PR 305 Law_&_Ethics (ch4)

PR 305 Law_&_Ethics (ch4) - Social Responsibility,...

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Unformatted text preview: Social Responsibility, Law, and Ethics Professionalism, Law, and Ethics Organizations exist only on paper, and therefore have no conscience. Public relations is the practice of social, or public, responsibility. It should be the organizations conscience, or moral compass. PR and social responsibility are synonymous. Just as the morally sound goal of government is liberty and the pursuit of happiness; the morally sound goal of journalism is truth; and the morally sound goal of public relations is harmony in public relationships. Ivy Lee, Edward L. Bernays and Doris Fleischman, and Arthur Page laid the foundation for the ethical practice of public relations. The Period of Protest and Empowerment from 1965-85 forced organizations to become social entities as well as economic entities. The environmental and civil rights movements were the catalysts. Both energized the equal rights movement, the Vietnam War protests, and public outrage over Watergate in the early 70s. The Generation Gap gave way to the Credibility Gap for American organizations and institutions that persists today. Suddenly, PR was no longer just primarily marketing communication. There were social problems/issues to address. Consumers werent the only stakeholders. Social Responsibility and Ethics Why should organizations be socially responsible? Alturism and autonomy. Altrusim : Organizations have an obligation to be responsible to society. Good argument until it begins to cost money. Autonomy : Freedom to pursue missions and goals without government interference, which costs money. Publics who perceive organizations to be irresponsible often turn to government for help. Social Responsibility and Ethics Case History : The Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction during half-time of January 2004 Super Bowl offended some audiences who became publics and pressured the FCC to threaten broadcasters with heavy fines if they aired indecent programs and titillating commercials (which, as a reaction, prompted the GoDaddy.com, a website registry, ad during the 2005 Super Bowl). FCC fined Viacom, who at the time owned CBS, $550,000 after the Jackson incident. In Nov. 2004, Viacom paid $3.5 million to end FCCs investigation into allegations of indecency in its radio, which involved shock jock Howard Stern, and TV programming. Social Responsibility KEYE, the local CBS affiliate, was fined $27,500. As a result, ABC Austin affiliate KVUE decided not to air Spielbergs Academy Award-Winning Saving Private Ryan in Nov. 2004 because it contains graphic violence and 48 uses of one...
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PR 305 Law_&_Ethics (ch4) - Social Responsibility,...

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