- To discuss the three basic ethical
systems: Deontology, teleology, and Aristotle’s Golden Mean.
- To enumerate the seven Golden Rules
of Public Relations.
Let’s begin with the three basic ethical systems:
This system is duty based and relies on moral obligation. Deontological ethics says that
all actins are inherently right or wrong. This system depends on the inner-based, self-discipline of each individual public
relations practitioner, and because we are all human, and of different environmental backgrounds, it changes from person to
person, depending on their own cultural and traditional biases.
- This system is outcome-based. Teleological ethicists believe that “the ends justify the means”.
While this system has had its detractors, there is considerable historical precedence, and deserves extended discussion.
ARISTOTLE’S GOLDEN MEAN:
- This system s based on what’s best for the majority, the greatest good for greatest number. This
is generally the system used in a democracy (rule of the majority with respect for the minority), where the minority sometimes
has to sacrifice something of value if it’s good for the country as a whole.
GOLDEN RULES OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
1. Keep it Simple – Remember,
once upon a time, you didn’t understand assessments and equalization rates either.
2. Use Plain Language
– Technical jargon won’t impress, and you will likely leave your listener feeling confused.
3. Expect and Entertain
Questions – It gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism,
thereby earning trust.
4. Be Accurate and Honest – If you’re not certain of an answer, don’t make it up or be vague; just
ensure the individual you’ll get back to him or her as soon as possible (and be sure to do it).
5. Be Courteous – Remember
the golden rule.
6. Be Respectful – It’s
the best way to be respectable.
7. Be Patient
SOME BROAD SOLUTIONS:
IF YOU BELONG TO A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION-COMMUNICATIONS/PUBLIC RELATIONS-RELATED OR OTHERWISE-MAKE SURE IT HAS
AN ETHIC CODE WITH TEETH, ONE THAT OBLIGATES ITS MEMBERS TO ABIDE BY,UPON PAIN OF EXPULSION. LIVE BY ITS CODE.
FINALLY, IF YOU ARE IN A COUNSELOR’S POSITION, OR ANY POSITION OF INFLUENCE IN YOUR ORGANIZATION, MAKE SURE YOU
ARE INCLUDEDWHENEVER ORGANIZATIONAL POLICIES ARE RENEWED AND FORMULATED..
THERE ARE NO SIMPLE SOLUTIONS IN THE PUBLIC RELATIONS ETHICS. WENDING YOUR WAY THROUGH THE ETHICAL MINEFIELD REQUIRES
CONTINUAL MONITORING OF CURRENT SOCIAL CONDITIONNS, CONTINUOUS TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION WITH ALL STAKEHOLDERS, CONSTANT MONIRORING
OF ORGANIZATIONAL,S BEHAVIOR VIS-À-VIS ITS POLICIES, AN
INCREASE AWARENESS AMONG PUBLIC RELATIONS PROFESSIONALS AND MANAGEMENT THAT ETHICAL PERFORMANCE MAKES FOR LONG STABILITY,
AND NEVER ENDING EFFORT TO ACHIEVE ETHICAL PERFORMANCE IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE EFFECTIVE PUBLIC RELATIONSHIPS.
IT COMES DOWN TO THIS—CHOICES, CHOICES, CHOICES. MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE AND YOU ARE A HERO. MAKE THE WRONG CHOICE AND PEOPLE
GET HURT. AND IT’S YOUR FAULT.
IN PUBLIC RELATIONS ETHICS, THERE ARE ONLY RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWERS. THESE ARE ONLY COURAGEOUS DECISIONS. IN PUBLIC RELATIONS,
YOU NEED TO TAKE EVERY RISK YOU CAN. I BELIEVE THAT IT IS UNETHICAL FOR A PUBLIC RELATIONS PROFESSIONAL TO FEAR FAILURE..
IN PUBLIC RELATIONS – AS IN LIFE – WE NEED TO MAKE COURAGEOUS DECISIONS DAY-IN AND DAY-OUT.