CO 350: Contemporary Perspectives in Public Relations: Blog Post 12:PR Wired “PR 2.0:” Theory and Practice

Solis, “PR 2.0” (mycampus link)

1. How did PR lose it’s way?

Answer: Public relations lost its way when it created standard to make possibly make it one of the most respected professions in within businesses, but public relations lost its way thanks to the help of the Internet.  The Internet helped public relations to lose it’s way because it exposed the profession online with mistakes and holes in the infrastructure of the profession.  The way of old public relations could not fit within this new infrastructure, which in turn gave a bad light to the profession.  So the news of a revolution within the profession is starting to help it find the right path again to becoming a respectable industry.

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

Answer: According to Solis, public relations 2.0 is the new age of the public relations profession that was the influence of multimedia and the Web on the ways of marketing communications and public relations; at the same time, the Web and multimedia developed gave organizations and the profession of public relations a new set of platforms to communicate directly with people just outside the structure of the organization.  In other words, these new tools would be used to communicate with publics and stakeholders of the industry, as well as gaining new publics for the organization.  PR 2.0 deals with the idea that communication is not just one way anymore, and that organizations need two-way communication in order to have successful communication between an organization and its publics.

3. Explain these two items:

a.  “interactivity of the web”

Answer: When Solis refers to “interactivity of the web,” Solis is referring to the fact of the web being customizing to individuals on the Internet.  Websites and search engines are using the browsing history of individuals to customize for advertising on different web pages.  This brings a more personable feeling to the person browsing on the web.  The internet is a lot more than web pages anymore; web users can have different social media platforms interacting with each other to make it easier for the user.  For example, a person can interact on both Twitter and Facebook from just the Facebook account, especially with the tool that links both accounts.

b.  “rise of democratized content”

Answer: The rise of democratized content refers to the freedom an web user has when browsing on the Internet.  For example, different organizations on their website now offer personal customization of what advertisements they want to see when watching or playing different media.  The internet is becoming more about freedom of choice, letting the audience control what the audience wants to see when having an experience on the web. 

 4.  how did “the Web change everything”

Answer: The Web changed everything because it gave organizations and their communication allies another platform to reach their publics on, besides the usually television, radio, and visual advertisements.  Organizations could now use a new platform to get their message to their publics at a higher rate of speed; a consumer could also the Web as a way to get information, without being skewed, directly to their publics. The Web gave the profession of public relations something to use, something it did not really know how to use. 

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

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

Answer: According to Breakenridge, there are eight social roles that are new to public relations 2.0.  Those social roles are: policymaker, internal collaboration generator, crisis prevention doctor, communications technology tester, reputation task force member, organizer of the communications process, relationship analyzer and master of the metrics.  When talking about the role of policymaker, public relations professionals must put together social media policies to help give boundaries to what external and internal stakeholders can post on the social media platforms about the organization. The internal collaboration generator refers to the fact that the public relations department uses its strength in creating working parts between different internal departments to create social media messages and other messages that get out to the publics.  The crisis prevention doctor refers to the fact that public relations professionals are constantly building and tweaking plans in the event of a crisis, and training other departments to act in appropriate manners during a crisis.  The communications technology tester refers to the idea that public relations professionals should be the first ones to try out new platforms of communication, such as social media platforms.  The reputation task force member refers to the fact that the public relations professional must keep an constant eye on all communications platforms, and be constantly analyzing to keep the organizations reputation and “brand” intact for internal and external stakeholders.  The organizer of the communications process refers to the idea that a public relations professional must put into place an appropriate and functioning communication process for the internal side of an organization to stay on the same page.  The relationship analyzer refers to a public relations professional’s role in studying, researching and analyzing how the publics of an organization stay connected with the organization.  The master of the metrics refers to the idea of the evaluation of different strategies and tactics used by the public relations professional in order to better their position within the organization.


Grunig, “age of digitalization” (mycampus file)

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

Answer: Grunig does not want to admit, but says it is “unavoidable” and the web has changed everything in the profession of public relations.  The reason why Grunig believes these assertions is the way most practitioners use digital media in everything they do to practice the profession of public relations. Grunig also states that there are some who still use the digital media the same as the traditional media.  Grunig states that even with the digital media, and the way the web has changed most things, public relations practitioners must still use basic principles of public relations to continue helping the profession of public relations.

