Saturday, October 3, 2015

Grow Up

Amanda Poll

For Mature Audiences 

The journalism, advertising and public relations world has a lot of talk going around about being unethical, irresponsible and screwing up. I am not pointing my finger at everyone working in the field of journalism and advertising/public relations, but let us be honest. It sounds like a lot of people have not grown up and they still might be living in High School. I will make a couple cases regarding those who have grown up to be successful professionals and those who have not.

The first article I will mention is PR ethics and Reputation: PR Professionals Are Not "Yes Men" When Pressured to Be Unethical, New Baylor Study Finds, found in the Bulldog Reporter online. Conflicts of interest are constantly an issue I would assume working as a public relations professional. One must decide whether or not to act to do what is right even if it is against one's boss or what the company desires. A lot of people assume public relations professionals are "Yes Men," however, that is not always the case. Thanks to Baylor University they did in-depth studies with public relations professionals with 27 years of experience and all but three were head honchos, or "chief public relations officers in their organizations."

The results showed that most were in "kill the messenger" predicament, which "makes it tricky to give criticism to people who outranked them and to persuade those people to agree with them," said Marlene S. Neill, Ph.D. This shows that most try to persuade those people to agree with what I assume would be the moral thing to do. The study also showed that, "few were fired or demoted for refusing to do something that was blatantly unethical; two resigned when their advice was rejected, including one who refused to include false information about a press release."

This blows my mind. There are people who decide to do the right thing, but guess what those people are not the leaders of a corporation or business. Sadly, these people with morals are fired or punished for doing what is right. One of the participants was quoted, "I can't afford to lose my credibility ...As PR professionals, it's all we have. And if I lose my credibility here, it's not like I can just go start over with someone else, somewhere else." Credibility, responsibility and morals are still required and there are those who still work with honorability and maturity. If you are interested in becoming a public relations professional, then click this link and follow the "Finding the Right Thing to Do: A User's Guide to Public Relations Success."

PG - Parental Guidance Suggested

Is it not funny that most people in leadership positions are not ethically sound in their ways? These people like to cheat, lie, blame others and do not take responsibility for their actions, they are irresponsible and my personal favorite, act shocked when asked if they had any clue about what was going on under their leadership. Sounds like these people have a lot of growing up to do. I may only be 20-years-old, but I felt bad thinking about using another email on this online clothing website to receive 50% off when you make a new account. Shocker, I already have an account, but guess what? I did not make another account to receive the 50% off when you sign up with this clothing website. I felt like I would be lying and stealing. Some people might laugh at me but I honestly felt bad about it.

Then there are people like Rupert Murdoch. A name that sounds intimidating when you read it. A name that sounds professional, someone of stature and maybe even donates to charities for kids who have cancer. However, this person is not mature enough to lead with morality nor does he take responsibility for his actions. Sounds like me when I was five and blamed my little brother for everything.
Follow the Leader: Ethics and Responsibility, by Virgil Scudder is an article about Murdoch losing his credibility and his inability to lead. "Employees will almost always behave in the manner that they think management expects from them, and it is foolish for management to pretend otherwise," writes Scudder. I am a firm believer in leading by example. If you are not following your own codes and standards then how can you expect the people under you to. Murdoch was unbelievably childish when he testified about illegal wiretapping and other criminal practices at his News of the World tabloid. He blamed the people that worked for him. He knew exactly what was happening. Why would anyone go that far, wiretapping and doing other criminal activity, unless otherwise directed and/or afraid of management. "One of the CEO's most important jobs is to create, foster and communicate the culture of the organization. They can do this through words and through actions. The PR practitioner's job is to communicate the message and explain the culture both internally and externally," said Scudder.

Leaders shape an organization, culture and behavior of a company, newsroom or even a country. There are good and honorable workers in the journalism and advertising/public relations field. However, one can only do so much. In our society today, rank determines if you have a job or not. Your boss may fire you for disagreeing with them. It is not fair that higher-ups are unethical creatures. The leaders in our country need to grow up. They need to lead by example. They need to change.

1 comment:

  1. This is Robert Vollman here, and I agree. This world is full of people who seem to treat each other with disrespect, especially in the higher ups. Maybe one day we will actually get more responsible people to run things.