Category Archives: PRD News

PR UPDATE: Fall Conference Wrap-Up

Public Relations Update, the division’s quarterly news publication, is emailed to listserv members. To receive your copy of the newsletter, please sign up for the PRD Listserv.

Enjoy the current issue including the Chicago conference wrap-up and introduction of new executive leadership here: PRD Fall Update

Letters to the Editor, advertising inquiries and other general questions should be directed to editor Dean Mundy at

Interested in previous issues? Find them here.

PRD Leadership Profile: Nathan Gilkerson and Brooke McKeever

By Melissa Janoske, University of Memphis

Brooke McKeever

Brooke McKeever

Nathan Gilkerson

Nathan Gilkerson

Current institution/affiliation:
Nathan: Marquette University, Diederich College of Communication
University of South Carolina, School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Committee name:
Professional Freedom and Responsibility (PF&R)
Committee position: Co-chairs

Primary responsibilities within the PRD:
At a high level, AEJMC tasks division PF&R committees with five general areas of concern and responsibility: Free Expression; Ethics; Media Criticism and Accountability; Racial, Gender, and Cultural Inclusiveness; and Public Service.  In practice, much of this comes down to our committee helping to encourage PRD members’ participation in professional service efforts, and promoting and assisting with teaching PF&R-related topics in the classroom.  PF&R includes things like service, leadership, ethics, and other areas that relate to public relations practice and our role as educators in the field.

Big Wins For Last Year:
As part of the PF&R committee’s responsibilities, our group helps coordinate outreach to the professional community, including planning for the annual PR Division’s “off-site” tour during the annual AEJMC conference.  Last year, we helped plan the division’s visit to the LinkedIn corporate offices in downtown San Francisco, where members learned ways to maximize the value of LinkedIn, and how students can benefit from the site’s various networking tools.   We had more attendees than anticipated, and we learned a lot from our contacts at LinkedIn, helpful information for us as professionals and also to take back to our students.

We also recently helped to promote News Engagement Day, and encouraged members of the PR division to participate with their students via interactive Twitter posts.

Goals for 2015-2016:
Along with helping to create regular PF&R-themed communication materials for PRD members, we’re working to plan another successful off-site visit for the division during next summer’s Minneapolis convention.

Top Memories from their experience on the committee:
Nathan: The excitement of learning about a last-minute location change for our visit to LinkedIn’s offices in San Francisco, and then frantically using Google Maps on my phone to locate and lead a large walking group of PRD members to the new location!
Brooke: The LinkedIn visit was fun, and I always enjoy meetings with our committee.

Fun question! Which pop culture group does the committee most resemble?
Nathan: If we’re going with a potential super-hero theme, then I’d say the PF&R mission closely aligns with the “Justice League” collection of super heroes tasked with keeping an eye out for society.  🙂
Brooke: Nathan and I did have a lunch meeting at a diner in San Francisco, which kind of makes me think of that old show, Happy Days. 🙂

Share #News2Me for News Engagement Day

To help celebrate News Engagement Day with AEJMC, the PR Division has come up with a way for our wide array of faculty and students to get involved in the festivities, which are scheduled for Tuesday, October 6 this year.

Twitter Pulitzer quote

According to a recent Pew Research Center news consumption survey, 29% of young adults are considered, “newsless.” However, as we know, that does not have to be the case. In fact, other research has shown that more than 50% of young adults ages 18-24 still consume news from paid news subscriptions. Yes, our students are consuming news in different ways, and what’s news to them may mean something different than it does to us, but we would like to take News Engagement Day as our opportunity to find out what exactly “news” means to our many students in different parts of the world.

We would like to encourage PR Division faculty to engage in conversations with their students, asking the question: “What’s News in Your World?” Along with these classroom conversations, we hope faculty and students will join in the #NewsEngagementDay conversation on social media by taking photos of “what’s news” in all of our various parts of the world.

For example, students could be encouraged to take photos of headlines they read that day, of an interesting event on campus, or of a speaker who might be on campus that day. Faculty can take pictures of their students engaging with news in the classroom, whether that be on Twitter, on television, via online news stories, etc. Next, we’re hoping everyone will share these images by using the hashtags #News2Me and #NewsEngagementDay on Tuesday, October 6, 2015.

Here’s an example of a post by University of South Carolina professor Brooke McKeever:


And here’s a sample post by Nathan Gilkerson of Marquette University:

News2Me Example Post

During News Engagement Day, our PR Division social media team will collect images shared with these hashtags via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. The day will then be curated using Storify and shared with our Division members. For anyone looking for more ideas to promote News Engagement Day in the classroom, feel free to visit the AEJMC News Engagement Day site, or the AEJMC News Engagement Day Pinterest activities board.

Thank you in advance for your time and attention to this important AEJMC-wide initiative. By creating something easy, fun, visual and news-oriented, we hope to have lots of participation from our division members! Looking forward to seeing your posts on what’s #News2Me for #NewsEngagementDay!

– Brooke McKeever & Nathan Gilkerson (for the PF&R team of the PR Division)