In our ‘Contemporary Theories and Issues in PR’ module, we recently had a debate with this prompt: Lobbyists further the interests of powerful elites and imbalance the democratic process – the lobbying industry should be banned.
Initially I thought to myself lobbying is just like any other form of public relations. Lobbying tries to influence the public on a point or issue just like other PR sectors.
However, when I started researching lobbying, I changed my mind.
In the 2012 European Communications Monitor, lobbying, public affairs and governmental relations had the most trouble with ethical issues. According to the 2,137 public relations practitioners that were surveyed, 66.7% of them said they faced ethical issues once to several times in their workplace.
What more unethical of a workplace dilemma than that of the Bell Pottinger ‘dark arts’ scandal that took place in December of 2011.