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Ethics in Public Relations


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Table of Contents

  • Section - PART 1: What Lies Beneath
    • Chapter - 01: Before we begin: New profession... or one of the oldest?
    • Chapter - 02: Lies, truth and honesty: their role in PR practice
    • Chapter - 03: Truth, trust and the virtue of being `good'.
    • Chapter - 04: Whose rights are right?
    • Chapter - 05: The trouble with rules
    • Chapter - 06: Utilitarianism: Right acts and wrong reasons
  • Section - PART 2: Ethics and the Practitioner
    • Chapter - 07: Your moral development: Cultivating respect and humility
    • Chapter - 08: Codes of ethics: The good, the bad and the (almost) ugly
    • Chapter - 09: Conflicts of Interest: Sex and other relationship issues
    • Chapter - 10: (Very) personal ethical decisions: Whistle-blowing and moonlighting
  • Section - PART 3: Strategies and Dilemmas
    • Chapter - 11: Public Relations ethics and traditional media
    • Chapter - 12: Public Relations ethics and social media
    • Chapter - 13: Persuasion propaganda and advocacy: The ethics of influence
    • Chapter - 14: Supporting `good causes': bad ethics or bad taste?
    • Chapter - 15: Deceptive authorship: Ghost-writing and plagiarism
  • Section - Part 4: Organizations, Ethics and PR
    • Chapter - 16: Making decisions: The true reality of everyday ethics
    • Chapter - 17: PR and the corporate ethics programme
    • Chapter - 18: The future of ethical PR: education and leadership
    • Chapter - 19: Appendix 1: For your bookshelf
    • Chapter - 20: Appendix 2: Chartered Institute of PR Code of Conduct
    • Chapter - 21: Appendix 3: Guidelines for the ethics audit

Promotional Information

Demonstrates that an individual's sense of morality has an impact on decision making and ethical business behaviour, and helps managers account for this in business practice. Helps practitioners understand and react to ethical consequences in the face of fast-moving technological advances. Explores the concept of personal ethics spilling into the professional realm in relation to topical issues such as sexual harassment and social media. Relates underlying ethical issues such as utilitarianism and moral relativism to everyday issues. Fully optimized digital resources, including a PR Ethics wiki and access to the author's Professional Issues blog.

About the Author

Patricia J Parsons APR, FCPRS spent 26 years as a faculty member and former chairman in the Department of Communication Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Canada retiring recently as a full Professor. Her research, writing and teaching focused on public relations ethics and strategy, and healthcare communication. She is the author of a dozen books and numerous papers for the professional and lay press. She is accredited in public relations and is a member of the Canadian Public Relations Society's College of Fellows. Prof. Parsons lives in Toronto and can be reached via email at ethicsinpr@gmail.com or via Twitter @ethicsinpr.


"Rooted in reality and pointing to professionalism, Ethics in Public Relations reminds us of our societal responsibility. It is readable, digestible and provocative."--Jason MacKenzie "Managing Director, Liquid "

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