AEJMC panel discussion focuses on ethics in the profession
David Clementson, assistant professor of public relations at Grady College, was an invited speaker at a panel teaching other public relations professors how to help their students get good jobs in the industry.
The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Public Relations division hosted the symposium Feb. 25, entitled “Great Ideas for Teaching.”
About 180 public relations professors from across the U.S. attended.
Clementson outlined a series of nine detailed and creative class assignments as part of a project which equips PR students for entering the market for internships and jobs.
“Our goal in the classroom should be to confidently and comfortably ease students into the professional world of public relations,” Clementson said. “This can include a holistic approach to preparing students with the proper toolkit and expectations while also alleviating their emotional concerns as the process can induce anxiety.”
Clementson also proposes incorporating an ethically-minded focus into the curriculum. The overriding aim, according to Clementson, is to empower students to rise above the potential competition by demonstrating to prospective employers that the applicant is prepared for ethical quandaries that inevitably arise in the competitive and challenging public relations industry.
“Clementson’s classroom project smartly combines an emphasis on getting good jobs and internships, with ethical best practices,” said Pamela Brubaker of Brigham Young University, chair of the AEJMC Public Relations Division’s Teaching Committee.
Stephanie Mahin of the University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School, also a leader of the Public Relations Division’s Teaching committee, added: “I hope other professors will consider employing ideas like Clementson’s project into their curriculum, as we try to do what we can to make teaching a little easier amidst all the pressures on us and the exceedingly competitive realm of PR where ethically-minded professionalism is needed now more than ever.”
“It is an impressive series of strategies to calm the nerves and prepare the professionalism of public relations students entering the workforce,” said Nneka Logan of Virginia Tech, who moderated the panel.
Joseph Stabb, APR, of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a leader in the AEJMC Public Relations Division who helped organize the panel, added: “Through our ‘Great Ideas for Teaching,’ we strive to help public relations educators employ the best teaching in their classrooms. Today’s panel put the spotlight on innovative ways we can embolden students getting the most out of their diploma with good jobs upon graduation.”
Clementson was one of three presenters from across the U.S. who were invited to present their teaching strategies at the event, which was held virtually via Zoom on Feb. 25. The symposium was hosted by Amanda Weed of Kennesaw State University and Stabb, and was moderated by Logan.
AEJMC’s PR Division is the largest organization of public relations educators in the world. The division has more than 400 members from institutions of higher learning in the United States and about two dozen countries around the world.