The PRofession threatened

      54 Comments on The PRofession threatened

Broken-PRSomething potentially terrible happened to the public relations industry this week.

As New York State’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics reviewed ethics laws, it voted to approve an advisory opinion requiring PR professionals to register as lobbyists when communicating with editorial boards and reporters.

According to PR Week, “(The opinion states) political consultants (and firms) who are paid to help sway public policy—including pitching a client’s position or insight to a reporter for editorial pieces—must disclose the interaction. They must also disclose their clients’ names, fees and additional information about the legislation behind the pitch. The opinion expands the definition of lobbying to include any media relations efforts with an editorial board or reporter.”

The opinion had a disclaimer, saying it wasn’t trying to restrict a reporter’s ability to gather information: “Rather, this is intended to generate transparency in the activities of paid media consultants.”

Under this proposal, media contact by PR people would be monitored by the government. This action has huge implications, including First Amendment rights, journalists’ ability to report the news, and PR professionals’ need to form relationships with journalists.

“This rule would have a tremendous chilling effect on our clients’ ability to communicate with the media and the public,” said Jonathan Rosen, principal of BerlinRosen. “The idea of requiring anyone to have to report to the government before they talk to the press is a very dangerous proposition,” New York Press Association Executive Director Michelle Rea told Crain’s New York Business.

Frank Washkuch wrote in PR Week on Friday: “Forcing consultants to file their interactions with reporters like expense reports will have a chilling effect on…confidentiality. Aides to public officials rely on journalists to protect their identities, or to keep some information entirely off the record. Asking them to confirm on an official document when they talked to a journalist will only turn off the spigot of information reaching the public.”

If this proposal eventually means the PR-to-media relationship becomes legislated, the flow of information from organizations to the public is threatened. And when information is controlled by government, everyone loses. Your thoughts?


54 thoughts on “The PRofession threatened

  1. Bahati Louis

    This is unsettling because of the privacy/confidentiality of journalists. Our government was founded on the principle of allowing people to express themselves without having to fear the government coming in and silencing them. There is a clear difference from being a PR person and a lobbyist. I just think this is the governments back handed way of trying to identify whistle blowers and keep everything that happens in government more under wraps.

  2. Pamela Lacayo

    As a soon to be Public Relations professional, this is very alarming but not only for the PR professionals but as citizens of the USA, this new law is taking away our rights of free speech given to us in the First Amendment of our Constitution, plus, what about our right to privacy.
    Mike Kennerknecht from The Huffington Post wrote in his article Is PR the New Lobbying? on February 15, 2016, “Whether or not a reporter or a spokesperson initiated the contact (phone call, text message, email, etc.), it would need to be logged and reported or PR pros could be subject to hefty fines.” Yes, work will increase but what about our privacy? Why should we have to pay fines for not reporting call, emails or text messages? Our government just wants to control our ever single move and I am in full disagreement with it.

  3. Saralynn Kupperberg

    I find it very interesting that an advisory opinion like this would pass in the state of New York, as a policy like this if passed by the state legislature, would not only negatively impact citizens of the state of New York, but the entire country. It is no secret that New York City is the media capital of the world, as well as the epicenter for the public relations industry. Public relations practitioners from around the world pitch New York City reporters, producers, and editors about stories on daily basis in a media relations effort. However, if this advisory opinion were to become law it would change the well-established art of pitching, allowing it become filtered through government censorship. Additionally, this would set new rules for public relations professionals around the world, as anyone who wants to pitch to New York media outlets would have to abide by the rules of the state of New York. Furthermore, this law would negatively impact readers around the country and the world, as they would be subject to government censorship just for reading, listening, or watching media produced in New York, that came as a result of public relations pitching. Overall, if this advisory opinion were to be made into law, its impacts would negatively affect not only a state, but two industries, and all of its readers and professionals around the country, and the world.

