Ethics in PR -- an oxymoron or a given?Posted by Matt Kucharski on June 30, 2008 at June 30, 2008 1:38 PM
You'd think that a field that's built around creating and sustaining positive reputations would have fewer ethical dilemmas than others. Yet I would guess that a survey of the least "ethical" professions would find public relations right up there (or down there) with personal injury attorneys, corporate raiders and politicians.
Personally, I think PRSA made a mistake 10 years ago when it moved away from its specific code of ethics to a more liberal "suggested behavior" model. But that's just me. If you have an opinion, I'd love to hear it.
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As someone who took a P.R. class in J-school literally just to see how the evil other side works, it's safe to say I am eternally skeptical about P.R. ethics.
The PRNews story certainly raises some disappointing points, and I think not having a strict ethics policy at the PRSA level doesn't help anything.
Thankfully, the instructor for that lone P.R. class I took did a lot to change my perceptions, and I left with a generally positive attitude about P.R.
But maybe, if the field played more offense when it comes to ethics, the instructor wouldn't have had to work so hard to change my mind in the first place.
Posted by: Doug Hamlin at July 1, 2008 12:44 AM
Thanks for bringing some attention to the subject and the article. While we all talk about ethics, very few firms are doing anything proactive. The fact that this survey was floated three times and received only 100 responses says quite a bit.
Posted by: Ann Higgins at July 18, 2008 9:36 AM
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