The PR Society’s Ethics Webinar Thursday, Sept. 25 (Rosh Hashanah) is open to reporters who pay $200. The panel is free to regular and student members.

Stephanie Cegielski, VP-PR, said the webinar, starting at 3 p.m., will be held even though it falls on the Jewish New Year.

Reporters can register to view the event which will be carried live. It will also be available shortly after on the Society’s website. Whether a transcript will be made is not yet known.

association law handbookThe following e-mail has been sent to Cegielski, chair Joseph Cohen, chair-elect Kathy Barbour, and chair-elect candidates Mark McClennan and Blake Lewis:

To Society Leaders & Staff:

Charging non-members $200 for an event that is free to members is a violation of the spirit if not the letter of your non-profit charter. According to the Assn. Law Handbook, 501/c/6 non-profits are supposed to be a resource for their entire industries and not just members.

That is why they are given tax-free status. They can charge non-members a little more for events and programs but not $200 more for an event that is free to members and especially one that concerns “ethics.”

The board continues to deny any O’Dwyer reporters “credentials” to the Oct. 11-14 national conference in D.C. including the Assembly and exhibit hall, which is an unethical practice. It refuses to let the O’Dwyer Co. buy a booth for $2,700 to exhibit its six informational products to the 3,000 attendees. No reasons are given for this discrimination.

Such policies contradict statements on your website about “The New Era of Authenticity” and how “ethical choices develop and maintain authentic and long-lasting (not to mention mutually-beneficial) relationships.”


Jack O’Dwyer

Hazlett of Curry College Moderates

Moderator of the panel is Kirk Hazlett, associate professor of communications/PR, Curry College, Milton, Mass. (2,769 undergrads).

Hazlett, Harder
Hazlett, Harder

Presenters include national Student Society president Heather Harder, PR and communications major, Elon University, North Carolina.

Another presenter is Maria Sonin, associate director, communications and marketing, Ethics Officer Assn., Waltham, Mass. She joined EOA in 2008 and has “developed a passion for organizational ethics, especially global anti-corruption and ethical cultural-building.

EOA, whose membership is ethics and compliance officers, had revenues of $2,301,904 in 2012, latest available. Tim Mazur is COO. EIN is 04-3259433.

The group is “Committed to being the leading provider of ethics, compliance, and corporate governance resources to ethics and compliance practitioners worldwide.” It provides members “with access to an unparalleled network of ethics and compliance peers and a global forum for the exchange of ideas and strategies…integrity is essential value inherent in our work…”

Larsen, Neill, Tate Are Panelists

Also panelists are Marlene Neill, assistant professor, Dept. of Journalism, PR & New Media, Baylor University; Nance Larsen, communication director, National Education Assn./Alaska, and Philip Tate, SVP, Luquire George Andrews, Charlotte, NC. All are members of the Board of Ethics & Professional Standards.

George Johnson, adjunct PR professor at the University of South Carolina, is chair of BEPS. He is not listed as being involved in the ethics panel.

Theme of the Society’s “Ethics Month” observance is “The New Era of Authenticity.” Focus is on how “ethical choices develop and maintain authentic and long-lasting (not to mention mutually beneficial) relationships.”

A print/cut/fold poster was created by BEPS “to strengthen moral focus in the face of ever-changing PR environments.”