Every week, the students and I start my public relations ethics class at Boston University discussing ethics issues of the week. Rather than keeping it to ourselves, following are 25 recent ethics issues and incidents for your reading pleasure. Some of these are sure to liven up the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Tim O’Brien, the founder of O’Brien Communications and host of the Shaping Opinion podcast discusses the ethical dangers of deplatforming and relative ethics.
Marisa Vallbona, the founder and president of CIM, Inc PR and co-founder of the PR Consultants Group, discusses:
• Going beyond “that’s unethical” to understand the issues and better guide those you are advising
• What to do when people steal your ideas
• The challenges the lack of enforcement of PRSA’s Code of Ethics creates for the public relations industry
EthicalVoices is one year old. Thank you. It is just beginning.
Jim Lukaszewski, one of America’s most respected crisis and ethics counselors for the C-Suite at global brands, discusses:
• How to most effectively counsel senior executives around ethics issues
• How to speak up and be heard when you notice an ethical lapse
• How all ethics lapses are intentional and what it means
Blake Lewis, the Principal and Founder of Three Box Strategic Communications. Discusses a number of key ethics topics, including:
• Ethical traps for Millennials and Gen Z
• The importance of discernment
• How to make ethics training a regular part of your culture
• How compromise can destroy who you are
Mark Dvorak the executive director of Golin Atlanta and an expert independent consultant, discusses the three biggest threats to ethical behavior in public relations. During the interview he also shares his insight on a variety of topics, including: what ethical guideposts to use when you are facing a new situation and how managers should support their employees in difficult ethical situations.
This week on Ethical Voices, Robin Schell and Stacey Smith, senior counsel and partners at Jackson, Jackson & Wagner discuss a number of key PR and communication ethics issues, including:
• What to do when a client asks you to anonymously leak information
• Ethical issues with transparency and in-person research
• How to ethically leverage appeals to emotion
• The one ethics guidepost every PR pro needs to keep top of mind
Dr. Joe Trahan, a 30+ year PR pro, retired Lt. Col and media trainer for more than 3,000 people a year, shares his ethics insights in a captivating interview. He discusses:
• How to save your soul when you are in an unethical company
• How fake news is eroding public trust
• Why public relations professionals and PRSA need to be stronger advocates for our profession
• The importance of standing up for what you believe in even in the face of unspeakable threats of violence
Mike Neumeier, the CEO of Arketi Group, shares his insight on how PR pros can deal with ethics issues, including:
• What to do when a manager or competitor overpromises
• How and when to disclose
• Unexpected challenges with paid media