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SPJ lecture series continues with speech on PR

The Parthenon

Published: Friday, February 22, 2013

Updated: Friday, February 22, 2013 11:02

The Society of Professional Journalists’ lecture series continued Thursday with a lecture on the relationship between journalism and public relations.

Terry Hapney, public relations professor, gave the lecture in the Marvin Stone Library.

Hapney said one of the officers of the society of professional journalist chapter at Marshall asked him to come and discuss the relationship and the similarities and difference between public relations and journalism.

The lecture is part of a series to give students a chance to learn more about journalism and mass communications outside the classroom. Hapney spoke about public relations as it relates to mass communications and the journalism world.

“The biggest similarity would have to be they are both based upon strong writing skills. I think that’s the most important thing,” Hapney said. “I would stress about public relations and journalism and public relations practitioners have to be able to write in a very strong fashion as journalist write.”

The lecture focused on the codependence of public relations practitioners and journalists, and the misconceptions of public relations acting strictly in the interest of their employers. Hapney, who has worked professionally in both public relations and journalism, spoke about the close relationship that public relation and journalism students share.

“If it’s not newsworthy as a journalist, you’re not going to get placement for your stories. If it’s not newsworthy as a public relations practitioners when your issuing a story in the form of a new release, then you’re not going to get placement for your origination,” Hapney said. “You’re going to get a reputation as someone who sends out things that are irrelevant to the audience members you’re trying to target.”

Faculty and students from both public relations and journalism disciplines were in attendance. SPJ is planning future lectures that will be announced at a later date.  
Amanda Reesman can be contacted at


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