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prsa_no_press.jpgSeptember is Ethics Month at PRSA, and not a moment too soon. The organization is presenting “Resolving Bad Ethical Practice Situations” to discuss “recent high-profile ethical problems ripped from headlines, bylines and web blogs.” It’ll be presented three times, but all media is banned, according to O’Dwyer PR (sub required).
Says the PRSA website: “Celebrate PRSA’s Ethics Month with this informative and convenient teleseminar! … Participants [except journalists] will have a chance to question the panelists during the last 20 minutes of the 90-minute broadcast.” Of course, if any journalist gave a crap, wouldn’t they just register as a non-member and crash the party?
O’Dwyers’ reports: “A statement via PR manager Cedric Bess said the “ethics seminars will not be open to the media. This will allow for and encourage an open and candid learning environment for the participants who may be discussing sensitive issues.”
Yeah right. And it’ll keep the participants from making even bigger fools of themselves than the media – including bloggers – already thinks they are.
In an editorial, Jack O’Dwyer, who says the PRSA Code of Ethics is itself unethical, notes: “Isn’t it unfair for PRSA to block newspeople from access to online PRSA member information while these same members have the addresses, phones, e-mails, etc., of newspeople and bombard them with materials?”
Dear PRSA: If you wanted to keep your meeting secret, you shouldn’t put it on your website and put out a press release.
Ah, but look, PRSA Pittsburgh is having an ethics conference on Sept 22, “The Ethics of Being Genuine: How Well are we Doing?” And hey, the speakers even include journalists. I’d say that’s the one worth paying for.