Taming the Information Wildfire: Harnessing Technology to Counter Misinformation, Hate, and Extremism in the Digital Age

In today’s digital era, public trust is under siege. Misinformation runs rampant, fueled by AI and amplified by social media. Hate speech festers, eroding public discourse. Extremism flourishes in the shadows, threatening our very democracy. Can PR professionals be the fire brigade, wielding the power of technology to tame this wildfire?

This session ignites:

  • Demystifying the Digital Abyss: Explore the complex interplay between advanced Language Models (LLMs), social media, and the weaponization of information.
  • Friend or Foe? Uncover the dual nature of LLMs – how they can combat misinformation and, ironically, become its puppets.
  • Adversary Playbook: Understand the tactics used by bad actors to manipulate technology and sow discord.
  • Empowering PR: Equip yourself with actionable strategies to mitigate online abuse, reclaim public trust, and safeguard your brand reputation.

This session is tailor-made for PR professionals seeking to:

  • Protect their brand from misinformation and disinformation attacks.
  • Build trust and engagement with key audiences in a complex digital environment.
  • Advocate for ethical and responsible use of technology in shaping public discourse.
  • Become champions of truth and integrity in the digital age.
  • Don’t just survive the information wildfire, learn to control it. Join us and ignite the power of PR in the digital age.

Hosted by the University of Texas at Arlington, 416 Yates St, Arlington, TX 76010 .  Parking is provided for free for attendees.

Space is limited so register today!

 

Presenters

Dr. Shirin Nilizadeh, Ph. D., Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Dr. Shirin Nilizadeh received her Ph.D. in Security Informatics from Indiana University Bloomington (IUB). For her dissertation, she received a two-year fellowship from the School of Informatics and Computing at IUB. Following her doctorate, she held postdoctoral positions at IUB (2014-2015), at the University of California Santa Barbara (2015-2017), and then at Carnegie Mellon University (2017-2018). Her research focuses on security and privacy in the context of systems and social networks using techniques from machine learning and big data analytics. She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award (2023) and the Comcast Innovation Award (2022). Her research has been covered by several news and technology outlets, such as WIRED, MIT Technology Review Germany, Yahoo! Finance, and Communications of the ACM, as well as cited by official reports submitted to The Supreme Court and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs in the European Union. She has served on numerous program committees of the most prestigious international conferences and workshops on computer security, privacy, web, and social media.

 

GUEST PARKING –please do not park in Reserved Zone Parking F-12

February: A Celebration of Black Brilliance and Resilience

By Myisha Washington, Diversity & Ethics Chair

February is not just the shortest month of the year; it’s also Black History Month, a time to commemorate the rich tapestry of Black achievement and contributions to society. From groundbreaking scientists and artists to courageous civil rights leaders and everyday heroes. Black history is American history, and its lessons and triumphs deserve to be celebrated and learned from every single day.

Black history is filled with stories of trailblazers who shattered barriers and defined limitations. Not only is Black History about individual achievements, it’s also about the collective struggle for equality and justice. Black communities have faced unimaginable challenges with dignity, resilience, and unwavering belief in a better tomorrow. The legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and countless others who marched, protested, and spoke out against discrimination serve as a powerful reminder that progress, though often slow, is always possible.

While Black History Month is a vital time for reflection and celebration, it’s important to remember that Black history is not confined to a single month. We must continue to amplify Black voices, celebrate Black excellence, and challenge systematic inequalities throughout the year.

Let’s make February, and every month, a time to honor the rich legacy of Black achievement, acknowledge the ongoing struggles for equality, and commit to building a future where Black voices are heard, respected, and celebrated.

Here are some additional ways to celebrate Black History Month:

Beyond Words: The Power of No-Agenda Listening in Divided Communities

Tragedy struck Fort Worth in 2019 when Atatiana Jefferson, a young Black woman, was fatally shot by a police officer while babysitting her nephew. This heartbreaking event, echoing the senseless killing of Botham Jean by a police officer in Dallas, exposed deep wounds in our community.

But amidst the grief, a powerful realization emerged: Black voices felt unheard, and a need for change resonated louder than ever.

From this tragedy sprouted a beacon of hope. Ashley English, Jacqueline Lambiase, and Julie O’Neil launched  a research initiative dedicated to the art of authentic listening in divided communities. They are on a mission to redefine “listening” beyond surface-level gestures.

Join us on Feb 7, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at TCU to learn about “no-agenda listening” and how to engage your audience from diverse backgrounds and experiences on a deeper level, ensuring everyone feels heard and valued.

This radical act of empathy can transform how we engage with one another, paving the way for:

  • Amplifying unheard voices: Giving marginalized groups a platform to share their experiences and needs.
  • Building deeper connections: Fostering meaningful engagement by understanding what truly matters to others.
  • Sparking inclusive solutions: Incorporating diverse viewpoints into decision-making processes for a more equitable future.

