Ethics in Public Relations

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          Ethics in public relations, as any other profession, should be considered very carefully by all specialists. Things have to be done properly and honestly within all groups of employers, whether they may or may not work with the same people all the time. The public has to learn how to execute their actions in the most appropriate way possible.

            “While increasing attention is being paid by people in public relations to ethical theory, the predominant ethical perspective in the field is still situational. The reason for this, at least in part, is the loss of the traditional grounds of moral objectivity—tradition, religion, and universal reason. (Leeper, 1996).  Event eight years ago, challenges were appearing within peoples ethical analyses of their own and others morals. In public relations, honesty is the number one priority in everything a person does. Well, at least it should be your number one priority.  

            “It’s all about public trust. Public trust involves professional practitioners, the fields we practice in and the domains-the institutions that legitimize our work, that provide the codes of ethics, technical standards, and personal values that we uphold.” (Atkin, 2003). If you are always being the most honest you can be, at all times, then people are more likely to trust in your decisions. If you are able to maintain this type of relationship between co-workers, the practice becomes second nature and keeps consistent a set of ethics.

            Ethics in public relations could have issues in all sorts of areas. For example, in sports there can be ethical issues in judging a sports contest. Ethics and morals occur in governmental issues, sales revenue, choosing and assessing information, legislation and policy issues, and many other subjects. “The Federal Bureau of Investigation said “there were perhaps tens of millions in bribes and hundreds of millions in lost revenue.” (Atkin, 2003). This statement seems a bit absurd. There were “perhaps” millions of bribes? People are being unethical when they let things slide by as if doing immoral actions will not have any effect on future outcomes. I think that for this to happen, it is sad to see first off, and also makes me wonder where society will be in future decades.

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Atkin, N. (2003). Ethics and public relations from an assessment perspective. Assessment             Journal, 10(1), 41-51. Retrieved from

Leeper, R.V.  (01/01/1996).  Moral Objectivity, Jurgen Habermas’s Discourse Ethics, and Public Relations.  Public relations review. ,  22 (2), p. 133 – 50.


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