CIPR Social Media Panel calls for development of digital literacy following Paris Brown’s resignation
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Social Media Panel, one of the Public Relations industry’s most progressive groups in digital and social media communication, has today called for careers advisors and schools to help pupils and school leavers understand how their social media activity could impact on their career. This follows the resignation of Paris Brown as Britain’s first youth police crime commissioner over comments made on Twitter.
The CIPR Social Media Panel, which produced industry leading guidance for professionals on social media and the best-selling ‘Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR’, plans to produce guidance for schools and young people on social and digital media.
It will include advice on the transition of using Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook to connect with friends and family to using social media for business, as well as highlighting to young people the lasting impact of comments made via the social web.
This will support ongoing work by the CIPR which aims to develop a better understand of public relations among young people in schools and ensuring that students, parents and teachers have an improved understanding of its meaning and value to the economy and society.
Your digital footprint lives with you. This isn't just a generational issue. People of all ages need to be digitally literate. In 140 characters you can slander or defame an individual or organisation or destroy your own reputation. Some of your history can be edited but much of it is there forever.
Paris Brown’s comments made on Twitter were derogatory, misguided, and rightly criticised but her desire to take an active role in public life should be applauded, and it should be a matter of regret that her attempts to serve her community have ended in such a sorry way. Beyond the nature of the comments and their context, this is an issue of education, with young people, as well as adults, struggling to come to terms with a new age of accountability.
All those thrust into the public eye should consider a reputation audit before embarking on a new career. Many fail to grasp the enormity of their past. In the length of time it takes to update a tweet or Facebook status, a life can be turned upside down.
Notes to editors
About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.
The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).