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

Answer: In research, Grunig does believe that audiences are not passive when it comes to mass media controlling the information they consume.  In fact, it can be seen as the mass media catering to the audience members.  The public relations professional’s role in the paradigm does not change because the public relations professionals are still using these platforms to get key messages out to their audience; so the audiences are passive only to the public relations professions within the organizations, an not the mass media sources passing along the information to these publics. 

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:

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

Answer: The basic idea of the chart is showing how most of the people who were asked this question agree somewhat that the emergence of social media and other media platforms has helped to communicate, especially with the handling of external communications.  The handling of internal communication as stayed the same; the reason being could be the existence of an internal communications platform that already works within the organization. 

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

Answer: There has been a change in the belief about whether social media has enhanced public relations as a profession.  The mean of the chart expresses a positive change from being in the middle to saying that yes, social media has enhanced the profession.  The numbers show a mean of 3.69 in 2008, increasing to a mean of 4.24 in 2012.  This chart shows that social media, in the minds of public relations professionals, has influenced change in the public relations profession. 

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

Answer: According to this chart, social networks have seen growth in being one of the more important platforms in helping communication efforts rising from a mean of 3.21 in 2009 to a mean of 4.27 in 2012.  Micro-blogging sites, such as Twitter have also seen an increase from 2009 to 2012, rising from 2.81 to 3.90.  Podcasts and message boards have seen a decrease from 2009 to 2012, while blogs, search engine marketing, and video sharing have seen fluctuation.

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

Answer: According to the chart, Facebook is the electronic communication tool being used the most by organizations with 54 percent of people using having frequent access in organizations.  The amount of access to Facebook has gone down since 2010; this reason might be the emergence of new social networks, such as Google+, Pinterest, and Foursquare, different social networks that did not exist before 2012


CO 350: Contemporary Perspectives in Public Relations: Blog Post 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”

Answer: According to Garfield, the traditional media are in a stage of dire retrenchment because of three “concurrent, irresistible forces: audience shrinkage with consequent advertiser defection; obsolete methods and unsustainable costs of distribution; and competition from every computer user in the whole wide world.” In a summary of this particular section, Garfield talks about how the advertising world is taking a change and adapting to these new ways of media to reach the public, especially using the computer platform and the world wide web.  Traditional media such as television, newspapers and magazines are losing advertising revenue to more cost effective strategies online that can reach individual members of society and personalize to the liking of the person’s web browsing history.

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

Answer: The reason for the coming to an end where Madison Avenue dictates messages to audience is because that audience is becoming smaller on network television and the time on network television becomes even more valuable. According to Garfield, when the critical mass is gone, marketers will not have a big place, such as network television, to spend their $47 billion dollars a year.  Instead, marketers can make more profit in more cost sustainable ways by advertising in other media, such as online advertising. Garfield describes this rebirth of new media and marketing strategies as an “ice age.” All strategies will be renewed for a new media outlet in the future, in the Digital Age. 

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

Answer: The Lego corporation is an example of the digital revolution because its own company created the Mindstorms project, which led to the new energetic movement to get loyal customers excited about the new things happening at Lego, and to attract new customers to the product.  The digital revolution is about taking these old products and old services, rethinking a marketing strategy and/or the product, and going out to the loyal publics and new public to try and make a hit again.  In all honesty, this type of work in the digital revolution can be reflected in “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel; everything is reinvented in some way, and occurs in history again, but takes a new path through history.  This reflects the digital age and what Lego did to help get through the digital revolution.

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

Answer: According to Garfield, “listenomics” refers to a term that is describes as, “the art and science of cultivating relationships with individuals in a connected, increasingly open-source environment.  To break this definition down, Garfield talks of the importance of having a very open relationship with a individuals, especially when it is a stakeholder of an organization. Garfield also states that it is an art and science to stay connected and allow for the cultivating of relationships between the organization and individuals of society.  Therefore, the idea of “listening” in a relationship, whether it is from the organization or individuals in society who do not have much to discuss about, is important to give time and attention to cultivate the best relationship.

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

Answer: The word audience does not quite make that much sense anymore because the audience is a body of people that have to listen to what a person and/or organization is telling them about a product, service or special event.  The audience term is being switched with the idea of crowd because individual people are getting together to discuss about a person’s product, or about an organization. Of course, these audiences are not necessarily appearing in front of the television; instead, they are showing up on social media platforms discussing products or services with “likes”, comments, and other uses of getting a message across about products and/or services. The audience does not necessarily listen to the organization; it is the organization listening to the crowd.