  4. Russell Benner

    As soon to be Public Relations professionals reading this blog was very unsettling. Relationships are key in this field and having the Government intertwine will have drastic effects on the trust and relationships built. Not only is this making the job harder for each field, it is also going against our constitutional rights. Privacy has been an up and coming topic in featured events as well as debates with the upcoming elections. People like Eric Snowden who advocates for the peoples privacy only strengthens where the Government could be in more power to control the messages the public receives.

  5. Nathalie

    Hearing of this policy approval was quite surprising–and not in a positive way. I agree with what Michelle Rea said–“the idea of requiring anyone to have to report to the government before they talk to the press is a very dangerous proposition”–because it basically means that any PR interaction with media persons will have to be subjected to the government. What first came to mind was how this will affect the PR professional’s efforts in cultivating relationships with journalists and producers. While I interned at Hunter PR in the Media Relations Department, my supervisor spoke about her casual meetings (mostly dinners or coffee dates) with producers and writers in hopes of creating connections and opportunities for media placements for Hunter’s clients. With this policy, will those small meetings that are intended on informing the media about new products, etc. now be regulated? What is this sudden push to monitor the interactions between PR pros and journalists? It worries me when it comes to the future of the profession. A lot of the time, PR pros rely on their connections to get placements–it’s just the way the industry is. Now with this policy, I fear that every interaction will lose genuineness and therefore ruin the hard earned relationships between many PR pros and journalists/producers.

  6. Erin Schmitt

    The thought that this could be put into effect is completely unnerving not only as someone entering a career in PR but as a citizen. It is restricting our Constitutional right to the freedom of speech while violating our privacy, and it can hinder the trust and confidentiality that professional relationships are built upon. It places the government in an even higher position of power to control the messages the public is receiving, and thus puts into question the credibility and intention behind them.

  7. Niki

    The fact that something like this was even considered to be passed, is unsettling to me. A law like this means that all privacy rights are given away, including freedom of speech. It means that most people would not want to talk to journalists at all, out of fear of being violated. This will put both journalists and PR people out of work, and something that is very alarming. It’s not something that the government should be involved in at all, and I hope they reconsider this.

  8. Katie Hammer

    I think that it is absurd that PR professionals have to register as lobbyists when communicating with reporters. I don’t think that the government should have any say in what goes on in the media world, for having information stream through the government could cause it to be even more skewed. Relationships are key in the PR to journalist world, and with this new legislation it could damage them. I don’t think that this will have a good outcome unless there is some way to change it in the favor for the people, not the government.

  9. Mollie Wichtel

    I do not understand why this piece of legislation would be considered. As you say, if it were to pass, the public relations industry would indeed change. Public relations professionals count and depend on their personal relationships they form with members of the media, and should this relationship be monitored and strained, everyone involved would be negatively affected. Why does the government need to monitor these professional relationships anyway?

  10. sabrinacwenar

    PR professionals should not have to register as lobbyists simply because the Government wants to limit the information the public has access too. This is also a concerning concept in regards to The First Amendment Rights. I find it odd that this is coming about now due to the fact that information is very readily available in the media as is. It also seems that this will affect PR professional’s relationships with journalists.

  11. daniellehkent

    I had never heard of PR professionals in that field considering themselves to be lobbyists and now that I’ve read more it seems like a PR move in itself, positioning PR professionals as something else and skewing public opinion. Being paid to serve as a political consultant does not mean that you are spinning information and spreading lies. It does not discredit the work done in any way. I disagree with the proposal and think it will certainly have negative repercussions.

  12. syanok

    I feel like this is just another way for the government to control the media. I agree that this attempt at further media monitoring by the government is going to have negative implications on the way that public relations practitioners interact with and communicate with their clients and their publics.

  13. SShak

    As a few of my classmates said, this seems to be a way for the government to control how the media puts out its information. It almost seems as though its a violation to our privacy having disclose all information linked to a story. I am curious to see how this plays out over time.

