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PRSA Ethics Panel 10-26-11
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PRSA Ethics Panel 10-26-11



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  • 1. PRSA Phoenix State of Ethics Panel October 26, 2011 Today’s Twitter Hashtag: #PRSAEthics Panelists: Paula Pedene, APR , VA Public Affairs Officer Don Lange, PhD , Professor of Managerial Ethics, W.P. Carey School of Business Rodo Safranac, MBA, writer, teacher and consultant
  • 2. PRSA Member Code of Ethics
    • Advocacy
    • Honesty
    • Expertise
    • Independence
    • Loyalty
    • Fairness
  • 3. PRSA Ethics Code Provisions
    • F ree Flow of Information
    • C ompetition
    • D isclosure of Information
    • S afeguarding Confidences
    • C onflicts of Interest
    • E nhancing the Profession
  • 4. PRSA Ethics Decision Guidelines
    • 1.Define specific ethical issue or conflict.
    • II. Identify internal and external factors that may influence decision (legal, social, political)
    • III. Identify key values
    • IV. Identify the parties who will be affected by decision and define PR obligation to each.
    • V. Select ethical principles to guide decision-making process.
    • VI. Make a decision and justify .
  • 5. Old Adages to Consider for Ethics
    • If your actions or words were to be published in tomorrow morning’s newspaper, would you still do it? Would you be proud of what you did or said?
    • What if your mother found out what you did or said, how would you feel?
  • 6. What Would You Do?
    • “ What Would You Do?”– ABC reality, staged ethical dilemma show of public situations.
    • Illustrates everyday people’s views, reaction or apathy toward potentially unethical or immoral behavioral situations.
    • Reveals altruism gestures, selfish actions, group think & “not my problem” / “you’re on your own” sentiments.
  • 7. What Motivates or Causes Ethics Breaches?
    • Competition
    • Organization / customer demands
    • Pressure to distribute information and create content
    • Limited internal policies, compliance controls or fear of enforcement
    • Lack of perspective / lapses in judgment
    • Pride / morals
  • 8. What Form Do Ethics Breaches Take?
    • Gaffes and blunders
    • Seemingly “honest” mistakes or oversights
    • Premeditated malice
    • Intentional disparagement
    • Misappropriation of information or copyright infringement.
  • 9. Redner Group Twitter Snafu
    • Redner Group Twitter scandal for criticizing media for negative client product reviews.
    • Key mistake or transgression: Disparaging information, poor judgment
    • Results: Bad PR, reputation damage, dismissed by client
    • Lessons learned? Panel discussion
  • 10. Other Twitter #Fails
    • Commenting on International Affairs
    • Kenneth Cole – Tweeted about Egypt uprising connected with spring collection; poor timing and judgment; apology issued.
    • Self-Promotion & Charitable Giving
    • Bing – Donation effort for Japan tied to self- promotional re-tweets.
    • Agency Error / Disparagement
    • Chrysler feed criticized Detroit drivers despite being known as the Motor City.
  • 11. Facebook PR “Smear Campaign”
    • Facebook retains Burson-Marsteller in alleged public relations campaign to spread negative stories toward Google.
    • Key mistake or transgression: Sabotage?
    • Results: Really bad PR, “mea culpa” and blame game ensued.
    • Lessons learned? Panel discussion
  • 12. News of the World Scandal
    • Alleged phone-hacking of subjects by staff reporters leads to massive scandal that brings down the paper and creates PR nightmare for Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.
    • Key mistake or transgression: So many!
    • Results: Hearings, firings & closure
    • Lessons learned? Panel discussion
  • 13. Digital Content Copyright
    • Best practices for protecting your original content online?
    • Tips for avoiding claims of copyright infringement or plagiarism
    • In a world of sharing, re-posting and repurposing, how can original content be sourced or credited anymore?
  • 14. Social Media Disclosure Protocol
    • Best practices for managing social media channels on behalf of client:
    • Honest disclosures to customer/followers
      • - Representation, compensation issues
    • Using real testimonials & claims
    • Avoiding “fictionalizing” content (misrepresentation in blogs, misleading product or service information)
  • 15. Libel & Slander in Social Media
    • Is it slander if criticism or disparagement is done via video form on YouTube et. al.?
    • Are the parameters and criteria for libel claims the same in social channels as traditional media?
    • Are the repercussions the same?
    • How to avoid potential for libel or slander accusations?
  • 16. PR Competitive Landscape
    • Client “theft”
    • Staff “poaching”
    • Disseminating privileged information
    • Confidentiality agreements
  • 17. Organizational Best Practices & Resources
    • Access to ethics code, performance policies
    • Review standards, periodic training
    • Communicate values with clients, stakeholders
    • In-house counsel / staff attorney
    • Human Resources policies
    • Designated compliance officer
  • 18. PRSA Phoenix Ethics & Dialogue Resources PRSA: http :// / PRSA Phoenix: / PRSA Phoenix LinkedIn Group: Search PRSA Phoenix (access to 260 Valley PRSA colleagues) http :// (read ethics blogs, post questions or discussions) Consult with PRSA Master Practitioners Group