Greek Media Training event: Post Release


March 10, 2009

Contact: Lauren Brush

Director of Communications

Public Relations Student Society of America


Greek leadership learns importance of reputation management

Bloomington, Ind. – The IU Chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) brought together leaders of the Greek community last night at Indiana University’s Memorial Union.  The Greek members learned the importance of building and maintaining their chapter’s brands and how to communicate it effectively with the media.

The panel featured Pete Goldsmith, Indiana University Dean of Students; Jim Parham, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Hirons & Company Communications; and Bob Zaltsberg, editor at the Herald Times.

Keynote speaker Dean Goldsmith stressed the importance of the events timeliness.

“In light of recent events with ATO, I believe tonight couldn’t have come at a better time,” he said.  “I hope that you leave tonight understanding just how important it is to build and maintain your chapter’s reputation.”

Following Goldsmith’s introduction, Parham took the floor.  He expressed the importance of living your brand, managing your brand and why it is important to create positive media relationships.  He also stated that building a positive image requires consistency.

“The first time you come in contact with Bob [Zaltsberg] and the Dean is bad,” he stressed.  “You should know them and have a relationship with them before anything happens.”

Goldsmith strongly supported this statement.

“Three philanthropies do not cancel out one crisis,” he explained.  “It isn’t like you are earning chips. You owe it to you and your organization to constantly be doing everything you can be doing for your chapter.”

Zaltsberg finished the evening with media relations tips.  He informed the Greeks that the role of the media is to get information and share it with a much broader audience.  It is something that should be of interest to others – not something that is just of interest to you or your organization.  Other tips included:

  • Be as helpful to reporters as possible
  • Know the points you want to stress and stress them – stay on the message
  • Know and understand your audience and where they look for news
  • Don’t lie
  • In times of crisis, it is better to say something than nothing at all

The evening closed with the Greek leaders signing a “pledge.”  Their signatures represented a promise to the leaders’ prospective chapters as well as the community to take a stand in promoting the benefits of Greek life at Indiana University.  It also represented the understanding that PRSSA will continue to be a resource in the chapter’s on-going communication efforts.

“We hope that the Greeks will use the tools that we have given them tonight to effectively communicate and manage their brands,” said PRSSA’s Director of Communications and Greek Media Training co-chair Lauren Brush.  “I hope that they recognize their actions and words have strong effect on their own chapters and individual chapters.”

The Public Relations Student Society of America is a national organization devoted to serving members by enhancing their knowledge of public relations and providing access to professional development opportunities. For more information visit



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