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Ethics of Public Relations

In the world of public relations, finding willing clients and searching for the most appropriate consultants or public relations firms is easy. Similarly, one would be hard-pressed to find a P.R. firm that would decline PR assignments. Yet there is certainly a moral and ethical component in public relations that is hardly ever talked about.

When, where, and how would or should a public relations firm decline to accept a PR assignment? The answer is rather philosophical and complex. Looking at most current PR dilemmas that a company such as Verizon Wireless   (Trademark of the respective entities) has, one can explore some preliminary topics. For instance, does a PR  company must decline Verizon ™ PR assignment because they refuse to allow text messages of certain advertisers? Is there a social or cultural duty to abide by?

To be clear, there is no right or wrong answer. One PR firm may take the assignment because of its belief that every private entity is entitled to choose its customer. Yet another PR firm may decline to take that assignment because they believe that even commercial entities must contribute positively to the collective.

No matter the choice or final decision, it is important to realize that the result of such assignments is not without consequences, including a tarnished reputation or PR backlash from existing or potential future clients.  The bottom line on such decisions may have long-term negative impacts on business growth and issues related to company reputation.

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