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



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:




Benefits of big data in PR- Taylor Wilson

A great way for people in public relations to use big data is through online statistics. These statistics can show who goes on the created website and the effectiveness of what is on the website. This can help a person figure out what improvements you might need. Another benefit are the media analysis tracks. This can help to see who is writing about your product and also help you find a more directed audience for your product. Brand awareness is another benefit because social media impacts peoples lives tremendously these days. So if you are trying to reach people and expand your product, brand awareness is the perfect way to accomplish that. Lastly, survey research data is a very important key. These surveys can help you analyze your brand and use that information to reach a specific type of audience.



Google Analytics for PR: Where Are We Collecting our Data from? – Jessika Wager

For PR professionals, a big portion of our clients worry about their online presence. You must be familiar with the different types of metrics that signify your work. Below is an example of what metrics would be used in PR to help a client with their existence online.

Google analytics is a popular tool for PR to use as Google is so widespread so I choose to use their metrics but in reality, most will have very similar approaches.

They use 5 built in metrics:

  • New Unique Visitors = First time visitors. Important first place to look. You want this number to be growing.
  • Returning Visitors = Most important. These are the people you need to keep around. They are the most likely to spread the word and advocate for you.
  • Mobile Visitors = The audience you track through tablet, smartphone, etc. This has to be calculated because it is continually increasing and in almost 1/5 of all website viewers.
  • Social Network Referrals = How often you are commented on/ shared on social media.
  • Goal Conversions = shows the mismatch between your PR and your marketing. Easier to understand where you need to make changes in order to create more traffic and please those who visit.


Wolverton, C. (2014, February 20). Google Analytics 101: 5 Metrics for Public Relations. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from http://www.shiftcomm.com/2014/02/google-analytics-101-5-metrics-for-public-relations/


Pros of Big Data- Taylor Wilson

According to Tom Davenport, IIA Director of Research and faculty leader whos piece was published in the sascom magazine there are three benefits to the use of big data. The three benefits are that there is a cost reduction, faster and better decision making, and new products and services. The first benefit cost reduction comes from the new big data technologies such as Hadoop and cloud-based analytics. These companies are encouraging big data technologies not to replace existing architectures. Instead they want to augment them so that data in only moved into data warehouses when needed. Through the new technology such as Hadoop help the companies make these changes. The second benefit faster and better decision making. The speed of Hadoop has created a speedier way for decision making and in-memory analytics. These new technologies can help companies stay up to date with all their data and in a better and more organized way. The third benefit which is new products and services for customers. These new products can help companies reach a better target of people who might be affiliated with them. These new and exciting big data technologies are benefiting companies and creating better opportunities for them.



Disproving cons of Big Data-Pawel Wlaz

Much of the the big data practices around the world are looked at negatively and fail to look at some of the positives. Through big data, businesses can appropriately deal with issues in sales and customer satisfaction, along with making changes in areas that consumers feel need attention to. The general public feels like there is a lot wrong with many business practices and wish that certain companies would change their ways. With big data, business can get an almost immediate reading of whats going with their sales and traffic. If people would like to be heard, this is one way of doing it. With big data, companies will notice why sales are going down or why people are not doing business with. Complying with big data practices ensures that the average consumer has a voice in the market and will benefit both parties. Big data does not just work for the company itself and is not just a greedy marketing scheme.