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Beyond Fake News: The Role and Responsibility of Communications Professionals to Guide Public Conversations

A Thought Leadership Event
August 2, 2017 -
8:00am to 10:00am

One of the most important functions of a professional organization is to identify issues facing the profession, seek counsel from its senior leaders and discuss them among the membership. The PRSA-NCC Thought Leadership program is dedicated to that ideal. This year, our thought leadership event will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. on Wednesday, August 2nd, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

The topic is one of concern to all communicators:  “Beyond Fake News: The Role and Responsibility of Communications Professionals in Conducting Public Conversations.”

A panel of senior executives will share their insight on the nature of our public discourse today. They will host a conversation about our role and responsibility in shaping a public dialog that contains persuasive arguments yet is respectful of others and encourages a kind of debate that truly facilitates decision making on public issues.

Do we have a responsibility to shape a conversation so it doesn't devolve into personal attacks or hate speech? If so, how can we do this and still break through the clutter? Also, if our organization is the subject of such an attack, how do we protect the brand?

Event Sponsor:

Location:
The National Press Club
529 14th Street, NW, 13th Floor
Washington, DC  20045
Metro: Metro Center

Cost:
$30 PRSA, AAF DC, AMA DC and NAGC Members
$40 Non-members
$20 Students/Retirees

Refund/Cancellation policy

Our Panelists:

Eileen Bramlet is the Vice President of Communications at the Copyright Alliance, an industry association that protects the rights of creators and innovators while promoting the value of copyright. She also was Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Software & Information Industry Association, the leading association supporting the software and digital content industry. She is also a past president of American Marketing Association-DC Chapter. A seasoned marketing and PR executive, Eileen holds a Business Leadership Certificate from Harvard University.

Thomas Burr has served as the Washington Bureau Chief for The Salt Lake Tribune since 2005, covering Congress, the White House and federal agencies with an eye toward issues affecting Utah and the West. In 2016, he served as President of the National Press Club during a particularly tumultuous political year. He is also the past chairman of the Congressional Standing Committee of Correspondents and former president of the Regional Reporters Association. He currently serves as secretary of the Gridiron Club and
Foundation
and on the board of the National Press Club Journalism Institute.

Sandra Wills Hannon, Ph.D., APR, is Founder and Principal of The Hannon Group, a public relations and market research firm in National Harbor, MD. The company was ranked as a 2014 Top 100 MBE (Woman and/or Minority Business Enterprise). The company has supported national campaigns on flu prevention, workplace safety, traumatic brain injury treatment, and substance abuse prevention.  Before forming The Hannon Group, Dr. Hannon was a vice president at Fleishman-Hilliard. In 2007, she became the first African American President of the Public Relations Society of America—National Capital Chapter.

Sergei Samoilenko is an instructor of communications and co-founder of the Research Lab for Character Assassination and Reputation Politics at George Mason University. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Public Relations Society of America—National Capital Chapter and a past president of the Eurasian Communication Association of North America  Sergei’s research interest is focused crisis communications, reputation management and improving social interactions through integrated marketing communications and social networking.

Richard Sheehe is a Senior Research Fellow at George Mason University and leads the GMU affiliated StratComm360.org think tank on communications best practices. He is also owner of The Sheehe Group, an independent consulting firm, advising private and public sector clients in strategic communications. He has served as a spokesperson, assistant vice president and adjunct professor at George Washington University. Before entering public relations, Richard was a national news correspondent and anchor for the NBC network as well as a contributing writer for The New York Times and Associated Press.

Robert Weiner is the President of Robert Weiner Associates and Weiner Public News, He is a White House correspondent, radio-TV commentator, author of 800 OpEds in major papers, and winner of the 2016 National Press Club President's Award for mentoring young journalists. Robert served more than 30 years in the legislative and executive branches of government where he was a public affairs director for the Clinton and Bush White Houses and Spokesman for the White House Drug Policy Office. He also served as Communications Director, Committee on Government Operations, U.S. House of Representatives, and as Chief of Staff, U.S. House Aging Committee
Moderator:

Mitchell Marovitz, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, is the Chair of the Public Relations program at The Graduate School of the University of Maryland University College.  Before entering academia, he was a strategic communications consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. Mitch also retired as a colonel in the Army after 30 years of service in 2002, where he served in numerous public affairs and American Forces Radio and Television Service assignments. He is a past president of PRSA-NCC and currently serves as Chair of PRSA’s Mid-Atlantic District and Vice-Chair of the Universal Accreditation Board, which oversees the Accredited in Public Relations certification.