PRSA, Ethics Codes and Big Data Concerns- Katie Wyble

“The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is committed to ethical practices. The level of public trust PRSA members seek, as we serve the public good, means that we have taken on a special obligation to operate ethically.” –PRSA Code of Ethics

In this post, I am going to briefly illustrate the exact codes that support the use of big data. Taking advantage of available information is essential to running a more efficient business no matter what it is. Utilizing big data is public relations is important to better know your audience and be able to reach them better.

I believe everything comes down to honesty. Few people in this world like getting lied to. Eventually, the truth of every matter will air and everyone will know. If you’ve been paying attention to the news or even you news feed, you’ve probably heard of Volkswagen’s most recent PR blunder. For those of you who haven’t, it involved a lie about the emissions of their engines.

The lie: environmentally friendly engine with low emissions.

The Truth: High emissions and terrible for the environment.

I can’t even begin to imagine the ordeal their PR department is going through. There are many people outraged by this and it is the job of their PR department to recover the image of the company.

From the PRSA Code of Ethics, “We adhere to the highest standard of accuracy and truth in advancing the interests of those we represent and in communicating with the public.” Any PR professional should uphold their integrity as well as their company’s by giving the public the truth. Without integrity and trust, what do you have?

“We provide objective counsel to those we represent. We are accountable for our actions.” If someone were to skew the given data from their resources with big data, they would be held responsible for their actions. Big data is called into question often because of the fear of a security breach. Thousands of companies utilize big data but it is their job not to misuse it. IT is possible for it to be a great thing and so far it has been! The only downfall is bad people using it for bad things.

Under the section titled, “Free Flow of Information” the PRSA Code of Ethics states, “Core Principle Protecting and advancing the free flow of accurate and truthful information is essential to serving the public interest and contributing to informed decision making in a democratic society.”

In other words, the PRSA is an advocate for fair use of information.

“Intent: To maintain the integrity of relationships with the media, government officials, and the public.” I know I’m harping on it but it makes a lot of sense: no member of the PRSA should be using big data for harm or misuse. In my last post I discussed the pledge and the necessity of every member signing it upon admittance to the association. By signing this, you are committing to upholding a certain standard the PRSA is associated with and prides itself on.

To view the full code of ethics go to:  https://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/Ethics/CodeEnglish/#.Vlyjo3arSUk

Works Cited

https://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/Ethics/CodeEnglish/#.Vlyjo3arSUk

Opinionated Thoughts on How PRSA Should Handle Issues Faced- Brian L. Taylor

In essence, I find this to be very simple. The issue at hand that seems primarily to be on the public’s mind is whether or not big data is ethical, and whether or not it is an invasion of their privacy. I believe that in order to combat these thoughts that linger in the mind’s eye of the public, PRSA ought to take a transparent approach to their actions. Allow the public to know exactly what PRSA is doing with big data, so that they have no reason to fear their information being wrongfully used against them.

Secondly, PRSA ought to be extremely forthcoming about their code of ethics, and display it prominently in an attempt to make people understand that they aren’t trying to hide anything or conduct shady business practices that would harm them in any way, shape, or form. The PRSA code of ethics is sound, but unless it essentially becomes their motto, no one will know about it, and thus, won’t care. They will continue to believe that PRSA are evil spies, using big data to undermine their existences.

In reference to the more statistical and numerical side of big data, it’s a simple matter of refining their programming and knowing what they’re looking for. PRSA needs to take a very slow, cautious approach to big data, so as not to overlook important information, or make poor, rash decisions that harm the company’s integrity morally or ethically.

-Brian L. Taylor

Code of Ethics and Big Data- Katie Wyble

“The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is committed to ethical practices. The level of public trust PRSA members seek, as we serve the public good, means that we have taken on a special obligation to operate ethically.” –PRSA Code of Ethics

In this post, I am going to briefly illustrate the exact codes that support the use of big data. Taking advantage of available information is essential to running a more efficient business no matter what it is. Utilizing big data is public relations is important to better know your audience and be able to reach them better.

I believe everything comes down to honesty. Few people in this world like getting lied to. Eventually, the truth of every matter will air and everyone will know. If you’ve been paying attention to the news or even you news feed, you’ve probably heard of Volkswagen’s most recent PR blunder. For those of you who haven’t, it involved a lie about the emissions of their engines.

The lie: environmentally friendly engine with low emissions.

The Truth: High emissions and terrible for the environment.

I can’t even begin to imagine the ordeal their PR department is going through. There are many people outraged by this and it is the job of their PR department to recover the image of the company.

From the PRSA Code of Ethics, “We adhere to the highest standard of accuracy and truth in advancing the interests of those we represent and in communicating with the public.” Any PR professional should uphold their integrity as well as their company’s by giving the public the truth. Without integrity and trust, what do you have?

“We provide objective counsel to those we represent. We are accountable for our actions.” If someone were to skew the given data from their resources with big data, they would be held responsible for their actions. Big data is called into question often because of the fear of a security breach. Thousands of companies utilize big data but it is their job not to misuse it. IT is possible for it to be a great thing and so far it has been! The only downfall is bad people using it for bad things.

Under the section titled, “Free Flow of Information” the PRSA Code of Ethics states, “Core Principle Protecting and advancing the free flow of accurate and truthful information is essential to serving the public interest and contributing to informed decision making in a democratic society.”

In other words, the PRSA is an advocate for fair use of information.

“Intent: To maintain the integrity of relationships with the media, government officials, and the public.” I know I’m harping on it but it makes a lot of sense: no member of the PRSA should be using big data for harm or misuse. In my last post I discussed the pledge and the necessity of every member signing it upon admittance to the association. By signing this, you are committing to upholding a certain standard the PRSA is associated with and prides itself on.

