Monthly Archives: September 2011

Current ethical lapse in the public relations industry

Although this happened a few months ago the issue and ethical lapse remains very relevant.

“According to USA Today, Burson-Marsteller, PR firm, started a whisper campaign — method of persuasion in which damaging rumors are spread about the target, while the source remains unknown ( —   aimed to get news coverage on obscure Gmail feature, Social Circle, infringes on peoples’ privacy and violates FTC rules. But Google said that Social Circle lets customers make social connections using public and private connections across Google products without skirting privacy”

I believe this firm broke all of the PRSA six core values including: Advocacy, Honesty, Expertise, Independence, Loyalty and Fairness.

B-M broke, what is to me, the most important value: HONESTY. I see ethics revolving around HONESTY, fairness and being responsible. I think the company lost a lot of respect and credibility from the public, media and other firms. It’s not like it was a mistake but a planned event with evidence of that from USA Today. Although there are six, the next and last value I will mention in this ethical lapse is independence. There was no accountability for individual actions. It was a whisper campaign so there was no source and in this case why would you want to be held accountable.

“Profession values are vital to the integrity of the profession as a whole” -PRSA

This firm truly created an ethical lapse in the PR industry through its mistake and error in judgment which produced a harmful and troubling outcome.

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Posted by on September 23, 2011 in PRCA 2330



PR myths and preconceptions

*What are some myths and preconceptions of the field of public relations? Why do you think they exist?

There are many myths and preconceptions when it comes to the field of Public Relations. I believe many look down on the field mainly because they are not educated to know what is and can be offered from it. I found in a study that the overall perception of PR is favorably increased after generally being educated.

I will list, in my opinion, the myths and preconceptions and in the following paragraph further support my points.

  • The field is women only
  • Anyone can do it/ It’s easy
  • Just press releases make PR
  • PR is fun and partying

I think the most common preconception is that only women make up the field of Public Relations. Yes, I have to be honest and say that women are very dominate but there are men who play major roles in the field as well. Today the field is 70% female, compared to 20 females for every 80 males in 1987, which makes Public Relations a very good field for women right now – We had a discussion in my Intro to PR class about why women tend to dominate the field including: creativity levels, listening skills, social skills and more. Another myth that sometimes gets under my skin is that PR is easy and any one can do it. In college the field is looked down upon especially when you walking the campus with those studying biology or nursing. This goes hand-in-hand with the preconception of PR being a party field. The media plays a big role in this and if you’re not educated in PR fully, you may become victim of believing only what you see on TV. A great example to use is Sex In The City. People look at Samantha Jones and assume PR is partying all the time and hang out. From the outside looking in, many may think it is easy and anyone can do it. Public relations can be very rewarding but requires a lot of hard work, multi-tasking and making deadlines.

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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in PRCA 2330