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Does PR Need an Ethics Style Guide?

October 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Every PR person at one time in their career has had The Elements of Style and the AP Style Guide on their desk, but maybe it is about time to add an Ethics Style Guide to the library.

Of course there are some floating around, the PRSA has one, and some PR folks have attempted to publish them, but safe to say there isn’t an agree upon standard.

Why is it necessary? I’m not saying that it is necessary because the industry is a cesspool of immoral and or deviant behavior. It’s necessary because the industry is spending too much time discussing the issue trying to reach common ground.

What is the debate? We all know lying is wrong. We all know spreading rumor is inappropriate. The real confusing issues come with social media. Astroturfing, ghost blogging, ghost tweeting etc.

Ask a PR pro if they think Astroturfing is wrong and most will say – Yes. But that is because it sounds wrong. Ask them if they think it is okay to post a comment on Amazon when their client writes a new book and I fear many would say that is – part of the job. Read more…