Free Webinar Series

Discover important topics and trends in public relations by accessing The Plank Center’s free webinar series for PR students, educators and professionals.

What No One Ever Tells You About Networking: How to Do It!
People always talk about how important networking is, but no one ever tells you how to get started… especially in an authentic, non-creepy way. Sonny, Corporate Communications Specialist at Meijer and a member of The Plank Center Emerging Leaders Group, will discuss how she built a strong network of peers, mentors, allies and advocates that has shaped her career path. For students and young professionals getting their feet wet in networking to seasoned pros looking to refresh their outlook, Sonny will share her networking philosophy as well as hands-on tips.

LGBTQIA+ in Public Relations
Jeff Winton, CEO and founder of Jeff Winton Associates and Plank board member, and Adriel McMahan, account coordinator at Jeff Winton Associates and former Plank Center graduate assistant, speak on some of the experiences of the LGBTQIA+ community in the workplace. They’ll touch on how to make the workplace more inclusive, the role of leaders within an organization, and actionable steps the public relations industry can take to ensure inclusivity and equity.

Exploring the 2020-2021 North American Communication Monitor
In one of the most unusual years of our lifetime, the 2020-2021 North American Communication Monitor (NACM), organized and conducted by The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, discloses key trends and challenges facing the communication profession. Listen to the panelists discuss the trends of 2020 and interpret the information from NACM.

PR Women with Influence
The Plank Center hosts Juan Meng, Ph.D., a Plank board member, and Marlene S. Neill, Ph.D. as they talk about their new book, PR Women with Influence: Breaking Through the Ethical and Leadership Challenges.Their book explores how women in the profession of public relations and communications navigate through attitudinal, structural and social barriers in advancing their leadership roles. Joining them is Sheryl Battles, Vice President, Global Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement at Pitney Bowes, and Rosanna Fiske, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications at Wells Fargo. The conversation is moderated by Plank board chair and former Senior Vice President, Chief Communications Officer at McDonald’s Corporation, Bridget Coffing.

An Inside Look Into Sports Communication
Interested in sports communication? The Plank Center presents Dr. Kenon Brown and Taylor Garner. They dive into this niche industry to speak about their experiences and offer advice.

The Plank Center Give Back Give Thanks: Corporate Purpose in 2020
The Plank Center presents a conversation about corporate purpose and CSR initiatives, and what they mean in 2020, featuring Bill Heyman, Plank Board founding member, and Jane Randel, founder and social impact advisor at Karp Randel.

The Plank Center Fall Forum Sessions
Fall looks a lot different this year. The Plank Center is using this time to stimulate insightful discussions covering a wide range of PR topics. This virtual panel series gathers the industry’s top masterminds to address hot topics and changes in our field today.

Elevating Black Voices in PR Leadership
The Plank Center is dedicated to elevating Black voices and we’ve created a new, monthly panel series to address the public relations industry’s role in the fight for racial justice. Digital panels will take place on the Center’s Facebook Live throughout 2020.

The Plank Center Summer Sessions

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and without the ability to host in-person events, The Plank Center is maintaining its commitment to leading the industry in important conversations through an online medium. Each Summer Session occurs on Facebook Live, where PR’s leading minds and biggest thinkers will discuss the topics currently surrounding the industry, and where we go from here.

The Eight Truths (of Public Relations Leadership)

Ron DeFeo, senior vice president of Global Engagement at American Airlines and member of The Plank Center Board of Advisors, shares his leadership journey and “The Eight Truths (of Public Relations Leadership).”

Women & Leadership in Public Relations

Being successful in the public relations field is still challenging for women—the pay gap is real; the opportunity gap is real; and the being-heard-and-respected-gap is real. Those gaps are explored, including action items for current leaders at all organizational levels.

Leadership Report Card found PR Leaders Scored a Very Average C+
Presented at 2017 IPR Research Symposium (New York)

Dr. Bruce K. Berger presents the findings from The Plank Center’s 2017 Report Card on PR Leaders, which found public relations leaders scored a very average C+.

Becoming a PR Leader: The Art and Science of Mentorship
Presented at 2017 PRSA Conference 

Understand mentorship’s value to professionals, its link to public relations leadership, the importance of mentorship in growing diverse, inclusive workplaces, and the ten best practices to developing a mentoring program.

Championing Diversity and Inclusion to Recruit and Retain Top Talent
Presented at 2017 PRSA Conference

Examines cutting-edge research and offers best practices to be a diversity and inclusion champion when recruiting, retaining and engaging millennial professionals in public relations.

Millennials, Diversity and Inclusion in the PR Industry

Courageous conversations about millennial communication professionals, cultural perceptions in the workplace, and what can be done on individual and organizational levels to support open, diverse and inclusive workplace cultures.

Hidden Figures in PR: Putting a Long-Overdue Spotlight on African-American PR Pioneers

Who comes to mind when you think of the pioneers of the public relations profession? Our textbooks taught us the pioneers of our profession—Ivy Lee and Edward Bernays—but this webinar shines a light on those the textbooks missed, the “Hidden Figures in PR,” and provides deeper insight and understanding of the history of our profession.

Things I Wish I’d Known Before Entering the Workforce

Public relations students, are you eager to graduate and begin your career? Position yourself for even greater success by listening to industry professionals discuss their own experiences and what they wish they’d known when beginning their first job.

Promoting Diversity & Inclusion Excellence

From examining previous research to understanding how top organizations are moving the needle on diversity and inclusion, world-class experts will equip you with key takeaways that can be implemented today to serve tomorrow’s public relations leaders.

Getting a Job in Public Relations

Are you ready to get a job in public relations? Are you hungry to learn how to set yourself apart from the thousands of applicants? Featured experts examine the characteristics and traits in-demand for public relations positions, offer helpful tips on how to stand out from the competition in your job search and provide insight on how managers attract, retain and develop top performers.

Building Your Brand and Finding That First Job

PR professionals discuss what students need to do to ensure they land that first public relations job, including what employers are really looking for, what questions to ask yourself to get ready for the search, what strategy to use, and how to build your public persona online.

Agency for the Future

Public relations agencies are constantly evolving with the fast-paced global landscape of our industry. Fred Cook discusses how Golin restructured to be the agency of the future.

Ethics in PR Education

Scholars from across the country address research in PR ethics, best practices in teaching PR ethics, ethical dilemmas they’ve faced, how students view their ethics training, and why it all matters.

Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability:  So Far . . . and What’s Next

Our panel of experts discuss Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, the lessons learned, what the new world of engagement and advocacy means for your organization, key messages for educators, and where we go from here.

Landing a PR Job After School: What Employers are Looking For and What You Can Expect to Make

Okay, so you are about to graduate with a PR degree. Now what? What kinds of jobs are out there? For that matter, are there jobs? Do you have what employers are looking for? How much can you expect to make? Our panel of experts are here to help.

How Emerging Digital Media Are Changing Our World: A Conversation for PR Educators

For public relations educators, social media platforms are presenting new and exciting challenges. How do you teach students the new skills required? How can you gain a better understanding of the problems facing organizations today? How can you develop a curriculum to support these areas?

Deciding Between a PR Job and an Advanced Degree: Making the Right Decision

Deciding what to do after graduation can be confusing, but our experts explore topics such as the advantages of taking the job; the advantages of graduate school; weighing the pros and cons; and things to keep in mind if you are thinking about graduate school.