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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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Shame on Penn State for lack of leadership on multiple levels

I don't even pretend to understand what the children involved in the allegations against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky are going through.

I don't understand the thinking (or lack thereof) that took place with university management either.

But one thing I do know for a fact, the current administration that is dealing with the fallout of what happened had to scramble to find a PR firm to assist with crisis management.

Now, I know that a university with a large enrollment has to have internal marketing personnel that maintain the school's brand. They work on newsletters and brochures, Twitter feeds and social media outlets, websites and other collateral that is used to recruit alumni dollars and new students. They should, at a prestigious university like Penn State, have a coordinated effort in maintaining branding rules, language usage and marketing strategy.

The School of Business Administration teaches marketing as an area of study at the university. I even found a job posting for a new Assistant Professor of Marketing. So, you would think, that a Big Ten school would be able to look internally for thought leadership, strategy and institutional knowledge developed in a Branding 101 course.

Nope.

What dumbfounds me is that Penn State isn't alone in this category. Often large organizations lack the leadership and they fail to have a flexible crisis plan on stand-by. It doesn't take much to put together an outline to have at the ready should any situation arise – for good or for bad. If there isn't a way to have a plan done internally, at least have someone tapped to go to when the need arises.

Did the Packers have a PR plan ready when they won the Super Bowl? Yep. Did they trash the plan that was in place in case the Steelers won in Dallas last season? Yep. The Brewers front office was at the ready after every playoff game, no matter the outcome.

After Sept. 11 and the tragic devastation and loss of life in the terror attack, man…

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A new cartoon?
A new cartoon?
Or just a creative copy of an old one?
Or just a creative copy of an old one?

Originality is tough to come by

Anyone have a new idea?

It pains me to say, but original, new ideas are few and far between. Often a new concept is only a twist on what has been there in the past.

In all of literature, there are seven basic plot points, and I usually boil everything down to these three: Person falls in love, Person goes to war, Person comes home.

Think about it, every movie, book or poem is about a subject that goes through an experience. It's what we know, it is what we communicate with each other. Every invention that has ever been made is there to assist a subject (person, physical object, organization) go through some sort of transition or accomplish a task.

So, when we are looking at original thoughts, feelings, products and services, how are we able to tell what was truly original or revolutionary?

Yesterday I noticed some chatter between political cartoonists. I'll let you decide for yourself, but it looks as if one artist is drawing a little too closely to another for framing up ideas. Plagiarism leaves a bad taste in the mouth, especially in creative circles.

Here, it appears that David Simpson used the composition from another older cartoon by Jeff MacNelly. Both cartoons tackled different subject matter, but you have to admit, the framing of the composition, the use of the "Psycho" house, is a bit too similar.

This example started a string of consciousness focused on what has been done here in Milwaukee, versus what has been done here in Milwaukee that was previously done somewhere else. 

So I ask you, does anyone have a new idea? Or at least an idea you've taken from somewhere else?