Blog 12

CO 350

Spring, 13



BP  12 a & b


PR Wired

“PR 2.0:” Theory and Practice


  1. a.      Due Wednesday (tomorrow)

Solis, “PR 2.0” (mycampus link)

  1. How did PR lose it’s way?

PR lost its way by becoming synonymous for spin, bluff, BS, and deception.  The profession that should be regarded as an honest and effective strategic communication department quickly became something that was known for its distortion of the truth and deceptive portrayal of messages.


  1. In your own words, what is “PR 2.0”?

PR 2.0 is effective two-way symmetrical communication.  It is the process that should be the standard practice for public relations in which the organization listens to its publics and uses its feedback to conduct organizational practices and provide feedback in an honest and understandable manner.


  1. Explain these two items:
    1. “interactivity of the web”

The web has become a place where consumers can actively respond to companies and participate in what they are reading.  They can post videos, profiles, and contents and use them all at their own discretion.


  1. “rise of democratized content”

The content on the internet is being dictated by user popularity.  That means that users are choosing what they want to see. Advertisements are an example of this.  On the website, Hulu, users are asked after each advertisement whether those ads were relevant to them.  Say the commercials were for diapers.  I have no children, so I would say that those advertisements were not relevant to my experience.  They would use that feedback to further drive which commercials they send me.  This can be related to organizations and public relations.


  1. how did “the Web change everything”

The web changed the tools through which people communicated.  This does not mean that the practice has changed because two-way participatory communication is how PR should have been all along.  This has just changed the ways that companies partake in this practice.  


Breakenridge, “Eight social roles defined” (mycampus link)

  1. in your own words, summarize the 8 “social roles” that are new to PR 2.0

The policymaker—this person helps develops social media and communication policies for the company.  This person is also in charge of distributing these policies and communicating them with the rest of the organization.

Internal collaboration generator—This person selects the social media platforms for use and organizes it throughout all of the organization’s departments.  They make sure that the social media that is being used is in coordination between all the departments.

Crisis prevention doctor—This person plans and communicates the company’s crisis plan.  It works on preventing crisis and has an active plan of steps to take when a crisis does occur.  This is very essential in the age of viral videos where controversy spreads rapidly.  These people should be prepared for these crises.

Communications technology tester—the text give an example of PR practitioners being used in the testing of the launch of Google+  These people are essential to deciding the future of social media platforms that work for corporate communication as well as social communication.

Reputation task force manager—this person tracks a company’s online reputation quickly and constantly and provide rapid response to any negativity to shed a positive light on a corporation.

Organizer of the communications process—this person is responsible for making sure there is an effective communications process within the organization and that that process is known by other employees and faculty members.

Relationship analyzer—this person measures how a company relates to itself, its employees, and its publics.

Master of the metrics—this person is in charge of the research of the company.  They are in charge of conducting surveys and allowing for feedback from an organization’s publics.



  1. b.      Due Monday, April 29 (along with your papers)

Grunig, “age of digitalization” (mycampus file)

  1. p. 3:  Does Grunig believe that “the web changed everything”? Why or why not?

He does not believe that the web has changed everything when it comes to public relations.  He does believe that it has changed the tools by which practitioners practice public relations.  However, he believes that it does not change the theory behind the way that it should be practiced.


  1. pp.4-5: Does Grunig believe that audiences are passive, with mass media sources controlling the information they consume?

He does not believe that audiences are passive because in this day in age, customers can choose what they want and ignore what they want when it comes to media content.



Hanson & Wright, “Social Media Use in PR, 2006-2012” (mycampus link; scroll down to Vol 6, #4:)

For this reading, go straight to the charts at the end:

  1. p. 17, Table 1: summarize the basic idea that this chart is indicating

This chart shows an increase in agreement that social media is affecting the company’s internal and external communications.  This change is over time from 2006 to 2012.  This shows that with the continuing prevalence of social media is helping the way that company’s communicate.


