Posts Categorized: Ethics

Four paths to patriotic public relations

By Jenny Smith, Acuity PR Our nation’s birthday is a great time to reflect on our founding principles. In today’s climate of alternative facts, fake news and ADHD reporting, it’s important to ask ourselves: How can we practice truly patriotic public relations? 1. Practice the Four-Way Test When business executive and Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor set out to save the Club Aluminum Products distribution company from bankruptcy, he created policies to reflect his faith and his standards. Taylor wrote The Four-Way Test of the things we think, say or do. Today, The Four-Way Test is used by Rotary International as a moral code for their personal and business... ⇢ read more

Fake News Creates Real Challenges for Journalists and PR Professionals

The drumbeat over the growing spate of “fake news” stories reached a crescendo last week when the 2017 AP Stylebook felt compelled to address proper journalistic style when referring to “the modern phenomenon of deliberate falsehoods or fiction masked as news circulating on the internet.” Ironically, “fake news” is far from new. The Onion and National Inquirer were peddling this cheap brand of journalism long before Al Gore ever invented the internet. What is new is the impact “fake news” is having on the Fourth Estate; where trust in traditional news media is at an all-time low. A September 2016 Gallup... ⇢ read more

Thought Leadership in the Age of Fake News

One of the traditionally best routes to positive brand identity, media exposure, and best of all—public trust, is if the founder, CEO, or public face of an entity you represent is, or has the potential to be, what we call a “thought leader.” “Thought leader” is a jargon-y term, somewhat overused, but succinctly descriptive. A thought leader is a trusted expert in his/her field, often called upon to discuss innovation, best practices, or even the future of said field. For example, Elon Musk is a thought leader in electric vehicles and space travel; Chris Brogan is a thought leader in marketing and... ⇢ read more

Come on, Can’t You Be Original?

By Marisa Vallbona, APR, Fellow PRSA, president of CIM Incorporated, This blog post originally appeared in PRSAY, a blog published by the Public Relations Society of America. Have you ever encountered a colleague or acquaintance you never thought was particularly bright and suddenly they’re churning out thought leadership pieces that position them as industry gurus? Ever wonder who flipped the switch in their brain to inspire them to produce those pieces that just don’t sound like anything they could say in person? As social media continues to explode, so does the number of thought leaders and the number of posers, or those who... ⇢ read more

Shiny objects and made-up comments fuel PR controversy

This photo from a recent Vanity Fair article (2013) shows the glare from a building, that has resulted in a PR controversy. By Lisa Faulkner-Dunne, Lisa Faulkner-Dunne and Associates Public Relations It certainly seems like common sense, and basic ethics, to avoid making up names and  posting rash and inflammatory comments on your client’s digital media pages, or even worse, on their adversary’s or competitor’s  pages. Yet this ridiculous junior high type behavior happens. In Dallas, a former NBC anchor-turned-PR-specialist (hired, no doubt because he had “good media contacts,”) recently disgraced himself, the law firm that hired him and a high profile client... ⇢ read more

It’s Not the Mistake, but the Cover-Up that Counts

I love teachers.  Anyone who follows me on Facebook knows my daughter teaches music.  She, and most of her colleagues do a great job. But this is a PR Blog, and hence, it is with a heavy heart I read this article in the Omaha World-Herald.  So, I’m taking this opportunity to remind my clients, my colleagues and my followers it is better to confess to the crime (mistake, if you prefer) than to cover it up. http://www.omaha.com/article/20130507/NEWS/705079937/1694#peanut-butter-cover-up-costs-teachers-their-jobs I’ll never forget the wise words of a Sunday school teacher and High School counselor, who told us, “It is okay to say you are... ⇢ read more

“Checkbook Journalism” From a PR Pro’s Perspective

By Marisa Vallbona, APR, Fellow, PRSA This blog post first appeared in PRSAY In an age of declining journalism standards, where anything goes and credibility is in serious question, it’s about time we see a network take the high road and announce it’s going back to the true practice of journalism. According to The Daily Beast, ABC News division president Ben Sherwood has decided the network will do just that and no longer pay for interviews or images, a practice called “checkbook journalism” that has become all-too-common in recent years. ABC spokesman Jeffrey Schneider told The Daily Beast: “We can book just... ⇢ read more

If A Quarter of a Million Dollars Isn’t Enough to Make You Behave…

This blog post originated on PRSAY, a forum for PRSA members and other public relations professionals to engage in a dialogue with PRSA leaders, exchange viewpoints, and share perspectives on issues of concern to the Society and the public relations industry as a whole. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of PRSA. With all of the noise the FTC’s “blogger rules” made when first introduced in late-2009, you would think that most marketers and agencies would have gotten the point by now the FTC is... ⇢ read more

Pull Stunts Like That and Word Spreads Fast…

By Marisa Vallbona, APR, Fellow PRSA Ethics Officer, PRSA San Diego I’ve served as Ethics Officer of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) San Diego Chapter for the past five years. During that time, I’ve received numerous phone calls, e-mails and heard countless complaints from colleagues “ratting” out other colleagues about unethical behavior. They want the bad apple kicked out of PRSA or barred from practicing public relations altogether. Frankly, after hearing some of their stories, I don’t blame them. I want that too! The problem is that the re-written PRSA Code of Ethics is not intended to be enforced. You read... ⇢ read more