Carefully Crafted on April 22

Public Relations Ethics

Not only has Web 2.0 added additional layers of communication to the practice of public relations, but it seems that social media has introduced communicators to a new set of ethical challenges. In fact, this led to a series on pr-squared (which I’d highly recommend you read). During this week’s PR 2.0 Chat (aka #pr20chat), we took an in-depth look at some potentially sticky situations.

Spend a few minutes thinking about these questions. What’s your take?

  • Is ghostblogging ok or unethical?
  • What about ghost-tweeting? Fair game or unethical?
  • Do PR pros need to disclose when tweeting about client? If so, how?
  • Is it ever ok to delete a comment on a blog, FB page, etc? Why or why not?
  • Have you ever read the PRSA Code of Ethics? Do we need a SM Code?
  • Your boss asks you to withhold (or add) details in a press release — significantly altering the story. How do you respond?
  • A reporter calls looking for sensitive info. Is it acceptable or unethical to wait until his/her deadline passes to call back?
  • Your client is exaggerating claims about a new product’s benefits. What do you do?
  • Client accidentally misrepresents the facts during interview. What do you do? What if it’s a live interview?
  • How do you handle a Facebook fan w/ very strong opinions that disrupt the conversation? Is it OK to block that person?
  • Lines blur btwn PR & content creator. How do you handle clients who want coverage in your blog?
  • If long-time client breaks the law, are you obligated to continue representing?
  • If someone asks you to do something unethical, how do you respond?

Additional resource: PRSA Code of Ethics

Photo credit: justinbaeder

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