  14. Elaine

    I’m worried if PR build a legislative relationship with reporter or journalists. If this relationship is legislative, PR practitioners will pay more attention on keeping relationship rather than express instead of publics. We can imagine that when some bad thing happened, journalist and PR person cover up the facts together, how about the publics. They don’t know the truth forever. If this relationship should be supervised by the government, PR person is failure. PR person is one of the way that the publics know the truth. Thus, PR person can not have a legislative relationship with media.

  15. A. Murphy

    It seems as if the government is looking for ways to control the media and this is their back door way into doing so. They know that the media is not interested in government control and will fight vigorously against it, but in being educated about how the media and PR work together, the government figures that this might be a way to regulate media without overtly regulating media.
    To me, this isn’t alarming. It would be alarming to me if it actually went through and was implemented into law and how the practice of PR and media is carried out. I would hope that once this becomes aware to the public and the larger media community, they would fight against it and work to make this impossible to implement later.

  16. capriceoliver

    This definitely makes me worried. As college professionals we dedicate a lot of time and money preparing to go into PR. With a blink of an eye the whole existence of our career can be compromised. I feel violated and so does my constitutional rights. I really hope that this is just a scare, because if its not I need to evaluate my whole career and future!

  17. shollwedel

    This seems like it is an attempt at a false solution to the ethics problems in Albany at the moment. They’re trying to look better by getting opinions from ethics committees that have nothing to do with the current scandals taking place so they can turn to the public and show them “progress”.
    As for the Public Relations aspect, this is troubling for a few reasons. For businesses, the need to disclose when meeting with journalists could be indicative of events such as product launches or major announcements. This has greater implications in the world of finance where there is suddenly a whole new stream of information to consult with.
    It is also the beginning of associating Public Relations Professionals with unethical behaviors in the public’s mind, which could lead to a breakdown of trust between journalists and PR pros, as well as PR pros and the public in general. If this opinion were to be enacted as a law, I think the PR field is going to find itself mired in unnecessary and irrelevant regulations sooner rather than later. Hopefully the government hears the concerns of the different groups speaking out against this opinion and decided to focus on more relevant and problematic issues,

  18. xuhansite

    I am surprised that New York State’s Joint Commission approved the terrible opinion. On the one hand, it means the government can control information easily. The opinion has a bad effect on the freedom of the press and the public’s right to know. On the other hand, PR practitioners represent their clients. It is obvious that their work involve commercial confidentiality. If they must disclose their clients’ detailed information, they will not protect the benefits of their clients. In conclusion, the situation makes the public relations industry in a tight squeeze.

  19. gmorah

    Not only will PR freedom of speech and expression be adversely affected if this proposal ever stands, but also fairness and accuracy expected of PR reports will be in doubt!

    More so, this proposal also whittles down the trust and reliability audience has on PR: Remember we’re not just writing for our clients, but there’re targeted audience whose trust and confidence on us is part of their interest in reading our work.

    Meanwhile, this proposal could be seen as sign of Government’s interference – undue influence – on the PR’s democratic world; and I hope this wouldn’t be the case, otherwise it negates the fundamental spirit of democracy.

    Besides, the more ‘freedom’ a PR has to write, the more facts and information he gets to write with, and the more the interest of his write ups to his audience: What is more, this proposal kills it all!

  20. Ari Okonofua

    It confuses me that a rule like this could go into effect since PR and lobbying are quite different and identifying the similarities are a stretch. The government is trying to find another way to control things and this would have such a negative impact in the PR realm.

  21. Vanessa Major

    Upon reading this three things come to mind, freedom of speech, freedom of press and the detrimental effect on how PR and editorial professionals interact. I believe the government is involving itself in an area it apparently does not have much knowledge in. If the PR field were fully grasped, I doubt this regulation would be imposed. In a sense this infringes on Freedom of Speech and would inhibit what information is mentioned to editorial professionals. The same goes for Freedom of Press, the respect the government gives to information it identifies as being classified and protected from disclosure to the public, should be the same respect given to that of PR professionals on conversations with journalists. Oftentimes meetings between the two parties are solely conversations and ideas before any issue, crisis, or story arises.
    If organizations have to disclose all information that transpires between editorial professionals, instances where these conversations revolve around operating strategies may leave businesses vulnerable to their competitors. It’s bad for business and backs PR professionals in a corner.
    I think this is one instance that journalist and PR professionals are on the same side. Overall, I think this is a very bad move.

