Lesson 1: Why Digital Ethics?

Today, nearly every organization has some type of online or digital presence. This includes corporate websites, social media accounts, online networks and databases, message forums, and email listservs where the company can communicate with the public. These communication strategies engage internal employees, members of the media, shareholders, and customers. In short, successful modern organizations must use digital media to their advantage.

This requires the help of public relations and strategic communication experts who can use new technologies legally and ethically to help their clients.

Using digital media ethically in public relations is easier said than done. One of the immediate challenges is the newness of digital technologies. There are some digital practices which are so new, it is unclear to the public, organizations, and even public relations experts if they are ethical or unethical. The newness of technologies and strategies means that many have not been tested or analyzed using public opinion research. That is why it takes students who are trained in digital media ethics to assess proposed strategies before a crisis emerges in the aftermath.

Next Page: Yelp and Data Scrubbing