chapter 7

chapter 7 - Chapter 7: The Law Teaching Perspective Chapter...

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Chapter 7: The Law Teaching Perspective Chapter 7 discusses an area of increasing importance in public relations—the legal implications of the profession. Public relations professionals and lawyers have always approached each other with caution. Fundamentally, the two practices have built-in conflicts; lawyers preferring silence to public relations professionals preferring disclosure. But the times, as Bob Dylan said, are a-changin'. Lawyers today advertise, appear frequently on cable television, and hire public relations counselors. The historic O. J. Simpson murder trial showcased a trio of attorneys—Johnnie Cochran, Barry Scheck, and Robert Shapiro—who cultivated press coverage to help spring their client. Shapiro’s advice is referenced as a “Sidebar” in the text. From that beginning emerged Court TV and all the lawyers preening on the cable talk shows. That public relations counsel has become as important as legal counsel, in our communications-oriented society, is indisputable. Students must understand that a savvy corporate executive will always seek public relations advice with legal advice before making a decision. An “unsavvy” CEO (see Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, Martha Stewart, et al) won’t consult public relations advisors. Conversely, it is the responsibility of the public relations professional to ensure that the CEO gets wise communications advice. This chapter, in addition to exploring the relationship between public relations professionals and lawyers, also examines such concerns as insider trading, disclosure law, defamation law, Internet law, copyright law, and a host of other legally-oriented issues that bear importantly on the public relations practitioner today. Subject of the “Voice of Authority” interview in Chapter 7 is John Kramer, the public relations vice president for the Institute for Justice, which is the subject of the chapter end case on the thorny issue of eminent domain. Among topics discussed in Chapter 7 are: Public relations and the law: An uneasy alliance. Public relations and the First Amendment. Public relations and defamation law. Public relations and insider trading. Public relations and disclosure law. Public relations and ethics law. Public relations and copyright law. 42
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Public relations and Internet law. Litigation public relations. Speaking of Ethics: Seizing the Prepubescent Pirates The subject of illegal downloading of music and videos is a complex one. First, it is against the law. Second, it has cost the recording industry, in particular, hundreds of millions of dollars. Third, it’s easy to do. Fourth, the primary violators appear to be young people – teenagers and below. So when the music industry confronted the problem in the summer of 2003, it had
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chapter 7 - Chapter 7: The Law Teaching Perspective Chapter...

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