Two New York state lawmakers recently proposed an act to amend the state’s civil rights law that, if enacted, would require New York website administrators to “remove any comments posted on his or her website by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post,” upon request.
Social Media's archives
Is the practice of public relations any different today than in years past?
That’s one of the more frequently asked questions in blog communities, LinkedIn discussion groups and Twitter streams. While changes to our profession continue unabated, I’d argue that many of public relations’ core elements remain the same.
Cyber security is a big and growing problem. Not just hackers trying to get at your hard drive through sneaky emails and other phishing schemes. There are bad guys out there who want to do things like take down the power grid or bring transportation systems to their knees. The threats are real and many.
There is a definite and proper role for strong, coordinated government action to protect the country from cyber-attack, and Congressional legislation on this issue has been inevitable for some time. But who in government should have that responsibility — and the substantial authority that accompanies it — is up for grabs, and a major power play is unfolding.
Sixty percent of Wikipedia articles for companies and clients of respondents who were familiar with them had factual errors. That surprising number, and more, can be found in the infographic below, which is based on a research study of the relationship between public relations professionals and Wikipedia. The study is published in the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) scholarly publication, Public Relations Journal.
The research was conducted by Marcia W. DiStaso, Ph.D., co-chair of PRSA’s National Research Committee and an assistant professor of public relations at Penn State University in State College, Pa. DiStaso surveyed 1,284 public relations professionals from PRSA, the International Association of Business Communicators, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, the Institute for Public Relations and the National Investor Relations Institute to assess their working relationship with Wikipedia. The Arthur W. Page Center at Penn State’s College of Communications funded the research.
Wikipedia’s “Bright Line” Rule For PR Pros
The FDA’s draft industry guidance for off-label responses to consumers’ health care queries is a start but could benefit from specifics to appropriately advise health care communicators.
Last week, PRSA and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) filed joint comments with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration concerning its proposed social media guidelines. Our central points can be summed up as follows: self-regulation works, and professional communicators and marketers are responsible and ethical practitioners.
The feedback we provided the FDA reflects the core values of PRSA’s Code of Ethics. We made clear our belief that public relations professionals are keen to protect consumers’ rights through open and honest communications, while advocating for the brands they represent. Those goals do not have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, each can enhance the quality of information provided to the public through proactive and transparent communications practices.
Our comments are the culmination of a long-standing advocacy campaign by PRSA to obtain adequate social media guidelines from the FDA. Through a variety of commentary pieces, we have expressed our perspective that the regulatory framework that currently governs health care and pharmaceutical brands’ online communications with consumers is inadequate. Moreover, the lack of specificity in that framework has led to inaccurate and outdated information swirling around the Internet concerning health care and wellness issues.
It is crucial that the FDA presents viable guidance for how companies can utilize social media to accommodate consumers’ fact-finding needs concerning health care and wellness issues. While a start, the proposed Guidelines lack specificity and relevance that communicators and marketers require to successfully perform their jobs within FDA guidelines. (Related: Dear FDA: Your Social Media Guidance is Requested)
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PRSAY is a forum for PRSA members and other public relations professionals to engage in a dialogue with PRSA leaders, exchange viewpoints, and share perspectives on issues of concern to the Society and the public relations industry as a whole. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of PRSA.