  22. Kristina Weller

    I think that although it could be interesting to see how much certain officials are paying PR people to help with their publicity, it should not be required for people of the media to announce who they are working for and when. Enforcing this would strip individuals of the freedom of speech, and the decision to disclose who your clientele is should be left up to the professional, and/or the PR person.

  23. Lysa Carre

    I think the government should stop trying to control the extent of information that can be accessible to the public, which can not only endanger organizations, but also the individual P.R client(s) that are being serviced by experts. Instead, the government should be seeking alternative tactics on how to protect those who can possibly be threatened by exposure of too much information that will be detrimental toward each party involved. Although certain information about clients in the real estate and law industries are public information, it is still very limited and does not encourage possible threats; whereas, “The idea of requiring anyone to have to report to the government before they talk to the press is a very dangerous proposition,” can be severely harmful and most likely will be disastrous since our government itself is also imperfect and can potentially be corrupt by scandalous politicos themselves.

  24. azachar1

    This is very scary to me as someone who is about to enter the field in a little over a year. Doesn’t the government have enough to worry about? They honestly should leave those in the media alone and focus on the fact that Trump is seriously running for president or that we don’t have universal health care or figure out how students can actually afford to go to college without being slaves to their ever growing debts from loans.

    Lobbying is not what PR people do. Those in the government should actually learn that there is so much more to PR than just pitching stories to reporters. As I just read in my textbook for corporate PR this week, the media is only one small portion that we cater to. We have so many other publics to think about.

  25. Amy Wang

    I think this new regulation is going to create a bigger conflict between the organization and the public. Without mentioning the competition between each PR firms, I am sure that organization will not want all the information being disclosed to the publics. It can affect its own reputation, image, market, investors etc. They may just use their own in-house PR people instead of hiring someone from outside whom need to register with the government. Also, if every disclosed information has to be approved by the government, what is the point of free speech? Shouldn’t the public have the free will to express what they want to say and how they want to say? The most important is, how will the government use the information collected from PR practitioners? This is definitely one of the major concern here.

  26. Lauren A.

    If this in fact becomes a law, the profession will most definitely be chilled. It will be harder to transport information in an effective manner if PR professionals are required to tell the government who they were hired by and who they are talking to. Journalists will become skeptical of getting information from PR professionals and it may take longer for PR professionals to get their clients messages out, whether it be a press release or crisis management. Though I do understand why the government may want to put this law in place it is unreasonable and will greatly damage an entire profession.

  27. Emily Weeks

    This is going to have an extreme chilling effect on news gathering. Having to report sources to the government will silence those who wish to remain anonymous. It will create censorship that will prevent stories from surfacing. If this type of government had interfered in the past there would have been no news break-throughs like the wikileaks and there would be no way that an anonymous source could step forward to give their account if they’re going to be held accountable by the government. Registering PR as lobbyists also going to detract from their recently built credibility. Lobbyists are not looked upon favorably in the world of media.

  28. mmolin9

    I think this will greatly affect how people in the media communicate because it will restrict them from even wanting to do so. This invasion on their rights could possibly make it so that important information is never communicated, leading to an uninformed public, and diminishing the importance of our jobs.

  29. Isabella

    As a journalism major, I think this could be really bad legislation for everyone. I don’t think people would trust anything they read or heard from the media because it would of been okayed by the government then told to the public, so it could all be some sort of puppet show. As far as PR goes, I am still trying to grasp what they do for their clients and what something like this would mean for them? If someone in PR is making a deal for the client and they need to disclose that they are making a deal between an athlete and Nike for 100,000 would that hurt anything or anybody really? I feel like it might hurt Nike since people would know that this athlete doesn’t “love” Nike, he/she is getting paid to love Nike, it might make people less interested? I guess I just see this as a bigger problem for journalists than Public Relations people.