  1. p. 17, Table 2: has there been a change in the belief about whether social media has enhanced PR? (cite numbers)

On a scale of 1 to 5, ranging in answers from 2008 to 2012, respondents believed that social media has enhanced PR.  In 2008, the mean response was 3.69 and in 2012 it was 4.24


  1. p. 21, table 12: what changes have occurred in what electronic communication tools are being used? Which is used most often?

Blogs, forums and podcasts have decreased since 2008.  That is not particularly surprising considering the rise of other forms of social media.  Social networks, microblogging websites, and video sharing have risen to the top prevalence.  These are sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Youtube.


  1. p. 24-25, table 15 What electronic communication tool is being used most? Has this changed from 2010?

Facebook is being used the most and this has not changed since 2010.  The second most often used is LinkedIn which has mildly changed since 2010.


Blog Post 11

CO 350

Spring, 13



BP  11


PR Wired

Context: the Internet Age


Garfield, The Chaos Scenario (mycampus link)

  1. p. 10 why are traditional media in a “stage of dire retrenchment”

The traditional media are in a dire stage of entrenchment “1) audience shrinkage with consequent advertiser defection

 2) obsolete methods — and unsustainable costs — of distribution and 3) competition

from every computer user in the whole wide world.”

  1. Why are the “days of Madison avenue dictating messages to you all but at an end”?

Networks and print media are losing mass audiences and corporations are starting to understand that they are paying millions of dollars to not reach the audience that advertising used to reach.  They will eventually quit funding these programs through advertisement.

  1. pp. 12- 14 how is the Lego corporation an example of the digital revolution

The Lego corporation introduced a new line of products called Mindstorm that were geared towards electronic and robotic bricks since toys were quickly gearing towards electronic toys in the market.  They changed their business model by cutting out obsolete toy minds to deal with the digitization at hand.

  1. p. 15 What does he mean by “listenomics”?

Listenomics is the era in which corporations establish relationships with their clients by increasingly listen to their ideas.  The era of social media and blogs allow for companies to communicate directly through customers to listen to their ideas and feedback and to make decisions based on that knowledge.

  1. p. 16+ Why doesn’t the word “audience” quite make sense anymore?

The audience is there, it is just not necessarily listening to the company.  It is listening to itself and author audience members talk about the company.  To illustrate this, the text uses the example of “New Coke.”  Coca-Cola had gone through numerous blind taste tests to discover which new recipe would be the best direction for a sweeter Coca-Cola formula.   Once the product launched however, it was wildly unsuccessful because consumers didn’t want the original recipe to be changed.  The company was not listening to its audience, and now it is at the point where audiences are dictating what decisions the company makes.



Shirky, “Thinking the unthinkable” (mycampus link)

  1. What is the “unthinkable” about newspapers

The unthinkable problem was that users of online content would not be interested in micropayment for subscriptions.  They would also reject the advertisements of online content and ignore those advertisements even further than those in the newspapers and on television and that ad revenue for online content would drastically decline.  The newspaper would also be mass-distributed through piracy and even large lawsuits would not be enough of a preventative measure to stop the distribution of online content.


  1. What was the problem with all the plans hatched in the 1990s

The plans that were hatched in the 1990s did not foresee the unthinkable situation.  The only solutions to the problems that were given were putting up a “garden wall” to online content.  Subscribers would have to provide micropayments for content in order to receive it, but that problem did not account for the massive amounts of piracy and file-sharing that would take place regardless of litigation.  It also relied on the system of ad-based revenue and it did not account for the situation in which online advertisements were virtually ignored and internet advertisements did not bring in nearly the amount of revenue to cover the charge of the monthly bandwidth to operate.


  1. In what sense does Shirky believe we are living in a revolution

We are living in a revolution because in a normal time period, those who comment on the world as they see it are seen as the pragmatists while those envision a vastly different future are known as the radicals.  In this time period, those “pragmatists” who are noticing the world as it is rapidly changing in the way that only radicals could predict are the realistic ones where the radicals are viewed as heroes for their views are not seeing the world in the digital and unthinkable age as it truly is.


