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MS7515 - CRITICAL PUBLIC RELATIONS: CONTEXTS AND ISSUESOption 01 Critically discuss the assertion that ‘public relations is the art of getting material into the media without paying for it - nothing...

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MS7515 - CRITICAL PUBLIC RELATIONS: CONTEXTS AND ISSUESOption 01 Critically discuss the assertion that ‘public relations is the art of getting material into the media without paying for it - nothing more, nothing less’.Advice to students One way of approaching this topic is to consider it in definitional terms: does this statement describe the work of the public relations practitioner adequately? What alternative definitions have been offered by a) advocates and practitioners, and b) by critics of public relations? Another approach is to reflect on the question of ethics that the assertion raises, implying, as it does, the use of less than transparent methods and techniques in PR practice. You might also want to reflect on the ends of PR as well as the means and consider the concept of corporate social responsibility in relation to these issues of definition and ethics. Units 61, 63 and 64 are all relevant here.
Answered 25 days AfterDec 01, 2017MS7515


David answered on Dec 27 2017
26 Votes
Public Relations And Ethical Challenges
The report aims to analysis the statement’ public relation is the art of getting materials in to media without paying for it-nothing more, nothing less. The report considers the practices of public relation practitioners and identifies the adequacy of this statement to determine the public relations practices. Along with this, the report considers ethical issues and corporate social responsibilities associated with public relations. Report concludes with findings and suggestions for improvement in public relation practice.
Main body
Examples of countries practicing poor PR practices
It is found that public relation practices are common by organization to promote their
and image among the public and community. But it is also revealed that there are various ethical issues and unfair practices by public practitioners that raise the questions of proper ethical practices by organizations. This report tries to find some of examples of unfair practices in the field of public relations.
Professional conduct is absent in the public relations officers and the practitioners are often dictated by the company management as it is argued by the Grunig, (2000) that public relation practitioners are often following the clients or their superiors instruction. It is revealed that government also provide political funding for the public relations (Y. Kim & Hon, 1998) and this finding also suggest that public relation practitioners are not able to work ethically. Luuri Grunig and Jim Crunig assert that public relation in USA is typified by the press agency and even though the public relation profession develops, but it still far from ethical view point. The example of Brazil reveals that public relations is not developed as the way it should be and journalists there without having proper public relation education often work as public relation officers and therefore they are not able to understand the ethics involved in public relations duties. This finding also reveals that public relation is not professionalized. There are evidences of offering gifts to the media people in exchange of the positive editorial coverage and this also reflects that the statement is not practiced with all integrity. The professionals practice situational ethics than absolute ethics for public relations and they are forced to follow the norms of society and laws of government. One example is of UAE where public relation practices are shaped according to the government intentions. Government has found to promote industrialization to the big companies and offered political and financial support. This system creates a chaebol system that favors big organization interests and therefore the public relation activities are propagated. The preferential financing by government to these businesses reveal that public relation practices are not according to the professional code of conduct.
There is inappropriate communication behavior by the members of a society when it comes to choose the rule of modesty and in this context; favoritism takes place due to selective treatment that defeats professionalism (Yum, 1988).
The statement that public relations should be offered without paying money is defeated by the estimated $250 million spending annually for public relations activities in Australia (Tymson & Lazar, 2002, p. 39).
The example of Swedish practitioner also reveals the same facts. The code of Athens as well as the code of Venice has been employed by the Swedish practitioners but they do not implement these codes regularly (Sveriges informations f’’orening, 2001b), the public discussion about the public relations ethics are also not promotes and therefore no public relation officer received any kind of sanction even if public relation practitioners often face ethical issues (Forsberg, 2001).
The example of ethical violation of public relation practices are found in Poland as well. The three most common type of violation are reported (Wielowiejska, 2000). First is the co
uption among the journalists that spreads to the political decision makers. It is found that practice to offer material gains to the journalists to promote desired messages by the companies is common there and this reflects a non standard advertising. Unethical lo
ying practices are found among politicians. The second unethical practice found in Poland is the unofficial and hidden practice by organization to furnish information to media for tarnishing the image of a competitor company. This practice is known as the black PR. The third type of unethical use found in public relation is acquiring funds illegally from state controlled corporations to finance the election campaign of a particular political party.
In Russia the same issue is prevalent of poor ethical practices related with PR. There are many Russian practitioners that admit that they cannot practice ethical public relation practices that are presented in the code of ethics by Russian government regarding PR. The reasons they offer relate with the different cultural practices that act as ba
iers for ethical PR practice. Many of people there assert that they cannot practice PR ethically because nobody will pay for such practice (Makesimov, 1999). This reflects the general perception about the ethical principles and values attached with the PR practices in Russia.
Country is also not intended to promote the open communication and dissemination of information. This is evident with the Chernobyl accident when the government deliberately hided information from public that was certain a case of poor PR practice (Jaksa & Pritchard, 1996). Is noted by Jaksa and Pritchard (1996) that a group of students from USA stayed in Kiev that is near to Chernobyl without knowing the harmful repercussions of the accident reveals that government deliberately hided the information and compromised the health security of people around that area.
Public relation officers are often accused of practicing poor PR practices. They are criticized for dubious practices and poor ethics and slang terms are being used for those people who challenge the work of public relations practitioners. Studies show that public relations suffer from the poor image. Due to blatant unethical practices of public relation practitioners companies are continued to engage in ambiguous activities.
Postmodern PR practice
This is evident with the postmodern PR practitioners that practice ethical decision making on situational factors rather than applying the universalism factor between right and wrong (Adler, 1997). This is supported by Eribson, (1991) and Lyotard (1984) who suggest that immediate and local situation dictate terms for PR practioners to make decisions. Therefore they are compelled to take decision in favor of individuals (Kung, 1992).
Lyotard (1988) does not welcome the modernist philosophy as well as science and metana
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