Shirky, “Thinking the unthinkable” (mycampus link)

6. What is the “unthinkable” about newspapers

Answer: According to Shirky, the “unthinkable” about newspapers is the idea that newspapers will die out, especially with the emergence of the digital revolution. Shirky discusses how people within the newspaper industry are trying to find innovative ways to save this old industry, but the reality comes when nothing can really be done about this.  In order for the newspaper industry to survive, it has to adapt to digital and do away with being news on several pages of paper.  The death of an industry such as print journalism, would not be to sadden, as the industry of print is slowly dying with the ease and unlimited space of print media and the platforms available in time and space for the newspaper and other print media. 

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

Answer: The problem with all of the plans hatched in the 1990s was the similarity between all of them, which echoed, and denied the idea of giving the newspaper a “digital facelift.”  Several of the ideas wanted to take the newspaper and re-imagine how to make the print copies of the newspaper even more appealing to audiences.  When the Internet arrived, newspapers tried to think of the same plans to revolutionize the old print form, but are now realizing how the arrival of the digital age has left the print media of newspaper to die with the digital revolution.

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

Answer: Shriky believes we are living in a revolution because of the increasingly smaller and small crowd that is in denial that the newspaper will die out.  People of print journalism want to keep fighting to save the industry they have known and loved, but others who want the new “digital facelift” to happen want to leave the printing press as soon as possible to transition smoothly in what will become the new reality for “print” media.  Shirky talks about how the old ideas, old ways of newspaper are not functioning in society like they used to, and the digital age is coming on too fast for these repairs to the newspaper and transition into digital media starts to be a waiting game.  The idea of being on edge as print journalism transitions to the digital world is something that points out this movement is a revolution, a digital revolution.

9. Is Shirky against journalism?

Answer: No, Shirky is not against the idea of journalism in this article. Shirky just argues that the profession of journalism needs to become stronger and more impactful in the future.  The profession of journalism will not have the presence of paper to report news to society.  Journalism needs to hammer down on reporters that do not present the best journalistic skills to write a decent story that reaches out to the members in a crowd.  Journalism is in kind of an embarrassment as several citizen journalists are posting content, that does not follow the standards of journalism.  Journalism needs to take on a new face in news reporting, outside the conflict of being print or digital journalism; the foundation needs to be started and built upon for the future of journalism and its members who are in the profession.

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

Answer: If the print media of the newspaper went away for the sake of the industry, the public relations profession would be just fine, as information can be sent out by an organization to different media outlets, and with a digital newspaper, posted in a matter of minutes to go out and reach certain audience members who relate to the information. Public relations will become even more demanding as the digital age comes more and more into play.  Of course, the only problem with this situation is that the print industry is taking its time to think about fully converting over to digital.  In all honesty, public relations will not be affected, but only improved with the faster timing of the information out to key publics in society.

CO 350: Contemporary Perspectives in Public Relations: Blog Post 10: Ethics International

Melbourne mandate


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

Answer:In the Melbourne mandate, the idea of listening talks about the purpose of a public relations practitioner within a relationship with a client or client organization to pursue critical information that can be passed along to public interest.  The information gathered from this “listening” relationship can be applied within strategies and tactics of the organization by the practitioner.  The term “listening” lightens the mood of the relationship between the client and organization to show that the relationship is more relaxed and personable than a professional relationship.  In these standard you almost get the feel of the culture of Australia in being a laid back culture, using certain terms such as “listening” to bring locality to these standards.  


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

Answer: According to the Melbourne mandate, the idea of “responsibility” is the duty a public relations professional/practitioner has to its publics, its organization, and to professional and personal self.  In dealing with the publics, a public relations professional has the duty of making sure there is a balance with the organization’s needs and society’s interests in the products, services and information being presented from the organization.  The balance between these two bodies is essential for good ethics because you want to the organization to be fair in handling and giving information to different publics. In the idea of organizational responsibility, the practitioner must help the organization in dealing with decisions and having the constant communication through different strategies with the stakeholders of the organization; letting internal and external people of the organization know how to abide by ethical standards of public relations is important to the success of the organization. In the professional responsibility, a professional/practitioner must abide by professional ethical codes, explain these to the external and internal stakeholders of the organization for mutual understanding and continuing to digest new knowledge of the public relations profession. In personal responsibility, a professional/practitioner must be accountable in the decision making process, and evaluate outside of there personal values any decisions made by the organization.  In other words, to make things ethical, a person must put aside personal values and assume professional values of the organization.  


