August 31, 2012
Alisa Agozzino, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of public relations at her undergraduate alma mater, Ohio Northern University (ONU). Prior to this, she served as the assistant director of admissions at ONU before returning to her studies at Bowling Green State University, where she received her master’s and her doctorate in communication studies.
As September is PRSA’s Ethics Month, Agozzino reflects on the importance of ethics in the classroom and teaching the next generation of PR practitioners. “We purposefully integrate professional ethics into all coursework,” she says. “From the introduction to public relations class to our capstone campaigns course, students are asked to critically examine ethics and how it plays a vital role in our profession.”
Name: Alisa Agozzino, Ph.D.
An elementary teacher
I am a wife, mother of two wonderful babies and assistant professor of public relations at Ohio Northern University.
What changed (i.e. how you became interested in public relations):
When I was trying to decide what to study in college, I was active in both DECA and 4-H. I loved to explain projects and share how to carry them out in detail. Someone suggested I look into public relations — the rest is history!
First public relations job:
I interned at Ketchum in New York in the healthcare practice. After graduation, I worked for a university as an admissions counselor and chaired the communications and publications committee.
What you know now that you wish you’d known then:
Networking is important. I wish I had taken networking and building relationships more seriously when I was younger.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever received:
People want to be listened to and cared for. I used to have a sign that read, “Do you care about me?” Whether I am with a client or students, each person wants this answered. Also, a handwritten thank-you note is important, even in the social age.
Greatest professional accomplishment:
Named Ohio Communication Association’s Innovator Teacher of the Year
If you weren’t in public relations, you would be:
Either a chef or a photographer
Knowing I have helped mold thousands of young PR practitioners into wonderful leaders who are shaping the field to be its best.
Make a “business case” for public relations:
Public relations is big business. The U.S. Department of Labor calls for nearly a 24 percent increase in jobs in the field by 2018. And it’s important to practice ethical behavior as it finds its way to the core of what we do — building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships.