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From the Publisher
"[S]hould be a required textbook for any student or practitioner of public relations.... Highly recommended." — Choice
Ethical questions and dilemmas are inherent to public relations, and ensuring that practitioners operate ethically is fundamental to the professionalism and credibility of the field. This updated edition of Ethics in Public Relations gives readers the tools and knowledge to enable them to make defensible decisions and outlines the important ethical concerns in public relations and corporate communications.
Written in a practical and approachable style, this book provides clear insights into the personal and professional issues that affect public relations practitioners. It examines how an individual's sense of morality has an impact on decision-making and ethical business behavior. This new edition includes new material on virtue ethics, personal ethics, ethics in social media, ghost writing and deception in PR, and moral responsibilities of organizations.
PART 1 WHAT LIES BENEATH
1. Before we begin: new profession or one of the oldest?
Public relations ethics: oxymoron?
A tarnished history
Defining our terms
A profession or professionalism?
Aspiring to professionalism
Measuring your professionalism quotient
2. Untangling the web: the ‘truth’ and other strangers
An epidemic of lying
The ‘truth’ in public relations
Can you predict honesty?
One principle among several
Truth, trust and the virtue of being ‘good’
Truth and trust
The limits of organizational responsibility
To whom are you loyal?
The virtue of being ‘good’
Whose rights are right?
Rights and responsibilities
When my right conflicts with yours
Conflicting rights in public relations
The trouble with rules
Rules rule our lives
Those darn deontologists
The real trouble with rules
’Situations alter cases’
Moral relativism and situations
The problem with situations
Robin Hood ethics
What the heck is ‘utilitarianism’?
Motives be damned
Problems with Robin Hood
PART 2 ETHICS AND THE PRACTITIONER
Your staircase to respect
Still the moral child
The moral child grows up
An ethical litmus test?
More than good manners: ethics and etiquette
Morality and your level of competence
The virtue of humility
The good, the bad and the (almost) ugly: ethics codes
Codes as contracts
Minimum standards or ideals?
Who needs codes, anyway?
A global code?
Relying on a personal code
Using personal values
Developing your own code
Posted October 5, 2012