Rowan University’s 1 for All PR campaign culminated in a campus Socratic Dialogue event on Nov. 20, 2019, hosted by senior PR capstone students in Assistant Prof. Alison Novak’s class.
Ten guest speakers shared their insights and experiences with the First Amendment in the workplace or job market. Moderated by a local journalist and journalism professor, the panel reflected on the challenges of free speech on social media, particularly when one is searching for a job.
To prepare for this topic, the students made PR case presentations that highlighted current (or recent) events featuring the First Amendment. These included:
- Applebee’s firing of an employee who posted a receipt on social media.
- Public school systems that asked new teachers to delete their social media accounts.
- High-profile CEOs fired for their comments on social media.
The class of 32 students spent eight weeks preparing for the Socratic Dialogue event,” Novak said. “Students were split into five teams: presenters, research, publicity, (event) site, and finance. Each team was responsible for a variety of tasks.”
In total, 120 students attended the event, including students enrolled in majors in every college on campus. After the event, PR students were asked to write a one-page position paper from the perspective of one of the companies represented at the event, on the First Amendment and social media in the workplace.
“I believe that the event helped our students learn about the First Amendment while also practicing vital PR skills such as event planning, media writing, and ethics,” Novak said.