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According to an article I recently read PR Reps get no respect. And this I know, is true. The article discusses why it is hard and why it gets no respect.

According to the article, PR gets no respect because:

No scale-can’t decide how successful a PR campaign is. (When is it unsuccessful?)

Bad rep with journalists- PR reps overloaded them with information

and last- You can’t put lipstick on a pig- if something looks bad the public perceives it as bad.

But, social media, the article explains, is helping to bring it back by:

More human communication

Scale PR to influencers and you can promote articles

Public relations now has meaningful data to influence big decisions  by tracking mentions through social media, you can figure out how to make your company look better.

I think that this article is very cynical, I think that PR can be successful and while I see the points this author makes, I think that good PR basically doesn’t look like PR at all. I would assert that good PR just looks like corporate responsibility.

I also, don’t like the idea that I am getting into a profession that is disrespected. That part really bothers me because, I think PR is a great communication tool.

I know that PR is still either negatively viewed or misunderstood often times, when I explain that I am a PR major most of my family says, “and what will you do with a PR degree?” and I say, “hopefully PR.” Woe is me. I know things will change for PR professionals in the future, and it will be a more respected, and understood career as it evolves.

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So, I read this article asking what would you do if you saw something bad or unethical in your company? Would you report it? Would you keep your mouth shut? The article mentions people at Penn State who knew of what was happening but rather than say anything and create bad PR for their company- they chose to say nothing at all.

I thought I’d take a stab at this question, because the answer seems so clear- but in reality it is not.

I’d obviously like to say that yes, absolutely, I would go straight to higher-ups in the company or the police if I saw something illegal. But- in the Penn State case, the President said nothing knowing that saying something would create a disaster. It may seem bad to say, but I can see his point. It is easy to not take the moral high-road. It is easy to just.. think its not as bad as it was, to not think about it etc. In the Penn State case- while I do see his point, I think if he had reported it first- he may have made himself look a lot better and created a better image for himself. Sounds selfish- but with him not being the one to say something it makes the whole scenario look that much worse.

The article brings up the points also- what if your agency or company was over billing a client? What if your manager was lying about the success of a campaign? In these scenarios, I think I would try and say something to a boss or manager or maybe HR. I would probably keep it as internal as possible and try to resolve the issue as quietly as possible. If the issue was not resolved I may do more, and continue to say something and maybe I would look elsewhere for employment.

Because I am so close to graduation, I know that I need to start thinking about these questions and realizing that these kinds of things can and may happen. For now, however the most ethical question I have to ask myself is whether or not to cut someone off or not. (Hint: The answer is usually yes)

Link to the blog article I got this from: If you see something, do you always say something?

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