This Week in PR Ethics (8/11/22): Five Topics That Defy Easy Description

I usually can come up with punchy headlines for the weekly ethics roundup – but this week in PR ethics, the topics are just too important, bizarre, and complex.  So, without further ado, five articles that raise ethics issues that will make you laugh, scratch your head and possibly creep you out.

  • Go old school – When I read this Harvard Business Review article this week, I said “This is so freaking cool.” A new study finds that the medium we use to make decisions has an impact on how we make virtuous decisions.  The study found to encourage virtuous decision-making it is best to put it on paper.





  • The pope speaks on digital media and ethics– Catholic Outlook had an interesting article on the Pope’s opinion on ethics and digital media. But what really stuck me was what he had to say about communicators ““Communication is not just a profession, but a service to dialogue and understanding between individuals and larger communities in the pursuit of a serene and peaceful coexistence.” All it is missing are the keywords mutually beneficial relationship between an organization and its publics….
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

1 Comment

  1. Don Bates

    August 11, 2022 - 9:17 pm

    Apropos your parting comment, I’ve personally never seen a “mutually beneficial” relationship between an organization and its publics, especially not if it involves religions. They have the weight of godly emotion on their side in everything they communicate, even if it’s dead wrong. They can support crusades, fenestrations, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslims, excommunication, restrictions on birth control, racism, shunning, bigamy, and rape of children and teens, and still their publics follow, contributing vast amounts of money to the coffers of moral bankruptcy. I tend to avoid mutually beneficial at all costs and prefer, instead, beneficial — or supportively beneficial –relationships, so no one gets the wrong idea about what to expect from professional PR’s assistance. All hail mutual, but it’s a bit of a fantasy.

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