Three very interesting stories this week in PR ethics, all dealing with timeless issues. What is our obligation to protect users’ privacy? What do we do when we see an unethical business practice? And Should you have meetings with stakeholders when you may not want to act on what they say?
I figure everyone is either still gone/checked our for the long July 4th weekend, or is insanely busy covering for those that are out, so Ethical Voices this week is just sixteen words of wisdom about ethics.
A number of significant and lingering ethical issues appear to be moving from words to action this week – most notably the social media advertising boycott. The challenge is how do we seize the moment? I highlighted a few organizations that have helpful advice and research to share on the topic.
Melody Kimmel is one of the nation’s leading media,presentation and message trainers. In this interview, she provides insight into a number of key issues including:
1) Ethics and media interviews
2) How to conduct ethical media training
3) What to do when you make a mistake
4) The perversion of the strength of PR and the decline of trust
This week in PR ethics it was all about research. There were fascinating studies and reports on ethics training, the role of professional associations in ethics and moral reasoning maintenance, and the challenge of weasel statements.
Michael Meath, the retiring interim chair of public relations at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University discusses a number of important issues, including:
1) How to make sure Codes of Ethics are not worthless
2) Why taking the critical 10 helps you make more ethical decisions
3) The ethical challenges that most engage students
4) The little ethics issues that challenge us every day
This week there continued to be a number of interesting social ethics issues top of mind including a fascinating article from HBR asking if we are moving from CSR to CSJ and what implications does that have for business. Brands are moving to eliminate racial stereotypes, and honesty and privacy are top ethics issues of concern to communication professionals in Europe.
Jim Olson, the former global corporate communications lead for Starbucks and US Airways and CCO at African Leadership University, graciously shared his insight and observations on a number of topics including:
1) How did Starbucks find a new, ethical option about how to deal with the presence of guns in their stores?
2) How we can help heal the fracturing of humanity by moving from impact to consequence?
3) The ethical imperative of purpose
Ethical issues continued to be at the forefront this week and the various articles I saw reinforced one point – being ethical is not just about saying the right thing, it is about taking action. This was driven home by Mike Paul, the PRISA, and brands that are doing and not just saying.
John Walker, the founder and managing partner of Chirp PR, discusses a number of important topics, including:
1) Keeping your values when others compromise theirs (a.k.a. How to survive a dot-com boom)
2) How to build trust in a time of uncertainty
3) The ethical pitfalls of “guaranteed” media coverage that isn’t earned