Public relations ethics will be the focus of several special events on campus as part of Public Relations Ethics Week, Sept. 21-25. The incoming national president of the 34,000-member Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Gary McCormick, will speak on campus Tues., Sept. 22, at 11:30 a.m. in the Massey Board Room. McCormick is director of partnership development for HGTV, Scripps Networks. He will discuss “Are You Ready for Your Closeup? The Changing Face and Challenges of Public Relations.” Attendance is free, and lunch is available ($30 for members and students, $35 for nonmembers) with advance reservation at www.prsanashville.com.
“Gary will discuss changes facing businesses and organizations as we move into an era of trust, confidence, transparency, consumer engagement and social media,” said Bonnie Riechert, director of Belmont’s public relations program.
Immediately following his luncheon presentation on Tuesday, McCormick will meet with students for informal discussion in Massey 100. A convo (personal and professional growth) will focus on “Ethics in the Workplace” on Fri., Sept. 25, at 10 a.m. in Massey 103. A panel of young professionals will discuss ethical dilemmas they’ve encountered or observed, followed by Q&A. Panelists will include recent Belmont graduate Jena Locke, consultant at Hall Strategies, and Heather Schablik of KVBPR.
Sarah Norton, president of Belmont’s PRSSA chapter, said, “Ethics Week is a great opportunity for our students to take what they’re learning in the classroom about ethical behavior and actually apply it. It offers opportunities for us to be able to interact with PR practitioners and learn from professionals’ experiences in a joint effort to continually improve the public relations profession.”
Ethics Week activities will also include an ethics essay contest open to Belmont public relations majors, with a $100 cash prize to be presented at next month’s Nashville PRSA meeting. The annual Ethics Week activities are sponsored by the Belmont public relations program, the Belmont chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and Lovell Communications Inc. The Belmont Chapter of PRSSA received national PRSSA Ethics Advocacy Awards in 2006 and 2007.