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1 PUBLIC RELATIONS ETHICS AND SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES: ETHICS OF PUBLIC RELATIONS AGENCIES THAT USE MYSPACE AND FACEBOOK By KATE ELIZABETH WALTER A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2009
2 2009 Kate Elizabeth Walter
3 To Catherine
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First and foremost, I would like to thank my Mom and Dad for their unending support in any new endeavor I pursue. You have been with me through it all, and I appreciate everything you have done for me. I would also like to thank my committee chair, Dr. Ferguson, f or all of he r guidance, revisions and personal time that she gave me in order to make this research paper a success. In addition, I would like to thank my other committee members, Dr. Cleary and Dr. Martin Kratzer, for agreeing to take on one more thesis student and for all of the helpful advice they gave me Last but not least, I would like to thank Jason for being my biggest fan for the last two years.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................................7 LIST OF FIGURES .........................................................................................................................8 ABSTRACT .....................................................................................................................................9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................................11 Purpose of the Study ...............................................................................................................11 Gaps in Research ....................................................................................................................12 Relevance to Practitioners ......................................................................................................13 Study Objectives .....................................................................................................................14 2 LITERATURE REVIEW .......................................................................................................16 Social Network Sites ...............................................................................................................16 Privacy and Ethical Dilemmas ................................................................................................18 Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics ...........................................................................22 Ethical Realities in Public Relations Agencies .......................................................................25 Ethical Associations for Public Relations Agencies ...............................................................30 The PRSA Code of Ethics ...............................................................................................30 The Word of Mouth Marketing Association Code of Ethics ..........................................31 Association for Internet Researchers ...............................................................................33 European Union ...............................................................................................................33 Chartered Institut e of Public Relations ............................................................................34 UNESCO .........................................................................................................................35 Ethical Theories in Public Relations .......................................................................................35 Situational Ethics .............................................................................................................35 The Public Conscience View of Ethics ...........................................................................36 A Normat ive Model of Ethics .........................................................................................37 Practitioners Personal Values and Ethics .......................................................................37 Dialogic Communication .................................................................................................39 Cultural Lag .....................................................................................................................40 Research Questions and Hypotheses ......................................................................................41 3 METHODOLOGY .................................................................................................................43 Selected Sample and Location ................................................................................................43 Pilo t Testing ............................................................................................................................45 Survey Methodology ..............................................................................................................46
6 Questions ................................................................................................................................47 Procedure ................................................................................................................................48 Method Analysis and Verification ..........................................................................................50 4 FINDINGS ..............................................................................................................................51 Results .....................................................................................................................................51 Research Question 1 ...............................................................................................................52 Research Que stion 1a .............................................................................................................53 Research Question 1b .............................................................................................................54 Research Question 1c .............................................................................................................54 Research Question 1d .............................................................................................................55 Research Question 2 ...............................................................................................................56 Research Question 3 ...............................................................................................................59 Hypothesis 1 ...........................................................................................................................62 Hypothesis 2 ...........................................................................................................................64 Hypothesis 2a ..........................................................................................................................66 Hypothesis 2b .........................................................................................................................66 Summary of Results ................................................................................................................68 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION ....................................................................................71 Agency use of SNS .................................................................................................................71 Agency Ethics Codes ..............................................................................................................72 Impact of Agency Ethics Codes on Practitioners ...................................................................74 Implications for Public Relations ...........................................................................................75 Study Limitations ....................................................................................................................76 Future Research ......................................................................................................................78 APPENDIX A SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE ...............................................................................................80 B LIST OF PUBLIC RELATIONS AGENCIES .......................................................................84 LIST OF REFERENCES .............................................................................................................134 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................140
7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 41 Responses weighted for differential response rates and sample size .................................52 42 Difference of means test for how often practitioners use sns ............................................52 43 Results of mean test for rq1a, b, c and d ............................................................................53 44 Results of yea rs in current position ....................................................................................60 45 Results of years working in public relations ......................................................................60 46 Results for revision of ethics codes ...................................................................................64 47 R esults for written codes of ethics .....................................................................................66 48 Results of other ethics codes ..............................................................................................67
8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 41 Factors that lead to the need for new ethics codes for sns in the united states and united kingdom. .................................................................................................................58 42 Results of agencies revising ethics codes. .........................................................................63 43 Results of written codes of ethics. .....................................................................................65
9 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communication PUBLIC RELATIONS ETHICS AND SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES : ETHICS OF PUBLIC RELATIONS AGENCIES THAT USE MYSPACE AND FACEBOOK By Kate Elizabeth Walter August 2009 Chair: Mary Ann Ferguson Major: Mass Communication The growth and popularity of social network sites like M ySpac e and Facebook led to a new communication medium where publics, clients and public relations agencies can all maintain direct dialogue. This increased two way communication has quickly become the standard whereby businesses and agencies who do not engage in these conversations with their publics will fall behind those who do. Despite the vast u sage of social network sites by these public relations agencies, little thought has been given to the ethical implications. The purpose of this research study was to determine the extent to which public relations agencies are using social network sites, whether ethical standar ds or codes ex ist within these agencies and whether they address ethics for social net work sites and to determine which factors influence the public relations agency to, or not to, revise and update their ethics codes. In addition, this study will compare what is being done in public relations agencies in the United States and in the United Kingdom. In order to accomplish this, a webbased survey was created and emailed to a purposive sample of agencies in the US and the UK. After analyzing the data the researcher proposes that there are significant differences between public relations agencies in th e US and the UK in regards to their ethics on social network sites. Most notably, agencies in the US use d more
10 social network sites than those in the UK, agencies in the US agree d that there is very much relevance for revising ethics codes to discuss so cial network sites while UK agencies agreed there is some relevance and agency practitioners in the US agreed that using social network sites changed their relationship to their publics some, while practitioners in the UK agreed it had changed their re lationship very little. In addition, there was no significant difference between US and UK agencies as to whether they had or had not revised their ethics codes to include ethical guidelines for social network sites.
11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Purpose of the Study Social network s ites or SNS, like MySpace and Facebook, have become a phenomenon in connecting people since their inception in 2003 and 2004 respectively (Boyd & Ellison, 2008). These websites have grown exponentially in the past few years with Facebook now boasting over 140 million active users and MySpace h aving 38 million users with more than 230,000 new users signing up each day (Sellers, 2006; Christakis, Fost & Moreno, 2008). Although MySpace has always been open to any individual who desired membership, Facebook was originally only available to college students; but, in 2006, Facebook became available to anyone, from high school students to international users (Boyd & Ellison, 2008). This inc reased access to SNS also motivat e d public relations agencies to use this new communication medium. By using SNS agencies were able to g ain information about their publics, have direct communication with publics and launch public relations campaigns. A ccording to Locke and Weinberger (2001 ) the connectedness of the Web (and SNS) is transforming whats inside and outside your business your market and your employees (p. x ix). Locke and Weinberger (2001) believe that if businesses like public relations agencies, do not catch up to the c hanging trends in how employees and customers are communicating and conversing on the Web, they will no longer be in business. By encouraging and engaging in genuine conversations not pumping out mass produced messages and controlling workers and consumers, businesses will connect to people and ma rkets (Locke & Weinberger, 2001 p. 165). In addition to public relations agencies transforming how they conduct business new ethi cal standards must also develop in order to adapt to the new communication medium of SNS. Accor ding to Marshall (1999), exploration of the ethical implications of new technologies is a
12 necessary part of the processes of social change and adaptation (p. 81). Marshall goes on to explain that considering ethical implications becomes even more important when the technology involves a great cultural shift such as rapid diffusion into everyday, human activities (Marshall, 1999). This standardization of use i n everyday life equals the position that SNS have achieved. In addition, Schwartz (2001) argues that unethical behavior amongst corporations can have a serious negative impact on t he welfare of society. Schwartz (2001) states that the total social cost o f US corporations and other businesses that must be borne by employees, customers, communities and society comes to approximately two and a half trillion dollars a year (Schwartz, 2001). Therefore, it is important for corporations and in this case, public relations agencies, to have and maintain ethical codes and principles throughout the firm. Gaps in Research Although there have been many scholars who have written on public relations ethics, ethical codes and possible universally applicable ethics (Bowe n, 2004; Fitzpatrick & Gauthier 2001; Grunig 2000; Wright, 1993; Harrison, 1990; Kent & Taylor 2002; Huang, 2001), these scholars are looking at how ethical standards can be and should be applied to already existing communication mediums such as newspapers television or magazines However, in recent years research on how ethics should be a pplied to new communication mediums, including SNS, is beginning to be conducted (Marshall, 1999; Ess, Jones & AoIR Ethics Committee, 2002; Jankowski & Selm 2007; UNESC O, 2007). Despite these advances there is a lack of relevant research from a pragmatic standpoint. Studies on how public relations agencies are using social networking sites and how or if they are considering the ethical implications that accompany SNS a re largely nonexistent. This is somewhat understandable as SNS have only been in existence for about six years and many public relations agencies may not want to share information about their business practices. In addition, the lack of ethical standards on SNS themselves acts as an
13 obstacle for public relations practitioners. The fact that Facebook and MySpace do not have ethical codes, only privacy statements, does not provide public relations practitioners any guidance as to appropriate ethical behav ior when conducting business on these sites. There is also a lack of research being done on an international level. Although many studies have looked at how the Europe n and EU policies towards corporate social r esponsibility are more developed than those that exist in the United States (Doh & Guay, 2006; Maignan & Ralston, 2002), very few studies have considered ethical standards on SNS for international public relations agencies (Langlois & Schlegelmilch, 1990). Therefore, this study will attempt to com pare what is happening to public relations ethic s on SNS in the United States and in the United Kingdom. Public relations agencies were chosen from all 50 states and from England, Ireland and Scotland. These two countries were chosen based on their simila rity in language, the researchers dominant language being English and the familiarity the researcher had in working in public relations in both regions. Relevance to P ractitioners For this research paper, public relations will be defined as, a distinctive management function which helps to establish and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance and cooperation between an organization and its publics; involves the management of problems or issues; keeps informed on and r esponsive to public opinion; defines and emphasizes the responsibility of management to serve the public interest; keeps abreast of and utilizes change; and uses research and sound ethical communication techniques as its principle tools (Harlow, 1976, p. 3 7). This definition was chosen because it stresses the importance of public relations practitioners being responsive to publics and using ethical communication. These are the principle ideas that this study is arguing practition ers should be engaged in. It is the primary job of public relations practitioners to protect the relationship between the client and their public s According to Harlow (1976), t his relationship should provide benefits to the consumer and uphold the well -
14 being of society. In ad dition, t he idea that the client corporation should give back to communities and all of their stakeholders, not just their shareholders, is the basis for corporate social r esponsibility or CSR CSR has grown from Carrolls (1979) social performance model that depicts bottom line interests as the most important function of business and philanthropic responsibilities as the least important, into the concept of CSR today as being a primary function of business (Carroll, 1979; Brookes, Wood & Brewster, 2005). Harlow (1976) also stresses the importance of public relations utilizing change and this can come in the form of new technologies like social network sites. SNS give agencies greater interactivity with their publics, better access to information and re search and therefore, public relations campaigns and activities done on SNS will likely continue to thrive. However, the ability of public relations agencie s to have a direct two way communication with their publics via MySpace or Facebook raises the eth ical communication techniques that Harlow (1976) discusses to a greater significance. This research topic is extremely relevant because it affects the future of SNS, the future of online ethical codes and the future of a consumers interaction with publi c relations agencies and the level of trust they can achieve. Study Objectives This study will first determine the extent to which public relations agencies in the United States and in the United Kingdom have begun to use SNS in their everyday, public re lations related activities. I t will then determine what ethical standards or codes (if any) have been adopted by public relations agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom and whether these have been updated to include ethical standards on SNS. Finally, this study will look to s ee what factors, in the opinion of the research respondents, influence the public relations agency to, or not to, revise and update their ethics codes. The results will then be compared by region to discover differences in ideology or possible advancements in the field of public relations and the
15 practice of communicating via SNS. This study will use the research technique of a web based survey. The survey sample will be organized simply by using search engines such as Google to find 1,000 public relations agencies in the United States and 1,000 agencies in the United Kingdom. These agencies will have complete anonymity in the study, however, a full list of all the agencies contacted will be available in Appendix B This study will also serve to further the ongoing research about social network sites and public relations ethics in regards to new communication mediums. The results of this study will either support that public relations agencies have begun adapt ing to the new technologies and advanced methods of interactivity with publics that SNS incur, or that the agencies ethical codes have remained the same. In addition, the comparison between agencies in the US and the UK will allow for an international vi ew that is not always present in research studies. By comparing responses between the US and UK, this study will present differing means of approaching ethics on SNS. This data may generate theories of how public relations should be conducted on social network sites or at least lead to further research and investigation.
16 CHAPTER 2 L ITERATURE REVIEW Social Network Sites Boyd and Ellison (2008) define social network sites as : web based services that allow individuals to construct a public or semi public profile within a bounded system, articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection and view and traverse their list of connections and those m ade by others within the system ( p. 211). Once an individual has become a member of an SNS they are typically asked to create their profile. This entails providing information such as name, age, birthday, various interests, relationship status, political views and an about me section (Boyd & Ellison, 2008). Sites like MySpace and Facebook also ask users to upload a profile picture. Privacy also differs from site to site. MySpace allows users to choose whether their profile can be viewed by anyone or friends only, while Facebook allows only those users who are in the same network t o view the others profile. However, Face book users can also change these privacy settings manually. Although social network sites have been around since SixDegrees.com launched in 1997, it was not until 2003, with the creation of MySpace that SNS became mainstream. MySpace began in Santa Monica, California and initially functioned as a way for musicians and bands to communicate their show venues and album releases to their fans (Boyd & Ellison, 2008). However, the popularity of MySpace grew quickly and soon the website was being used by teenagers, professionals and college students. By 2006, MySpace overtook Google as the most visited website for U.S. web users (Thelwall, 2008) MySpace was always an open service that differed from other social network sites that catered to niche demographics, like Facebook. Facebook was launched in 2004 at Harvard University exclusively. However, this rapidly expanded to include other universities where users had to have an .edu email address to
17 become a member. The popularity of Facebook amongst college age students is evident as over 80% of all college students in the United States have a registered profile page (DiMicco & Millen, 2007). In 2005, Facebook expanded to include high school students, corporate pro fessionals and by 2006, anyone who wanted to join. Since Facebook has pe rmeated the corporate world it has become a normal workday routine for young hires to access it for both personal and professional use (DiMicco & Millen, 2007). The majority of the research that has been done about SNS shows that they support already exis ting social relationships (Boyd & Ellison, 2008). This bridging of offline and online relationships can actually solidify offline connections since individuals now have alternative means to keep in touch. Although these offline relationships may be weak ties, like being a mere acquaintance in a class instead of a longtime, childhood friend, there is generally some common element amongst individua ls who friend each other on a SNS (Boyd & Ellison, 2008). In addition, Facebook users search more for people that they share an offline connection to, rather than browsing through random strangers to meet. Although other social networks like LinkedIn and Twitter fit the Boyd and Ellison (2008) definition of social network sites, they will not be included in this study. Facebook and MySpace have traditionally been more entertainment based or involved in bridging offline and online relationships (Boyd and Ellison, 2008). LinkedIn is involved in creating online relationships through networking with other profe ssionals in order to facilitate job searching ( LinkedIn website 2008). T herefore LinkedIn does not assume the same functions as Facebook or MySpace, at least intentionally. In addition, Twitter involves single line status updates as its entire function for communicating with others and does not contain the standard profile, uploaded pictures, group membership etc. that Facebook and MySpace afford their members.
