#measurePR Recap (September 2018): Ethics of PR Measurement

#measurePRGuest Post by Jen Zingsheim Phillips The September #measurePR Twitter chat featured guests Sultana Ali and Kirk Hazlett. Sultana F. Ali, APR, has a 15+ year career in communications and marketing, and is adjunct faculty in Georgetown University’s Corporate Communication and Public Relations program. She previously served as President of PRSA-NCC, the largest chapter of PR professionals in the U.S. Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, is Adjunct Professor in Communication at the University of Tampa. He is also the Ethics Officer of PRSA Tampa Bay, and co-chairs the PRSA Tampa Bay PRSSA and New Professionals Committee and is PRSSA Liaison, PRSA College of Fellows Mentoring Committee.  The guest moderator was Jen Zingsheim Phillips, who is a freelance writer and communications strategist with 4L Strategies. As September is Ethics Month at PRSA, the discussion revolved around the topic of ethics in PR Measurement. After kicking off the discussion with
Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips
and a reminder of the #MeasurePR chat guidelines, here’s what they and the #MeasurePR community discussed. Understanding what ethics in measurement means can be varied. For one, it means collecting and reporting accurate numbers, and resisting the urge to inflate results as Kirk Hazlett noted: And he followed up with an explanation of why this can sometimes happen: Sultana Ali pointed out what is at stake: your reputation as a Public Relations professional. Question three dealt with reputational risk, something that pretty much every company or institution out there thinks about—but sometimes only during a crisis. That’s a mistake, of course—reputational risk can come in many forms: Kirk agreed with Sultana, pointing out that “numbers should not lie”: We also talked about ethics measurement failures—what they are, and some examples of situations where this has been at issue: Context matters too. In question 5, we looked at the differences between legality, morality, and ethical behavior. Kirk put it forth quite directly and simply: And finally… We started to run short on time—there was so much to cover! Question 7 asked, “what is ONE thing PR Pros can start to do right now to wrap ethics into PR measurement?” The answer is…from Kirk Hazlett: And from Sultana Ali: It was a terrific discussion and provided a great deal of food for thought. For the full transcript, check out the #measurePR Transcript for September 13, and we hope to see you next month for another great #MeasurePR chat! Jennifer Zingsheim PhillipsJen Zingsheim is a writer and strategic consultant based in New Hampshire. She most recently served as Vice President of Content Marketing and Media Analysis for eOutreach/CustomScoop, analyzing media, digital content, and trends for Fortune 500 clients. Earlier in her career, Jen worked at Fleishman-Hillard’s St. Louis headquarters, and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
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