The need for clear and simple writing has never been greater. With email messages flashing through cyberspace and faxes going around the globe, your prose will be translated and interpreted in many cultures and experiences.
If you remember to write in simple language, you can write about the most complex ideas. This is important because the world has become exceedingly complex.
Public relations professionals are called upon to translate complex ideas into simple language. Nothing is simple about many industries PR professionals work in. These industries include nuclear power, pollution chemistry, or petroleum economics. Yet, such issues are becoming more important to the average citizen. Public relations practitioners must be able to explain the implications of government or corporate interferences in these areas and to interpret latest research findings in these industries. Public relations professionals usually use authorities to check the final drafts to be sure the translations are accurate.
Many people demand scientific explanations. If your company is building a chemical plant near a town, you better be able to explain to the people who live there what the plant will do and how its safety system will work.
Conflicting scientific advice also gets into the public agenda, leaving people confused about what to believe or do.
A solution for PR writers of health, disease, and treatment issues is to use a system of getting a diversified panel of experts, internally and externally, to develop a document called a position paper. Position papers then provide a launching pad for all public statements on an issue about a product, service, or project.
And if the public doesn’t ask technical questions directly, newspaper reporters and electronic journalists will. Today, all media deal with more technical subjects in greater detail than ever before. When reporters, freelancers, or bloggers working on such stories don’t understand something, they often go to PR people for explanations.
Our core beliefs come from our personalized belief system. Our Personalized belief system is influenced by our family, friends, education, and our faith. Our personalized belief system isn’t tested as much as in the work place.
The reason is that organizations, like individuals, develop around a core set of values. Often, you can find these sets of values on the mission statement or even a formal statement of values. In finding a place to work, you must look at companies’ core set of values to see if there’s a fit. Companies also look for a “good fit” when hiring.
Even when there is a “good fit,” initially, situations change and so does your comfort in the workplace. One way to understand ethical responsibility is to look closely at the changes in personal and professional behavior.
The nature of social media makes it difficult for public relations professionals to manage the medium. Certain sectors, such as finance and pharmaceuticals, are heavily regulated, making it difficult for PR professionals to know what they should put online. Even third-party posts on a company’s social media platforms can raise legal issues.
The federal regularity agencies that regulate industries monitor social media but are slow in guiding many sectors on appropriate uses of social media. Companies can get stiff fines from these agencies. The financial and health sectors are heavily regulated and are wary of social media. This frustrates public relations professionals and consumers.
According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 8 out of 10 internet users search for health information online. It’s important the FDA makes timely and relevant guidelines for social media use to healthcare companies.
One challenge is knowing whether a consumer’s post on a company’s website or social media is considered company communication. This could be troubling, for instance, if a consumer posts a non-recommended use of a drug.
In the financial sector, FINRA recommends not posting anything about an investment unless approved by leadership of the firm.