CIPR social media code

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations has just published its draft (PDF) for consultation of its proposed code of conduct for social media. I will comment more fully once I’ve had chance to digest it.

My thought before it was published was – why do we need a separate code, we already have one for CIPR and its principles should apply to social media. We don’t have a separate code for media relations, event management, internal communications, newsletters, video or dozens of other PR channels and activities.

My first thought after reading it is probably the same. The Social media must be ethical headline should read “Public relations must be ethical” with the sub-head “and social media is no different”.

A code should be simple and should deal with issues such as honesty, integrity and competence. The CIPR’s includes confidentiality which I’m not sure about as I think it is just part of integrity, but so perhaps is honesty. If I was to promote one of the two it would be honesty.

Some of the detail in the draft does require further thought – such as ghosting. The question isn’t just is it acceptable and if so when, but also what exactly is it because there are nuances. The devil is in the detail.

UPDATE: Seems that I’m not the only one thinking along the lines of less is more. Richard Bailey talks about the Hippocratic oath and that codes shouldn’t be changing every week.


Stuart Bruce

International Public Relations Adviser | Trainer | Author | Media Commentator | Conference Speaker | University Lecturer | Online PR | Digital Corporate Communications | Crisis Communications | Digital Public Affairs