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Posts Tagged ‘Public Relations Society of America’

Oxymoronic? September Is PRSA’s ‘Ethics Awareness Month’

ethics

The Public Relations Society of America has declared September to be “Ethics Awareness Month.”

This is a banner under which public relations practitioners everywhere should march. Strict ethical guidelines should be that fundamental to an industry that specializes in repairing and maintaining reputations. But does establishing a month for PR types focus on ethics even matter any longer? Does ethics carry as much of a place of importance as it should in this industry?

The younger this industry gets, the more ethics should matter.

How are we doing on that front?

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PRSA Partners with American Cancer Society for 2014 Conference

PRSA Conf '13 - ACS Announcement

L to R: Colleen Fitzwater (ACS), Rebecca Andersen (PRSA’s National Capital Chapter), Bill Murray (PRSA National), Joe Cohen (PRSA, MWW), Jeff Ghannam (NCC) and Sabrina Kidwai (NCC)

The Public Relations Society of America just announced that the American Cancer Society will be its philanthropic partner for the 2014 International Conference to be held next October 11-14 in Washington, D.C.

As you can see from the pic above, the event’s theme will be “Leading the Way: A Fearless Future for PR”, with heavy emphasis on using the power of influence to “enact positive change.”

Joe Cohen, MWW Group SVP and PRSA National Chair-Elect, explained why the ACS pairs so well with that theme in an official statement:

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PRSA Launches MBA-Level Strategic Communications Courses

Like this, except there will be people.

In case you’ve abandoned your plans to earn a degree in the already dated field of social media management, the Public Relations Society of America has collaborated with leading business schools to create a more logical alternative: MBA-level strategic communications courses.

This week the organization announced that it will work with three universities to launch the program during the 2014-15 academic year:

  • Syracuse University (S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Whitman School of Management)
  • Ohio State University (Fisher College of Business)
  • The University of St. Thomas (Opus College of Business)

In an effort to expand upon last year’s successful pilot program*, students at these schools will be able to take full-semester courses covering topics like:

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‘Bad Pitch Blog’ Co-Founder Kevin Dugan on the Art of Pitching

Today’s guest post comes to you courtesy of our friends at PressDoc, the (social) media-friendly press release distribution, tracking and measurement service. To celebrate the release of PressList, a new service designed to help users pitch stories to journalists, the PressDoc team conducted a series of Q&As with experts in the field.

Their first interview subject is Kevin Dugan, a veteran of both the journalism and PR disciplines. He is the co-author of the Bad Pitch Blog, winner of an Award of Commendation in the Blog category from the Public Relations Society of America and a listed member of the AdAgePower 150“. He tweets under the @prblog handle. 

From your experience, which email pitches do journalists pay attention to, and what makes them read the press release?

Pitching success boils down to relevance. In fact, the list is more important than the pitch. If it’s relevant? It can be long. It can have large attachments. I don’t care because I’m focused on the relevant content and not how it was packaged.

How often is it relevant? Rarely.

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Got PR Ethics? There’s an App for That!

The folks at the top of the PR pyramid spend a good deal of time debating ethics in the industry. We get it: it can be hard to tell whether a certain action crosses that invisible line we draw between “OK” and “Not cool”. Now the PRSA (that’s Public Relations Society of America to strangers) and MSLGROUP have joined forces to address this crucial issue–with a mobile app.

PRSA Chair and CEO Mickey G. Nall says the app, which is of course based on the organization’s Code of Ethics, will give folks in the industry “easy access to real-time guidance to know that what they’re doing is right.”

The app’s features include official statements of professional values, in-depth explanations of the various PRSA code provisions and professional standards advisories on issues like plagiarism, the ethical use of interns, the “greenwashing” phenomenon and the appropriate use of non-original content. It also includes updated links to related PRSA blog posts, an ethics quiz and an “ask us a question” feature that sends your ethical quandary straight to the organization’s resident expert.

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PRSA Defends Industry in LAX PR Contract Dispute

Los Angeles International AirportLast week brought news of some significant challenges within the Los Angeles wing of the public relations world–and industry groups have begun to take sides.