  1. Is Shirky against journalism?

No, he believes that journalism is essential to society, however newspapers are not.  They would have to rethink their model at some point or another.

  1. speculate: given the traditional relationship between PR and the news media, how might this situation affect PR?


It would change how practitioners relate to the media entirety.  Rather than writing the formal press releases, they might need to make online content that has not even been invented yet.  I think this relates to the social media revolution that is upcoming.  Practitioners might have to rely solely on Youtube releases, Facebook and Twitter updates, and the social media websites that have yet to be even brought to the forefront of the internet.

BP 10

CO 350

Spring, 13



BP  10


Ethics international



Melbourne mandate


p. 3 What is “listening” all about. Speculate: what might this have to do with ethics?

Research.  The Melbourne Mandates state that organizations have a responsibility to know how all stakeholders will be affected by an organization’s actions.  They also need to know how the actions of the stakeholders will affect the organization.   In order to do this, they should be constantly updating their research methods to match the client to ensure that optimum listening is taking place.  This is ethical because it is taking into consideration more than just the organization.  It is guaranteeing a mutually beneficial relationship between an organization and its public by making sure that all parties involved are benefitting.  This also has to do with the two-way symmetrical communication model that was discussed earlier in class.


pp. 4-5 What is “responsibility,” and what does it have to do with ethics?

Responsibility is weighing the consequences of an organization’s actions on a societal, organizational, professional, and individual level.  The mandate states that organizations have a societal responsibility to make sure that its practices are sustainable in their use of natural resources.  They also need to maintain good communication practices with their employees and adapt a standard by which to measure accountability.  They also need to communicate the needs of all stakeholders involved and to make sure that these needs are met in a responsible way.  This is related to ethics because the practices maintain the beneficial relationship for all stakeholders.  By stakeholders, they are not only meaning those who have profit shares in the company, they are meaning society members and others in the community that might be affected by the company’s actions.  This can also include the environment and a community’s natural resources.


p. 2 & appendix: Discuss: what are the elements of “organizational character,” and what do those have to do with ethics?

The elements of organizational character are values, leadership, and culture, and at the very core of those three values lay the organization’s mission.  The public relations practitioner’s role in this is to make sure that the organization is practicing the company’s core values.  Their role in leadership is to communicate its mission, model, character and to inspire support.  They also should make sure that the practices maintain cultural values.  In order to do all of this the company needs to have an ethical and responsible mission.  In order for a PR practitioner to maintain this, they should be conducting research among the publics to make sure that it is currently up-to-date with current cultural standards and values.



Codes of ethics

Global alliance

compare with PRSA: values; similar? different?


Advocacy, Honesty, Expertise, Integrity and Loyalty are the values voiced by the global alliance.  These are very similar to the values voiced by the PRSA.  The PRSA believes in Advocacy, Honesty, Expertise, and Loyalty.  There are also other values that are in the PRSA that have been omitted by the Global Alliance.  Independence and fairness are omitted.  This does not necessarily mean that the Global Alliance does not believe in these, they are just not emphasized.  It is interesting how integrity is not stated in the PRSA code of ethics, yet it is in the Global Alliance.  They are placing more of an emphasis on professional responsibility.

Blog Post 9

(Sorry for the late post, I had the flu last week.)




/* Style Definitions */
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”,”serif”;}

CO 350

Spring, 13



BP  9


The PRSA Code of Ethics

  • Go to PRSA website (Mycampus link), on the top bar:
    1. Click on “intelligence”
    2. Click on “ethics”
    3. Click on “code of ethics”
  • Print the code of ethics
  • Consider the case study of “ethical malpractice” that you are reporting on, and be prepared to answer the following:
  1. Which of the values do you think was violated in your malpractice case?

