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Tennessee-based communicator and former PRSA leader Mary Beth West joins host Shel Holtz for an extended conversation on the battle she and colleague Susan Hart have undertaken to change ethics clauses in PRSA’s by-laws. Also on this week’s episode…
- Companies don’t seem to care anymore about getting good press from the mainstream media; are we abandoning the “Earned” in the Paid/Earned/Shared/Owned model?
- How the failure to explore what could go wrong derailed a feel-good story
- Papa Johns’ chairman resigned and the company posted an open letter addressing the issues. It didn’t go well.
- Dan York reports with Neville Hobson about an unusual exercise they participated in at a conference.
About This Week’s Guest
Six months after selling her public relations firm of 15 years, Mary Beth West, APR, Fellow PRSA, now describes her battle since early 2017 — pursuing PRSA National leadership’s compliance with its own Code of Ethics – as what easily might be the definitive fight of her professional lifetime. Along with her colleague, Susan Hart, APR, Fellow PRSA, the two Tennesseans hold a combined 60 years of career experience and membership in PRSA. Together, Hart and West are pushing forward ethics-reform and nonpartisanship bylaw proposals, in ramp-up to the PRSA National Assembly, October 6 in Austin, Texas. In 2000, West was one of the youngest professionals ever elected to PRSA’s national board at age 29. A University of Tennessee alumna, she is a past president of PRSA’s Volunteer Chapter in Knoxville, Tenn., and was named the UT College of Communication & Information’s first Public Relations Alumna of the Year in 2013.
Links from This Episode:
- ‘No Comment’: The Death of Business Reporting
- Starbucks is eliminating plastic straws from all stores
- American Airlines is latest to ax plastic straws, stir sticks
- Disability rights groups voice issues with Starbucks’ plastic straw ban as company responds
- Why Ben & Jerry’s has a corporate activism manager
- What Papa John Didn’t Get About Being A CEO
- Papa John’s CEO Attempts Damage Control But Not An Apology
PRSA Ethics Controvery Links:
- PRSA Statement on “Alternative Facts”
- PRSA Code of Conduct Note: There is no revision date on this document
- PRSA Members Target Ethics Reforms
- PRSA tension escalates as Wells Fargo comms execs face new attacks
- Censorship ≠ Civility: PRSA Deletes Members’ Online Discussions on Ethics-Reform Bylaws
- PRSA strikes back: Org chair addresses reform turmoil in new exclusive
To your point that you did not feel that the PRSA statement on “alternative facts” was in any way political, I could be misunderstanding the issue but I don’t believe it is the point that the statement was or was not left leaning or that it called or did not call out administration officials by name. I think the point is that PRSA needs to be consistent in either always calling out when an administration has violated communication ethics (which may not be possible with the amount of communication, spokespeople, etc. an administration has) or never calling them out at all. This way, the national board cannot be seen a partisan. Again, I believe the point that is being made is that if PRSA only make these types of statements (and I agree with the sentiment of the PRSA statement) about either a republican or a democrat administration but not the other, PRSA will be perceived as partisan.