18 Privacy and Ethical Dilemmas In Septe mber 2006 a blog en titled WalMarting Across America came onto the Internet and it detail ed the cross country travels of Jim and Laura. The blog was sponsored by Working Families for WalMart and told the stories of various Wal Mart employees that Laura and Jim encountered along the way. However, Working for Families was actually an organization created by the public relations agency, Edelman, who were trying to increase positive attitudes towards Wal Mart amongst publics. Therefore, the blog was consi dered to violate public relations ethics in that it was not explained that the website was produced by Edelman (Craig, 2007). In addition, because Edelman is a member of WOMMA, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, they violated the code of ethics whic h states that, members must disclose their relationship with marketers in their relationship with consumers ( WOMMA website 2009, p. 3; Boynton, 2007, p. 219). Although Edelman later acknowledged their lack of transpa rency, the fact that an agency who is globally recognized as a leader in public relations committed an ethical violation on the Internet only furthers the importance of public relations agencies updating or revising their ethical standards to incorporate or stress activities and practices that occur online. Although this ethical violation occurred on a blog, it is equally important for public relations agencies to be concerned with ethical activities on SNS. The social aspect of SNS and the openness of providing personal information can result in privacy concerns. Much of the research that has been done on online inf ormation disclosure centers on social e xchange t heory. Social exchange t heory explains that if the perceived benefit is greater than the cost, than an individual will give out as much information as necessary (Dwyer, Hiltz & Passernini 2007). In the case of social network sites, the benefits of communicating with friends, participating in a
19 technological trend and networking may all be wor th the cost of providing personal information such as uploading photographs or giving out an email address. In addition, Neher and Sandin (2007) explain that the technological advances in communication have made it easier to access instantly and simultaneously many people, all over the world. A lthough they believe that this technology makes it easier to communi cate, they also explain that it has made it more difficult to be present to the person you are communicating with. In accordance with the ideas of dialogic ethics, being present is when two people are mutually sharing ideas, hearing and observing the other and feeding back their responses (Neher & Sandin, 2007, p. 294). If it is the primary duty of the public relations practitioner to maintain the lines of com munication with their publics and, therefore, not having presence would greatly hinder this function (Harlow, 1976). In addition to lack of presence and increase d in impersonality, issues over deception and privacy arise (Neher & Sandin, 2007). Neher and Sandin explain that, Without a face we have a difficult time connecting ethically with the person on the other end of our email ( p. 301). In regard to deception on SNS, Dwyer, Hiltz and Passernini (2007) found that the level of trust one can achieve differs depending on the SNS. MySpace appears less trustworthy in that users view profiles as exaggerating a persons appeal more so than on Facebook. In fact, users felt their overall privacy was better protected on Facebook than on MySpace and that Facebook would not use personal information for any other purpose than what the user originally intended (Dwyer, Hiltz & Passernini, 2007). However, according to Acquisti and Gross (2006) 30% of Facebook members do not realize they have control over who can view their profile and therefore, do not set up privacy preferences. In addition, social network sites security controls are weak by design; information that is provided on a SNS is essentially public data (Acquis ti &
20 Gross, 2006). Facebook and MySpace do share information provided by their members to third party entities (Acqu isti & Gross, 2006). This allows marketers, employers, and even national security agencies to view and disseminate the information users provide. Because of this r eality, Acquisti and Gross (2006) suggest that SNS are actually imagined communities where users believe their privacy is safe and maintained but, in fact, it is not. Since MySpace and Facebook have become open to any member of the public and they serve as a unique window of observation on the attitudes and the patterns of information revelation among young individuals, researchers like marketers, advertisers and public relations agencies have begun to utilize these SNS (Acquisti & Gross, 2006, p. 38). In addition, many scholarly researchers argue that the administrative burdens of collecting subjects or gaining IRB approval disappear when conducting research on SNS, and this allows for research on underrepresented groups, like adolescents, plus it provides research opportunities that are otherwise unavailable (Christakis, Fost & Moreno, 2008). Many times a research study is exempt from gaining IRB approval when it involves the collection of existing data, documents or records that are publicly available ( UFIRB 2007). Since much of the information that is online is considered public, researchers have been able to bypass IRB approval when conducting studies on websites or SNS. However, it is the opinion of the researcher that just because there are fewer restrictions on SNS does not mean researchers should take advantage of users. For public relations research and campaigns, Christakis, Fost & Moreno (2008) explain that SNS present a new universe, both because of the sheer volume of diverse demographic groups and because researchers and practiti oners can learn a great deal by what those users c hoose to display publicly. On SNS practitioners can obtain relevant information by collecting observational data about a users profile, without ever having to contact the user. Practitioners
21 can also use SNS to identify and communicate with users for recruitment in research studies, public relations campaigns or competitions (Christakis, Fost & Moreno, 2008). Although Acquisti and Gross (2006) would argue that this information is public data, Christakis, Fost and Moreno (2008) state that, research on a MySpace website could be viewed as analogous to eavesdropping on conversations that take place in a public space such as a coffee shop ( p. 158). This leads the researcher to believe that j ust as most ind ividuals have ethical principles or norms that remind them that it is rude to listen in on someone elses private conversation, so should public relations practitioners have similar ethical standards and practices when navigating on SNS. Frankel and Siang (1999) address this important distinction between what is publicly accessible and what is publicly distributed stating, an online support group may be publicly open to anyone who wishes to participate, but its member may perceive the exchange of informat ion as a very private matter (p. 11). As Christakis, Fost and Moreno (2008) explain, each new technology brings new opportunities and challenges ( p. 160). That is why, in the researchers opinion, these challenges must be met with updated ethical prin ciples, informed practitioners and publics, and adherent agencies. According to Christians, Fackler, Rotzoll and McKee (1998), it is also difficult, especial ly for public relations agencies to remain truthful. This is due in part to the role they play i n communications, having many times to only publicize the positive news rather than address the negative as well. However, it is also due to the organizational setting of public relations agencies. In an organizational setting, truth is often negotiated and contains components of several opinions. Messages are often composed so that the original kernels of truth are well hidden (Christians, Fackler, Rotzoll & McKee, 1998, p. 216). Another aspect of the organizational setting is that public relations p ractitioners themselves may be afraid to
22 become whistleblowers (Dworkin & Baucus, 1998). When an employee witnesses an ethical violation or malpractice within the organization he faces the decision to blow the whistle or ignore the issue. If the indivi dual decides to blow the whistle many times he is subject to scrutiny by the public and retaliation by the corporation (Dworkin & Baucus, 1998). Many times whistleblowing is viewed as a betray al of trust to the agency (Gobert & Punch, 2000). I n orde r to protect whistleblowers many countries and governments have undertaken legislation. In 1998, Great Britain passed the Public Interest Disclosure Act or PIDA (Gobert & Punch, 2000). PIDA protects employees, independent contractors, home workers, tra inees and NHS personnel and provides legal protection to good faith whistleblowers. However, according to Gobert and Punch (2000), this legislation can also be viewed as part of a larger movement to make institutions more transparent and accountable (p. 26). The US also adopted the Federal Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 to protect the rights of whistleblowers (Gobert & Punch, 2000). Although much has been done to allow public relations practitioners to remain truthful and ethical there are still occasions when this becomes difficult. For those practitioners working in large agencies, maintaining ethics may be difficult if the organization is not dedicated to upholding its ethical principles. Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics In ma ny corporations, the public relations department is seen as the ethical conscience of the organization (Bowen, 2004). One reason for this may be because it has become the duty of public relations practitioners to oversee t hat the company is engaging in corporate s ocial r esponsibility or CSR. CSR is defined as, the managerial obligation to take action to protect and improve both the welfare of society as a whole and the interest of organizations (Davis & Blomstrom 1975, p. 6). However, according to Sen and Battarachya (2001) alternative perspectives on the role of CSR and place of corporations in the broader social environment have
23 engendered many different conceptualizations of CSR. Friedman (1970) stressed the economic importance of CSR, where the duty of CSR should be to produce economic benefit to shareholders. More recently, CSR takes a proactive social responsiveness view w here the long term goals of the corporation should be concerned with s ocietys needs and the corporations obligation to fulfill these (McGee 1998). This is the view of CSR that this study will adopt. In addition, as a by product of undertaking the needs of all stakeholders, scholars argue that there is a positive correlation between a companys CSR actions and consumers attitudes towards the company and its products (Sen & Battarachya, 2001). These positive effects of CSR initiatives have encouraged more and more companies across the globe to participate in CSR initiatives like corporate philanthropy and environmental research. This is evident through global programs like the UN Global Compact which was formed in 1999 to challenge international busines ses to implement universal values throughout their corporations and Business for Social Responsibility that works with over 250 global corporations to develop CSR practices (Kell & Ruggie, 1999; BSR 2009). The ideas stres sed in CSR; being concerned with societys needs and improving the welfare of society, are similar to the ethical theories that have been adopted within the field of public relations. That is why it is important to look at both what is being done in the f ield of public relations via corporate social responsibility and ethics. Since this study is comparing what is being done ethically in pub lic relations agencies in the United Kingdom and in the United States, it is also important to compare what is being d one via corporate social r esponsibility in these countries According to Doh and Guay (2006), although the term CSR has gained more prevalence and notoriety in the US, the idea that corporations have societal obligations that transcend their shareholder obligations has been present longer in Europe. According to Matten and Moon (2004), CSR in Europe tends to be
24 more explicit or self governing. Thus in the UK corporations have developed their own programs and strategies in order to be socially responsi ble. In the US, CSR tends to be more implicit within corporations. Instead of the corporation itself setting standards and developing CSR programs, rules and mandatory requirement s are regulated by formal and informal institutio ns. In addition, the ke y issue in European corporations in regard to business society relations tend s to be centered on employee rights. In the 1980s environmental protection and going green moved to the forefront of business endeavors in the UK whereas the US has been slowe r to adopt environmental practices (Matten & Moon, 2004). There are also significant political institutions that have undertaken CSR. The European Commission has funded projects as well as various publications in order to shape CSR in a European context (Matten & Moon, 2004). Many national governments have also gotten involved in CSR, most notably in the UK where a governmental minister of CSR exists. However, the most notable political action towards CSR is the UN Global Compact. The Global Compact wa s developed in 1999 by Kofi Annan in order to challenge the international business community to help the UN implement values in the areas of human rights, environment and labor (Kell & Ruggie, 1999, p. 3). In order to demonstrate good corporate citizens hip the corporations must meet nine key principles in the three value areas. The UN also asks corporations to incorporate these principles directly into their mission statements and to implement them in their everyday management practices (Kell & Ruggie, 1999). In addition to the UN the European Union or EU, has pledged itself to furthering CSR amongst its European members. In 2006, with the backing of the European Commission, the European Alliance on CSR was launched as a business led initiative to pro mote CSR (European Union website, 2009). The EU has defined CSR as, a concept whereby companies integrate
25 social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with stakeholders on a voluntary basis ( CSR Europe website 2009, p. 1). Therefore, t he European Alliance is designed to mobilize the resources and capabilities of European Enterprises and their stakeholders in the interests of sustainable development, economic growth and j ob creation ( European Union website 2009, p. 1). The Alliance also has three business organizations that help to coordinate the work of the Alliance and report back to the European Commission ; CSR Europe, Business Europe and UEAPME. The Alliance, along with its supporting business organizations, strive s to facilitate transparency and communication, sustainable production and consumption, integrated workplaces, revolutionary business models for various companies and stakeholders for a com petitive and responsible Europe ( CSR Europe website 2009). The Alliance uses Laboratories or action oriented projects to integrate CSR into everyday business practices ( CSR Europe website 2009). In regard to corporations broadcasting their CSR initiatives to their publics, Ma ignan and Ralston (2002) found that on Fortune 500 websites in the US, UK, Germany and the Netherlands 41 US firms and 48 UK firms discussed their CSR practices and principles However, only 14 French and 17 Dutch corporations did. The authors suggest this means that CSR is not viewed the same in all European countries and that the UK and US are more eager to appear to be good citizens (Maignan & Ralston, 2002). US firms also viewed CSR as being an extension of their core values. However, this justification was the least used in the European firms, instead they stressed that CSR was value driven (Maignan & Ralston, 2002). Ethical Realities in Public Relations Agencies With increasing globalization, media coverage and corporate identity issues, Nelson (2003) argues that public relations agencies are more concerned with being informed of new developments and trends, trying to take the lead in corporate standards and yet remain
26 competitive, facilitating communication with their client organizations and implementing approaches that strengthen publics awareness that the corporation values integrity. However, according to Scott (2007), the World Wide Web has changed these rules of public relations, making public relations public again (p. 11). Scott (2007) would argue with Neher and Sandin (2007) that new communication mediums allow practitioners to be present to their public in that p ractitioners can now deal directly with their publics via blogs, online news releases and social networking sites. In f act, the increased interconnectivity with publics can allow for a relationship that cannot exist offline (Scott, 2007). According to Scott (2007), publics want public relations to be less about spin and more about accountability, less about propaganda and more about participation. The Web als o allows agencies to view what is being said about them and what reputation they have developed. Scott (2007) explains that for public relations practitioners to utilize social networking sites they must maintain aut henticity and transparency. In a normative view of practitioners duties Scott (2007) states, they should target a specific audience, provide valuable information to publics, encourage publics to contact you, create links and make it easy for publics to find information about your organization or client, participate in other blogs and online discussions (p. 234). Christ (2005) stipulates that the most important reason for public relations practitioners to use the Internet is due to how it has transformed the way stakeholders obtain information. Publics can now shop online, research companies online and get thei r daily news online. In addition, Locke and Weinberger (2001) states the web has been adopted faster than any other technology since fire and the Internet has become a way for anyone to have a voice (p. 43). Personal webpages, connection to other people and the ability to broadcast ideas on blogs or SNS allows for an authenti c self ( Locke & Weinberger, 2001). As these publics become more
27 comfortable and savvy at navigating the Internet they expect public relations practitioners and their agencies to do the same and to present themselves as being authentic. That is why, according to Christ (2005), public relations practitioners must not only be aware of emerging technologies and trends but must also accept that tasks traditionally undertaken by public relations practitioners are evolving into ones that require a high comfort level with the technologies (p.7). Although accuracy, speed of information and privacy are not new ethical issues to public relations, in light of the Internet they must be r eexamined (Patterson & Wilkin s 2008). In addition, since the Internet is becoming the key contact point for communicating with stakeholders and stakeholders are expecting public relations practitioners to present their authentic selves, public relatio ns agencies must either adopt the new technologies or be prepared to be at a disadvantage when dealing with clients and publics (Christ, 2005). In fact, accordi ng to Locke and Weinberger (2001 ), many organizations and agencies, still resemble the Berlin Wall monoliths interposing themselves between the internal conversations of the workforce and the external conversation of the marketplace (p. 164). Nelsons (2003) depiction of public relations agencies only being concerned with leading in corporate st andards and finding approaches to show or persuade publics that the agency or its clients value integrity only furthers Locke and Weinbergers (2001) image of these monolith agencies. Locke and W einberger (2001) state that the convergence of these two c onversations, workforce and marketplace, is inevitable if agencies and their client organizations wish to remain in business. Since markets and consumers are beginning to value engagement, quality of products and conversations among human voices, they wil l simply cease to deal with organizations and agencies that do not provide these qua lities (Locke & Weinberger, 2001). Locke and Weinberger (2001 ) even went as far to
28 develop a 95 Theses on how organizations should begin to think of the Internet and its role in communicating with consumers and publics. The authors stipulate that : Markets are conversations Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors The internet is enabling conversations that were not possible in the era of mass media These conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organizations and knowledge exchange to emerge Markets are getting smarter, more informed more organized In a few more years, the homogenized voice of business, the sound of mission state ments and brochures will seem as contrived and artificial as the language of the 18th c entury French court Public relations does not relate to the public We have better things to do than worry about whether youll change in time to get our business. B usiness is only a part of our lives. It seems to be all of yours. Think about it: who needs whom? (Locke & Weinberger, 2001, p. xi xviii). In addition to changing the way public relations practitioners think about stakeholder engagement, the Internet should also lead agencies to reevaluate their corporate code of ethics. For the purpose of this study, a code of ethics in a corporation will be considered, a written, distinct and formal document which consists of moral standards used to guide employee or corporate behavior (Schwartz, 2001, p. 248). In addition, the code must be implemented throughout the organization and there must be adequate commitment, compliance and monitoring as well. Despite the benefits of having ethics codes and even revising them to incorporate new social media like SNS, Schwartz (2001) finds that many companies are only beginning to engage in self regulation in the form of ethics codes, codes of conduct or corporate credos. One reason for this may be due to the overall cost of creating and implementing ethics. Organizations spend hours and substantial sums of money in developing, revising and enforcing
29 their corporate codes (Schwartz, 2001). Another reason may be the question of whether it accomplishes its intended purpose. Schwartzs (2001) study examined whether the existence of a corporations ethics code actually affects employee behavior. He found that codes have the potential to influence behavior and respondents even referred back to the code for guidance on various occasions. However, other factors such as company interest in educating employees about the ethics code, loyalty of employees to the company, peer pressure within the corporation can all affect the level of compliance with ethical codes (Schwartz, 2001). Verschoor (1998) found that if a corporation is serious about benefitting its publics and remaining ethical, it must continue to discuss with and train employees about ethical standards. The corporation should also send emails, hold meetings and update its ethical standards in accordance with new trends, technologies, research and public interests (Verschoor, 1998). This may also deter the creation of ethics codes, since it requires investing time and personnel for the codes to be successful. However, despite the potential influence that ethics codes can have Welford (2005) found that less than half of co rporations in the UK had written codes of ethics, while 50% of corporations in the US had a written ethics policy. According to Langlois and Schlegelm i l ch (1990) the attitude of European companies is that they are far less enthused about the use of ethics codes than US companies (p. 520). In addition, ethics codes are viewed as an import from the United States and not as something that could benefit companies in the UK. In the study that Langlois and Schlegelmi l ch (1990) conducted they determined that only 31% of 200 companies in the UK had a company wide ethics code. This contrasted sharply to their findings that 75% of the US companies they surveyed had codes of ethics. In addition, the European companies that had a formal ethics code did not use the word ethics. Most of them contained words like conduct, principle, or
30 objectives (Langlois & Schlegelmil ch, 1990). Although the authors do not explain why this distinction is made, it does seem clear that diction comes into play in the differences between the US and UK companies. When the authors looked at the topics addressed in each of the ethics codes that existed and then compared these between the UK and the US, they found that while all UK codes addressed the conduct of employees, only 55% of the US code s did (Langlois & Schlegelmi l ch, 1990). However, over 80% of US companies discuss the customer and only 67% of UK companies did. Although the percentage of US companies that addressed innovation and technology was not mentioned, only 6% of UK companies m entioned it in their ethics codes. Ethical Associations for Public Relations Agencies The PRSA Code of Ethics The Public Rel ations Society of America or PRSA, is perhaps the most likely change agent that could adopt and clarify specific et hical responsibilities to public relations practitioners. Since 1952, the organization has updated and revised its codes of professional standards many times following on the initial decision to address the responsibility for the good character and reput ation of the public relations profession (Fitzpatrick, 2002, p. 89). In 2000, they released their latest ethics code, which was hailed as the manifestation of all that PRSA had been trying to achieve over the years with increasing enforcement for violator s and adding ethical issues (Fitzpatrick, 2002). The code stresses that it applies to all PRSA members and is designed as a guide for public relations practitioners and other organizations, professionals and professions ( PRSA website 2008). The code explains the importance of honesty to all stakeholders, expertise in the field, advocacy for those represented and honesty and fairness. It also goes into detail about preserving the integrity of all aspects of communication, fostering a business environment, ethically handling disclosure of information and handling conflicts of interest ( PRSA website 2008).