My agency violated the honesty section of the PRSA code of ethics when it called the opposing party “reptilian kitten eaters from another planet.”  Even though the statement was obviously false and meant to be a joke, it lacked a certain maturity and responsibility on shedding light on the truth of what their opponent actually is, and why they are opposed to them.  It also violated fairness.  It is not fair to shed that kind of vulgar, negative light on another individual.


  1. Which item in the code of provisions was violated in your malpractice case?

This client violated the provision of advancing the profession.  Immaturity and misrepresentation of a client or an opponent does not further the profession and decreases the appeal.


“Parkinson’s Critique of the PRSA code” (Mycampus file)


  1. What did Olasky claim was the purpose of an Ethics code?

Olasky claimed that the purpose of an ethics code was to establish public relations as a profession to outside viewers.  He claimed that the code shed a positive light on the ethics of the profession to these outside observers and therefore improved its images. 


  1. What did Wright claim was the purpose of an Ethics code?

Wright claimed that the purpose of the code of ethics was to make public relations look good to the outside world and to make the practitioners to feel good about their practice and the ethics of it.


  1. Why does Parkinson think that the PRSA has an Ethics code?

Parkinson that the PRSA has an ethics code because practitioners believe that observers have a negative view of the practices of public relations.  There is a code of ethics to improve the image to observers and to help the members feel better about their actions.


  1. Acccording to Parkinson, the PRSA code is about?



  1. According to Parkinson, “for one to be a member of the public relations profession one must have professional obligations that . . . .” what?

“supercede ethical obligations imposed on persons or publics outside the profession.”


  1. According to Parkinson, how are attorneys and public relations practitioners similar?

Both law and public relations are communication-based professions.  Both are advocates for a client.  Attorneys are hired to advocate for a client on trial or being a plaintiff and public relations practitioners are hired for advocating their client.  The attorneys hold court for a journey and the public relations practitioners are responsible for the court of the public opinion.


  1. In law, the “Cannons of Professional Responsibility” are
    1. A code of professional ethics


  1. According to Parkinson, what does the PRSA code pledge lack?

The PRSA code pledge lacks a description of the professional obligation to the client which it is advocating.  It also lacks a statement of enforcement for violation of the code of ethics.


  1. Explain the difference between “homo economicus” and “homo politicus”

Homo economicus is the belief that humans are driven by self-interested and will act in according to the way that will allow them to get the most benefits for themselves.  Homo politicus is the school of thought that believes that humans are driven by the desire to further the public good and will make decisions that will maximize the benefits for all. 


    1. How can “homo economicus”, in the end, work for the good of all

When people make decisions that will maximize their own self-interest, such as in voting, then the majority of people who vote for things that will maximize their own interests have voted for something that is good for the public interest.


    1. Which of the two does the legal profession practice?

Homo economicus.  The legal profession believes that when two attorneys are presenting information that maximizes the benefits for their client that the truth will be revealed and the jury will choose the client who is truthful.


    1. Which of the two is the PRSA code based on?

The PRSA code is based on homo politicus.  This thought has very little faith in the court of the public opinion and view public relations practitioners’ first responsibility to the public rather than the client.


    1. According to Parkinson, what are the weaknesses of “homo politicus,” especially as it relates to PR?

This school of thought asserts that there is one public with the best interest to act on.  This ignores the possibility that multiple publics with conflicting interests might have the similar right to be advocated.  There is also the chance of not knowing what the public interest is, and without knowing what the public interest is, there is a danger in practicing public relations.


  1. According to Parkinson, what is the legal dilemma of the PRSA code?

The lack of asserting a loyalty to the client over loyalty to the public interest puts the practitioner in a place where they are forced to tell the truth regarding their clients and violate any legal confidentiality agreement that they might agree to with the client.


CO 350

Spring, 13



BP 8

Approaches to PR Ethics: different philosophical approaches



Mycampus link: PR Ethics Resource Center

Under the link “definitions,” find and describe (in your own words) the following general ethical approaches: (can you tell the difference between them?)

