One of the most common areas of ethical failure (in my opinion) revolves around data. The four articles I share this week highlight different elements of this – from cutting corners and misrepresenting data, to data privacy, disclosure and the misrepresentation of old data. Data has the power to shape opinions and actions, and we all need to uphold the highest standards when gathering, using and sharing it.
This past week in PR ethics was filled with some very important news and examples, and a few that are less important and make me smile. A discussion on ethics and pizza arbitrage blew up my social media feeds. While it is interesting, the research on tobacco co-opting #stayathome hashtags was chilling. There was also the important news of the PRCA launching a Global Ethics Council, and the much less important news of me being interviewed on the great Look Left @ Marketing podcast.
While last week the most interesting PR ethics stories dealt with leadership. This week it was a true potpourri. There are some great articles and discussion topics on art, yoghurt, aiding your enemies and right vs right.
We have the first ever “theme week” on This Week in PR Ethics. During “unprecedented situations” and times of crisis, people look for ethical leadership. Some people step up, and some people don’t. Even good people make ethical missteps. I was intrigued to find so much discussion on ethical leadership this week, so I decided to dedicate the entire blog to the topic.
This week’s PR ethics highlights are a bit unusual, many of them brought me joy and had me whooping and clapping my hands and frankly scaring my family and students. There were articles that looked at utilitarianism, stoicism, virtue and the nature of news.
This week three things stood out when it came to PR ethics: Is banning unpopular speech stopping misinformation or cancel culture? What goes into ethics intelligence? What are the ethics of remote work?
This week there were quite a few ethics in communication issues to highlight, including many that may have a profound impact on society. Are we seeing the rise of the long-term surveillance state? Are businesses really putting stakeholders first? What are the ethics of grants and what do Canadians think about PR and ethics?
This week the top ethical issues continued to revolve around COVID-19 ethical missteps – from how to communicate effectively (and what NOT to do), to an interesting piece on how charitable giving by companies may actually be unethical and break the law in some cases. Employee communication was also a hot topic: from the ethics of employee monitoring to debate about is a press secretary can do their job without holding briefings.
Communication ethics issues this week ranged from the right and duty to speak out, to the growing importance of purpose during a pandemic and how must political campaigns change.
While media coverage and discussions focused heavily on COVID-19 and social distancing (and rightly so), there were a few notable, interesting and fun communication ethics topics this week including how our codes of conduct may be sabotaging ethical behavior, fake news, AI and coronavirus, and fun with ethics