GFW PRSA Sept. Luncheon: PR ethics – More than 50 shades of grey


Public Relations Ethics: More Than Fifty Shades of Grey

Your CEO is receiving an award from a non-profit organization. She gives you her “official” bio so you can write a story for the company newsletter. In the bio, your CEO notes that she is “the first woman to receive the award,” and includes her background. You check the background material and find some errors. You make a note of these items, including the source for your information. Now what do you do?

Your client is a local candy maker who claims that the chocolate the company uses is not harvested by children in the country of import. You check this claim and find that the country is notorious for using child labor to harvest the cocoa beans. Now what?

These are just a couple of the ethical dilemmas public relations professionals encounter daily. Join us for the September Fort Worth PRSA meeting, “Public Relations Ethics: More than 50 Shades of Grey.” You will have an opportunity to decide the best way to answer some sticky public relations issues. Dr. Douglas Ann Newsom, APR, Fellow PRSA, will host and facilitate the discussion, adding her own insights from her perspective as a nationally renowned educator and author.

Between now and September 10, be sure to download the Ethics app from PRSA to get a head start on the discussion. You might also want to take the ethics quiz now available at

Wednesday, September 10 • 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Colonial Country Club (3735 Country Club Circle, Fort Worth, TX 76109)

Complimentary valet parking provided!

Click here to register.


  • GFW PRSA Members – $25
  • National PRSA Members – $30
  • Non-members – $35
  • Students – $20

Walk-ups: Add an additional $5 to the above prices

To account for additional costs associated with walk-ups and other meeting services, the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA uses the following reservation policy: Online reservations are due no later than 5 pm the Friday prior to the luncheon, and cancellations must be made by 5 p.m. the day before the luncheon. No-shows will be billed or a representative may attend in that person’s place at no additional charge. Walk-ups are accepted for an additional $5 if space is available.

About the Speaker:

Doug Newsom, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA
doug_newsomDoug Newsom, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, is the author of Bridging Gaps in Global Communication (2008), and the senior co-author of: This Is PR (with Judy VanSlyke Turk and Dean Kruckeberg) 11th ed. 2013 and Public Relations Writing: Form and Style (with the late Bob Carrell) and now Jim Haynes, 11h ed. in progress. She is co-editor of a book of women’s colloquium papers, Silent Voices (also with Bob Carrell). She was senior author of the first media writing textbook, Media Writing (with the late James Wollert). Dr. Newsom’s degrees from The University of Texas at Austin include: Bachelor of Journalism, cum laude, 1954; Bachelor of Fine Arts, summa cum laude (broadcasting), 1955; Masters of Journalism 1956 and Doctor of Philosophy, 1978. A Fulbright lecturer in India in 1988 and Singapore in 1998-9, she also has held public relations workshops in Singapore (1988), South Africa (1992), Bulgaria (1993), Hungary (1994 and 1995), Romania (1994), Poland (1995), Vanuatu (1997) and Latvia (1998). Dr. Newsom was named Professor Emerita on her retirement in May 2009, from Texas Christian University. Dr. Newsom’s retirement from TCU marked a 41-year career there. In 2010 she was inducted into the School’s Hall of Excellence. Dr. Newsom is a public relations practitioner and served for 24 years on the board of directors of a publicly held company, two of those as lead director.

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Consider earning an APR: No hiking involved

By: Carolyn Bobo, APR, Fellow PRSA

The trail into the depths of the Grand Canyon is a steep, winding path with soul-touching views of Mom Nature’s best work. The route I’ve chosen descends at a sharp angle, so by the time I reach the Colorado River campground fours hours later, I’m in a crab-like position and every muscle in my legs is trembling.

The next morning I’m greeted by a glowing dawn, inspirational, fortunately, because I have 10.5 miles ahead of me. I meet hikers from around the world, all of us marveling at the canyon’s grandeur as we follow the ceaselessly uphill trail. Along the way, I regularly wish for the ability to levitate. For an elevator. For an angel’s hand to scoop me up and take me to the rim. But at mile 9, I know I’m almost there, and I have an epiphanic moment: I am now certain that I can do almost anything, anytime, anywhere.

I often think about that hike and the sense of achievement that came with it. So what motivates us to hit the trail, run a marathon, take a class or learn a new skill? Why do we pursue personal and professional milestones?

