Public Relations. Ethics. Ethics :An Introduction. The practice of public relations is all about earning credibility. Credibility in turn begins with telling the truth. Public relations, then, must be based on “doing the right thing”- in other words, acting ethically. Ethics and Behaviour.
Public Relations Ethics
Ethics :An Introduction • The practice of public relations is all about earning credibility. Credibility in turn begins with telling the truth. Public relations, then, must be based on “doing the right thing”- in other words, acting ethically.
Ethics and Behaviour • Ethics apply particularly to the way PR practitioners behave. Personal integrity becomes a part of their professionalism. PROs have to do PR for themselves in that they will be judged by the way they act.
Ethics defined • ‘Ethics is about the good (that is, what values and virtues we should cultivate) and about the right (that is, what our moral duties may be)’.2
Test your Ethical decisions • Is it wrong to use company e-mail for personal reasons? • Is it wrong to use office equipment to help your family and friends with homework? • What’s the value at which a gift from a supplier or client or teacher becomes troubling? • Is a $2500 gift to a boss unacceptable?
Public Relations Departments • Internal or in-house departments may be large or small according to: • The size of the organization • The company’s need for effective PR and the value placed on PR by management. • The special PR requirements of the organization.
PR Staff • A PR department may consist of no more than a PR manager and a secretary, while others will contain specialist assistants, such as press officers, a house journal editor, a print designer, a photographer and so on. There will be org. which do not employ a full time PR specialist but the responsibility ( perhaps in liason with a consultancy) is handled by a marketing, sales, or advertising manager.
The PR Manager • Responsibilities include: • To set targets or define objectives for PR operations • To estimate the working hrs and other resources that need to be costed. • To decide priorities that will control the choice of publics, media to reach them, timing of operations, and best use of manpower and other resources such as equipment.
To decide the feasibility of carrying out the declared objectives in the light of available funds, existing staff and equipment.
The fourfold specialist task of the PR manager • To establish and maintain a correct image of the organization and of its policies, products, services and personnel. • To monitor outside opinion and convey this intelligence to management • To advise management on communication problems, solutions and techniques • To inform publics about policies, activities, products, services and personnel so that maximum knowledge and understanding is won.
How the PR manager and management can cooperate. • The PR manager should be a competent professional practitioner so that he or she is respected by management as an expert in that particular field. • The PR manager should set up internal lines of communication- know everyone- and invite the confidence of everyone, so that information can be obtained at all times from all sections of the organization.
Similarly, the PR manager should create external lines of communication, so that he or she is regarded as a reliable source of material. Outside sources of information may also be needed, often in order to achieve feedback. • The PR manager must keep top management well briefed for interviews, speeches, public occasions.
Management must be able and willing to communicate, and the PR manager may have to arrange rehearsals before press receptions, and television familiarisation sessions before TV appearances. • Management must keep PR manager fully informed- preferably in advance and by direct contact- which means that the PR manager must have access to management.