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Public Relations Ethics

Do you think it is ever OK for a public relations person to lie (i.e., deliberately mislead a reporter or the public by providing incorrect information or not correcting misinformation that favors his organization). If you were working for the government as a public relations person, would you ever mislead reporters? What are the consequences if you are found out? What professional qualms would you have and how would you resolve those issues with your organization? What would you tell your boss if he or she asked you to lie? Is "spin" the same thing as lying?

Solution Preview

It is NEVER okay for a PR person to lie. Their job is to spread information through the press about what is going on within a company, or government, or even an important person such as a celebrity.

If you go to this website: http://www.cprs.ca/AboutCPRS/e_mission.htm it is the public relations association of Canada. One of the principles of the organization is:

- To promote and maintain high standards of professional practice and conduct among the membership, so as to ensure that public relations shall be esteemed as an honorable profession

- safeguard good taste and truthfulness in all material prepared for public dissemination and in all aspects of the public relations practitioner's operations

So in essence, one of the main foundations of PR is truth, honestly, and protecting the public to make sure that that they receive the correct information.

So if you are a Public relations rep for the government, and you lie, ...

Solution Summary

The ethics of lying as a public relations person is discussed. Is it ever okay for a public relations person to lie? "Spinning" the story is analyzed.

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