31 However, scholars (Bowen, 2004; Harrison, 1990) would explain that there are problems with maintaining ethics in public relations. One of the major dilemmas with industry codes of ethics as general guidelines is that they rely too heavily on the moral principles of the individual and provide little guidance for specific situations. In addition, enforcement of m aintaining ethical standards and serious repercussions for violating those ethics seems to be lacking. According to Bowen (2004), the PRSAs current method of repudiation for code violation is to rev oke membership in PRSA. Practitioners are free to continue to practice and seem to suffer little (p. 75). Huang (2001), although recognizing the difficulty of enforcing ethical standards, believes that this can be achieved if PRSA changed its enforcemen t measure and created formal licensure or a rewards system. The Word of Mouth Marketing Association Code of Ethics In addition to PRSA, WOMMA or the Word of Mouth Marketing Association is another organization with global membership that could impact wha t is being done ethically online. WOMMA is the official trade association for the word of mouth marketing industry. WOMMA members have access to the latest case studies, market research and blogs and they can network with other WOMMA members, partners and clients ( WOMMA website 2009). Members consist of international corporations and those located in North America. The majority of members are advertising, marketing and public relations agencies, however, various fina ncial firms have also signed on ( WOMMA website 2009). What makes WOMMA stand out is its adoption level of new media. Not only has WOMMA set up their own group on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr and YouTube, but many of their member corporations have as well ( WOMMA website 2009). In addition, WOMMA has developed its own ethics code and created an ethics review blog where members can ask questions directly and receive answers
32 from any member corporation or WOMMA themselves. WOMMAs ethics code has six main tenets: Consumer protection and respect are paramount. They promote practices that allow for the consumer to be in charge and dictate the terms of the consumer marketer relationship. The honesty of ROI: Honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. They encourage disclosure of identity to consumers, transparency, credibility and trust. We respect the rules of the venue. They respect the rights of offline or online communications site s such as blogs, website, discussion forum s or traditional media. We manage relationships with minors responsibly. We promote honest downstream communications. They cannot control what consumers say and they do not engage in measures that would alter the original message. We respect privacy and permission. Marketing programs are based on the highest level of privacy, opt in, and permission standards ( WOMMA website 2009, p. 3). Although t his ethics code was established in February of 2005, it is important to note that it is much newer than the PRSA ethics code and includes ethics for marketing and communicating online. In order to ensure that members are following the ethics code, WOMMA has created a Membership Ethics Advisory Panel that sets standards of procedure for disciplinary action and reviews prospective WOMMA members for ethical practices ( WOMMA website 2009). If a violation occurs a petition by another member corporation must be submitted to the MEAP for review. Depending on the severity of the violation, initial intent, extent of knowledge of the infraction etc., the MEAP board can vote that the corporation be given a notice of corrective action, be put on probation or be completely expelled from WOMMA ( WOMMA website 2009). In addition to WOMMAs enforcement action, the other member corporations themselves can act as enforcement agents. Since the init ial petition of violation comes from another member corporation, the knowledge of the violation would be profound. It is possible
33 that the member corporations would no longer decide to do business, recommend clients etc., to the corporation that violated the ethics code. Association for Internet Researchers Another source of ethics for new media is the AoIR, Association for Internet Researchers. This is the top international organization for students and scholars in any discipline in the field of Internet studies ( AoIR website 2009). The AoIR acts as a member based support network promoting scholarly research and hosting conferences ( AoIR website 2009). In 2002, the AoIR working ethics committee put together ethical recommendations for Internet research (Ess, Jones & AoIR Committee 2002). The ethics committee explains that as online research takes place in a range of new venues (email, chatrooms, webpages) researchers and research su bjects will encounter ethical questions an dilemmas that are not directly addressed in extant statements and guidelines (Ess, Jones & AoIR Committee 2002, p. 3). Although the AoIR does not list specific ethical principles, it raises various questions fo r public relations practitioners to consider before engaging with public s on the Internet or SNS such as What ethical expectations are established by the venue? Do participants assume their information/communication is private? What are the ethical traditions of the subjects country or culture? Are we seeking to magnify the good? (Ess, Jones & AoIR Committee 2002, p. 48) European Union In addition to these questions, the AoIR ethics committee explains that the European Un ion established European Union Data Protection Directive in 1995 to ensure that subjects provide consent for their personal information to be gathered, be given notice as to why the data is being collected, be able to correct data, be able to opt out of data collection and be protected from countries with less extensive privacy protections (Ess, Jones & AoIR Committee 2002, p. 7). Therefore, the business interests of EU corporations set a priority on individual privacy.
34 The EU has a more duty based, or deontological view of respect for citizens and human rights (Ess, Jones & AoIR Committee 2002). In contrast, the US favors the consequentialist view where business interests and economic benefit are stressed more than individual privacy (Ess, Jones, A oIR Committee 2002). Chartered Institute of Public Relations However, besides the EU, the United Kingdom has various public relations professional bodies similar to PRSA in the US. However, the largest and most notable is the Chartered Institute of Publi c Relations or CIPR. This body was formed in February of 1948 and now boasts over 9,000 members ( CIPR website 2009). The CIPR is the largest organization of its kind in the UK and is also a member of the European PR F ederation, CERP ( CIPR website 2009). Membership in CIPR is obtained by individual practitioners or agencies through a rigorous process based on educational background, multi disciplinary experience and general high sta ndards of practicing public relations ( CIPR website 2009). CIPR strategies for 2009 include continuing research and promoting research amongst students as well as agencies, increasing stakeholder engagement and to incr ease internal and external media audiences ( CIPR website 2009). In addition, CIPR holds international conferences for public relations practitioners on upcoming or relevant topics in the field of public relations such as crisis communication, feature writing and digital PR ( CIPR website 2009). CIPR members also must conform to a code of conduct that was recently revised to include social media. The code of conduct explains that soc ial media can include websites, blogs, social networking sites or content sharing sites like YouTube ( CIPR website 2009). The code states that practitioners should err on the side of disclosure thereby being transpare nt, acknowledge their identity and relate conflicts of interest, have regard for the public interest, not release confidential information, remain aware of potential legal issues such as intellectual property, invasion of
35 privacy or defamation and remain a ware of how your agencys policies or guidelines towards social media ( CIPR website 2009, p. 3). The website itself also has information for employers and a blog for questions or discussion. UNESCO In addition to the EU and the CIPR, UNESCO or the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, also has stipulations as to how ethics and technology in Europe should be combined. According to UNESCO (2007), since people have been the m ain actors in the first phase of the Internet, they should remain of central concern in future developments and it makes sense that computers would need a detailed set of terms to facilitate exchanges on behalf of individuals (p. 8). UNESCO (2007) also s tates that although emerging information and communication technologies (ICTs) can benefit humanity, they can also be used to limit human rights. Therefore, UNESCO (2007) proposes that the first goal of infoethics should be to put technology in the se rvice of human rights, thereby promoting the public domain, diversity of content and access to information and the means of communication (p. 11). While UNESCO (2007) stresses the importance of having ethics for new media technology it does not propose a ny ethics codes, it merely serves to address some of the major dilemmas in Internet research. Ethical Theories in Public Relations S ituational Ethics Despite major associations such as PRSA and WOMMA espousing their own ethics, Pratt, Im & Montague (1994) found that the overwhelming choice amongst public relations practitioners in the U.S. seems to be situational ethics. Their study questioned 449 members of PRSA about four different ethical scenarios that might occur in public relations. Although Pratt, Im & Montague (1994) were testing deontological ethics, they discovered that the responses
36 varied amongst the four scenarios and incorporated situationism. According to Bowen (2004), situational ethics can be problematic in that there a re no universal or morally applicable norms, therefore each situation is looked at independently from the next. Depending on the level of professionalism, training and longevity of a public relations practitioner, situational decision making may not produ ce the best possible ethical outcome. More importantly, the scholarship that has been done on organizational communication, such as amid a public relations agency, suggests that shared values and morals were the crucial component in an organizational structure. Therefore, according to Bowen (2004), Shockley Zalabak and Morley (1994) it is both t he values of the issue managers, public relations practitioners and the value system of the organization that combine to define the ethical approach that will be used. The Public Conscience View of Ethics Fitzpatrick and Gauthier (2001) stress that instead of being titled the ethical or social conscience public relations practitioners should be called the public conscience of the corporation. This change pla ces greater importance on the role of practitioners to balance the clients and institutions interests with those directly associated with those decisions and actions. It is this area of public relations on which ethical standards should then be based. A ccording to Fitzpatrick and Gauthier (2001), this would resolve the ambiguity of such phrases as serve the public interest and social responsibility ( p. 206). Therefore, these scholars suggest three principles that would provide a foundation for ethi cal theory in public relations. harm should be avoided or minimized and benefits promoted at the least possible cost in terms of harm persons should be treated with respect and dignity the benefits and burdens of any action or policy should be di stributed as fairly as possible (Fitzpatrick & Gauthier, 2001, p. 208).
37 Fitzpatrick (2006) also stresses the idea of advocacy in public relations or understanding and valuing the perception of publics inside and outside the organization. Fitzpatrick (2006) states that advocacy becomes even more important now that relationships with stakeholders have become complex due to publics being connected and empowered through the Internet. The principles of access to multiple voices and ideas, disclosure to publics, truthfulness and process of contributing to the marketplace of ideas are all part of ethical advocacy (Fitzpatrick, 2006). In this view, clarifying the organizations ethical responsibilities to its publics, public relations practitioners can go further in defining standards of performance that are appropriate for their ethical codes (Fitzpatrick & Gauthier, 2001). A Normative Model of Ethics Grunig (2000) disagrees stating, it is necessary to move beyond individual ethics and organizational ethics to address the values and ethics of public relations as a profession and to incorporate them into our normative theories of how public relations should be practiced (p. 28). Huang (2001) would agree citing that public relations as a field is relativ ely new and to move it from simply an occupation to a profession, a universal code of ethics should be adopted. In addition, the idea that public relations should focus on more than merely the bottom line interests of a corporation and include practic es like social responsibility, stewardship and concern for the community have become popularized in r ecent years with theories like Corporate Social R esponsibility (Leeper, 1996). Therefore, Grunig would most likely rather adopt ethics codes from PRSA or WOMMA than from insights from individual scholars. Practitioners Personal Values and Ethics Grunig (2000) explains the importance of balancing both a practitioners personal values with those of the organization, publics and other professionals in his theory of a twoway symmetrical model. Grunig (2000) believes that the central ethical dilemma lies in the difficulty
38 of practitioners applying their personal ethics in an organizational setting, where the ethical beliefs of the corporation may be differ ent. This idea of competing loyalties was first established by Thomas Hobbes Social Contract Theory (Patterson & Wilkins 2008). The theory suggests that individuals have more than one loyalty and are sometimes forced to choose between them. Patterson and Wilkins (2008) explain one method of resolving this conflict is through reciprocity or the idea that loyalty should not work against the interest of either party (p. 99). One way for an individual to establish their loyalties and decide which is m ore important is by using the Potter Box method (Patterson & Wilkins 2008). There are four steps in the Potter Box method that should be taken in order: Understanding the facts of the case. The individual must access the facts objectively. Outlining values. Addressing those ideas or principles that you are willing to give up other things for. This also requires the individual to be honest with himself. Application of philosophical principles. The individual must decide which ethical theory they agree with and which they want to adopt. For example, they may believe in utilitarianism or providing the most good for the largest amount of people. Articulation of loyalties. Deciding which loyalties conflict with one another and making a decision (P atterson & Wilkin s 2008, p.100102). However, Patterson and Wilkins (2008) explain that, loyalty to a particular principle may become so dominant that you are forced to abandon a variety of other loyalties (p. 102). Therefore, in a business setting, it is important to maintain conflicting loyalties between the organizations and publics and find a solution that treated both parties ethically. Grunigs (2000) two way symmetrical model strives to allow practitioners to use research and dialogue to bring about symbiotic changes in the ideas, attitudes and behaviors of both the organization and its publics (p. 32).
39 Dialogic Communication Kent and Taylor (2002) agree with Grunigs (2000) twoway symmetrical model and expand on the idea of using dialogue by explaining that a theoretical shift has been occurring in public relations that is moving away from managing communication to communication as a tool for negotiating relationships (p. 23). Kent and Taylor (1998) believe that practitioners should not allow new technologies to create distance between an organization and its publics. Instead Internet communication can provide that personal touch that makes public relations effective (p. 323). Therefore, these scholars stress the importance of di alogic communication. The five tenets of dialogic communication are: Mutuality. Public relations practitioners must recognize the relationship between the organization and its publics. Propinquity. The temporary interactions with publics. Empathy. The confirmation of the publics goals and interest by the public relations practitioner. Risk. The willingness to interact with publics on their own terms. Commitment. The extent to which an organization tries to understand and interact with its publ ics (Kent & Taylor, 2002, p. 25). Kent and Taylor (1998) also explain that their initial scholarship of dialogic communication as ethical standards for public relations practitioners can be applied on the Internet. Without dialogue, internet public rel ations becomes nothing more than a new monologic communication medium or a new marketing technology. The Web provides practitioners with an opportunity to create dynamic and lasting relationships with publics (Kent & Taylor, 1998, p. 326). There are fiv e main principles of dialogic communication that practitioners should employ when using the Internet: The Dialogic Loop which should give publics a way to offer feedback back to the corporation or the public re lations practitioners directly.
40 The second principle is the usefulness of information. This refers to how websites should contain information that is content based and valuable to general, not s pecific or targeted publics. Websites should also contain updated information like changing issues, forums and question and answe r sessions in order to promote t he generation of return visits. Intuitiveness or Ease of Interface explains that the website should be simple to navigate and to understand. Rule of Conservation of Visitors is to not distract website visitors from leaving the site and not returning. Therefore, when utilizing links they should take visitors to related websites or contain links for publics to return to the original website (Kent & Taylor, 1998, p. 326) Cultural La g Marshall (1999) would agree with the Ess, Jones & AoIR Committees (2002) assessment on the importance of ethics for the Internet when she states, public exploration of the ethical implications of new technologies is a necessary part of the process for s ocial change and adaptation. Such reflection is even more necessary when technological innovation involves a great cultural shifteither due to breaks from past thought and ways of life or to rapid diffusion into a range of human activities (p. 81). M arshall (1999) goes on to cite William Ogburns (1964) study on cultural lag. This phenomenon refers to how material culture, like physical equipment and the procedures for producing it, advances more rapidly than nonmaterial culture or religion, philosophy, values and ethics (Marshall, 1999). According to Marshall (1999), this cultural lag is partly due to the rapid inventions and dispersion of new technologies and the desire of the producing corporations to remain competitive in the market and also the process of developing a social consensus around ethical guidelines inevitably takes longer. In addition, Marshall (1999) believes that the gap between developing technologies and developing corresponding ethical guidelines for their use is widening (Marshall, 1999, p. 86).
41 Research Questions and Hypotheses Since there is no overarching ethical theory of public relations that has been universally adopted and there is no universally accepted ethics code for social networks sites, it is important to understand whether or not public relations agencies are changing their existing ethics codes to address new social media like SNS. Due to the saliency of this issue, the following research questions will direct this research: RQ1: Is there a significant difference between how often agencies use SNS for public relations related activities and whether they are located in the US or the UK? R Q1a: Is there a significant difference for whether practitioners relationship to their publics have changed since using SNS for public relations related activities by whether they reside in the US or the UK? RQ1b: Is there a significant difference for whether the new codes of ethics that discuss SNS impact the actions of practitioners when using SNS by whether the a gency is located in the US or the UK? RQ1c: Is there a significant difference for how much relevance practitioners see in their agency revising their ethics codes to include SNS and does t his vary between practitioners residing in the US or the UK? RQ1d: Is there a significant relationship between how many SNS the agency uses on a daily basis for public relations related activities and whether they are located in the US or the UK? RQ2 : What factors or characteristics about SNS increase the need for development of new ethical codes in public relations agencies? RQ3: Is there a significant relationship between how long practitioners have worked in their current job position or in public relations and whether they reside in the US or the UK? After c onducting a literature review, the research showed that in many cases the United Kingdom is more advanced than the United States in regards to public relations and the emphasis that is placed on corporate social responsibility. For years the norm philosophy of corporations in the UK has been that they have a societal obligation that transcends their shareholder obligations (Matten & Moon, 2004). This philosophy has only begun to be practiced within
42 corporations in the US. In addition, the EU has spent ti me and resources in order to fund projects and political activities that further CSR initiatives within businesses. This led the researcher to posit that since ethics in organiz ations and agencies are so closely tied to CSR, that in regards to ethics for SNS, UK public relations agencies would also be further along in changing their ethics codes than US agencies. HQ1: A greater percentage of UK agencies will have developed new codes of ethics or revised their codes in regards to ethics on SNS than will US agencies According to the studies done by Langlois and Schlegelmich (1990) and Welford (2005), the US has a greater number of public relations agencies that have written ethics codes than the UK. The researcher posited that these findings would still hold true. Therefore, the following hypotheses were developed. HQ2: A g reater percentage of public relations agencies in the US will have written ethics codes than agencies in the UK. HQ2a: If HQ2 is accepted and public relations agencies in the United States have a significantly higher percentage of written ethics codes, then a higher percentage of public relations agencies in the United Kingdom will require their employees to be bound to other ethics codes besides the agencys own, more than those age ncies in the US. HQ2b: A higher percentage of public relations agencies in the United Kingdom will have adopted other ethics codes that discuss ethics on SNS than agencies in the US.
43 C HAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Selected Sample and Location The purpose of this study is to compare whether public relations agencies in the United States have revised or developed new ethics codes in regards to the new communication medium of social networking sites, to whether public relations agencies in the Uni ted Kingdom have done the same. Therefore, the sample for this study is based on a purposive sampling of public relations agencies in the United Kingdom and the United States from available lists of public relations agency websites that were available on the search engine, Google. Formal lists, such as agencies who are members of PRSA or CIPR were not used since access to these lists is provided on a members only basis and the researcher does not fall into this category. Since the survey is webbased i t was necessary for the agencies to have an active, contact email address. Due to the large number of agencies needed, the researcher did not discriminate based on firm size or annual income. However, after typing in public relations agencies in the US and public relations agencies in the UK on Google, after awhile the available agencies that had websites and were displayed became repetitive. The researcher then chose to search for public relations agencies in larger cities. This was done simply bec ause it was the opinion of the researcher that public relations agencies located in larger cities were more likely to be the leading public relations agencies in their area. For example, the researcher typed into Google search, public relations agencies in New York and public relations agencies in London. Other cities in the US that were researched were Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Boston, Philadelphia, St.