  30. bric1995

    Of course, I understand the need to make sure that all sources are verifiable. However, as mentioned in the article, this would also cease the income of information from sources if they feel that their identities will not be kept private. The fact that it has to go through the government is even more alarming as they will gain more power over the media. Media is already heavily influenced by politics. Taking away the small freedom media still has will ruin the “truth” behind reporting, and make it only what the government wants the public to see. This is very alarming indeed. Also, what will become of client confidentiality? There will be no such thing. If such a thing cannot be kept, what is the point of having this industry of Public Relations? We will no longer be able to do our jobs if everyone has to know what our clients are trying to keep under wraps in the first place.

  31. Kyle Kandetzki

    I think it has gotten ridiculous how much control over speech various groups try to get control over in this day and age. With the rising ability to obtain knowledge on practically anything, those in power are equally terrified about information that can get out.

    That leads to policies and ideas like these, and they simply aren’t fair for those that are trying to present information for the good of the public. Now their integrity and privacy will take an unnecessary hit.

  32. Taylor P

    It is pretty scary to think about how much the government already controls; It will never end. Forcing clients to disclose all of their personal information to the government is a violation of Freedom of Speech, one of the amendments that the government says we all have the “constitutional right” to. Ultimately, a requirement like this would ruin PR; clients need to feel that their information is going to be safe and that they are speaking to people they trust.

  33. Jillian Berardi

    I definitely disagree with requiring PR professionals to register as lobbyists and be monitored by the government. I think it is ridiculous! Public relations and lobbying is different. PR professionals need to have the ability to speak freely. I don’t understand the purpose of the government knowing the personal information of a client. Trust is a very important aspect in the relationship between a firm and its client. This can’t happen if a client is cautious in sharing information because it has to be disclosed to the government. I believe this can really have a negative effect on the PR profession.

  34. Carolyn

    I think this can cause conflict between clients and PR angencies. I do not see the value in having to report to the government or register as lobbyist if you are in public relations. This can hurt the public relations relationships with clients who do not want thier information shared. It can hurt business all together. Having to report to the government I think will cause issue since certain things will only be said and having things off the record or on the record could cause confusion. I don’t see how lobbyist and public relation companies have any similarities with each other. Public relations is meant to help companies and make money on both ends. Having to filter conversations through the government does not make sense to me.

  35. sharlys_leszczuk

    I don’t think that there should be any filtration through the government, but I do think that journalists should disclose if they spoke to a representative at a PR firm. The reason I believe this is because the PR industry has a bad reputation and many clients feel the need to keep their relationships with firms confidential. If firms were speaking on behalf of their clients and journalists were required to disclose the relationship, this could wash away the negative image PR firms have in the public’s eye because they could see all the great work PR agencies do for their clients.

    No company can possibly have all the services it needs to achieve press, handle crises, conduct research, or any of the other services the PR industry has to offer. Even organizations with in house PR departments hire outside firms to help them because very few companies can provide all the resources a PR firm has to offer.

    Disclosing client relationships with PR firms can potentially help the PR industry by attributing credit to PR professionals who work long hours every day working on behalf of clients. Additionally, the PR industry needs to shed its reputation of being secretive, immoral and sly because there is plenty of good that comes out of the PR industry.

  36. Tyler Weatherly

    I think this could present a real issue when it comes to exercising the first amendment; this requires firms and consultants to disclose clients’ information when the first amendment would really allow them to say (or not say) whatever they want. Considering Public Relations is about maintaining an image and various relationships, this could be damaging for PR Agents as well as journalists when it comes to sources and clients. This also brings up the point that between the two, individuals won’t want to communicate information given the amount of paperwork and documentation that will be necessary.
    Overall, I find this information quite alarming. The Public Relations profession could suffer realty if all are required to relinquish all information to the government; this idea eliminates the foundation of trust.

