October 18, 2016
When determining whether PR is ethical or not, we can refer to the article Follow the Leader: Ethics and Responsibility. Virgil Scudder (2011) proposed a few questions, "Does the corporate culture encourage addressing problems head-on, reporting them, taking responsibility and initiating steps to fix them? Or does it reward cutting corners and covering things up? Employee behavior will follow the culture that management creates."
As a PR professional, it is consistent to have intense pressure put on you in the workplace. After all, your client's reputation and your company's is in your hands. There is always pressure from not only your company, but society and other competing PR companies to always be the best and come out with the next best idea. Aside from all of these constricting factors, your job is to remain accountable for your work. You must remain ethical and responsible at all times for the content you present. Failing to do so will lead to a hindering in your career.
As the audience and potential clients one day, we rely on PR professionals to take care of this for us. We look to them for the truth, good work, and ethical decision-making. A company can have a mission statement, but without following these values and expressing that voice to their audience, this mission statement stands for nothing. A company needs to be consistent with its mission and will only be successful by always representing themselves in that light. In the article A New Era For Communication Values, Shane McLaughlin discusses the importance of the employee-client relationship. The quote "I want to do business with people of character and integrity, people I respect" by Campbell touches on the importance of relationships, along with profitability. With consistent and valued relationships, companies upholding their values excel financially more so than any of their competition.
This video shows how REI went against the norm and told a story with their brand. Being a company who has outdoor products, they use this to their advantage. They tell a story with their company and engage their audience. They were one of the only companies to opt out of black friday shopping and Edelman help their brand by creating a hash tag #optoutside. This became a trending topic that others follow. The negative aspect of opting out of Black Friday became positive and soon companies after followed.