Social Media Etiquette: Ethical PR through Social Media


This week in Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals one of the focuses in the reading was PR Etiquette in social media. Share This had a nice list of proper etiquette for composing a campaign for social media public relations. In a quick summary the list contained the following five rules:

  1. Who are you? – be yourself online
  2. Making friends. – learn how people use social networks and approach them appropriately
  3. What you share and how you share it. – consider what you share with whom
  4. Be transparent, helpful and useful online. – devise a system that lets people know when you are representing a client or brand
  5. Assume that mistakes will happen. – have a strategy for handling mistakes

(Waddington, 2012, p. 52-55)

After doing some further research on PR etiquette I believe that this list needs to be expanded on. There are many things that become important in PR etiquette when it comes to social media. If I were to add a few rules here is what they would be and why:

  1. Don’t gripe or gossip,” (The Creative Group). – Social Media is not your own personal complaint box. Publicly complaining is not appealing no matter what it is about and can negatively effect your image.
  2. Communicate clearly,” (The Creative Group). – Slow down, take your time and focus to make sure that your social media posts are as clear and effective as possible. You have a message to get across, make sure your audience does not have to search for it.
  3. Remember that social networking is a two way street (The Creative Group). You cannot expect everyone to come to you and you cannot just surface when you need help. If you want to receive help from those you network with and if you want to create long-term, lasting networking relationships then you need to make sure that you also support those who support you.
  4. Be unique and original. In order to be effective and to have your message heard you need to offer something that your audience cannot get elsewhere (Miller). Whether you’re pitching to an online media outlet or posting on your own social media you need to be different or you will be looked over. There is a lot of noise to fight though, especially on the internet and on social media sites. Only the strongest cut through the noise.


Are there any things you think should be added to the list of proper PR social media etiquette? If you were to pick one rule of etiquette, either from the book, that I’ve provided, or that you come up with yourself, which is the most important and why?



Miller, M. (n.d.). Online PR Etiquette: 3 Rules for Blogger & Media Outreach. Online Marketing Blog . Retrieved September 24, 2013, from

Creative Group. (n.d.). Five Tech Etiquette Tips. Public Relations Resources & PR Tools for Communications Professionals: Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Retrieved September 24, 2013, from

Waddington, S. (2012). Share this: the social media handbook for PR professionals. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.


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