Probably because we are a society of strivers, we are residents and citizens of a country that was founded on the belief that we can move ahead, improve, succeed. We set goals in business, in sports, in school and in our personal lives, and we work hard to reach them.

Which brings me, less philosophically, to accreditation in public relations, an achievement offered to members of PRSA and seven affiliated organizations. Perhaps the APR designation is another example of our collective drive to excel.

APR was established 50 years ago to demonstrate knowledge of public relations theory and practice, ethics, strategic thinking and tactical skills.

Celebrate this milestone anniversary with a personal accomplishment. Join other chapter members in APR Boot Camp, a series of free study sessions that lead to completion of the exam. (No hiking involved.) Many of our chapter APRs already have volunteered to lead study sessions and help candidates prepare for the exam.

If you have questions, feel free to ask the chapter Accreditation co-chairs (me, Linda Jacobson, APR) or any APR. We look forward to seeing you at our first study session, 6:30 p.m., Sept. 9 in the Schieffer Seminar Room in the J.M. Moudy building on the TCU campus (West Cantey and South University.) — Carolyn Bobo, APR, Fellow PRSA

PRSA 2014 Southwest District Conference

Don’t Rely on Gris Gris, Potions and Charms!copy-Voodoo-doll

The Baton Rouge chapter of the Public Relations Society of America presents the 2014 PRSA Southwest District Conference. The conference, sure to inspire and leave a lasting impression, will take place October 29-30, 2014 at the Hilton Downtown Baton Rouge Capitol Center, with an optional excursion to New Orleans on Oct. 31. The best and brightest PR pros from Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas will gather to engage in conversations like never before. Attendees will learn tips and cutting-edge tricks to inspire a brand new community of innovative PR spell casters.

Dynamic keynote speakers and industry greats will deliver a wide range of presentations and breakout sessions. You’ll connect with your peers, share best practices and build a network of talented colleagues and new friends! Invest in your professional development. Build a new PR toolkit. Enhance your ever-expanding skill set. Register today and attend the PRSA Southwest District Conference this October.

Registration is open now: $299 for PRSA members and $399 for non-members. Register now for a $50 discount. Early-bird rates expire on September 29, 2014. For more information, visit

President’s Column – August 2014

Richie Escovedo, Greater Fort Worth PRSA President

richieescovedoLRWell, we’ve reached the half-way mark for 2014 and I wanted to share where I believe we are in the chapter and where we’re headed the rest of the year. So far, we’re on target with our 11-month programming schedule having completed six luncheons for members and guests with five to go. As a reminder, we took our customary month off in July for scheduling purposes. We pick things back up Wednesday, August 13 at 11:30 a.m. at Colonial Country Club as Laura Elkind, a Fort Worth trial attorney with over 20 years of experience, discusses the basics of defamation and invasion of privacy. Details and registration link are in this newsletter and online,

The 3rd annual Worthy Awards program and event was an opportunity to highlight excellence in strategic communication in the area. It was also a good chance to test out an online entry system. In general, our numbers for award entries were down from previous years. But that actually worked to our advantage since we encountered some challenges with the online system. Overall, it was a good learning experience and we’ll look at options and aspects to improve for next year. (I’ll take this moment to offer to anyone interested in being a part of the awards team for next year, please let me know.)

The PR After Dark events have been fun diversions from our traditional lunchtime programming to help members connect with plans for two more coming soon.

Chapter members, please be sure to read through the new opportunity by the Accreditation chairs for the upcoming APR Boot Camp.

While we’re on professional development, I want to once again thank our friends at AAF Fort Worth and Social Media Club Fort Worth for working with us on a joint event back in March. I can’t wait to share our upcoming fall professional development program in October. But to get those details early, you’ll have to attend the August 13 luncheon.

There’s more in store. We still have ethics and diversity to explore in upcoming luncheons among other topics. There will be an opportunity for community service that I hope you’ll consider helping with once the details are set.
I continue to be impressed with the work and planning being managed by all of our committee chairs and board officers. Chapter members, I hope you appreciate how much work these volunteers put in on your behalf. I’m proud to serve alongside these dedicated professionals who give of their time to help keep the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA in motion.