Ethical Practice of Social Media in Public Relations  book cover
1st Edition

Ethical Practice of Social Media in Public Relations

ISBN 9781138305915
Published October 25, 2018 by Routledge
252 Pages

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Book Description

Given the high rate of social media use by the public, organizations are compelled to engage with key audiences through these outlets. Social media engagement requires organizations to actively participate with public groups, and this highly-interactive exchange raises a new set of ethical concerns for communicators. In this rapidly changing communications environment, the long-term implications of social media are uncertain, and this book provides the much needed research to understand its impact on audiences and organizations.

Through an examination of a broad range of ethics concepts including transparency and online identities, policies, corporate responsibility, and measurement, this book explores a variety of topics important to public relations such as diversity, non-profit communication, health communication, financial communication, public affairs, entertainment communication, environmental communication, crisis communication, and non-profit communication. The chapter authors, expert scholars within their fields of public relations, offer insights drawn from original research and case study examples of ethical dilemmas raised by social media communication.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Social Media is Lost without a Social Compass Brian Solis  Introduction Marcia W. DiStaso and Denise Sevick Bortree  Part I: Transparency and Online Identities  1. Openness and Disclosure in Social Media Efforts: A Frank Discussion with Fortune 500 and Philanthropy 400 Communication Leaders Richard D. Waters  2. Considerations Regarding Ghost Blogging and Ghost Commenting Tiffany Derville Gallicano, Thomas H. Bivins, and Yoon Y. Cho  3. Bank of America’s Facebook Engagement Challenges its Claims of "High Ethical Standards" Marcia W. DiStaso  4. Natural or Not? A Case Study of Kashi’s Viral Photo Crisis on Facebook Hilary Fussell Sisco  Part II: Social Media Policies  5. Private Conversations on Public Forums: How Organizations are Strategically Monitoring Conversations and Engaging Stakeholders on Social Media Sites Tina McCorkindale  6. To Tweet or Not to Tweet: An Analysis of Ethical Guidelines for the Social Media Engagement of Nonprofit Organizations Marcus Messner  Part III: Corporate Responsibility  7. Social Media as a CSR Communication Channel: The Current State of Practice Kati Tusinski Berg and Kim Bartel Sheehan  8. Corporate Social Responsibility in Environmental Crisis: A Case Study of BP’s YouTube Response to the Deepwater Horizon Crisis Denise Sevick Bortree  9. Nestlé and Greenpeace: The Battle in Social Media for Ethical Palm Oil Sourcing W. Timothy Coombs  10. Coca-Cola, Community, Diversity and Cosmopolitanism: How Public Relations Builds Global Trust and Brand Relevance with Social Media Nneka Logan and Natalie T. J. Tindall  Part IV: Ethical Frameworks for Communication  11. The Dialogic Potential of Social Media: Assessing the Ethical Reasoning of Companies’ Public Relations on Facebook and Twitter Angela M. Lee, Homero Gil de Zuñiga, Renita Coleman, and Thomas J. Johnson  12. Journalists and Corporate Blogs: Identifying Markers of Credibility Kirsten A. Johnson and Tamara L. Gillis  13. Authority Crisis Communication vs. Discussion Forums: Swine Flu Päivi M. Tirkkonen and Vilma Luoma-aho  14. Government Gone Wild: Ethics, Reputation, and Social Media Kaye D. Sweetser  15. Understanding the Ethical and Research Implications of Social Media Shannon A. Bowen and Don W. Stacks

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Marcia W. DiStaso is Assistant Professor of Public Relations in the College of Communications at Pennsylvania State University, US

Denise Sevick Bortree is Associate Professor of Communications at Pennsylvania State University, US


"Each chapter offers challenging discussion questions and suggestions for additional readings... Overall the editors were successful in introducing multiple layers of ethical considerations in relation to social media... Thus, the book would serve as an excellent book in a communication research course, as well as public relations ethics and research courses."

- Jennifer F. Wood, Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Communication Research Trends