  1. Teleology

This is also known as “utilitarianism.”  A question that can define teleology would be “What does the most good for the most people?”  This is a results-oriented ideology.  When applied to public relations, it shows that public relations should benefit the public and not just the company.

  1. Deontology

“Deontology” is also sometimes referred to as duty or humanitarian ethics.  This ideology takes the viewpoint that humans treat each other with respect and that any action that doesn’t treat humans with dignity as wrong.  That viewpoint is what establishes lying as an unethical practice in public relations.

  1. Situational

Situational ethics insists on making the best decision for each situation.  This viewpoint is most useful when trying to make a decision between obligation to two or more publics.


Under the link “theories,” answer the following: :

  1. In your own words, explain the theory of “responsible advocacy” . What organization uses this theory?

Those who follow the theory of responsible advocacy might have trouble dealing with the dilemma between the loyalty to a social conscience and loyalty to the company.  In the responsible advocacy theory, the practitioners’ first loyalty is to the company or organization and then to the publics.


  1. In your own words, explain the theory of “enlightened self interest.” Some would say that this makes ethics a means to the end of profit—do you agree?

The enlightened self-interest model states that businesses who practice ethically are well-respected by their publics and clients and therefore gain more profits versus other companies that do not follow ethical practices.


  1. In your own words, explain the “attorney-adversary model” – what does this theory think of the public interest?

The attorney-adversary model is a model that sees public relations as a similar field to law.  Public relations sees its practitioners as lawyers in the court of public opinion.  They feel as if they have no obligation to the public interests since there will always be an adverse opinion.


Mycampus file: Ethical issues for the 21st century

  1. Is “truth” typically considered to be a simple concept in PR practice?

No, it is not a simple concept.  There is always a dilemma between whether or not withholding information is a lack of truth, or whether selectively telling the truth is the whole truth.  Some schools say that being completely truthful with an organization’s public is the only way to operate while others say that discretion is a key element to public relations.


  1. Is lack of telling the truth always a result of simply withholding information? Explain

Not always, sometimes a lack of truth results from a misrepresentation of communication.  That means that some of the information might be presented in a way that means something different to the audience than what it means to the speaker.  This can often happen with cultural differences.


  1. What is the difference between “information” and “truth”?

Information is the set of facts and the truth is the presentation of these facts in a way that is clear and understandable to the public in such a way that the presentation does not confuse the public into thinking that the information is something that it is not.


  1. Is a PR professional always most responsible to society at large?

It is not always most responsible to society at large because PR professionals’ loyalties remain first to their company’s interest.  If the professional is following this logic, then there will be some points in which the practitioner will not be responsible to the society and publics.


  1. What has Kruckeberg argued for?

A universal ethics code for public relations

  1. What problem does Day see in universal ethics codes?

Communications practices might be different in one country to another.   For instance, in some countries it is perfectly ethical to bribe customs to receive a passport in a speedier manner.  The customs of one country might not be unethical to some and that could create a problem.

  1. Summarize what the article seems to be saying about dialogic communication

Dialogic communication is a manner in which there is two way communication between an organization and its publics and that information is used to further strategize the company’s operating plan with the publics in mind, and the communication is open and honest.


  1. True or false: according to Day and Dong, “true dialogue” is where the organization seeks to get the public to change through means of education and persuasion.



CO 350

Spring, 13



Blog Post 7


Pr Ethics Contexts: the Past:

Edward Bernays


The reading will cover two chapters from “PR! A social history of spin,” by Stuart Ewen; access to the two chapters is off of Mycampus



Chapter 1 (pp. 2-18)

  1. What did Bernays think democracy was all about? Did he have a very high opinion of the average person?

Bernays did not have a very high opinion of the average person.  He made it very  clear that the average IQ of an American was 100.  That being said, he was very skeptical of people with that level of intelligence voicing their opinions in the government.  He believed that democracy was about the elite and intelligent studying the psychology and sociology of the average person and changing their mass conformist mindset.


