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Thanks, Roger! I would never have thought of the relationships like that. I'll still need some time to bend my mind around that concept: it's quite alien to me!

Carolyn Ann

@Carolyn Ann: "Designs" are not only things that come out of a CAD program. Processes are also designs. Supply chains are also designs. Relationships with vendors are also designs. How suppliers deal with their subcontractors is also part of the design. Ultimately, the designer (in this case Mattel) must take responsibility for the design.

For example, I designed a product (the Ball of Whacks: http://creativewhack.com ) that is currently manufactured in China. Part of the design included (and still includes) my relationship with the vendor. If demand for the product grows high, and they have to have some of the production "subcontracted out," it is stipulated that they provide the material for production. That helps with the quality control. There are other parts of the control design as well.

BTW: the proper link for my "Made In China" post is: http://blog.creativethink.com/2007/09/could-you-go-a-.html

Carolyn Ann:

Probably one of the most difficult connections to make in public relations is that the "relation" piece of the term involves a willingness to enter the conversation that is taking place with transparency. An apology is not effective when it's not made about the right thing. For example, I'm sorry this makes you feel that way is said coming from a rigid position and does not address the issue. Compare that with, what we did was wrong and we apologize for it.

It needs to be followed by action you are taking to remedy the situation. At a minimum, by a statement that confirms you are listening to what people are saying, etc. I would be interested in finding out how others view "apology". Is it being overused? Has it become a technique?

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