Los Angeles World Airports, a group that owns and operates three major transport hubs including Los Angeles International/LAX, recently awarded approximately $4 million in contracts to Southern California PR/media firms charged with highlighting the LAX’s ongoing modernization efforts and promoting Los Angeles as a tourist destination. Last week, two politically ambitious members of the city council questioned the value of the investment and demanded a review by the full council (which has the power to overturn contracts awarded by city organizations).

Their issue? The contracts were “awarded without discussion by the Board of Airport Commissioners last week to companies that are not based in Los Angeles”. Of course the firms in question aren’t particularly happy about the possibility that they could lose these crucial contracts.

The Public Relations Society of America‘s Los Angeles chapter made its position clear over the weekend by stepping into the fray and writing a letter to the city council officially supporting the three firms involved–and the PR business at large.

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Lance Armstrong: What Price Reputation?

Readers: today we’re excited to feature an exclusive op-ed by Gerard F. Corbett, chair and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Corbett, who is accredited in Public Relations (APR) and is a member of the PRSA College of Fellows, has been a member of PRSA for more than 35 years. He also serves as CEO of Redphlag LLC–a strategic public relations, marketing management and executive coaching consulting firm that he founded–and chief marketing officer of Producers Forum, Inc., a real estate Web startup.

Like many folks, I wondered if the world really needed another opinion piece about Lance Armstrong and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)’s allegations against him.

In case you’ve just returned from six months manning the International Space Station or conducting research in the Amazon River basin, the USADA released a report on Oct. 10, which cited witness testimony, financial records and laboratory results to support its accusation that Armstrong had participated in a complex, systematic doping program and used other illegal methods to gain competitive advantages in the international sport of competitive cycling.

The seven-time Tour de France winner has faced doping allegations throughout his career, but he’s managed to dodge those accusations by pointing out that he’d been tested for banned substances hundreds of times in the past, without ever producing a positive result. Of course, it didn’t hurt that a two-year U.S. Government investigation that examined Armstrong’s role in possible doping-related crimes was closed earlier this year, with no charges brought.

Perhaps by virtue of his adamant denials, cancer-surviving story and charitable work with the Livestrong Foundation, Armstrong always found a way to push aside the accusations and preserve his credibility (and sponsorship dollars). Then, metaphorically speaking, the wheels came off.

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New Study: Fake ‘User’ Reviews Are Here to Stay

We recently posted a story discussing whether fake “user” reviews posted to social media and retail sites on behalf of clients could be considered acceptable PR tools. The overwhelming response we received from PR professionals strongly hinted at a critical consensus: While the practice is somewhat common, it is never OK.

Gerard F. Corbett, Chairman and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America, even weighed in to state unequivocally that posting reviews under fake names is unethical and should not be tolerated by any respectable PR organization.

Unfortunately, researchers behind a newly released Gartner study believe that the practice will only continue to grow despite our ethical quandaries. It’s a bit of a chicken-egg scenario: As consumers conduct more of their research and shopping online, positive social media reviews will become more and more important to brands—and in the rush to establish and expand a product’s online reputation, quite a few individuals will end up breaking the rules. (Researchers place the percentage of fake reviews at 10-15% by 2014.)

According to Gartner, someone will pay for cheating—and soon.

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CIPR Says PR Pros Shouldn’t Be Editing Wikipedia

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), the U.K.’s professional association for PR pros, has issued guidance for the industry that states PR pros shouldn’t edit Wikipedia entries where there is a conflict of interest. Instead, they should suggest those edits to Wikipedia editors.

The guidance is an ongoing work-in-progress, with further changes and enhancements expected as time goes on.

Bell Pottinger got into trouble back in December for admitting on secret video footage that they alter Wikipedia entries, among other “dark arts.”

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Coalition for PR Research Standards Has A Few Standards to Share

The Coalition for PR Research Standards — the group composed of the Institute for Public Relations (IPR), Council of PR Firms, the Public Relations Society of America, the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), and the Global Alliance for PR and Communication Management — has released two papers that offer recommendations for metrics and ethics for the PR industry. Both papers are part of the Coalition’s ongoing work towards a set of industry standards, and both are open for comment on the IPR website.

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