44 Louis, Houston, Detroit, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Memphis, Phoenix, Washington D.C., Seattle, Honolulu, San Diego, Atlanta and Charlotte. Cities that were researched in the UK were Dublin, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds, Cardiff, Birmingham and Leicester. This was an exhaustive search of all available public relations a gencies that were listed on the Internet. After the search was conducted the researcher obtained the names of 1,000 public relations agencies in the US and 1,000 in the UK. In addition, the agencies that were international and had firms located in many c ities within the US and the UK were only sent one survey in the country or city that the agency originated. This was determined by visiting the agencys website and determining through their background or historical information in which city the agency was first established. This prevented the researcher from receiving multiple surveys from the same agency. A full list of the companies that were chosen can be found in Appendix B. Once the researcher had the names of 2,000 public relations agencies in the US and the UK another Google search was conducted to obtain contact email addresses for the agencies in which to send the web based survey to. The researcher visited each agencys website to determine which practitioner in the agency to contact via email. The researcher looked for practitioners who worked in the consumer department of the public relations agency as these individuals would be more likely to deal directly with publics and social networking sites. However, in most cases a list of practitio ners and their job titles were not available, nor was an email address provided. Therefore, the survey emails were either sent to the email address of the practitioner given or the general email address that was provided on the agencys website. In addit ion, the researchers personal email was given in the emails that were sent to the agencies and in many instances the agency provided the researcher with a direct email address to an
45 appropriate practitioner to complete the survey. Agency websites that di d not have a contact email address of any kind were excluded from the study as there was no way for these agencies to receive the web based survey. Out of the initial 2,000 agencies, email addresses were only obtained for 1,020 agencies. Therefore, the s urvey was only sent to 1,020 public relations agencies in both the US and the UK; 615 were sent to agencies in the US and 405 to agencies in the UK. Of these 1,020 surveys, 141 were returned to the researcher. This study desired to achieve a 10% response rate and it achieved a 14% response rate, which is acceptable. Pilot Testing Before the survey was sent out to the public relations agencies, the researcher conducted a pilot testing. Pilot testing, for this study, including emailing individuals with a background in public relations who are similar to the sampled respondents, but would not be contributing to the survey results. An acceptable pilot testing sample should include between 510 individuals (Henderson & Bialeschki, 2002). Therefore, the pi lot test was sent to 10 public relations practitioners working in agencies in the US and 10 to practitioners working in agencies in the UK. These individuals aided the researcher in determining whether the research questions were clear, understandable and whether the survey itself had reliability and usability. A total of 7 surveys were returned to the researcher with suggestions, only 3 of these being from agencies in the UK. Most practitioners agreed that the topic was interesting and the length of the survey was conducive to other practitioners completing the entire questionnaire. However, initially there were additional demographic questions asking specifically what agency the practitioners worked for and what city they lived in. After conducting the pilot testing it became obvious that if the study was going to promise the practitioners and the agency anonymity, then asking them which agency they belonged to would seem a violation of this. Although the researcher only intended to determine for hers elf which agencies had responded to the survey and was not going to
46 include that information in the study, this demographic question was excluded from the final survey that was sent to all 1,020 public relations agencies. In addition, asking practitioners which city they lived in would also have narrowed down the possibilities as to which agency had responded to the survey and was unnecessary for the study since what was more important was whether they were located in the US or the UK. Therefore, this que stion was changed for the final survey to only ask whether the practitioners lived in the US or the UK. Although the pilot testing resulted in a small sample of agencies who responded, it gave the researcher insight as to which questions were less likely to be answered. Many practitioners skipped the openended, free response questions and others did not complete the survey once they came upon the questions about the agencys ethics. Survey Methodology Given the broad geographical range of this study and the importance of gaining the perspectives of many public relations agencies, the research technique of a web based survey was chosen. A web based survey format has the advantage of low cost and quick distribution, allowing for a larger sample size (Andrews, Nonnecke & Preece, 2003). The web based survey was designed using the program from Survey Monkey. According to Andrew s Nonnecke and Preece (2003), a web based survey provides more design options than email surveys and provides researchers with inc reased control over respondent use of the survey ( p. 5). The webbased survey format was able to accommodate both qualitative and quantitative questioning and more in depth information and coding possibilities for the researcher (Andrews, No nnecke & Preece, 2003). Respondents were also not able to continue with the survey if they failed to reply to required questions. The questions that the researcher chose to designate as required, were those that were most central to the research and hypothesis questi ons. This forced all of the questions
47 in the survey that were pivotal to the study to be answered. Also, respondents were allowed to return to previous questions they had already answered in order to review their answers and make any necessary changes. The survey used a skip logic. This allowed the researcher, depending on the respondents answers, to direct them to certain questions. For example, if the respondent replied that his agency did not have an ethics code then he was not asked any further questions about his agencys ethics code. The respondents were also provided anonymity to increase the response rate and to decrease the likelihood of competition between agencies. Since this study was conducted at the University of Florida, a freedom of information state, it is available as public record and the entire list of public relations agencies that were contacted are included in Appendix B. However, no specific response, individual or public relations agency was named in this study. Questions A total of eighteen questions were developed and organized. The questions were designed using interview questioning protocol. This standardized protocol involves arranging questions in order from general to specific, with the more personal or difficult questions occurring at the conclusion of the interview, or the survey (Lindlof & Taylor, 2002). Therefore, the first and second questions were designed to ease the tension of the respondents and gain their interest in the survey so that they would want to continue. These were questions on how often the practitioners used social networking sites and which ones they used, such as MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. These questions eased the tension of the practitioners because they were not personal questions about the practitioner themselves. These questions were also able to gain the interest of practitioners since SNS have gained a lot of popularity and the practitioners are very likely members of these different SNS sites, whether for personal or profess ional use.
48 The more invasive questions, such as asking about the agencys ethics codes or whether the practitioner has ever dealt with ethical dilemmas on SNS, were kept until the very end of the survey. The majority of the questions consisted of quanti tative questions in the form of multiple choice, yes/no, Likert scale, etc. This allowed for more expedient coding for the researcher and allowed th e survey to be completed by the respondents more expeditiously. However, openended questions were included to allow respondents to reply in their own words and expand on topics or ideas. This was beneficial to this study because according to Andrews Nonnecke and Preece (2003), in other studies where open ended questions occurred after a set of coded ques tions, over 70% of respondents provided additional information and explanations through the openended question opportunity. The demographic questions considered residence in the UK or US, length of time working in the public relations industry and length of time working in their current agency and constituted the last few questions of the survey. The survey questions are presented in Appendix A. The closing question asked the respondents if there is any additional information they would like to discuss or add to their comments. Procedure The research technique consisted of thr ee separate emails sent to 1,020 public relations agencies in the US and the UK The emails were sent to 615 public rel ations agencies in the US and 405 agencies in the UK. Since this was a large amount of emails to send, the researcher did not personally address each email. Instead the emails were sent using the subject line, Request From Public Relations Student and were addressed, To Whom it May Concern. The first email gave the contact information of the researcher, explained the purpose and methodology of the study to the respond ents, the length of time it would take to compl ete the
49 survey (no longer than 7 minutes), let the respondents know they would be given anonymity in the study and requested that they reply back to the researcher if they were interested in taking the survey. This helped the researcher gauge the potential response rate. In addition, as Cho and LaRose (1999) explained, respondents will not feel as if their privacy is invaded if the invitation to participate in the study is separate from the survey itself. However, those practitioners who did not reply were still sent the second email containing the web based survey This was done in order for those practitioners who may not have had time to reply to the first email or may have been out of the office on the day the first email was sent to be given an opportunity to still complete the survey. The second email include d informat ion about how to contact the researcher with questions if necessary, the length of time to complete the survey, the date that the survey was due and the link to the Survey Monkey webbased survey. By clicking on the survey link in the email, the practitio ners agreed to participate in the study and therefore, did not have to fill out a sep arate IRB consent/assent form. The third email simply acted as a reminder to those practitioners who had not yet filled out the survey and encourage d them to do so. This email, once again, stipulated the date that the survey was due back to the researcher. Instead of sending out a fourth email thanking those practitioners who completed the survey, the researcher included a short thank you note at the end of the Survey Monkey survey. This note thanked practitioners for participating and completing the survey and made the overall experience more personal and less invasive. The first email was sen t out to agencies on Monday morning March 23, 2009, giving practitioners al l week to reply back to the researcher whether they would like to participate in the study or not. The second email, containing the survey itself, was sent on Friday March 27, 2009. Since the end of the workweek is typically on Friday this allow ed the p ublic relations
50 practitioners to complete the survey on a day that they may not be as busy, were less likely to have meetings or new business opportunities that would occupy their time. The third email, reminding practitioners and encouraging them to complete the survey, was sent on Monday March 30, 2009. This Monday followed the agencys initial receipt of the survey since many practitioners may not have read the email on Friday or may have forgotten it over the weekend. The surveys were available for submission from March 27 to April 6, 2009. This gave public relations agencies about a week and a half to reply to the survey. Although this was a relatively short time for public relations agencies to complete the survey, the response rate was over the expected 10%. Method Analysis and Verification Upon receipt of the completed surveys on April 6, 2009, they were analyzed by the researcher. All of the multiple choice questions were coded by giving each answer choice a numerical value. Each open ended question was carefully read individually by question for the researcher to distinguish patterns and identify possible themes among the responses. Once all of the openended responses had been read through, the researcher wrote down a list of overarching categories that the various responses would fit under. For responses that discussed topics that fell into different categories priority was given to the topic or issue that the practitioner stressed the most in their response and was coded under that cate gory. These categories were also coded for and given a numerical value. This allowed the researcher to use SPSS, a statistics program, to analyze both the quantitative and qualitative data for similarities and dissimilarities in responses between public relations agencies in the US and in the UK. The data was assessed and the results are shown in Chapter 4.
51 C HAPTER 4 FINDINGS Results After conducting a purposive sampling of 1,000 public relations agency websites in the United States and 1,000 agency websites in the United Kingdom, an attempt was made to find an email address to send the Survey Monkey links to the agencies. Accounting for the lack of email addresses lack of public relations agency websites, incorrect web addresses etc, the researcher was able to locate 1,020 total email addresses for the US and the UK agencies Of these email addresses 615 were from public relations agencies in the US and 405 were from public relations agencies in the UK. Although this number was not equal for both regions, the rese archer sent out the webbased surveys to all of the 1,020 email addresses in order to gain a greater response rate. Of the 1,020 web based surveys that were sent out to public relations agencies 141 were sent back to the researcher. Of these 141, 85 responses were from the US and 46 were from the UK. This gave a n acceptable response rate of almost 14%. Although 141 surveys was less than the desired return of 200 for the projected sample of 2,000 public relations agencies, it was higher than 10% of the actual 1,020 surveys that were sent to the email addresses of the public relations agencies. However, since the researcher obtained an unequal amount of surveys from the US (85) and the UK (46), in order to make the data comparable between the United States and the United Kingdom the data for the UK were weighted The data was weighted to the return rate of US agencies. This was done by dividing the number of returned surveys from the US by the number of returned surveys from the UK. Table 4 1 shows the surveys that were returned by region and how these were weighted in SPSS and recalculated.
52 Table 4 1 Responses weighted for differential response rates and sample size % of surveys r eturned Total number of returned s urveys Weight f unction used % of surveys r eturned after weighting Total number r eturned after weighting United s tates 60.3% 85 1.000000 50% 85 United kingdom 39.7% 46 1.847826 50% 85 Missing d ata 10 None Totals 100% 141 170 Research Question 1 Is there a significant difference between how often agencies use SNS for public relations related activities and whether they are located in the US or the UK? In the survey this question was presented as a multiple choice answer option. Practitioners were asked how often they used SNS in their everyday public relations related activities and they had the opportunity to choose never (1 ), s ometimes (2), often (3), or very often (4). However, i n order to determine whether there was a significant difference in use between the US and the UK, a n F test to determine the difference of mean s was conducted. Table 4 2 shows the mean for the questions asking about SNS use. Table 4 2 Difference of m ean s t est for how often practitioners use sns United s tates United kingdom X S.D. X S.D. F D.F. P Use of sns 2.5 1.0 2.5 1.1 .3 1, 168 .60 Table 4 2 shows that the means for agencies in both countries were both 2.5 and therefore, the m ajority of public relations agencies in both the US and the UK use social networking sites somewhere between sometimes (2) and often (3) in their everyday public relations activities.
53 T he significance level (P .60) shows that use of SNS is not signi ficantly different between agencies in the US and the UK. Resea rch Question 1a Is there a significant difference for whether practitioners relationship to their publics have changed since using SNS for public relations related activit i es by whether the y reside in the US or the UK? This survey question asked practitioners how much using SNS has changed their relationship to their publics. They had the option of replying very much (4), some (3), very little (2), and not at all (1). The resul ts of these responses are shown in Table 43. Table 43 Results of mean test for rq 1a, b, c and d United s tates United kingdom X S.D. X S.D. F D.F. P Relationship to publics 3.1 0.8 2.7 0.9 11.6 1, 137 .001 Impact of ethics for sns 2.6 1.1 2.1 1.0 4.6 1, 77 .03 Rel evance of revising codes for sns 3.6 0.6 3.1 0.8 19.5 1, 163 .001 How many sns are used 1.5 0.9 1.0 0.8 10.1 1, 168 .002 Looking at whether SNS have changed the practitioners relationship to their publics, the means are 3.1 in the United States and 2.7 in the United Kingdom. W here practitioners had the option of choosing very much (4), some (3) very little (2) or not at all (1) overall in the U nited K ingdom and the United States the majority of respondents stated that SNS have changed
54 their relationship to publics some. In addition, there is a significant difference for whether this has changed practitioners relationship to their publics for those who res ide in the US vs. the U K, with US practitioners more likely to say that it has changed their relationship some to publics than UK practitioners (P <.001). Research Question 1b Is there a significant difference for whether the new ethics codes that discus s SNS impact the actions of practitioners when using SNS by whether the agencies the practitioners worke d for are located in the US or the UK? The impact that ethics codes have over the actions of practitioners when they are using SNS in the United State s has a mean of 2.6 and a mean of 2.1 in the UK with a significance level of (P 03). For this survey question practitioners had the option of choosing very much (4) some (3) very little (2), or not at all (1). Therefore, the majority of practitioners in the UK said that e thics codes for SNS impact them very little when they are actually using these SNS. Howev er, in the US practitioners were significantly closer to agreeing that ethics codes for SNS affect them some than are agencies (or practitioners) in the UK. The significance level (P .03) shows that there is a significant difference between whether the actions of practitioners are impacted by the ethics codes of their agency t hat discuss SNS and whether the agency is located in the US or UK. Research Question 1c Is there a significant difference for how much relevance practitioners see in their agency revising their ethics codes to include SNS and does this vary between pract itioners residing in the US or the UK? For whether practitioners saw any relevance in their agency revising their ethics codes to include ethics for use of SNS the mean is 3.6 in the US and the mean is 3.1 in the UK with a
55 significance level of (P 001) This survey question allowed practitioners the option of choosing very much (4) some (3) very little (2) or not at all (1). In the UK practitioners stated that there was some relevance in their agencies revising their ethics codes. However i n the United States practitioners were significantly closer to agreeing that they saw very much relevance in revising the ethics codes than agencies in the UK. Thus, this research finds t hat there is a significant difference for how much relevance pr actitioners see in their agency revising their ethics codes to include ethics for SNS by whether these practitioners reside in the US or the UK. Research Question 1d Is there a significant relationship between how many SNS the agencies use on a daily basis for public relations related a ctivities and whether they are located in the US of the UK? Initially to d etermine which SNS agencies used on a daily basis the survey asked practitioners to choose Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn or Other. Although this study did not look at LinkedIn or Twitter, the survey allowed practitioners to answer that they did use these SNS. Practitioners were also allowed to choose multiple combinations of these and were not limited to one choice. However, in orde r to better compare how many SNS were being used between the US and the UK, t hese responses were recoded into one, two or three SNS on a daily basis. For the US the mean is 1.5 and for the UK the mean is 1 .0 with a significance value of (P 002). The refore, the United States agencies said they used more than one SNS daily while in United Kingdom the majority of agencies use d one SNS in their everyday public relations related activities. Thus, there is a significant difference be tween how many SNS age ncies use on a daily basis by whether they are located in the US or the UK. Once the survey asked questions regarding the agency and social networking sites, the survey progressed to more specific questions about ethics and social networking sites. The
56 researcher most wanted to know what pertinent characteristics or factors about SNS would lead agencies to believe that developing ethics codes for SNS is important. Research Question 2 What factors or characteristics about SNS increase the need for development of new ethical codes in public relations agencies? In the web based survey the above question was asked in an openended question format. Therefore, practitioners were able to provide a range of responses with whichever factors they found most relevant to developing new ethics codes. Once these responses were read over by the researcher they were coded into specific categories or themes that encompassed the practitioners responses. The responses provided by the practitioners fell into the following seven categories; identity/image increased u se a ccess to SNS personal/professional newness of SNS rules of pr and dont need ethics for SNS. Responses that were coded under identity/image dealt with topics such as being clear about whether opinions were the practitioners or the agencys when talking to publics on SNS, making sure the agency was accurately presented on SNS maintaining the public image and reputation that the agency wanted to present and accurately present ing the image that the client wanted to present. Increased use responses discussed how SNS were being incorporated into everyday public relations practices and SNS were continuing to grow in popula rity with publics and in the work practices of agencies. Responses that were coded under a ccess to SNS focused on potential privacy issues with anyone being able to create a profile on a SNS, including minors or other practitioners from competing agenci es. Responses that were coded under personal/ professional discussed balancing the two and the dichotomy of having personal photographs or information, but also maintaining a professional appearance. These responses also included comments from practitio ners about how younger staff members needed to learn
57 what was considered professional or appropriate in the business world. Newness of SNS included responses from practitioners about the lack of clarity of what practitioners can or cannot do on SNS, how SNS are new and still developing leaving room for a wide margin of error and the overall freedom and unedited state of SNS. Responses that were coded under t he rules of pr were those responses that the researcher deemed to be standard ethical principle s of public relations and public relations practitioners. These included comments about honesty, integrity, transparency, accountability and disclosure. In addition, there were a few practitioners who thought that existing public relations ethics or their agencies ethics codes were good enough and nothing needed to be changed in regards to SNS T hese were coded under dont need. Once the responses were coded under their specified category the percentage of responses in each grouping was presented in a bar graph and responses were compared between those practitioners who work in agencies in the US and the UK. The se results c an be seen in Figure 41.
