George Washington once said:
“Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation;
for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”
Ethical Principals in the field of Public Relations. According to Burnett & Moriarty, ethics ‘Refers to the values that guide a person, organisation or society – the difference between right and wrong, fairness and unfairness, honesty and dis honesty”
A person’s interpretation of what is “ethical” will vary from person to person. Therefore, it is extremely important for Public Relations practitioners to take into consideration a variety of key factors that will influence one’s moral values, such as people’s gender, age, culture, religious beliefs and heritage.
Howard & Matthews thinks that ethical behaviour should be ‘as normal and as unconscious as shaking hands’, however, I don’t agree with this statement. When dealing with people’s beliefs, values, and morals, therefore should be reasonable consideration into how people are going to understand the message that is trying to be perceived, and thought be given to the most extreme reactions, and how these can then be dealt with, in order to maintain one’s business in a professional manner.
It is when dealing with ethics that practitioners need to present themselves as an approachable individual, and one who can really connect with their publics and understand what they want out of this situation. Having to take into consideration one’s emotions and beliefs, further emphasises the point made in my previous blog, that women are possibly, more suited to a PR position, as there are more known for their sensitivity to important and emotional issues. This is not to say that men could not cement a good emotional base with their publics, but based on the ‘stereotype’ of women in society, it seems women would be better suited to the ethical implications of a campaign.
The blog above goes into great detail about the use of ethics in Public Relations, why it is so vital to our profession, and where we draw the line.