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  • Slide 1
  • Ethics in Public Relations Chapter 6 Public Relations: A Values-Driven Approach This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following are prohibited by law: any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, of any images; any rental, lease, or lending of the program. Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003
  • Slide 2
  • What Are Ethics? Ethics are beliefs about right and wrong that guide the way we think and act. Ethics arent something we have; theyre something we do.
  • Slide 3
  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 Codes of Ethics International codes Societal codes Professional codes Organizational codes Personal codes
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  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 The Golden Mean Recognizing that moral absolutes can be troublesome, Aristotle and Confucius separately defined this as the point of ethical balance between two extremes.
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  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 The Categorical Imperative Immanuel Kant said people should make ethical decisions as if their chosen action would establish a universal lawa clear principle that would apply to everyone.
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  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 Utilitarianism Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill developed the philosophy that all actions should be directed at producing the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
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  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 Social Justice John Rawls urged decision makers to put on a veil of ignorance by looking at the situation from all points of view. In order to correct injustices, Rawls felt that most advantages should be given to those who are most disadvantaged.
  • Slide 8
  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 Objectivity versus Advocacy Are public relations practitioners ethically obligated to communicate the full truth or only the information that benefits their client or organization?
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  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 The Case for Selective Truth Total objectivity is not always practical. Alternate views will emerge. Practitioners are not obliged to provide alternate views. In an adversarial society, truth is not as important as the obligation to the client.
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  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 The Case against Selective Truth It undermines the practitioners ability to counsel on ethical matters. It undermines relationships with internal audiences. It runs counter to the preferred two- way symmetrical concept of public relations.
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  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 The Case against Selective Truth It runs contrary to the mission of building mutually beneficial relationships. It may violate the ethics codes of PRSA and IABC.
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  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 The Solution By fulfilling their managerial role, practitioners can advocate fair polices with clear consciences. The objectivity versus advocacy debate involves a misleading either/or question. Building relationships can require both approachesand more.
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  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 Challenges to Ethical Behavior Dilemmas Overwork Legal/ethical confusion Cross-cultural ethics Short-term thinking Virtual organizations
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  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 The Rewards of Ethical Behavior There is satisfaction in doing the right thing. Successful leadership is based on strong ethics. Ethical behavior may lead to an organizations financial success. Bad ethics can lead to financial disaster.
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  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 Achieving Ethical Behavior Ensure that ethical behavior starts with top management. Conduct periodic ethics audits. Integrate an awareness of values and ethics into the public relations process. Use a system for analyzing ethical challenges.
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  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 Ethics Audit Questions What is our organizations ethics code? How do we communicate that code to ourselves and to others ? What do key publics know about our code?
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  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 Ethics Audit Questions What are our ethics successes? Why? What are our ethics failures? Why? How can we bolster our strengths and reduce our weaknesses?
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  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 The Potter Box
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  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 Define the Situation Definition Box
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  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 State the Different Values Definition Box Values Box
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  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 State Your Principles Definition Box Values BoxPrinciples Box
  • Slide 22
  • Copyright Allyn & Bacon 2003 State Your Loyalties Definition Box Values BoxPrinciples Box Loyalties Box