Ashley’s Blog

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Ethics in social media March 18, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashley85 @ 9:19 pm

Ethics is a huge issue in almost all professions, not just public relations. However, with the recent trend of social media, such as blogging, ethics has become a more prevalent issue. A lot of companies have used blogging as a way to promote their clients, but many people argue that blogging is useless to the PR industry and that if used for the wrong reasons, it can be unethical.  

A classmate who is actively involved in social media recently told me that she believes social media is only good if used properly and for good cause. There is no point in blogging just for the point of blogging. But if you use it wisely, it can work wonders. But the thing about social media is that there are no restrictions. Anyone can write a blog on anything they want and it is difficult to understand whether or not these people are credible. After researching blogs on ethics in PR, I came across one that discusses a social media code of conduct developed by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

According to this blog, the code of conduct states that CIPR members must execute their online activities and conduct themselves with integrity, competence and confidentiality. The fact that the CIPR implemented a code of conduct acknowledges the fact that social media is becoming an increasingly popular medium used in the industry and unethical activity can play a large role.

The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) also indicates in their policy statement on Communications in Social Media that all members should not practice professional conduct that discredits themselves, the CPRS or public relations.

While social media has become popular in PR, it appears that professional organizations are taking a great part in ensuring that the use of social media is not used unethically, which to me seems like the proper thing to do. Social media can be dangerous, so it must be used carefully, and with these policies in tact, PR professionals can be assured that any misuse of social media will be dealt with.

One example of an ethical issue involving social media is the Edelman-Wal-Mart incident. For those who don’t know, Wal-Mart hired Edelman as its PR agency and in a tactic to promote Wal-Mart, they created a blog where a couple wrote about their vacation in which they drove across the United States in an RV and parked in Wal-Mart parking lots. They discussed their experiences at each Wal-Mart and how great the staff was. The ethical issue is that the couple was hired by Edelman to write the blog and did not let readers known on the blog that they worked for the company. The issue is that this blog was written intentionally to promote Wal-Mart. While there are many opinions on the issue, it is just one of the big ethical incidents involving social media and public relations.It is evident through this case and many others online, that ethics and social media is a controversial issue in public relations. Thankfully, institutions are noticing how significant social media can be in the industry and are taking a stance to protect the integrity of PR professionals, their clients and the industry.

http://www.forward-moving.com/blog/2006/10/25/a-beginners-guide-to-the-edelmanwal-mart-scandal/

http://www.markblevis.com/social-media-and-ethics/

 http://www.cprs.ca/files/CPRSPolicy-SocialMedia.pdf

 

Blogging….wow February 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashley85 @ 6:27 pm
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While I was just at lunch, I was talking with a few classmates about blogging. Since I am still so new at this, I feel like it is very overwhelming and I don’t know where to start! So thankfully my computer savvy friends explained a lot about how you can get your name out there, and how blogging is like one big circle where your comments can be seen by others who will then go to your blog and comment on it. It seems like a tight-knit circle, especially when you’re only blogging about PR and PR-related things, but to me it is very overwhelming.

I finally decided that I would get in on this blogging thing and try to post and comment as much as I can, and I still don’t know where to start. Who’s blog do I post on, what do I write about and how do I get people to comment on my blog? I think one of the main reasons I have only posted on my classmates’ blogs is because I am afraid that I will make a stupid comment or have nothing valuable to write about. I guess I am scared of the PR professionals out there who are highly engaged in blogging whereas I am not, and I feel like one mistake may ruin my non-existent career. Maybe I am just paranoid, but to me it just seems scary! But then again if I don’t face my blogging fears, I may be out of the loop forever.

 

Superbowl Sunday February 4, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashley85 @ 6:04 pm

So, as everyone knows, yesterday was Superbowl Sunday. Superbowl 42, I believe. New York beat New England, bla bla bla. What I find amazing about the whole Superbowl phenomenon is the media coverage and advertising all around it. It is absolutely ridiculous. $2 million for a 30 second ad during the game!! The Superbowl itself has turned into an event in which we watch ads on purpose. Some people watch it only for the ads and have no idea what a quarterback even is. Its just ironic how we spend our whole lives avoiding ads as much as we can. Who doesn’t flip the channel on the TV or the radio when commercials come on? They are so annoying, yet when its the superbowl nobody takes a bathroom break during commercials. Then there is the halftime show. I don’t understand why there is a mini-concert in the middle of a football game. Its really not that big of a sport, compared to hockey in Canada and baseball in the US. So why is there so much hype and celebrities around the superbowl game when there is none for MLB playoffs or the Stanley Cup. I’m just wondering how all of this came about? All I heard this morning on the way to school was about the superbowl. Every news station, every radio morning show and every newspaper had something about the game. How come I didn’t hear anything about the Spice Girl concert? I was there, witnessing a reunion of the biggest pop group in history, a once in a lifetime opportunity and there was very little media coverage. Yet there is so much coverage over a game that happens every single year? Weird.

 

PR Job hunting January 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashley85 @ 6:57 pm

So now that I am in my final year of school and have pretty much narrowed down what my career will be, I am in the process of searching for jobs. Now, I know I’m not officially done school until May, at the end of my internship, but it’s exciting to look. Mainly I just go to the CPRS and IABC website to look. They always have great jobs up all over the place. But it seems like evertime I look at these job posts, everyone wants someone with 5-10 years experience! I’ve seen some that only want 3-5 years, but what about us entry-level people?! Are we not allowed to apply for these jobs, or is there some secret rule that we could because we might actually get the job? I don’t know. I guess I will just have to apply and pray. However, I must say that the upper-level jobs that do require experience pay great money. So it’s only a matter of time before I could be working one of those jobs!!

 

Internships January 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashley85 @ 7:17 pm

So I’ve been looking for internships for my PR program and our teacher just put up a bunch on the website. I’m not really interested in those ones, I’m waiting for an agency that has a good location since I have to commute by train, and I don’t feel like taking a bus or subway or streetcar after the train ride. So I’m really hoping my first few choices contact my teacher soon so I can get a move on an interview. I can’t wait but I’m sooo nervous. Good thing I’m going to the Dominican next month for a nice relaxing vacation!!

 

Blogs January 14, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashley85 @ 7:59 pm

So I just joined this network for a course I have, online PR. I have never before been interested in blogs let alone know how they work. But, as I learn more, it seems kind of interesting that anyone in the world can see my thoughts and comment on them, and then other people can comment on those, like an ongoing chain. I’m not really into the whole online thing. I have facebook and I use MSN, but that’s about it. No blogging, making websites, etc. But I guess if I’m going to be a PR grad in about 4 months I better get used to these things!

 

Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashley85 @ 7:29 pm

This is my first blog entry. I am doing so for class. Testing.