Week4: Public Relations Ethics

In this chapter, I've learnt more about ethics. Once again, from readings, ethicsis about standards of behaviour, concern for 'good' behaviour and consideration of how our behaviour, as in individual or an organisation affects the well being of others or the society as a whole. I feel that it is important because any action that we take will affect others and not only ourselves. However, it is not easy to be ethical at all. This is because people it is only human nature to be tempted at times, to work for revenue in order to have a better standard of living. Although surveys have shown that Public relation practitioners usually think that they are ethical, things may seem otherwise when we look at some examples from the reading. Media headlines about public relations spin abounded when a government department media log, obtained under freedom of information la, recorded that public relations staff agreed to lie in unison (Fountaine, 2005). It is indeed disappointing to see people defying their conscience for the sake of other temptations. Once again, this seeks as a reminder to myself that if I were to become a Public Relations practitioner in future, I should always resist upcoming temptations and seek to give the best of my ability through being ethical.

I strongly agree to the cross-cultural communication the
ory (Gudykunst, 2005) as in this multi-cultural society, everyone should be mindful of what they say and be responsible for their actions. This theory states that we should always try to adapt the three part approach to being an ethical practitioner. Firstly, being willing to see ethics as important. Secondly, is aware that being ethical is not an easy task and lastly, to constantly assess and improve one's skill. I find this e
xtremely useful as I feel that we can always control ourselves if we have the strong will power to do so and therefore, if we try to focus on the objectiv
es of this theory, it will somehow help us to become more ethical in one way or another.

Moving on, (Hage, 2003) introduced ethics of inclusion. As he is from Leban, he illustrated ethics of inclusion using his first language which meant "Hey, include me in your dreams" to remind communicators to recognise the views of others during communication. I find this a good way because it is interesting and therefore, unforgettable. Another way to illustrate it can be seen using the ethics pyramid (Tilley, 2005), whereby people work their way up starting from the base. The base can be doing research, coming up with ethical expectations, then moving up to shared ethical objectives, then appropriate ethic tactics and lastly, check and report the outcomes. I think the systematic way that ethic pyramid provides serves as a good guide and assistance to people.

Overall, there are many ways to ensure that we are on track to becoming an ethical public relations practitioner. Therefore, it is really up to one to be determined and to stick to his/her moral values. We have to always control our own thinking and not let temptations lead us astray. This chapter is quite enriching as I feel that we will definitely experience such difficulties and challenges in time to come.

Do not give in to temptations
we should never contribute to the DECLINE OF ETHICS.


  1. waaa.. you really read the book deeply, don't you? :D you give a very thorough insight from the readings.
    well, just want to comment about this particular topic. ethics is something difficult to define, isn't it? especilly when we compare it as something we learn, and as something we have to do in real life ^^

  2. It's a good read, this blog post of yours...

    You've really described, in detail, the many aspects of ethics but what really caught me was the Cross-Cultural Communications part as I myself believe in that..

    Like Valinka said above, it's a very grey area - this ethics pool - and we should try to understand and accept each culture's traits and make PR work!