I’ve gotten myself into a conversation with a thoughtful guy named Joel York at his Chaotic Flow blog about the ethical challenges PR firms face in this new world of uncontrolled media. Check it out here.
His point: your requirements for credibilty have to shift if you’re relying on bloggers forum posters and just plain folks to spread your message and build community. The people spreading the message just don’t have the same filters at the traditional media. As a PR rep or marketer, what is the standard? Is it OK to facilitate this kind of conversation? I might add — what is your responsibility for how and where they take your message?
The more I think about it, simpler the answer gets:
You own your message. You create content and use various platforms to communicate it.
You own your reputation. You use your message and various platforms to protect it.
And if you find that your message is eroded by media that are less and less credible, it puts the burden on you — as your own ‘media outlet’ — to set an even higher standard.