58 Figure 4 1 Factors that lead to the need for new ethics codes f or sns in the united states and united kingdom The issue of balancing practitioners private lives on SNS and that of their professional careers seems to be one of the most important topics for both those in the United States (22%) and the United Kingdom (25 %). However, those in the United States place much more emphasis on accurat e ly representing the identity/image of their agency or clients (22%) and normative ethical principles of public relations roles such as honesty, disclosure and transparency (20%) than the UK (14% and 14% ). On the other hand, the United Kingdom also shows a much higher percentage of practitioners who thought that having ethics codes that apply to SNS was not necessary (14%) than in the United States (5%). In addition an equal number of practitioners in
59 t he UK (14%) thought that ethics for SNS was not necessary as those practitioners in the UK who thought identity/image, newness of SNS, rules of pr, access to SNS and increased use were important factors In addition while the newness of SNS seemed to be the factor that was the least influential toward increasing the need for ethics codes on SNS in the UK (3%), in the US it was considered the fourth most influential factor amongst practitioner s (13%). Although the small numbers made a chi square test f or independence and a difference of proportions test impossible for US vs. UK agencies, this question was answered by 71% of resp ondents in the web based survey Another important aspect of the survey was to determine how much experience or exposure resp ondents had had with SNS and in public relations If the respondents had not been with their agency long enough, they may not be aware of the agencys ethics codes or whether SNS were used. In addition, if they had not been working in public relations ve ry long they may not be aware of existing ethical theories in public relations. Therefore, the demographic questions in the survey asked how long the practitioners had worke d in their current job position and then asked how long they had worked in public relations. However, it was also important to determine whether longevity was affected by location, US or UK, as the objective of this study was to garner a similar sample group from both regions. Research Question 3 Is there a significant relationsh ip between how long the practitioners have worked in their current job position or in the public relations field and whether they reside in the US or the UK? The survey questions asking about the practitioners longevity in their current job positions and in the public relations field were asked in a mulitple choice format. For both questions practitioners had the option of choosing 0 5 years, 6 10 years, 11 15, or 16 or more years These results are shown in Tables 44 and 45.
60 Table 4 4 Results of years in current position How long have you worked in current position? United s tates United kingdom X D.F. 2 P 0 5 years 36.8% 44.8% 11.5 3 .009 610 years 11.8% 25.4% 11 15 years 19.7% 19.4% 16 or more years 31.6% 10.4% Table 4 5 Results of years working in public r elations How long have you worked in public relations? United s tates United kingdom X D.F. 2 P 0 5 years 21.1% 26.5% 5.76 3 .124 6 10 years 10.5% 19.1% 1115 years 17.1% 22.1% 16 or more years 51.3% 32.4% Table 4 4 shows that both in the US and the UK, the number of practitioners who replied to the web based survey had not worked at their current position for a similar amount of time. In the US (36.8%) of practitioners had worked at their current job for 05 years while (44.8%) of practitioners in the UK had. In the US (11.8%) of practitioners had worked at their current job for 6 10 years while (25.4%) of practitioners in the UK had. In the US (19.7%) of practitioners had worked in their current position for 1115 years while (19.4%) of UK practitioners had.
61 Finally, the largest percentage of difference occurred amongst those practitioners who had worked at their current jobs for 16 years or more; (31.6%) in the US vs. (10.4%) in the UK. With a significance level of (P worked in their current job position and whether they reside in the US or the UK is significant. Table 4 5 shows that in both the US and the UK, the number of practitioners who replied to the web based survey had worked in the public relations field for a similar amount of time. In the US (21.1%) had worked in public relations for 05 years and in the UK (26.5%) had. In the US (10.5%) of prac titioners worked in public relations for 610 years and in the UK (19.1%) had. In addition, in the US (17.1%) of practitioners who replied to the webbased survey had worked in public relations for 1115 years and (22.1%) of practitioners in the UK had. The only notable percentage difference occurred amongst those practitioners who had worked in public relations for 16 years or more. In the US (51.3%) of practitioners fell into this category and in the UK (32.4%) did. However, the significance level (P significant difference for how long practitioner have worked in the field of public relations and whether they reside in the US or the UK. Although the amount of time the practitioners have worked in public relations was not significant and therefore, did not affect this study, the length of time practitioners had worked in their current positions at their agency was significant (P .009). Therefore, the longevity, or lack thereof, that a practitioner had at his current agency did affect this study and there was a significant difference between how long these practitioners worked at their current agencies and whether these agencies were located in the US or the UK. Not only did this potentially affect the study, but also the responses, since the longer a practitioner worked for an agency the better he might know the inner workings of the agency and their ethics codes.
62 A literature review showed that in many cases the United Kingdom is more advanced than the United States in regards to public relations and the emphasis that is placed on corporate social responsibility. According to some researchers, the norm philosophy of corporations in the UK has been that they have a societal obligation that transcends their sharehol der obligations (Matten & Moon, 2004). It is believed that this philosophy has only begun to be practiced within corporations in the US. In addition, the EU has spent time and resources in order to fund projects and political activities that further CSR initiatives within businesses. This led the researcher to posit that since ethics in organizations and agencies is so closely tied to CSR, that in regards to ethics for SNS, UK public relations agencies would also be further along in changing their ethics codes than US agencies. Hypothesis 1 A greater percentage of United Kingdom agencies will have developed new codes of ethics or revised their codes in r egards to ethics on SNS than will US agencies. In the web based survey practitioners were asked w hether their agency had revised their ethics codes to include ethics for SNS (1) whether the agency was in the process of revising the ir ethics codes (2), or whether the agency had not revised the ethics code (3) These responses were recoded to group a gencies that were revising or already had revised their ethics codes into one category The results between the US and the UK are shown in Figure 42.
63 Figure 4 2 Results of agencies revising ethics codes In th e United States (60.3%) of practitioners responded that their agency had not revised their ethics code to include ethics for SNS compared to (5 0%) of practitioners in the United Kingdom. In contrast (39.7%) of practitioners in the United States responded that their agency had r evised their ethics codes as compared to (50%) of practitioners in the United Kingdom. Although a larger percentage of agen cies in the United Kingdom have revised their ethics codes to include ethics for SNS HQ1 cannot be accepted without determining whe ther this percentage is significant. Therefore, a chi square test for independence was conducted to determine whether there was a difference between the US and the UK in regards to public relations agencies revising their ethics codes to include ethics fo r SNS. These results are shown in Table 4 6.
64 Table 4 6 Results for revision of ethics c odes Has agency revised ethics code? United s tates United kingdom X D.F. 2 P Yes 39.7% 50.0% 1.1 1 .304 No 60.3% 50.0% The significance level (P revision of ethics codes and whether the agencies are located in the US or the UK. Although about 40% of the agencies in the US said they had revised their codes compared to 50% in the UK, these differences are not significant. According to the studies done by Langlois and Schlegelmi l ch (1990) and Welford (2005) the US has a greater number of public relations agencies that have written ethics codes than the UK. The researcher posited that these findings would still hold true. The refore, the following hypotheses w ere developed. Hypothesis 2 A greater percentage of public relations agencies in the United States will have written ethics codes than agencies in the United Kingdom. In the web based survey practitioners were asked whether their agency had its own written ethics code (1) or not (2) The results of these r esponses are shown in Figure 43.
65 Figure 4 3 Results of written codes of e t hics The results from Figure 4 3 show that (25.9%) of respondents from the US stated that their agency did not have a written ethics code, while (49.4%) of respondents from the UK responded that their agency did not have a written ethics code. In contras t, (74.1%) of practitioners from the US stated that their agency did have a written ethics code, while (50.6%) of practitioners in the UK stated that their agency had a written ethics code. An almost equal amount of agencies in the UK seem to have a writt en ethics codes as those agencies who do not have a written code versus those agencies in the US that have a written ethics code (74.1%) and those that do not (25.9%). A chi square test for independence was conducted to determine whether there was a signi ficant relationship between agencies having a written ethics codes and whether they were located in the US or the UK. The results are shown in Table 4 7.
66 Table 4 7 Results for w ritten c odes of e thics Does agency have written ethics code? United s tates United kingdom X D.F. 2 P No 25.9% 49.4% 9.91 1 .002 Yes 74.1% 50.6% The significance level (P 002) shows that there is a significant difference between public relations agencies having a written ethics codes and whether they are located in the US or the UK. Since there is a significantly greater percentage of agencies in the US that have a written ethics code than those agencies in the UK, HQ2 is accepted. Hy pothesis 2a If HQ2 is accepted and public relations agencies in the United States have a significantly higher percentage of written ethics codes, then a higher percentage of public relations agencies in the United Kingdom will require their employees to be bound to other ethics codes, besides the agencys own, more than those agencies in the US. In the web based survey practitioners were asked whether their agency required them to be bound to any other ethics codes besides the code of the a gency itself. Practitioners were also given the option to fill in which other ethics code they followed. A few codes that were named were PRSA, WOMMA and CIPR. Hypothesis 2b A higher percentage of public relations agencies in the United Kingdom will have adopted other ethics codes that discuss ethics on SNS than agencies in the United States
67 This survey question asked practitioners whether the other ethics codes that their agency had required them to be bound to discussed ethics for SNS. Practitioner s could choose yes (1), no (2). The results for HQ2a and HQ2b are shown in Table 48. Table 4 8 Results of other ethics c odes Does agency require employees to be bound to other ethics code? United s tates United k ingdom X D.F. 2 P Yes 48.2% 47.0% .024 1 .876 No 51.8% 53.0% Does o ther code mention ethics for sns ? Yes 22.5% 23.1% 7.88 2 .019 No 42.5% 15.4% Not that im aware 35.0% 61.5% In the United States ( 51.8% ) of practitioners responded that their agency did not require its employees to be bound to any other ethics code besides their own as compared to ( 53% ) in the United Kingdom. In the United States ( 48.2% ) of practitioners responded that their agency did re quire them to be bound to other ethics codes as compared to ( 47% ) in the United Kingdom. T hese numbers are not significantly different. Therefore, HQ2a is rejected since agencies in the UK do not require their employees to be bound to other ethics codes more than agencies in the US. In addition, the si gnificance level shows (P .876) there is not a significant relationship between using other ethics codes and whether the agency is located in the US or the UK.
68 In regards to HQ2b, Table 48 shows that in the US (22.5%) and in the UK (23.1%) there is a close percentage of agencies who have adopted other ethics codes, besides the agencys own ethics codes that discuss ethics for SNS. However, a larger percentage, both i n the US ( 42.5%) and the UK (15.4%), responded that the other ethics codes theyve adopt ed d o not discuss ethics for SNS. Therefore, of those ethics codes that are adopted by the agency from outside sources such as WOMMA, in the US there seems to be a much higher percentage tha t do not discuss ethics for SNS. In addition, in the US (35%) of practitioners were not aware whether the other ethics codes theyd adopted discussed ethics for SNS while (61.5%) of practitioners in the UK were also not aware. Therefore, in the UK there were almost double the amount of practitioners as in the US that were unaware of what their ethics codes stipulated or advised in regards to ethical behavior on SNS. The significance level (P shows that there is a significant difference between th e US and the UK. Therefore, the United Kingdom has a significantly higher percentage than the United States of public relations agencies who have adopted other ethics codes that discuss ethics for SNS. Summary of Results This study found that for RQ1 there was no significant difference between how frequently or infrequently public relations agencies use social networking sites and whether these agencies are located in the US or the UK. However, for RQ1d, the study found that there was a significant di fference between how many SNS are used and whether these agencies are located in the US or the UK. Public relations agencies in the US use about 1.5 SNS and agencies in the UK use only about 1. However, since the responses were recoded for this question, it was not possible to determine whether the US or UK uses MySpace, Facebook or another social networking site predominantly. For RQ1a, the study found that t here was also a significant difference between whether using SNS has changed practitioners relationship to their publics.
69 Practitioners in the US stated that it has changed their relationship to public some, while in the UK practitioners stated it had changed their relationship very little to some. In addition, for RQ1b this study found that there was a significant difference existed between whether practitioners thought that their agencys ethics codes impacted them when they used SNS and whether they resided in the US or the UK. Practitioners in the UK thought that the ethics codes impacted their actions very little while in the US practitioners were significantly close to stating the ethics codes impacted them some. Finally, RQ1c found th at there was a significant difference between whether practitioners saw any relevance in their agency revising their ethics codes to include SNS and whether their agency was located in the US or the UK. While the United Kingdom stated that there was some relevance, US practitioners were significantly closer to seeing very much relevance. For research question RQ2 this study found that the most important factors about SNS that lead US agencies to believe that revising their ethics codes to include SNS is necessary are maintaining the identity and image of the agency or the client on SNS and balancing the practitioners personal life with their professional duties on SNS. In the UK the most important factor was also finding that balance between what is personal and what is professional Public relations agencies in the US agencies thought the least important factors were the increased use of SNS and the f act that anyone and everyone can gain access to SNS. Amongst UK agencies, the newness of SNS was co nsidered the least important factor. In addition, this study found for RQ3 that there was a significant difference between the US and the UK amongst those pra ctitioners who responded to this study and how long they had worked in their current job position. Between the US and the UK the greatest difference were for those practitioners who had worked at their current position for 16 years or more. However, there w as no significant difference between the US and the UK amongst those practitioners that
70 responded to this study and how long they had worked in public relations. Alt hough this study did not determine why these differences exist, it is important to note that significant differences in regards to SNS do exist between the US and the UK. In additi on to the research questions, the researcher posited four hypotheses. According to HQ1 there was no significant difference between those public relations agencies in the US or the UK that revised their ethics codes to include ethics for SNS. For research question HQ2 this study found that there was a significant difference between those agencies in the US that had written ethics codes and those agencies in the UK that had written ethics codes A greater percentage of p ublic relations agencies in the US had written ethics codes than UK firms. This also supports Langlois and Schlege l mil chs (1990) findings in their study on written ethics codes. However, for HQ2a the research found that there was no significant difference between public relations agencies in the US and the UK that were bound to other ethics codes besides the agencys own codes. An almost equal amount of agencies in the US and the UK stated that they were and w ere not bound to other ethics codes. However, for HQ2b this study found that of those agencies that had bound themselves to other ethics codes besides their own, such as CIPR or PRSA there was a significant difference between agencies in the US and the U K who se adopted ethics codes discussed SNS. The United Kingdom had a significantly higher percentage of agencies who adopted ethics codes that discussed SNS than public relations agencies in the United States
71 C HAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION Agency use of SNS Although there was not a significant difference between how often agencies in the US and UK use SNS there was a significant difference in how m any SNS are used. On average, public relations agencies in the US are using m ore than one SNS in their everyday activities, while agencies in the UK are only using one. T he data suggests that agencies in the US, since they are using more than one SNS, would have an added advantage of engaging and communicating with more of their p ublics than agencies in the UK that do not use as many SNS. This finding makes even more sense when one considers that there was also a significant difference for agencies in the US and the UK that thought SNS had changed their relationship to their publics. In the US the most common answer was that it had changed the relationship some while in the UK agencies claimed it had only changed their relationship very little. If public relations agencies in the UK are using onl y one SNS and agencies in the US are using more than one, it would stand to reason that the agencies in the US have noticed more of a change in their relationship to their publics. One reason for this may be, as Dwyer, Hiltz and Passernini (2007) found that the level of trust differs depending on which social networking site is being used. Since Facebook delineates more trust amongst its us ers, if the one SNS UK agencies were predominantly using was MySpace, for example, UK agencies might not be developing as much trust with their publics as would be possible if they were using Facebook. In addition, Scott (2007) found that increased interconnectivity with publics can allow for a relationship that cannot exist offline. Therefore, because agencies in the UK are using an average of one SNS they may not have become as interconnected as agencies in the US, who used an average of 1.5 SNS.
72 Agency Ethics Codes There was also a significant difference between public r elations agencies in the US and the UK that saw relevance in revising their existing ethics codes to include ethics for SNS. On average, agencies in the US were very close to agreeing that there was very much relevance in revising their ethics codes, while agencies in the UK thought there was some relevance in revising their ethics codes. This suggests that there are other factors about SNS that affect an agencys decision to revise their ethics codes besides how often and how many SNS are used. A fe w of these other factors that affect an agencys decision to revise their ethics codes were determined to be the increased use of SNS, access that publics have to SNS, the practitioner needing to balance his personal and professional life, the newness of SNS, protecting the identity and image of the client or the agency and maintaining the basic principles of public relations such as honesty, integrity, disclosure, etc. There were marked differences between what public relations agencies in the US and th e UK thought were the most important factors that increased the need to develop new ethics codes to include SNS. In the US, public relations agencies thought that the issue of protecting the identity and image of the client or the agency was equally impor tant as balancing a practitioners personal life with that of their professional careers since both can intertwine when a practitioner is logged onto his personal profile and using it for work purposes. However, in the UK the most important factor was bal ancing the personal and professional. It would be interesting for further study to see what agencies in the UK do differently than agencies in the US to maintain the identity and image of the client or the agency on SNS since they seem to be less concerne d about how this factors into needing to revise their ethics codes. In addition, agencies in the US were least concerned about how there has been an increased use in SNS more recently and the access that publics have to SNS, while agencies in the UK were least concerned about the relative newness of SNS.