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

Answer: According to the Melbourne mandate, there is a chart that explains how the “DNA” of an organization is made up of three “strands”: values, leadership, and culture. Values are used by the organization as a foundation to guide critical decisions and ethical behavior.  In other words, a companies values are the first priority in an organization because they are rooted deep into the well-being of the organization.  Values can be used in two ways where the external stakeholders almost “check” the organization, or the organization sends out information to look for feedback.  Leadership involves the idea of leaders in the company taking in those values and operating the organization through those values, making the best ethical decisions for the organization. The third element, culture, takes in the rest of the elements, but it also is the influence on the other elements, which includes structures, processes, ways of working and collective behavior with internal and external stakeholders.  These three key elements determine the ethical standards, and drive the ethical standards of the organization.  



Codes of ethics

Global alliance

compare with PRSA: values; similar? different?

Answer: There are a lot of similarities between the PRSA code of ethics and the Global Alliance Code of Ethics.  The first value in the Code of Professional standards is the same value found in the PRSA’s list of values. The difference between the Global Alliance and the PRSA is the PRSA’s addressing of the public interest.  In the advocacy part of the Global Alliance, there exists no mention of public interest, or at least the words ‘public interest’.  The second half of the PRSA Code of Ethics’ statement of values and the second half of the advocacy statement is word for word following the Global Alliance Code of Ethics.  The “honesty” section in each of the codes of ethics is similar in the first part, but PRSA goes in the direction of the “public” while the Global Alliance follows clients and employers. Loyalty is another common value shared by both the PRSA and Global Alliance, and almost mean the same thing.  The differences lie in the values of independence and integrity.  The PRSA independence value talks about the actions and how public relations professionals should take account for their actions. The Global Alliance code of ethics talks about integrity talks about how personal reputations are protected.  These are the differences and similarities between the PRSA and Global Alliance codes of ethics.

CO 350: Contemporary Perspectives in Public Relatons: Blog Post 9: PRSA Code of Ethics

The PRSA Code of Ethics


  1. Which of the values do you think was violated in your malpractice case?

Answer: In the incident of the Mad Cow Disease scare in the United States in the early 2000s, the value that is most violated in this malpractice has to be the value of honesty.  The public relations professionals involved in flooding the public with information about the safety of beef products and how the wasn’t able to enter U.S. beef, denying that our beef could get it shows dishonesty in the fact that anything could happen.  If the United States cannot be honest and say that is as vulnerable to diseases such as Mad Cow, why do the people of the United States trust our government and the people who run the government? Being honest also includes coming to reality when a situation occurs, and admitting that something could happen.


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

Answer: The code of provision dealing with competition was violated in the Mad Cow disease malpractice.  The reasons that the United States was denying the fact that it’s beef could get the disease shows it wanted to stay one of the top competitors of beef exporters in the world, saying we do not have to treat our beef for Mad Cow disease in order to ship it to your country.  Countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada are put in danger of losing their beef buyers to the United States because of the U.S. claim that its beef could not get mad cow disease.  If public relations professionals wanted to be honest with their foreign countries, they would have to be fair in competition and come out and day that their beef is just as vulnerable to the mad cow disease.



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


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

Answer: According to this article by Parkinson, Olasky claimed that the code of ethics were created only to serve the purpose of creating a positive image of the public relations professions for those outside of the profession.  In other words, to appear as professional as other professions in society, most professions follow some sort of code of ethics, and set standards for all of those in the same profession.  If public relations could create standards for itself as a profession, then it would receive the same respect and positive light as other professions in society.


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

Answer: According to Parkinson’s article, Wright claimed in a similar way that the code of ethics in the public relations profession, or by the PRSA, was created to make the profession look better in the eyes of society, rather than using the code of ethics in a serious manner to “control or describe their professional conduct.” If any professional can say that they follow standards and be a respect professional, then the public relations professionals should find the same meaning and consequence in using a code of ethics.


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

Answer: According to Parkinson, the PRSA has an Ethics code that is used to give a positive perception of public relations practitioners by the general public.  The belief by Parkinson is that the PRSA developed an Ethics code to wipe away the idea of scholars and teachers who fear that the public relations professionals possess an unethical perception from the publics.  Parkinson also believed public relations professionals wanted a code of ethics to recognize there exists professional obligations.


