, and the water they used ended up freezing so that the building looked beautiful.
At first, stunning photos were posted on the Chicago Tribune website. Then the social news site BuzzFeedposted “amazing photos of [the] beautifully icy aftermath” that were taken by photographers from various media services. After that, news websites around the world posted photos, including the Wall Street Journal. Who would’ve thought that a fire in an area of the city that isn’t visited by many people would become worldwide news?
I often talk about the speed of modern media, and how attorneys have to be ready to respond because the news cycle happens in hours and even minutes. When you have a serious case that is getting a lot of publicity, you might feel pressure to act responsibly so that you don’t get negative press. However, in other parts of your life, such speed could work in your favor. Even if you simply see a really beautiful bird on your vacation, take a picture and post in on your website and in other social media. You don’t need the fancy cameras that professional photographers have; you can just use your phone. After all, you never know where your photo might end up and what attention it can get to help your reputation.