Ethical and Legal Issues in Public Relations  WIDTH=

Professional Responsibility Theory

Ethical, social and professional responsibility are vital issues for public relations practitoners. Facilitating communcation between a company and their many publics is crucial. There exists both arguements in favor of a universal code of ethics as well as those objecting to such.

Arguments for a universal code of ethics focuses on the increase in globalized trade has sped up the need for a code for all communicators across the world. Furthermore, a universal code could apply to all communciations professions, in a sense bringing together public relations and journalism, but also flexible to meet the needs of the individual professions.

"While journlism's purpose is most often objectivity, public relations' purpose is often advocacy. In this manner, public relations practitioners share the general nature of their purpose with lawyers."--Hunt and Tirpok

Objections of implementing a universal code of ethics for public relations practitioners rely on the basis that public relations cannot be defined, anyone can practice public relations because of the principle rights guarunteed by the First Amendment, and finally, there are fundamental differences between companies as well as globally as to what constitutes ethical behavior and practices.

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