STATE COLLEGE, PA: The Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communications at Penn State?s College of Communications has awarded $56,000 in grants to 12 academic researchers who were recently named Page Legacy Scholars.
The themes for this year?s competition, the first for the recently formed center, were ethics in public communication and the role of PR in fostering corporate responsibility.
?We?re absolutely delighted with our first group of scholars and their research projects,? said John Nichols, director of the Center. ?I think it?s a strong start for the Center and the Center?s mission.?
Nichols remarked that the pool of applicants was quite impressive, considering it was the inaugural year.
Among the individuals or teams awarded $10,000 for research were Lee Wilkins from the University of Missouri and Renita Coleman from the University of Texas for a project titled, ?The Moral Media: How Public Relations Professionals Reason About Ethics.?
Nichols said the Center?s next call for proposals will heavily emphasize corporate credos and code of ethics and the extent to which they actually work.
?It?s an interesting question,? he said. ?A lot of corporations have a code of ethics, but the question is do they become window dressing or do they have teeth to them??
Nichols added that by awarding grants, the Center is able to set an agenda for the PR field. ?There?s no better way to get people?s attention than giving away free money,? he said.