  1. Acccording to Parkinson, the PRSA code is about
    1. Image
    2. Professionalism
    3. ethics



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

Answer: According to Parkinson, “for one to be a member of the public relations profession one must have professional obligations that supercede ethical obligations imposed on persons or publics outside the profession.”  In other words, Parkinson is stating that if the public relations profession wants to have a professional perception amongst observers outside of the profession, the profession of public relations must build an even stronger foundation on a code of ethics that is not just developed by one group of practitioners in the profession, but has shared definition and standards for all of those in the profession.  Also, the code of ethics must be geared even more toward the profession of public relations, especially talking about the key components of what public relations professionals do that is almost universal in the entire profession. Therefore, Parkinson suggests that public relations as a profession should separate from the PRSA personal ethics of its individual practitioners.


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

Answer: According to Parkinson, attorneys and public relations practitioners are both advocates for clients.  Attorneys work in the court of law and are key for their client’s communication to advance the interest of their client.  Public relations practitioners play a similar role in advancing their client’s interests by communication through a court of public opinion.  Both of the professions use communication to try and benefit their client even more than what the client can do for them selves. Other similarities in both professions include the proper presentation and accuracy of facts, but also have restrictions on the content and form of their communication.


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



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

Answer: According to Parkinson, the PRSA code pledge lacks any mention of any obligation to a client.  Of course, when Parkinson compares the PRSA code pledge to that of an attorneys pledge, the attorneys pledge focuses on the professional status of the attorney and their relationship with the client.  Parkinson is trying to point out that the public relations profession is not even including a key term and area within its profession; the idea of creating and maintaining a relationship with a client or client organization should be a token public relations practitioners should pledge to when serving as a professional practitioner of the public.


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

Answer: “Homo economicus” refers to the idea that people focus on themselves and think only about their interests and beliefs to make decisions that only attempt to “maximize personal benefits.”  “Homo politicus” refers to the idea that people focus on decisions that have the greatest impact on the public and not their maximum personal benefits.  These are the differences between these two terms. 


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

Answer: The idea that “homo economicus” could work for the good of all, is that if everybody makes decisions in self-interest, in a collective way, society will make an ultimate decision for society.  The comparison that is made in Parkinson’s article is that of elections; if people at least act upon and vote, and ultimate decision is made as to who will run the country for the next four years. 


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

Answer: The legal profession recognizes the practice of “home economicus.” In Parkinson’s article, if both parties act in the self-interest of themselves, evidence and other testimonies will allow for the ultimate truth to be turned up by the proceedings of the court. The attorney who does the most work and finds the most evidence to prove that their client is did enough to be the winning one in the eyes of the law, then in the end, the client should win their trial.


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

Answer: The PRSA code is based on the idea of homo politicus.  The PRSA code takes on an obligation to public interest; therefore, the client’s interests are not fully maximized because the obligation lies in the interets of how the public is responding to the client organization.  PRSA has a code that watches that balance between client interest and public interst that is overlooked by a court of public opinion.


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

Answer: The weaknesses of “homo politicus,” especially in its relation to public relations is the idea that a professional cannot attempt to advocate for two interests with the same amount of power and energy because there exists no balance of power, and therefore, the losing party is that of the public relations professional.  Another weakness in public relations is the idea of acting for public interest is seen as taking a standard of personal ethics over professional ethics; professional ethics calls for the professional to have the client interests overrule the public interest. 


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

Answer: The legal dilemma of the PRSA code, according to Parkinson, is the prioritization of the obligation to the client does not legally work with professional standards.  Several parts of the PRSA code conflict which include the idea of open communication in making a democratic decision (which follows the code of professional standards) conflicts with another part of the code talking about the idea of a requirement of the free flow of information to serve the public interest.  Other legal dilemmas include a client’s rights to protect trade secrets and to rights of privacy, therefore, there cannot be the free flow of information, which conflicts with the PRSA Code. 


CO 350: Contemporary Perspectives in Public Relations: Blog Post 8: Approaches to PR Ethics: Different Philosophical Appraches

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

Answer: Teleology is the idea that a decision is made looking ahead to the outcome of the situation; where there is a larger group of  people that benefit in the end, but not all parties receive equal benefits.  There is still a chance somebody will end up in the negative part of the decision. A decision must be made that will benefit the larger number of people.  For example, if a soldier must die to protect his entire unit, his unit will benefit, but he will lose his life.  This is an extreme example of teleology, but an example none-the-less.


  1. deontology

Answer: Deontology is defined as putting human rights as priority when making a decision in a situation.  Every human has basic human rights, and are entitled to these rights in any situation.  An example of deontology would be killing someone in self-defense; in a war, a person knows it is wrong to kill, but they do it in defense of their country or territory.  Another example would be knowing that stealing is wrong, but that I took your nice pen from you.  Deontology focuses on the basic human rights, and every human is entitled to these rights.


