COVID and culture dominated the ethics headlines this week. There were articles on COVID and ethics that looked at everything from when do you share information, to the decline of trust, and the increase in pressure to act unethically. Beyond COVID, there were great articles on managing conflicts in a cancel culture environment, and a brilliant call to action to take concrete steps to end racial inequality in PR.
Kelli Bravo, the vice president of healthcare and life sciences for Pegasystems, discusses a number of important ethical issues, including:
1) The ethical considerations in admitting an error in your software
2) How do we ethically fix what is broken in the healthcare system
3) Top ethics challenges in healthcare communication, patient engagement and collaboration
4) How do you ethically balance transparency and confidentiality
This week in PR ethics there was not one stand out issue (aside from the breaking COVID topics), but a number of interesting and brief reads. There were a number of examples this week reinforcing that words are not enough. Plus, with the Helsinki Conference and PRCA’s Ethics month, there were some great global perspectives on the topic.
Today is Labor Day in the United States, so this week I will be taking a break from my labors of bringing you insightful ethics interviews content. But I have assembled some links and hashtags to help you keep informed about ethics in communication.
September is Ethics Month for PRSA and PRCA. While I believe we should talk about ethics more than one month a year (one reason I created this blog and podcast), the good news is, there should be a ton a content for those that are interested. This week there are interesting articles on meaning, character and the rise of moral leaders. I also liked Tim O’Brien’s piece on ethics and AI.
Erin Callanan, the director of media relations for WGBH, discusses a number of ethics challenges including:
1) What to do when you are asked to make inflated claims
2) Balancing the desire to bring in revenue with the desire to only work with clients you believe in
3) How to combat misinformation
This week the PR ethics discussion is all around ethical leadership. From a new model detailed in the Harvard Business Review, to a new ethics guide for leaders implementing AI in PR, to ethical leadership in purpose driven conversations. Some great reading to bring the month to a close.
Dianne Danowski Smith, the president and founder of Publix Northwest, covers a broad spectrum of ethical issues, including:
1) Unexpected ethical lessons from Tonya Harding
2) What to do when ethics and legal opinion lead to different conclusions
3) What to do when employees don’t want to represent a specific client
4) How to handle the ethical challenge of reporters with agendas
This week, there were a number of profound and eminently debatable ethics issues including a number of articles looking at ethical issues in advocacy and technology. The most fascinating discussion for me though deals with potential virtue-based ethics failings around the pardon of Susan B. Anthony.
Joining me on this week’s episode is David Calusdian, the President of Sharon Merrill Associates David is my first guest who focuses on investor relations. He shares his insight on a number of key topics, including:
1) Should you work with someone when their values do not align with yours?
2) What are ethical issues companies face with ESG
3) Core ethical issues with investor relations