CPRS's Social Media Ethics Clause

Jess is BlogCampaigning's newest team member. She's currently a graduate student at Seneca College in the Corporate Communications / Public Relations program. This is her first post. Karen Dalton, the Executive Director of the Canadian Public Relations Society, recently came to give a spiel on ethics to my media relations class. She mentioned the recent inclusion of a Social Media component in the CPRS Code of Ethics. It includes this clause:

V. Code of standards for use of CPRS websites

This policy statement applies to any and all materials provided to the national office of the society for posting to any part of the CPRS website as of its date of receipt at an Annual General Meeting of the society; and to any materials currently on the CPRS website as of that date. It also applies to any website maintained by, or on behalf of, a member society of CPRS. It also applies to any social medium hosted, sponsored and/or maintained by, or on behalf of, the national society or any member society.

This seems fitting since the Facebook group for CPRS was initially created and controlled by a public relations student at York University. It took about eight months before Karen Dalton was able to gain administrative status for the group. Although the student in this case had pure intentions, namely that CPRS should have a Facebook forum, it is nonetheless worth observing that Facebook does provide these opportunities for corporate reputation hijacking. If there’s one thing we’ve been taught thus far in school with regards to reputation management, it would be this: it’s always better coming from the horse’s mouth than someone else’s.