  1. situational

Answer: According to the website, situational ethics refers to the idea of leaving the decision making process separate from the possible results.  The situational concept looks only at the minimum of the decision making in order to make a choice and move on to handling the next part of the situation.  The situational context does not take in to consideration the ethics behind the condition.  The ethics are effected by the decision, and could be good or bad, but situational in a way does not focus on the ethical outcomes; it just focuses on the present dilemma of a decision.


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

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

Answer: The theory of “responsible advocacy” is the idea that public relations professionals must show concern and priority in being responsible for their clients.  The core responsibility of the public relations practitioner is being professionally responsible in overseeing the opinions and needs of your clients.  The “responsible advocacy” theory has primary and balanced responsibilities over the clients and the organization.  The organization that really utilizes this theory is the Public Relations Society of America, or PRSA, in their Code of Ethics, in their statement of values.


  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?

Answer: The “enlightened self interest” theory focuses on the idea of good ethical behavior to be competitive amongst other companies in order to drive profit in a positive and beneficial direction.  It seems this theory focuses on the client’s money in order to bring “good ethics” to just make more money.  This theory seems to help sly companies put on a positive attitude that follows basic ethical standards to get through and be rewarded with more money.  Therefore, this theory is used by organizations who are going after clients with large money piles.  In this situation, I would agree with ethics and it’s relation to the ending profit.  If you behave in a proper, ethical manner with clients, clients will give more money because of the organizations good ethics.  If a client is not given good ethical standards from the organization, the organization should not look for a whole lot of financial benefit. 


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

Answers: The “attorney-adversary” model is a model created by Barney and Black in 1994 stating public relations practitioners do not have any obligation to take into consideration the interests of the publics.  The idea of this theory is to focus on the view of the client, and leave the responsibility to somebody else to represent the counterpoint view of the public.  The idea of this theory is to compare attorneys of law to public relation practitioners, both working in some kind of “court”.  For attorneys, they work in the court of law, while public relations practitioners work in the court of public opinion.  Public interest seems to be thrown out the window in this theory, and practitioners do not consider the other side when trying to fight for a client.  This practice could result in damage within the society and the relationships with the public. 


Mycampus file: Ethical issues for the 21st century

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

Answer: The concept of “truth” in public relations practice is used only in circumstances where the public or other group of people believe there has been false or misleading information given to those out in the public.  Truth is based on the idea of factuality, and Therefore, the concept of truth is not a simple concept, as the public relations profession can make “truth” very complicated with statistics and other “factuality” to help support a “truth” practitioners are trying to portray in the intended message.  For example, with some of the malpractices that we are studying to present, the mad cow disease, several sources were using “truth” to complicate the intended message and to avoid a situation of something that will supposedly never happen.  Therefore, the concept of truth is not a simple concept, but a complicated concept as the public relations profession can have several definitions for terms such as truth.


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

Answer: The lack of telling the truth is not always a result of simply withholding information.  The lack of telling the truth could be a lack of information behind the situation.  Some situations need more information, but have to give a response to the publics in a short time period.  There might need to be more time spent on creating information.  The lack of telling truth could also be a spin on information that has the truth warped in a way that calls for asking for the real truth.  Thus, practitioners can keep giving skewed information to the publics in order to prevent telling the truth.  There are several reasons and situations were there is a lack of telling the truth.


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

Answer: The difference between “information” and “truth” is quite simple: information is factual information that is the foundation for something larger, such as the truth.  Information does not always have to present the truth, but a lot of information put together in a certain way can create a sense of the “truth” for a public receiving this information.  For example, if a public relations practitioner gave out wrong information, it would have to follow through with giving the correct information.  Incorrect and correct information are complete opposites with that are black and white terms.  In regards to the truth, a public relations practitioner does not have to give out the entire truth; with multiple responses that have a little bit more “truthful information.” The difference between information and truth is like the comparing the colors black and white, with the color gray. 


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

Answer: According to this article by Dong and Robins, the responsibility of a public relations professional in most instances usually exist with the client organization rather then the general society. In other words, public relations professional can be as specific as needed to focus on the needs of the client organization without breaking any ethical boundaries, or at least any ethical boundaries set between the professional and the organization.  As for society, this is where Dong and Robins talk about how a public relations professional has to be more careful when considering client and society together.  There are more ethical boundaries in place when there exists both the client and society in a situation.  In most cases, the client is much easier to deal with, rather than including society and the client.


