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Faculty Blog

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will…actually come to think of it, words can hurt a lot more and their impact can last a lot longer. A little self-reflection probably reveals that the most painful experiences in our life are tied to communication, and more specifically to unethical communication. If we’re honest, we can probably recall a time when our words hurt more than we intended.

My grandfather worked in a blacksmith shop when he was a boy, and he used to tell me how he had toughened himself up so he could stand the rigors of blacksmithing.

Contemporary public relations (PR) practice is complex, creative, technical – and exacting. There is no room for error when communicating a client’s messages and maintaining their brand reputation. And, while technology has greatly enhanced efficiency, speed, and audience reach, it has created a plethora of additional work that did not exist during the days when PR was primarily focused on issuing press releases and contacting the media.

Transparency. With an abundance of it, senior leaders make their employees happy and the organization more profitable or, in the case of the public sector, more productive. Lack of transparency? Almost a 180-degree reversal.

It’s so easy to pick on ivory tower leaders. And safe, too. Easy – because the most significant strategic communication fails can be traced to the top of the food chain. Safe – because we, the chattering class a notch or two down the food chain, are not likely to be exposed.

A master’s degree is not necessary for advancement. However, before my program chair starts to prepare a polite goodbye letter, I’ll hasten to note that this post will make a case for why a masters in strategic communications makes good business sense for Lamb School students.

Think back to your most effective communication experience. This can be an experience where you led others, or an experience where someone else led you. Got it? Good.

As students of public relations (PR), you have probably heard the terms “ethical compass” or “ethical conscience” used when describing the PR practitioner’s role. Many students are surprised to learn that one of PR’s primary functions is setting the ethical bar and direction of the organization.

Once upon a time, a Human Resource (HR) generalist at a regional telecom company prepared a routine payroll update, which listed the salaries of all employees from the senior leaders on down, to send via email to her HR superiors and to the Regional Senior Vice President (SVP) for their review.

Global communication can present significant challenges. While messages may be readily understood in one culture, they may be interpreted very differently in other cultures, causing potential crises and audience misperceptions.