  37. pollakvictoria

    Freedom of speech is what first came to mind. It’s scary to see the government controlling everything. They slowly creep up on us and before we know it even what we say is censored. Why would someone’s information that they voluntarily give up have to be filtered through the government first and through a legal procedure? It’s a valid question for us but on their part it’s their way of shielding information to the public. They are viewing citizens as a threat because of our taboo actions and thoughts which could expose some aspect or truth that the government would rather kept wrapped up or hidden.

  38. Danielle Tana

    To be completely honest, I am not surprised that the government is attempting to threaten and control the credibility of PR professionals. You can’t say government without using the word controlling in the same sentence. It saddens me that the government believes that meshing PR and lobbying together will be beneficial. Public Relations professionals and lobbyist are very different and have different goals and perspectives. If this were to be pursued, it’s possible that the government would negatively influence the work of accredited PR professionals and information can be easily skewed. Not to mention the complete disregard to confidentiality.

  39. Emily Hassett

    I was very taken back to learn about the possible corruption of flow of information. This is a violation of our first amendment right to the freedom of speech. In journalism and PR, ethics play a key role in the trust that is associated with the profession. The possibility of having to disclose information to the government is very concerning and could ruin the professions, journalism and public relations, all together. Professions that are essential to the media, reporting and providing the general public with information. Journalism and PR are surrounded by a foundation of trust which could easily be lost if these professionals have to disclose all information to the government.

  40. Rachelg

    This post definitely brings to light an important issue. People have devoted their entire lives to the PR profession. It took a long time for “public relations” to even be recognized as a legitimate career choice. I do not think its fair to require PR professionals to register as lobbyists, simply because they are not. One of the reasons why public relations is such a prominent part of society now of days, is because they advertise the truth, and only the truth. If we allow the government to watch our PR professionals, are we really getting the truth, or are we only getting what the government wants us to know?

  41. Adam Stark

    This creates a real issue with public relations and confidentiality. As mentioned in the article, having the client disclose their information in deep detail creates a serious problem for them and PR representatives. When a firm or consultant works with a client, they aim to build a relationship between them. When all their information becomes disclosed, a huge contradiction is set. If all of the clients information has to be disclosed, the client will become more hesitant to share their information with firms and consultants. This new motion shatters that opportunity to build a relationship of any sort.

  42. Shawna Gregson

    I believe that this could have a negative impact on professions such as Public Relations and Journalism due to the fact that it makes it harder for people in those professions to excercise their 1st Ammendment rights- which is what these professions are all about. Relationships between journalists and public relations will be compromised simply by the fact that people won’t necessarily want to talk with each other because of the amount of paperwork and documentation required. If these two professions communicate, it’ll be harder to portray what it is a company or person really represents. I think this law in unnecessary and violates the rights that naturally have.

  43. Judea Hartley

    Firms and consultants shouldn’t have to disclose clients information at all!!! One of the bottom lines of public relations involves the noble relationships between organizations and its stakeholders along with other consumers. PR is all about obtaining and maintaining foundational, reputable, and trustworthy relationships. Because firms are now forced to disclose their clients personal and confidential information to the government, this intended PR relationship can not be built on trust and sincerity. Furthermore, I believe that by government forcing firms to disclosure personal information is another avenue that the government has created to control citizens and corporate businesses. I think that disclosing a clients information to the government will not only give the firm an untrustworthy reputation, but it enables publics to view PR as a field that is corrupt. What good does it do for the government to know a client’s personal information anyway???????

  44. Elizabeth Giangarra

    I feel that this is absolutely ridiculous, PR and Lobbying are completely two different things. Having the government regulate Public Relations would be detrimental to industry. Not allowing PR to speak freely and openly puts a huge impact on the fundamentals of Public Relations. I don’t think this legislation would to any good for the industry.