73 Despite the various factors that increased the need for agencies to revise their ethics codes and the agreement amongst US agencies that there is very much and amongst UK agencies that there is some relevance in revising their ethics codes, there was no significant difference between the number of agencies in the US and the UK that had actually revised their ethics codes. Therefore, a similar amount of agencies in the US and the UK have revised thei r ethics codes or not revised them. What is notable also, is that despite the fact that agencies in the US use more SNS on average than agencies in the UK, there is no significant difference between agencies in the US or UK that have revised their ethics codes. A significant difference was found between agencies in the US and the UK that had their own written ethics codes. There was a higher percentage of agencies in the US than in the UK that had written ethics codes. Since this is a significant relationship it is important to note that the survey question that asked agencies whether they had revised their ethics codes to include SNS would have excluded those agencies who had already stated that they did not have a written ethics code. Therefore, a si gnificant difference between agencies the UK and the US that had revised their ethics codes may exist, if the fact that UK agencies had significantly fewer written ethics codes to begin with had been taken into account. However, this would need to be researched further to make a clear determination. One possible reason for the UK having fewer written ethics codes, according to Welford (2005) are that companies in the UK seem to hav e a stigma about using the term ethics codes and deem them to be a n impor t from the US. Therefore, agencies in the UK may not place as much importance on having ethics codes as agencies in the US. In addition, there was no significant difference between the US and UK as to whether the agencies have bound themselves to othe r ethics codes besides that of the agency. However, of
74 those agencies that had bound themselves to other ethics codes there was a si gnificant difference between those agencies in the US and the UK and whether the adopted ethics codes discussed ethics for SNS An equal number of agencies in the US and the UK adopted other ethics codes that did discuss ethics for SNS. However, agencies in the US adopted more ethics codes that did not discuss SNS than did agencies in the UK. This suggests that when agencie s in the US are adopting other ethics codes they were not considering whether the codes discuss ethics for SNS However, this could also result from the fact that more agencies in the US have written ethi cs code than those in the UK thus US agencies would not need to adopt other ethics codes that discuss ethics for SNS. Impact of Agency Ethics Codes on Practitioners Contrary to agencies in the UK agreeing that there is some relevance and agencies in the US agreeing there is very much relevance in revising ethics codes to include SNS there was a significant difference between agencies in the US and the UK as to whether their practitioners thought the agencys ethics codes actually impacted them. O n average agencies in the UK stated there was very little impact while agencies in the US were very close to agreeing that there was some This suggests that Schwartz (2001) was correct when he found that the existence of a corporate ethics code alon e is not enough to affect employee behavior. The company must also continue to educate employees about the ethics code, and employees must feel a loyalty to the agency. According to Verschoor (1998), the agency must continue to discuss with and train emp loyees about the ethics code or it will never be effective. Since practitioners in agencies in both the US and the UK thought their agencys ethics codes only impacted them very little one possible reason for this might be that the agencies themselves h ave not done their job in maintaining and relating the importance of the ethics codes to their employees. However, i f practitioners actions were not affected, either positively or negatively, by ethics
75 codes than why would there be some relevance in revising the agency ethics codes? Perhaps herein lies the difference between what is de jure and what is de facto. Pract itioners realize the importance of their agency having ethical codes and updating these codes to include new communication mediums, suc h as SNS, so as to protect themselves, their agency, their clients and their publics. However, in reality some practitioners do not stop to govern themselves by the ethics codes they are supposed to follow since practitioners in the UK state that the eth ics codes affect their actions very little and practitioners in the US some Although this requires further research, these findings might suggest that pra ctitioners do rely more on p ersonal or situational ethics than on other ethical theories in publ ic relations as Pratt, Im and Montague (1994) suggest. This could also suggest that practitioners rely on Grunigs (2000) twoway symmetrical model of ethics, where the practitioner must balance his own personal ethics with those of the organizations ethical beliefs. Implications for Public Relations What can th is study contribute to the body of public relations and communications research and practice? Although studies have discussed social networking sites and potential privacy and ethical dilemmas that using SNS entail, this study has looked specifically at h ow public relations agencies are using SNS and what they have changed within their agenc y in regards to SNS. In addition, this study has compared these results between agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom to gain an international perspecti ve of this issue and to determine where differences lie. Since SNS are only beginning to be studied, this research paper will further the available knowledge of how public relations agencies are treating this new communications medium and how they are ada pting. In regards to the practice of public relations this study found that they are significant differences between agencies in the US and the UK as to who has written ethics codes, whether agencies have adopted other ethics codes besides
76 their own and w hether these codes discuss SNS, whether SNS have changed practitioners relationship to their publics, whether the agencys ethics codes impact the actions of the practitioner, how many SNS are being used and whether the practitioners see relevance in revis ing their agencys ethics codes to include SNS. All of this information is beneficial to public relations agencies. Since it is possible that practitioners are following their own personal ethics or situational ethics (Pratt, Im, Montague, 1994; Bowen, 2004) when using SNS, agencies can develop ways to bridge this twoway symmetrical gap (Grunig, 2000) between the practitioners ethics and those of the agency. However, since it is equally possible that practitioners are not using any ethics it is even mor e important for public relations agencies to be aware of the practices of their employees. Therefore, agencies can determine how to increase the impact that their ethics codes have on their practitioners, they can choose to use more SNS in order to deal directly with larger demographics of publics and they can choose to stress to their employees and other stakeholders how important ethics are for SNS. Although this study did not determine why these differences exist between public relations agencies in th e US and the UK it was important to determine that they do exist, if only to incite other researchers, public relations agencies and public relations associations like PRSA and CIPR to look more closely at what is happening in regards to SNS and public re lations ethics and to continue their efforts towards a resolution. Study Limitations This study experienced several limitations within its methodology. First, by creating a web based survey the researcher limited public relations agencies that were ab le to receive the survey through email. Many agencies in the US a nd the UK did not publish websites email addresses, etc. and this hindered the validity of the sample In addition, by needing a contact email address, this limited to who m the survey was sent as many time s the only email address
77 that was listed on the agencys website was a general email that would be sent to an unknown representative within the agency. Therefore, in many instances the researcher relied on an unknown agency email recipie nt to forward the survey to an appropriate, knowledgeable person. By having the survey sent to other practitioners within the agency, the survey also had the potential to be forgotten, deleted or lost in cyberspace. This also hindered the potential response rate. The second limitation of this study was how the survey was created. The majority of the survey questions were asked using a multiple choice answer option, where practitioners had to choose which answer best fit their situation or opinions. H owever, this created a majority of categorical variables for the researcher when it came time to analyze the data. Since almost all of the data were categorical variables, many tests, such as ANOVA, that rely on having categorical and continuous variables were unable to be conducted. Therefore, the researcher was limited in the types of comparisons between the US and the UK that could be run and inevitably what conclusions could be drawn from the data. The last limitation of this study was the fact that a significant difference was found between public relations agencies in the US and the UK and how long the respondents of the study had worked in their current job position. Although this study purposively selected public relations agencies based on locat ion, the researcher expected that there would not be a significant difference between the practitioners length of time working at their current position and whether they resided in the US or the UK. However, a significant difference was found, predominantly between those practitioners who had worked at their agency for 16 years or more. This may have affected responses, since these practitioners would have a better understanding of the inner workings of the agency than respondents that were newly hired.
78 Future Research Since the topics of potential ethics for SNS, how public relations agencies have changed in regards to SNS and how the relationship to publics continues to change via SNS are so relevant and will only continue to change, it is the hope of the researcher that continued research is done in this area. The popularity of SNS does not seem to be dwindling and as a new medium of communication, public relations associations, agencies and practitioners must adapt their strategies and alter existing notions of what public relations can and cannot do in order to be successful. In addition, much of what this study found were that there are differences that exist between the United States and the United Kingdom amongst public relations agencies and pra ctitioners in their involvement with SNS. However, this study did not attempt to explain why these differences exist, how they came to be, or whether these differences exist only between the US and the UK. Specifically, this study asked practitioners whe ther using SNS had changed their relationship to their publics, however, future research could look at whether their relationship was improved, hindered and how it was changed. In addition, m ore research can be done that would compare US agencies to other countries or compare only agencies in Europe or Asia, for example. In addition, this study did not determine whether the US or UK uses Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn or a combination of those SNS predominantly. Future research in this area could determine if there are any differences between which SNS are being used in different countri es. This study also focused on public relations agency usage of SNS, and therefore further research could address the publics usage of SNS and how this might differ between the US and the UK. For example, if publics in the UK are using SNS less frequently than publics in the US, this might be a reason as to why the UK uses an average of only one SNS. I t would also be interesting to study whether the size of the public rela tions firm affects whether the agency has an ethics codes, has revised their ethics code to include SNS or spends
79 more time and resources on emphasizing the importance of their ethics code to their employees. In this way size could not only refer to how m any employees or clients the agency has, but also how many offices there are worldwide, in how many different cities, etc. It is also important for future research to remain current with what the different public relations associations like CIPR and WOMM A have done in regards to ethics and social networking sites. This research area is only growing and more needs to be done in order to better comprehend the future of public relations agencies, their ethics and social networking sites.
80 APPENDIX A SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE 1) In your everyday work related activities, how often do you use MySpace, Facebook or similar social networking sites? a. Never b. Sometimes c. Often d. Very Often 2) In an average week, which social networking sites do you use mos t frequently for public relations related activities? a. MySpace b. Facebook c. LinkedIn d. Other e. None 3) How much has using social networking sites changed your relationship to your publics? a. Very Much b. Some c. Very Little d. Not at All 4) Does your agency have its own ethics code for the firm to follow? a. Yes b. No 5) Does your code of ethics discuss ethics related to the use of social networking sites?
81 a. Yes, they recently revised the ethics code b. Yes, they are in the process of revising the ethics code c. I am not sure d. No 6) What does your code of ethics say about social networking sites? 7) Has your agency ever discussed (via email, meetings etc.) revising the ethics code in regards to using social networking sites? a. Yes b. No c. Not that Im aware of 8) Does your firm require that its employees be bound by any other ethics codes? a. Yes b. No Professional Code of Ethics My Firm Uses is: 9) Does that code of ethics relate to the use of social networking sites? a. Yes b. No c. Not that Im aware of 10) What does that code of ethics say about social networking sites? 11) How much do these codes of ethics impact what youre able to do when youre using social networking sites for public relations related activities? a. Very Much b. Some
82 c. Very Little d. Not at all 12) What ethical dilemmas have you personally experienced when using social networking sites? 13) How much relevance do you personally see in having ethical standards for using social networking sites in public relations? a. Very Much b. Some c. Very Little d. Not at all 14) What factors increase the need for the development of new ethical standards or codes in your public relations agency when using social networking sites? 15) Is there any additional information about this topic you would like to add? 16) Do you live in the United Kingdom or the United States? a. UK b. US 17) How many years have you worked in your current posit ion? a. 05 b. 610 c. 1115 d. 16 or more 18) How many years have you worked in public relations? a. 05 b. 610
83 c. 1115 d. 16 or more
84 APPENDIX B LIST OF PUBLIC RELAT IONS AGENCIES A gencies in the United States DBC Public Relations Experts 212 Pr 360 Public Relations, Llc A. Brown Olmstead Associates, Llc A. Lavin Communications Abernathy Macgregor Group, Inc., The Abi, Inc. Access Communications ACG Assoc. Ackerman McQueen Inc Adability Inc Adam Communications Adams Associates Inc., John Adfero Group, Llc Adisa PR Affect Strategies Ag Krakow & Assoc. Agnes Huff Communications Group, Llc Airfoil Public Relations, Inc. Aker Akofena Pr Al Czarnecki Communications Alan Taylor Communications Alan Weinkratz and Company Alday Communications Aleph And Co. Alex Elkman & Partners Alexander Communications Alexis Group Alice Moon & Co Allen Agency Communications Allison & Partners Alpaytac Alta Communications Aluli PR Alvare Assoc.
85 Alyn Weiss & Assoc. Amann & Assoc. Amen & Associates Corporate Relations Amp3 Public Relations Angel Enterprises Ann Asakura & Assoc Ann Meyers PR Anne Klein Communications Group, Llc Anne Lewis PR Antarra Communications Apco Worldwide Archer Malmo Inc. Artemis Strategies Ascot Media Group Inc. Athlon Communications Atkins Muse & Assoc. Atomic Public Relations Atrebor Group, The August One Communications Avrin PR B Mumford & Co. B&Y Communications B. Kaufman & Assoc. PR Babb Houston Pr Backbay Communications Bagley PR Bagwell Marketing Bain and Assoc. Baltz & Company, Inc. Bam Comunications Barkers Trident Communications Barkley Barksdale Ballard & Co Barokas Pr Barrington Assoc. Barron & Birrell Bartels Marketing Communications Bateman Group Bawmann Group Bayou City PR BCA Marketing Communications
86 Beckerman PR Beckett & Beckett Behan Communication Inc. Bellas House Of Pr Bender/Helper Impact, Inc. Benedetto Communications Bennett & Company, Inc. Bennettt Media Group Bergener Bockorny Inc. Berkman Communications Bernard Group, The Bernstein & Assoc. Beth Ellen Kroope PR Bgs Public And Media Relations Bianchi Public Relations, Inc. Bickel Communications Biegel Communications Big Mouths.Com Bill Hudson & Assoc. Biosector 2 Bird & Hill Pr Bismark Phillips Communications & Media Bite Communications Bivings Woodell, Inc. Bizcom Associates BlabberMouth PR Blattel Communications Blattner Brunner Inc. Blaze Blh Consulting, Inc. Blinnpr Bliss PR Blue Chip Public Relations, Inc. Blue Sky Marketing Communications Bluefire Partners Blumenfeld and Assoc. Blumrosen PR Bluprint Pr Bmc Communications Group, Llc Boardroom Communications Bob Moomey Communications
87 Bock Communications, Inc. Bodie & Assoc. Bogen Public Relations Bohle Company, The Bonner & Assoc Boom Broadcast And Media Relations, Inc. Borden Group Borenstein Group Boyd & Powers Bozell Kamstra Braff Communications Llc Bragman Nyman Cafarelli Brainerd Communications Brainstorm Group Brand Resources Group Brandman Agency, The Br eakstone Group Brian Wishneff & Assoc. Bridge Global Strategies Llc Bridgeman Communications Brill Public Affairs Brisco Communications Broadhead + Co Brodeur Worldwide Bromley Group Brooks Morrow PR Brouillard Communications Brown & Dutch Pr Brown Lloyd James Broydrick & Assoc Brucato & halliday Ltd Brunswick Group Brustman Carrino Public Relations Brylski Co Brynn Bagot Pr Brynn Bagot Pr Bsmg Worldwide Bulletin International Bullfrog & Baum Burditch Marketing Communications Burns & Associates, Michael A.
88 Burns Mcclellan Inc. Burson Marsteller Butler Associates, Llc BVP Media Inc. Byrdhouse Pr Calysto Communications Cameron Communications Inc. Canaan Pr Candels Carl Assoc. Candy Store Marketing Group Caplan Communications Llc Caponigro Public Relations Inc. Capstrat Caren West Pr Carey O'Donnell PR Group Carl Christensen Assoc. Carmen Carmichael Lynch Spong Carolina Pr Carolyn Grisko & Assoc. Carpenter Pr Carrie Collins & Assoc,. Carryon Communications Carter Pr Carter Riley Thomas Casey Communications, Inc. Casey Sayre & Williams Cashman + Katz Integrated Comms. Caster Communications, Inc. Catalyst Public Relations Catapult Pr Ir Llc Catapult Strategies, In. Catherin Lagareta Pacific Communications Caugherty Hahn Communications Cavazos PR Cerrell Associates, Inc. Chamberlain Chandler Chicco Agency Charlene Guyer & Assoc. Charles Kessler & Assoc. Charles Ryan Associates, Llc
89 Charleston/Orwig Inc. Chelgate Limited Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications Childs Play Communications Chlopak Leonard & Schecter Ciffari & Company Citigate Cunningham Civic Communications Ckpr Clarke & Assoc. Clarke & Co. Clay Associates, Everett Clay Marketing & Pr Clifford Pr Cm Communications Cobalt Blue Cognito Cohn And Wolfe Collaborative Communications Common Ground Pr Cone Connors Communication Conover Tuttle Pace Conroy Martinez Group, The Consensus Communications Cook & Schmid Cooney/Waters Group, Inc. Cooper Smith Agency Cooperkatz & Company Copenhaver PR Corallo Comstock, Inc. Corbett Public Relations, Inc. Corcoran Assoc. Corder Phillips Cornerstone PR Group Counterintuity, Inc. Coupe Pr Cox & Company, Rita Coyne Pr Crabtree PR Crane PR
90 Crawford PR Creative Partners Crescendo Group, The Cromarty & Co. Cronin and Company Crosby Marketing Communications, Inc. Crotty Consulting Crown Communications Crt/Tanaka Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek Cunningham Communication Curley & Pynn Current Cushman/ Amberg Communication Cyndi Miller Pr Daddi Brand Communications Dan Klores Communications Dancie Perugini Ware PR Danika Communications Llc Darcy Communications Darman and Assoc. Dassey Hagen PR David And Sam Pr David Granoff Pr Davies Murphy Group Inc. Dawson + Murray + Teague Communications Dawson Walker Dci Group Ddb Bass & Howes De La Garza Pr Dehart and DARR Assoc. Delta Media Inc. Denstedt Diggle, Inc. Desbrow & Assoc. Development Counsellors International (Dci) Deveney Communication Devine + Powers Devon Communications Management Devries Public Relations De wey Square Group Diana M. Orban Associates Inc. (Dmoa)
91 Dilenschneider Group Inc., The Dittus Communications Dix & Eaton Dobbin/Bolgla Associates, Inc. Dodge Communications Dollinger PR Dominey & Etheridge D on Kennard & Assoc. Donley Communications Corporation Donnell PR Dorfman & Oneill Dori Wilson Dorland Global Public Relations Doublediamond Pr Dovetail Public Relations Driscoll Geofrrey Pr Drohlich Associates, Inc. Drotman Communications Dublin & Associates, Inc. DUDNYK Duffey Communications Duffy & Shanley, Inc. Dukas Public Relations Dw Turner Inc. Dye, Van Mol & Lawrence Public Relations Dyman + Company E.B. Lane Eastwick Communication s Ebersole JG Assoc. Edelman Edge Communications, Inc. Edson & Associates Inc., Andrew Edward Howard & Co. Ehrhardt Group Eileen Koch & Company, Inc. Eisbrenner Public Relations Elevation Pr Elite Financial Communicatio ns Group Elite Pr Firm ENI Group Entertainment Fusion Group
92 Environics Communications E Public Relations Eric Mower And Associates Estopinal Group Euro Rscg Worldwide Pr Evins Communications, Ltd. Evolve Pr Fahlgren Mortine Public Relations Faiss Foley Warren Pr Falls & Co Public Relations, Robert Fama Pr, Inc. Faraone Communications, Inc. Fd Ashton Partners Fd Dittus Communications Inc. Financial Relations Board Fineman Pr Fingerhut Powers & Assoc Fitzgerald Communications Fleishman Hillard Flora PR Focus Partners Formula Four Corners Frankel Pr Fratelli Group French/West/Vaughn Friedman Public Relations Inc., Nancy J. Frischmann Communications LLC Fry Hammond Barr Inc Fuessler Group Fujita & Miura PR Fyi Pr G.S. Schwartz & Co Gabbegroup Gable Pr Galli Assoc. Garnett Communications Garrity Group Gavin Anderson & Company Inc. Genesis Pr Gentry Communications LLC
93 George H. Simpson Communications George Metzger PR Geto & De Milly, Inc. Getus Strategic Consultants Gibbs & Soell, Inc. Gillespie Global Fluency Godwingroup Goff & Howard Goldstein Communications Golin Harris Goodman Media International, Inc. Gorilla PR Media GR Barron & Company Graham & Associates Inc. Grandone Hauser Gravina Smith & Assoc. Greenough Communications Greentarget Global Group, Llc Gregory Fca Griffin Integrated Communications Grupo Bpmo Guerin PR Guthrie/Mayes & Associates, Inc. GVR PR Agency Gymr, Llc (Getting Your Message Right) Haber & Quinn, Inc. Hadfield communications Hager Sharp Inc. Hal Lefcourt PR Halper Roosevelt & Brown Hamilton Group, The Hamilton Saunderson Hanna Lee Communications Hanser & Associ ates Hanser and assoc. Harbor Communications Harrell Group, The Harron & Associates Inc. Hauser Roup Hawkins International Pr
94 Hayduk King Advertising HealthStar PR Healthstar Public Relations Hermanoff Public Relations Herrle Communications Group Hershey Philbin Assoc. Heying & Assoc Highwater Group Hill & Knowlton Himle Horner Hjmt Communications, Llc Hlb Communications Inc. Hodes Shaw Bodman Gluck Holmes Communications Holt & Germann Public Affairs, Llc Hooks Assoc. Hope Beckham, Inc. Horn Group Hsr Business To Business Huffman & Rejebian Hughey & Assoc. Hunter Pr Hwh Pr/New Media Hy Publicity Hybrid Marketing Hyde Park Communications i2i Creative LLC Icr Idea Hall Image One Pr Consulting Impact Miami PR Imre Incite! Pr Ingram Group Inner Leaf Communications Intermarket Communications Investor Relations Company, The Iprex Ir Group J20 Designs Jack Horner Communications
95 Jackson Spalding Jaffe Communications James Lee Witt Assoc. J ampole Communications, Inc. Jane Goodman PR Janine Gordon Associates, Llc Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock Jasculca/Terman And Associates Jb Cumberland Public Relations JB Meyer & Assoc. Jblh Communications Jennifer Prost PR Jeremy Walker & Assoc. Jessella Public Relations Jfk Communications, Inc. Jill Collins PR Jmc Marketing Communications And Pr JMH Education Joanna Cumberland Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher John Adams Assoc. John Allen John Bailey & Associates Inc., Pr Johnson Corporate Communications Johnson Waterhouse PR Johnstonwells Public Relations Jones Public Affairs Jowers Sandra & Assoc. Js2 Communications JSH&A Jsh&A, Ltd. J Spin Communications JZ Schwartz PR Kal PR Kane PR Kanter & Assoc. Kaplow Communication Inc Karyo Katcher Vaughn & Bailey Communication Katz Dochtermann % Epstein Kayser Communications
96 KCE Public Affairs Assoc. Kcsa Pr Worldwide Kearney O Doherty Pr Keating Communications Keepintouch Communications Keiler & Company Keith Sherman And Associates Kellen Communications Kermish Geylin Public Relations Inc. Kessler & Assoc. Ketchum Keystone Strategies Killeen Furtney Group Kitchen Pr Kmr Inc Kohnstamm Communications Kostka Gleason Communications Kotchen Group, The KovakLikly Communications Kristi Gray inc. Kroeger Assoc. Krome com munications Krupp Group Kukovich & Assoc. Kwittken & Company, Llc L.C. Williams & Associates Labreche Murray Laer Pearce & Associates Laforce & Stevens Lagrant Communications Lambert, Edwards & Associates Landau Public Relations Landis Communications Inc. Lane Pr Lareaux Communications Laster Group Launchsquad Laura Davidson Public Relations Laurey Peat & Associates Lavoie Group Leading Image Marketing
97 Leapfrog Pr Ledlie Group, The Lee & Associates, Inc. Lee & Froseth Communications Lefton Company Inc., Al Paul Lesley Anne Simmons Levenfeld Strategic Communications Levenson & Brinker Public Relations Levenson Pr Levick Strategic Communications, Llc Levin Pr Lewis & Neale, Inc. Lewis Pr Inc. Leyden Communications Liggett Stashower Lilja Inc. Limtiaco Company Linden Alschuler & Kaplan Inc. Linhart McClain Finlon PR Linhart Pr Lipman Hearne, Inc. Lippe Taylor Brand Communications Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates, Inc. Litzky Public Relations Ljack Lns Communications Locklair Pr Lois Paul & Partners Lo tus Public Relations, Inc Lou Hammond & Associates Loughlin/Michaels Group Lovio George Inc LR PR Lucinda Hall PR Luckie Strategic Public Relations Lund Group, Inc., The Luthier Pr Lvm Group, Inc. M Booth & Associates, Inc. M&P Food Communications, Inc. M. Silver Associates Inc.
