Archive for October, 2008

Article Review

October 23, 2008

The article I read and reviewed is from Public Relations Journal. The article is titled, “How Blogs and Social Media are Changing Public Relations and the Way it is Practiced.” The article was written by Donald K. Wright and Michelle D. Hinson.

Since we have been covering the topics of social media and blogging pretty heavily in class, most of the material was information I had been at least introduced to before. However, I did gain a new perspective on the topic. One thing that was mentioned in this article that was new to me was the idea of the new press release. The article discusses how with the traditional form of news releases only the media is able to see them. The public only has access to what the media chooses to share with them. With this new form of press release, which i assume is online, anyone and everyone has equal access to it. Another thing I learned about from this article was how social media is affecting and interacting with the more traditional mainstream sources of media.

I also learned about some of the ethical issues that can arise from employees blogging about their companies. The article posed the question of wheter or not it is ehical for an employee to blog negatively about the company they represent. It also asks the question of wheter or not it is ethical for the company to monitor what their employees are saying about the company.

I think what surprised me most about this article was the ethical issue. In all of our discussions in class I don’t think that this has ever come up. It is certainly not something that I had thought about. I thought your blog, no matter what the topic, was your blog and restrictions could not be put on it by anyone. But now that the issue of ethics has been brought to my attention it makes me wonder. Is it ethical for a company to monitor what an employee writes on his/her blog? Is is ethical for an employee to speak negatively about his/her company on a blog?

I think that it is ethical for employees to speak truthfully about the company they work for. If that means that occasionaly negative things appear then maybe the company should see that as an opportunity to make changes. As far as a company monitoring what thier employees write, I think they should. They should read and consider the feedback provided to them. I don’t however think that it is ethical for them to ask employees to change or remove any information.

However, my opinion seems to be inconsistent with the data in this article. In 2008, when professionals were asked if it was ethical for an employee speak negatively of his/her company only 25% agreed, 52% disagreed, and the remaining 22% were uncertain. On the topic of companies monitoring and disciplining emplyees for speakin negatively about their company in their blogs 44% agreed that these employees should be disciplined for this while only 32% disagreed, and 26% were uncertain.

After reading this article I would like to know more about the ethical issues that employees blogging brings about. I think it would be interesting to see if there have been any actual cases involving these issues. After reading this article I am also more interested in how social media and mainstream media are interacting.

Wright ,D.K., & Hinson, M.D. (2008). How Blogs and Social Media are Changing Public Relations and the Way it is Practiced. Public Relations Journal . 2, 1-21.