To view the full code of ethics go to:  https://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/Ethics/CodeEnglish/#.Vlyjo3arSUk

Works Cited

https://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/Ethics/CodeEnglish/#.Vlyjo3arSUk

 

Issues That PRSA Faces In Reference to Big Data- Brian L. Taylor

A particularly prominent issue that PRSA faces in regards to big data is the fact that they operate in a realm in which the public that they serve distrusts the PR field. Many seem to find large companies like PRSA to be untrustworthy, and dislike the idea of PRSA collecting big data.

Many members of the public find this to be an invasion of privacy, and a violation of their rights, making PRSA’s job of collecting data much more difficult. Numerous law suits are filed every year against various PR companies, PRSA included, for violation of privacy and unethical conduct.

So, it seems that one of the largest issues standing in the way of PRSA and their plans for big data is that their ethics don’t seem apparent enough. Members of the public claim, with substantial backup, that it’s easy to fudge the numbers in big data and sway statistics in any way that will assist the company in question’s goals. This bias brings PRSA into question in regards to its ethical code of conduct.

– Another problem with big data arises from the simple fact that big data can lead to big screw-ups. Big data can be useful, yes, but can also be imprecise if not used properly. This can lead to many issues for PRSA, including their ethical standing once again. If they appear inaccurate, they become an easy target for claims of falsehood.

With big data, it’s best to adopt a “think slowly” attitude, so that rash decisions are cut out of the equation and false positives are kept to a bare minimum. Also, if rashness is adopted as a policy of operations, it’s easy to lose sight of the goal and overlook informational “gold” altogether, which is a tragedy in and of itself. The information that is being looked for by PRSA in big data can be easily overlooked, much like a needle in a haystack.

These are only a few of the issues that PRSA faces today, and many more are foreseen for the rapidly-approaching future.

Works Cited:

http://www.networkworld.com/article/2973963/big-data-business-intelligence/5-problems-with-big-data.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/07/opinion/eight-no-nine-problems-with-big-data.html?_r=0

https://www.prsa.org/Intelligence/TheStrategist/Articles/view/10925/1104/Taming_Big_Data_Start_by_Asking_What_Customers_Nee#.Vlv-auJs-qw

Ethics- Katie Wyble

Meriam-Webster defines ethics as, “an area of study that deals with ideas about what is good behavior and bad behavior: a branch of philosophy dealing with what is morally right or wrong.” In the professional realm, ethical actions are taken seriously. How can one instill trust in a company or a brand without ethical actions?

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) as we know, aids public relations professionals in their professional careers. It is also the standard for which every PR professional is expected to uphold.

PRSA is adamant that every professional display ethics in their work. They are so adamant in fact that they have built an ethics code specifically outfitted for the public realations profession! If anyone still thinks that people in PR are nothing but manipulators and scallywags, then they should just take one look at this.

One should display good ethics in everything they do. Does that happen? Not necessarily. Should everyone at least try? Absolutely.

Socrates was highly intestested in ethics. He said, “If knowledge can be learned, so can virtue. Thus, virtue can be taught.” I believe this to be true. This is part of the job of the PRSA.

Every PRSA member makes an oath. “I pledge: To conduct myself professionally, with truth, accuracy, fairness, and responsibility to the public; To improve my individual competence and advance the knowledge and proficiency of the profession through continuing research and education; And to adhere to the articles of the Member Code of Ethics 2000 for the practice of public relations as adopted by the governing Assembly of the Public Relations Society of America. I understand and accept that there is a consequence for misconduct, up to and including membership revocation. And, I understand that those who have been or are sanctioned by a government agency or convicted in a court of law of an action that is not in compliance with the Code may be barred from membership or expelled from the Society.” (PRSA Code of Ethics Pledge)

As anyone can see, the PRSA does not take misconduct of the code lightly.

How does ethics tie into big data? Large amounts of information must be used ethically. It is not right to exploit people based on the information one can gain from Big Data. However, it is possible to use Big Data responsibly and ethically.

References & Works Cited:

http://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/Ethics/documents/Code%20of%20Ethics.pdf

http://philosophy.lander.edu/ethics/socrates.html

 

 

Brief Description of Big Data and PRSA- Katie Wyble

What exactly is PRSA? Considering most of us (in this ccourse) are public relations majors, I’m sure we’ve heard the name float around once or twice. PRSA is the Public Relations Society of America. Essentially, PRSA is the leading voice of all public relations professionals. In a way, they have final say on the do’s and don’ts of PR.

The company itself it a nonprofit organization to help aid all professiols and aspiring professionals. There are so many resources that can be utilized through them! Just to name a few, they provide: networking opportunities, professional recognition, intell, learning sources, career advice, advocacy programs and much more.

PRSA consits of about 22,000 members ranging from students to professionals to teachers. They are there to help you improve.

Big Data is a broad term for a gigantic field of information that we are able to utilize. In the past, such a thing did not exist. There was no way to store mass quantities of information until around 1996 when digital storage became ‘more cost-effective” and then became popularized.

There is an incredible amount of information out there now and we’re only beginning to understand how to harness it. Being able to use such information, rather than having to take risks or not knowing about something exactly, is saving time, money, and space. It’s a great asset to PR especially.

During the course of this blog, we will explore how Big Data is used, how it effects the business, and how it affects the users providing the data.

Sources

http://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/FAQ/#.VhqpKCBViko

http://www.sas.com/en_us/insights/big-data/what-is-big-data.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress/2013/05/09/a-very-short-history-of-big-data/

Welcome!

Welcome to Media Literacy Group 10’s page. The focus of this page will be towards the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Considering the majority of us here are public relations majors, this could potentially be exteremely helpful. We hope you enjoy!