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April 19, 2011

WikiLeaks' Impact on Transparent Corporate Communications — Technology Review Letter to the Editor

PRSA had a letter to the editor published in May/June 2011 issue of Technology Review in response to a previous editorial on the impact of WikiLeaks on society's concept of secrecy and transparency, as well as what comprises ethical corporate communications.
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Letters and Comments: The Role of WikiLeaks
Published: May/June 2011

Thank you for your truly spot-on column examining the impact of WikiLeaks on society's concept of secrecy and transparency ("Is WikiLeaks a Good Thing?" March/April 2011). Like you, I often find myself conflicted about the value of WikiLeaks. I tend to eschew overt calls for full disclosure from organizations — whether by government leaders, executives, or individuals pushing a cause—because my first inclination is to uphold the right to privacy.

However, instances in the past year throughout the global business community have begun to change my mind. And as the associate director of public relations for the Public Relations Society of America, I am committed to transparency and disclosure in all forms of communication to advance the free flow of accurate and truthful information, which is vital to democratic societies.

While WikiLeaks may take corporate transparency too far for some, numerous surveys have revealed that trust in American businesses and government is terribly low. Perhaps it is time to look past the potentially sinister goals of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and develop a more earnest commitment to withholding only information that truly deserves secrecy.

Keith Trivitt
Associate Director of Public Relations
Public Relations Society of America

New York
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