  45. Lauren Denker

    I think it is very interesting that consultants and firms must now disclose all their client’s information to the government. Many times people seek out PR professionals they many not wish to have all of their information out in the public and this policy ruins the confidentiality between consultant and client. I understand that this is a new way to “generate transparency;” however, is this the best way to do so? Making consultants report to the government before they do anything else doesn’t seem like a smart idea in the long run.

  46. zhenpanda

    While so much of the public and their opinion is controlled by the media as is, I see the argument for more transparency; the word “Lobbyist” often don’t conjure up good feelings and therefore, may make any message from PR people less credible–it may even conjure up feelings of distrust towards any and all PR tactics.

  47. katericciardi

    PR and lobbying are quite different. I don’t agree with this new policy. I do not the support the idea of clients having to disclose personal information tot he government. Quite frankly, I think the government knows enough about us…. but thats a whole other discussion. This legislation could definitely have a negative effect on the way the public gets information. The government has the power to withhold news or information which is not the point of the news or the PR people. The information should be allowed to be shared with the consent of the client not the government.

  48. Brianna Vallelong

    As someone who looks to enter the world of PR after graduation, the fact that Public Relations and Public Affairs Professionals will now have to register as lobbyists concerns me greatly. When someone hears the word “lobbyist” not too many positive thoughts come to mind, especially when dealing with politics and government officials. Having interned at a firm this past summer, I believe the work PR professionals do is more than lobbying. Secondly, the issue of anonymity and the freedom to disclose information as one sees fit has been an ongoing argument for decades. Changing the established rules to include more regulation will only cause retaliation and lead to less trust among those involved in these industries.

  49. John Grillea

    I’m not the least bit surprised that the government would try to control this. In my opinion this completely violates our privacy and especially our freedom of speech. This will only put a serious strain on PR professionals who work hand and hand with journalists and the media. Why would they want to share any information that they know will now be disclosed with the government? Confidentiality obviously is ruined now. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  50. pjze618

    I think this is ridiculous. PR and lobbying are two completely different things. Having the government regulate public relations would be a detriment to society. Without that ability to speak freely, the foundation of PR is gone. Putting something like this into effect would ruin the industry.

  51. laurenconway97

    Forcing clients to disclose all their personal information to the government is not only wrong, but is going against the idea of freedom of speech entirely. As stated, “the flow of information from organizations to the public is threatened”, and this may damage many industries all together. When there is no trust or freedom, there is no longer a strong foundation for this industry. “This rule would have a tremendous chilling effect on our clients’ ability to communicate with the media and the public” because without confidentiality or the basic human rights we are born with; there is nothing.

  52. Darren Johnson

    I’ve been both a journalist and PR person my whole adult life. Sometimes a little of both at the same time. I can say, there are a lot of shady people and firms on the PR end of things. A lot of political people with no serious PR training put up a shingle and get their political cronies to hire them. I wouldn’t mind seeing some regulating body for the PR folks. The first amendment doesn’t apply as strongly to those paid to support a certain opinion.

  53. Emily Racanelli

    It baffles me that such a rule could go into effect, given it violates our natural rights to privacy and free speech. As it states in the post, people rely on journalists to keep information under wraps. Part of the ethical aspect of being involved in either the PR or journalism fields is knowing when to keep quiet about something. If a particular client wants something kept “off the record” just wants to maintain a certain amount of anonymity, it is up to the professional to respect that.
    Not only would forcing clients to disclose all their personal information to the government violate confidentiality agreements, but it might put a strain on the journalism and PR industries. People would be less inclined to turn to them, knowing the consequences that could come of it. This would result in less clients, less stories, and less income. I feel that, over time, this would cause these industries to spiral into financial distress.
    This is a matter that should be left up to the people involved, not for the govt. to swoop in and decide they want to take charge. There is a reason we were all born with rights and it so others can’t just come in out of nowhere and take them away without a struggle.


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