I’ve noticed several posts lately on the ethics of certain social media PR practices. The most recent one, from Shel Holtz, even calls for a radical (but unfeasible) solution to ensure transparency of social media PR.
The post Shel comments on is sad and scary, yet I can’t help but see hope for the PR profession in social media. There are many PR bloggers out there (see my blogroll) who make the profession accessible and transparent. Their posts show that PR people DO have values. Their blogs allow them to critique the PR profession from the inside (rather than us academics critiquing from the ivory tower) – so they have more credibility among PR practitioners. I think in time these PR bloggers will accomplish two important things for the PR profession:
1 – more ethical/transparent PR practice. They’re already pushing for this, and the very act of critiquing and calling people out on unethical practices is powerful. It is more punishment than PRSA can enforce!
2 – a better reputation. PR has a PR problem, and the profession will have an iffy reputation for a long time, but these bloggers will significantly improve PR’s reputation and professionalism.