98 M. Young Communications Inc. M/C/C Maccabee Group Inc. Madison & Wall Worldwide Magnet Communications Makovsky + Company Inc. Maloney & Fox, Llc Maloney and Fox Mana Means Adver tising and PR Mangers Associates, Claire Manning Selvage & Lee Marcom Group Marcus Thomas Llc Marina Maher Communication Marino Organization Inc., The Maris West & Baker Marketing Matters Markham/Novell Communications Marquardt & Roche and Partners Mars & Co Marston And Associates, Inc., Robert Martha Stinson PR Martinez Communications Martino Flynn Marx Layne & Company Mason Strategic Communications Inc Matlock Advertising & Pr Maximum Exposure PR Mayo Communications & Mayo Pr Mazur PR Mcgallen & Bolden Group Mcgrath/Power Public Relations & Comms. McLaughlin Marketing & PR Mclure Muntsinger PR McMahon & Cardillo Communication Mcneely Pigott & Fox Public Relations, Llc McNeil Wilson Communications Mcs, Inc. Mcsm Strategic Marketing Media Awaken Media Relations Group
99 Medialink Meir Kahtan Pr Mercer & Assoc. Merritt Group Metrick C ommunications Llc, Alan Metzger Associates MGA Communications Mgp & Assoc Michael Kaminer Pr Middleberg Communications Llc Middleton & Gendron, Inc. Mike Wilson Pr Mikel Marketing Mileage Communications Missabe Group Misukanis & Odden Monamont Moore Consulting Group Morgan & Myers, Inc. Morgan Walke Assoc. Moroch & Assoc. Morris + King Company, The Morris and DeMag Inc. Morrissey & Company Mprm Public Relations Mra Group Ms Business Communication Ltd Mueller Communications, Inc. Mullen Mww Gro up Myers PR Inc. Nancy Marshall Communications Nashimoto & Assoc. National Public Relations Nautilus Communications Neale May & Partners Ned High PR Neff and Assoc. Nelson Pr Nesterczuk Assoc. Neuman & Company
100 Newmyer Assoc. Next Wave Pr Nieder & Nieder Assoc. Nike Communications, Inc. Nikki Beare & Assoc. Niwa Pr Nixon Assoc. Nm Marketing Communications, Inc. Nordlinger Assoc. Northlich Northstar Counselors Novaurora Nuffer Smith Tucker Pr O'connell & Goldberg, Inc. O'connor & Partners, Inc. On Call Pr Ontai Lagrange & Assoc. Opal Strategic Marketing Communications Oppenheim R B Assoc. Order Productions Ostrow & Partners, Inc. Overviews Padilla Speer Beardsley Paine Pr Palatucci & Assoc. Pan Communications Pantin/Beber Silverstein Pr Parsons Pr Patrick Pellerin Pr Patterson & Murphy Paul Werth Assoc. Pbn Company Pearson & Pipkin Pearson Group Penn Gardner In Pennino & Partners Peppercom Inc. Percepture Peritus PR Peritus Public Relations, Llc Perkett Pr, Inc.
101 Perry Communications Group, Inc. Peter Nasca Assoc. Peter Webb PR Phang & Naughton Marketing Services Pharr & Company, C. Pierce Communications, Ltd. Pierce Mattie Public Relations Pierpont Communications, Inc. Pierson Grant Public Relations Pignataro Coburn Pineapple Tweed Pinnacle Worldwide Pipeline Communications Pleon Plesser Assoc. Pochereva Mele PR Pollack Pr Marketing Group, The Pollock Communications Pono Communications Porter Novelli Pound & Company Powell Group, The Powell Tate PR Network Group Praco Public Relations Advertising Company Prescott Levinson Prestige Communications Pritchard Communications Proby & Assoc. Prx Inc. Communications Strategists PS Media Relations Psi Advantage Public Communications Inc. Public Relations Boutiques International Public Relations Global Network (Prgn) Public R elations Organisation Int'l Inc. (Proi) Publicis Consultants | Pr Purdie Rogers Qorvis Communications, Llc Que PR Quell Communications Group
102 Quikmark Media Quinn & Co. R F Hengen, Inc. R&J Public Relations, Llc Racepoint Group Rachel Carter PR Radley Group Raffetto Herman Strategic Commun ications Raker Goldstein & Co. Inc. Ramey Agency Randall Pr Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, Inc. Rbb Public Relations Rbcpr/Rob Bailey Communications Read Poland Assoc Redpoint Marketing Pr, Inc. Reese & Assoc. Reitman Group Ren Grevatt Assoc. Rendon Group Reputation Partners Resolute Communications Resound Marketing Revell Communications Rf | Binder Partners, Inc. Rhea + Kaiser Marketing Communications Richard French & Assoc Richmond Public Relations Inc. Rick Gaffney & Assoc Ricochet Public Relations Ripp, A., Public Relations, Inc./Ripp Media Risdall Mckinney Public Relations Rivendell Communications River Communications, Inc. RL Public Relations and Marketing Robert J. Elliott Pr Robin Jones Consulting Robin Leedy & Associates, Inc. Robninson Agency Rogers & Cowan Rogers Group, The
103 Roher Public Relations Romero & Wilson Ron Sachs Communication Ron Yogman & Assoc. Roop & Co. Rose & Allyn Pr Rosen Coren Agency Rosica Strategic Public Relations Rubenstein Associates, Inc. Rubin PR RUCK & Assoc. Rudder Finn Russ Fons Rx Mosaic Health Ryan Public Relat ions S&S Public Relations, Inc. S.I.R. Marketing Communications Sacks & Associates Inc., T.J. Sahara Pr Salsman Lundgren Pr Saphar & Assoc Sarah Thornton Pr Sard Verbinnen & Co Sawchuk, Brown Associates Sawmill Mark eting Pr Schaeffer And Associates, Inc., Kathy Schechter PR Schenkein Schmitt & Assoc. Schneider Associates Schnitzer Communications Schwartz & Company, Inc., G.S. Schwartz Communications, Inc. Scott Public Relations Seigenthaler PR Sensei Masterful Health Comm unications Seo Pr Sfm Public Relations Sharp Communications, Inc. Shelton Group Shepardso n Stern + Kaminsky (Ss+K)
104 Sherman Communications & Marketing Shift Communications Shop Pr Shrum Devine & Donilin Siddall Matus & Coughter Siemer PR Sigler Communications Simon PR Sims & Associates, Inc. Siren Pr Sj Golden Assoc. Skutski & Oltmanns Sloane & Company Smith Bucklin Assoc. Solem & Associates Solomon Mccown & Company Solters & Digney Public Relations Sommers & Assoc Southwest Ink PR Sparber & Assoc. Spark Public Relations Speakerbox Pr Spector & Associates, Inc. Spectrum Science Communi cations, Inc. Sphere Public Relations Spi Group L.L.C., The Spring, Obrien & Co. Srs Tech Media Relations Ssa Pr St. John & Partners St. John and Partners Stackig Advertising & PR Standing Partnership Stanton Communications, Inc. Stanton Crenshaw Communications Stephenson Group Sterling Cross Communications Sterling Hager Stern + Associates Stevens Baron Communications, Inc. Storch Murphy Group, Ltd., The
105 Strategic America Strauss Global Pr Striegel Strobel Group Stryker Weiner & Yokota P R Stuart Newman Assoc. Success Group Sullivan & Leshane PR Sunstar Susan Davis International Ltd. Susan Senk Pr Suzanne Rothenberg Communications Szpr, Inc. Tandem Communications Target 10 Niche Marketing And Pr, Inc. Target Market Taube Violante Inc. Taylor Tc Public Relations In Tech Image Ltd. Technell, Inc. Tellmedia Communications Terpin Group Text 100 Glo bal Public Relations The Ardel Group The Arnold Company The Caraway Group The Catevo Group The Clark Grop The Gem Group The Guice Agency The Hoffman Agency The Holley Company The Husom Group The Internet Pr Company The Jeffrey Group The Keithler Group The Kydd Group The Neilson Hetrick Group The Omega Group The Powell Group
106 The Promarc Agency The Rogers Group The Van Diver Group The Weiser Group The Write Stylz Public Relations Thomas Long Corporate Communication Thought Agency Tierney & Partners Tierney Communications Tim Ayers Assoc. Timepiece Pr Titan Agency, The Tomic Communications Tony Felice Pr Topaz Partners Toplin & Assoc. Torme Lauricella Public Relations Trahan, Burden & Charles, Inc. Transmedia Group Trevelino/Keller Communications Group Tricom Assoc. Trone Pr Trovada PR & Marketing Trylon Smr Tucker/Hall Inc Tukilik Tunheim Partners Turner Public Relations, Inc. Tweedy & Company Unicom Communications UproarPR Van Dernoot & Assoc. Van Vechten Vandiver Group Inc., The Varallo PR Vbmedia Group Vector Communications Verasoni Worldwide V Fluence Interactive Public Relations, Inc. Virilion Visibility Pr
107 Vitamin | Cure For The Common Brand Vms Voce Communications Vollmer Public Relations Inc. Vox Medica Public Relations W & W Public Relations Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Wahlquist Communications Walek & Assoc iates Walker Sands Communications Walt & Company Communications, Inc. Waltz & Associates Counsel, Sam Warne Marketing & Communications Warschawski Pr Waterford PR Watermark Waters Hilleary & Assoc. Waters Pelton Ostroff & Assoc. Wave Pr Waxwords Incorporated W ebb Public Relations, Peter, Dba Webb Pr Weber McGinn Weber Shandwick Webster & Assoc. Weill Associates, Geoffrey Weisscomm Partners Welchert & Britz, Inc. Werth Associates, Paul Westside Public Relations Westwind Communications Wheatley & Timmons, Inc. Wheeler Ridlon Communications White Good & Co. Advertising Whitney & Assoc. Widmeyer Communications William J Green and Assoc. William Kostka Jr PR William Mills Agency William Whittle Assoc. Windhorse Media
108 Winning Strategies Pr Winstead & Assoc. Wiseman Co Wolfe Axelrod Weinberger Assocs. Llc Wolper & Ritter Assoc. Wordhampton Public Relations Inc. Worldcom Public Relations Group, The Wragg & Casas Public Relations Inc. Wray Ward Wyatt Evans Advertising & PR Xenophon Strategies Ximenes and Assoc. Yaeger Public Relations Yecies Associates, Inc. Ypartnership Zcomm Zehnder Communications Zeno Group Zeppos & Associates, Inc. Zimmerman Agency, The Zinn Graves & Field Inc. Zlokower Company Agencies in the United Kingdom PR Works 10 Yetis Ltd 1090 Communications Ltd 24 Seven Pr Marketing 3 G Communications Ltd 33rpm PR 360 Communications Ltd 63g 72 Point PR 9 P R A D C Blueprint A Hot Cherry A La Carte Communications A N A Communications A Propos A S A P Communications Ltd
109 A S Communications A Shore Thing A V S Publicity Ab Picture Abi Public Relations Absolute Pr Absolutely Fabulous PR Abucon Acorn Service Active PR Acumen Ltd Adept Pr Adessi PR Admiral PR Adrienne Vaughan Advance Communications Advent Communications Advisa Medica AFM Media & PR Agora Marketing Communications Ltd Aiden Prior Communications Aimex Media Ltd AJM PR Aktivium Alaoui Booth Public Relations Alex Silver Public Relations Alias Pr Alison Hull Public Relations Alison Jameson Consultants Alkaline Creative Communications Alter Native PR Am Communications Amazing Pr Ambrose Harcourt PR Anderson Walker P R Andy Prevezer P R Ltd Angela Petrie Assoc. Ann Scott Associates Anna Devine Pr Apco Scotland Ltd Appetite Pr
110 Aqua P R Aquamarine Pr Archangel Communications Arena Pr Armadillo PR Articulate Communication Artisan Marketing Communications Ascent Pr Ash Communications Askdd Customised Pr Training Aspect Communications Group Ltd Association Of Media Evaluation Co Atticus Public Relations August.One Communications Avalon Public Relations Ltd AVF Communications Awesome Communications Axicom Ltd Axiom Communications Aylwin Communications B G B & Associates B M A Communications Babel Pr Bacall Associates Bacchus Back2Back Communications Bamboo Communications Ltd BANC Communications Band & Brown Communications Ltd Bankside Bankside Consultants Barclay Stratton Ltd Barkers Scotland Barlow Frith Communications Barnes & Walters Bastion Ltd Beattie Media Beiersdorf London Wc2e Believe Eve Belinda Gallon Public Relations Bell Johnston Co
111 Benchmark Agency Ltd Benchmark Media Berkeley Public Relations Ltd Beverley Cable P R Biddick Associates Ltd Big Big Blue Big Cat Group Big Mouths P R Ltd Big Partnership Edinburgh Bill Hunt Public Relations Binns & Co Public Relations Ltd Bite Communications Ltd Black Cat Public Relations Blackharrow Business Communication Blade PR Blanc and Otus Blank Canvas Bloomsbury Communications Blue Cherry Blue Door Pr Blue Sky Pr Blue Stone PR Blueberry Public Relations Bolton & Quinn Ltd. Bose Hewitt Management Ltd Botsford PR Boudoir Pr Boutique Pr Ltd Bowden & Markham Braben Co (The) Bracken Public Relations Bramwell Assoc. Brand P R Brands 2 Life Brave P R Bray Leino Pr Brendan Morrison PR Brettles
112 Bridges Communications Brighter P R Ltd Britton Financial Broadcast P R Business Ltd (The) Broadgate Brooks PR Brower Lewis P R Ltd Brown Lloyd James Brunswick Public Relations Ltd Bryan Morel P R Buchanan Communications Ltd Buffalo Communications Ltd Bugsgang & Associates Bullet PR Burt Greener Communications Ltd. Bute Communications C B C C K Publicity Cairns & Associates (U K) Ltd Cake Calan Communications Calthrop Public Relations Camargue Cambridge Pr Campaign Communications Ltd Campaign P R Camron Public Relations Ltd Canbrensis Communications Candy & Co PR Capital Communications Capwood Communications Ltd Caro Communications Carr Communications Carrington Hide Communications Carrot Communications Cartmell Communications Carve Consulting Astrolabe Communications Casey Communications
113 Catalyst Communications Catalytic Communication Cerub Ltd Chambers Cox P R Ltd Chameleon P R Chapelfield Associates Chapple Davies Charisma Pr Chase P R Ltd Chelgate Ltd Cherish Pr Ltd Chocolate PR Christopher Clode Pr Christow Consultants Ltd Chrome Consulting Ltd Circus Records Ltd Cision Citigate Public Affairs City Of London Pr City Profile Group Ltd Claire Sawford P R Clare Communications Clarity PR Clarke Assoc. PR Clarville Consultancy Ltd Clear Communications Clew Communications Ltd Clickintopr Cloudine Pr Coda Communications Cognito Europe Ltd Colin Lewis P R College Hill Associates Colman Getty P R Coltrin & Associates Columbus Communications Ltd Communication Group Plc (The) Communications Plus Associates Ltd
114 Communique Communitas Public Relations Complete P R Concept Pr Concrete P R & Marketing Ltd Condor Public Relations Connectpoint PR Consolidated Consolidated Communications Management L Consult A M Continuum Group Converse Communications Cooper Pr Corixa Communications Corporact Ltd Corporate Culture Countrywide Porter Novelli Coverdale Davis Communications Cow Creative Publicity Service Creative Sanctuary Creatix Credibility PR Crimson Edge Pr Crossan Communications Crush Communications Ltd CRW Assoc. Crystal Concepts CSM Communications Csm Ltd CTC PR Cube Cullen Communications Cunningham Communications Darwall Smith Associates David Adams PR David Burnside Associates Ltd David Chapman Associates Davies Associates Dawson Walker Communications Deborah Richardson P R
115 Dee Carpenter P R Defy Communications Dennis Davidson Associates Denzil Stuart Associates Destination P R Devetta PR Dialogue Dilemma PR Direct P R Worldwide Direct Public Relations Dovetail Agency Dowall Walker P R Drake P R Drury Communications Dunleavy Mccleave Incorporated E J B Communications Effective Communications Elaine Howe Electronic Media Relations Ltd Elements PR Elevate Eligo International Ltd Emfoundation Emmett & Smith Ltd Empica Empica PR Engage Group Enterprise Public Relations Equinox Public Relations Essential Elements Communications Ltd Essential PR Ethos Rh Ltd Eulogy Euro P R Group Euro R S C G Life N R P Excelsis Exposure Eyecandy Fairwin Public Relations Fay Marcroft PR Fearnhurst P R
