Category Archives: Ethics

Going to war: PR and Spin

aban1396lThe cliché goes ‘actions speak louder than words’. But is this the same in times of war?

War and PR have an interesting history with each other in that some of the earliest forms of PR came about during WWII in the form of propaganda. However, at that time it had less of a negative connotation. Propaganda then were leaflets, articles and posters aimed at drumming up national support for wartime efforts. Modern day propaganda is seen as manipulative and bias information that serves to persuade people to think or act in a certain way.

In arguing whether wars are spun and not won, some thought-provoking arguments came about.

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Awareness, Accesss and Subconscious Bias: Lack of Diversity in PR

From the CIPR’s report on student perspectives of the profession, we learn that awareness of PR is very low. Only 9% of BAME students said they would consider a career in PR. Other students (37%) stated they wanted a career in an established, well-respected field such as science, medicine, banking or law. Another interesting statistic is that 80% BAME students are likely to be influenced by their family on career choices.

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Steps to Professionalisation of PR: Part II

A codes of ethics, the final and what seems to be the most important of the criteria, is the puzzle piece that would complete the picture of professionalization for the industry. L’Etang says in Public Relations; Concepts, Practice and Critique “Ethics are a part of organizational identity and of course a vital part of the organization’s reputational stance. These are usually found in the Code of Ethics or Code of Practice.” In our case, these codes are known as the codes of conduct.

In Exploring Public Relations, Ralph Tench and Liz Yeomans identify these codes as being a safeguard for professions and their values and contribute to professionalisation and enhancing the reputation of public relations. In order to demonstrate this, we will look at selections from two different codes of conduct from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

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Steps to Professionalisation of PR: Part I

whattheythinkido_pr1Becoming a profession, a process outlined in Effective Public Relations, is a progression that contains a well-developed formula found in well-respected professions such as law and medicine. Among these are specialised education, recognition by the community, autonomy and personal responsibility, and finally “codes of ethics and standards of performance enforced by a self-governing association of colleagues.”

The last qualification, probably the most vital for a thriving industry, is one that has kept the public relations industry from becoming the established profession that they strive to be. Across the profession, there are several different codes of ethics provided for practitioners, however, the issue of ease of entry coupled with lack of enforcement prove vexing for the professionalization of the PR industry.

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Brett Ashley Bridges

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