Ethics of Public Relations
In the world of public relations it is easy to find clients that are willing and on the search for the most appropriate consultants or public relation firms. Similarly one would be hard pressed to find a P.R. firm which would decline PR assignments. Yet there is certainly a moral and ethical component in public relations which 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) one can explore some preliminary topics. For instance, does a PR company has duty to decline Verizon ™ PR assignment because of their refusal 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 chose to take the assignment because of their belief that every private entity is entitled to choose its customer. Yet another PR firm may decline to take that assignment because of their belief that even commercial entities have to positively contribute to the collective.
No matter what the choice or final decision, it is important to realize that the end result of such assignments are not without consequences which may include tarnished reputation or PR backlash from existing or potential future clients. The bottom line on such decisions may have long term negative impact on business growth as well as issues related to company reputation.
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