Chapter6

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Chapter6

  1. 1. Chapter 6PR Ethics and Responsibilities This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  2. 2. Objectives• To appreciate the complexity of public relations ethical decision making in the 21st Century global, multicultural and technological society• To recognize the wide range of stakeholders to whom public relations practitioners and their organizations have ethical responsibilities• To understand that public relations practitioners have personal, as well as professional, responsibilities in ethical decision making• To develop a sensitivity about how unethical conduct can create public relations crises• To create a heightened awareness of potential ethical problems that can occur within an organization This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  3. 3. Judging an Organization• On the basis of ethics• On the basis of social responsibility• On the basis of financial responsibility• Publics judge both the individuals and organization as one unit and the organization itself as a unit This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  4. 4. Role of Top Management• Sets ethical tone for the organization• Those who top management chooses to hire in key PR, financial positions demonstrates where management stands on the value of PR• Some managers assign to PR the role of “social conscience” for the organization This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  5. 5. Categories of Ethics• Comparative ethics – Also called “descriptive ethics” – How different cultures set and observe ethical standards• Normative ethics – Sometimes called “prescriptive ethics” – The philosophical or moral ideal of ethical standards• Situational ethics This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  6. 6. Ethics and Values• Truth is universally valued• Telling the truth is ethical• If people and cultures can’t agree on what is truth, how can they agree on what is ethical?• Individual and organizational biases affect what we see as ethical This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  7. 7. Page Principles of Ethical Behavior• Tell the truth• Prove it with action• Listen to the customer• Manage for tomorrow• Conduct public relations as if the whole company depended on it• Remain calm, patient and good-humored This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  8. 8. Reputation and Ethics• An organization’s reputation depends on its actions• An organization’s reputation also depends on how ethical its actions are perceived to be• Organizations that are seen to be acting in the public interest have the best reputations This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  9. 9. Social Responsibility• Another term for good citizenship• Means producing sound products, reliable services that contribute positively to the social, political and economic health of society This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  10. 10. Financial Responsibility• Refers to an organizations fiscal soundness• How an organization interacts with investors and the investment public• PR has a particular financial responsibility to demonstrate its contribution to the organizations financial “bottom line” This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  11. 11. PR’s Ethical Responsibilities• Clients• News media• Government agencies• Educational institutions• Consumers of products and services• Stockholders and analysts• Community• Competitors• Critics• Other public relations practitioners and the PR profession This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  12. 12. Grey Areas of Public Relations• Some PR activities that practitioners consider legitimate arouse public concern and criticism• How research is conducted and how the resulting information is used of concern• How to work internationally when home and international ethical standards can differ This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  13. 13. PR Research Ethics• Protecting the subjects – Participate voluntarily – Prevent psychological or other harm – Protect participants’ anonymity, confidentiality – Avoid deception, be truthful with participants – Report, analyze results fairly, accurately This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  14. 14. PR Research Ethics (cont.)• Accumulation, storage of data – Debate over what kind of information to save – Debate over whether saved data should be used again, perhaps for a different purpose than the original research – Purchased research often carries limits on its storage, use• How research information is used – Sharing of data with others generally viewed as unethical – Just because the information is available doesn’t mean it is ethical to use it, especially for commercial purposes This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  15. 15. Internal Organizational Ethics• Management may not always do the ethical thing, even when it is recommended by PR practitioners• PR practitioners constrained in their efforts to influence management decisions – Lack of access to management – Inability to collect needed information – Roadblocks to timely dissemination of info – Narrow definition of role of PR This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  16. 16. Internal Organizational Ethics (cont.)• PR practitioners may disagree with management decisions – Can be a team player and carry out managements decisions – Can try to change the decision or at least modify it – Can quit This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  17. 17. International Practice Ethics• Different cultures have different ethical values, standards• Growing number of multinational companies are developing multinational codes of conduct that ensure what they do is acceptable not just at home but in all countries in which they do business• Working for foreign governments may involve their asking you to behave unethically This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  18. 18. Advertising and Sponsorship Ethics• Ads with PR purposes may be viewed as unethical – If they attempt to influence subliminally – If they stimulate people to do something that is unethical This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  19. 19. PR: Protecting the Client• From unethical use of name, trademark or logo• From unethical copying or duplication of designs, symbols• From damage that might be caused by someone producing an inferior product, service that might be confused with the client’s good product or service This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  20. 20. PR: Protecting the Consumer• From a product that is faulty or of poor quality• From advertising that is misleading, deceptive or untruthful• From harassment, hate speech and other abuse of rights• From unprofessional “spin” practices that masquerade as PR• From promotions that are deceptive or not in the public interest• From attempts to make self-serving information like an advertisement look like objective media coverage This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  21. 21. PR Ethics in Media Relations• Publicity, public information intended to facilitate the news gathering process – Unethical when information is slanted to make it appear as news or fact when it is self-serving and promotional – Unethical when source of information is not revealed (blogs, VNRs) – Unethical to alter photos, art without disclosure – Unethical to accept payment or to bill clients based on how much media coverage was obtained• Media have codes of what reporters and editors can accept to enable or in exchange for coverage (junkets, sample products, etc.)• Gifts and perks can create problems for both the giver and the receiver This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  22. 22. PACs: Political Action Committees• Enable organizations to raise and contribute funds to politicians or political causes• Government rules on disclosure protect against unethical abuses This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  23. 23. Public’s Right to Know• Freedom of Information Act provides access to some information, but protects the privacy of certain kinds of information• Open meeting laws provide both access and protection• Two freedoms are in conflict: The right to be informed and the right to be left alone This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  24. 24. Individual PR Practitioner Responsibilities• PR practitioners attempt to function ethically and responsibly even in a setting where different ethical standards are set and met• Professional codes of ethics can provide the PR practitioner with guidance• Adhering to public(s) interest also provides guidance This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg

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