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6 pr and ethics petya laleva


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6 pr and ethics petya laleva

  1. 1. PR and Ethics Examine the ethical pressures affecting the use of public relations to further corporate ambitions.
  2. 2. What is Public Relations <ul><li>“ Public Relations is all about reputation. It’s the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. It is used to gain trust and understanding between an organisation and it’s various publics – whether that’s employees, customers, investors, the local community – or all of those stakeholder groups” </li></ul><ul><li>PRCA </li></ul><ul><li>“ Public Relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. PR is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics” </li></ul><ul><li>- CIPR </li></ul>Source: http :// Whatispr whatispr
  3. 3. What is Ethics? <ul><li>Norms for conduct that distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>Abstract concept of common right and wrong, no matter the situation </li></ul><ul><li>Obligation to do the right thing </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical standards apply to all people and organisations </li></ul><ul><li>A nd still the word ethics seems blurry and indefinable </li></ul><ul><li>N o wonder why PR professionals are still struggling with operating under ethical terms </li></ul>
  4. 4. PRSA Code of Ethics <ul><li>PRSA have a code of ethics, although it cannot be considered as a law, PR professionals are advised to follow code as it follows: </li></ul><ul><li>Protect and advance the free flow of accurate and truthful information </li></ul><ul><li>F oster informed decision making through open communication </li></ul><ul><li>P rotect confidential and private information </li></ul><ul><li>P romote healthy and fair competition among professionals </li></ul><ul><li>A void conflicts of interest </li></ul><ul><li>W ork to strengthen the public’s trust in the profession </li></ul>Source:
  5. 5. <ul><li>CIPR Principles  </li></ul><ul><li>Members of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations agree to: </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain the highest standards of professional endeavour, integrity, confidentiality, financial propriety and personal conduct; </li></ul><ul><li>Deal honestly and fairly in business with employers, employees, clients, fellow professionals, other professions and the public; </li></ul><ul><li>Respect the customs, practices and codes of clients, employers, colleagues, fellow professionals and other professions in all countries where they practise; </li></ul><ul><li>Take all reasonable care to ensure employment best practice including giving no cause for complaint of unfair discrimination on any grounds; </li></ul><ul><li>Work within the legal and regulatory frameworks affecting the practice of public relations in all countries where they practise; </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage professional training and development among members of the profession; </li></ul><ul><li>Respect and abide by this Code and related Notes of Guidance issued by the Institute of Public </li></ul><ul><li>Relations and encourage others to do the same. </li></ul>
  6. 6. SO …
  7. 7. The Importance of Ethical Issues in PR <ul><li>Public Relation practitioners are known for being able to spin even the worst news into good press coverage. </li></ul><ul><li>The P R Os are not even able to tackle their own industry’s bad ethical reputation. PR is considered a unethical tool for cleaning up after a mess has been done. </li></ul><ul><li>This is an opinion that people outside the PR world share. PR although helpful in a lot of aspects has always been accused of not following the ethics code. </li></ul><ul><li>The fact that many PR professionals do not see their field as an ethical practise is disturbing as well. </li></ul>
  8. 8. The numbers <ul><li>A study, conducted in 2010 suggests that only 38 per cent out of 480 respondents agreed that the PR industry was fundamentally honest and 73 per cent said that PROs lied in the course of their work. </li></ul>Source: PR-professionals-believe-spin-entrenched-industry-survey-shows/
  9. 9. Ethical standards <ul><li>Utilitarianism – this is a classic consequentialist theory stating that actions are not good or bad in themselves, but only in so far as what they are good or bad for. (Theaker 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>For example, ethic of welfare allows telling of lies to protect the reputation of the company and to save the jobs of employees. </li></ul><ul><li>An Ethic of duty – it is motivation rather than consequences which is the determining factor in deciding whether actions are ethical or not. (Theaker 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Emmanuel Kant, the German philosopher argues that ethics is grounded in notions of duty and it follows from this that some actions are morally obligatory regardless of their consequences </li></ul>Theaker, A., 2004. The Public Relations Handbook, 2 nd ed.
  10. 10. <ul><li>An ethic of rights – there is a status common to all human beings which affords them protection from abuse by others, “ rights ” that everyone is entitled to. </li></ul><ul><li>Rights and duties cannot be looked at separately and neither can they be pursued regardless of any consideration of collective welfare (Theaker 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate Social Responsibility – this is a concept whereby companies decide voluntarily to contribute to a better society and a cleaner environment. A concept whereby companies intergrade social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with stakeholders (European commission ’ s definition of CSR) </li></ul>Source: definition.php Theaker, A., 2004. The Public Relations Handbook, 2 nd ed.
  11. 11. Ethical Issues and Implications in PR Industry <ul><li>Issue : Pay for Play – this occurs when PR professionals make undisclosed payments to journalists to publish a client’s story. </li></ul><ul><li>Implication : These undisclosed payments are improper under the PRSA Code of Ethics. Publics demand greater transparency and it is important that PROs address any undisclosed practice that affects the credibility of the information </li></ul><ul><li>Issue of Power – it’s a situation where not all participants are accorded equal status. Solution to a problem may not be acceptable by everyone. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Issue : Reporting unethical behaviour or unprofessionalism </li></ul><ul><li>Implication : It is challenging to determine what is unethical and the greatest confusion is among business problems, legal questions, contract related, or matters that are considered ‘common practice’. </li></ul><ul><li>Issue : Deceptive Online Practices and Misrepresentation of Organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Implication : A number of websites and deceptive social networking posting have surfaced. Organisations and PR practitioners are posting comments as if they were customers. Open communication is essential for informed decision making in a democratic society. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Issue : Plagiarism - this is unauthorised use of another author’s work. Falseley representing another’s ideas or words as your own. </li></ul><ul><li>Implication : an ethical practitioner respects and protects information that comes to their possession, they use proper author attribution. </li></ul><ul><li>Issue : Professional Conflicts of Interest – it compromises the impartiality, credibility or th trustworthiness of a practitioner becoause of a clash between his/hers self interest and a professinal interest. </li></ul><ul><li>Implication : It is a competitive world we are living in, where by definition, individuals, corporate and public interests are in conflict. T o avoid these situations a practitioner has to be honest all the time. </li></ul>
  14. 14. How to improve ethical issues in PR? <ul><li>Teach Ethics – Feel Ethics </li></ul><ul><li>The most important virtues that a PRO has to posses so to be able to practise ethical public relations are honesty and trust. These are qualities that cannot be taught but many argue that they should be in the base of learning and practising PR. </li></ul><ul><li>A way of improving ethics in PR is through teaching and learning, indeed. </li></ul><ul><li>Companies already offer business ethics courses to their employees </li></ul><ul><li>When studying PR in universities students are also exposed to a wide variety of case studies and theory which helps them develop more open and honest understanding of the matter. </li></ul><ul><li>With PR changing every minute one can only hope that the new generations will lead an ethical PR practises and will clear the reputation of the industry. </li></ul>
  15. 15. References <ul><li>Theaker, A., 2004.  The Public Relations Handbook . 2 nd  ed. Abingdon: Routledge.  </li></ul><ul><li>Parsons, P., 2008.  Ethics in Public Relations . 2 nd  ed. London: Kogan Page Limited.  </li></ul><ul><li>http :// ethics_in_pr.html </li></ul><ul><li> 200933 </li></ul><ul><li> / </li></ul><ul><li> Codeofconduct.pdf </li></ul><ul><li> / </li></ul><ul><li> / </li></ul>