Public Relations Ethics

The ethical issues of public relations arise because public relations is not just a set of techniques to disseminate information. There is always a perceptual objective to be achieved, and ethical dilemmas abound in how that objective is achieved.

Codes of ethics exist within the public relations profession at various levels—in trade associations (The Public Relations Society of America, The Council of Public Relations Firms, the International Association of Business Communicators, etc.), in public relations agencies, and within the public relations departments of companies. Except in the specialized area of government relations, there are few laws that govern how public relations professionals go about their objective of persuasion. Enforcement of codes is sporadic, and sanctions are few. The codes that exist cover a variety of ...

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