Chapter 3 Reading Notes

Chapter 3 discusses ethics.  The book desribes ethics as “…concerned with how we should live our lives. It focuses on questions about what is right and wrong, fair or unfair, caring or uncaring, good or bad, responsible or irresponsible, and the like.”  Sometimes it can be very difficult to determine whether an act is ethical or not.  In the end, the answer lies in the fact that individuals have different thoughts of what can be considered right and what can be considered wrong.  The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) have done so much to develop the standards of ethics.  They both have also helped society understand the different roles of public relations in the business world.  PRSA, in fact, is the largest Public Relations organization in the world, while IABC is the second largest. They both have similar objectives of providing lifelong learning opportunities.

Codes for specific situations and issues are endorsed by various organizations. The codes includes such situations and events:

  • Financial information
  • Video news releases
  • Internet PR
  • Corporate practice.

Another thing that was discussed was ethics within individual practices.

Here is a list of commendable practices:

  1. Be honest and nothing but honest.
  2. Convey a sense of business ethics based on your opponents and audiences.
  3. Develop trust by emphasizing substance over triviality.
  4. Present all sides of an issue.
  5. Strive for a balance between loyalty to the organization and duty to the public.
  6. Don’t sacrifice long-term objectives for the short-term gains.

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