Public Relations Society of America

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The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), was established in 1947 and is the peak professional association for U.S.-based public relations practitioners (though it is making inroads internationally given US dominance in the Public Relations field). Additionally, PRSA has a number of local affiliates across the United States (and internationally) that offer their own activities and services, as well as a student organization; the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) which has 255 chapters nationwide.

In addition to offering professional advancement, networking, and ethics guidelines, PRSA offers the "Accredited in Public Relations" (APR) certification.

PRSA has over 20,000 members and 114 chapters, which include international affiliates. It is estimated, however, that less than 10% of public relations practitioners in the US belong to PRSA.

PRSA Statements

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) has issued a news release calling on the presidential campaigns of John McCain and Barack Obama to "uphold the highest standards of ethical practice in every facet of their campaign communications." PRSA CEO Jeffrey Julin is offering himself for interviews as "a recognized expert in communications ethics." Since assuming the helm of the PRSA in January, Julin has been trying to improve the industry's ethical reputation. In June, for example, he posted a platitudinous statement on YouTube in response to a sarcastic CBS news commentary about Scott McClellan's book on his misadventures as a spokesman for the Bush administration. Julin is also president of MGA Communications, a PR firm whose clients include Americans for Balanced Energy Choices, a front group for the coal industry that is "targeting the public, politicians, interest groups, and the media" during this year's election campaign as part of what the Washington Post called a "$35 million campaign in primary and caucus states to rally public support for coal-fired electricity and to fuel opposition to legislation that Congress is crafting to slow climate change." [1]

On January 11, 2005, PRSA responded to the story of Armstrong Williams' non-disclosure of his receipt of $240,000 from the Department of Education for advocating for the "No Child Left Behind" program with an official statement. As with other PRSA statements on recent events deemed illegal by the Government Accountability Office, the official statement names neither Williams nor Ketchum (the public relations firm that brokered the deal) though it does note that Williams should have disclosed his arrangement and notes that such a practices are ". . . clearly contrary to the PRSA Member Code of Ethics, which requires that public relations professionals engage in open, honest communications, and fully disclose sponsors or financial interests involved in any paid communications activities." To date, no one at either Ketchum or Fleischman-Hillard (the two major firms implicated in the "Paylagate" scandals) has been sanctioned by PRSA for violations of the PRSA Code of Ethics. It should be noted that both firms have historically been financial backers of PRSA.


From their website: [1] [2]

Former staff:

Case studies

Contact information

The Public Relations Society of America
33 Maiden Lane, 11th Fl.
New York, NY 10038-5150
Phone: 212-460-1400
Fax: 212-995-0757

SourceWatch resources

External links

PRSA documents


Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. "Communications Professionals Challenge McCain and Obama on Ethics", Public Relations Society of America, September 10, 2008.

External resources

External articles