This week, (well two weeks) the most interesting ethical issues I found tended to have an international flavor, and the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) and ethics was central to many of them. There are also two very interesting (and free) ethics Webinars coming up in the next week.
Kelly Davis, the Public Relations Sequence Head at the University of South Carolina, discusses a number of important issues, including:
1) How to avoid landmines and understand the fine lines in public affairs and lobbying
2) How can nonprofits ethically get their message out when faced with well-funded opponents?
3) Ethical issues with data, media and society
4) How to make sure you are sharing accurate information
Following are 100 ethics issues the students and I identified and discussed. These stories were ripped from the headlines. If you missed them, they are worth another review. They make great reading and great discussion over Zoom
A number of ethical issues this week dealt with technology issues and setting boundaries. What happens when the algorithms become too efficient and lead companies to actions that may be “too human” or inadvertently racist?
Joining me on this week’s episode is Ron Culp, the director of the Public Relations and Advertising Masters Program at DePaul University.
Ron discusses a number of important topics, including:
1) What to do when asked to make absurd and misleading claims
2) Why PR professions need the industry to have their back
3) Where companies make mistakes in countering disinformation internally
4) How to make your company attractive to potential employees
Claims of ballot fraud and lists of Trump supporters for potential retaliation are not the only hot ethical issues of the week.
Since those have received so much attention, I wanted to highlight some other interesting issues.
Helio Fred Garcia, President of Logos Consulting Group discusses a number of important ethics issues including:
1) When and where do you draw the ethical line?
2) How structures and clear protocols make courage less necessary in ethical dilemmas
3) What can we learn from Bernays’ definition of public relations?
4) What are some positive ethics lessons from Goldman Sachs
5) Three key elements in determining the “right” thing to do
Every media outlet and social channel is blanketed with Presidential election coverage. This blog will give you a break from it all. We will look at ethical issues of the week that have nothing to do with elections: philotimy, racism and disclosure.
Neil Foote, the CEO of Foote Communications, and the President of the National Black Public Relations Society, discusses a number of important ethics issues, including:
1) Why identifying an ethics problem is not enough
2) The power of truth, without embellishment, to drive ethical action
3) How to fight misinformation and disinformation
4) Why celebrating success is not enough to drive diversity
With the US elections just a few days away and the divisive, negative rhetoric on all sides being at what seems to me to be an all time high, I thought this week it might make sense to take a look at the oft-overlooked virtue-based approach to ethics.