PR_ch6 - Chapter 6"Ethics and Social Responsibility in...

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Chapter 6 “Ethics and Social Responsibility in Public Relations”
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What are ethics? Values in action Something we do, not something we have Without ethics philosophers say we can’t achieve out goal of happiness Being ethical means identifying values and acting on them Values become our ethics code and it governs what we are willing to do or not do Ethical behavior isn't a distant goal, it’s a part of daily life
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Ethics Code for Values- Driven Public Relations Ethics code identify core values also specify ways of acting that honor values Offer guidelines for values-drive actions Public Relations professionals live by guidance of several ethics codes: International Organizational Societal Personal Professional
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International Codes As more organizations build relationships with publics in other nations, international codes of business ethics are emerging Members of consortium of 150,000-plus public relations professionals pledge to act on five key values: Advocate Honesty Integrity Expertise Loyalty
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Societal Codes Ten Commandments are example of societal ethics code Edward Gibbon said of the Koran , the holy book of Islam, “From the Atlantic to the Ganges, the Koran is acknowledged as the fundamental code, not only of theology, but of civil and criminal jurisprudence” Other religions have codes to help their believers achieve obedience to divine will
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Professional Codes Public Relations practitioners have no central, binding code of ethics Some voluntarily join organizations that do have binding code of ethics Public Relations Society of America(PRSA) International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)
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Organizational Codes Many organizations have written ethics codes that employees are asked to read, sign, and follow Often, members of an organization’s public relations staff are asked to help draft, evaluate, and revise the codes
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Personal Codes These are what really count Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, closes his 1,500-plus restaurants on Sundays The company’s web site makes it clear that the policy stems from Cathy’s personal values
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Objectivity vs. Advocacy Are public relations practitioners objective communicators, like journalist, or are we advocates like lawyers? Advocacy, with its focus on the consequences of communicating, can seem more suitable than objectivity for PR If we choose to operate solely as advocates, we soon encounter sticky issue of selective truth Most practitioners say they are, first and foremost, relationship managers but sometimes relationship management involves being an advocate--even if it means advocating viewpoint of important public within own organization
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2008 for the course AGCJ 306 taught by Professor Dunsford during the Spring '08 term at Texas A&M.

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PR_ch6 - Chapter 6"Ethics and Social Responsibility in...

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