In this session, you will learn:

  • Research-backed techniques for strategic listening
  • How to create listening opportunities for your constituents and respond appropriately to what you hear
  • How to cultivate a deeper level of engagement with your community through no-agenda listening
  • Why marginalized groups don’t feel heard
  • The importance of listening in a world of constant content bombardment 
  • The different kinds of listening and why we find it so hard to move beyond the monologue

Hosted with the TCU Department of Strategic Communications at the Dee J. Kelly Alumni & Visitors Center. 2820 Stadium Dr, Fort Worth, TX 76129 (parking info included below)

Space is limited so register today!

Presenters

Ashley E. English, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Strategic Communication, Bob Schieffer College of Communication, Texas Christian University

Dr. Ashley E. English has committed her life to service, and community engagement is the common thread through her academic, professional, and personal experiences. 

Ashley is a three-time alumna of the University of North Texas with a B.A. in Journalism, a Master of Public Administration, and a Ph.D. in Public Administration & Management. Her current research examines organizational listening in public and nonprofit organizations and the community engagement efforts of megachurches. She has published research in outlets including, but not limited to, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Nonprofit Management & Leadership, Journal of Public Relations Research, and the Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management. 

She is the proud wife of Dr. Brian L. English, and the mother of three world-changers: Joseph, Joshua, and Faith.

Jacqueline Lambiase, Ph.D., Director, Certified Public Communicator® Program, Department of Strategic Communication, Bob Schieffer College of Communication, Texas Christian University

Jacqueline Lambiase, Ph.D. served as a professor of strategic communication at TCU and UNT for 27 years, heading up the public relations program at UNT and serving as department chair at TCU. Recently retired from full-time teaching, she still directs the Certified Public Communicator Program at TCU, now in its 12th year, and she’s still an organizer of TCU’s Nonprofit Communicators Conference, which she co-founded with Dr. English in 2009. 

Her research continues to focus on digital communication, diversity in advertising, and the

importance of organizational listening for earning trust with stakeholders. This past year, she received TCU’s deans’ award for teaching. 

Before spending time on college campuses, she served as a spokeswoman for an East Coast electric utility and as a journalist in Texas.

Parking Information

Our meeting will be at the Kelly Alumni & Visitor’s Center at 2820 Stadium Drive, 76129, and you may use parking Lot 6, a visitor’s parking lot with free parking next to the Kelly Center. If this lot should be full, there is additional parking in the Frog Alley Parking Garage which may be entered from Stadium Drive, just North of the Kelly Center between the Kelly Center facility and RanchManagement.

Holiday Happy Hour

As the festive spirit of the holiday season fills the air, the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA extends a warm invitation to its annual Holiday Happy Hour. This year, we’ll be gathering at Quince, a beautiful new restaurant nestled along the scenic Trinity River, on Wednesday, Dec. 13 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Join us as we celebrate, connect and cheers to a successful 2023. We’ll have appetizers and a cash bar inside (in case of cold weather).

Drop by for a few minutes or stay the entire evening – the choice is yours.

We can’t wait to toast our accomplishments of the past year and look forward to the bright future that lies ahead!

HOLLAND Collective Takes Best Of Show At PRSA Worthy Awards

FORT WORTH — In a tight competition amongst 23 Worthy award winners for strategic Public Relations programs and tactics, boutique agency HOLLAND collective took home the Best of Show honor for its Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival: A Campaign of Integrated Success at the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA Worthy Awards competition.

More than 130 PRSA members and guests celebrated successes at the Fort Worth Zoo for their 10th Worthy Awards gala November 3.

“For a decade, the Worthy Awards have showcased the most strategic, creative and successful campaigns achieved for both local and global clients by world-class PR professionals who call Fort Worth home,” said Jessamy Brown, APR, president of the Fort Worth Chapter.

In addition to the competition, two community members were honored for their contributions to Fort Worth: Dr. Opal Lee, longtime activist and grandmother of Juneteenth, received the Communicator of the Year Award, and Matt Zavadsky, Chief Transformation Officer for Medstar Mobile Health, received the Douglas Ann Newsom PR Professional of the Year Award.

The Worthy Awards competition received a total of 63 entries in multiple categories ranging from websites and editorials to crisis communications and reputation management. Awards of Achievement, Excellence and the top-rated Worthys are bestowed based on a weighted point system assessing research, measurable objectives, execution and evaluation of results.

Judges were members of the Hoosier, Indiana Chapter of PRSA. Worthy Awards committee co-chairs were GFW Chapter board members Kim Brown, APR and Abigail Hoover, co-founders of Story and Strategy PR.

A complete list of Worthy award winners is on the GFW PRSA website here. A photo gallery is also here.

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About Greater Fort Worth Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America

The Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the profession of public relations by promoting the professionalism of its members, as well as the public perception of the value of our contribution to the betterment of the community.

The Public Relations Society of America, based in New York City, is the leading professional organization serving the communications community through a network of more than 400 professional and student chapters in the U.S., Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Puerto Rico.