NEW YORK (April 2, 2012) — Michael S. Steele, MSNBC political analyst and former chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC), and June Cotte, consumer behavioral expert and associate professor of marketing at the Richard Ivey School of Business, have been added to the list of keynote speakers at the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) 2012 International Conference in San Francisco, Oct. 13-16.
Steele earned a place in history in 2003 when he was elected lieutenant governor of Maryland, becoming the first African-American elected to statewide office in the state. He was elected chairman of the RNC in 2009, and set a new direction for the Republican Party, actively engaging Americans in their local communities, and empowering state and local Republican organizations to do the same.
Steel joined MSNBC in 2011 as an expert contributor. He had been a frequent guest on MSNBC, and now appears regularly on discussion panels to offer commentary. An expert on political strategy and election reform, Steele served as chairman of GOPAC, and also held posts on the National Federal Election Reform Commission and the NAACP Blue Ribbon Commission on Election Reform.
Cotte’s Conference keynote presentation will highlight the implications of her recent study, “When Will Consumers Pay to Be Good?” As a researcher, her focus is on behavioral issues. In a 2008 article in The Wall Street Journal, she discussed how social responsibility for corporations has become a big business. The focus of her research stems from two main questions: 1) Do consumers reward corporations for their social responsibility practices? 2) How much? In a series of experiments where consumers were told some products were made using high ethical standards and other products were made using low ethical standards, Cotte demonstrated that consumers with high ethical expectations of companies doled out bigger rewards and punishments than consumers with low expectations. She also showed that either way, both consumer groups were willing to pay more money for products created with high ethical standards.
Cotte is the George and Mary Turnbull Fellow at the Richard Ivey School of Business. She is on the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Consumer Psychology, and her work has appeared in Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, MIT/Sloan Management Review, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Strategic Marketing, Journal of Services Marketing and the Journal of Managerial Psychology.
Steele and Cotte join Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone and Pandora Founder Tim Westergren as keynote speakers at the PRSA 2012 International Conference. Stone and Westergren were recognized by TIME Magazine in consecutive years as two of the “Most Influential People in the World.” Westergren revolutionized the way we listen to music with the creation of Pandora, and Stone changed the way we communicate with each other with the creation of Twitter.
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With more than 31,000 members, PRSA is the largest organization of public relations professionals and students. PRSA is comprised of 111 local Chapters organized into 10 geographic Districts; 16 Professional Interest Sections that focus on issues, trends and research relevant to specialized practice areas, such as technology, health care, financial communications, entertainment and sports, and travel tourism; and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which has more than 300 Chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. PRSA is headquartered in New York.