Lessons in PR EXCLUSIVE: Ethics as Culture, Grunig Lecture at Maryland


My friends and I learned valuable lessons by chatting with PR professionals at the Sixth Annual Grunig Lecture. Photo credit: Imani Lewis via Photogrid

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Sixth Annual Grunig Lecture held at the University of Maryland. As a student, it was a privilege to interact with the top representatives of the public relations industry. It opened my eyes to the different areas I could explore within public relations. In addition to having great discussions with PR professionals, I and 350 other attendees listened as CEO of FleishmanHillard Dave Senay spoke on Ethics as Culture, a project the company is currently involved in which focuses on making ethics a priority in public relations. His presentation of the project was exceptional; I want to share three key takeaways that I received from it.

Takeaway #1 – Making ethical decisions is not a “nice to have” but a “must do.”

Senay shared several examples of PR gone wrong when ethics were not considered a priority in the organization’s dealings. He continued to explain the importance of this advice by presenting several examples of PR practitioners and clients suffering grave consequences for not conducting business ethically.

Takeaway #2 –  Good ethics are rooted in character, not training.

There exists an instinctive temptation to attempt to remedy ethical issues in an organization through training and further education. However, according to Senay, ethical behavior is rooted in character, a passion for being a respectable person to others. Continue reading


7 Signs You’re a PR Major

PR students stay connected. Photo Courtesy of Apple.com

Every college major or department comes with its own inside jokes and quirks that only its students and faculty understand.  Public Relations is no exception. In fact, PR is probably one of the least talked about majors in college. To take away from the “mystery,” I want to let you all in on the inside story of the PR major’s life.

Here are seven signs that you’re a PR major.

7. Sleep is the one thing that never gets crossed off your to-do list. No rest for the heavy-laden and PR majors, contrary to popular belief, are.

6. When lstening to students form other majors talk about they’re lives , you struggle to reesist kriticizing there grammer. Brownie points to anyone that identifies all the grammatical errors in this sentence. Double points for proper editing marks.

5. You understand how a 500-word news story can take just as long to write as a 1500-word essay. First, you write then you edit. Then you write again and edit. Then you send it off to the editor who edits it and gives it back to you to write … again. See a pattern forming?

4. You’re so literate in SEO that you can find info on anybody. Literally. See that hot TA in the English class? Got his email, LinkedIn and Facebook in less than five minutes with some constructive “Google” searching (don’t pretend like you don’t do this — fact checking at its finest).

3. You get the “It’s not what you know, but who you know” lecture at least 20 times in a given semester.  Friendliness and gratitude go a long way when making professional connections (those thank you notes make a difference!).

2. Your professors reprimand you for NOT using social media in class. “Twitter for Good,” anyone?


1. You start blogging solely for the purposes of building up your online presence. I’m just kidding with this one, but honestly, if I wasn’t a PR major, I wouldn’t be blogging. I am so grateful that it inspired me to start.

Did I leave anything out? Let me know what you would put on a list of  the life of a PR major in the comments below.


– Imani