How much can you really find online?

The Internet is clearly something that has evolved drastically over the past decade. All professions must deal with the adjustments that the Internet brings. It makes me wonder what life in an office was like before everyone had their own computers and spent the entire day engrossed in emails and documents on their computer. While newspapers are transitioning from print to primarily online, the PR industry is utilizing social media and learning how to pitch different forms of media in a new way. 

This transition made me wonder if PR is harder now because of all of the information online and the instantaneous transfer of information through websites and emails. In James L. Horton’s PR in a “Closed Open” World, he suggests that the Internet provides a false sense of openness because anyone can look up information about a company.  Horton identifies that it is more of a false than true openness because the company only shares what it wants to and what it is working on but the company never shows what it does on a day to day basis. He uses the Enron scandal as an example. How could this sort of thing happen with so much information online? Further, with the “watchful eye” of stakeholders and the media, how could the company be worth so much more that it showed? His examples are very interesting and things that I would not have thought that companies could get away with.

There is definitely a false sense of security in seeing what a business produces and believing that you know what is going on but you don’t really know what the company is doing or what its employees are thinking. Even though the Internet provides information, is it enough? Do you think that in the next decade the Internet will change the closed-open model of communication? What should we in the PR profession do about this? Should we pretend that we can share everything with the public or just ensure that our clients just don’t do anything that they wouldn’t mind ending up online?

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1 Response to How much can you really find online?

  1. cate415 says:

    This is something that I think each and every company needs to thoroughly address. Having a policy on how much information is revealed online about your company and/or clients is essential to making sure that false or misleading information does not hinder a company’s success. I definitely think that as our world starts to get more and more attached to media, it becomes absolutely vital that people and companies are aware of how they are conveying themselves on the Internet. Also, people must remember not always to believe what they read on the internet about companies because this leads to problems.

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