While attending the 2014 YouToo Social Media Conference at Kent State University, it seemed one theme speakers kept touching on repeatedly was the importance of organizational-public trust.
However, it seems based on the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer and some other research from the Pew Center, trust is precisely the issue the general public has with institutions like business, media and government.
As all of the crisis communication theorists and professionals will reiterate, telling the truth is as vital for maintaining good business operation as paying the electric bill. In this age of social media, publics, and particularly millennials, will out organizations who are caught lying. The surest way to tear a relationship asunder is to lie.
Seasoned professionals often feel the need to correct faux pas young professionals commit–and rightfully so. As a young professional, I can honestly say I appreciate and crave that guidance. I am sure others feel the same way.
Having served as a manager for both my college radio and television station, I can attest to the importance of passing along the airs and graces of an organization or industry to “newbies.” In television, one such cautionary tidbit I provided was don’t say anything you wouldn’t say in church in front of a microphone, as it could be live.
However, with workplace sensitivity and professional ethics prevalent now more than ever in our society, it is increasingly important to take care in how seasoned professionals communicate when disseminating these lessons. In other words, we must think before we speak (or type).
Kelly Blazek, the self-described “Job Bank House Mother” and IABC Cleveland award-winning communicator, is now experiencing a personal branding crisis due to what could be mildly described as an insensitivity issue.
I must admit, of all the academic or professional experiences I have ever sought out or been asked to participate in, working toward my Master of Arts in Public Relations is by far the most nerve-racking. That is not because of any one particular course, professor, or project. That is because, for the first since I was in first grade, I am attempting to tackle material of which I am not totally familiar.
Aside from what some of my professors call “good PR instincts,” I am not sure I have much of a base. The only class in public relations I have taken prior to this semester is Law of Advertising and Public Relations. In that course, I found copyright law particularly enjoyable, probably because I was already familiar with it. However, I like to believe nervous energy and excited energy are practically the same. So, rather than being nervous, I will choose to be excited.