  1. What has Kruckeberg argued for?

Answer: According to this article by Dong and Robins, Kruckeburg argued for a set of universal code of ethics for international public relations and business.  This code of ethics would have the ability to be slightly adjusted and used within in the cultural standards of individual countries.  In other words, Kruckeburg would take the most important and most common ethical standards and use them when conducting international business among clients in different countries. Some examples suggested by Kruckeberg of situations in other countries could be abstinence from alcohol when meeting with Muslim colleagues or contemplating “whether or not to pass a bribe with one’s passport to expedite receiving a visa.” With an existing international code of ethics, these decisions could be made with the correct ethical outcomes.


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

Answer: According to the article by Dong and Robins, Day proved the idea of the draft of the international code of ethics could reflect the individual values and norms portrayed in that person’s culture.  Therefore, it could be difficult for countries to try and adopt these ethical codes into their society because some of these ethics might not fit with their values, morals, beliefs and norms of society.  Therefore, a universal ethics code is not plausible as there would need to be a group of people from each country to put together a draft for a universal code of ethics; yet even in this set of ethics codes, there is still to much diversity to have a global and functioning code of ethics.


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

Answer: The article seems to talk about dialogic communication as the interaction and engagement of a company or organization with its public in order to create a positive relationship between the publics and the organizations.  Within dialogue communication, organizations need to become more open to change and compromise in order to practice the idea of dialogic communication. The article also states that an organization must take the time to develop ethical standards, which take into consideration the norms of society, and engage in dialogue with the publics using those ethical standards.  The general overview of dialogue communication is the idea of including key organizational publics in every part of communication of the organization. 


  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.

Answer: False, according to Day and Dong “true dialogue” is the idea where the public seeks for the organization to be open through compromise and change in order to be successful in the persuasion and education of members of society. 


CO 350: Contemporary Perspectives in Public Relations: Blog Post 7: Public Relations Ethics Contexts: The Past: Edward Bernays

PR! A Social History of Spin: 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?

Answer: According to Ewen, Bernays thought that democracy was the path for public relations, especially in a democratic society.  Bernays continued with his definition of democracy as “a highly educated class of opinion-molding tacticians that are continuously at work, analyzing the social terrain and adjusting the mental scenery from which the public mind, with its limited intellect derives its opinion.” In other words, a democracy allows for people to really analyze and react appropriately to change the environment to appeal to self interests. Bernays also talked about how the majority of people respond instinctively to the environment around them, but there are only a “intelligent few” who have the responsibility of changing the path of history.  In other words, people such as Bernays took advantage of a democratic environment and created public opinion that helped to shift history into another direction with his background in psychology and his role as the main person driving public relations as a profession in the early 20th century.  When looking at the average person, Bernays did not think very highly of the average person’s ability to “think out, understand, or act upon the world in which they live.” In other words, all people have the power and intelligence to change the world as we know, but do not utilize this special power. 


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

Answer: According to Ewen and Bernays, public relations is an applied social science because of public relations uses a mix of psychology, social psychology, economics and sociology that is made to be influential and directed at public attitudes.  When Bernays refers to these different areas that make up the social science of public relations, it makes sense to those in the profession.  A public practitioner must see into the ways of the mind of a person, the ways of society, the economy and other factors to plan for a strategy of communication that will work to get an intentional message across to the public.  This “applied social science” is what influences history in a way because information given to the public which creates reaction and a historical product, much like chemistry and science.


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

Answer: According to Ewen and Bernays, the “trans-historic concern” that public relations is a response to is “the requirement, for those people in power, to shape the attitudes of the general population.” In other words, Bernays takes a look at the entire profession of public relations as one that has a big part in shaping the history of the world.  Bernays sees public relations practitioners as the ones with the most power because it is their objective to change the minds, or move the minds of the public into one particular direction.  Bernays feels that the evolution of public relations over his life has not lived up to his expectations in challenging what the world brings to the publics; he feels that public relations practitioners should be making greater changes and be more powerful than they actually live up to be.


  1. How does Bernays define “news”?

Answer: According to Ewen and Bernays, “news is any overt act which juts of the routine of circumstance.” In other words, Bernays sees news as unexpected information that is thrown out to the public, no matter what, to inform the public of something that is happening in hopes that it will stop these publics in their tracks and routines of daily life to react to the stimulus of news. News given to the public wants a response in return, and this can be applied today, especially with the use of news and social media.  People respond and react through social media, stopping their routine of life to look at this new information and react.



