This Week in PR Ethics (7/30/20) – Wokewashing, Hedonism and Training

With a headline like that, I want to get right to the articles where you can read on the perils of wokewashing, see training resources for ethics classes courtesy of the Page Center, and discuss the article on how hedonism and teleology helps you live a happier life.

  • The perils of wokewashingHBR has a great article on wokewashing this week, but they took it in a direction I had not seen before. A popular topic that has come up in almost all of my EthicalVoices interviews of the past month is how business are rushing to say something about diversity, but society today expects them to actually do something (which is good). This article looks at how superficial wokewashing for external benefit may be hurting the people that need equity in their organization.


  • Hedonism key to leading a happier life – When I teach my ethics class, we spend a lot of time looking at “the big three” – Deontology, Teleology and Virtue. Hedonism is a facet of teleology, but one we tend to gloss over as people realize the potential negatives quickly. But this article is not advocating for Bacchanalias. Rather, it is looking at what I will call “micro-hedonism” and making sure when you are taking a break and having a moment of bliss, you need to embrace it and not let the other worries creep in and make you be easily distracted.


  • Ethics training – Like many professors and adjuncts, I am spending a lot of time this summer getting ready for whatever the fall brings – in-person, hybrid or remote. For those that want some good ethics training, I wanted to call attention to some free ethics resources from the Page Center that may be helpful.





Mark McClennan, APR, Fellow PRSA
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Mark W. McClennan, APR, Fellow PRSA, is the general manager of C+C's Boston office. C+C is a communications agency all about the good and purpose-driven brands. He has more than 20 years of tech and fintech agency experience, served as the 2016 National Chair of PRSA, drove the creation of the PRSA Ethics App and is the host of


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