Oral Histories

Angela Buonocore

Interview Segments on Topic: PR and Technology/Change

Angela Buonocore Biography

Angela Buonocore is senior vice president and chief communications officer for Xylem, a spinoff business from ITT Corporation. She is responsible for global brand and reputation management, public relations, employee communications, corporate advertising, community relations and corporate philanthropy.


INTERVIEWER: I think for this next question—you addressed some of it when you talked about the challenges and opportunities in the business today. I want to ask, has the new media made the public relations industry more or less ethical?

BUONOCORE: That’s a great question but it’s a really difficult question to answer in aggregate. I’d like to think that the PR, and I do think this because I’ve been in PR and communications my whole life—I’d like to think that the vast majority of us are very ethical people that try to operate ethically, but I do think new media adds a little bit of additional perspective and certainly additional watchdog status because frankly, everywhere you go, your picture can be taken and uploaded to YouTube immediately. I mean, it’s one of those sorts of things where, when you’re always being watched or there’s the possibility to always be watched, I think that puts a little bit more—what should we say—rigor into everyone’s mental state. I think the fact that anything you say can be uploaded immediately, pictures can be taken and uploaded immediately that there’s really not a lot of restrictions around how that’s done with the new media, I think gives a whole new perspective—not only to communicators and PR people, but frankly everybody that’s in any kind of a public—and sometimes not even a public—but, especially in a public domain. I mean, recently I gave a speech and moments after I gave it, it was uploaded on a website and no one asked me if they could do that. But I think you just have to operate with the frame of reference that when you’re in the public domain talking to someone, those kinds of things are going to happen, and you have to think about that accordingly.