Rethinking Traditional Models


It's widely accepted that blogging has dramatically impacted organizational communications, but Don Wright (Boston University) and Michelle Hinson (Institute for Public Relations) added some new twists at the 10th annual International Public Relations Research Conference. In a survey of nearly 200 executives in the corporate, agency and academic sectors, the pair compared findings to their 2005 report, revealing that: 

  • In 2005, 45% of respondents were aware of situations in which employees blogged; in 2007, that number rose to 65%;
  • In 2005, 29% of respondents strongly agreed that it is ethical for employees to write and post negative statements about their organizations on a blog; in 2007, the number shrank to 7%; and,
  • In 2005, 32% strongly agreed that it is ethical for organizations' representatives to monitor information posted on blogs by their employees; in 2007, it seems no one (0%) felt the same way.

 Additional findings did not compare 2005 and 2007 but were nonetheless interesting:

  •  53% of respondents agree or strongly agree that the emergence of blogs has changed the way their company (or their client's company) handles external communications;
  • 40% agree or strongly agree that blogs impact internal communications;
  • 38% agree or strongly agree that organizations should allow employees to blog during regular working hours;
  • 63% agree or strongly agree that employees should ask for permission to communicate on blogs during regular work hours; and
  • 59% said their organization did not have a written formal policy on employee blogging.


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