In The News

Is Honesty the Best Policy with $50,000 on the Line?

Nick Smith, 11,  made an impossible $50,000 prize shot during a contest at a hockey game in Minnesota almost two weeks ago. (Story here)

However, it was his twin brother Nate who took the shot since Nick wasn’t presently there when his name was called. The next day, they made a phone call to tell them the truth about who actually took the shot. The insurance company still hasn’t reached a decision after more than a week of deliberating of whether they will be able to keep the prize money.

There is a Public Relations perspective we can take from this event in the news. Should or shouldn’t they give the money to the boy?

Perspective 1 – Giving Smith the money may make it seem that it is ok for people to substitute for others in contests/competitions. This can cause confusion, and people may feel this is unfair. On the other hand, it is an 11-year-old boy who made a one in a million shot. He deserves the money for his future college career.

Perspective 2- Not giving Smith the money will show others that these promotional contests are legit. It was dishonest for them to send someone other than the name called to take the shot.However, this is a lesson about honesty. Do we want to bring the message that honesty gets you nothing?

My Perspective  Smith should not receive the money. Instead, send season tickets for the whole family to show that honesty doesn’t go unrewarded. This gets both perspectives across.

Why is this decision so important? Because it reflects on the reputation of the company, and how they handle situations that may involve promotions/contests. The company shouldn’t give the message that it is ok to cheat, but they should give the message that they recognize the importance of honesty. This is a very important decision because it can change a consumer’s perspective of the company in a positive or negative way.

What do you think? Should Smith get the money? What is your solution to this issue?


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