PRStudChat Announcement: Public Relations: But Is It Ethical?


PRStudChatOn October 1, 2013 at 8:30 p.m., #PRStudChat will present “Public Relations: But Is It Ethical?” for our students, educators and professionals. The session will focus on ethics in public relations and the ever-changing challenges confronting PR professionals. Students will get a chance to test their knowledge of ethics, and professionals will have the opportunity to share insights and experiences.

Our co-presenters for the evening are two seasoned public relations professionals now teaching the next generations of PR practitioners:

Marlene Neill, Ph.D., APR, is an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism, Public Relations & New Media at Baylor University and teaches courses in public relations, writing for new media and writing for the mass media. She also serves as the faculty adviser for the Baylor PRSSA chapter. Her research interests include public relations management and ethics. Her first journal article, “PR Professionals as Organizational Conscience,” was published in the December 2012 edition of the Journal of Mass Media Ethics. Prior to joining the Baylor faculty, she worked for more than a decade in government and nonprofit public relations and nearly four years as a reporter for KCEN-TV.

Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, is a veteran public relations professional with experience directing communication programs for nonprofit, federal government, member services, and technology organizations both nationally and internationally. He is Associate Professor in Curry College’s Communication Department and oversees activities of the department’s public relations concentration. He also is faculty adviser for the Curry College PR Student Association. Kirk has written guest posts on ethics for PRSA’s blog, “PRSAY,” Deirdre Breakenridge’s excellent “PR Expanded,” Shonali Burke’s “Waxing Unlyrical,” and his own blog, “A Professor’s Thoughts.”

The session will include questions on ethics that will challenge participants’ knowledge of the history and the deeper meaning of “ethics” and other materials including a brain-teasing case study posted on SlideShare. A few of the questions that we’ll be asking our panel of professors and our community members will be:

Q1: How would you define “ethics” to your 10-year-old cousin?

Q2: Why do you think ethics is considered an important aspect of public relations practice?

Q3: What can you do when you are faced with an ethical dilemma? Are there any techniques to effectively raise your concerns?

Q4: How do you think social media has changed the concept of ethical public relations practice? Or has it?

Q5: Will it be easier or harder for PR professionals to act ethically as communication methods continue to evolve?

Q6: What do you think makes it easier or harder to raise ethical concerns in the workplace?

…and much, much more!

A Little More About PRStudChat:

It began with a simple question asked by Angela Hernandez, then President of PRSSA at Central Michigan University (CMU). “Is PR Right for me?” A follow up blog post by PR 2.0 expert Deirdre Breakenridge inspired a series of direct messages on Twitter between Breakenridge and fellow PR industry pro, Valerie Simon. This was an important question and one that should be explored beyond one student or one blog post. Why not build a community to help students across the country, and even the globe, learn from the experience and perspective of industry professionals… A community where everyone can learn and grow together. Read more


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