New Survey Also Finds 28 Percent of PR Professionals Willing to Manufacture ‘Fake News’
SAN FRANCISCO—June 30, 2018—New data today released from Bospar, the boutique PR firm that puts tech companies on the map, turned an eye on the ethics of the PR industry. The survey revealed how many PR professionals are willing to cross ethical boundaries to secure coverage and how many are “getting busy” in the workplace.
Many PR Pros Willing to Dabble in the Dark Arts
The survey zeroed in on PR professionals to determine where they draw the line between right and wrong. The majority (around three-quarters) of them agreed that some more blatant actions—like stealing, cheating, lying and taking credit for other people’s work—were wrong. But while 72 percent feel inventing “fake news” is wrong, more than a quarter (28 percent) are perfectly willing to manufacture news.
When it comes to grayer areas, they have even fewer compunctions:
- 55 percent feel fine about using click-bait headlines
- 54 percent are willing to tell white lies
- 51 percent don’t think it’s wrong to sensationalize boring news
While their larger sense of ethics may be questionable, their work ethic certainly isn’t: only a third of PR professionals stop working at 6 p.m. Eleven percent only “log off” when they’re taking paid time off, and another 12 percent say they never stop working.
“The best PR people will ensure their clients get coverage that supports their business objectives, and that includes securing stories that won’t explode later due to a serious ethics violation,” said Curtis Sparrer, a principal of Bospar. “I’m heartened to see that the majority do have solid ethics and are working around the clock to do their best work for their clients without any risky business.”
PR Professionals Significantly More Likely to Cheat at Work
And how about office affairs? Many are fine with them; 47 percent of PR pros don’t think they present an ethical problem, and 43 percent have had affairs at work—high above the national average of 13 percent.
Who else is cheating? According to the data:
- Men cheat at work about 50 percent more often than women
- Millennials (16 percent) have more work affairs than 35-74-year-olds (12 percent) or Americans 75+ (6 percent)
- People in the LGTBQ community (31 percent) have about three times as many office affairs as heterosexuals (11 percent)
“For years, people have referred to colleagues with whom they work closely to as their ‘work wives’ and ‘work husbands,’ and maybe there’s something to that,” said Gabrielle Ferdman-Ayala, Principal of Propeller Insights, “especially with companies moving away from a traditional 9 to 5. It’s telling that Millennials are more likely to have an affair, as they’re the ones most likely to be at the start of their careers, when long hours count towards credibility.”
About Propeller Insights
Propeller Insights is a full-service market research firm based in Los Angeles. Using quantitative and qualitative methodologies to measure and analyze marketplace and consumer opinions, they work extensively across industries such as travel, brand intelligence, entertainment/media, retail, and consumer packaged goods.
Bospar is a boutique tech PR firm featuring a team of highly seasoned professionals who exist to put tech companies on the map. Bospar’s principals include a longtime PR and tech industry guru, a former broadcast TV producer and award-winning media maven, a standout PR agency manager from the corporate side of a leading global law firm, and an experienced executive with both large agency and public company credentials. Bospar’s larger team includes experts in both social and traditional media, as well as financial and analyst relations and public