116 Fibre Pr Fifth Element Public Relations Financial Dynamics Financial Public Relations Ltd Finsbury Ltd Fiona Harrold Press & Pr Firefly Communications Ltd First Features Ltd First Public Relations Ltd Fishburn Hedges Fitzgerald Promotions Fivovus Flagship Group Flapjack Communications Flax Public Relations Consultancy Fluency Fmg Communications Fms Public Relations Focus P R Food Matters Ltd Forster Co (The) Forthwrite Communications Foster Berry Associates Four Communications Plc Frank & Earnest Communications Franklin Associates Franklin Rae Communications Freedom P R Ltd Freerange Communications Fresh Communications Ltd Freshbaked Pr Freshwater Uk Freud Communications Friday's Media Group Ltd Fuel & Refuel Ltd Fuelled Media Ltd Furore PR Futerra Fuzion Communications G C I Healthcare G Hutson
117 G J A Comms Ltd G P Associates G T H Media Relations Ltd Gabrielle Shaw Galactic P R Ltd Galliard Healthcare Communications Gamble Ruston Pr Garner Creative Gavin Anderson & Co General Assembly Limited Geronimo Public Relations Ltd Gerry Woolf Assoc. Gibney Communications Giraffe Communications Glazier Publicity Gledhill Gwyer Enterprises Glennie Communications Global Pr And Marketing Ltd Goddard Delaney Golley Slater Good Relations Political Communications Goode International Ltd. Goulston Lincoln Marketing Gpc International Great Circle Communications Gracey Richardson Communications Grandfield Ltd Grappa Ltd Gray PR Grayling Gray's Inn Communications Ltd Green Brand Team Green Issues Communications Greenroom Digital Greensleeves Pr Groucho Pr Grove P R Consultancy Grylls & Reade Gspr Marketing Communications Guthrie Communications Ltd H B L Media Ltd H M C Hobsbawm Media & Marketing Comms
118 H M P R H2 Public Relations Halogen Communications Halpern Halpern Assoc. Handmade Communications Ltd Hannington Group Hansard Communications Ltd Harcourt Public Affairs Ltd Hards P R Harmer Harrington Carlyle Strategic Public Relations Harris Assoc. Harrison Bergman Harrison Cowley Ltd Harry Barlow Ltd Hatch Group Hawkins & Youle Headline Promotiong Press And Public Relations Heneghan Pr Henry's House Ltd Hilary Florek Pr Hillgate Public Relations Hills Balfour Hodson Marcoms and PR Hogarth Partnership Ltd Holborn Public Relations Holdsworth Assoc. Holyrood Partnership Honey PR Hoorah P R Hopwood Ltd Hot Tin Roof Hothouse 2 Ltd Hotwire P R Ltd House P R Ltd Houston Associates Hudson Sandler Ltd Hyperactive Publicity Ltd Hyperjuju I D Publicity
119 Ian Cheek Ian Deavin Marketing Ltd Ian Martin PR Icon PR Idea Generation (The) Ideas Network P R Ltd (The) Identity P R Ltd I Mage Communications Imagine Communications Uk Ltd Imj Pr Impacon Ltd Impact Media Pr Impressive P R IMS Marketing Communications Group Incredibull Ideas Ltd Indigo Blue P R Lttd Indigo Cow Indigo Pearl Ltd Indigo Public Relations Ltd Infoplan Ltd Inspirational Pr Inspired PR Intelligent Pr Iona Communications Itch Com Itspr J D Marketing J R B Associates J R P R London Nw1 Jac Pr Services Jackson Consultancy (The) Jago Dean James Reed PR Jane Burton P R Jane Shotliff Press And Pr Janet Webber Jason Leigh Assoc. Javelin Communications Jay PR JBP Assoc. JBPR Ltd
120 JDD Consultancy & PR Joe Public Relations John Kendall Associates Johnson King Public Relations Johnstone Assoc. Pr Jolene Campbell Pr Jones Ogg Associates Jones PR & Promotions Jori White P R Ltd Josty Robinson Associates Ltd Judith Gaskell PR Juliette Hellman P R Ltd Jungle PR Just Be PR K G A Press & Communications Kanuka P R Karlo Otto Ltd Kate Horton PR Kate Whyman PR Kazoo Communications Ltd Kd Media Kda Pr Keating And Associates Kelso Consulting Pr Kent Public Relations Kershaw PR Kick Communications Kimberley Gray PR Kinlan Comms & Investor Relations Kinnair Communications Kinross + Render Kirwin Media Kissman Langford Ltd KLA Pr Knowles Cadbury Brown PR Knowwhere Communications Ltd Kudos @ L B A Kush Promotions Kysen Pr L D A Communications L D Publicity
121 Lake Smith Griffin Associates Landmark P R Ltd Lauder Stewart Communications Lava Pr Lawson Dodd Ltd Layzell Public Relations LE16 Communications Leapfrog Pr Lee Publicity Ltd Leedex Euro R S C G Left Right & Centre Communications Lemongrass Marketing Lewis Communications Lewis Russell P R Ltd Lexicon Public Relations Ltd Lexis Public Relations Ltd Lighthouse P R Ltd Linda Graham Pr Linda Laderman P R Ltd Linda Land P R Lindsay Brown Associates Ltd Lindsell Marketing Ltd Lippin Co Ltd (The) Litmus Communication Ltd Livepr Ltd Lois Burley PR London Communications Agency London P R Co (The) LPL PR Ltd Lunch P R Ltd Luther Pendragon Lyn Joseph P R Lynx PR M Consulting Ltd M M P R M P C Ltd M R A Pr Ltd Macbeth Media Relations Macdonald Wynne Davies Macdougall Gabriel Associates Macelle Limited
122 Maclaurin Communications Ltd Magellan Public Relations Ltd Maggi Fox Consultancy (The) Maggie Wright Magnificent Mahseer Ltd. Mainland P R Mandarin Ltd Manners Pr Marketeer Plc Marketforce Communications Ltd Marksman PR Marshall Jennings PR Ltd. Marshall Robinson Roe Martha Oakes P R Mary Crotty Public Relations Mary Lally Associates Mason Williams Ltd Massey Lowe Solutions Ltd Massey Partnership Ltd The Masterson Media Matchlight Ltd Mattison Public Relations Maverick Marketing And Communications Maverick Publicity Maw Communications Max Clifford Associates Maxwell Allen Assoc. Mcclusky International Mcconnells Public Relations Mcdonald & Rutter Mcewan Purvis Mcqueen Rose Ltd Mcquillan Young Ltd Mea Mears Communications Limited Media Doctors Media Foundry Ltd (The) Media House International Media Strategy Medialink International
123 Meena Khera Associates Meher Pvt Mercury Public Relations Ltd Merdian Corporate Communications Merlin Financial Communications Ltd Method PR Metropolis 2 Ltd MGP & Assoc. Pr Michels Warren Ltd Midas Pr Midnight Communications Millennium Public Relations Miller Shandwick Technologies Milton Cater Communications Mimosa PR Ltd Minxy P R Ltd MK Media Ltd Mkc Communications MMD Group Modus Publicity Monkey Business P R Montague Communications Monument PR Worldwide Moo Pr Moorgate Group Morrow Communications Mortimer Chadwick Gray Motion P R & Management Motive PR Mrpa Kinman Communications Mulberry Marketing Communications Ltd Munro & Forster Communications Ltd N B P R Nailhala Lasharia P R & Marketing Nancy Finch Pr Neesham PR Neil Reading P R Nelson Bostock Communications Neondrum Ltd Network London P R & Marketing Newton Consultancy
124 Nexnet PR Nexus Structured Communications Ltd Niche Works Nicola Hunt P R Ltd Nikki Rowntree Noble P R Ltd Noise Communications Nomad Communications PR Northern Profile Pr Norton Cowan Communications Ltd Novarising Ltd O2PR Ltd Oakes Bacot Oherlihy Communications Oliver Relations Ltd Omnia Public Relations On Demand Pr On the Ball PR Open Communications Openhouse Group Orange Tree Oren Ltd Origin Public Relations Osullivan Public Relations Outpost Media Ltd Output Communicators Outside Organisation Ltd (The) P R 21 P R Organisation (The) P R Works Pace London E8 Paget Baker Associates Ltd Pagoda Pr Palmer Tingley PR Pamela Willson & Partners Panlogic Papr Park Communications Parker Hobart Associates Parker Wayne And Kent Parkes PR
125 Parkgreen Communications Ltd Parson Green Communications Partners PR Passionate Media Patcom Media Relations Patricia Ling Associates Paul Allen And Associates Pr Peacock PR Pegasus Communications Pelican Pr Pembroke Communications Pennant PR Penrose Financial P R Peretti Communications Ltd Peter Sandy Communications Peter Sawell & Partners Peter Thompson Associates Pgpr Pha Media Phill Savidge Phpr Pie Communications Limited Pielle & Co Ltd Pier 55 Ltd. Pillar Pr & Marketing Pims U K Ltd Pineapple P R Ltd Pink Fish Communications Pinnington Pr Pinstone Communications Ltd Pirate Communications Pitch Media Pj Design PK pr Placenta Publicity Ltd Plain Speaking Pr Platform Platform Pr Playfair Walker Plunkett Communications Podge Publicity
126 Pole Ltd Politics Direct Polo Public Relations Pomegranate Public Relations Ltd Portable Pr Porterfield Portfolio Communications Portland Portman P R Positive Profile Ltd (The) Poulter Partners PPR PPRG PR Matters Pr Options Ltd Pr Squared PR Targets Praxis P R Ltd Preference PR & Communications Ltd Premiere Max Works Press Counsel Pressfirst Ltd Presslink Communications Pressure P R Prince PR Prior Pr Ltd ProActivePR Profile Plus Profile Press & Public Relations Prophecy Ltd. Proscot Public Relations Prospectus PR Proteus Media Relations Protocal PR Provoke P R Ltd PRPR Ptarmigan Consultants Public Image Communications Public Impact Communication Public Relations Consultants Association Punch Communications
127 Q B O Bell Pottinger Q Communications PR Quantum P R Quill Communications Quintissential Global Ltd R & R Team Work R D A Communications Ltd R M P Racso Ltd Radiator P R Raft PR Rainbow Marketing RDA Communications Ltd Red Alert Red Angel Pr Red Box Pr Red Consultancy Ltd (The) Red Door Communications Ltd Red Hot P R Red Lorry Yellow Lorry Red Pr Redcurrant PR and Marketing Redline Public Relations Redwing Communications Reekie Pr Ltd Renaissance P R Ltd Response Source Revive PR Revolver Rich Visions Int Ltd Richard Laver Publicity Ltd Richmond Towers Public Relations Ltd Rifleman PR & Marketing River Pr RMS Robert S Leaf Consultants Ltd Roche Communications Rock Kitchen Harris Rocket Media Ltd Rocket P R Roden Richardson
128 Rodgers & Johns Publications Roland Dransfield PR Rooster Creative Ltd Rooster Pr Ross Communications Rostron Parry Ltd Rowntree Gordo Ltd. Ryan & Cox Ryecroft Communications S & X Media S 2 Ltd S P A Way Ltd (The) Sadler Pr Safe Route PR Saffron Public Relations Salient Communications Salt and Pepper PR Saltmarsh Partnership (The) Sam Forrest P R Sam Weller Associates Samphire Public Relations Sandpiper Communications Sante Communications Ltd Sarah Barclay Communications Sauce Communications Ltd Sbarc Pr And Marketing Seal Public Relations Senator Pr Setanta Communications Sharpe Mckenna Shelia Fitzjones P R Shilland Communications Shine Communications Ltd Shipham Communications Shmueli Rosenberg Public Relations Shooting Star Pr Ltd Shrewd PR Sidhu And Simon Communications Silk P R Silver Bullet Marketing Silver Hammer Ltd
129 Simon Mountford Communications Simon Preston Associates Sinclair Consultants Sinclair Mason Siren Sister Public Relations Sky Communications Slattery Communications SLB PR Smart Assoc. Smile Communications Smith & Smith PR Smith Grundon & Partners Soopa8 Sophie Aymonier PR Consultant Sorted PR Source Public Relations Southerns King Southlands Advertising & Marketing Ltd Space Pr Spada Ltd Spark Marketing Communications Spence Allan Assoc. Spier Fish Ltd Spinney & Partners Spinoza Kennedy vesey Spire PR Spirit PR & Marketing Splash Pr Sports Impact Ltd Spotlight Media PR Spring O'brien Ltd Spriro ML Sputnik Communications Ltd Staniforth Starfish Communications Stephanie Robertson Public Relations Stephen Mason Stephen Newton Sterling Media Stewart Rex
130 Stone Immaculate Stone Junction Pr Stoner Public Relations Straightedge Direct Stratamatrix Strategy PR Stratton & Reekie Strawberry P R Streetbrand Media Ltd Stuart Hulse Communications Sue Hyman Associates Ltd Susan Babchick Susan Czarny Public Relations Synergy The Ultimate Marketing Co Ltd T T A Public Relations Tait Mclay Communications Tala PR Talk Loud P R Ltd Tamesis Tangerine PR Tartan Silk Tavistock Communications Ltd Taylor Alden Ltd Taylor Herring Communications Ltd TBA PR & Marketing Ltd Team Communications Techniques PR Television Consultancy Ltd (The) Text 100 International Thamesis Business Communications The Answer Ltd The Bay Public Affairs Cardiff The Brand Counsel The BusinessHouse The Chartered Institute Of Public Relations The Ellis Partners The Keane Partnership The Pr People Ltd The Public Affairs Co. The Right Image The Simons Partnershi p
131 The Smart Agency The Source Pr Ltd The Twelve Consultancy The Whiteoaks Consultancy Ltd Theresa Simon Communications Think Inc Think Pr, Galway Thinkhouse Third Sector P R Thornton Associates Those Two Girls Pr Tickled Pink Public Relations Tideway Communications Tim Stanley PR Tma Communications Topline Communications Ltd Tor Pettersen & Partners Ltd Tovey Pr Town House Publicity Tpr Consultants Travellers Rest Trevor Elliott Pr + Marketing Trew Relations Triangle PR Tribe Triggerfish Communications Tristan Fitzgerald Assoc. Tru PR Truscott Hobbs PR TSI Communications TTA Communications Turtle Pr Ultima Group Ultraviolet PR Ltd Umbrella PR Underwired Pr Union P R Ltd Unique Communications Group Unsworth Sugden Upfront Marketing UP PR
132 Upward Curve PR Variations PR Vause and Assoc. Velocity Communications Verrill PR Vibe Pr Vickers P R Ltd Vigour Communications Viney Communications Violet Mount Vision P R Ltd Vizion International Promotions Voicebox PR Walsh Public Relations Waos Warrior Communications Ltd Warwick Emanuel Pr Waterside Communications Watson Look PR Waughton Welsh Nostalgia Wendy Andrews PR Westbury Communications Whisper PR White White Knight PR Whiteoakes London Wide Blue Yonder Wild Card Public Relations Ltd Wild West Willoughby PR Wilson Hartnell Public Relations Winningtons Wizard Public Relations Woodside Communication Woolfson Communications Wordpower! WPS Communications Manchester Wriglesworth Consultancy Write Angle PR Wyatt PR
133 Wyndham Leigh Ltd Xenex Pr And Marketing Ltd Yam Publications Yates Price Assoc. Zed PR Z'est Public Relations Ltd Zeus Public Relations Ltd Zince Marketing Ltd Zons P R Zoom4 Ltd
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140 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Kate Elizabeth Walt er was born in Burling ton, Vermont She and her family moved to Florida on Kates 5thDuring her time at UF, Kate participated in two internship p rograms that allowed her to live abroad in London for a total of 6 months. While there, she worked at Babzoo Crews, a small production company, and FleishmanHillard, an international public relation s agency. Her experiences in London have left her with a diverse knowledge of communications and an unconditional love for the city. birthday. She graduated from the University of Florida in the spring of 2007, with a Bachelor of Science in t elecommunicat ions and a Bachelor of Arts in political s cience. She decided to incorporate bot h these areas of interest and apply to graduate school at the University of Florida in order to earn a Master of Arts in Mass Communic ation with a specialization in international c ommunication. Kate completed her Masters degree in the summer of 2009 and plans to leave Gainesville after making it her home for 6 years. She intends to garner a job that will allow her to travel continue learning about other cultures and utilize her communications background.