A Tale of Power, Passion and Persuasion: Bloggers, Public Relations and Ethics

Catherine Archer, Simone Pettigrew, Paul Harrigan


Within public relations the questions of ethical theory and practice have been given
new momentum with the rise of influencers in social media, such as bloggers, and
the related phenomenon of stealth marketing. This paper explores the views of a
specific community of these new influencers – so-called mum bloggers – following
the call for more research in this area and with the theory of dialogic public
relations as a start point. Taken from an online survey of Australian mum bloggers,
the paper analyses the qualitative responses of 238 bloggers. Almost 70 per cent
of respondents believe there are no ethical issues in blogging. Of those
respondents who believe there are issues see that ‘sponsored posts’ – written
commentary on blogs that is paid for by brands – are a major ethical issue.


blogs, ethics, public relations, bloggers, dialogue, cash-for-comment

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The University of Newcastle
ISSN - 1839-8227