  1. What does public relations have to do with “applied social science”?

He believes that the public relations professional should study the habits, likes, dislikes, psychology, and sociology of the average person and the mass market in order to find out their current opinions and change the opinion of the organization in society.


  1. what is the “trans-historic concern” that public relations is a response to?

The trans-historic concern of public relations is the requirement for the officials in power to shape the opinions of the masses.  To illustrate this, he described how his family employed a chauffeur named “Dumb Jack” who would cart him and his family all over the city every day for 25 dollars a week.  He thought that this was not a bad deal for him or for the driver, but he ended the story with “but that was before people got a social conscience.”  This statement solidified that public relations has been a response to the call to raise awareness for people living in poverty and other subpar living conditions.


  1. how does Bernays define “news”?



Chapter 8 (pp. 159-173) (note: to jump to p. 159, type “cornell” in the search bar on the left)

  1. Was Bernays a “social engineer”? Explain (42,45) 165,168

Yes, he was a social engineer.  He believed that in order to influence the public, he must find out which individuals are currently influencing the public.  One example of this was the campaign to get people to eat more bacon.  He explained that an advertisement by the bacon company saying all of the benefits of bacon would not do much.  Instead, if a doctor endorsed bacon and told the public the benefits of bacon, then they would listen.  He believed that he needed to know how to pull the strings of the mass mind by studying their habits and attitudes in order to know how to influence their thoughts and behaviors.


  1. What did Bernays consider to be “news”? (47) 170-1

Bernays considered reality to be news.  However that reality is in its most “simplified and dramatized form” in order to appeal to the senses of the masses.  Then, it is considered news.



CO 350

Spring, 13


Blog Post 6

“Global Theory” of Public Relations


“Paradigms of Global Public Relations” (mycampus handout)

These questions are basically over pp. 1-3

  1. Explain this phrase: “global public relations should fall in the middle between standardization and individualization”

This phrase is in reference to a global public relations practice.  Often practitioners wonder if PR should be practiced standard across the world or if they should individualize it to their own country.  When it is stated that global public relations should fall in the middle, it is saying that there should be a standardized system of ethics, strategy, and two-way symmetrical communication.  However, it should individualize the practice to that specific country.


  1. Is the global theory a normative theory? Explain

Yes, it is a normative theory.  The author of this text emphasizes the should and would of public relations practice.  The global theory states that public relations should fall in the middle between standardization and individualization, and that there could be a set of global standardized principles through which to practice public relations.  However, there is not currently that balance or those standardized rules.


  1. According to Grunig’s research, which of the four “models” does seem to be universal

The press-agentry publicity model of public relations is the one that seems to be practiced universally.  However, this model is proven to be the least effective.


  1. This global theory argues that public relations will be most effective when what happens

Public Relations will be most effective when it applies the 8 generic principles globally and each country tailors them to its own political, economic, and social norms to make it its own.


  1. Explain, in your own words, the 8 “generic principles”

Empowerment of Public Relations—PR professionals have access to senior management of a company and are informed of major decisions and remain in communication with those upper-level management professionals.

Integrated Communication Functions—branches of communication are consolidated or work closely together to put out the same strategic communication

Separate Management Function—a PR department should be its own department and not an extension of marketing, law, or other parts of the company.  When public relations is used as this tool, communication function is lost.

  • It should be headed by a senior manager who directs the communications technicians, rather than a communications technician his/herself.
  • They should be involved in strategic communication between the organization and its publics to maintain the relationships
  • Two-Way Symmetrical Model—These departments should communicate with the organization’s publics and take the advice that they give.
  • Diverse—these departments should include gender diversity, ethnic diversity, and racial diversity in order to communicate with a diverse public
  • Ethical—these branches should practice a standard of ethics that promotes moral and socially responsible behavior.