Ethics in Public Relations
by Nihit Aurora
Most organizations use public relations to improve and promote goodwill to their intended audiences. In this manner, organizations also convey information about their goods and services and, simultaneously, express that they are socially sensitive and caring organizations with respect for the ethics and principles that govern business and society. This is especially true in the information age, when any PR catastrophe can traverse the globe in a matter of minutes through a network of interconnected media channels.
|To avoid negative issues, every company and organization needs to establish a code of ethics for its public relations activities.|
PR is the heart of any organization. It acts as a valve that manages the flow of information from the organization to its clients and the community and vice versa. Besides performing routine tasks, PR professionals manage crises and issues. They guide an organization’s corporate vision, strengthen its mission, and sustain it during times of market instability.
Because ethics forms the fundamental principle of communication, it is naturally an important issue for any corporate PR department. Corporate PR is built upon a range of philosophies such as Utilitarianism and Deontology and those put forth by Bentham, Kant, Rawls, and others.
Looking at corporate PR from all angles, a standard of ethics is necessary to sustain an organization. Though many people believe that corporate PR is essentially false, it plays an important and crucial role in corporate organizations today. PR has the power to influence the reasoning and thoughts of intended audiences. For this reason, many individuals and organizations are critical of PR. However, the cornerstones of PR are integrity and veracity. PR departments must not resort to lying. Even when managing crises, coming clean is the best strategy. Anything that involves cover-ups may spiral into more and more lies.
To avoid negative issues, every company and organization needs to establish a code of ethics for its public relations activities. In the absence of one, it may be helpful to turn to the many associations such as the IABC and the International Public Relations Association that have established codes of ethics for public relations professionals.
In short, ethics forms the foundation of PR for any organization. Every PR activity that an organization conducts has interconnections and can link back to PR. Everything that is said and done leaves an indelible mark on organizational psyche.
On the net: Ethical Public Relations: Not an Oxymoron aboutpublicrelations.net/aa052701a.htm
Strategic Public Relations www.geocities.com/wallstreet/8925/ethics.htm
It is important because their is a responsibilty for PR professionals to Advocate, be honest, have expertise in the subject matter, Independence, Loyalty and FAIRNESS…( Seitel 2004)
Legal concerns impact ethics because you cant go arount lieing, and cheating your way through to the top of any corporation, or as a practiced way through life. It is not okay to hurt someone elses character, “deframation of character” in any form. Thats against the law. So if the laws are stronger so that the facts are correct and media is sharing reliable and creditable information, then it would not be as many law suits, but the law is their to protect the integrity of its producers, readers, and those being “talked” about. The law is to protect, but not are media outlets and there to protect you but to fulfill its goal of ratings, at any cost.
What is digital divide?
- inequality of access to information technology: the difference in opportunities available to people who have access to modern information technology and those who do not.
It basically the have and have nots of PR. They ethically put it out there faster if the technology is available, and be able to possibly be more creditable.