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

Answer: Bernays was  “social engineer” especially during his early years in developing the profession of public relations.  Even though these tactics that Bernays used are not looked highly upon in the public relations of today’s world, he used several different sciences to dissect society and build a message to try and alter the course of history through a surprising flow of information into society.  Bernays also takes about the role of a public relations practitioner as one who modifies the public’s own standards, habits and demands, but that these modifications should not turn into counters of society.  Therefore, Bernays used a scientific approach to look over the public engineering new ways to guide the publics desire for information.


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

Answer: According to Bernays, “news” is a certain stimulus that is inserted into society in the hope of a response to the public.  News is also considered to be a stimulus that is also appealing to the interests of the publics. In Bernays case, the creation of “news” was the main track for public relations, especially when trying to modify the standards of the public.  For example, in the modern profession of public relations, news releases are the basic standard of created “news” that is sent out to the media outlets and publics to be picked up on and then responded to because of certain appeals.




Overall questions

    • how might Bernays’ views result in what could be called ethically questionable practices?

Answer: Bernays’ views might result in ethically questionable practices because ethics tells an ordinary person that society should not be disrupted in its routines and standards, because a disruption might be ethically wrong.  Another reason why his practices might be called ethically questionable is the reasons of going into true sciences to create strategies of communication to use on the public.  To really dig deep in the minds of the public, and possibly get the public to go against what is ethically right is definitely questionable. 

CO 350: Contemporary Perspectives in Public Relations: 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”

Answer: In the phrase “global public relations should fall in the middle between standardization and individualization” refers to the concept of acknowledging the roots and history of public relations in its roots, but to also refer to the idea of countries using their own demographics, history, and people to shape the profession into a profession that fits the confines of their societal culture.  The individualization of public relations of a country is important to the profession as it learns to embrace the differences found between each country; countries do not feel pressured to follow one standard.  Of course, global public relations does not want the country to become two individualistic in its public relations profession because it could then become out of sync with the rest of the world’s standards of public relations. 

 2. Is the global theory a normative theory? Explain

Answer: The global theory is a normative theory because, according to Grunig, the global theory is general enough that it can engage most of the world in general practices of public relations, but it can allow the countries to adopt political, social, economic and other local cultural variables that make it successful in that particular country.  For example, the country of the Netherlands uses the practices of public relations, one of its older terms voorlichting and does not acknowledge the use of the term public relations, but yet, it is part of the global theory because it still takes into practice the basic standards of public relations with a Dutch twist on the profession and practice.

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

Answer: According to Grunig’s research the press agentry/publicity model is the mostly widely used model around the world.  Although, according to Grunig, it is the least effective model of the four models in public relations.  The reasons for the least effective model being used is the amount of local customs and variables adopted into the profession of public relations that most countries only use the bare minimum to stay in touch and have minimal commonality with other countries around the globe.  The least effective in the agentry/publicity model follows a normative and global theory that makes public relations a global profession amongst many different countries.

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

Answer: Public relations will be most effective if countries are allowed to bring in their local variables to create a unique model of public relations to be practiced within the country.  The idea of having some small commonality amongst different countries in the public relations profession satisfies the normative theory and global theory.  According to Grunig, if these basic parts of public relations do not exist because they are resistant to local variables, then public relations cannot be practiced within these countries and cannot be considered a part of the global practice and do not fulfill the global theory of public relations.

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

Answer: According to Grunig, the eight generic principles are empowerment of public relations, integrated communication function, a separate management function, headed by a strategic manager rather than a communication technician or an administrative manager who supervises technical services, involved in strategic management, two-way  and symmetrical communication, diverse, and ethic.  Empowerment of public relations refers to the fact that the head communication person must be a part of the top administrators of the company, especially in making decisions for the organization. Integrated communication function refers to coordinating or bringing together all communication/public relations functions into one department.  A separate management function refers to the idea of making the public relations department available for other departments to function off of to help accomplish their own departmental goals within the organization.  Involved in strategic management refers to the development of strategies or programs to be used to communicate with the publics of an organization. Two-way and symmetrical communication refers to the use of dialogue, research and listening to help with the management of relationships within the organization and with the outside publics of the organization.  Diverse refers to creating more diversity in practices that coordinates with the growth of diversity in an organization’s publics.  Ethical refers to the use of ethics in public relations when making decisions in the organization.