The Ethics of Public Relations

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The Public Relations Student Society of America met Wednesday to welcome interested students and participate in an ethics discussion.

PRSSA, a student-run organization that works closely with the Public Relations Society of America, hosts speaker sessions, helps students get internships and attends a national conference every year.

“It’s a great opportunity to network, we have a really good mentor program and touch on every aspect of the public relations field,” Fundraising Director Kristina Bello said.
Cal State Fullerton Chapter President Christa Keizer stressed that the organization promotes hands on experience by working closely with nonprofit organizations such as Ready OC – a group that is raising awareness for emergency preparation.

“Our members graduate and have the experience and create networks that help them get internships as well as jobs,” Keizer said.
It is the experience and networking provided by the organization that drew many interested students to Wednesday’s event.

“Someone from PRSSA came and spoke to my class and even though I am graduating in May, late is better than never to get involved,” said Jolie Warstadt, an entertainment studies student.

“There are lots of possible internships and guest speakers that I think I can really benefit from,” Warstadt said.
Business Relations Director Natalee Vicencia said that members of PRSSA get a well–rounded view of the many sides of public relations.

“Students know exactly what they are getting into before they get internships and jobs,” Vicencia said.
After a brief introduction to what PRSSA does and the benefits of joining the organization, Associate Dean of Communications Irene Matz led a discussion regarding the importance of ethics in the field.

“Public relations people have a bad reputation when it comes to ethics,” said Ryan Romeos a public relations student. “There is really no reason for it but it’s how we get portrayed in the media by movies like “Thank You For Smoking.””

“Ethics is number one. If you always tell the truth,  you never get in trouble,” Romeos said. “Especially in this day and age where Google is only a click away.”
Keizer echoed this and said that it is really important for people in the field to be “honest and transparent” about what they are doing.

“This helps us better represent our clients and makes our profession more respectable,” Keizer said.

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