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MU COM 259 - Ethics and Professionalism

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COM 259 1st Edition Lecture 3I. Ethics and Professionalism A. Decision-making when faced with an ethical dilemma is easy: Do the right thing. Always.- Alex Cutler, CEO, Eaton Corporation.B. If I have done my job well for the right purpose, my life has substance and meaning. If I have done my job poorly or for the wrong purpose, I have squandered my life, however much I have prospered.-John Kultgen, Ethics Professor – University of MissouriII. Social Positives of Public Relations A. Improves professional practice by enforcing codes of ethics and standardsof performanceB. Improves the conduct of organizations by stressing the need for public approvalC. Articulates all points of view in the public forum (“court of public opinion”).D. Replaces misinformation and discord with information and rapport.E. Helps social systems adapt to changing needs and environments.III. Social Negatives of Public Relations A. Gains advantages for and promoting special interest at the cost of public well-being.B. Clutters channels of communication with the debris of pseudo-events and phony phrases.C. Corrodes the public information system with cynicism and “spin.”IV. Foundations A. Some view the field as spin, etc. But it is intrinsically good-facilitate dialogue, promote understanding—noble pursuitsB. Act as an ethical conscience for the organizationV. Utilitarian PhilosophyA. Uses the expected outcome of a decision in order to decide what is right and then decides the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of peopleB. However, it can be used to reinforce the status quo in which the majority ishappyVI. Deontological Philosophy A. Developed by KantB. Does not depend on an outcome since these are unpredictableC. Categorical imperative – act on the maxim as if it would be become universal lawD. Benefit is that decisions are based on right and wrong not who benefits the mostVII. Attributes of a ProfessionalA. Requires specialized education to acquire a body of knowledge and skills based on theory developed through research.B. Provides a unique and essential service recognized by the community.C. Emphasizes public service and social responsibility over private interests. Gives autonomy to and places responsibility on practitioners.VIII. “The Deal” Occupational Licensure A. Represents state-granted permission to practice.B. Requires demonstrating a compelling state interest would be served by licensing.C. Calls for safeguarding practitioner’s and organization’s freedom of expression (First Amendment).IX. Accreditation A. “Accreditation” programs are administered by professional associations to certify competence–usually based on written examinations and oral defenses before a panel of accredited peers.X. Professional Accreditation A. “APR”—Accredited Public RelationsB. Universal Accreditation BoardC. Public Relations Society of America and nine other professional groupsD. “ABC”—Accredited Business CommunicatorE. International Association of Business CommunicatorsF. examples 1. IABC2. IPRA3. PRSA4. Regional/Specialized5. National Schools6. Religious PR Council7. Black PR Society8. Hispanic PR Association9. Issue Management


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